How Travel Nursing Gave Me the Courage to Compete

I had had an idea lurking in the back of my mind for awhile:

I think I want to do another bikini competition.

This thought started popping into my head shortly after I quit my new CrossFit gym. I was in a big workout funk. The coaches there had been less than average–they barely paid attention to what their classes were doing and the place was so crowded there was never enough time to truly do all the programming because there just wasn’t enough equipment. I had tried a few lifting programs online, but in general lacked a “why” behind what I was doing.

I began reading more about counting macros, using this approach for show prep, and it was intriguing to say the least. As someone who had done one show with a very strict egg whites and chicken approach, I liked the idea of the same challenge with a different approach.

But I also knew my current lifestyle did not leave room for competition training. I was tired all the time from constant overtime, stressed about work, and just plain worn out. I also dreaded trying to explain what I was doing to people at work who had known the “old” me, the “non competition prep mode” me.


Enter travel nursing.

It was like starting a whole new self. I had block scheduling, which allowed for plenty of energy on my days off to get my workouts done. It also allowed me to go into a new group of people as whoever I wanted to be. If I packed my lunch every day, worked out before or after work (not the norm for shift workers at all), and drank a gallon of water each night, they would never know I had not always done these things. 

This worked like a charm. Granted, it did require a lot of dedication and planning. I had to pack my meals for 3 days at time, and eat everything warmed up in a hotel microwave. However, thanks to IIFYM, I was able to mix up my diet and create meals that reheated well, so I didn’t mind this too much. I also got really good at streamlining meal prep.

Also thanks to IIFYM, I was able to have the occasional cookie at work and eat a plethora of foods so my coworkers still didn’t necessarily know that I was on a “diet”.

Travel nursing has been a blessing for so many reasons since I started at the beginning of this year. This is just icing on the cake. I was able to accomplish my goal of competing again, and I did it without having to worry about announcing it, or having the pressure of people knowing what I was doing. I got to do it my way, and for myself. It was exhilerating knowing I did not have to fit a specific mold or preconceived notion, because my new coworkers didn’t know anything about me! I made the lifestyle work to my advantage, and ended up looking way better than I could ever have imagined when I hit the stage. And now, it is just a matter of time and deciding when my next stage appearance will be 😉

7 thoughts on “How Travel Nursing Gave Me the Courage to Compete

  1. Bre says:

    Congratulations!!!!!!! Thank you for posting this!!! I have always wanted to get toned and live the “fit life” since graduating nursing school and have had some good runs, but then the “shift life” catches up to me and it doesn’t work out! I’m currently in the beginning stages of travel nursing (signing with a recruiter and doing all of my research) and feel so relieved that this might actually give me a chance at the life I’ve wanted while still keeping my passion for nursing alive!


    • fitgypsywife says:

      Hey Bre! It definitely makes it more difficult. With traveling you really have to make it a priority because you may have to find a new gym each assignment, work around a new schedule, etc. But the lesser amount of stress it puts on your life is amazing!


  2. Pingback: One Year Down

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