You Are Enough Blog Series: Post 5 “Creating a Better Self”

This week is going to be rated about 7.7. I had an anxiety attack and crying fit, but I also ate the most amazing burger too. Maybe that’s the balance. There’s good days and bad days. Sometimes you brush off the comments and some days they get to you because YOU ARE HUMAN.

So this post. It’s going to be different, but at the same time it’s really not. I’ve said before that I am you. That I had a starting point. I set a goal, then another and then another. I was consistent and I made changes when necessary. Then was consistent with those changes. I continue to challenge myself and never settle. I don’t believe in the best self. I believe in a better than I was yesterday self. There’s always room to improve – mentally and physically. Anyone can lose weight, it’s not honorable. What’s honorable is the willingness to make a change, to stand by it and work hard for it. Not everyone wants to work hard. I am you, I’m am still seeking a better self.

Bodybuilding.com is currently running their spokesmodel search for the upcoming year. This isn’t new, it happens every year around this time. They receive tons of applications and then narrow it down. Then there’s voting. They want a male and a female who are energetic and motivating, and have super fit physiques – and with that point I’m out.

When I first saw the search this year, I thought about how cool it could be to enter because when I made the decision to start lifting, bodybuilding.com was how I got started. It’s where I  educated myself about nutrition and lifting. I read through articles and utilized the exercise database to develop my own routines. It’s also how I came across the current lifting program I’m using now, PH3 by Layne Norton. The site as a whole is a place where I felt comfortable going to find answers to my questions and it’s where I point people to when they reach out. It’s the best coach that I could never afford.

I am the average person who utilizes Bodybuilding.com.

I started my weightloss journey when I was over 240 pounds, but I started my lifting journey when I was 174 pounds and was preparing myself for my first bikini competition – 2014 New England Championship. I get asked all the time how I started with lifting – this post is for you.

I had never stepped into a weight room before, I mean maybe for a 5 pound dumbbell, but to really step in and step up to the equipment isn’t something I ever considered doing. However, at this point, I knew that for more change to occur in my journey I needed to make another change to my routine. Cardiovascular exercise and adjusting my nutrition wasn’t enough anymore. When I decided I wanted to compete, Bodybuilding.com gave me a place to go and learn before I entered the weight room. As I watched videos exhibiting form and explaining the muscle groups activated, I felt more comfortable about stepping into that room and executing those same movements. I started squatting with a 25 pound pre-weighted barbell and a bench and now my 1RM is 180. It’s taken a while to get there, but we all have our own pace. Because goals can change and so can methods. Again, still seeking a better self.

To me, Bodybuilding.com is a resource when I need expert advice or I want a different perspective. It’s a place where I learned about cardio variations, lifting variations; it’s a place where you can find a program that fits your goals today. It’s a place to connect to others that have similar and very different goals than you. It’s a place for people of all levels to become a better version, a healthier version of their physical self.

I completely understand why they want the best physique representing them. They are a brand that promotes fitness, but at the same time I believe in a society where people idolize perfection we need to show a more clear picture. It’s not always vascularity and abdominals, even though we would love that and a burger too.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, it’s great to say this, but you compete in body competitions so it’s hypocritical to say this at the same time. Yes, I do compete in body competitions. I love the discipline and the structure that leads up to stage. I love working on myself and figuring out how much more weight I can lift, how I can sculpt myself, striving to be better – not perfect. You don’t look like that year round and that’s a conversation that should be had. I compete in a setting where it’s 100% subjective and based on who shows up that day, but internally, it’s not about the women beside me, it’s about how much better I am that time around. So many competitors will agree with that because if only go into it to hit center stage and you miss, your ego will sorely be bruised.

Life isn’t perfect. Your weightloss, your bulking, your health or fitness journey isn’t going to be perfect either. It’s going look like a heart beat monitor, with drastic spikes and then drastic downs. You’re going to have to change your routine over and over. You’re going to have to change how you think about food and lifting. When the goal changes, it changes you mentally not just physically. I don’t believe health and fitness should be represented as such.

Life is about setting goals and reaching them, changing them, failing at them. Having a great day and having a bad day, but learning what to do when you an all time low. It’s about trying your best in the moment, and waking up and saying today I will try to be better. I will try to never stop reaching or dreaming. I will always continue learning. If I inspire someone it’s by accident and because I’m actually doing something admirable, not something average.

I’ve watched some of the entry videos of people that I follow on social media, people that I look to for my own inspiration. They are all strong and goal driven individuals. They are beautiful inside and out, and are seeking to inspire the world around them. They all have amazing entries and I could see them all becoming a spokesmodel winner, but they aren’t the only ones that inspire me to push on my down days. I guess, sometimes, I see them as superhuman. I know for some fitness started as a hobby and transformed into something more, for some it’s now their career. But those who have kept it as a hobby and figure out how to be a mom and a lifter or a lawyer and a figure competitor inspire me the most. They’re exhibiting a balance that I strive for every day.

I believe that is the better self. Constantly seeking the balance of physical and mental change. The barbell and cupcake, or doughnut – whatever your preference.

❤ Cristina

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One thought on “You Are Enough Blog Series: Post 5 “Creating a Better Self”

  1. mellissa says:

    I love this post. I applied pretty well for the same reasons you didn’t. I get why they want super fit physiques but I also think having a regular person represent them and show hat hard work can do would benefit them too!

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