As most of you at Results Fitness know…I did it! I worked my a$$ off since May (literally and figuratively), counted macros, weighed all my food, and completed my goal of competing in the NPC Bikini Division on October 8th.
But now what?
Soon after the competition, Coach Josh approached me about writing a blog discussing how to make your fitness goals come true. An inspirational and motivational piece so to speak. How anybody can do whatever they put their mind to and give everyone out there some tips that worked for me. I do believe that, but post competition I couldn’t bring myself to write such a piece when I was going through my very own struggle with motivation.
My diet was so restricted for over 20 weeks that I subconsciously developed a strange relationship with food. After the competition when my diet could be a lot more flexible I discovered that in my mind I had started labeling food as “good” and “bad.” Even if I was still eating clean but it wasn’t on my meal plan I would consider it a “cheat” and feel guilty. Then if I cheated I developed this “What the hell I already screwed up my diet today” attitude and let the entire day spiral out of control. I also didn’t want people to see me eating things “I shouldn’t be.” It didn’t help that co-workers and friends would comment over everything I put past my lips so I would follow the meal plan in public and take my “cheats” behind closed doors. I felt like I had this image to keep up of the healthy, bodybuilding, fitness enthusiast. I was watching the scale climb, panicking, and allowing the stress to cause me to emotionally eat more. It was a vicious cycle that I knew I desperately needed to break or I would end up right back where I started in May.
During the competition prep, sticking to the plan was somewhat easy. I had a set goal: a date that I knew I was getting onstage in a bikini that was 98% rhinestones and 2% fabric in front of a lot of people. I had my mind made up about what I wanted, with a detailed plan about how to get there and a great support network. Then the day after the competition rolled around where my meal plan was flexible, I had no future competition planned, and no direct goal. As I look back, I realize I was setting myself up for this post-show crash.
So I cried…I cried to Chris, my parents, Kendra my nutrition coach and they all said the same thing. “You need to stop, breathe, step back and start fresh.” They were right. I stepped back, figured out what motivated me during the competition prep, and then attempted to apply those techniques to my current situation. These are just a few techniques that I used throughout the prep, and some new ones I’m putting into practice that are helping me stick to my plan and stay motivated.
The competition prep was hard but the maintenance phase has proven to be even harder. I feel like I’ve had to re-enter the real world. Like I was in this “competition prep bubble” for 20+ weeks where people understood why I was eating a restrictive diet and spending hours at the gym. Now that it is over to them, they don’t get it any more. I hear, “Aren’t you ever going to eat normal food again?” when I’m eating grilled chicken on a salad at a restaurant. Is this abnormal? What they don’t understand is that this wasn’t just about one single competition. Yes, there will be more competitions in my near future but this was about a lifestyle. This was about a choice to get healthy and get the body that I’ve always desired. The competition was just a means to an end.
I know most my RF readers will never be getting onstage in the most expensive blinged out bikini of their lives, but you are all going to go through the same mental struggles and adversity that I have faced on your own fitness journeys. I’m just an everyday Results Fitness gym rat like the rest of you. If I can reach my goals, then I know that all of you can as well! I hope that this article helped everyone reading to realize that the struggle is real and that my advice proves useful. Again, please feel free to contact me with any of your own questions, concerns or just to commiserate with me about your own journeys. Josh, Matt, me and the rest of your Results Fitness family are here for you!
Want to put Kelly’s 8 techniques into practice but need some support and accountability to follow through? Our 8-week RISE UP program is just what you need! It runs from January 6th through March 3rd and includes everything you need to get your fitness and nutrition game on point. Learn more and register HERE.