One of the reasons I wanted to do a bodybuilding show is to shatter stereotypes.

Is it Supposed to Look Like That?

Stories of a Midlife Bikini Mom


I picked up my suit last weekend and the whole show coming up is starting to feeling very real. I think I should be more anxious, actually. Maybe I am in some sort of denial.

I don’t know if the suit-maker likes me.

I’m not sure why that is important or relevant — it probably isn’t. But she seems to be the kind of person that hates this type of thing. I asked her how she got into making competition suits and she told me she had a friend years ago ask to make one for her. She did and word got out. Business spread from there.

The first time I met her, I sat down on her couch next to her and glanced around. Her living room decor had a witchy/celestial almost goth vibe. I liked it. I also had a witchy decor vibe before I had kids.

She asked me a lot of personal questions, including if I had breast implants. A quick gaze down and once over, she checked a box on her form and said…no. “I’ve thought about it,” I said truthfully, “I just don’t know if the pain and price of surgery would make it worth it.

Side note: when women get very lean, it is common to completely lose or almost lose your breasts.

“Yeah and also like how many of these shows are you really gonna do anyway?” she laughed.


One of the reasons I wanted to do a bodybuilding show is to shatter stereotypes. I’ve seen so many people around me age, get sick, gain weight, as if it is simply a fact of life. Okay, I know aging is a fact of life, but there can be some choice in how we age.

We can choose to live life to the fullest. We can choose strength.

She and I discussed style, and I gave her my ideas. When I came back to try it on it felt so odd. All of my insecurities came flooding in. Always one to dress a little more conservatively, here I was standing in her witchy style bathroom looking at a piece of shiny jade green material pulling up between my butt cheeks.

I walked out into her living room. “Is it supposed to look like this?” I ask. “Is it supposed to go this far up my butt? Is that right?”

She laughed and tugged at the top line of back of the suit. “Yes,” she said, “yes, that’s right.” I sigh, turning around, head peering over my shoulder. I have been working hard. Lifting, squatting, lunging, hip thrusting, pulling, pushing, walking, measuring, weighing. Not bad, I thought.

I nodded.

10 days till I walk on stage. 10 days till I pull on those shiny high heeled shoes, that teeny tiny bikini suit, those sparkly clip-on earrings, and walk my amateur 50 year old self across that stage in front of a bunch of people.

I probably should be more nervous. Maybe that will hit soon. I’m not sure I am lean enough. I don’t know if I will hit my posing correctly. I really hope I don’t twist my ankle.

But I know I will show people that if I can do this, you probably can too. Or at least do that thing you think you can’t.

And that’s something.