Contest Prep. 3-6 months of pure dedication to yourself, diet, and the gym. At least that’s how it should be, right? Enter in LIFE, and more than that… VACATION…ALL INCLUSIVE VACATION! What’s a girl to do?
The hardcore would skip it, say only weak, uncommitted people would take time like that away from contest prep. The really hardcore would go, yet never miss a workout or take a single bite off from their diet plan. The super hardcore would go, enjoy every moment, and never regret a minute of it.
I’m sure in the Instagram fitness world I would be seen as a fake figure competitor, not serious, uncommitted etc. etc. You see, last week I went on vacation to a beautiful all inclusive resort. The timing was bad and I knew it. The thoughts raced through my mind:
Should I go?
What will I eat?
I can workout everyday
I won’t drink
I’ll eat all plain, protein packed foods
I’ll eat good 90% of the day and have a small “cheat ” everyday
I’ll limit drinks to once a day if I limit carbs at meals
I’ll do an extra workout each day
So with best intentions to go to a resort, enjoy vacation, and still stay on plan, here’s what happened:
I went, I chose foods I wanted to eat, I drank fun (and free!) drinks when I wanted a drink, I worked out a few times, and ultimately I had a fun, care free, vacation.
Roughly a million times during the beginning of the week I panicked about not being ready for a show this fall. And then the panicking just kind of stopped and vacation began. Other competitors will probably think I’m crazy, and maybe I am one of the few, but when that transition from panic to vacation happened here’s what went through my mind:
Will I be ready for a show in August? Probably not. But there’s more shows in September, October, next year, the year after that. Will I ever be in Mexico celebrating my 29th birthday again? absolutely not. Am I competing to bring home the Figure Olympia title? NO. I compete for me, for a challenge, for FUN, to prove to no one but MYSELF that I can do it. So maybe I am not a serious competitior with eyes on an IFBB card, and maybe that’s why I can justify a vacation to an all inclusive resort in the middle of prep.
Competing is not my life, it is a part of my life. How can I give up on the life right in front of me for an arbitrary contest in the future? Five years from now I will look back fondly on my trip to Mexico and the fun that I had. Sure I will also remember competing, but it won’t come with the same set of emotions or memories.
The point of this post is not to say don’t take competition prep seriously. By all means if you set your sights on a competition you should do everything in your power to succeed. Instead I’m saying balance your life. Remember that unforeseeable events come up during contest prep and only you can decide what is more important to YOU. Live your life with balance and that also means prepare for your contest with balance. Focus on your mental, emotional, and physical health and not just getting to the stage. Contest prep is one of the most demanding things you will ever do in your life, and can come with a lot of grief, anxiety, and health issues. Give it everything you’ve got, but remember what life needs to look like after the day of your show. Hopefully with health, happiness, and prosperity!
And guess what… after 14 days of eating, drinking, and only catching a few workouts… I only gained one measly pound.
So back to real life I go. I’ll pick up where I left off and push forward. My body will tell me when its ready for the stage!