Well here it is, my first blog. I am definitely in no way the best creative writer or blogger out there, in fact, I am quite impatient when it comes to getting my point across. So for now, here is my very first blog, short-ish and to the point. It’s been a long time coming. I can only hope that my thoughts and experiences can help you in your journey in some way, shape or form.
If you had asked me three years ago if I would ever compete in a body building contest, I would have said “No Way” within a blink of an eye. It was only until my girlfriend asked me to do it with her, that I even stopped to considered it. And once I committed, well wholly does body sculpting open up a whole new crazy world! $300 bikinis, 10,000 different ways to diet, alot of mental toughness, self sabotage, peer sabotage and so much BAD diet advice from uneducated strangers. With the crazy, also comes the best bits, the addictive bits that keep you coming back for more: new friendships, life lessons, euphoria, immense happiness, banging bod, dressed up to the nines on comp day & also the great comradeship on that stage.
My very first Season competing was last year 2015. I did two shows within 2 weeks of each other with a 17 week preparation. Once I finished the shows (with 3 trophies including a 1st place), I was definitely not prepared for the mental battle I was about to go through.
Competing seemed to be all about the preparation, and then post competition there really was not enough emphasis on how important it was to continue eating clean (or maybe there was emphasis, but I didn’t take enough notice). For me, for months, there was one massive spotlight shining on that end goal, 50ml skinfolds, 65kg, sparkly bikini and golden tan. HAPPINESS. I stepped into that big bright spotlight on stage, proud, adrenaline pumping, euphoric…. then once comp day was over, trophies put away, the spotlight dimmed…and there was darkness.
Stage weight is not maintainable. You feel and look amazing, but in my opinion, the final three weeks of prep becomes unhealthy, just like many elite sports. You are so lean, tired and hungry. Post comp, you need to put on body fat in order for your hormones to function optimally. Hell it is certainly fun eating ALL THE FOODS post competition, because all you think about during prep is all the food you can’t wait to eat. But I put myself through mental hell with the regrets over my poor food decisions. I would tell myself, no tomorrow I will get back into my healthy foods, and maybe I did for the first few meals, or few days… but then my body craved those fats and sugars it needs to gain fat, and I gave in, and the cycle repeats. On top of it, I lost my job straight after competing, when the business went through financial difficulties and closed down. Jobless, fat (or so I thought), sitting at home with nothing to do, feeling worthless, and my mind would not stop craving comfort food. I wrestled with my thoughts, I read books, did internet research on why I couldn’t stop craving comfort foods. I tried so hard, and it seems so easy to just “stop eating food”. But it wasn’t easy. I pretended I was fine, I was managing. But I wasn’t. I became reclusive, self loathing and tried to avoid my boyfriend when showering so that he didn’t have to see my fat, bloated, naked body. One memorable night, I took an extra long hot bath, and I sat in the bath staring at my rolls, tears streaming down my face, and my boyfriend walked in and said with concern in his voice, “I think you’re depressed.” And I was.
A few weeks later, I received an invitation to compete in World Championships in Las Vegas in 3 months time. I jumped at the chance to have a new goal, and a new body. I was determined to smash my prep, and also control and monitor myself more closely after competing so that I could finally rid myself of this self loathing. Twelve weeks later, I placed 4th in Model America Championships, I was on top of the world and I knew my hard work had paid off. Of course when in Las Vegas, you party and eat, and after competing we did! But this time, I knew what to expect, and I successfully kept a healthy relationship with myself and food. I didn’t count calories or macros, I kept up my cardio, I ate super clean when I could, but allowed a few extras when I felt like it.
So now fast forward to the present, 7 months later. I decided to compete in Season B this year. Having watched my sister go through her prep, I was inspired to give it another go in a different Federation. So far I had been seeing my dietician for 6 weeks. Loving it. Fat was dropping, my eating was going well. Then I got a phone call from my mum inviting me to my father’s birthday on a Saturday afternoon. The first big hurdle for me. My mum doesn’t understand competing. She worries about my ovaries. I don’t want her worrying so I always try to eat her food when I can (plus she’s a great cook). So she was cooking and preparing dads birthday, and I began stressing. Thirteen weeks out, I want to be perfect this time. I want to eat perfect. I want to please my dietician, who told me no meals off the plan this week. I was so stressed about taking food over, not offending mum, having the time to prep the food I was taking… and oh my mind would not stop. That was the first sign for me. I was not ready. It shouldn’t be this hard or stressful. Why was I stressing over this? Why am I even competing? Just because I am good at body sculpting, it doesn’t define who I am. I don’t need to do this.
So I’m not.
I am choosing to keep a healthy relationship with food and a healthy relationship with my body. Why would I drop down to an unhealthy weight just to look good on stage, then have put it all back on? I didn’t have a strong enough reason Why. And I couldn’t think of a good enough reason to keep going down this pathway.
So I now have new goals with my dietician. Maintain a steady weight for 3 months. Because since I started competing in January 2015 my weight has never been consistent. Either too lean or not lean enough.
Its time to find balance. I may compete again, or I may not. Lets just see where this next journey takes me. For now, I am happy lifting weights and eating mindfully.
NOTE: If there is one lesson I have learned over this journey that I could pass on, it is this: If you think you will be happy when you lose that last 5kg, or get those abs, or look a certain way, chances are you will probably still be unhappy when you get there. You need to learn to love yourself now, flaws and all, before you stand a chance of being happy when you do reach your goal.