Client Spotlight: Kim’s Bikini Prep Journey

bikini prep

Today I’m excited to share with you the story of my client, Kim.  Kim and I originally started working together in March of this year after Kim had gone through a tough prep for her first show in July of 2013.

Rather than telling you all the detail myself, I decided to interview Kim and let her walk you through her journey of how she got to where she is today.


Let’s kick it off with a visual of her progress

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July 2013– This was Kims first show before we started working together. As you’ll learn below Kim went through some yo-yo dieting and a large initial weight gain after this.

In March of 2015 we started working together (starting progress pictures centered above) after Kim had worked with several other coaches. Our main goal was first to get Kim in the right place mentally.

Kim followed a flexible, macro-based nutrition plan and we worked on packing on some muscle, upping her caloric intake and getting her out of the overly-restrictive mental mindset that she had developed. As many of you know, breaking an unhealthy relationship with food can be extremely hard.

Once I felt Kim was ready, we picked a rough timeline for her first show and start slowly dieting her.

The end result was the pictures on the right from this September. Kim competed in not one, but two shows. Take a look at that booty progress! 

Kim definitely made a huge improvement in her physique, but what you can’t see with progress pictures is the non-physical accomplishments made during this time.

With that, let’s hear from Kim.

Can you tell us a bit more about what you struggled with after your first show? 

After my first show, I struggled with so many things and lacked the guidance/education to reverse the damage that had been done. I gained about 15lbs my first week after the show.

I was extremely tired and no amount of food could provide me with energy.  I was freaking out about the weight gain and continued to hit the gym hard not knowing that it really wasn’t helping.

Overall, I struggled with not knowing what to eat, how to eat and how much I could have.  With the elimination of salts and fats toward the end of my first prep, I now had cravings that I couldn’t control. I was bingeing frequently, bloated, constantly sick and continued to gain weight.


How was this last prep different than some of your preps in the past?

The way I prep now is completely different compared to the other times. The approach is no longer a cookie cutter diet made up of extremely limited food options, a ton of restrictions and extreme caloric adjustments that my body did not handle well.

Since working with Melissa, I have learned that there is room for flexibility in prep and that it’s important to listen to my body and look in the mirror… not just at the number on the scale. This time around I wasn’t lethargic all the time, due to the fact that I wasn’t taking my diet or cardio to the extreme. My body responded very well to it.

I loved being able to work in foods that I enjoyed while still seeing amazing results and feeling great throughout the process. I’m continuing to learn so many things about my body. I vary/rotate my proteins and veggies as much as I can and love experimenting with new combinations of foods.

The biggest difference I experienced was during my latest peak week.  My carbs were not cut out at all! In fact, I continued to lean out while maintaining my carb intake, which was just amazing! I loved seeing all the changes my body was making without feeling completely miserable during the process.

Not only was my prep sustainable, a post-show plan has been emphasized as well (which was what I was missing the first time around).  This has made all the initial hard work worth it. I recover properly, get stronger, work up to more macros, put on more muscle and still look/feel amazing while maintaining a lean physique.

I no longer have fears of gaining 10+ pounds post-show, having crazy uncontrollable cravings and cheat meals.  I’ve developed a balanced, healthy relationship with food and fitness that allows me to achieve my goals, compete and maintain social relationships.


We understand you followed a flexible dieting/macro-based approach. What were some of your “go-to” meals?

I love fruit so I definitely worked that in as much as possible. Ex: cottage cheese, blueberries or banana and nuts (almonds or pecans).

Oatmeal is so filling and I loved mixing in protein powder with almond butter and banana. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals so another go-to was one egg with egg whites, various veggies, and shredded mozzarella or feta.

I also would make rice bowls with lots of protein & veggies. I prefer to keep it simple, but I enjoy it.

Oh and of course, we can’t forget Quest bars, which are always a favorite!


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What are you focusing on now that you’re done competing this season?

For now the focus is to maintain a fairly lean physique while putting on some additional muscle.

There is always room for improvement and I do want to work on my “trouble areas” before I get on stage next year.

In addition, I would like to continue working on my mobility and flexibility since I have had some issues in the past with certain movements and exercises. I also want to incorporate yoga more consistently.

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What is your biggest piece of advice for new competitors? If you were to go back in time to when you first decided to compete, what would you change knowing what you do now?

That is definitely a loaded question. There are so many things that immediately pop up in my head now when deciding whether to compete.

First off, do some prep work if are completely new to this world. Attend a show and talk to some competitors to get an idea of what you’re getting into. Reach out to coaches to get a feel for their style and proposed dieting plans.

Evaluate if you are ready for the commitment/dedication that’s required to be consistent.

It doesn’t matter how feasible the diet and workouts are, if you’re not willing/able to find the time to stick to the plan, it won’t work. Personally, I choose the times of year that are more manageable with work so I know that I will not be too overwhelmed. If competing makes you stressed and miserable all the time then it’s not worth it. Think about whether this is the right time to be competing.

Once you’ve done your homework and find a coach, work on a realistic plan/show date to aim for. Aim for a slower/gradual process while prepping. It shouldn’t be a race to the finish. Extreme measures shouldn’t be required to get you stage ready! There are plenty of shows and sacrificing your health isn’t worth it.

This should be fun — you should enjoy it!  You will be sore and tired at times, but you’ll learn to love the little things (rest, downtime, massages and refeeds). The process may not be all rainbows, but you should appreciate the journey you’re on! You’ll learn amazing things about your body and what you’re capable of.

This all comes full circle on show day; it’s a huge sense of accomplishment that anyone should be proud of. Personally, I have gained more self-confidence, comfort in my own skin, knowledge about my body and proper nutrition, appreciating the body I’m given, and that consistent hard work DOES payoff!


Are you interested in 1:1 coaching with me? If so, please check out my coaching page for more details on how to get started!

About Melissa

Melissa Wilson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA and received her Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. In addition to in-person training, Melissa is the founder of ProShape Fitness -- a healthy living company, which specializes in online fitness and nutrition coaching for individuals who want to get back into shape and adopt healthier lifestyle habits.

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