So if you haven't already, I suggested you go read my post from January 1st. It explains how I became a yogini and competitor. But I'll start off saying that I am no way bashing competitors or the competitor lifestyle, I just discovered it wasn't for me.
March 2012, I decided to begin competing. I was just starting my personal training business and I was not healthy at the time, not a great role model for my clients. I had never known the struggle of losing weight, I was struggling to gain weight (horrible curse I know!). I am 5'4" and at the time was weighing in at 100-105 pounds, WAY too skinny for my height. Anyway back on track now, I began to go on a competition diet and workout routine. That meant I had to eat just like my clients, low carbs, high in protein and veggies. Boy those low carb days killed me, my friends definitely had a good laugh. But my workouts were intense, I was lifting heavy, insanely heavy. Once again my friends couldn't believe my little body was squatting 200lbs! But I had a big goal to reach... build an ass. Most of my friends hear me repeat this all the time but I put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears into building my butt. Yes, I said tears. I didn't cry over food or cardio (I did in October though), I cried during my leg workouts. My "big brother" pushed me hard during leg days and I shed a few tears. I thank him everyday for it though.
Within a week I had managed to put on 5 pounds and by the time I stepped on stage I was 120 pounds. I went backwards of everyone else, instead of losing weight and shrinking, I was only getting bigger. I was jumping up in pant sizes, shirts and bras didn't fit me right. That's why you'll always see pictures of me in tank tops or baggy tops, my damn shoulders don't fit into anything.
I placed 3rd in my very first competition in Muscle Mania- Bikini Division. It really was a great experience, I was at a healthy weight, strong, I felt good and confident. Even though I was always thin, I never really liked showing so much skin, especially in a suit that had that little material on the butt. Ya that took a lot to get up on stage, but I did it! Shocked the hell out of myself and out of a lot of my friends. I think the other big shocker was I didn't pull a Ms. Congeniality on stage and fall on face in 5" heels! I managed to strut my stuff.
In October I competed in my second and last competition through NPC. This time around I didn't have as much fun even though I did it with a friend. I was pushed harder in dieting and working out. I became miserable and depressed. Most competitors are left with these types of feelings after a show and a lot of frustration that you can't keep the body you worked so hard for because it is essentially unhealthy for you. I ended up placing 8th and found out those competitions are very political. All of that just spurred into never competing again. It took almost a year for me to love my body again and accept it the way it is.
I am in so many ways grateful that I went through the competitions. I learned so much and was able to be healthy again and have a better relationship with my clients since I understood their pain of cravings, struggling through workouts and not being happy with my body. Granted this was in a different way but I can still related much better and help them through their journey of becoming healthier by understanding all of this.
I know this blog post is longer than all my others I did try to keep it short, there were many stories I could tell with competitions but this part will be fairly short.
Since I've started this yoga program, which I'm graduating from this Thursday! YAY! It'll have been a full year that I have continuously been practicing (was on and off for 5 years). I have been able to understand by body that much more. I know when it needs rest now. I don't need my heavy weights anymore; its all body weight, resistance bands or very light weight workouts. I am a much calmer, gentler, and level headed person with my same old peppy energy. My body is leaner than before, muscular but still soft, not too harsh. I fully accept and love my body now. And to know that in yoga I can keep growing, evolving and learning something new is so wonderful to me!
As you can all see its become a huge part of my life and most of my other articles make that very clear that I can end this here.
Love and Light,