Prep was difficult, yes, which is why it made it an amazing experience, but that’s not the reason why I’m quitting. Even though I was very happy with my placement in the top five, there are many reasons why I have decided not to compete again (at least not in the near future). Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who do compete, I am simply saying that competing is not for ME. This post is for all those who are thinking of competing. I hope that my experience will help you decide whether or not competing will be for you. Make sure you take these things into consideration before you decide :).
My MENTAL HEALTH was being jeopardized throughout the process. I did not have a healthy relationship with food, and not being able to go out to social events caused stressed on my relationships. This made me extremely unhappy and depressed at one point. During prep, I actually felt the same way I did when I was anorexic. As soon as I felt that way, I knew that this lifestyle wasn’t for me, but I did not want to give up before the competition was over.
My CURRENT FITNESS GOALS do NOT match what the judges are looking for in a competition. The judges look for symmetry throughout the body, and they focus on shoulders and glutes for bikini. You can’t be too muscular or too soft for bikini (it’s very subjective). My current fitness goal is to focus on building my lower body while maintaining my upper body; therefore, I will not have that symmetry!
On top of those two major reasons, there is also the TIME and COST factor of prep. Competing can be very expensive (some expenses include: renting a bikini, cost of food, tanning, hair and makeup, coaching). Competing is also very time consuming. If i wasn’t in the kitchen, I would be in the gym. Towards the end of my prep, I was going to the gym twice a day, with an additional class of either dance, yoga, or cycling.
I was recently asked, “If you’re not going to compete, what’s the point in having fitness goals?”
One of the reasons why I competed, was the fact that I missed performing on stage (being a cheerleader). Before I competed, I was told by my mentors that if you didn’t have a coach, it was looked down upon and the judges would take that into consideration. I was told how political and subjective these competitions were. This made me hesitant to compete, but I missed performing on stage. My friends and family were worried that if I didn’t come out of this competition placing first, I would be disappointed. But I’m a realistic person, and I knew how subjective these competitions can be.
I don’t need a trophy to justify my hard work. Sticking to my diet and reaching my goals is worth 10x more than a metal to me. THAT’s what made me happy – being able to know that I gave it my all during my prep and on stage. My relationship with food was something that I struggled with in the past (I was anorexic), so being able to stick to my diet meant more than what a panel of judges thought about my body.
Again, I have nothing against those who compete (I have many friends who do), but I am happy that I got to experience it and to do something that was completely out of my comfort zone. I am more than excited to be focusing on my new fitness goals (I will talk about this more in another post), but for now, I have to take some time to do rehab on my upper body and to build my lower body :).