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Confessions of a Bikini Pro

Feb 21, 2020

In this episode, Host Celeste Rains-Turk speaks with Renee Harshey, a coach at Pro Physiques, Certified Nutrition Specialist and owner of her own meal prep service Fit Choice Foods, mother, and IFBB Pro who turned pro in Bikini at the Arnold Amateur in Colombia in 2019.

​Starting off the episode, Renee officially announces her decision to switch to the Wellness division after finally achieving her pro status in Bikini after 4 years and 16 shows.
Renee discusses how persistence played a role in her success to achieving the pro status but how her journey was not easy as she never had the “typical bikini” physique. She discusses how she always had to work harder to fit the judges criteria for that division and now how Wellness has opened new doors of opportunity for her to have a successful pro career.
Renee goes into detail about how her training and diet strategies have changed since making the switch and where she’s putting her focus moving forward. Celeste and Renee talk about the importance of reverse dieting and Renee shares how she found comfortability in being uncomfortable looking “fluffier” and eating more food to make the necessary changes to her physique as well as get her metabolism back to a happy & healthy place.
Renee shares how her experiences with binge eating and reverse dieting as a competitor and as a coach has helped her better prepare her clients for success by implementing and following a reverse diet correctly to achieve the desired goals, whether it be for lifestyle or competition.
They discuss how being open and transparent with your coach is vital for success and being a coach herself, she needs the right information to make the correct changes for her clients. Celeste talks with Renee about what she considers to be an unhealthy extreme and how Renee prioritizes her clients mental and physical health which she says is about always keeping it real & honest with them.
Renee shares how her experience as a social worker has helped her become a better coach and can better empathize with her clients and help them work through their difficult times. Celeste and Renee dive into the importance of research into coaching and why interviewing coaches and asking questions is key before making a final decision.
Renee talks about her journey to getting her pro card, how taking time off the stage and focusing on coaching & her clients actually helped better prepare her for that final push to get her pro card.
Celeste and Renee go into how Renee decided to have her own meal prep service, how it started and what it’s like to run a business on the side as well as being a mom, coach and professional athlete.

TIME STAMP with Episode Highlights:
[4:50] Renee officially announces her decision to switch to the Wellness division for the 2020 season
[12:20] Celeste & Renee discuss how Renee’s training has changed to get ready for Wellness versus how she would train when going for her pro card in Bikini
[18:00] Renee discusses how she let herself get uncomfortable to allow her metabolism to “catch up”
[28:00] Why it’s important for coaches to have coaches & how the accountability helps her mentally with how she’s progressing.
[31:10] Renee admits to some changes she personally made during her prep without her coach’s knowledge and how it was not always the right choice, also something she now advises against.
[35:00] Renee explains why the coach - client communication is so important & gives an example of one of her clients.
[41:40] Why Renee & the Pro Physique coaches implement reverse diets for all their clients post show & why it is important
[42:30] Celeste asks Renee what she considers an unhealthy extreme
[52:00] Celeste & Renee discuss empathy, something Renee learned from her previous job as a social worker & Celeste emphasizes the importance of empathy when working with clients
[57:00] Celeste expands on why research on coaches is important because of how prep approaches have evolved over time.
[66:00] Renee discusses her persistence through her journey from hitting the national stage & taking a step back to focus on coaching & what she learned from taking time away from the stage
[76:00] Renee mentions the importance of strategy when choosing national shows
[82:00] Celeste & Renee express how a positive mindset & having that “winners mentality” is more than a surface level practice
[89:00] Renee shares why the details matter & competing is more than just a physique contest
[91:25] Celeste asks Renee about her meal prep service, how she finds balance, how did it start, etc.
[98:50] Celeste gets Renee’s advice for newbie competitors & advice for girls who are on their road to pro