March 5, 2006
This weekend was the Arnold Classic – while Louis and I weren’t able to attend, we did spend some time discussing our views on the industry. One of my favorite competitors, Jenny Lynn, withdrew due to extreme dehydration. While it bothered me, it didn’t surprise me. From my experience, while we ‘represent’ health, competitors aren’t necessarily very healthy.
In my first competition, I took a pill to shed water a few days before the contest- I also performed carb depleting and refeeding, I tanned my skin consistently 2 months before hand and pumped up before getting on stage to have my veins visible and muscles separated. Two days after I won Miss Bikini California 2003, I gained 7-10 pounds, while it was mostly water retention, I still felt awful.
In my next competition, I told myself that I wouldn’t compromise my health by playing with my electrolytes: I didn’t carb deplete, I used mostly self tanner and brought a more ‘feminine’ physique to the stage. While I didn’t win- for my first time at nationals and one of the youngest competitors on stage, I still managed to place in top 5 of both the 2003 Bikini and Model America contests. I haven’t competed since then.
I took a break from competing in fitness for a few reasons – I couldn’t reconcile that dehydrating yourself pre-contest, damaging your skin through tanning, eating an imbalance of energy nutrients, and building your body for ‘aesthetic’ purpose alone was healthy. When I competed I trained hard for 2 hours a day and spent the rest of my day eating and resting my sore muscles. While I trained my body to appear strong and healthy – In truth, I was hormonally imbalanced, internally insecure, and hardly using my muscles for ‘real’ physical work.
What’s interesting to me is that we tend to ‘build’ physiques and ‘present’ images of ourselves that are contradictory and sometimes inconsistent with our true selves, sometimes the externally smaller person is really physically stronger and sometimes the externally ‘secure’ person is the most insecure person in the room.
I felt so good moving this past weekend: carrying boxes, furniture, running up and down flights of stairs and eating a meal that nourished my body’s furnace. I felt like my body was actually being ‘used’ for ‘real’ purpose. The majority of my daily work for 24 Hour Fitness Corporate involves researching, writing and meeting people, not too much physical movement at all.
Now that I’ve ‘come to terms’ with who I am, what I want to achieve and have found my passion in my chosen career, relationship and friendships – I feel ready to ‘get sh*t done’ – My goal is to complete who I feel a ‘real’ role model should be someone who is balanced in her approach to fitness, someone who excels in her professional career, and someone who maintains a love and excitement for life, people and purpose. I’ve started writing down everything I intake, how I feel, what I train – I received a bunch of ‘tools’ from bodybuilding.com, including more fitness books, a heart rate monitor, video tapes and supplements
I recently created a new goal sheet for all my professional, physical and personal goals – I detailed individual goals, visualization techniques and execution plans. On the top of the sheet I wrote: “Discipline. Passion. Faith. and Focus.” –
Be recollecting on past mistakes, understanding personal experiences and analyzing present realities, I have begun re-strategizing future dreams and re-designing a life program that will get me there.