so when I began this journey at 210lbs, I never in a million years thought I would be competing in a figure competition 15months later. It WAS NOT my goal. My initial goal was to be hotter than my hubby (yes, seriously!) and wear single digit clothing.
However, because I have competed in over 13 comps since July 2009, I have learned alot about MYSELF and others. I am also fascinated each time I prep and the amazing changes my body goes through (especially the last 2 weeks) I am amazed at the dedication, focus and commitment I can give to myself. Yes, that is what it takes to compete. It is not for someone that DOESN'T have the belief in themselves. So if I had to do it all over again, would I make the same decision? OH YES! You know why? It is my competing that has led me to another path in my journey I had NO IDEA would transpire merely because I finally started helping myself and putting me first. I inspire other women that didn't have the belief they could attempt the weightloss for themselves.
I got concerned about a month ago while talking to my trainer about the effects competing / dieting was having on my body. The one thing she reminded was , Susie, You lost weight the safe way. You didn't drop it overnight, you lost the initial weight at roughly 2lbs per week. As for competing, my body doesn't know the difference because I have basically been on a diet since 2008. I didn't totally binge (eat horribly) like other competitors do after a comp...I learned my lesson quickly on that.
The hard fast truth about competing is the subjectional judging criteria that is delivered. There is NO SET criteria. I can show up at one comp and place DEAD LAST (oh yes, that has happened to me:) and show up the next week at another and place 2nd in my class. If you decide to compete, my best advice is to always COMPARE your own pictures to how you looked PREVIOUSLY....THAT IS TRULY the difference maker for me and other girls that compete. If I worried so much about my placing all the time, I would've quit A LONG TIME AGO! Yes, I have finally won an overall at a local show...but at the NATIONAL LEVEL, I am still at the bottom of the totem pole. Why? Because I don't necessarily have the LOOK the judges want.... AND GUESS WHAT? ITS OK! I know they want a size little girls 10 physique...I will never have that...But guess what I do have, I have the knowledge, confidence, and poise that I didn't have before I ever stepped on that stage. And I love my look! Competing has dropped 10 years off of me, seriously! I can style my hair and apply makeup like a model now! I'm almost 41 and I finally just learned this! lol
It's all a learning experience for me and if you let competing mess with your head, you'll always be disappointed. I read the other day on someone's fB page that the "girl" that won must've trained with that promoter. Well, guess what, I was that girl and I showed up OUT OF NOWHERE to compete at that show. They didn't even know I was coming and I registered the DAY OF SHOW! So don't think it's all POLITICS like everyone is so quick to assume because they didn't place where they wanted. Keep showing up, keep getting feedback from the judges and keep getting in front of the judges. They will remember you and if you improve from the last, you'll see improvements in your placings.....
Competing can be what YOU make it. It takes LIFE BALANCE, Commitment, Dedication, and Focus. It can be very REWARDING or BRING YOU DOWN TO YOUR KNEES....It's like anything else in life, its all in YOUR attitude and how you view it.
Competing is not for the weak...that is for sure. You better have some thick skin...especially if you compete in the NPC organization. Yes, it is a non-tested event, but I can assure you, there are several of us out there that are NATURAL athletes. Don't assume because someone has some muscle tone and definition that they must be "taking something"
I highly encourage anyone that is thinking about competing, try it at least once. But go in with the attitude YOU ALREADY WON the minute you step on stage. Because guess what, you DID! You're on stage instead of sitting in the audience wishing you had what it took to get there!
Rock it out no matter what your goals are and have a great week!