Picture 1 was taken a 1 1/2 ago when I competed in the first and only Figure competition. I was aesthetically in the best shape of my life. I did well & placed in every category I entered in, my body fat was near single digits, and I weighed about 120lbs. Picture 2 was taken last weekend at the beach with my family when I am exercising less than I ever have and eating a balanced diet. My body fat percentage well… I have no clue, but my weight is a steady 150lbs.


The answer is easy for me today but has taken me almost 2 years to discover. Allow me to explain, I LOVED PREPPING FOR THAT SHOW. I LOVED COMPETING. But- when I competed, I wasn’t healthy mentally. It was an exceedingly difficult time in my life, and I chose to not deal with that and focus all my energy on the show. Body building is NOT easy and anyone who talks badly about the sport has no understanding of the level of dedication it takes. With for me as a woman and mother it was not a healthy route to carry my life upon. Being so low in body fat I lost my menstrual cycle, I had trouble sleeping, and because of the high protein diet I couldn’t go to the bathroom regularly. I was obsessed with lifting and became agitated if I didn’t. As difficult as this is for me to say I feel as though maybe bodybuilding did take over my life, everyone became second including my kids. Someone explained to me recently that too much of anything isn’t good because it robs you of everything else- this resonated with me to the core because this in fact happened to me. 


When I began to prep for another show, I was tired and still not mentally connected as I needed to be. I was feeling badly about my body image, and I never felt like I looked good enough. Every time I would check in with my prep coach it would be telling me every detail I needed to “fix” or “cut”. (I’m not mad at him he was doing what I hired him to do). Ultimately this left me with extremely poor self-esteem and me feeling like working out was a chore as was eating. I lost my passion for exercise, and my healthy mindset. I was watching other competitors talking about how they eat their food with a child’s spoon to feel full and prompting their social media followers, “NO MATTER WHAT DON’T EVER MISS A WORKOUT!” During that time I was writing an article on the benefits of strength training, and I felt like I was living a lie. Inside I knew how unhealthy I was.


Deciding not to do the show was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, but I was also so scared of letting people down. I knew I had inspired people with my dedication and perseverance during the first show, and the last thing I wanted to be was a disappointment. However, I had found that the more I talked to my clients and friends about why I chose not to do it more people told me how inspired they were that I could make a choice like that. I began to get my life back as well. Recognizing that it doesn’t matter what is right for everyone else but what’s right for ME. It has taken me a long time to absolutely love my body, and on some days I still struggle. But I’m learning again what being healthy looks and feels like, as well as BALANCE.


So, my answer is simple I am happier in the second picture with a healthier weight on the beach with my family. I am mentally happier as well as physically. I don’t say this to shame bodybuilding or competing, because maybe someday I would be in a better position to compete again, but right now I need to dedicate every single second of my free time to my mental health, my family, & building my career as I learn & grow.

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