That is the question…
I have immense respect for people who compete, it is one of the most mentally and physically taxing things I have ever done. It challenges all areas of your life and I applaud anyone who does or has done a show.
Competing has taught me SO much. The training you must do for these shows has taught me the meaning of discipline, work ethic, and self control. These are things that I now incorporate into my lifestyle instinctually and I am grateful that I learned these lessons and that I am able to carry them with me.
I feel like I am very lucky to have been able to partake in this ‘sport’ when I did. It has shown me things that I feel like I would have not learned otherwise. For example, I learned an incredible amount about training. I learned how to effectively build my body in ways that I would have not learned otherwise. I was taught these things by people I met and from my own experience in the gym. I honestly feel like if I hadn’t competed, I wouldn’t have built the body I have today, and I would not be the person I am at this moment.
I love aesthetics, that’s why I train. I fucking love looking lean, ripped and having all the muscle tone. I love being strong, fast and having the balance and strength to perform exercises that challenge my abilities. That’s why I love(d) competing. It’s true, I love the process and challenging myself mentally and physically, for some reason, that shit is (fun? I don’t know if fun is the right word) for me.
Although I enjoy this process, I do not enjoy the ‘rules’ (we’ll call them rules) of the NPC, and the aftermath. A lot of coaches I have worked with in the past put you on a diet that is not healthy. I don’t care what you say or how much experience you have – the lack of vital nutrients that are missing from your diet during prep is not good for your health. It is also not sustainable. Mentally, this process is extremely tough. I guarantee you, to an average person you look absolutely fit and beautiful 8 weeks out from a show. However, in your eyes, and in your coaches eyes, you still need to cut 10 to 15 lbs, but that’s part of competing…you don’t like it, don’t compete. Not only do you train your ass off for about 12 weeks and diet like no one has before, you then walk on stage half naked and other people judge your body against other women. If you aren’t mentally tough, this sport is not for you. I can honestly admit, I am mentally resilient. I love criticism because it makes me a better person. As tough as I am, after my first show when I placed 5th out of 16 girls, I cried. I had worked so hard for so long to walk on that stage, and I did not win. It was really, really hard for me, as I am very competitive. My next show I did increasingly better and took home 1st place and the overall. I haven’t competed since, and I even though I wanted to compete again this year, I am not going to and I probably never will again.
I am lucky I have a strong mind, because I bounced back every time – but when you go from an absolutely lean state to a normal weight after a show – you don’t see normal weight, you see fat. After my first show this fucked me up. I held onto an extra 20 lbs for about 9 months because I did not reverse diet properly and I had fucked up my metabolism so bad. This put a strain on me emotionally and physically. I was unhappy and some what depressed for a long time (this was not good for me, my relationship, or my mental/physical health). Going into my second show, I knew what to expect. I knew how to reverse diet appropriately and I did it very well. However afterwards, I was still never satisfied with my physique (I saw fat). Beginning of this year, I started getting ready for a show (vegan style). I even bought brand new heels. I will not be competing this year anymore, for the following reasons.
- I have not been on a strict prep at all, and I love my body right now. I eat a beautiful diet of plant based, healthy and colorful foods. I eat as much food as I want and I am at a perfect lean state (in my eyes). I have a tight, lean body, and all my muscles pop… but I still got dat ass. I don’t want to loose this feeling. This overwhelming feeling of satisfaction, happiness and fulfillment – I fear I will lose this if I compete. I do not want to start a viscous cycle all over again.
- It kind of goes against everything I believe in now (ha). The spray tan, the make up, having other people judge me… I don’t want to be affiliated with those things anymore. And I know, from the weight I am at now, I would have to drop another 10 lbs, and like I said before, I am afraid to start a viscous, unhealthy cycle all over again.
- Most importantly leave for Vietnam in 8 months (read my blog ‘Travel’ if you want to know more and why 🙂 ) and I am saving every penny I make at the moment. Shows are expensiveee af!!
I did shows because I wanted a purpose. Yeah, I love aesthetics and the process of growing and revealing my body, but for the last few years of my life, I was hoping shows were the answer to my being. I have been trying really hard to find myself for some time now. This month I have been unraveling my purpose each and every day, and the NPC is not a part of that purpose. I feel in my heart that the shows I have done in the past have shaped me into the person I am, but I no longer need that influence to help me grow. For the longest time I strived to be something in the fitness industry, if you follow me on instagram, you know this. I longed for my Pro Card. I wanted nice and expensive material things to match this lifestyle, too. I wanted to live in LA and make it as a model. This is all true and kind of hard for me to admit, but I promised you all honesty.
This past month I have realized those things are silly and in the long run, those things will not give me a life that I truly deserve and need. They won’t fuel my ambition, only deter it. I mean it when I say I don’t long for complicated belongings, a nice home or a new car. I want to experience life to the fullest and see the world. I seriously want to live out of a backpack… and what’s crazy is I’m actually about to do it.
It’s like the Universe knows what you’re really meant to do, it’s just waiting for you to discover it. I realize now the world doesn’t need more perfect people living lavish lives that’s sculpted by an idea that is unreachable. The world needs more people who inspire others through honest actions, words and who lead by a reachable example. We need more people with big hearts and a willing to listen and teach. I have finally found my gift, and I intend to give it to the world.
I was never meant to ‘make it’ in the fitness industry. I had been trying for so long to no avail because in my heart, I knew something would still be missing if I ever did, therefor the Universe never allowed it to happen. I was trying to fill this empty void inside me with the wrong things. As soon as I let go, and and let my inner voice guide me, everything that was truly meant to happen to me, happened… and is still happening faster than I could have ever imagined. I like to compare this feeling to love. If it’s easy to love someone, it’s meant to be. If you believe in every action you are taking and you find it easy to make those choices, you are following your heart. It was never easy for me to live my past life, but I thought thats what I was supposed to feel.
I am excited show people this wholesome life I have been uncovering. I am thrilled to discover the world and have others teach me new things that I do not know yet. I want to meet people, see different countries and experience unique cultures. I want to workout with pleasure and not feel ‘obligated’ to go to the gym because I have a show coming up (and no more bulk season, phew!). I want to eat 3 watermelons and not worry about water weight (I love watermelon… ya know, if you ever want to win my heart..buy me watermelon 😉 ). I’m still going to do all those fun workout videos! I LOVE working out, it is one of my greatest pleasures and that is something that has always felt right. But the NPC shows are a part of my life that will not continue. If you have never done a show and are thinking about it, my advice is to go into it loving your body no matter the outcome, and be ready to learn A LOT of amazing things about yourself along the way! Be mentally ready and be strong in all aspects. If you have any questions, I encourage you to leave a comment below!