After having kids and letting my body “go,” I decided to get back in shape and competed in a physique competition for the first time in Masters Figure in 2007 at the age of 38. I loved the experience of competing; the challenge of getting ready for the stage was right up my alley, and I experienced success in terms of physique development, placings, and trophies. However, I saw some things among competitors, females especially, that alarmed me. A lot. I saw women with obsessive personalities starving themselves into contest shape. I saw women yo-yoing from leanness to overweight, experiencing depression and a myriad of health problems from thyroid issues to irritable bowel syndrome and beyond as they rebounded from their context experience.
While shopping for Coaches, I found Scott Abel’s web site through word of mouth and started reading his blogs. To put it mildly, I was blown away and moved to tears. I hired him to Coach me in December of 2007.
Although I continued to compete, the cycle of “off-season/on-season,” rather than contributing to my overall wellness, began to chip away at it. When I checked in with my Coach recently and expressed some of my feelings, he made me dig a little deeper. In doing so, I decide to stop competing. Instead of ramping up for another contest season, I am now focused on achieving, and maintaining, a healthy, fit, balanced SELF. I will not stop training or eating healthy, but my reasons for taking care of myself are now about me, not about achieving a certain “look” to put before a panel of judges.
The shift in mindset has opened a door for me. Will I walk through it? Time will tell.
Physique competitions are an “extreme” sport, requiring “extreme” measures to achieve an “extreme” (and unsustainable) physical look. I am choosing now to refocus the discipline, energy, and strength I possess towards balance and the harmonious function of my mental, spiritual, and physical existence, something I believe will truly empowHER me.
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