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Confessions of a Bikini Pro

Mar 26, 2021

In this episode Celeste speaks with Jovanna Gibbs-Arnold, IFBB Bikini Pro and owner of So Frea Lingerie who started competing in 2018 and earned her pro card in 2019 after having early success as an amateur. She recently competed in her first pro season and comes on to share many of her most real and raw parts of herself and life as a whole!


Celeste starts off the episode by asking Jovanna if there is anything special she does or thinks about before hitting the stage. Next, Celeste mentions Jovanna’s experience competing in the SNBF before finding and competing in the NPC. Jovanna goes on to share what competing in that federation was like, how she decided on switching to the NPC, and what inspired her to set the goal of becoming an IFBB Pro. 


Jovanna shares her beginnings in the bodybuilding world and some of the feedback she received amongst her first few shows. Celeste asks Jovanna how her approach to nutrition and training has changed over the years to help her both put on muscle and achieve her desired shape. Jovanna discusses why she found weight lifting appealing, how her training has evolved and Celeste also asks her to share the story behind her infamous addiction to Chick-Fil-A. 


Next, Celeste asks Jovanna more about her “quick prep” approach she’s taken leading up to all of her shows. Jovanna opens up and shares how bodybuilding has become a confidence booster and how she tends to “run away” from certain looks or “standards” that the majority of women tend to desire and run towards. 


Celeste dives deeper by asking Jovanna how she has come to foster self-confidence regardless of the season she is in, and Jovanna opens up about how she not only loves and embraces her curves, but shares what inspired her to strive towards her goal of giving her body more shape. She mentions how cultural norms & body image “standards” that are common amongst those living in the South have affected her, since bodybuilding requires Jovanna to maintain quite a different look. Jovanna shares her struggles in her relationship with food, weight loss, and what she views as her version of body dysmorphia. 


After vulnerably sharing her battles with self-confidence, Jovanna also shares how she overcomes feelings of wanting to self-sabotage when she starts to second guess her progress or experience self doubt. Jovanna touches on the impact her coaches have had on her journey and how they’ve been vital to keeping her on track mentally, especially leading up to a show.


Then, Celeste transitions to discuss Jovanna’s performance at the Chicago Pro, asking Jovanna what exactly made her feel she was not deserving of first call outs and how that will influence her approach to future preps. Again, Jovanna touches on her preference of having shorter preps and the success she’s had thus far, yet the dissatisfaction she felt about her overall presentation. 


Jovanna shares the realization of needing to step up her game by putting in more time, effort, and attention to detail before hitting the pro stage again. She admits she got away with not “giving it her all” in her days as an amateur but where she knows she needs to adjust to have success as a pro. 


Celeste acknowledges the progress Jovanna since having that realization and goes on to ask about the reasoning behind Jovanna’s idea to potentially be self-coached for her next show. Jovanna explains how attending the yearly seminar put on by her sponsor, Shawn’s Couture has taught her the importance of stage presence and where she has room to improve in her overall presentation at future competitions.


Branching off of the knowledge Jovanna has gained from her sponsor, Celeste asks more about what bodybuilding has taught her. Jovanna shares her thoughts on the importance of both communication and discipline which leads Celeste to ask Jovanna if bodybuilding has had an effect on her decisions or work ethic when it comes to her approach to her business. 


Celeste then asks Jovanna about the inspiration behind the name of her business, the meaning behind it, and how things have been going since the launch. Jovanna also talks about the changes and adjustments she’s had to make in her schedule now being both a professional athlete and a businesswoman. Before wrapping up the episode, Celeste first asks Jovanna for her best advice for novice competitors and for the girls on their road to pro.



Lingerie and loungewear:

For loads of free resources like the free food relationship coaching program or the competitor mindset card deck or ways to work with Celeste visit:

Time Stamps:

[0:50] Celeste introduces Jovanna.


[1:30] Jovanna shares what she does right before she hits the stage.


[2:40] Celeste asks Jovanna about her experience competing in the SNBF.


[3:45] Celeste asks Jovanna if she set a goal to become an IFBB pro after her first NPC show.


[5:00] Jovanna shares some feedback she received as she was on her journey to pro.


[7:00] Celeste asks how Jovanna has changed her nutrition & training over the years to achieve her physique.


[8:35] Celeste has Jovanna share the story behind her Chick-Fil-A addiction.


[10:00] Celeste asks Jovanna about her “quick-prep” approach.


[12:40] Celeste asks Jovanna how she has been able to foster self-confidence regardless of the season she’s in.


[14:30] Jovanna shares what inspired her to gain more shape in her physique.


[18:00] Celeste asks Jovanna if living in the South for 15 years had an affect on how she felt or saw herself because she looked different.


[19:50] Jovanna talks about how she works through periods of wanting to self sabotage.


[22:50] Jovanna shares how her feeling of not deserving first call outs at Chicago Pro has inspired how she’s going to approach future preps.


[26:00] Celeste asks Jovanna the reasoning behind potentially prepping herself for her next show.


[28:20]Celeste asks how being a sponsored athlete had any affect on how Jovanna showed up at shows.


[31:00] Jovanna shares lessons bodybuilding has taught her.


[34:50] Celeste asks Jovanna how bodybuilding has influenced her decisions and work ethic towards her business.


[36:30] Celeste asks Jovanna how has pursuing the lingerie business has inspired her to influence other women to embrace their version of sexy. 


[38:45] Jovanna shares the inspiration behind the name of her business & the success she’s had.


[43:40] Celeste asks Jovanna about adjustments she’s had to make to her schedule being both a competitor and a businesswoman.


[48:45] Jovanna gives her best advice for first time competitors and girls on their road to pro.


[52:50] Jovanna shares where listeners can further connect with her.