Since as long as I can remember I have loved working out. I starting running around my neighborhood and I had a gym membership as soon as I had my driver’s license. For me, exercise gets my day going and I don’t feel complete on the days I don’t get a workout in, whether it be the gym or a hike. I have been a self proclaimed gym rat for all of my teenage and adult life.
I used to admire these girls in magazines who did fitness competitions and said one day I will do one. 10 years ago I had been working out at Gold’s Gym in New Haven (which is now Powerhouse); and it was a Mecca of competitors and people with great physiques. Time flies because I feel like it was yesterday…but I was in college and at that time I had starting commuting to school, which made it easy for me to meal prep, so I was eventually talked into going for it. I signed up for my first competition, which was the day after my 21st birthday 🎂.
Food is my passion…coming from someone who would eat icecream daily, 10 pieces of pizza or house a box of cinnamon buns, dieting wasn’t easy. I was not and still am not great at sticking to a food plan. There were days I would give in and eat the chocolate; then there were days I would eat the whole bag. I was consistent in my workouts and saw changes in my body easily. When competition time came around, I stepped on that stage bronzed, oiled and… in clear platform “stripper” heels. (Luckily I managed not to fall and looked like I actually knew what I was doing). I walked away with two trophies that evening. 1st place short class and 1st overall. #winning
It was exhilarating and you feel like your on top of the world when you are up there, all the hard work that was put into getting there finally paid off. It takes a lot of discipline and confidence to get yourself up in front of an audience full of people to be judged and criticized by a panel of judges, whether you win or lose.
I continued to do more competitions from 2009-2011, and each time I felt I looked better and better. It is hard to see how shredded I was at one point and then look in the mirror and think how did I end up where I am right now?
I don’t see myself ever doing it again, but I am able to take away a lot of teaching moments from these experiences.
- You can do anything when you set your mind to it. Set goals, stay silent, and crush them. If there’s something you want to achieve , go out and do it, the body is capable of handling a lot, as long as you stay mentally strong and motivated, you will be able to do what you set forth to do.
- There is no such thing as perfection. Perfection is madness. You will never be perfect, seek to be the best version of yourself.
- Do what makes you happy. Some people may not like what you do or why you do it but who cares, do it for you.
- Life is short. Go for it. If entering a fitness competition is what you want to do, do it. If you want to travel, book a flight. If you want a different career, apply yourself. You are the only thing stopping yourself.
For me, I just want to enjoy life now. I still workout or go for a hike 5-6x a week, enjoy a cocktail whenever I please, and eat whatever I please; some days that means eating clean, other days it means tacos, pizza, or icecream. I know that I have the determination and discipline to do it again, but for now I am happy just knowing that I did it.