Do I miss competing? Some days I can say “You bet your ass I do.” I miss waking up and crushing cardio with authority while thinking about my goals. I miss going to bed thinking of my goals and then dreaming about them while I sleep. I miss picturing myself winning that Pro Card. I miss having a very specific goal and having a coach, someone to give me direction. For me, competing is much more than just getting lean and wearing a bikini in front of a crowd of people. It’s pushing myself, and challenging myself to work as hard as possible and give myself zero excuses to not reach those goals. I’m a very dedicated and hard working person when my goal is clear cut. Especially if the goal requires physical work. Lift this, run here, eat this and not that… it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. Having “X” number of weeks to hit a goal spikes my adrenaline and fires me up! Some people get anxiety over having that pressure, but it just further motivates me to dig deeper and push harder.
Some would wonder, if that’s what made you happy then why would you stop? I go back and forth with my love for competing. Is it competing that I miss? or just having a specific goal, direction and a black and white path to my goal. No one likes the grey areas, we all want the black and white because there’s less room for error or thinking that we’re lost. Competing again at this point in my life would be the seemingly easy way out. I would be able to put my issues with food aside, my body image issues aside and furthermore, to blame the demands of prep for many other issues in my life.
Where I’m at right now is somewhat balanced. I work out when I want to and perform cardio for a maximum of 18 mins (HIIT Intervals) 4x a week. My diet is not consistent. I wish I could say its’ an 80-20 split (80% whole foods and 20% processed) but it’s not. Some days I want iced cream instead of chicken and other days I’m craving a hearty salad. While in prep, these natural cravings enter my brain and I don’t give them a second thought, because I can’t. Over eating isn’t an option because I’m under a time crunch. My clothes are bigger and loose fitting because I myself am shrinking. It’s almost a badge of honor to realize none of your clothes fit because you are tiny! Now, I have days where I feel like I can’t find anything in my closet that fits or looks right. Things are tight and I feel my clothes getting smaller and myself getting bigger! What a frickin swap. Other days, I feel fabulous! This may happen on my off season for a couple of months, but the thought that a cut will soon be coming is what keeps you calm and satisfied. Now, I have no plans to cut and must remind myself that this! Is me, working on me. I always try to remind myself that constantly looking to be lean isn’t the answer to anyone’s happiness. If your happiness depends directly on your looks and how shredded you are, you will eventually realize that those things fade and you will be left with nothing. Sure, maybe you won some shows and did some photo shoots, but who’s lives did you change by looking good if you didn’t have a message to go along with it? You are more than what size your pants are and how much cellulite you have on your body.
Taking this time off has forced me to track, keep active and be personally responsible for the shape that I’m in. To allow myself to have boundaries but push them when I want to, within reason. I’ve always been a boundary pusher. If someone says I can have something, it’s always “Well, how much?” I’m all about volume and having the most of everything. It’s easier for me to put my control issues aside and place it in someone else’s hands as if to say “Here, you deal with it!” My issue is when I coach myself, my mentality is all or nothing. People ask me why I myself (a coach), need a coach. When you coach other people, you’re going to implement rules for them to keep them safe and balanced. But when you coach yourself, you will always be tempted to break the rules for yourself. You’re going to break the rules that you’ve implemented for others because you can. But I’m forcing myself to not break the rules and just be. To make a conscious effort of enjoying life and all that it has to offer. I compare not being in prep like not being school. When you aren’t in school, you wish you were and vice versa. You miss the direction, the structure and learning. You study hard, take the test and are marked on your performance. When you go back to school, you miss making your own schedule and spending your time how you want to. Well I spent 4 years in Prep School 😉 and taking this year off as has made me miss what comes along with Prep School. I’m often asked if I will ever compete again and the answer is that I just don’t know. A lot of things need to be in line and I would be very careful about who I chose as a coach. My mentality would have to be in the right place and I would want to document my prep for myself and for others to realize the emotional highs and lows of competing and the extremes that your body is sometimes put under to reach the stage.
So, do I miss competing? Sometimes yes. But not enough to compete again anytime soon as I know the work that I need to put into myself mentally before I work on myself physically to that degree again.