You See, I See
Hi my dearest friends!
Today I wanted to touch on something that’s been swept under the rug for sometime now. A few weeks ago I did a post titled “Why I do This”, a blog about why I compete and put my body through competition prep. I basically came to the conclusion that I’m not sure where the rest of my prep will go, but I might as well do it while I can.
I think this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever said.
While it may have been a successful blog and readers enjoyed it, I was making a huge life decision on the fact that I should suck it up and go through prep since it won’t always be an option for me.
I was truthful, as I always am. I discussed the positives and negatives, and the desire to live that “normal life”, but want the challenge of it all.
Here’s what I’m missing in all this… I can challenge myself without a sparkly bikini and a deadline.
When I’ve talked to G-Mama, Tony, and a few of my closest friends everyone has told me I don’t need to write this. I don’t need to say why or why not about competing. But if I don’t, I feel like I’m not being me, I’m not being honest, and I’m not releasing out into the world what I feel like needs to be said.
For the past few weeks I’ve scrolled through endless pictures of myself. All around the time of my prep for my last two shows and I saw a very common theme. Lean and shredded, yet insanely insecure, unsure, and spastic.
Here you see me. I look shredded, accomplished, and the perfect image of what a gym girl represents.
What do I see? I see sadness, emptiness, obsessiveness, lack of motivation for anything other than the gym, emotionless, and not wanting to be around anyone but my dog.
Those shoulder veins? Popping, right? Looking good? I see someone who stood in the mirror for hours scrutinizing every line on her body, and deciding to skip the almonds for a week since her abs weren’t flat enough.
Now here I am.
You see a happy woman, smiling, up in weight since the stage, but still keeping a regular routine.
I see the same.
Funny enough, I saw a very popular Instagram fitness “star” post the other day that she is no longer competing. You would think no one would care. It’s her life, right? Well people kept commenting WHY!? Why would you give that up? I had to laugh because it’s not what you are giving up, it’s what you are getting back. Your life. Your happiness. Your sanity. Who the heck wants to live their life weighing pieces of chicken and living out of tupperware? When you are so darn tired from work but you get up at 330am because you have to hit the step mill. I NEVER want to look back on these years and only remember that. 20 weeks here and there of living that way only to be shredded for maybe a week? Then you rebound so hard and are back at square one.
I can’t sit here and be 100% negative about this process. The Gladiator I WANTED IT. I wanted it so bad, nothing else in the world mattered. Things change though, and now I simply do not want that lifestyle for myself. I want to be happy and live my life with my boyfriend. I want to be able to go places and not worry about when I am getting in my cardio, or if my fish will go bad in the cooler from sitting all day. If I want to skip the gym after a long day of work and meet my boyfriend at a restaurant for dinner then I’m going to do it without guilt.
So what was the tipping point in all of this? Well I was scrolling Facebook one day and all I saw were competitor friends. Nothing else. It was one throwback Thursday pic after another to the moment in time they were shredded. The constant one upping, talking about how they will slay this off season, or this or that prep, take the overall, saying #PrepHarderThanMe. I clicked the big giant X in the corner of my webpage and said ENOUGH!
I said out loud “I hate this sport”.
Yes, I said those words. Do I mean it? Not really, HOWEVER I hate what this sport is becoming. It’s no longer a personal goal. It’s doing it to prove a point or to fit in. It’s no longer rare or special. You see it everywhere now and it’s just too much for my brain to take in. I may get A LOT of backlash for this but I’m going to say it anyway. It’s average looking physiques for the most part. I simply don’t want to be lumped in with it all anymore. I didn’t start this to fit in, I didn’t do it to prove a point, and I certainly wouldn’t step on stage knowing I could have done something more to look better.
After talking to my mom about this she said “this doesn’t have to be permanent you know”. She’s right. I may be hanging up my heels for now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t put them back on later down the road if I choose. I don’t think I’m done for good, but at this moment it’s not what’s important to me. I’m allowed to change my mind, there are no rules on happiness. For now I am going to focus on my career, my love, and keeping a smile on my face.
Deuces to the spray tans and ab veins.
XOXO With a Cherry On Top,
I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now. I don’t always comment but I’m a professional lurker ;). Just dropping in to say Congrats! You seem so happy now and didn’t always while you were prepping. It’s great you lived that life and accomplished your goals but its also great you realized the cost is too high for now. Keep loving life and finding the right balance. 🙂
Thank you Angie! And thank you for being a loyal reader 🙂
OMG, I am so, so, so glad to read this. Girl, seriously, I am so proud of you. Maybe a lot of your followers who don’t know you looked at those pictures of you shredded and thought you had it all together and were happy, but honestly, it was very obvious to me that you weren’t. It just seemed like torture and your life revolved around it. I’ve been there and I’ve done that to myself in one form or another and it’s NOT worth it. It’s not worth making your own meal at Christmas or Thanksgiving or missing a night out with friends or existing on no sleep or beating yourself up over almonds. It’s just not. Life is so much more than that and I’m so glad you have Tony in your life and you are seeing that! We can go to the gym and eat healthy (most of the time) and have goals and still have fun lives, too, but not at that kind of extreme. G-Mama is right – it doesn’t have to be forever. But if it is? That’s ok too. PROUD OF YOU!!
I already texted you, but just wanted to say thanks again for your kind words. I know you know the struggle of the fit life, but I’m glad we both finally saw the light! Lol love ya xoxoxoxo
SO, so happy to read this and so proud of you. There is so much MORE to life than abs and popping veins!! I love that you have become a beautiful role model for what to me is the definition of healthy living – working out, eating good whole foods most of the time, and also being able to have treats and go on vacation and LIVE!! Such wise words 🙂
Thank you so much! Let the real life begin! lol
I’ve been a long time reader, but this is my firs time commenting and I’m so excited for you! This post is such a demonstration of committing to a balanced and healthy life both physically and mentally. I hope you gain back everything you’re looking for because you deserve it!
I think we all go through phases like this with our chosen fields of competition. I know I definitely did with distance running. It had sort of become my life for a few years, where I was doing it at the expense of actually living my life. I took a much needed step back (and yea, I put on a few lbs as a result) but it’s been worth it for my mental sanity and for just wanting to life live like a normal person — who still works out and eats healthy most of the time, but doesn’t become a slave to it.
After some time away, I started to miss it, and I’m doing a few longer distances races this year because I’m back to enjoying it. It’s Ok to step away. Maybe you’ll come back to it or maybe you’ll find another fitness adventure that you love even more. You’ve got to do what’s best for you at this point in your life. And if the haters gonna hate, as T. Swift would say, just shake it off 🙂
oh girl I’m so proud and grateful of you for writing this. As someone who is trying to gain weight and build muscle (lost weight through stress and ill health) it is so inspiring to read this. So many people are constantly blogging and obsessing with hours in the gym or eating much less than me that it can become hard and frustrating. It makes you question what YOU are doing is right. They may appear perfect and happy but I’m guessing deep down its all false. Women’s fitness has become obsessed with fat loss and weight loss that trying to find help in gaining weight is difficult, men’s health is much more focussed on building muscle that I’m reading more stuff on those sites! I’ll admit that at times I have become isolated and addicted to exercise but I’m trying to slow things down and remember it’s ok to rest, your body needs it to recover. It’s not easy but reading this has helped me focus on the important things in life like,happiness and good health. Wish you all the best, thinking of you.
I’m sorry iv not commented for a while but I didn’t a break for my own mental strength. Still love reading your blog and stalking you on Instagram.
Tam x x
You have to do what makes YOU happy 🙂 It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I know at times that is easier said than done – but in the end …that is it. Good for you!!! Best wishes!!
I’m so glad you posted this, it makes me feel less guilty for having a ‘normal’ life style. There’s always so much pressure to commit yourself 24/7 and in reality this just leaves you unhappy and without any sort of life.
You gotta’ do what makes the sole happy girl ❤️
Have to say, girl, this is my favorite post of yours.
It has been simply AMAZING to see the change in your face. THAT is far worth everything else (veins, spray tans, getting up at 3:30am, ect). The difference is night and day. Has to be the most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed out of all of the blogs I’ve read over the years.
Pictures of you in the past that had your face I could always see something underneath. Even in smiling photos.
Because all of the photos of you now? Even without Tony in them, your face is magical. It sparkles. There’s a light in your eyes. A smile isn’t just a smile. It’s pure happiness. And whenever you have that, pursue whatever is doing it because you’re doing it right.
You only get one life, make it count. What got me to lose all of the weight that I did was one day I thought “Flash forward 5-10 years from now. Am I going to wake up satisfied with my life or am I going to wish I had of done things differently? Better make that realization now because I can’t do anything when I wake up with that sinking feeling 5-10 years from now.” From that moment on, I changed.
I love all your posts, but this one answered questions that I was asking myself: Where is the balance? Can I devote myself to being healthy, in top shape, but still enjoy my friends, family, my traditional Italian meals, etc.? Can I maintain this lifestyle? Do I want to? So many questions I had about making the commitment. This beautiful post of yours told me that, for me at least, I should take a more balanced approach.
I don’t love myself, and I do things that are not healthy or self-loving. So I must do that. But this post gave me permission to not be obsessive in whatever direction I go. This post told me that the most loving, healthy, and right thing I can do for myself is to be good to myself.
I seriously love you and your honesty. My prayers and positive vibes go out to you. Please keep posting. Always stay happy, self-loving, and enjoy embracing all the people in your life and the wonderful world around you. You definitely get the big picture. Bravo!
You’ve gotta do what makes you happy 🙂 Enjoy not being part of the competition world. I’m happy for you and glad that you are in a better place now. Enjoy it to the full extent!
Brooke: Not On a Diet
You do you!
You look so happy and I love it!
Chelsea @ Raw N' Toned
Yay for doing what makes you happy!!! And I agree with that photo, I’ve noticed your photos you’ve posted on Instagram lately, you just seem so happy! It’s great to see <3