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Confessions of a Bikini Pro

Jun 26, 2020

In this episode, host Celeste Rains-Turk speaks with Reijuana (Rei Rei) Harley, research analyst, posing expert, and lifestyle coach who quickly rose to the IFBB division. After winning overall at her first show in 2017, Reijuana catapulted to the top of the division at Nationals in Miami one year later.

Reijuana opens up to listeners about her impressive work experience while finishing her master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. During her first national show prep, she was working two full-time jobs, a remote internship, with multiple research obligations but continued to place an emphasis on her goals in bodybuilding. She explains that her often mentally exhausting court cases and client load has shown her the importance of taking recovery days, commitment, and prioritizing efficiently.

Celeste and Reijuana discuss time management, mindfulness, and the importance of
preparation for success. She explains that bringing extra jewelry, an additional pair of high-heels, and an emergency meal allows for time to enjoy show day without stressed-induced anxiety. Reijuana explains that understanding your limitations and not continuously “filling your plate back up” is necessary to set healthy boundaries.

Reijuana inspires listeners about her previous destructive lifestyle and how bodybuilding gave her the strength she needed to better herself. She explains that a scary situation at a party made her value the company she surrounds herself with. In addition to also surviving an abusive relationship, Reijuana explains to Celeste about her previous binge-eating disorder and how she used to take sleeping pills to avoid eating.

Reijuana explains how post-show blues left her fearing weight gain, wearing baggy
clothes, and guilt with eating. She explains that finding her why with competing allowed her to embrace weight gain and love her body in all forms. She also ditched the “all or nothing” mentality and embraces living a balanced lifestyle for mental wellness. Reijuana transformed her mindset of seeing food as “good” or “bad” to food for fuel. Her newfound focus on health, in addition to her intrinsic discipline, was key to her climbing the ranks to the IFBB division.

Finally, Reijuana gives her best tips to first time competitors and bikini competitors on their road to pro.

Reijuana is the epitome of beauty and brains! Her transformation from party girl to
IFBB bikini Pro and realistic approach to a healthy lifestyle creates an episode you do not want to miss!


[1:45] Reijuana’s pre-stage ritual
[3:30] Reijuana’s education/work experience
[9:49] Making mental health a priority in her high-stress job
[12:00] The beginning of Reijuana’s bodybuilding career
[16:48] Reijuana’s tips to celeste about managing bodybuilding/job and school obligations
[20:07] Rei Rei gives stress management tips
[27:20] Reijuana’s daily routine/lifestyle and posing business/career
[31:12] Life of partying and drugs before bodybuilding/ Reijuana’s wake up call
[35:08] Surviving an abusive relationship
[37:20] Transition from cheerleading to weight lifting
[39:34] Reijuanas past of binge eating disorder/taking pills/overtraining
[45:10] Changing your body mindset/trying to fit in
[50:24] How Reijuana improved her relationship with food
[54:22] Post-prep blues/How to enjoy the holidays/social gatherings with food
[1:10:23] Pressure of being stage lean/embracing weight gain
[1:14:02] Promotion of weight loss on social media/Ditching to value of the scale
[1:22:00] Preparing for her Pro debut
[1:27:06] Reijuana’s best advice to competitors/road to pro