The Beginning of a New Life
It was not to long ago, in fact it was just over a year ago that I was planning for the biggest competition of my life, no this was not another bodybuilding competition, although it seemed just as stressful, this was my wedding. This is supposed to be a glorious time in someone's life when they are about to embark on a lifelong journey with the person they chose to spend the rest of their lives with, but for me the journey abruptly ended. My fiance ended our 2-½ year relationship and thus called off our wedding. I was devastated to say the least and had to try somehow to think about my future in a way that I had not given any consideration. Dazed and confused at what just happened to me I fell into a vicious cycle of mental and physical sadistic behavior. I blamed myself for everything that had gone wrong with my relationship and thus treated myself as such by going ahead and abusing alcohol, feeling loathe, and altogether stopping my fitness lifestyle.
I ceased to eat for weeks and the negative effect was a considerable amount of weight loss, with the majority in the form of muscle mass. Not to mention just a few months earlier I had minor surgery, which put my training completely on hold for quite some time. This combination of physical inactivity and mental stress wreaked havoc on my body and my mind. Just when I seemed to throw in the towel searching for answers to help me get out of this never-ending mind game, I returned to my roots. I decided to get back in the gym and try to slowly regain my fervor for what was once my life's passion. I made such rapid progress that I decided to once again enter a competition. I knew that I have not trained consistently in a long time but based on the research and experience I have in the past on muscle and memory, I felt I would have a good chance to succeed. Anyhow this contest was not about winning first place as it was in the past; this was about focus and restructuring my life, the road to get back on track. Unfortunately the road was not an easy one, I struggled with highs and lows on a consistent basis and found that it is hard to focus on a bodybuilding contest with such a major life's transition in effect. But I decided I was going to do this show and nothing was going to stop me.
A Very Long Journey
To sum this long journey up, I did complete the entire 12-week contest preparation and flew from New Jersey to Las Vegas to compete and win my class in the ABA Team Natural Novice division. I really didn't succeed though and i'll tell you why, I did it for the wrong reasons. I wanted to show everyone that I was healed that I was cured of any more pain; in essence I was masking my pain not allowing myself the natural healing process that an event like what happened to me should entail. A bodybuilding pre-contest phase causes much physical and mental stress on your body; already coupled with my emotional situation at the time it had a much more negative than positive effect. After any emotionally difficult time in your life you must give yourself time to heal. This healing process is different for everyone, there is no preset amount of time, just as in building muscle and losing fat we must tailor our life's goals to ourselves.
Fast forward 6 months, I obtained a new job and started to take more control of my life. Day by day I started feeling a little better both mentally and physically. Just like when you start training after a long layoff and week-by-week you feel a little stronger and your energy levels begin to rise. I now have been training consistently enough to start seeing much more progress than I did the previous few months. This is related to a few key components, namely the staples of what makes us progress in bodybuilding, rest and recuperation. As time went on I grew physically and mentally stronger. I went to the gym to relieve my stress, not to prepare for a competition just to prove that I have healed. Unbeknownst to me, fitness was healing me without me even knowing it for some time. You see it had been the consistency of going to the gym and working out that healed both my body and my mind. I began to realize that when I went to the gym I left all of my personal problems at home and just focused on the task at hand, which was progress.
Bodybuilding and the fitness lifestyle is such a great way for us to begin the healing process whether it is mental or physical. Our bodies release substances called endorphins, which give us a natural feeling of euphoria. Just think a daily dose of exercise could give you a mental and physical boost that nothing else on this planet can naturally give you. I owe much of my newfound optimism on life to bodybuilding and the fitness lifestyle. When times were toughest bodybuilding and the fitness lifestyle completely turned everything around as it did many times in my life in the past. Now I am in the best shape of my life and am preparing for the MuscleMania SuperBody in South Beach. Although this time my mind is completely clear, and I am able to give 100% focus to my endeavors. My message is, when times are tough never give in even if you feel like there is no hope there is, it lies within you and you can accomplish much more than you think you can if you just give yourself time to heal. Come on, as bodybuilders we know that we do not grow overnight; we give our bodies ample amounts of nutrients and rest so they can become bigger and stronger. The same goes for our mental healing give it proper time to recover and use the principals we have learned about in the iron game that Rome wasn't built in a day and you will see that you will become a stronger person over time, your mind will adapt to the stress and get stronger if you will allow it. Let BodyBuilding and fitness not only build your body but heal your mind as well.