Zoe Kahn - Bikini Competitor

Zoe: Competing used to seem like a dream to me. It didn't seem like something I would ever be able to accomplish. About 2 and a half years ago I was around 180 pounds (5'4''). In 2014 I made a decision to change my life and make healthier choices. It took me about a year to lose 50lbs and I fell in love with health and fitness along the way. At the gym, people started asking me if I was training to compete and at first it made me laugh. After a couple more comments from others about competing, I decided I would do it - I was putting in hard work anyways, I might as well do something with it. Two shows later and I am in love with the sport.

I have found that counting macros with high carb refeed days is the most effective diet for my body. To be completely honest, my off-season diet is totally different from my diet during the season. I haven't mastered my mind to not binge eat off season. It is one of my goals that I plan to conquer during the next off season so that I do not rebound. I believe that the off season diet is harder mentally than during the season.

A photo posted by Zoe Kahn (@fitzoe) on

Diets that have failed me are the "bro diets." These are the diets in which you eat the same thing every day and it usually consists of chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes, oats and rice. These diets drive me nuts. I just cannot stand to eat the same thing every day and it is very hard for me mentally. I believe a big part of this is being in a relationship and not being able to eat out with my boyfriend or eat some of the things he eats. In my opinion, counting macros and changing your diet up is a much more sustainable lifestyle.

My training for now (15 weeks out from my next show) consists of a 5 day lifting split. Each day I focus on a different muscle group or two. I leave each workout exhausted and knowing that I gave 110%. As of now, I do 30 min of steady state cardio post lifting. Cardio changes often during my season depending on my progress. I eat a majority of my carbs around my workout so that my body can use them for fuel and recovery.

I built the self-confidence to walk on stage from realizing my love for myself. I look at how far I've come and know that I deserve to be happy in my body. As of now, I may not be as lean or "skinny" as other girls in bikini but I know that I am nearly 65lbs lighter than the old me. Practicing my posing and watching other bikini girls' routine helps me a lot too!

During my last show, there were so many mixed emotions. Mostly I was overwhelmed with pure excitement and gratitude. I had so much support from friends that it made me feel so warm and loved. I went to the competition knowing that I would be a little thicker than other girls - a lot of people say I should do figure but my heart is in bikini. I also went to the competition knowing that I have already won no matter what the outcome of the placing will be. I compete in this sport for myself. I give it my all and if I get a trophy - that's just a bonus. My goal each competition is to beat my own physique at my previous show. Stepping on stage is the most amazing feeling ever. Being in front of the crowd and the judges fills me with pure happiness. As soon as I step off stage, I am hungry for more. Putting in months of hard work for just minutes on the stage is a crazy thought but for me it is all worth it.

For the future, I plan on competing in October 2016 at the Midatlantic Classic in Charlotte, NC. I also am trying out a push-pull meet before then in August on Camp Lejeune, NC. I do hope to go to Nationals one day but I want to bring my best physique there - I want to train for much longer.

A photo posted by Zoe Kahn (@fitzoe) on

Zoe Kahn
Email: fit_zoe@yahoo.com
Instagram: @fitzoe
Twitter: @fitzoe_
Snapchat: fitzoe

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