This is my last season competing. It was a big decision and to type that out after having said it out loud, makes it seem so much more real. When I talked with JP about it in January and explained it – he understood. When I told friends they understood too. So I’ll explain to you too.
After losing about 120 pounds including pounds lost in prep, I’m creating more loose skin in my legs and lower back. I don’t want another surgery. Does it bother me a little – of course it does, but not enough for another surgery. Prep isn’t real life, with posing and tanner, imperfections can be hidden to a degree. I can conceal most of my flaws and the ones I can’t, well damn – shit happens. In real life, I am in awe that this is my body, I’m in awe of its capability. I wake up many days and can’t believe this is mine and I created it. I also know it’s limitations and where I’m willing to push. This season is my last because I know my body physically can’t handle leaning out much more than it already has and I’m ok with that. I can say I did this. I can say I did this for three seasons. I can say I met amazing people and brought the best to stage I could in those moments.
Prep is going better than I could’ve ever imagined. I have show dates in mind. I have friends coming to those shows. Progress is constant and steady. I feel strong and fueled. I’m excited about these moments. I’m excited that I can own this and say I did this myself. I’m also excited about the after life. Finding a new goal and just living.
I can’t wait to see what maintenance looks like. I can’t wait to see what my running and lifting can become. I can’t wait to see what it’s like supporting JP in his half marathon training like he has supported me in my lifting – actually structured running together on his short distance runs.
I macro count because I’m terrible at consuming enough fat and protein otherwise. I’m either too low or high, but this past fall I tracked about 70% of the time and was mindful – I’m excited about being mindful more often after I reverse to maintenance. I think there’s value in weighing and measuring and learning what you actually need versus what you think you should have. Sometimes you only need a tablespoon of peanut butter and sometimes you need three, oops, it happens.
I’ve been asked if I will I powerlift – I want to increase some of my lifts, but powerlifting isn’t in my timeline right now.
I’ve been told I should take a year to eat in a surplus and build muscle. Well. That’s not in the timeline either. I like the muscle I have. I’ve never said I was huge, I’ve never said I was small either. I am a petite person – I’m 5’4″ and as of this writing 125.8 pounds because I’m in prep, but even out of prep I wear a XS blouse and 0/2 pant. I don’t want a lot of muscle on my frame – that was never my goal and it probably will never be my goal.
I think muscle building is a great goal and while I’m glad I’ve built a little, I truly don’t know how much more I would really want or like for my body. Everyone’s body is different and everyone likes different things for their body. I just happen to like mine kind of the way it will be post-season and I guess I don’t understand what’s wrong with that.
When did constant change become the goal? I do believe in challenging yourself. Growing in some way. But I also believe that sometimes you finish a goal and pick a new direction somewhere else with something completely unrelated. When did maintaining becoming boring? I think maintaining is a hell of a lot harder than losing weight. It’s a new way of thinking, a new way of eating and working out. How do you maintain homeostasis? That shit’s the real challenge.
I know some people follow my social media account because they can’t believe I eat the way I do, but it works for me. My green beans and cookie too. It’s not for everyone and that’s perfectly fine, but I think living is more than losing weight and competing – yeah, I said that because it’s true. Even if you don’t think I believe that, it is true – it also just happens that the past three years my goals have been around competing.
In real life, it’s being able to talk to yourself about why you make the decisions you do. Asking why this food right now to satisfy the moment – is it necessary or is something else going on. Living is about being confident in your decisions and standing by them – not beating yourself up over the muffin. You clearly wanted the muffin because in the moment you believed it would solve the problem at hand. If it did, then perfect, move on. But if it didn’t, then talk about why it didn’t and find a new strategy for the next time.
I macro count because I feel that I can make more impactful decisions for myself that I can stand by and allow me to enjoy what’s happening around me. In prep and outside of prep – I need to enjoy the process, whatever it may be. Knowing where my wiggle room of weightloss, maintaining and growing is important because it helps me create a strategy for the future – it helps me think about what life will be like post-season when I’m maintaining. It gives me peace of mind that I can achieve whatever new goal is ahead of me and have some kind of balance – even though balance may look different each day or weekly. Sometimes balance may be going over my nutritional goals because date night is more important.
I want to know what happened to being excited about finding balance and learning that aspect of life. Balance is hard and almost nonexistent – isn’t it exciting to try to learn what seems to be impossible?
Maybe I want to do the impossible. I want to find my balance without competing. That’s scary in itself too. It’s scarier than when I started losing weight. Or walking into the weight room. Or learning macro counting. Or stepping on a stage.
The impossible seems to be a place I could learn to also be comfortable.
Goals can change. They should change. Your interests can change too. So I’m giving this season my all and I’m so excited about it, but I’m so excited to see what else I can accomplish and reach for too. The stage will always be there if I change my mind, but I don’t think I will.