I am at ground zero & this is how I got there:
I competed and placed third at my NPC National Qualifier which means I am qualified for nationals. A lot of people qualify, but not everyone decides to compete at one of these meets. First, there are not too many of them so travel may be required. Second, sometimes you qualify, yet know you are not at the level of national competitors. Third, the cost is too much. The shows cost around $225 to enter then you have hair, makeup, tan, travel, hotel stay, etc. Fourth, some people are happy competing at local shows.
For me, I want to do nationals and I plan to do a National show in August 2017 or maybe even November. November would mean flying to Miami though and I’m not sure I can financially do that. Regardless, the point is, I am doing the latest possible national show for a reason.
I want time off.
When I finished my first every bikini competition, I was on a high and I KNEW I wanted to compete again. I looked up potential shows for the next few weeks, then that high died and I began to bulk and put a focus on “getting” big. I didn’t think about cutting or being lean. I thought about hitting my calorie goals, building up my metabolism, and hopefully gaining muscle. Then the end of January hit, and I had the strong urge to shave away my layers and see the growth below. I can’t explain what caused this feeling. I just felt I was at my heaviest weight ever. I had ate all the foods I had been missing. I actually was eating more food then I wanted to eat to hit my macro goals and I was ready to be done. I looked at what shows were about 12-20 weeks from this decision and then I maintained until my official start of prep.
I prepped for 20 weeks in total my second time around and competed in two shows OCB and NPC. The day after my last show, I was ridiculously happy. I didn’t think I would place; the show was bigger than I thought and there were TONS of amazing looking girls. I was proud of myself, but I didn’t have that high on life feeling I had the first time around. I knew it was going to take a longer time to get that “I’m ready” thought I experienced last time. I know some of this stems from the fact, I want to be SUPER ready muscle wise and even more ready posing wise.
I suck at posing hands down. I’m not coordinated; I try. I get frustrated. I cry. My first show, I had a sprained ankle I was practicing one. My second show, I had a stress fracture. The thought of posing, cripples me. This is something a year might not be able to fix, but the extended time makes me feel comfortable.
Another echoing thought I experienced was “I am NOT just a bikini competitor.” I began to realize my family members on both sides, people who knew me from schooling, stranger or/and internet friends, viewed me as a bikini competitor. There is nothing wrong with being a competitor; I am a competitor, but realizing that’s what I was didn’t sit well with me.
I started this fitness journey wanting to be strong. I didn’t care how my body looked. I didn’t care about having abs or losing weight. I wanted to be strong. Failing at the lifts I wanted to be able to do at the weight I wanted to do them was my greatest motivator and the reason why I started working out 5-6 days a week consistently.
I started working out routinely October 2014 and have worked out 5-6 days a week without ever missing a gym day unless I was sick..even if the workout was short or one body part. No matter the season.
Some where along my fitness journey, I discovered competing and changed my goals to show I looked. Then I focused on how I looked to others on IG. I think this was the start of being becoming too worried about what others thought. I started posting my face after my first competition because placing in True Novice gave me a sense of confidence.
The next 6 months of a decrease in likes and followers (since I was no longer lean and ab-licious) was a struggle for me. I felt like I was doing something wrong because I wasn’t pleasing others. Someone would make a negative comment and it would upset my day. I wouldn’t get that many likes so I would delete the picture. I wasn’t gaining followers fast enough, I wasn’t getting interaction, I wasn’t getting the likes amounts, I wasn’t I wasn’t blahblah.
When the light bulb went off in January that I was ready, another one went off too. It told me that I needed to get back to being me. I needed to do this for me and only me. I still would post, but what I wanted.
I got in the habit of posting and putting my phone in my bag so I couldn’t consistently check on “how the image was doing.”
My first prep was about proving to other people I could do it and proving that I was not longer unhealthy. This prep was about me & being unapologetic about who I was.
Side note: I bought an icy blue suit and “blung” it out with crystals…I wanted it to be Frozen themed as my theme song was “let it go” during this entire prep.
Wow took me awhile to get to this part-I became solely a bikini competitor without even thinking about it. And oddly, that is not what I wanted.
I went from wanting strength to wanting to show off my muscle growth and definition. Nothing wrong with either side, but it is mind blowing to me how I made this change without even realizing it.
So June 12 (the day after my competition) I hung up my heels for a little bit. One because I needed to be in a boot for 4 weeks to heel my stress fracture & two, because I needed to figure out what I wanted.
And what I wanted more than ever was to go back to my original purpose: to be strong.
It took me a few months and reverse dieting to make this realization. It took losing my abs and taking a week of trying to refind my maxes. My form is awful. Body parts hurt that shouldn’t after certain workouts. And so, I am starting from ground zero.
But at least I found the ground I want to stand on.