Before I explain myself, I just want to acknowledge that some people may not understand or agree with my decision, and that I may be disappointing some people. Although it kills me to know that, I firmly believe that this is 100% my choice, and I owe it to myself to make the right decision for me, not for anyone else.
The Charlotte Cup is 3 weeks from today, but I have decided not to compete in it. For the past week, I have been going through the motions of prep, but my heart just isn’t in it. I have been completely apathetic about doing another show so soon. What I’ve realized is that in competing in AZ early, I’ve already achieved all of my personal goals. Competing has never been about getting a trophy or working my way up the ranks and earning my Pro card. I may not have placed well at the AZ show, but I am content with where my body is now. I am proud of how I looked at the show, and I have a ton of incredible pictures to celebrate it thanks to Mike Iannacone (you can see them in my new Photo Gallery page). I had a very successful and positive experience with prep and a new coach this time around, where I felt I maintained balance and moderation while still achieving my physique goals. I broadened my perspective of who I am by competing in a different division than I did last time. It has been an incredible journey, but I feel in my gut that it is time for a new chapter.
At this point, I have been dieting 5 months straight. Although I have gotten the occasional cheat meal, my body has consistently been in a caloric deficit for almost half a year. There is a cumulative effect to that which has really made itself apparent this week. I love training, but I find that I am enjoying it less and less lately because my body and my mind are so compromised from 5 months of prep. Maybe you’re thinking, “Big deal, it’s only 3 more weeks…just suck it up!” Well, easy for you to say. When you’re done, you are DONE. I compete for fun, and at this point, it is no longer fun…so why do another competition right now? I haven’t been able to come up with a compelling reason.
So, now I find myself in that uncomfortable, post-show “Now what?” place. I had a horrible post-competition rebound after my first show, and I definitely don’t want to put myself through that again. I already talked to my coach, and he asked me to put together a detailed description of my ideal body and what I want to look like. He will then create an off-season nutrition plan to help me get to my goals, and I will work with my trainer here in Charlotte to come up with a new training plan.
There is freedom in getting to set a new goal, define what is ideal for me, and in having more flexibility with how and when I train and eat. The freedom is also scary. It’s always unnerving to switch from a show holding you accountable to you holding yourself accountable. There were several times during the last 17 weeks where I might have skipped a workout or had a cheat meal had it not been for the competition looming overhead. I no longer have that safety net. I just have myself.
Finding balance when it comes to being healthy and happy outside the context of a competition…to be continued!