So, here I go. I’m heading up to Dallas today for my competition. Some days it has seemed so far away and other days I can’t believe how the time has flown.
I’d like to say that I’m going to win, especially since I have so many great friends and family members supporting me, but it’s not like that with physique competitions. It’s not like a race where the first one that crosses the finish line is the winner. It’s a little more subjective than that. There are judges that have their own idea as to what the perfect package is, within the given criteria. They each have their own ideas about what good glutes, quads, back, shoulders, etc. look like. You can train, train, train and still not have the right package for the particular judges in your show. It’s kind of a hard line to walk because you don’t want to over-train and be too muscular or too lean either.
Although there will be quite a few other ladies in my category on Saturday, my biggest competition during this prep has been…myself. I’ve stressed a little too much, which has stalled my fat-loss progress as well as increased inflammation. I’m very hard on myself too. I have made mistakes, but I know everyone does. I lost my patience several times due to the stress I was putting on myself.
I had to apologize to my kids last Monday after I lost my patience. I had had a really bad night of sleep. Wyatt woke up incredibly whiny and nothing would make him happy. He was like me, except I was the one trying to make him happy- and I couldn’t- which really made me inpatient. Devin came downstairs kind of grumpy too because it was a Monday and she had to wake up earlier for school. I told the kids they had better just eat their breakfast and stop whining or I was going to lose it. Several days later Devin asked me if I was still grumpy. Sigh- so much for hoping they wouldn’t remember that morning.
I was talking to Devin the other day about the competition after one of her soccer games. She asked me if I thought I was going to win and I said I wasn’t doing it to win. That sounded completely foreign to a little girl that strives to score as many goals as she can in every soccer game she plays. She asked, “If you don’t want to win then why are you doing it?” I told her, “Of course winning would be great, but that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m competing to try to make myself better.”
Winning is nice, but there’s so much more to competing than a glass or plastic trophy. Only the “winners” get one of those, but everyone who makes the journey to the stage is a winner. I think I’ve listened more to my body and learned more about myself during this competition prep than I have before. I have been tired, I have been sore, I have woken up when I didn’t want to and worked out anyway. I’ve also been uncomfortable, but honestly I haven’t really been hungry. I haven’t eaten to excess like I used to. I’ve made homemade pizza for dinner for my family, and eaten chicken breast on leafy greens with a little bit of Udo’s oil and mustard instead of that yummy looking pizza. I’ve argued with Wyatt over what shoes are okay to wear in PE at school while doing dips on the edge of my coffee table and gotten him to eat a few more bites of his breakfast between cycles of Tabatas.
I’ve also become painfully aware of how the stress that I put on myself has sabotaged my efforts. Within the last week or so I have caught myself worrying about things like business decisions that need to be made, how my daughter’s dyslexia is affecting her, my son’s immaturity in his kindergarten classroom that is constantly getting him in trouble. They’re not minor things, but the way I worrying about them isn’t going to fix them- it just messes me up. Just breathe and keep moving forward I tell myself- if I take time to worry then nothing will get done anyway, and I’ll have more to stress about. It’s not like by worrying about these things that I’m formulating a plan to deal with them. No, I’m just giving myself an ulcer. So I’ve really learned to relax a little more these last few days.
It really has been like a science experiment. What foods make me feel the best? What exercises get me the best results? I haven’t done any extreme dieting or used any crazy fat burners- just eating real food. I have had to experiment with my carbs, proteins, and fats these last few weeks to trick my body into getting rid of this last bit of fat, but not to the extreme that some do though. My coach stresses that we do this the right way and that’s why I’m glad to be a part of this team.
As far as weird cravings, I have thought a few times about a Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a pumpkin latte or a peppermint mocha from Starbucks, but other than that I haven’t really had any extreme thoughts about all the food I’ll eat after my competition season is over, like some do. Instead, I will let myself have a little more choices in food, and a few more treats, especially a glass or two of wine. I’ll even be okay with gaining back a little of the weight. I’d like to think that I set myself up for success a little more with this prep then I did my last two. That being said, here’s my package.
For better or worse- my stomach and glutes may not be as perfect as the rest of the ladies, but they are mine and I have trained them hard. These pictures were taken yesterday to send to my coach. I looked a little different this morning and by the time I hit the stage Saturday evening nutritional changes will have caused me to lose even more water weight. I will have another coat of base tan on as well as two or three coats of stage tan (yes, I’m that pale) that will make my muscles really pop. My hair and make-up will be done and I’ll look a lot different from this picture. But no matter what the outcome, I know that the journey to the stage has been the biggest part of this competition, not the few minutes that I actually spend on stage. I’ve given it my best and I’ll feel good about myself no matter what.
I’ll take pictures throughout the day and post them on my Facebook page. Please feel free Like my page if you want to follow along. The competition doesn’t start until 4:00, but I have to be there and ready to go by 11:00 for registration so there will be a lot of sitting around. Just know that I don’t expect to bring home a trophy…and I’m okay with that because I’ve already won.
I hope you enjoyed my musings on the ups and downs on the way to the stage.
Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you.