Why I Will NOT Be Competing Anytime Soon

Hey party people!
The weekend is officially here, and I am kicking it off with a little posty-post about the bikini competition world.
Yep. If you don’t know, in June of 2015 I competed in my first ever bikini competition, which was the IDFA BC Classic in North Vancouver. Super cool experience, I won third place, it was glitzy and glamorous and definitely something I had never dreamed of doing, but that’s it.
That’s it.
Nowadays, I think it is supposed to be some trendy thing to be a bikini competitor. It seems like everyone and their dog is doing it. Seriously, if they had a dog category I’m sure there would be some weird team duo entering that. Nevertheless, I wanted to chat about why I will not be competing anytime soon.
And when I say anytime soon, I mean within the next one to two years. I’m not looking further than that – although, that being said, looking further than that I don’t see that in my vision – and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.
I’m all about pushing my body to the limit. This is why I run half marathons for fun, do leg day on a long run, do yoga and stretch my body in weird positions and up until recently, trained for my first bikini competition.
However, if you read my post about body image, you will know that I wasn’t shy about talking about my issue with body image post-bikini competition. It is seriously a mind F and something to consider before you even sign up for the competition. This is something I kind of sort of thought about, but probably didn’t take enough time to truly grasp how it would impact me. That being said, I do NOT regret for one second my choice to enter a bikini competition. I learned so much about myself in the process, and fortunately I was surrounded by SO many supportive people. Bless Ryan and my family for being all, “OMG YEAH! Sounds great! You can do it!” to all of my psycho ideas. You guys are the real MVPs.
In the next two years, there are a few things that I want to do that do not include training for another bikini competition. Competing takes so much of your time and energy. If you think preparing your mind and body for the stage is just a matter of doing cardio in the morning and strength training in the afternoon, you are wrong. If you think the diet part is all about simply cutting out processed food, you are wrong again. There is SO MUCH that goes into it. I cannot stress that enough, and I can’t stress enough about the STRESS itself that competing can put on your mind, body, relationships, and people around you. Do your research ahead of time, find a coach who shares the same views as you, and find your WHY (why are you doing this) before you sign up.
Let’s rewind and get back to what I was saying, though. In the next couple years, I plan on running my first marathon. Marathon running and bikini competitions do not exactly go hand in hand. On that note, though, I feel more in-tune with running at this time as opposed to devoting so much of myself to competing again. Yeah, it was fun, but what happens when it’s all over? What if you don’t place? What if you trip on stage or fall out of a pose? Personally, I feel like my heart is not in competing for the long haul, whereas running has been my go-to, die hard, day in and day out, even when I was training for my competition.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved my body throughout my competition prep and I still love it after. While some may think dieting for the stage is a quick process, it is a strenuous month long commitment that, for me, lasted almost 8 months. My body does not want to diet for that long. My body does not want to do cardio every single day for that long. While competing is an extreme end of the physical activity scale (picture a line with “sitting on the couch” on the left side and “body building” on the most right point), it is for one day only and you shouldn’t look at pictures wishing you could be bikini lean all year round. Sure, for some it is more maintainable and body building is their life, but in the grand scheme of my life, my picture of health and wellness looks different than muscles and a tan!
So, when it comes down to it, the reason why I will not be competing anytime soon is because mentally I am in a different place than I was a year and a half ago. LOVING yourself at every step along your health and fitness journey is so important. That’s not to say I didn’t love myself during competition prep – because I did, don’t get me wrong – but I am living my life with more freedom and more comfort than ever before. Oh, my thighs jiggle? I’m sorry. I don’t care. Oh, my tummy has a roll when I sit down? Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t care. I have legs that will power me over 21.1km (or more) and strong muscles that allow me to hug the ones I love and get in a killer strength training work out. Plus, the thought of stepping on stage half naked and literally having my body judged by strangers who don’t even know me is kind of a crazy thought! After all, it is the heart that matters, not the body : ) And at this time in my life, I am honouring what my heart wants as much as possible, and if that means a bikini competition in five years, then fine, but for now, I am happy just running along through this journey without all the glitz, glam, and spray tans : )

Sunny Sundays + My Competition Anniversary

Good morning & happy Monday!
A new week is here, and I hope you all had a great weekend. To rewind a little bit, Saturday I woke up extra early and got my long run in. It was the perfect day for running. Cool, but not cold, and overcast without any rain at all. My run started on the trail, then I looped onto the road and ran through some residential areas, and then headed back home on the trail. By the time I got home, it was my usual Saturday wake up time – crazy! I covered 15km for this long run. It is amazing how much more productive you feel during the day after starting it with a work out. Sure, I was fading a bit come dinner time, but maybe one day my body will get used to waking up at 5am.
Ha, ha, ha. I hope not, but in all seriousness, I do feel 100% more productive when I work out early to get my day started!
Saturday after work, Ryan and I drove to Victoria for a big family BBQ at his uncle’s house. We had amazing food, hung out with family and just chatted the night away. I crashed as soon as we got home! The day was fulfilling and I ended the evening with a full belly and a full heart – doesn’t get much better than that!
And now we are at Sunday. Oh, Sunday, how I love you! I especially love Sundays because I can sleep in as long as I want – or as long as my body will allow. 8:45am rolled around and as I lay there awake, texting my sister and scrolling through Instagram, I decided to just put my running clothes on and get out there. No questions, just get out there. My sister and I were wanting to go to the Kinsol Trestle as well, so getting my run in earlier was important since I knew the day was only going to get hotter! Today’s run was an easy 5km on the trail, though after yesterday’s 15km run, my legs definitely felt tired. Nonetheless, it was good to shake it off (cue the T-Swift music) and get out there.
So yesterday afternoon, Ryan, myself and my sister headed out to the trestle. It was a hot, hot day, but it was nice to be able to wander the trails and check things out. The last time I was at the trestle was during the Shawnigan Kinsol Half Marathon, but since I ran across the trestle, it didn’t leave much time for checking out the scenery.

It was a fun way to kill an hour and a bit of the afternoon, and once we walked back to the truck we were all pretty hungry! This only meant one thing: lunch at the Duncan Garage. The garage is one of my favourite places for lunch. They have all kinds of delicious, homemade organic dishes, desserts, smoothies, coffee, and I seriously dig the hippie-granola-esque vibe it has. Gimme some matcha or chlorophyll in my smoothie & I’m a happy camper, am I right? We all left super satisfied, and ready to nap!
No, really. I felt like I could fall asleep when we got home, but things like laundry and dishes were calling me instead. Ah well.
Switching gears here, at this time last year I won 3rd place at the IDFA BC Classic competition. I wanted to reflect on where I am now compared to last year, and my feels post-competition.
Note, if you haven’t read my post on body image, I highly recommend doing so as the feelings I spoke about in that post still ring true. I am going to jot down my ideas point form, in no order.
– I realize how much happier I am not in a caloric deficit. Yes, I am aware that you need to be in a deficit to lose weight, however competition style training is not suitable for every day living.
– I much prefer eating “intuitively” and listening to my body for what it needs.
– I do miss weight training, HOWEVER I have fallen in love with yoga and running all over again. This has been nice, and I know I can incorporate strength training again.
– It is easier on my family and loved ones. I think this speaks for itself. Yes, you can always bring your own food to family gatherings and being in each other’s company should be enough, but come on. If it’s someone’s birthday, I am going to have at least a little slice of cake and celebrate with them!
– My perspective on the competition industry has changed now that I have been involved in a fitness show. I realize how competitive it can be, and also how dangerous it can be for those who are constantly dieting and never giving their body a break.
– You have to compete for the right reasons – not to lose weight, not to prove anything to anyone else. My reasons of competing were to challenge myself and see how my body could change simply by changing training and nutrition. I also wanted to practice being confident in my body on stage and challenge my mental stamina.
– I will only compete again if I get a strong, strong itch to do so. Right now it comes and goes, but I am also not actively building muscle right now (meaning I am not training at a gym or lifting heavy), since technically this would be considered my off season if I were to do another show any time soon.
Most importantly:
I am happiest with a glass of wine surrounded by friends and family.
Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts since my competition last year. There is so much I want to do in life, and maybe I will compete again, maybe I won’t. Right now my mind is set on simply enjoying life to the fullest and being balanced in my approach to health. Sure, I am not in as great of shape as I was before, but that is not the goal. Life is too short!
I hope you all have a great day & catch ya in the next one!

Control What You Can Control

A Saturday night blog post? What is this!?
Usually I’d be in bed by now, but the past couple days I have been going to bed much later. Tonight I was perusing through some of my competition photos from my first bikini competition in June (part two found here), so I thought I’d pop onto the blog and share how the week is going.
Let’s rewind to Monday, the last time I checked in. I came down with some awful cold bug that sent me home halfway through the day on Tuesday, and left me in bed slash laying on the couch all day Wednesday. Who knows where it came from, but I am so happy to be over it now!
Only, I am battling something else right now. I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed Thursday morning, so needless to say the whole week has been a write-off work wise in that I have been at home sleeping. Yesterday I took three or four naps throughout the day! This is kind of insane for me given that although I enjoy naps, I think of all the other (productive) things I could be doing instead and simply never do it on a regular basis. However, I suppose my body needed the rest. I have been on a few different medications to help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Fortunately most of the swelling in my face has gone down – certainly don’t have ginormous chipmunk cheeks, by any means. They’re just on the smaller end of the chipmunk cheek scale. Thankfully icing right away after the surgery plus on and off throughout the day on Thursday (and a bit yesterday) has helped with the swelling. Further, my diet has now become a lot more softer and liquefied than my veggies and chicken before. Smoothies with greens and protein powder, some soft pureed vegetable soups, popsicles, unsweetened applesauce… So. Boring. I do admit, I had some ice cream last night and tonight which actually felt really nice on my mouth, but I am technically still doing the Shred program so I am trying to be mindful and not all, YAY ICE CREAM during this healing period. The “real” food will come back all in due time! As far as work outs go, I am taking a bit of a break from the gym to ensure I do not disrupt any healing in my mouth. I read that the bottom wisdom teeth tend to have a slower healing process than the top wisdom teeth, because they are being extracted from bone that is more dense in the lower jaw. The last thing I want to be doing is being in the middle of shoulder presses or something and having one of the stitches in my mouth rip (sorry for too much information, but really. That would be scary)! So, it is important to me to keep my diet in check if I can’t be in the gym! Control what you can control, right?
Lots of cuddle time with Simba the past few days!
He’s pretty cute. I think this was before I woke him up and he attacked my hand.
Drinking a green smoothie as I complete some personal training homework. YES, I am still doing this! I have moved onto my second course (out of three courses), which is all about being a successful weight trainer. One thing that I love about these courses is how in-depth they are. As I was completing my quiz tonight, I would go back in the book and reference back to some things. So many great examples and explanations, which will be extremely helpful when it comes to my exam. Speaking of exams, I have my first one scheduled mid-February, so lots of my time in the evenings now will be spent studying. I am looking forward to having that behind me so I can continue moving on in the program!
Well, I will leave you with that & talk to you soon! Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend!

Throwback Thursday & Today’s Work Out

Photo by my lovely friend Talia of TC Joy Photography – taken when I was 5 days out from my first bikini competition!

Happy (Throwback) Thursday, friends!
I am blogging from the kitchen table tonight after a delicious dinner. Food always tastes good after a work out, or maybe I was extra hungry and worked up an appetite.
After the work day was finished, I was debating whether I wanted to go to the gym or not. I had scheduled a gym date in my planner, but after trekking to the car in the rain (without the hood on my jacket because I took it off yesterday – bad idea), the thought of flopping on the couch and having popcorn for dinner didn’t sound half bad. However, I took one look over at the lone gym bag in my passenger seat, and soon I found myself driving to the gym. Whenever I skip the gym I end up regretting not going, so I knew that I would feel better if I just did it.
I have been making a larger effort these past couple weeks to incorporate more running into my routine. Sure, I did lots of cardio during my bikini prep, but most of that was mixed between the elliptical, stair climber, and treadmill – treadmill being the last thing I wanted to do. That being said, I have been using my planner to plan out my weekly mileage. I am starting out small (small compared to what I would run before when training for half marathons & whatnot), but small steps will help me achieve bigger goals such as stepping on stage in 2016 and potentially running a full marathon in years to come. Disclaimer: I have not signed up for a full marathon! Totally not there yet, but it’s one of those longterm goals or items on my bucket list.
My workout looked like this today:
Cardio: Total of 3.3 miles (or 5.3km)
Strength: back & biceps

My strength workout was comprised of movements such as lat pull down, bent-over rows, seated rows, straight bar pull down, alternating bicep curls, and bicep curls with the rope/cable attachment.

It felt good to increase the weight on some of these moves as well. I am making a larger effort to increase my lifts. If I don’t, I won’t see my body changing. A large part of when I was in competition prep was challenging myself to do more in every session, of course depending how my body felt and being mindful not to go over my own boundaries. I feel like I am back at that place now, and it feels good to see those improvements!
Another photo from my shoot with TC Joy Photography

Tomorrow’s goal is to wake up early and get a run in before work. After the work day, we are headed over to a going away party for a co-worker of mine, so it is important to me to get that work out in before the day begins. I know I will not make it to the gym after work because of an alternate commitment, so I’ll force myself to make the time! And now I have to, because I’ve put it on the blog. And it’s in my planner. Written in stone!

I hope you all had a wonderful day & I will check in with you this weekend!