Saturday, March 19, 2016

Call Me a Quitter... Why I Quit my Bikini Competition.

Today is one week out.  What does that even mean?  It was about 3 years ago that I really got into working out, going to the gym, and making a choice to take better care of my body.  I wasn't getting any younger and it was starting to show.   I started sharing my journey on Instagram and I was a total newbie to everything.  Hashtags... Geesh.  What's up with all these hashtags?  I remember following a girl who was a fitness competitor and seeing these #6weeksout #4weeksout hashtags... come to find out it meant weeks away from their show date- the date they're competing.  I was intrigued.

bikini competition, competitor, before and after, muscles, flex, mom, npc, nanbf
Cardio vs. Weights
I started lifting heavier.  I was a total stick.  I was skinny, scrawny even.  And still had a good amount of body fat because I ate like crap and did just enough cardio to keep me from gaining.  I weigh the same today as I did 2.5 years ago but my body fat percentage is about 10% less and my muscle mass has grown immensely.  And my pants fit better.  But I digress.

bikini competitor, bikini, npc, st louis, midwest, skinny, mom, amateur, fitness,
April 2015 NPC Show
18 months ago I started a different fitness journey.  One that allowed me more freedom, less time in the gym, and the ability to work from home and be with my kids.  It was at that point that I decided to do my first competition.  Years ago it's not something I would've ever considered doing, but I'd had 3 kids and decided I wanted to give it a shot.  Not for any reason but for my own personal goal- to prove to myself that this skinny girl who hated getting up in front of people, in a crowd, could do something like this.

I prepped.  I ate healthier.  I meticulously meal planned.  I worked out steadily- never too much, just enough.  I incorporated cardio around the last 6 weeks to help myself lean out.  I ate tilapia.  A lot.  More than one could imagine.  I dropped weight, I leaned out, my muscles popped, I was spray tanned, makeup done, hair curled, and ready to step on that stage.  I did.  And I'm super proud of myself for getting up there and doing it.  I didn't win any awards but that wasn't my goal.  My goal was just getting up there.

couple, fit, healthy, strong, competition, bikini, physique, competitor, results, nanbf, st louis, midwest
June 2015 NANBF Show
I loved it so much I did another one in June.  This time my husband joined me.  We did it together and with no goal of earning any awards but to get up there and say that we did it.  Together.

December 2015 I set a goal to do my next one, one year from the date of my first.  On March 26th.  One week out.  I quickly realized with the demands of nursing school, this being my last semester until graduation, my three children, my mobile work-from-home business growing rapidly, and my  family life, that this was going to require a lot more dedication.  And ultimately, I decided to quit.

Quitting in this sense of the matter is much different though.  Have I stopped working out?  No. Have I stopped eating clean?  No.  Have I neglected my health, my fitness, my passion, my dreams?  No.  These last few months leading up to show date, I've eaten A LOT more.  2,500 cal/day some days.  I drink a lot of water, but I also drink wine.  I eat pizza.  I eat donuts.  I eat tilapia, but usually only on Friday's because we're Catholic and it's lent. :)  I feel stronger.  I've been aiming to workout each day, sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes 22 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes but I'm not stressing if I don't miss it and I'm doing what works for me.  No progress pics.  No additional cardio.  No posing practice.  No spray tan.

I woke up feeling super energized today and took some pictures and honestly, the way my body is right now gives me a great sense of pride.  To look in the mirror and be happy is a great feeling.  To know that you can struggle, you can push,  you can have weak moments, you can have strength, and you can do things on your own terms and still be ultimately satisfied is a dream come true.  I saw some pretty spectacular abs this morning, abs that could be mistaken for #oneweekout abs in a bikini competition.  Abs that are still there after eating a heavily oil-laden pasta dish last night and some cookie cake.  Consistency truly is the key to results.  I'm loving seeing the changes in my body as I grow more muscle, as I incorporate different workouts, and let go of my competition prep meal plan and follow my gut, literally.   I don't know when I'll set foot on another stage and do another competition.  But I do know that it'll be my own journey.  My own terms.  And regardless of anything else, I'm going to continue to be happy with this body that God gave me and enjoy the ride.
fitness, competition, bikini, healthy, strong, mom, confidence, abs, flex, consistency, beachbody, strength
1 Week Out:  March 18, 2016

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