A college student who transformed her body into a finely sculpted machine to win three bodybuilding championships has revealed why she won’t do it again.
Bettina Grimaud was just 19 when she embarked on a grueling 14-month quest to win the 2023 ICN Rising Star and Rookie of the Year Championships.
On Sunday, Bettina made it to all three of her events, including Rising Star Bikini Model, Under 23s Rookie Bikini Champion and the Rookie Bikini Open.
Before: Bettina Grimaud was just 19 when she embarked on a mission to win a prestigious bodybuilding competition
After: Bettina Grimaud won three titles as Sunday 2023 ICN Rising Star and Rookie of the Year Championships
Finely tuned: Bettina Grimaud worked every last inch of her body to crush her opposition
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia from her home in Melbourne, Bettina revealed the toll taking part in the competition has had on her mind, body and relationships.
“It was a huge decision and it completely changed my life. It’s more than being able to go to the gym every day and live a healthy lifestyle. It’s unhealthy. I’m not going to lie about it,’ Bettina said.
“I sacrificed a lot to get the best out of myself. I’ve lost many friendships. I lost my relationship. My social life has completely disappeared from view, because that really teaches you who is there for you.’
Bettina paid tribute to those involved in the sport for helping her achieve her goals despite life’s many setbacks.
‘It taught me a lot. It brought out the best in my personality and developed my mental strength and the best version of myself,” she said.
“It has given me a lot of resilience. Without my coaches I wouldn’t be in this position. Family and friends also pushed me. It’s not a sport for the lighthearted, but it has tested my limits and I feel more alive and powerful than ever before.”
Bettina outlined the sheer dedication it takes to make it in the sport.
You’re dieting full-time. I’ve had to eat around my family and eat my food and go on vacation and not be able to eat what they eat and in that sense it’s really hard,” she said.
“People won’t understand, but what I’ve learned is that the people who do understand and accept are the real people for you — and experiences like this really detoxify and bring out the true colors in people around you. ‘
Bettina Grimaud during her transformation into a body bikini body builder
Bettina (center) competed against a dozen competitors to earn the coveted title of 2023 Rising Star Bikini Model
Bettina had a strong gymnastics background before developing what she described as “tunnel vision” to achieve her goal.
“It’s taught me some life lessons in terms of discipline and commitment and having that tunnel vision and knowing what you want and checking off the non-negotiables every day to achieve it,” she said.
The traumas of her early fitness campaign landed her in the hospital with appendicitis before emerging with fresh focus.
Under the wing of coaches Tabby Knight and Donna Atkins, Bettina embarked on a 14-month training campaign in which she refined every muscle of her body.
“I thought if I want this, I have to be really selfish and disciplined and not accept anyone,” Bettina said.
For the past year, Bettina has pushed herself to the limit to shape her body.
“My toughest days were when my calories would drop. My coach gave me an increase in cardio and especially towards the end when I got very lean and it was a really big mental challenge because how low do you want your food to go? How high do you want to get cardio?’ she said.
Bettina Grimaud developed a ‘tunnel vision’ to achieve her goal.
How it started: Bettina Grimaud took her fitness dreams to “intensive” new levels.
Bettina, who has shared much of her fitness journey Instagramsaid she would now “move on” from the competitive world of bodybuilding to focus on her college studies in psychology and neuroscience.
“I’ve won my three divisions and I think that’s a good way to start and finish something,” she said.
“It’s just really important to me that I put a lot of time and the same kind of dedication and tunnel vision into that and I’ve started really well and want to push myself at uni.”
Despite her retirement from the sport, Bettina said she had no intention of eating burgers.
As she walked off stage, she treated herself to a fruit salad and protein biscuit.
‘I will still be very fit. I wake up very early in the morning and get in, still working out and living a healthy life,” she said.