For years I dreamed of competing…
Having the drive and dedication to complete 12-20 weeks of prep.
Stick to a diet for once and for all.
Give up binge eating, restrictive eating.
To finally follow through on something from beginning to end.
To look like the girls in the magazines that I always thought was unattainable.
Looking back I’m sure I saw competing as a “guaranteed” fix for all my problems. The binging would stop, I’d have the ultimate body so I’d obviously stop hating myself, it really was a no lose situation.
Working out was habitual and something I loved to do, I never missed a session so that was a no brainer, and after three bad experiences with nutritionists/trainers I said enough was enough, if I”m going to compete and be “better” I needed the best and hired Joe.
From perfectly times and planned meals, to doing every second of sweaty cardio, giving 100% at every workout even when I didn’t want to.
Along with all the changes to my diet and workouts came the typical competitor thoughts… next show I want top five. I will be in the first callout. I will step off stage a “winner’”.
… and at every show that goal didn’t become a reality.
Three shows in 9 months and I wasn’t able to crack the top 5. Sixth place was as close as I got and despite the fact I looked my absolute best, improved upon everything I WANTED to improve upon… and SAID that I was pleased with my results…
I wasn’t. I didn’t have that trophy in my hand, I didn’t have the photos of me smiling with four other girls to prove that I was the best.
… even though I was the best ME I had ever been.
As crazy as my original reasons for wanting to compete were, I had completely lost sight of those simple, basic goals.
You know, to better myself.
After my last show in October I went home, knowing I couldn’t cheat because I had a photo shoot the next day, cooked myself an egg and a slice of toast and ate it in bed while I sobbed off all my makeup for being a failure again.
The next day at my photo shoot I spent a lot of time chatting with Pete about the fitness industry, my results thus far and the not so nice comments I got from the judges. His attitude towards the industry was clear and I learned a lot more than just how to smile and be pretty, but just how controversial and political the fitness world is.
He asked why I competed. I mean, you don’t NEED to compete to get into fitness modeling. He used Jamie Eason as a perfect example. Yes, she did compete, but she doesn’t now and who doesn’t know who she is!?
His advice was if you love to compete, do it. But do it for yourself.
That conversation changed me in a lot of ways. Even though I felt horrible about my placing and judges comments the night before, seeing the photos from the shoot made me realize how much my drive and effort to compete had been worth it.
Not only did I learn an extreme amount about diet and nutrition and how my body reacts, but I was in the best shape of my life, competed without feeling like garbage and most importantly my style of dieting prevented me from binging and a horrible rebound.
… and I am beyond proud to say I have NOT binged in over a year and a half. That in itself is a victory to me.
So why compete again? Why put myself up on stage to be judged by complete strangers?
In January when I started prep I set the same goals, to qualify for nationals, top 5 finish, do better than last year, etc etc.
And now here I am, three weeks from show day and suddenly asking myself why.
I follow a lot of competitor blogs and tweets and everyone has the same mentality… winwinwin, need procard, must be the best, etc etc.
I don’t feel that pull at all.
… and it kind of scares me.
Maybe I don’t have that cut throat, will do anything to win attitude that everyone else seems to have.
Maybe I don’t “want it” enough.
Maybe I’ll never be exactly what the judges want and that’s why I’m protecting myself.
Maybe after July 16th I will never slip on my hooker heels and get on stage again.
Why you ask?
It’s not that I don’t believe in myself or that I don’t think I’m ever going to “win” or that I want to go back to eating cookies 4 days a week.
Simply put, I’ve finally realized WHY I started competing and how much my life has changed. Even if I never step on stage again I know I’ll never stop being active, I’ll never stop challenging myself and learning about nutrition and health.
I love this lifestyle and everything that competing has brought to it, but when it comes down to it…. the win or life ends mentality is not for me.
The friendships I’ve gained from competing are amazing, the experiences I’ve had, the challenges I’ve faces have all been worth it, but part of me wonders if I’m ready to move on.
I have so many amazing changes happening in my personal life that I’m wondering how it will all effect competing. I know it’s a lot to process and a lot to think about but I just wanted to get my thoughts out there.
Not everyone has that killer instinct… and I’m beginning to wonder if that makes me a bad competitor…. or just a normal everyday person?