Saturday, October 15, 2016

Why I Will NOT Be Competing Anytime Soon

Hey party people!

The weekend is officially here, and I am kicking it off with a little posty-post about the bikini competition world.

Yep. If you don't know, in June of 2015 I competed in my first ever bikini competition, which was the IDFA BC Classic in North Vancouver. Super cool experience, I won third place, it was glitzy and glamorous and definitely something I had never dreamed of doing, but that's it.

That's it.

Nowadays, I think it is supposed to be some trendy thing to be a bikini competitor. It seems like everyone and their dog is doing it. Seriously, if they had a dog category I'm sure there would be some weird team duo entering that. Nevertheless, I wanted to chat about why I will not be competing anytime soon.

And when I say anytime soon, I mean within the next one to two years. I'm not looking further than that - although, that being said, looking further than that I don't see that in my vision - and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

I'm all about pushing my body to the limit. This is why I run half marathons for fun, do leg day on a long run, do yoga and stretch my body in weird positions and up until recently, trained for my first bikini competition.

However, if you read my post about body image, you will know that I wasn't shy about talking about my issue with body image post-bikini competition. It is seriously a mind F and something to consider before you even sign up for the competition. This is something I kind of sort of thought about, but probably didn't take enough time to truly grasp how it would impact me. That being said, I do NOT regret for one second my choice to enter a bikini competition. I learned so much about myself in the process, and fortunately I was surrounded by SO many supportive people. Bless Ryan and my family for being all, "OMG YEAH! Sounds great! You can do it!" to all of my psycho ideas. You guys are the real MVPs.

In the next two years, there are a few things that I want to do that do not include training for another bikini competition. Competing takes so much of your time and energy. If you think preparing your mind and body for the stage is just a matter of doing cardio in the morning and strength training in the afternoon, you are wrong. If you think the diet part is all about simply cutting out processed food, you are wrong again. There is SO MUCH that goes into it. I cannot stress that enough, and I can't stress enough about the STRESS itself that competing can put on your mind, body, relationships, and people around you. Do your research ahead of time, find a coach who shares the same views as you, and find your WHY (why are you doing this) before you sign up.

Let's rewind and get back to what I was saying, though. In the next couple years, I plan on running my first marathon. Marathon running and bikini competitions do not exactly go hand in hand. On that note, though, I feel more in-tune with running at this time as opposed to devoting so much of myself to competing again. Yeah, it was fun, but what happens when it's all over? What if you don't place? What if you trip on stage or fall out of a pose? Personally, I feel like my heart is not in competing for the long haul, whereas running has been my go-to, die hard, day in and day out, even when I was training for my competition.

Don't get me wrong. I loved my body throughout my competition prep and I still love it after. While some may think dieting for the stage is a quick process, it is a strenuous month long commitment that, for me, lasted almost 8 months. My body does not want to diet for that long. My body does not want to do cardio every single day for that long. While competing is an extreme end of the physical activity scale (picture a line with "sitting on the couch" on the left side and "body building" on the most right point), it is for one day only and you shouldn't look at pictures wishing you could be bikini lean all year round. Sure, for some it is more maintainable and body building is their life, but in the grand scheme of my life, my picture of health and wellness looks different than muscles and a tan!

So, when it comes down to it, the reason why I will not be competing anytime soon is because mentally I am in a different place than I was a year and a half ago. LOVING yourself at every step along your health and fitness journey is so important. That's not to say I didn't love myself during competition prep - because I did, don't get me wrong - but I am living my life with more freedom and more comfort than ever before. Oh, my thighs jiggle? I'm sorry. I don't care. Oh, my tummy has a roll when I sit down? Oh, I'm sorry. I don't care. I have legs that will power me over 21.1km (or more) and strong muscles that allow me to hug the ones I love and get in a killer strength training work out. Plus, the thought of stepping on stage half naked and literally having my body judged by strangers who don't even know me is kind of a crazy thought! After all, it is the heart that matters, not the body : ) And at this time in my life, I am honouring what my heart wants as much as possible, and if that means a bikini competition in five years, then fine, but for now, I am happy just running along through this journey without all the glitz, glam, and spray tans : )

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