The mental state that I was in when I was on that stage last weekend was perfectly clear. I was fired up, excited, anxious, nervous, happy, and relaxed, all at the same time.
The last month of my prep was like tunnel vision for me... I had stage nostalgia like you wouldn't believe. This was the hardest prep I had ever endured, and I'll be totally honest... There were definitely times throughout my prep that I didn't think that I was going to do BC Provincials at all.
Walking onto the stage at BCs was my second time ever walking on stage as a bikini competitor. "Oh you'll be fine, you've done this before!" everyone told me leading up to the show... But inside I knew this show as different. As a natural bikini athlete, I don't believe in steroids, I don't believe in any kind of stimulants, I just believe in hard work and dedication to feeling your best. Now, given that these are my own personal beliefs, I think that everyone is entitled to do what they choose to their bodies as they wish, but for myself I want to know that the way I looked on stage at BCs is the just the way that I look.
It's now been a week since I my show. My energy levels have shot through the roof, my mentality has improved drastically (I didn't feel this way on Monday let me tell you that), and I have hardly gained any weight... Overall I just feel better. But it took a week of me battling extreme depression to finally wake up the last three days feeling great.
So, why would I be depressed? Why would I be going through such an awful stage of mind when I just had the time of my life on stage? I can't really explain why to be completely honest. It just happens... And I think 95% of people that do step on stage experience the same depression that I had this last week. Post Competition Depression as I like to call it. I had it my first show, and I even had it when I used to compete in Irish Dancing. So why? Why be upset about accomplishing something? Because I just busted my butt and dieted for 18 weeks, I lost 20 lbs, shaved my entire body, wore heels for an entire day, wore a sparkly bikini that I had glued to my ass and smiled as big as I possibly could, and now it's all over.
It's all over. Done. Donezilla. So now what? Cue depression... now. This is when people don't like being around you because you're sad all the time, and for a good reason! I now had to sit and figure out what I was going to do with my life now that I'm planning on taking a year off of competing! That's a lot to think about. I don't know if the depression was bad this time because I did this prep alone, and when I was sad and wanted to be little spoon it wasn't an option for me (I know, whoa is me). But the bad news stops here... I figured it out.
Balance. Healthy, mindful balance. With my 24th birthday coming up tomorrow, my goal this next year is to find my own definition balance and live it. I'm a human being, I'm allowed to enjoy treats and workout 3 times a day sometimes and lay in bed for hours and watch seasons on seasons of Friends. I do not revolve my life around being a bikini competitor, rather I revolve my life around pursuing a healthy lifestyle and setting realistic goals for myself that are attainable. I will step on stage again, but whatever my next show may be, it will be tested. I am a natural bikini athlete after all! I am so looking forward to spending this next year focusing on bettering myself and my state of mind. Every day is a process, and a challenge; we live our dreams through our actions so whatever the day brings, own your goals and stay grounded. I am proud of myself for mastering this prep and bringing my personal best to the BCs stage, and that's all that matters.
They taste even better than they look, let me tell you that.
So today is my third day living a 'normal' life post competition, and instead of hitting my favourite frozen yogurt shop, I took my brains to my KitchenAid stand mixer.
What we have here are Coconut Bliss Bites, or my version of the gluten-free paleo bars you can get from BreadCo. here in Kelowna, except they're obviously better because I made them! Just a few simple ingredients and some time in the freezer is all that's needed.
*1/3 cup almond butter
*2 tbsp coconut oil
*2 tbsp honey
*1/3 cup organic shredded coconut, add more if you'd like more texture
*1/3 cup cashews, chopped up finely
*2 tbsp hemp hearts
*2 tbsp dried cranberries
Throw everything in your stand mixer and mix well. Drop onto a plate in ball shapes, or you could press them into a bread pan to eventually cut into squares. Freeze for 20 minutes and enjoy! Makes about 20 balls.
Now obviously you're not going to eat the entire batch at once (I'm not judging), so once you've had your share, put back in the fridge until you're ready to eat again :)
"So, how did you get into this industry anyway?"
That's the question I get asked on a daily basis. Sometimes more than once a day! The truth is, there were several reasons why I got into this industry and how I'm still learning the ropes. It's not something that I just woke up to one morning and said to myself, yeah I'm going to start going to the gym now. As much as many of us would like to think and believe that it was that simple, it's really not!
Growing up, I was always active. The scronny little girl in class that sure didn't play any sports, but I danced from the time I was 4 years old, and retired when I was 21. I did everything from ballet, jazz, hip-hop, musical theatre, tap, and highland, but what consumed my dance career was Irish dancing. I still remember watching Riverdance over and over again as a little girl, pretending like I knew how the dances went. It was then that my parents decided it would be a good time to get me involved in Irish dancing, and from there I was addicted.
I danced competitively in Irish for many years, and even had the opportunity to make it to the North American Nationals stage twice; once in Nashville, TN and again in Chicago, IL., and I knew when I walked off the stage in Chicago, that it was the last time I was going to compete. It wasn't that I was giving up on dance, I knew that I didn't want to push it out of my life completely either. I just couldn't stand to put my body through the pain it encountered my last competition. I knew I had to retire.
The year following that, I experienced everything from an eating disorder to gaining weight to the point that I didn't feel like myself anymore. I knew I had to do something about it. My boyfriend at the time was heavily involved in football, he was this big muscular guy that spent countless hours in the gym. I didn't really understand why he liked it so much, until he got me to go with him one day. I never left.
A few months after pretending like I knew what I was doing, I got myself a personal trainer. Angelique has been my absolute fairy godmother when it comes to my fitness journey. She has literally taught me everything I know up to this point about lifting, competing, and self worth. She has watched me go through more than I'm sure that she had ever imagined, and I have every bit of me to thank her for it. So when I approached her telling her that I wanted to compete in a fitness competition, she got me to where I need to be to step on stage for the first time, and again the second time. I will never see anyone else for my personal training needs.
There is a huge difference between competing in a healthy way, and in an unhealthy way. Being a bikini competitor is not what consumes my every day life, and although it may for some people, I would much rather focus on what my goals are through health and wellness. Don't get me wrong, I love competing. I love picking a date and setting a goal for myself, but there needs to be a balance between that and your own sanity, and if there's anything I have learned from competing, it's that your sanity tends to lack towards the end of the road. I'm talking really, really not all there.
Now that I have had the opportunity to compete at the provincial level, I know that in this next year I will be working towards bringing the best, healthiest, and balanced package with me for the next time that I step on stage. I've been so fortunate to have had the support from my family and friends throughout my entire life to get me to this point, and grateful that I have them for the future as well! This is a lifestyle by choice, and I am choosing to live it happy and healthy.
Providing you with the knowledge that I encounter on a daily basis through my fitness lifestyle.