Just An Average Girl…

Just an average girl…Those are the words I used to describe myself. I had dreams, but never did I think they would become a reality. I am my hardest critic and always will be. It was not until a little over a year and a half ago, that I started to believe in myself. I started to see what I could be and what I could accomplish, and that’s how it all started.

After moving back to my hometown from sunny California, I started to gain weight. My routine changed, and the negative self-assessment set in. After searching for a few months, I finally found a gym that I could call home. I participated in two of their fat loss challenges and I couldn’t believe the changes that I was starting to see. I was hooked! One particular instructor really inspired me. Her transformation was incredible and she was also a fitness competitor. She asked me if I had ever thought of competing and it got my brain spinning, because I had.

A few months later, I found myself training to compete in bikini. I was lifting like crazy and eating a ton. I was in love, and scared shitless all at the same time. My first day of training, I kid you not, I wanted to give up before I even started. I had to talk myself out of driving back home. My self-doubt was winning, but I managed to tell her to shut the hell up and I decided at that moment to believe in myself. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Slowly this lifestyle was becoming a habit. Training, food prep, waking up at the crack of dawn, saying no to indulgences, eating 5-6 times a day…HABIT. I found out that I thrived with a routine. Each day was easier when it was organized. But it wasn’t easy. The hardest part for me, was the food. My trainer wanted to see what I was eating day to day, so she had me track my food intake. A big holy shit, is what happened. What I considered a “healthy” diet, was quite the opposite. I never tracked macros before and had no idea what on earth they were, to be honest. Well, after one day of tracking…this is what happened. I found out that 40% of my diet consisted of fat and another 40% was carbs, and only 20% was from protein! I was sabotaging myself and didn’t even know it. So I had quite a few adjustments to make and I needed to be eating quite a bit more than I was. I was super stressed at first, because I was not preplanning my food and I was “winging it” every day. Word of advice…DO NOT WING YOUR DIET. So I slowly became introduced to food prepping. It was and is a life saver and a time saver. Being organized and prepared will only help you to be successful. So every Sunday, is prep day: turkey, salmon, chicken, vegis, rice, protein waffles, pre-portioning out protein powder and supplements…You name it.

Choosing to be a fitness competitor is anything but easy, but I love it and I am addicted to it. I have never had such an adrenaline rush in my entire life, than when I was up on that stage. I have never done something so challenging and yet so rewarding. As soon as I stepped off that stage from my first show, I just wanted more. I was inspired by everyone around me and I wanted to start prepping for my next show right away. I craved more for myself and I knew I could step it up a level. I have set some crazy and intimidating goals for myself, and they literally scare the shit out of me, but they make me wake up every day with an intention.

This is my journey, and no one else’s. It’s unique, amazing, exciting, scary, nerve racking, self-seeking, messy, intimidating, inspiring…and I cannot wait to see where it leads me. I am in charge of my life and my future, no one else. My journey has taught me that I am enough, I am capable, and I can do and will do what I set my mind to. Believing in yourself will create a whole new world of opportunities, and it’s so worth it. Never be afraid to jump; yes, you may fall…but what if you fly?

Goals Are Not Just For Kids

Our childhood is one personal goal after another. We begin to ask our children when they are toddlers, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From the first steps, to first recital, athletic accomplishments, graduation, first job and the grand finale, ADULTHOOD. We have finally arrived. After setting and achieving all those goals, we finally get the big prize and then complacency sets in. Goal setting has been reduced to surviving the daily grind. We may have objectives in the workplace, our personal lives, or maybe a hobby, but these tend to lack the same degree of fulfillment from our childhood achievements. As adults, we lack the idealism of reaching a new potential. However, t does not have to be that way.

As an adult my little sister hired a running coach, which I thought was excessive. Why would someone in their mid twenties hire a running coach!? She had never been a runner before and was not generally into sports. She saw this as a worthy expenditure because she recognized the importance of investing in herself. It ended up being the start of many races to come beginning with the infamous “Beat The Bridge” in Seattle, a competitive 5 miles against time. She had discovered a new pursuit in adulthood that brought her that same aspiration she had in adolescence. I became envious of her drive to create a lifestyle change out of her goal.

It was one goal that started my transformation from thirty pounds overweight to fitness competitions. When I started down this venture, I thought competing would be a one time event that would catapult my weight loss. After achieving a physique that I only thought possible for fitness models, I knew I was experiencing a lifestyle change. I had a eureka moment…Goals are the building blocks that make the permanent changes in our lives. Without setting a goal, I wouldn’t have been held accountable to transform my body, continue going to the gym, and maintain healthy eating habits. I was determined to not go back to my old routine of beer, cookies and excuses.

The journey of childhood is achieving one benchmark after another. The affluence of goals is how we reached adulthood. It is easy to forget this journey is key to life’s enjoyment. As adults, we don’t have to give that up! Setting personal goals is not only exciting but gives the long term satisfaction unlike life’s quick fixes. I use weight loss as an example because I speak from experience; flash diets and gimmicks rarely produce lasting results. We try a different diet every few weeks only to be disappointed because other than fat loss, there is no other goal in place. To begin my transformation, I had to set a goal that would hold me accountable: standing on stage in a bikini. I stopped eating sugar, ordered a pair of glitzy 5” heels, and the hard work began.

Throughout youth, we sought challenges to bring us closer to maturity but also because it was fun. Our mentors provided support and reassurance, making goals feel attainable. But as adults, it’s rare to find that type of support and we become doubtful, modest or even scared. We believe that audacious goals are only for children. Well, I challenge you to set a personal goal. It does not have to be colossal or trophy worthy but something that will result in a positive lifestyle change. We are no longer children but that does not mean we have to stop growing.

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