The Dark Side of Competing

I thought a lot about writing this post before I decided to sit down and actually write it. I feel like this is a pretty heavy topic and won’t be loaded with pictures and positivity. It is such a personal topic to me that I didn’t know if I was comfortable sharing my experience with other people and to maybe have them think differently of me.

When I tell people I am competing in a bodybuilding (NPC) competition they look at me like I’m crazy. Now, if I showed them before and after pictures, they would see how far I have come physically. And if they have a conversation with me, they would see how far I have come emotionally.

I have been on ‘prep’ since April. At first, I was beyond motivated and loved to be in the gym. When I started to see progress I was even more motivated and wanted to spend more time in the gym and wanted to push myself to eat perfect – to the point where it became obsessive. Watching your body change from week to week and seeing the progress can be an incredible feeling – until one week, you don’t see any progress.

When you start to plateau for the first time and maintain the weight right before you start cutting; it can be discouraging. When you eat one ‘bad’ food item and feel bloated for two days, it can be discouraging. When you miss one gym day and spend an extra hour in the gym the next day, IT CAN BE DISCOURAGING. No one holds your hand through this process. Of course, you have a Coach. But he isn’t here making me go to the gym daily and telling me how good my diet is going.

Even after all this time, I could look in the mirror and pick at my body. Who am I? I feel like at the beginning of this process I was comfortable in my body (never a girl that would wear tight clothing or wanting to go out in a swimsuit, but comfortable). One day I felt like I needed a change and wanted to push myself in fitness since I felt like I was already pushing myself in other aspects of my life. It seems like the closer I get to my competition date the more critical I am of myself. Somedays I am extremely sad or moody for whatever reason and don’t want to go to the gym. If I decided to not go then I kick myself until I feel even more sad. It feels like a never ending process.

When my diet isn’t perfect it makes me want to quit. It makes me want to throw away everything I have worked for this far even though I am only 10 weeks out. Some days I weigh in at 130 and other days I am down to 123. It makes me sad to think that I care about the scale so much when in reality, it isn’t the scale that is determining how my body is looking. Why after all this time and healthy eating do I still look in the mirror and see no change? These are the thoughts that run through my head.

I have never been one to be self-conscious with my body but now that I am in the best shape of my life and I am? It is incredible how being healthy and working out can make you feel that way. Shouldn’t it make you feel like you’re on top of the world? Although I love the process of becoming a better ‘me’, it is hard to talk about this topic because it makes me feel weak and upset. I shouldn’t feel this way, and yet, I still do.

These are some pretty dark words stated above and not every person will obviously feel the same way I do. I hear from people that when you get on the stage after all your hard work it makes all the months prior worth it. I am excited for that feeling and I feel like that is something that definitely drives me forward. The support from my friends and family also pushes me to be my best self. I have dinner every Sunday at my dad’s house and he always sets aside grilled chicken for me even though the rest of the family is eating something different. I have had support come out of no where at certain times and people’s kind words make it all worth it.

I just want people to know that when they say, ‘How do you do it?’ Sometimes I don’t even know. For awhile, I was working four jobs and still trying to train twice a day. It felt nearly impossible and really put me in a rut for about a week. I totally missed a few workouts and could feel my anxiety skyrocketing by the day. But, I feel like I pushed through it and feel better than ever now. I feel blessed and grateful for the life I live and the support I have.

Right now, I am in a good place in life and with school right around the corner I am excited for the structure. I know that I will make it to the end of these 10 weeks and not even remember these feelings that I am having. now. I can’t wait to accomplish something so far out of my comfort zone and to say that I DID IT! I know it is always good to challenge yourself and this is one of my biggest challenges yet. Can’t wait to dominate.

Everyday can’t be the best day. Do what you can right now, don’t hesitate.

2 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Competing

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