Monday, 21 October 2013

2013 Contest season

The contest season for me is over for 2013 so I decided to update my blog... This year I have competed in three IFBB Pro shows over a three month period. I placed 2nd at the Nordic Pro, I completed my dream of competing at the Olympia and placed 4th in EVLS Prague Pro at the weekend. The Prague show was quite small but the line up was made up of the top European girls, the titles between us included Amateur World & European Champions 2011 and 2012, Arnold Classic and European Champion 2011, Amateur Olympia winners 2011 and 2012, British Grand Prix Pro Bikini Champion and the Nordic Pro Champion. I competed 5lbs heavier than I did in 2012 and I am happy with the improvements I made to my upper body, glutes and hamstrings. I changed my training after my 9th place finish in Toronto on my 30th birthday in June 2012 and decided to focus a little more on improving these areas. Looking at the pictures I can always find something to improve and have to be very careful not to become obsessed and have to remember to view myself objectively and not home in on areas I dislike, we can all be too hard on ourselves if we allow ourselves to be. Competing is being judged on stage in very little clothing against other women (or men) so its very easy to get wrapped up in the quest for perfection and comparing yourself to others or the winner and thinking, ok maybe I need to look a little more like that... but in reality you really have no control over anyone but yourself, you can never control how others look and how the judges view the competitors, whether you think they look better or worse than you, it doesn't really matter. What matters is you and your own personal journey. What matters is you did your best and you improved upon last time or where you started from and if you didn't, take it as a learning experience. People compete for many different reasons and you have to remember those reasons because you will not always be the winner, if winning is your only goal you will be very disappointed very quickly. Don't get me wrong it feels great to win, best feeling ever but it wont happen each time, you got to have a few knock backs to realise that any day you place in a show is a good day. So I have finished the show and the first thought in my mind isn't 'what can I eat' as I thought it would be, it is 'What show can I do next so I can come in looking better than that' I am already looking at the calendar and checking flights but I have to stop myself as like I said, it is very easy to get wrapped up in the quest for perfection, if there is such a thing. At this point in time, what I really need to do is to take time to appreciate what I have done and what I have achieved, because if I don't then where is the joy in the already accomplished? If you never take the time to appreciate and be happy with what you have then you will never be happy. This doesn't mean to stay I don't strive for more but there is a difference. Don't get on the wild goose chase and lose yourself in the process. For me the things I need to spend time to appreciate include travelling to seven different countries this year and competing in my 14th show (half of those IFBB Pro league shows) and making history in being first person from UK to win an IFBB pro show and compete at the Olympia in the Bikini class. Five out of my seven Pro shows I have placed in the top five which is great. These are all things to be thankful and grateful for. I also run a coaching team called Showgirl Fitness (www.showgirlfitness) with over 50 girls Worldwide, training not just to compete but also to feel better about themselves and the way they look. This year five of my competitive girls qualified for the British Finals and one took 3rd place in a very tough line up with the top amateur competitors in UK. I have met so many women through coaching whose personal journeys inspire me and I have made some great friends. I feel happy to have built that network and hopefully I can offer support and inspiration to them. I am writing regularly for Muscle and Fitness magazine which I am really excited about, the opportunity to write about things relevant to me and what I do is something I am thankful for. I got married in June, I feel very lucky to have met someone who shares the same interests as me and we understand each other. For the rest of the year I have planned some non fitness activities to do with my husband, who also competes, we are going to Mexico in December for a holiday. We bought a camera so we are going to try out our own photography so that should also be fun. I am also looking forward to Christmas with my family. Contest diets do make you appreciate food more so I am looking forward to eating a wider variety of foods :) If you have just competed or have taken part in an event or just strive to be better in anything you do, at work or at home then make sure you take the time to appreciate your journey and what you have have achieved, in my opinion, the only way to move forward is to appreciate what you already have, then you are ready to receive more.

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