I have not blogged in probably a year and a bit. I remember the days I would blog WEEKLY (and sometimes even multiple times a week!) Which leads me to wonder what content I was posting, lol.
Quick recap of my life over the past ~year: I’ve been busy. Last time I blogged I believe I was riding the emotional roller coaster that was the Target Canada bonanza. While perfecting my job hunting skills, I went to Florida with my family for the first time in years, watched a lot of Netflix, did some DIY projects – sprinkled with highs and lows. Just in the nick of time (a.k.a. before my severance was up!), I was #blessed with an amazing opportunity at a large company in Toronto. I’ve recently celebrated my one year anniversary here and it’s hard to believe I’ve been here longer than I was at Target. Honestly, mind-blowing. I still miss the red-and-khaki Store Comms ladies like crazy. Nothing will ever top the amazing culture and group of inspiring, hilarious and great women I got to work with every day. (I miss the lunchtime stories and cafeteria mac-and-cheese.)
And something else happened – I got a puppy.
A snorting, chubby, cute-as-a-button, cow-coloured Boston Terrier puppy. I’m the worst human and make big life decisions on impulse and 2 weeks before my birthday, I put a deposit down for my little chicken nugget, Sonic. Best birthday present ever. He’s turning 1 in a month(!!!) and I can’t help but to reflect on how much I have grown over the year and how much he has taught me: patience, unconditional love, and that I am capable of caring for another living being. (Dogs only for now, tho lol.)
Sonic could not be a more perfect name for this Boston terror:the little dude never stops moving and has endless energy; he loves peanut butter, green beans, apples, bananas, socks, paper towel/toilet paper rolls and pine cones; he’s currently obsessed with acting like a hunting dog and stalking the neighbourhood birds and squirrels; he is super friendly to humans (even to creepy strangers!) and loves
ripping up the sod tearing around my parents’ backyard and launching himself off the deck like….well, Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s my favourite furry son and I don’t regret anything (even when he had explosive diarrhea or rests his little peen on my arm when I’m watching TV. #CanYouNot) And a huge shoutout to my PIC, Sheldon for also taking on the huge responsibility of being my fur baby daddy. He was a huuuuge (and still is!) support during the early puppy days when I was second-guessing if I was cut out for the puppy motherhood.
I guess my last update (and the one that inspired this post) is that after taking a couple of years off from competing, I’m – surprise! – doing another competition prep.
I honestly thought I would never do another show. It’s not that I didn’t love the challenge of a competition prep or the glitz and glam of the show day.
After a few introspective days, I’ve realized that I want to compete this time around for very different reasons than I did during my last preps. My first prep, I was an eager little spongey noob who followed her prep to a T and listened to her coach no matter what, because, frankly, I didn’t know any better. My next four (4!!!) preps that same year, I was purely hooked on the lifestyle. I loved the way my body had changed from chunky, binge-drinking, poor-eating monkey to a tiny, lean bikini competitor. Looking back, I think I did the preps, because my mindset was stuck, body dysmorphia; that whole she-bang. I was scared of going back to looking how I did before and didn’t know how to live life without prepping. There, I said it! I’ve never been in denial about this and I know I’m not the only one. I’ve just been really self-aware, lately lol.
After changing coaches and a pretty short off-season (approximately 2 months), I started prepping for another show. This prep came with some (obstacles? bumps? variables?) I had just met Sheldon so we were in the I-can’t-get-enough-of-you-and-spend-all-time-together phase and then my Nonna passed away and I just wasn’t into it (only realizing this in hindsight, of course.) I vividly remember wanting to do minimal cardio, because my last coach cardioed the shit out of me and I had seen ~IG fitness models~ do bikini preps boasting about minimal cardio and eating ~tons~ of food. TL; DR: I wanted to be stage-ready, but not do the work to get there. I was still lacking knowledge and experience about fitness and nutrition. Thinking back, I was still burnt out from my previous year of shows and again, prepping for the wrong reasons (scared of not being lean.) I’ve never admitted this before, but despite looking decent off-stage, I was not stage-ready. I didn’t post any stage photos. None. Nada. Zilch. My conditioning was garbage on account of not doing cardio until super late in the game and being so low-carb for so long. I had major stomach issues and developed a sensitivity to tilapia and fibrous veggies. (It’s been two years and I still haven’t eaten tilapia and I can only eat very small amounts of brussels sprouts and broccoli.)
I took a legitimate break (at the time, it was forever) from competing and all that jazz. I still ate decent foods (with several treat meals a week lolol) and was lifting mad heavy in the gym. I wasn’t concerned with how my body looked and I was obsessed with deadlifting. I loved how strong I was (I was a VIP member of the 225 club.) I still went to the gym every day but didn’t ~die~ if I missed a day. (I went to Whistler for a work trip last July and didn’t work out at all for almost a week, excluding some morning jogs around the village, because it was freaking gorgeous at 6AM there.)
November 2015 (*cue Law & Order: SVU* ominous chime)
I was getting bored of lifting. I wasn’t loving it. I briefly thought about powerlifting since I was already lifting pretty heavy and getting stuck in my progress. I briefly thought about getting into MMA after reading Ronda Rousey’s book (Sheldon quickly changed my mind. Thank you!! I’m scared of Nerf guns.) Then, I considered getting a coach just to learn some more nutrition (I can’t be bothered to take a course #LazyPotato, plus Sonic had my hands full!) and get a sweet training program to switch it up. I joined a team (TEAM T-REX OOH RAH!) with an awesome, awesome coach who I knew KNEW HIS MUTHAFUGGIN’ SHIT.
I was on the fence about competing. I think it may have been December that I decided I was 100% going to do a show the next year. I chose a show that wasn’t too far out (Sonic taught me patience, but I’m still short on it!) and I can honestly say I have never been in this great of a mindset during a competition prep. My original goal going into this prep was to beat my conditioning from my last show. (Check.)
I am a human and have doubts about myself and second-guess my progress, but for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been practicing my Dad’s age-old advice to “Visualize.” He said it before all of my sisters’ and my soccer games and before all of my fitness shows, as well. And every day…I visualize. At the beginning of my competition prep, I was just generally visualizing being on stage, complying to the diet 100%, going hard on the cardio and training and giving 190808%. (FUNFACT: I haven’t been able to wear actual pants for a month now, which is bittersweet. I feel like Benjamin Button shrinking, shrinking away.)
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been visualizing winning. It’s all I want now. I’m ready. I’ve beat my conditioning and even if I don’t win, I’ll be happy with my progress. (That being said, I’ve never been one to settle for less.) This prep is different than all of my other preps, because I am hungry for it. I’m not worried about how I’m going to look post-show or how everyone else prepping looks for their shows. (Okay, I was a little bit worried, but I shove those thoughts out the door now after seeing one of my head coach’s posts about worrying about other competitors.)
Anyways, my main point was in the last paragraph of this now ~1,500 word blog post #BreakingRules. Mental game is 1000x more important than physical or even diet when it comes to anything in life. It seems silly, but try visualizing your goals. (You can check out this post by the amazing figure sensation, Renata for some more tips that helped me further confirm my love for visualizing and its successes.)
3.5 weeks out. I’m excited. Dat’s it, folks.