I was asked recently, by a girl interested in getting into bikini competition, about any advice I could offer her specific to the sport, etc. My response came to me promptly and I suddenly felt like it was the advice I personally needed at the time, flowing out of me effortlessly. Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?
“If I have any advice at all, it’s to simply be true. Be true to you, those that are important in your life and your own personal beliefs. Competing, if not done properly, can ruin relationships, yourself and your spirit. Try to find balance as much as possible to nourish the relationships that are most precious to you. Being as strict as necessary during comp prep is an absolute challenge and in order to succeed, you must succeed in your everyday life as well. To win a show, but break a marriage or friendship is no win at all.”
During my year plus run on the NPC Figure circuit, I competed in show after show with not much break in between. We would travel and I was the obnoxious a-hole with my food in bags and coolers everywhere we went. I’ve eaten outside, been kicked out of restaurants, eaten in the car and whatever it took to stay on track. I couldn’t relax, I didn’t feel a part of the vacation or family because my mind was elsewhere and I was in fear of screwing up and setting myself back for the next show. This became a vicious cycle until I remove the pressure. I am still not running on all cylinders, but each day, in every way, I grow and evolve and continue to focus my efforts on balance. We all need it, but until you specifically seek it out and hunt it down, you will not have it. It is a concerted effort on behalf of all things you find of value to you to at least attempt it.
I think in the fitness industry, many try to portray a perfect lifestyle of lifting weights and clean eating blah, blah, blah. Let’s be real for just a moment….sh&t happens, life happens, cravings happen. What they choose to show you is a snippet of their reality. Social media has served to screw with our minds and make us feel inadequate if we don’t look like those we follow. Those we follow don’t always look like those we follow. Filters, lighting, makeup, photoshop and fancy angles are all part of the illusion. Focus on you, worry less about others and you can find that happy place within yourself that only you know how to fulfill. The rest is irrelevant in the grand scheme and that’s my two cents.
In good health,