The real answer is .. I DON'T KNOW.
I want to share my experience and story with you because i believe it may help someone along their journey. Plus I want to be as transparent and real with my community as much as possible.
This is the typical question i get asked when found inside or outside of the gym. Most of you all know I competed 3 times in 2016- April, October, and November. All placing in the top 5 in my class. During this time i learned a lot about myself. My will power. My time management. And truly becoming obsessed with my goal.
Spray tans, makeup, high heels, photo shoots, and meeting a small percent of people who are just like you. All things to look forward to when competing. To be up on stage center of attention for 30 seconds. People cheering for you and in your mind you know you did everything you could to get to this point. It's amazing the support of men and women backstage and standing beside you fighting for that first place medal.
Is it even worth it ?
Hours of cardio. Meal prepping. Saying no to drinks and a social life. All factors that play into getting on that stage. Now everyone's method is different and everyone's needs/requirements to become lean are different. So there is no need for comparison in that aspect. My obsession is what got me to the stage. I set my goal and wouldn't let anything stop me from achieving it. Now did i have some bumps along the way. Of course i did. But i got back up and kept pushing.
Depending on if you coach yourself or hire a coach. (i recommend it ) you can spend on average $200 a month. Food- healthier food is sometimes more expensive. Gym membership- $10-30 per month. Supplements- cost can vary if you use any. Spray tan- $120-150. Npc card-$130. Bikini (for females)- $100-500 depending on you.. As you can see it gets expensive on average you first show may cost you around $2000 when totaling everything up.
To me it was worth it in that time of my life. No regrets.
Well since my last show in 2016 i took the holidays off and attempted another prep february 2017. During my previous year of competing i managed to regulate my hormones as a female which is obviously unhealthy. I also created a bad relationship with food due to the lack of variety in my food choices. In my attempt to prep for another show, i began to develop my binge eating disorder. I would binge and purge. Feel afraid to eat in front of people. Be anxious to go to family gatherings and events. Over the course of 3 months I had put on a considerable amount of weight in comparison to my size and pre dieting weight. I knew this was not right and i knew i needed help. Therefore I began to reach out to my support system- thank the lord for anthony, and speaking to a mental health specialist and dietitian to dig deep into my why. I had to no longer “diet” or focus on weighing my food. I had to begin to journal why i was eating, when i was eating, and if i was actually hungry or not. Now by all means this was not easy. All i knew was dieting, tracking, measuring, and being obsessed. But i knew my future health was more important so i kept trying to control my thoughts and emotions.
Fast forward >>
A few months passed and i finally began to bring my mind back to normal. Some days i would over eat but never get to the old binge state of mind. I felt in control again. My hormones were regulating and I was able to slowly begin to track again. This time using macronutrients and not “meal plans”. 1 year and 6 months have passed and I am currently binge free, eating out, going to parties, and loving life with my future husband. I have been able to use macros to include the foods i love (as long as it allows me to reach my goal) I'm not perfect by all means - i've eaten a package of oreos by myself in one sitting as well. But I have been able to hop back on track after and still adhere to my goals. Have i achieved the ultimate thing called balance? Maybe not yet but i'm getting there. Trial and error for sure.
Moral of the story
Competing was a huge part of my life and i do plan on getting back on stage. I just don't know when. I loved every second being up there showing how hard i worked. Meeting beautiful souls who shared a similar journey with me. But for now My plan is to put on muscle become more in tune with my macros, my nutrition, my health, and my future with helping others. I believe this is a lifestyle and if you don't see yourself doing this for the next forty years, it may not work out. But i see myself using macros, teaching others, and showing this lifestyle is possible for anyone of any size or age. I've been given one body and i don't plan on wasting its time here on earth.
I hope this helps someone or inspires someone to join me on this journey.