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My strength does not always come from within.  It may seem like it, but on days like today, I am ever present in this moment.  More aware than ever that my strength truly comes from those around me.  Feeling a bit vulnerable, after all, I’m only human.  Being stripped down during the most trying of times will reveal ones true character and weakness.  I’m not proud of what I’ve seen looking in the mirror, but to better myself, I must face it dead on.  I’ve abandoned the idea of keeping a hard exterior.  Facing my truth is what builds my character in the end.

I’ve realized how hard this is on everyone around me.  Though it’s an extremely self-serving and vain sport, you must really appreciate those around you for helping to hold you up and guide you along the way.  I’ve got a HUGE appreciation for those closest to me that have tolerated the ups and downs of this journey.  My amazing husband, children, friends and family have been more than supportive of my choices.  Without the strength of others, it would be impossible to continue this treacherous path.  I’ve had moments of weakness, more mental than physical, that have left me feeling shattered.  You know who you are and you guys mean so much to me that there really are no words.  Just know that I very much realize I could not do this without you.

Figure competitors can hold their own next to any type of athlete. We are driven, motivated and inspired to create a certain physique and then be harshly judged for it.  It’s more than being in shape and being healthy, it’s several steps above and beyond.  This is why you must have your head right or you will have you a$$ handed to you.  I do not wish to sound negative, only to paint the picture that this is not for the faint of heart.  I only seek to be honest and to share a side you may not see behind the glitz and glamour presented on-stage.  This is my reality at the moment.

I am 3 weeks out officially.  My body fat was recalculated this week and I’m now sitting at 8.3%.  I was 10.3% at last measure.  That sounds crazy even to me.  Progress is definitely worth the price of pain. These past weeks are a total blur and somehow out of nowhere, I’m seeing in complete focus right now.  I’ve had my share of the good and the bad.  Often stressed, exhausted, fatigued, cranky and hungry, but I’m coming full circle now.  Sometimes seeing the light is hard to do when you are only focused on what is directly in your sights.  I am humbled.  I am more driven than ever before.