Bikini Fitness Competitions: Why I started & why I QUIT the fitness industry

FOLLOW MY JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM! @maryscupofteaa /> I finally gathered the courage make a video about why I started competing and why I stopped. I know some of my experience may be shocking (especially where I talk about hitting rock bottom about halfway through the video), but I hope this shines some light on what the fitness industry is actually like. Watch Part 2 of the video here: /> GRAB THE FREEEE SUMMER CONFIDENCE GUIDE: /> Xoxo, Mary

Andrea Viola
Any trainer who tell you its okay to throw up you food needs to have their certification revoked. Please RUN if you ever hear such nonsense.
Rachael Appold
So many people in the fitness industry are leaving such judgemental comments. They're only proving you right, though, that this industry pushes unhealthy decisions and judgment.
Kristin Torkelsen
It’s not for everyone. I struggled with anorexia in my teens and early 20’s. Competing actually saved me. It made me see food as fuel. I gained muscle and loved it. I stopped seeing weight loss as a goal. I had one show that depressed me because I didn’t do as well as I had in other shows and I felt like I had failed. But overall- coming from a shy, nerdy, awkward teen place to someone who was empowered to go on stage and do figure competitions made me feel stronger. I’ve never been so healthy mentally and physically. But I totally understand where you’re coming from! It makes sense. Everyone goes through it differently. Coaches can have an effect too. Mine wasn’t restrictive. I was gaining muscle while leaning out. I didn’t feel deprived. It makes a difference. Good for you for listening to your body and doing what’s best for you. You’re smart and you’re not defined by what someone else says- thanks for the positive message.
Vanessa Christine Muscle and Strength
That is a lot of what's wrong with the industry- way too many people compete for the attention and image instead of for the love of training! Competing should be for people who have trained for years, LOVE TRAINING, are level headed and do not have these types of issues. I competed at the National, provincial and entry level and was fortunate enough to never have those types of issues... I actually found that I couldn't wait to gain back a bit of body fat after shows because I was more comfortable with a healthy amount of body fat. I'm rambling, but my point is that too many people do it for validation and it causes them issues. People who should be doing it do it for the love of training and are grounded in terms of body image and eating.
Baya Voce
Thank you so much for your courage and vulnerability!!! So much love to you!
Good for you! One of the hardest things to gain is confidence like this...😊 other girls need to hear this...
As a guy who is into fitness, I don't really prefer the fitness model look. They look like they're too obsessed and the end result, especially in contest shape is a bit too depleted and too hard. I feel the most attractive look is attained by moderation. Just work out like a reasonable person and do the same with your diet.
as a trainer, I understand everything you are saying. I think the only value to competitions is that they give you a real goal and sometimes a switch will go off in your head to allow you to train harder and more consistently whereas otherwise you may not. I think everyone who trains and gets into shape is a winner. But as far as competitions? Well of course the final decision is yours and a 22 year old new to the sport may have a different opinion than me. I read somewhere that "all sports are healthy until you start competing" and I think this is more true in "bodybuilding type" sports than others. Extreme training and diets really don't enhance your health but most people training for shows don't think about that. When I first started training, health was as much a priority as muscle but thats not true today, in most cases anyway. Anyway this ts too long already lol, but I enjoyed your video and wish you all the best!
It never crossed my mind that female competitors were exploited or made to feel like shit.
Maz Dela Cerna
its soooo true. Mindset is crucial and it can go haywire. Thanks so much for sharing!! ❤ First vlog of yours Ive watched! Im glad too 😘
Yes, this is so well done and detailed - the whole idea of a "cheat meal" and how competitors ONLY talk about diet and exercise. I worked at a gym within the bodybuilding circuit and it was so annoying to hear the non-stop brag convo circling around diets, restriction, cutting, ect. I was in it for awhile and realized that it was contributing to depression and hormone/thyroid struggles. The food allergy thing has gone overboard, as well. At one point I think I had literally 5 or 6 items total that were safe for me to eat: chicken breast, cucumbers, salad... even eating rice or a sweet potato made me feel like a failure. So glad to be away from the neurotic and shallow world of fitness competition. Ironic how these people are supposedly the epitome of health but have eating disorders, low body temp, thyroid struggles, dehydration, OCD... when stage ready, none of them could lift 20 lbs or run a city block without collapsing. All wrapped up in robes with gaunt face and a grimacing fake smile. Bleh. And what an industry. The gym owner would laugh about what an effing racket it all was: supplements $$$, diet plans $$$, trainers $$$, tanning $$$, suits (100s of dollars for a gaudy scrap of fabric, lol), and then a competitor would pay a ton of $$$ to enter the dumb competition. Add up the entry fee of each competitor and then all the different weight classes and categories... AND then all of the family and friends of each competitor pay a substancial entry fee to watch the unending procession of prancing thin naked jerky-leather people doing weird gyrating dances and grinning with bulging eyes and huge teeth... and then it was a political bs to decide the winner. Think about how much money someone makes off of hosting a competition. Oh, here's your $12 trophy, usually ridiculous looking and a vague gnawing sense of discontent that hyper focusing your life for the last 6 months, annoying your friends and family, and spending a billion dollars really wasnt worth it.
Mathilde G
I did not know you had a youtube channel, Ive been following you on Instagram and you’re such an inspiration so IM SO HAPPY YOU GOT A YOUTUBE CHANNEL YES
Dinah Hughes
This is a fantastic video, it encompasses so much of what I found in the fitness industry and honestly my story is so similar to yours. Congrats on breaking free x
Reza Mohasesi
Proud of you. If your video results in only one other woman to deal with this issue, that would be such an achievement. Thank you
Cali FIT
I could not stop looking at your background 😂😂I get distracted so easily, but glad you found your way though 😊. Happiness and health is always first
SheMasters Life
Thank you for sharing your story and doing so very articulately. I am sure your testimony will help many people.
Vibrissa Tuft
Halo T o p !!! Keep it down 🍦
Livka Voskarova
Thank you so much for opening my eyes ❤️❤️❤️ so helpful ✊🏻❤️
Linda Le
Thank you for your courage to share your experiences. A great video!
Marc W. Vital II
Thanks for sharing this! I'm a guy but I'm struggling with my own body image issues. I'd love to big and ripped but I have developed dispair and selfloathing because I don't look how I want. I'm working to improve my self image and hearing your story helps me know I'm not alone and can come out the other side Actually fit and healthy in body and Mind
Threec Turner
Great video🤗you have a lot of courage
Thank you for sharing. ❤️
this is the problem with a culture of luxury.. the mind starts making problems of out nothing. caring about appearance is healthy up to a certain limit and that can easily be crossed over into very unhealthy ways for oneself and for others. we got real problems in this world..appearance should not be one of those. (not directed at anyone personally.. just the dynamic of the worship of appearance).
Cindy Virginia
Good for you for figuring this out when you are young! You are beautiful as you are. I am much older than you and went through the same thing. I've been a coach/trainer for 20 years and I've also done 2 competitions. I got sucked into the vanity as well, and, I did use ephedrine cocktails to lean out. I have left the typical fitness circle of competitors and bodybuilders and also quite personal training as I only attracted people that were only consumed with how they look and their willingness to do harmful things to their bodies to achieve that. My experience, has now, inspired me to coach women with confidence and self love. Keep being you! <3 Much love to you.
tweet tweet
You have helped me so much. I really need you to know how important this video is... Thank you x
You should only compete if u love doing it cause its very tasking mentally. Only a true lover of the sport can enjoy it. It's your body and u can rock whatever body composition you want. I myself train alot and care alot about that stuff but I dont care enough to compete in comps. :)
Don’t get trapped In this shitty world
Being happy and healthy is more important than anything.
Woody 84
Always work in make your heart more strong and beautiful and don't let Nobody take that beauty away ,read the Bible and try just to listen just to the people that loves you because they don't really care how you looks but they care about how you feel and don't trust everybody that say thst loves you and becarful whith men , remember that the apperiance of our body pass away so is not big deal just make sure is real character and You gonna be ok, God bless Your life and you are so pretty , have a great day.
Julia Difino
this video was so helpful and real. thank you for being so vulnerable; sharing this side of your life. all the good and bad! it helped me come to some realizations that i needed to get to
Sara Dombek
You’re so pretty!
Jeremy Harris
You have a great perspective right now, so amazingly honest and real.
yuliya andreyeva
This was so helpful Mary. I’m going to watch all of your videos ♥️🙏🏼
Are you Ukrainian?
Linda Sullivan
I accidentally stumbled across your video abs just wanted to reach out and tell you that it is very brave you are so real and raw without the decorated bullshit. I wish more people got to see this! You are an incredible beautiful good person x
Lilo Bean
Thank you so much for making this video. I'm currently working on healing my relationship with food and my body. It's so helpful to have a reminder of how empty and dark food restriction is. The other day I saw an advertisement for a fitness plan where you can "conquer your body" and because of your videos, I instantly realized that I didn't want to "conquer" my body, I want to work with my body. <3
Wow, I feel that there's a part of that "dedication" in all of us. Definitely something that pushes me to do the things I am able to do. It's definitely a balance, and I've found myself nurturing a Mr. Hyde inside of me at times. Also, I recognize the inauthentic praise we get for the way things look. It's inspiring that you were able to discover that at a time that it didn't cause permanent problems. On a happy note, it's positive to see more of these opinions around. Thanks for sharing
Sandra M.
Thank you, very nicely put. Wish you all the best!
George Garner
Unfortunately there's haters everywhere take care of yourself
Chad and Andi
I love this because this is positive truth! This is so true. I too used to be a body builder and I had the chiseled abs all day every day and it made me crazy neurotic about my body. When I got pregnant with my 4th child I couldn’t even stand the look of my body as it changed to hold life. Super sad 😞. I am getting back to the gym 15 months later basically and I’m trying to keep a different mind frame about fitness now. I want to Like life and enjoy it, not hate it because I could never eat fun. My clean eating was good but it was too much and almost unenjoyable! I totally understand and love this video! 💜💜💜: Andi (@Chad and Andi)
Maya Levy
Omg Mary idk if you remember me but girl we did that dance intensive at U of I together! I hope you're doing well! I just want to say u look gorgeous and I'm so happy you're loving and accepting your body, who you are, and sending a positive message <3 I dm'd u on insta I'd love to catch up with you and see how you've been! @itsmymy_xo
Sylvia Stickers
Wise words.
Bryne Dolor
Your beautiful just the way you are. 🌺🌸🌺🌸🌺🌸
Tim Jeffries
Look in the mirror, you are just FINE!
Maria Kyriacou
Great video. Honest and true.
Getting Fit After Forty
Thanks for sharing your story. I had no idea all that was going on. Everyone always seemed like they are completely in control and have it all together. You don’t hear about the struggles.
Susanna B
Literally my struggle with it has been a large part of the men who are judges - it def makes what can be a fun goal into feeling demeaning and gross. I wish judging panels for women were all female and former competitors, and with ZERO clients in the show. I definitely have enjoyed the sport but you nailed a few personal issues for me as well! Great content!
Dave Haynes
I get it. Good luck
Ashley Walls
This is what happens when you do something for all the wrong reasons. Competing is a mentally challenging task that someone with an eating disorder or alike tendencies shouldn't expose themselves to. It's an extreme sport, not meant to be healthy. Competitors know that.
denture story
I love your honesty and humility. Society creates thoughts within us that beds a population of sickness. Being authentic to yourself is hard and it takes time and maturity and courage to break away from what you have been told your whole life. I applaud you for being able to recognize the patterns that were happening to you and those around you and being able to break away and be true and authentic. You are an inspiration to many women. Zelda
This video is awesome. I love it when people are honest with themselves and others. I have gone through something similar. In my case, I grew up with parents who were never satisfied with anything I did, kind of like the way a lot of first generation Asian parents are. My parents are white though and both are high achievers themselves. I was a high achiever in just about everything I did but my parents never told me that I did a good job, I was never congratulated, I was never patted on the back. I poured my heart and soul into sports, and I was obsessive about my fitness and strength. Even though I couldn’t get praise from my parents, I always got praise from everyone else when I performed well in sports. I loved the praise. My ego never got big though because it was my parents’ praise that I wanted the most and needed, but the praise from others felt good and kept me wanting to do better and better. But, I suffered multiple injuries, and I had to stop competing in college. I got really depressed. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. It took a long time to find peace with myself. Being fit and healthy is a goal everyone should have, but it shouldn’t consume your whole identity. I stay very fit, but I manage to do this by eating a healthy, high protein, moderate carb diet with a lot of vegetables. I absolutely do not starve myself. Anyone who does that is slowly killing themselves. The effect it has on the heart and brain and just about every other organ is tremendous. I don’t live in the gym either. I focus on the biggest muscles, which not only keeps me strong but helps me burn calories efficiently. And, I do about 45 minutes of cardio 3 - 4 times a week. Most of the fitness and bodybuilding competitors I meet remind me of me back in high school and college. From what I can tell, they are never really happy. They are obsessed and it seems like most will do anything to stand out and to get their egos stroked. I understand what drives sports athletes, male and female fitness competitors, and male bodybuilders, but I’ve never understood female bodybuilders. You are very honest about what drove you to be a fitness competitor, but I haven’t heard one female bodybuilder be honest about what drives them. Is it that they love feeling strong and looking muscular? is it because there are so many strange dudes who get turned on by them and who encourage them? Is it that they want to stand out and be noticed? I don’t know. I don’t ask because it pissed most of them off. The answer I’ve heard the most is that they like it so they do it. You can’t get much more vague than that. I think that is their answer because they aren’t comfortable with the real reasons. Anyway, I’d be interested in hearing your take on this. Maybe you have more insight because you are female. Maybe female bodybuilders have opened up to you more.
Susie Oakley
Honestly, these competitions are really unhealthy. They’re an extreme sport. There’s healthier ways to compete I’m sure... I’ve yet to come across somebody that did it safely.
Jerry Jacques
Just seen this video. Love it. You're gorgeous.
Dan Ryan
Were both the pictures in the thumbnail of you? Honestly the one on the right looks much better to me.
pink 200
Girl please go more into depth about seeking attention and external valadation. I've been struggling with these issues for so so long. I feel so hopless
Andrea de Lange
Thank you so much for all your honesty!
Lil Pickie1
Thank you so much! Some of us really needed to hear this. 😃 And, yes, there is also the flip side of people commenting on your body and causing shame and extreme self consciousness and even bdd when they don't even know another's personal journey.
Brian Williams
Hi there just to let you know its good to know you competed then found yourself after with this vid. I competed once but I too found it false but I still train . I just eat well a balanced diet no supplements and everyone says I look train for yourself and improvements and enjoy it .love your vid and let me know if your still training
Chris Smooth
I like the before.
Wow! Thanks for sharing your experience. I have struggled with every eating disorder. It takes a lot of guts to get onstage and it takes a lot of guts to do what you did in this video. Stay beautiful😁
Ev C
Nothing has really changed when it comes to focusing on physical appearance, if anything, it’s gotten worst these day, & it will only get even worst
Nakul Chaudhary
She looks like dani daniels
Danielle Albers
See that why you should’ve gotten a coach that didn’t try to tell you what to eat. My coach told me to eat whatever I want as long I keep track and balance my carbs, fats, and protein. You had all the wrong people helping you 😔.
what zodiac sign are you?
Yes we have the same story!! My whole life I have been teased about being ugly, friend and my parents so I got into bodybuilding to help my self esteem and I have been working out since being 19 and now I am 50 and I look 30 so now they are not teasing me anymore!!
Luis Alberto Flores
you are an intelligent girl. regards from méxico.
David Diaz
Wow! Dem eyez!
Mark Schulman
Good video.
u must of lost....
The True Amazon
After listening rather intently, I realized I can relate to you on the issues concerning the external validation and how it contributes to further self-destruction. Personally, I realized the root of my issue with eating was due to learning how to eat my emotions at a rather young age. It surprises me we experienced a very similar self-destructive path related to food, yet had completely opposite upbringings. Just a thought. Thank you for the blatant honesty!
roshun eppenger
I'm sorry that you went through that. However, if done right, you eat 6 to 8 times a day. When I dieted for competition, I ate more than I did off season. There was maybe a two month period when I changed to greens only with no starches. I still eat basically they same way now. The women that I know who competed had similar diets. Vomiting is a no-no unless the workout was hard enough to make you vomit. Even then it was a no-no because it was a loss of nutrients! The truth is that anyone can get an unhealthy dependency on almost anything whether it be food, attention, reading compliments, YouTube likes etc. You have to have a positive sense of selfworth that doesn't come from others. If you need the validation from others, anything you do can turnout like this. That's not a problem with the industry. That was a problem in those circles.
Unlearning the Lies. Ed Recovery
Great video
Anita Seifer
Who cares??? Your Self absorbtion is soooo pathological. Please get help.
Jorgee W-er
Who ever allows a person in high school into bikini competition is a pedophile
Typical ppl always doing things they consider a "challenge". Only problem here is ur hurting urself for some award made up by a pervert who just likes watching or feeling up young shemales.
Ghost of Sparta
"Like" "or" "&" "And then" so many time🤣
nancy thomas
Sorry to say but lack of knowledge would result in such a video. Fitness is fun and you must eat because that's 90% of it. Exercise is only 10%-20% of the equation.
BadIndie An
I knew that fitness competitions were too good to be true
Braulio Cabral
i rarely post comments on youtube, but it sounds to me like you simply had an eating disorder. You entered the fitness industry to try to legitimize your problem which wasn't a good idea at all. you should have looked for a mental health professional not a way to legitimatize a mental problem.
Deb Dub
karina quin
Girl. This is supposed to be an extreme sport. It's not for everyone. You were doing it for all the wrong reasons.
Raul Luna
The problem was you were crash dieting too much. Limiting yourself to too many foods that your body needs and craves for. No rice or carbs for that matter is terrible for your body and mind... No wonder you couldn't handle it. Also going to the gym that long? Seriously, that's just stupid. Anyone can and will get burned out for that long. An hour to two total is all they is needed..
Undefined D
3 minutes in: "Ok, let's get started!" -_-
Michael Hendrix
I think you stopped because you realized you don’t have the body type or Genetics for the sport for you and based off of your body it’s extremely hard for You to Cut and to be as lean as the IFFB or national level girls just be real the sport was not for you it’s not for everyone don’t down everyone else’s experience in bodybuilding because of your opinion that has something to do with you personally your wack for even saying all this because most bodybuilder don’t feel the way you just described them you may sense a little anger in my comments but it’s only cause your talking about bodybuilding and that means your talking about me too
jedi run
just go keto, your body will thank you later, check out Stephanie Person's channel
Diana Perry
Blah, blah, you couldn't cut it
Piotr Skorz
Poor baby, somebody forced you to do it?
if you don't have the discipline for this life style then do it and stop talking bad about the people that do. it's almost like you are trying to bully fit people by making excuses for your failure and lack of discipline.
Ice cream is one of the easiest foods to get back up because it's the right amount of thickness and liquid, donuts are the hardest because they're dry and dense.
Jorgee W-er
I want to wipe My was with your banner lol demon garbage