November 27, 2011

The new chapter

I've written posts describing the somewhat chaotic interests I have and things I've done, and now I'm going to go ahead and complicate things by adding a pretty lofty goal for 2012.

But first, some background.

In 2008 I competed in my first fitness competition, taking exactly 14 weeks to train and diet (resulting in extreme 2-3 hour daily workouts). The term "100% effort" applied directly to me, so much so that when I was able to have a "cheat meal" ( a term I no longer use ) I would eat an extra bowl of oatmeal instead of binging as one would expect. When the competition came, I was confident in my ability to place. Instead, my expectations were met with disappointment- and the biggest anti-climactic moment I've ever experienced. I had no idea how to function "normally," and like many other competitors, went through a bout of post-competition "blues," and extreme disfunction with eating.

A year went by, and I managed to balance myself out. My eating was normalized, and I still kept fitness in my life. However when I decided to compete in 2009, I took a more casual approach to training. I was never strict with my diet, and would walk on an incline versus doing the running that I was supposed to. It didn't help that I was going through some changes in my life, but I simply didn't want to put in the effort in case I would experience that same disappointment I had in the year prior. And, like many other situations in life, my lack of effort didn't reap any rewards. However, this time I "expected" it, and came out of it as casually as I went in.

Now, almost three years later, I've had ups and downs with my view on fitness. Post competition in 2009 I decided to take a break, put on 30 unnecessary pounds, and developed a very poor self-image. Thankfully, attending the Creative Communications program in 2010 restored a lot of the damaged confidence, and helped me understand the importance of confidence in oneself- the kind of confidence that has nothing to do with how you look, but rather what you can do. Just like in competing, I proved to myself I could work harder than I ever thought possible- and although completely overwhelming at times, I loved giving the 100% effort at something. As a former university volleyball player, I love the feeling of competing- even if it's with myself.

Finally- the goal. On March 17, 2012 I will be competing for a third time. I've made the decision after working for the last year and a half to take off the 30 pounds I put on through unhealthy decisions and laziness, and now having reached that goal I'm raising the bar. I've changed trainers, and now have an amazing support team (Darren and Christina Mehling of Freak Fitness)- who not only have experience competing and training national physique competitors- but have the education to back up their diet plans and workout regimes they throw at me. They're also Cross Fit instructors (google it) and having trained at their facility for an entire summer, I regained a love for working out and body movement that wasn't all focused on losing weight or body fat- but becoming "better, faster, stronger." Darren is a former strongman competitor as well as 1st place bodybuilder, and Christina is a national figure competitor. I could probably write a whole post on all their qualities and qualifications, but now I'll just say that they bring out the best in me, much like past coaches I've had for volleyball.

I'll be competing in the Bikini Tall class, and will be following a diet/exercise regime that includes close to an hour of cardio a day (if not more) and weights, with "treat" days where I'm able to eat what I like. I choose the word treat, because "cheating" implies foods are good or bad, whereas in all actuality in moderation, most things are fine.

Some may wonder why I'll be putting myself through this, an army like schedule that dictates what I need to do and when- especially through the most hectic year of CreComm. The truth is, I think a lot of people let themselves become complacent in goal setting, not pushing themselves to be better, and failing to do self-evaluations of opportunities to do so. I think that to be the best person for your loved ones, you need to hold yourself accountable, and for me that means less time-wasting, and less excuses for not reaching my goals. Simple things like taking the time to prepare food, as well as possessing will power to get to the gym and avoid unhealthy options are all characteristics of a competitor. In the end its training these abilities, not just your body or physical appearance that the journey will be about. Anyone who has lost weight or changed their lifestyle will tell you the same, although of course fitting into clothes and feeling good about yourself isn't so bad either.

I write this post after realizing readers have a right to know what is going on in the personal life of this writer, not an update of every little thing, but about major decisions that have been made. I may incorporate some of my new interests in upcoming posts, and I welcome any questions or comments you guys have on what's going on :)

Now, as I'm eating some veggies and watching the Grey Cup, there's just one thing left to say....


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