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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


It’s pretty obvious that bodybuilding and
all its iterations, like bikini competing, fitness modeling, physique, figure, and the
like, are all about how you look. And something that’s surprisingly rarely discussed, especially
less than steroid and substance use, is the affect such competition can have on one’s
body image and mental health. Today Pro bikini competitor Samantha Shorkey gives us a peak
behind the curtain and shares why bodybuilding isn’t for everyone. Hi it’s Emily from Bite Size Vegan and welcome
to another vegan nugget. Samantha Shorkey is a true spitfire of a woman who lays all of
her cards on the table, something I greatly admire in a person. If you missed my first
interview with Samantha, be sure to check it out to hear how she found her way to being
a pro vegan bikini competitor. She’s a two-time winning vegan bikini athlete,
certified personal trainer, the first-ever vegan WNBF bikini pro and author of “Jacked
on the Beanstalk: Plant-Based Fuel for Vegan Athletes,” and is also a member of the PlantBuilt
vegan muscle team. And built she certainly is. But Samantha herself will tell you, that she’s not competition ready all year round. As I said, the thing that I love about Samantha
the most is her brutal honesty. Let’s here from her on what can be the darker side of
competitive bodybuilding. Well, thank you so much Samantha for
taking time out of your busy schedule to be here on the channel and share your experience
with the viewers. Thanks for having me. So, as a professional and now a bikini
competitor, obviously what you do is very focused on your physical body and how you
look, and how you appear. With that and with the entire bodybuilding industry, can you
talk a little bit about body image within that as a whole, but also for your personal
experience as a female kind of competing in a way that’s a very public display of your
body? It’s funny because before I ever
got into competing, I used to always think that I was pretty fit. I’d look in the mirror
and say ‘Yeah, I look great. I’m in shape. Genetically I think I got a pretty good little
package going on here’. And then you get into competing, and you’re judged on such
a subjective level that…I did one show. I did provincial championships in Vancouver
and the judges told me ‘Your thighs are too thick. Your legs are too big’. You kind
of can’t help but let that get to you because I never in a million years thought that I
had big legs. And now even to this day I’m always thinking ‘Oh, are my thighs too big?
Are my thighs too thick?’. And you really have to be a confident enough person in yourself
to say ‘That’s just the opinion of 4 or 5 random strangers who don’t know a thing
about me and just because they think that this girl looked better than me on stage doesn’t
mean that I’m not just as beautiful or beautiful in a million other ways’. And it’s sad
because I do know many women who compete and they…instead of something like this empowering
them, it just puts their self-esteem down the toilet. And they do these shows year after
year after year just wanting to feel pretty, and wanting to feel good, and healthy. And
they do awful things to their body in order to sculpt themselves into what they think
these random judges want them to be, and it’s really sad. I’ve had several girls come
to me for training and they said ‘I’m former eating disorder victim’, and immediately
I say ‘this is not the sport for you and I do not feel comfortable taking you as a
client. I’m telling you right now if you have body image issues going into this,
you’re going to come out far worse than you went in so save yourself the torture’.
Yeah, it’s definitely something that women and even men, I know men who have developed
these issues as well. Guys who’ve gone competing at the same time as me and now here they are,
if they’re not doing a ton of steroids everyday, they’re thinking ‘oh, I’m so small.
I’m so small and never big enough’. You know, there’s a funny saying that, um…what
is it? ‘The day you start bodybuilding is the day you’re never big enough’. You
know, and that’s how guys think of it, and for women it’s ‘The day you start competing
is the day you’re never lean enough’. And I often say that ‘This is a contest
of who tortures themselves the most. Who starves themselves the most’. It’s just a lot
of things you need to be aware of and you need to separate yourself from that lifestyle.
Once the show ends it’s very important to give yourself a few weeks or a few months
to be a normal person and reconnect with the loved ones in your life, and seek support
if you need to because there’s a whole world out there outside of competing, and sadly
too many people get wrapped in this being their entire life, and ruin their lives because
of it. I mean, with all of that pressure and
just the intensity that you’re describing, it just makes me wonder why do you keep doing
it? I mean, what is it that draws you to continue this kind of competition with all of that…all
the pressure I suppose? Ah well for me personally, and maybe
this sounds a bit egotistical, but I guess I’m a bit of an exhibistionist. And I always
say I’m an egomaniac, and for me I just, I love being up on stage practically naked,
strutting my stuff. And I swear part of the reason I always do so well is because I portray
that confidence. So, yeah you know…’you know you want this’, and that’s kind of
the mentality that I have about it, and to be honest this is my last year of competing.
I said that last year was going to be my last one, and then I ended winning my procards.
Yeah, it is something that I would never want to do long term but I know how to have the
right mindset about it. You know, I can compete and if I don’t win I can be a normal person
again after that. And I like myself whether I’m thick, thin, jacked, scrawny, it doesn’t
matter. I’m a pretty confident person and I think it’s so important if you do do this
for the long term, to have that confidence. I really appreciate your candor and
that’s something that I’ve seen on your blog ‘Jacked and the Beanstalk’, like
you don’t really hide anything of your experience with bodybuilding. And I think that’s pretty…that’s
pretty valuable for people to see because I think the industry sometime can be so much
about image that people don’t really let you see what goes on to create that image.
But you kind of put it all out there and that’s very refreshing. Well, and it’s funny. I always
joke about the vegan farts and I wrote a whole blog post about when you’re a vegan bodybuilder,
you’re eating a high protein, high fiber diet, and I talked about farting non stop.
And peeing into a pee cup so that I don’t get pee splashes on my spray tan. And you know,
just addressing all of these topics that regular bikini competitors would never mention. I
definitely heard a lot of people say ‘Eww, you’re gross, and guys must think you’re
hideous!’ Well you know what, I’m real and I would hope to be relatable in that girls
would appreciate that more than me pretending ‘oh, I don’t fart’. I think it’s really important to,
especially with the topic of body image that we were discussing because, women can look
at you on stage and say ‘Oh, I can…that she must just…workout…’ or think that’s
a natural way to be, but when you kind of put out this is the stuff that I’m doing
to get to this point, and I’m peeing in a cup, and I’m doing this and this. I think
that’s helpful because it shows what it takes to attain that, and makes it less…I
guess women feel less like ‘Oh, I should be able to do that if I go to the gym everyday
and have really good self will or something’. It’s funny that you mention that
because I do get women all the time saying ‘How come you have a 6-pack and I eat healthy,
and I exercise’. What people don’t realize is that there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors
going on to get to that day. You’re training for one particular day so you’re doing things
like cutting water. I don’t drink water for 2 days leading up to a show. I’m taking
dandelion root which is a natural diuretic to help get rid of the water retention and
suck the skin to my muscles so I look really shredded. So there’s so many things. The
spray tan makes you look more and more jacked than you are and you’re oiled up. You know,
I wish I looked like that on a daily basis but to be honest, it’s not even healthy
or attainable to look like that. So, I’m always…I always want people to know that…that
in the off season, I’m 15-20 pounds sometimes bigger than I am when you see me on stage.
You know, it’s important for girls and everyone to know that. Thank you again so much for your time.
I really appreciate it, especially with you getting, preparing for your first pro competition.
I know that you’re very busy so I very much appreciate it. Awesome! Thanks for having me. I hope you enjoyed hearing from Samantha on
this issue. To get connected with her and hear all the nitty-gritty details of her
training, eating, and other activities, check out her blog JackedOnTheBeanstalk.com where
you can also grab her ebook, follow her on social media, which those links are also below, and inquire
about doing online coaching with her whether for competitions or just getting into shape. And as Samantha said, if you’re wanting
to get into competing, it’s important to go in with your eyes totally open to what
it requires. Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think of the body image
and self-esteem challenges inherent in appearance-based competing? It is something you think you’d
be up for? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! If you enjoyed this look into the underbelly,
or perhaps undersixpack? of bodybuilding, give the video a big thumbs up and share it
around to help others who may be considering such a calling. If you’re new here, do hit that
big red subscribe button down there for more awesome vegan content every Monday, Wednesday,
and some Fridays and to not miss out the on the rest of the Vegan Athlete series. If you
want to help support Bite Size Vegan, check out either of the support links in the video
description below or click on the Nugget Army icon or the link in the sidebar. Now go live
vegan, rock your vegan body with confidence, and I’ll see you soon. Let’s take a look at a select few of the myriad
of reasons to go vegan and see just what impact your personal appearance has upon them. So let’s see just how animals are affected
by body image. “What do you think of this pooch on my stomach
that I can grab?” [crickets] And now the environmental impact of body image. “Do you think that my thighs are too big?” [birds chirping] Subtitles by the Amara.org community

71 thoughts on “Body Image & The Darker Side of Bodybuilding | Bikini Pro Samantha Shorkey

  1. Body Image & The Darker Side of Bodybuilding | Bikini Pro Samantha Shorkey
    When you hear about the darker side of bodybuilding, it’s usually about steroids and substance abuse.  But there’s an aspect of appearance-based competing more seldom addressed: that of body image, body dysmorphia, and the psychological toll they can take.  In this interview, pro bikini athlete Samantha Shorkey gives us a look behind the curtain into this important issue 

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  2. I wish you lived on the west coast. You are the perfect woman and I am very attracted to you! Keep up the good work!

  3. Very interesting video with two hot as babes ; ) Don't think I'd ever be interested enough to get into the competitive side of it.. Would rather just strut it out in public.

  4. Bodybuilding is a very hard and stressful life! The hard work that you have to put into training is crazy, spending hours in the gym, watching your diet, or even cutting a lot of food just to lose weight. Most people haven't a clue. This was a great interview!

  5. I can relate to this – I ran my body into the ground right out of high-school trying to achieve a bodybuilding physique, following similar regimens of grown men using steroids.  Never felt good about myself even though I was extremely athletic.

  6. Haha, Sam is awesome!  You def need a little ego to do well when showing your work off!  And YES!  Having enough pee to pee in the cup, let alone splash on my tan was a problem, lol.  Like she said, I wish more people would understand that competing is not something to do if you are not in the right state of mind.  I was one of those lucky ones who actually now loves their body after the damage of competing (body image issues and orthorexia).  CrossFit fixed that for me because it had me focus on performance, but honestly…I feel more shredded now year round.

  7. Thank you for this video!  i was considering getting into it but im former ED. so thank you <3 Love the realness of Samantha!

  8. Samantha is so beautiful, both inside and outside. I don't like people calling her fat…

    P.S.: Marry me Samantha!!! We would make a great vegan couple! 😀

  9. Thanks for all the nice comments, guys! Glad you appreciate my brutally honest thoughts and feelings on what many consider a "taboo topic" that doesn't typically get discussed in the fitness world. Another kick-ass video, Emily! Thanks for sharing <3

  10. I think the whole body image is screwed up in Western society. It's refreshing to see such an honest person about it. I have tried weightlifting which suited me very well, but had to stop several times due to injuries (bike accidents) and illnesses. I'm under the care of a docter now and have desided to take things easy till I've got my health back.
    That said, even when I get back on the weagon of weightifting again, I would never be on competitions. I just want to be healthy, fit and feel good about myself.

    Thanks for the interview, liked it a lot 🙂

  11. She's awesome,so refreshing and down to earth :-)And sorry,but who gives a flying fuck about the small imperfections that we all have when there is so much pain and suffering around us,how dare we worry about "how we look"while 60 billions of sentient beings die the most horrible,needless death…

  12. exhibitionist=code word for slut which is a trait many of the bikini competitors seem to share xP

    the whole purpose of bodybuilding is to  pimp the supplement industry that is all you need to know about that "sport"

  13. She BUILT her foundation physique on MEAT consumption!   That's like building a fortune on the sale of drugs and then getting into real estate and claiming "My wealth came from real estate."

  14. Samantha is very wise! I'm so glad you had the chance to talk to her about these matters! Thank you for the great video, both of you! 🙂

  15. I try to stay away from my ego and these image based competition are exactly that, however I have been compelled to compete to show off the vegan diet!! I have a few friends who compete and are not vegan and I want to show off my results eating cruelty free!!

  16. I've been exploring body building on a high carb, low fat (and relatively normal protein) diet and have found it to be much easier on the body because you do not need to go through cutting and bulking phases. I am only 5 months into it but have noticed significant results already. I am hoping to get to a point where i can be a healthy example in body building where drastic cutting is not necessary. 
    This was a really insightful video and interesting to see a high protein vegan body builder. 🙂 thank you for all that you do Bite Size Vegan!! Always delivering insightful and well-put together videos. <3

  17. Loved this video and I love Samantha Shorkey! The average person just has no clue what competitors/fitness magazine models put their bodies through to look like that for ONE DAY. I think it's very distorted especially when people want to know "how to look like that" or think "I need to do 1,000 crunches and never eat"
    Less magazines, eat more plants, get out in nature and start loving your body, cause it's pretty f*cking dope (to whom ever is reading this)

  18. I thinking I should start my own bodybuilding competition. It will just be me in my apartment competing against myself on competition day, with my red-eared slider turtle as the main judge.

  19. I absolutely love Samantha's energy, and confidence!  What a great inspiration for vegan women everywhere.  So glad you made these videos with her!  Great job, Emily!!

  20. Hey Emily! I've just finished a "The Full Nugget Playlist" watching marathon I've been doing in the past few days and I just need to say a big thank you! All the work you put into these is highly impressive and highly appreciated. I've been a vegan for about two months now, and when it comes to my choices it's doable, but in September I'm going back to my barbecue-heavy hometown, amongst my meat-dairy-eggs loving friends and family, and I really want to be prepared to make them understand my choices. I hate to disappoint people, so I'm getting prepared to always stick to my principles even if people happen to question or disapprove. Needless to say that all of your videos are a great way to educate myself and others. I don't think I can afford to be a regular patreon, but I'm planning to give a one-time donation, which is not much but I would like to help in some way. So, anyway, thank you very very much. The world needs more people like you.

    Also, I'm not at all athletic but I love these videos with athletes, they are all fantastic examples that the but-what-about-the-protein bullshit that people throw at vegans all the time is a very ignorant point of view. Samantha and Anne-Marie are stunning!

  21. I've wondered how they get that impossibly tiny, lean, long mid-section when in top form, and going without water for 2 days along with almost starvation would do the trick. Too bad beauty is always made impossible without such extremes, and that people are made to feel inadequate, or at least the attempt by others is made to cause that insecurity. People are quite the interesting, and nasty, psychological study. Great talk with that awesome, beautiful lady, who I'm sure is even more realistically beautiful when heavier and not all starved and "oiled up" (lol). Thanks!

  22. Thank you! Please, please do more vegan bodybuilding interviews??!! The recent Torre Washington one was awesome too! If anyone is interested Thomas Tadlock does great interviews on ITunes podcast Vegan Body Revolution…I can't remember exactly but I think it was Gene Baur (?) and MaryJo Cook Elliot who do raw vegan and claim to be competion ready ALL year round – no cutting phase – no torture…I find that interesting anyway…thanks again! 🙂

  23. Everybody knows that holding in farts will make you explode eventually. I think they showed it on a totally-not-satire episode of south park XD

  24. I hate to hear that she goes days without water before a competition. And I'm glad she is moving away from this lifestyle after this year.

  25. Yes, many people still don't seem to realize that these people have to dehydrate themselves severely to make them look so toned for this stuff after following a strict diet for months and lots of working out.  I don't think it's healthy for the industry to promote these kind of competitions as it is indeed all about looks – not true health – and people have to go to extremes to win.  Why can't they make a more realistic competition?  I think these competitions should include people's blood results and other key factors to show that they're very healthy as well in order to win.

  26. Emily, your channel is so inspiring and helpful and funny! I really enjoy watching your videos and thank you so much for the interviews you arrange with other vegans and connected to veganism people! Thanks for these tones of information that every new vegan seek for! The moment of gratefulness to you after watching like 50 videos of yours. THANK YOU!!!

  27. Brilliant! Wish more people who torture themselves on bodybuilding not for sport, but because of body-image disorders see this video and hear the message!

  28. Thank you for these videos Emily! 🙂 I am starting my gym and meal plans program with Samantha, it is going to be hard but she is awesome so I am sure I will enjoy the process 🙂

  29. Oh man, I have just gone vegan and this has really disheartened my decision. She just looks like a normal person that does a little bit of exercise here and there. My muscle that i have worked so hard for is going to just disappear.

  30. In body building your mucsel composition and portions are rated for perfction…if you want to feel good read books to children.

  31. Thanks for this interview. Love her tattoo, compassion for animals and confidence. Body image: Honestly I need to watch what I eat and hit the gym to feel good. Other than that, the scale and my size can vary, that‘s life. But I do like myself a lot more when I‘m disziplined and it shows. I used to put myself down but I don‘t do that anymore. I am grateful for my body.

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