Asking Myself Why

Posted: June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

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.

erin-stern-curls 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.

classcedit2During my first year of competing I sucked every bit of information up that I could.

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.

twalk

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.

shoot

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.

At all.

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.

ugh

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?

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Comments
  1. I LOVE this post! I get asked a lot why I am on the fence about competing, why I wouldn’t want to just do it and this sums it up. I want to be the best SABLE not the best women’s bodybuilding competitor in the heavyweight class.

    I think you are an amazing competitor and an amazing person and have SO much drive and dedication… and I think you would make an INCREDIBLE fitness model. The photos you take are just STUNNING. I think you can DEFINITELY without a shadow of a doubt love your body and continue not binging (your original goals) without having a competition looming.

    • ihearteggs says:

      That is SO true Sable… I had a very successful offseason without a single binge (or urge to binge) last year… I know I dont need to compete to maintain, and my whole way of thinking about this has changed. Dieting and workouts arent my quick fix anymore, it’s myu lifestyel!

  2. Wow this is such an intense emotional post. It is completely straight from you and you can tell. I think you are incredible and are so dedicated. You look fabulous!

  3. Wow! First off, congratulations on 18 binge free months….that’s the biggest victory I can imagine! You’ve obviously given this a lot of thought and I’m sure you’ll do what’s best for you. I would most definitely say you’re not a bad competitor…but a good – very good person! Your personal victories are so incredible – you have my deepest admiration and respect.

  4. Becca this is so honest. You’re absolutely right as much as i enjoy the process leading up to my first competition I don’t want to place first that was never the goal, but yes maybe to be more comfortable in my own skin. I dont want to “WIN” I dont want a pro card either but perhaps its people like us that make the sport real and what its about on a different level. about being the best version of ourselves that we can be….still looking forward to reading your blog whatever direction you go! you have so many new challenges ahead of you.

    As they say, its the journey, NOT the destination…Sorry for sounding like a poorly written self help book/hallmark card 😛

  5. Jess says:

    Honestly, I think it makes you a really good person. You do it because you want to better YOURSELF, not compare yourself to other women. you are the best you you can be and that is all you can ask for.

  6. allieksmith says:

    Wow, this post is awesome! I love that you do what you do for ALL the right reasons!

  7. Jess says:

    Beautiful post!! You TRULY compete for ALL the right reasons.

    LOVE Jamie Eason!!

  8. Tenecia says:

    I hope that you don’t get the impression from me that I’m cut-throat or that I “need” to win/get a pro card/etc…..eek :/

    I feel every much the same way you do….I don’t have the win or life will end mentality…competing for me is about becoming a better me & pushing myself beyond what I think I’m capable of….

    If I walk off stage with a trophy, that’s a plus but it’s a frickin’ plastic trophy, it doesn’t define the journey I’ve been on, the lessons I’ve learned, or make me a better woman…

    You’re not a bad competitor….you’re normal!

    T.

    • ihearteggs says:

      I dont htink that about you AT ALL T!!! You are one of the amazing people I have met through this sport that pushes me to WANT to compete becuase you are so real about it! Love you!

  9. This post is FABULOUS. Your honesty is so refreshing, and your accomplishments (a year and a half binge-free? making good nutrition and exercise your lifestyle? amazing!) are incredible. I think that something as demanding and potentially stressful as competing should be something you are undeniably passionate about, because your time, money, and effort are all valuable and should be put toward something you LOVE. And if fitness modeling is something you think you might love, I say give it a shot! You’ve met your original goals, and I have no doubt you’d be successful in the fitness modeling industry. You’re stunning (some fitness models look great only from the neck down), and I wouldn’t be surprised if Oxygen came calling soon 😉 Best of luck figuring this out!

  10. I feel like there’s an awful lot in this statement:

    “Maybe I’ll never be exactly what the judges want and that’s why I’m protecting myself.”

  11. Kari Keenan says:

    This is the most beautiful post you’ve written! It’s so important really examine the reasons for competing, you just answered your own question: you compete because it’s a life growing experience for you. At the end of the day, the most important thing is for you to be happy with YOU. And your fitness photo is beautiful!

  12. marlopnwgirl says:

    I hear yeah.. I’m the same as you.. I don’t care about beating out everyone else. I just want to be the best me i can be. And yeah that doesnt make me the best competitor because i simply just dont care.. I think you accomplished what you wanted from competing for the last few years.. You are a strong amazing person because of the experience.. I have a feeling you will get the “itch” again someday.. LOL

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