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My bikini competition diary – Healthista’s Vicky Hadley signs up to compete as a bikini fitness model – follow her journey on

bikini competition by healthista

Join Healthista’s lifestyle writer, Vicky Hadley as she embarks on a five month journey to participate in a bikini competition on a vegan diet…

Imagine a goal you have always had in the back of your mind that seems so distant and unlikely to happen that other goals knock it even further into the darkness. Maybe you’re imagining your dream job or reminiscing that time that you wanted to become a pop-star or Hollywood actress. Well, now imagine grabbing that disillusioned dream and deciding I’m going to go for it. Bold right? Well, that’s what I’ve done.  As many of you, who have read my articles before, know I am very much a Healthista. Yes, I live, breathe, sleep health and fitness. Some of my favourite things actually include squats, green protein smoothies and gym bras.

My dream is to enter a bikini competition with an amazingly toned, ripped physique

My dream is to enter a bikini competition with an amazingly toned, ripped physique that I have worked myself so hard to achieve that I deserve to place. What a strange dream many of you might be thinking, but like I said this is what I want to do.

So, what exactly is a bikini fitness competition?

Once the domain of hard-core bodybuilders, bikini competitions are newer categories in bodybuilding events where you’re judged on the tone, shape and overall balance of your physique, not how big your muscles are!  Bikini compers’ diaries are huge on Instagram (#bikinicompetition) as many women find them both emotionally and physically rewarding thanks to the fact that they require such a huge amount of discipline. One of the best bits (for me at least) is that on comp day, you get to wear seriously glamorous hair and make-up, pump up the fake tan, slip into hot crystal heels and a beautiful, sparkly bikini.

Here’s a look at incredible British bikini competition winner Sian Toal when she has been competing on stage. Read our interview with Sian about how she does it here.

Bikini competition winner Sian Toal competing on stage
Bikini competition winner Sian Toal competing on stage

Competing as a vegan 

So, how to build muscle? ‘Eat loads of food such as steak, chicken, yoghurt and milky protein shakes and nuts – easy’ – you’re probably saying to yourself. Well, actually no.  See I’m a vegan. That’s not even the worst bit… I’m a gluten and nut free vegan making this challenge even more difficult because yes oats and nuts are a big protein source for a vegan.

I know there are a gazillion photographs of body transformations of ladies and men who are overweight and accomplish a genuinely incredible weight loss to achieve a slim, healthy figure. But, it’s not that kind of transformation either. I’m slim – always have been, I’m a size six and despite always trying to be healthy I also have a slight issue with food.

Before photos of bikini competitor miss galaxy universe by Healthista Vicky
My before photographs before the total body transformation.

…who also has food issues

I have always feared over-eating in case I put on weight. Last summer I went on a completely raw vegan diet for two months which was actually more of a fruitarian diet where I lost probably my entire muscle mass I had spent years accumulating. I was stick thin and I really didn’t like it, I had my muscle mass measured and sure enough I was deficient in protein and also deficient in skeletal muscle mass – brilliant.

Losing body fat is a lot easier to do than building muscle

So, what did I do? Well I still am a vegan but now I believe I am much more healthy. Five months on and I am training hard, lifting heavy weights and taking vegan protein sources such as tofu, beans, pulses and hemp protein shakes and have thankfully managed to build my muscle mass up – not quite to what it was but to a healthy range. Despite what you may think, losing body fat is a lot easier to do than building muscle, ask any personal trainer or coach and they will vouch for me.

Who’s going to be coaching me?

My new and improved diet and body will be undergoing even further changes where I will be training even harder and following the guidelines of transformation coach Lee Constantinou to compete as a bikini competitor at Miss Galaxy Universe event in July.

lee from body bikini comp by healthista
Lee Constantinou the transformation coach from


On I will be sharing my entire journey including my diet, workout regime and videos with my Virgin Active trainer Yousuf Siddiqui. Yes, I will even share my feelings when I’m ready to pack the whole thing in and eat my body weight in burgers, (tofu obviously). So stay tuned for the first journalist vegan bikini competition set to take place this July. (Oh my gosh).

MORE: 5 best vegan protein powders

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