What My Trophy Helped Me To Realize
My emotional state was under a great amount a stress, too. In fact, I had been dealing with so much stress that I acquired a stress induced ulcer, heart palpitations and adrenal fatigue. All the while, I was getting up at 4 a.m. for fasted cardio, living on high amounts of caffeine, and pushing heavy weights with more cardio in the afternoon. I was living on little to no carbs, and my digestion was a mess. Yet, I was determined to be a champion. I was determined to prove to everyone, including myself, that I could out suffer. I was determined to show that my mental capacity was greater than any obstacle or physical calling. I did all of this voluntarily. I followed this quest in search of a lesson.
My desire to show off my discipline and tenacity left me, at times, socially disconnected. Yet, my loved ones kept by my side. My close friends and family would check-in on me and make sure I was doing well. I'm so grateful they were checking in on me because I was slowly falling apart. Leading up to the show, I had become confused. I started to question what I was doing it all for, and who I was competing for this time. It wasn't until I walked on stage that I understood what this journey was really all about
I never fully understood what it meant to own the stage until it happened. When I saw myself in the mirror, the night before and day of the show, I did not see the package I wanted to bring physically. I wanted to look ripped. Instead, I looked soft. My coach took a different approach with me for the SF Show. He had decided not to carb load me, which would bulk me out; rather, we fat loaded me. The fat load gave me an overall smooth look. I trusted the process and I just went for it. I decided, no matter my look or weight, I was going to walk with confidence and shine from the inside out. In my eyes, that's how I won my class.
I just had this knowing that I was going to win. It was this deep intuitive calling. I practiced mindful breathing the morning of the show. I continued to practice breathing as I was tanned, glued and glazed. When I got in line, I breathed into my manta: "You are enough. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are victorious." Based on our numbers, I was the first in line to go out on stage. This means all the other 7 competitors were behind me. Before going on stage, I turned around, made eye contact with the women and said, "Just have fun. You are all amazing." I said that because it was true. Each woman was amazing. Each woman was my mantra. Each woman was a reflection of me and I of them.
By telling those women to have fun washed away the need to see faults, which is what this sport is based upon: finding your imperfections to encourage an athlete to work toward improvement. I decided that I was going to step on stage despite all my faults. I decided I was going on stage for all women going against body-image issues, eating disorders, and self-doubt. In that moment, I decided that I was going to strut for the greatness that I am, faults and all. I feel that's exactly what I did.
As we stood in our quarter turn stance, I knew I nailed it. I felt like a bronze, Greek statue.The judges had us go through the quarter turns three times, and I did not fatigue. I just kept breathing, smiling, and showing that I am enough. I am worthy. I am beautiful. I am victorious. With that belief, I faced the judges and got the first-call-out. I was in position for first place.
I was full of so much adrenaline when I walked off stage. I was buzzing. I wanted to talk to everyone and hug everyone. My energy was high in my crown chakra. Everything was a blur. I was so high that once I came off my high I hit a wall. I retired to my room and just lounged. I couldn't sleep though. I had not been able to sleep well for weeks. My energy was constantly pulsing. That afternoon, I had to continue my high fat diet with no water. I was so exhausted, yet so full of pride. I knew I had done what I had set out to do.Yet, a price was also going to be extracted.
As we made our way on stage, I could feel the energy of the lively evening crowd pulsing through me. I was loving the excitement. The three girls and I did our quarter turns for the judges, and the crowd went mad. I posed with as much shine as I could, but I was moved to the outside. I placed fourth overall. I was disappointed, not because I didn't win, but because I knew criticism was waiting for me.
I also lost a sense of purpose for what I had done over the past several months when I heard that I should have weighed less. Could I have looked better? Yes, I could have looked better, but I was enduring heartache, so hearing that pushed me over the edge. After hearing that, I broke down and cried, and my stomach turned in knots and my heart raced. Majority of my life, I have been obsessed with weight, and hearing that hit a deep chord within me. Currently, I don't know when I will compete again. I'm enjoying being in the off season. I need the off season, because after the show I also recognized that I had lost my health as I experienced the post competition realities of digestion pain, adrenal fatigue's insomnia, and just utter confusion or the "blues." I kept thinking: Why had I done it? What did this competition teach me?
In retrospection, the feelings of failure or loss from my show have also been great winnings. I leaned from this show that I do anything. I can tackle any goal. I learned that I don't have to be so imbalanced to do it next time. I learned that I want more harmony in my life. I learned that I want to be my mantra more and more everyday. I want to continue to be enough. I want to continue to see myself as worthy. I want to continue to see myself as beautiful. I want to continue shining like I'm in first place regardless of my weight or size. I want to be a new face for fitness. I want to shine for my merits and no longer for my faults. My trophy offered me both pain and pride. My trophy represents a whole new journey that I'm about to ride.