It has been nearly 5 years since I did a figure competition and i still get asked, “What happened to fitandsexyfe?”
It is hard to even begin because I have to think long and hard. I don’t know. It wasn’t a conscious decision to leave that part of my life behind, but it surely was one of the best decisions I ever made. Now let’s be clear, I am typically not a person to have regrets. I tend to think everything in life happens for a reason and that each experience puts me in a specific place at the right time but for this one, single time in my life….i wholeheartedly regret competing. Let me explain myself….without going into the statistics and details about women having a known issue with body imagine and eating disorders, that is my reason! I was never a person who was self conscious or who feared food until after the competition was over.
Before the competition…I was working out and eating healthy because I wanted to! Please let that sink in for a moment because this is extremely important for the rest of this blog post. There was no pressure, no social media influence (at the time), I enjoyed creating new recipes and making healthy eating fun. Going to the gym was a no brainer. I did it simply because it is what I looked forward to every day!
Now I created my instagram and what I have enjoyed with myself I can now share with thousands of people that I don’t even know! It was an entire fitness community on instagram and I was in the center of it. Topping out at 11K followers (before I deleted my account), it was amazing, the inspiration I could be to people that didn’t even personally know me. The cool thing going on back in 2012 in the fitness instagram world, everyone was trying out competing. Me being all about accepting new challenges I was like heck yes sign me up! 2012, I made the verbal commitment, found a “coach” and was ready to take my body to the next level (sounds so dumb now lol).
The “coach” (who will remain nameless) was actually a personal trainer at my local gym for a very long time and I trusted her word. If she said it then I did it! Here we are, January 2013, I show up to the gym, do weigh ins and is given my new diet plan. I set a goal to do a show May 2013 so that was about a 4 month prep. Turned out to be about 18 weeks I believe. I weighed in at maybe 165 or 170? Can’t remember exactly but for MY BODY, that weight is ideal but it apparently was not good enough for me at the time (eye roll). The diet she hands me was 1100 calories and I was given the instructions to do 20 minutes of cardio twice a day every single day. Did I mention I had 18 weeks of prep? Okay cool….
Prep was awfulllllllll…….AWFUL! I was moody, I was exhausted, I turned down invitations to everywhere with the fear that I’d be tempted by food I wasn’t allowed to have…it was just a horrible time.
So okay, the competition happens. I reached my goal but woah boy I picked a show that was with women that were stacked (probably taking steroids) and I was no where in competition. I think I placed last. On top of placing last, I looked sick. But I did it!
If I had a coach for after the competition then I would possibly be better off. I had no guidance for being “normal” again. Nothing felt right. Anything I ate outside of chicken, tilapia, or veggies was unhealthy. A few hours after the competition I went to bagger dave’s where I ordered a burger, fries, and shake. Not unusual for a typical burger outing for a normal person right? Well before that I started working on the stash of snacks I brought with me for after the show. So I went to bagger dave’s not even hungry but not a single soul was gonna tell me I can’t eat whatever I wanted! After that, I wasn’t done, I continued eating my snacks and specifically I remember oreos! This was my life for a while. I remember buying multiple jars of peanut butter at a time and they would be gone within a week. I’m talking normal sized peanut butter that would last any normal house hold a few weeks. It took a longggggg time to recover from this. Let’s call it what it is, I was binge eating. I have never in my life had an eating disorder, and still have a hard time claiming today that that was even a moment in my life for me but let’s be real. It happened. I would eat and eat and eat, feel sick, and then feel guilty for doing it. Denying myself food was extremely hard because for 18 weeks I told myself I’m not allowed to have it.
The end of 2013, I packed all my stuff and moved away. Only went three hours to Columbus, OH but I NEEDED to escape. I needed a way to completely start over. New people, people who didn’t know me when I was “skinny” and would be able to easily accept me as I was then. Not to mention I was starting nursing school at the time I was moving. Still not having a normal workout routine and solid diet, I searched and searched for some normalcy. No matter what, to me, I was fat. Looking back today to then, I can’t even believe I thought that of myself. But it is so real.
So here I am today. A new story to tell, or a continuation if you will.
I am no longer binge eating, I rarely have guilt of eating. Every once in a while it will creep up on me but for the most part that is gone. So in that sense, I am healed, but now I am fighting a new battle and one I am not dreading. I plan to enjoy this process and let my body do what my body will do without the stress and influences of others. This is my journey and mine only. 🙂
Now don’t ask me anymore.