Why I Won't Compete Again: One Woman's Decision To Leave The Stage

A transformed Aussie on why her fitness no longer includes competing.

Originally, I set out to compete purely as a personal challenge. I lost a whole bunch of weight and started to get the athletic shape I recognized from my teen years. As I learned about fitness, I found out about physique competitions and thought, "You know what, I reckon I can do that!" So I watched a few shows, did a lot of research, and decided I would give it a crack.

Six months later, I stepped on stage for the first time looking better than I had in years. But it took a lot of hard work, time, patience, sacrifice, and perseverance to get there. I lost precious time with my friends and family, productivity at work, and a healthy perspective on my body. Although I knew the price, I paid it willingly, because the pride I felt on stage was the reward.

Losing My Way ///

So, that was that. I had done the job I set out to do. But I didn't stop there. I wanted to compete again because I wasn't completely happy with myself the first time around. Yes, I saw that I had made a remarkable transformation, and I was proud of myself, but there were parts of my body that I was not so happy with. I felt like my glutes, hamstrings, and rear delts were weak. (I realize how ridiculous that sounds to someone who has never competed. Troubled by your rear delts? What does that even mean?) I saw room for improvement. I wanted to compete again, but this time I would feel better about my body and its condition.

And so it started again. My relationships suffered, my work suffered, my health and sanity suffered. I can say that now, reflecting on the experience. At the time I strongly denied that I felt anything but positive. In my heart, however, I knew full well what was happening. I ignored it in my pursuit of achieving a better body than I brought to the last contest.

Obsessiveness ensued. This part was really difficult for me to write, but yes, I became truly obsessed with my body. In every mirror, window, and shiny surface, I was checking myself out. Are my delts growing? Is my butt taking shape? Are my abs coming in? It's exhausting. It's mentally draining. It's all-consuming. Every thought was focused on my body. I couldn't stand myself like that. It wasn't who I wanted to be. There was so much more going on in the world and in my life that I was ignoring. Instead, I chose to focus on my body. I'm usually all about balance, strength, kindness, and positivity to the body, but I feel I turned against some of my own values during my competition journey.

Don't get me wrong: I am proud of how I looked and am proud of the way I went about it. (Special thanks go to an amazing coach Evan Godbee.) But, I still feel a little unsettled about how much my perspective changed.

Redefining My Fitness ///

When I think about myself and my body now, I know a few truths about who I am and where I want to be. They are things that I lost sight of in the last few months. I know I always wanted to be in athletic shape; I always wanted to be strong and fit; I always wanted to be able to eat without guilt or fear; and I always wanted to be able to enjoy an enriched, vibrant, and balanced lifestyle.

I have a friend who I admired when I was overweight. She was in fantastic shape and trained hard every day. But she would treat herself whenever she wanted. I would be so jealous at work when she ate a brownie while I had to have yet another bowl of vegetable soup. She would say, "I work hard to be able to eat what I want, but I choose to eat healthy the majority of the time." And I thought, Damn, I want that too. That's all I've ever wanted!

The board is wiped clean. I'm getting back to those original goals: strength, power, fitness, health, and balance—especially balance, because I want to experience life to the fullest without worrying about food or my body all the time. I want to go out to dinner on a whim with my boyfriend, enjoy it, and not feel guilty. I want to feel comfortable and happy in my own skin at all times.

I don't even feel happy when I'm lean. I feel small, skinny, and weak. That is not at all what I want to feel! I just want to be "me" and be happy with who I am, mentally and physically.

Watch Me Grow ///

I'm thankful for my competition experience for showing me these truths about myself. I now know the sport is not for me. I fully support people who do it—and I love and respect the sport. It's just not the lifestyle I want for myself anymore. I feel so free now that I know this. I already feel happier with myself and my body than I have in a long time. I'm growing, changing, and evolving every day.

I journey onward and upward from here, my friends—new goals, new focus, new life!


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P4ULLY

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P4ULLY

inspirational - from the transformation to realisation of what she really wanted, life BALANCE! something im a HUGE advocate for. Live to LIVE, 90% control and hard work, 10% endulgence!

Build yourself as a role model NOT for the admiration of your own reflection.

AUSSIE ALL DAY!!

May 2, 2013 3:40pm | report
 
JennkBrownfield

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JennkBrownfield

Wonderful article. I too struggle with finding a balance; it can be difficult to be healthy and fit and achieve your goals without letting the journey consume you. Thank you for being bold enough to share your story!

May 2, 2013 4:07pm | report
 
sxyfitmomwife

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sxyfitmomwife

Good read. Thanks

May 2, 2013 4:43pm | report
 
iownaniroc

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iownaniroc

Wow, just spot on. Thank you for sharing. I am doing my first competition in September and it has been a struggle for my married life and my friends. I had to cut out everything and it is very hard. I'm doing this contest for ME though. After it is through, I just want to live. I can totally understand where you are coming from about going out on a whim. I constantly have to turn my wife down so I can go home and eat my perfectly weighed chicken, rice, and vegetables.....Thanks again for sharing.

May 2, 2013 4:56pm | report
 
TruePacha

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TruePacha

Wow. It is truth in every word. When your body overcomes your mind it's always break the balance. Thank you and good luck!

May 2, 2013 6:27pm | report
 
joserbeingjoser

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joserbeingjoser

some people just don't have what it takes.

May 2, 2013 6:58pm | report
 
SugarNation

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SugarNation

Don't have what it takes to what? Not sure I follow you.

May 2, 2013 9:23pm | report
plmcute8402

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plmcute8402

WOW, really? Hate much? How many shows have you done? FYI being comp ready isnt healthy thats why you have a peak WEEK and then get back to a heathly weight- Girl you look awesome and 1 show is more than most people will ever do

May 3, 2013 6:15am | report
smberrios68

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smberrios68

Seriously? And that's why you are a member since June 17 of 2012, and haven't updated your stats! you're 23 with the mentality of an elementary kid, so go figure! I commend this girl for being truthful and HER, not a fake like some out there! Sometimes all it takes is to compete once, or twice, at least you did it, gave it a try, and WOW what a transformation! Kudos to those who are REAL!

May 3, 2013 9:22pm | report
Vytas

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Vytas

Another "xpert" :D

May 4, 2013 11:33am | report
jstanek

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jstanek

chill he's a troll...

May 5, 2013 3:02pm | report
yanina17

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yanina17

I agreee

May 25, 2013 10:08pm | report
DCHodges36

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DCHodges36

Wow, nice read...good luck with everything!

May 2, 2013 8:15pm | report
 
mbrown95

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mbrown95

Good read, and man she is extremely good lookin!!!!!!!

May 2, 2013 8:22pm | report
 
gixxerchick

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gixxerchick

Good honest story... ur not the only one either! I won't compete again either. Similar reasons but I felt in my last comp I failed because I could not strip the last bit of fat down, my body was screaming out to me to stop and would not let go of that last % of body fat that I so desperately wanted to go ... to be better then before. Funny how everyone LOVES the way you look yet you see all the BAD points and almost hate yourself for is and strive to be better.
Now...after a few years later and 15kg above my last stage weight and some serious illness I am getting "ME" back.. like you say "I'm getting back to those original goals: strength, power, fitness, health, and balance ..."

May 2, 2013 10:19pm | report
 
Beow

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Beow

Enjoyed reading something that was actually a to the core transformation. Well done and congratulations on your new perspective. I feel that your gains will have a completely new meaning now.

May 2, 2013 11:29pm | report
 
KthxHibye

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KthxHibye

I've fallen victim to disliking the lack of size on my back delts (never did or plan to do any competition)... Thing is, majority of people have underdeveloped backs/rear delts in general. Nothing wrong with seeing something you wanna change and going for it, but yeah if you aren't enjoying all the other aspects of life prob need to rethink things. Good luck!

May 3, 2013 12:18am | report
 
suesse

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suesse

Good article. My motto has always been : I don't want to compete as a bodybuilder, i just want to look like one. :)

May 3, 2013 2:24am | report
 
mrwseattle

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mrwseattle

Love this idea. I can't imagine actually going a stage to flex and pose. But when someone says how in shape I am or want arms like mine, I go to bliss. Thank you for this awesome and honest article. You go girl! You look stunning and the transformation is fantastic!

May 5, 2013 6:23pm | report
mrwseattle

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mrwseattle

Love this idea. I can't imagine actually going a stage to flex and pose. But when someone says how in shape I am or want arms like mine, I go to bliss. Thank you for this awesome and honest article. You go girl! You look stunning and the transformation is fantastic!

May 5, 2013 6:23pm | report
buffquads

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buffquads

I don't think I would ever compete as a BB. Powerlifter maybe if I can ever get a decent amount of strength. My main goal is to be strong, healthy, look great and not have to starve myself. Feeling hungry and weak is no way to live!

May 6, 2013 4:10am | report
grossermanitu

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grossermanitu

There comes the point that the challenge is not longer to eat and train like hell. The challenge is to integrate your lifestyle in your life and be happy with that.

What is the use of an amazing body if your mind and your charisma shows the opposite?

May 3, 2013 6:17am | report
 
pphelps83

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pphelps83

Great article!! wishing you the very best in life!

May 3, 2013 6:56am | report
 
ltafoya79

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ltafoya79

Thank you for writing this. Even though I'm not in competition shape-not even close, I find myself working harder and harder, obsessing more and more, and this article just made me stop and think for a minute. Balance is key, and I think it's great that you recognized that and wrote this so people like me can do the same.

May 3, 2013 7:00am | report
 
shingshong12

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shingshong12

wow this really hit home for me! I was just recently going through this mental crap, i as well had to change my perspectives and goals as well. Be more athletic and everything will just be a by product of that! it was so simple and its working! Thanks again for the re assurance =)

May 3, 2013 7:09am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 66 Comments

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