There is no strength without a struggle

I knew going into this bikini prep that I would at some point face a struggle. I knew that the world of Bodybuilding was a very competitive one. And I also knew that I had to almost be prepared more mentally than I did physically.  However I did not realize how easily it would become to get sucked in to such a different world than I was used to, although now that I am sharing this, I am glad I got out of it just as fast.

Don’t worry, I am STILL competing! However the past couple of weeks have taken quite the toll on not only my body, but more so on my mind. With the normal stressors of school, work, my internship and commuting to all of these places adding up, in the past training would have been my escape…my outlet from all of it. Unfortunately, lately it had become more of a chore and caused more stress than all of those other things put together! It was no longer something that I loved and enjoyed, and as soon as I realized that, I realized we had a problem on our hands. I had halted my true love of running, I was going to the gym frantically and not on my own time, and there was no variety to my workouts (and for all of you who know me you know I love doing extreme and new exercises!) Not to mention my diet was down to an extremely low 1300 calories per day, every day. Which should have been a red flag to me right off the bat, but I was so blinded and side-tracked about the stage that it was overlooked. Being the fitness lover that I am, I do more than just lift heavy weights. I teach INSANITY 4X per week, I love to run, and I love to experiment with a variety of different heart-pumping workouts. I am not the “typical” competitor so why was I being treated that way? And more importantly why was I treating myself that way?

After a small mental breakdown leaving the gym one night, I decided it was time to make a change. I have so many people who look up to me and most importantly I was losing sight of why I wanted to do this in the first place: to prove to myself (and my followers) that you CAN prep for a fitness competition in a healthy way without depleting your diet, or spending hours a day doing cardio for fat loss. You CAN incorporate more foods besides the strict diet of chicken, rice and broccoli. It took a small bump in the road for me to see this but that bump was overcome and is thankfully far in the past. My Exercise Science classes have prepped me to know the science behind our health. I know my limits, how my body reacts and I am fully capable of training for this competition on my own. However no one is perfect and it takes these small struggles to achieve success.

I plan on continuing my prep in a manner that will allow me to be stage ready while maintaining a healthy balance ON THE INSIDE because to me, my health is greater than any trophy and having the confidence to walk on that stage knowing I did this on my own, and also knowing I am at the peak of my health will be the biggest “WIN” I could ask for.