When Others Give Their $.02

I am starting to prepare for my first figure competition. If you've never prepped before (or been around someone who is prepping), sometimes things get a little weird. Here are a couple examples:

  • Freddie the food scale goes everywhere with you.. Even the college cafeteria
  • You eat strange combinations of food from tupperware
  • You spend way too much time looking at half-naked people in bathing suits on the computer
  • Coffee and sugar free gum become the best snack on earth
  • Oatmeal (and all carbs) are a gift from God
I could go on..

These attributes are slowly creeping into my daily life, one by one. Are they a little weird? Yes, they are, but they are necessary. I have been working hard to find balance and merge my bodybuilding life with the expectations of a normal college student. While most of my friends who have known me for a while support me 100% and don't mind the weird stares when I pull Freddie out at the table to weigh my chicken, I have had quite a bit of criticism too. Criticism is actually a nice way to put it. What it really is is adult bullying.

"Why on earth do you want to look like a man?"
"You aren't skinny enough to do that!"
"You aren't built for competing. You better give it up and just lift for fun."
"If you didn't have abs at 100lbs fighting anorexia what makes you think you'll have them on stage?"
When I asked for the salt shaker "Are you gonna weigh that too?"

I love what I am doing, I love bodybuilding, and I have a dream that I am setting out to accomplish. It's really, really hard. This isn't a one week diet followed by a weekend binge. This is a lifestyle, and this prep is going to be a solid 20-something weeks of hard work and dedication. Lifts before school, cardio after school, and teaching fitness classes and tutoring students in the evenings. Prepping and weighing all my food, learning to function on low carbs, and getting in my car and driving to the gym, even on the "I don't feel like it today" kind of mornings.

Believe me, there is no shortage of reasons to quit. I promise, I need no help seeing them. What I need is support, encouragement and, even if you don't understand all of it, willingness to stand by me.

Isn't that what we all need? Jealousy, egos, and competitive nature have turned the world into an "only the strong survive" kind of place. Why don't we try supporting each other and see how successful we can all be together?

Just something to think about the next time someone's words hurt you or you choose to give your input on someone else's circumstances.

Be true to yourself, your dreams, and your aspirations. 

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