Reality is my first bikini competition definitely changed my life, my perspective and my personal opinions on the sport of bodybuilding and it is not in the way that you may think. When I first embarked on this journey to compete, I had no idea what the sport entailed except the fact that I knew I had to train hard and I knew I got to wear a sparkling bikini and look super glamorous on show day. What I did not realize was the time committed and dedication it took to get to competition day. I was always an athlete so I knew I could put my body through the training. What I did not realize was the time and discipline the nutrition aspect of the sport entailed. With all of that being said, the biggest transformation was not physical. My mindset and mentality completely changed. Here are the biggest lessons that I learned.
1). Confidence does not come from our exterior.
We gain confidence by keeping our word to ourselves. Before competing, I was constantly making goals but never truly committing. I would make an excuse that I was too tired or it was OK to wait and leave the task for tomorrow. During my competition, I did not slip up. I completed every single workout and I ate all of my meals on time. Although on show day I did not have the best physique on stage, I was able to walk across that stage with pride and confidence. Not only did I complete my goal. I did so with complete integrity. I knew I had given it my all and my confidence that day radiated through to the judges.
2). We have to complete things we do not want to do in order to achieve our goals.
Too many people feel entitled today without the willingness to actually put in the work. To do the hard things. To do what is necessary to get them to the next step. I didn’t always want to eat the same six meals throughout the day for weeks on end and there were days that I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed and skip the gym but I didn’t. I didn’t because I told myself I was going to follow through and I knew that doing the hard things is what was going to get me the results that I was after.
3.) When your concern is beating yourself there is no competition.
Week after week I was competing against last week’s physique. This was the first time in my sport’s adventures that I was not concerned about my opponent. I actually did not even think about them. I was just trying to bring the best version of myself to show day. Show day came and I was so proud of what I had already accomplished. I knew the sacrifices I had made to get there that all I had was complete respect for other women. There really was no competition with each other. We were all just trying to bring the best version of ourselves to stage. I had the most incredible time that day back stage and left with lifetime friendships. We all knew that we had done a really hard thing and instead of competing with each other we celebrated each other’s journey to show day. I left there with an understanding that someone else’s success does not steal from mine. That there is enough to go around. That I could be competitive and still be happy for someone else’s success.
I know that not everyone is going to make it on stage but everyone has something that they are striving towards. I would encourage you to watch how often you break your word to yourself. Look at your willingness to complete the hard task. And lastly, start celebrating the success all around. I promise there is enough to go around.