Happy Easter! Today is just an ordinary day like any other for me. I do love Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs though. I’ve considered buying some now and throwing them in my freezer until after my next show!
I’m 4 weeks out from the Charlotte Cup as of yesterday. I feel like I’ve bounced back a little bit. I’ve gotten an incredible amount of support and encouragement. I honestly don’t know how I ended up with so many amazing people in my life, and it seems like I just keep meeting more and more.
I ended up taking about a week off from training – a couple of days before the show and several days after. I haven’t had a week off since I started working with my trainer in August. I was pretty anxious to get back in the gym once I returned to Charlotte. After a week’s rest and a bunch of celebratory post-competition carbs, I am feeling strong!
I am optimistic about the Charlotte Cup. I have a great support system in Charlotte and know that I will have a lot of people at the show to cheer me on. There are several factors in play at the upcoming show that should work in my favor. First, judging in this region tends to prefer a softer look in bikini, which suits me. Second, this competition is back to the standard schedule, which means prejudging in the morning on Saturday and finals that same evening. The AZ shows have a very difficult setup in that prejudging is Friday night and the finals are Saturday night. It’s far easier to “peak” in the morning than it is at night. I didn’t even go on stage for prejudging at the last show until around 10:30 PM. It was also pretty exhausting (and expensive) to have go through the tanning/hair/make-up prep two days in a row. Finally, I won’t have to worry about travel/flying right before the show. I definitely was retaining water for about 36 hours post-flight to Phoenix that I had to rid myself of before stepping on stage.
I’ve also shifted my perspective. When I was a manager, we often talked about getting a “view from the balcony.” That principle really applies to life in general. Sometimes, I get so sucked down into the muck of life that I am in too deep to see the big picture. Part of that muck for me was getting hung up on my placing, becoming too focused on my appearance, and comparing myself to others physically. Going home to Charlotte, getting back into my regular routine, and getting back in the gym helped me center myself. I elevated my gaze to bigger, more meaningful things. Like being healthy, being strong, being proud of myself. Appreciating my body for what it can do and not just what it looks like. Admiring the physiques of others without taking away from my own.
That’s a big one for me. I often find that when I see or meet someone who I perceive to be better than me in some way (it could be that they are prettier, leaner, stronger, funnier, more successful, etc.), I allow myself to feel that I no longer inherently have any value simply because this person has more of something than I do. The success and strength of others does not make me any less special or worthy, and that is something mentally I need to remind myself of constantly.
Another thing that has helped me with my confidence is the photo shoot I did the day after the show. I was actually scared to do it. I was worried that my body wasn’t fit enough justify doing a shoot or that I would try to look sexy and just come out looking awkward or pissed off. I didn’t want to come out looking like a plain Jane who was trying to act like a fitness model. I took a look at the proofs earlier this week (there were almost 400!) and was very pleased. I’m impressed with myself! And there are so many good shots, it was a nightmare trying to choose just 8 for him to edit. It really helped me to see myself in a different light and to be more confident about my body. I am still waiting for most of the pictures to be edited, and will share those once I get them, but here is one of the final products:
In fact, the picture at the beginning of the post is also of me! I feel like the appropriate caption for the first photo should be “This is why I squat!” Ha! I was a little bit nervous to share these photos because they show a different side of me (and, well, MORE of me in general) than I am used to, but so far the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. I can’t wait until I get the final versions of my favorites, and I will definitely share those too!
Off to do some Easter cardio – I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!