Wednesday, September 21, 2011

But now....

I have confidence in sunshine. I have confidence in rain. Actually no I don't.

But I have usually had pretty good confidence in myself. Or, so I thought.

If I were to stop my training now and stay the way I am now, I would be content. I of course will continue to be show ready in six weeks.

But now that I have made such great progress in my physique, my physical fitness, and my body composition, my confidence is higher than it ever has.

Some things that I used to be self-conscious about before, but I didn't even realize it, until I realized I was no longer self-conscious about them:

1. My tummy. It was never a pregnant-like situation. It was never like "Oh day-em girl you need to stop your noshing, your gut is outta control!". It also wasn't exactly flat. It would jiggle when I did step, or other cardio, or when it got particularly bad, when I rode the bus and the bus went over a small bump in the road. I'd always hate that. So I'd always make sure that when I worked out in the weight room that I had a long-sleeved t-shirt on on top of my tank. This got really hot, but anything that wouldn't allow my tummy-tum to be visible to anyone else.

But now, my stomach is firmed up and will likely continue to do so. When I move around, all I feel is muscle under there, not muscle covered with too many layers of flab. I love to wear my tank top in the weight room, and I no longer obsess about what tank I will wear, and will it show the bulge there at my waist. I also don't ever fee the urge to "suck it in, suck it in" when I'm moving around the gym floor. Gosh, it feels great!

2. My upper legs and thighs. They've always been one of the chunkier parts of my body. I've hated them as long as I can remember. I used to run 100-m hurdles in HS, and I hated wearing the 1-inch inseam track shorts that were part of the required uniform. Even in the heat, I'd put another pair of shorts over them before and after my race. I've had a hard time in the past finding jeans that fit well in the upper legs. Most of my jeans would wear out between the legs, and I'd have to toss them in the trash.

But now, my legs are a much more manageable size. They certainly do not rub together as much. They're still a little bit larger than I prefer, but I'm still working on them. I don't have as much muscle there as I do the rest of my body, because I actively haven't lifted heavy with them in over 15 years. I didn't want them to expand any more. But now I'm actively working on the muscles, which will help with definition. Also, I'm wearing jeans in sizes that I never even DREAMED of. I had just accepted the size I was before.

3. Myself in General. I've never been shy, and I've always walked with confidence. But I always felt generally self-conscious. I realize that I was never "heavy," but deep down, I feel as though I knew I wasn't being the best fitness level I could be. Small life changes can make a difference. For me, the life change was diet, meal structure, and macro-nutrient intake. I never wanted to be invisible, but I also never felt fully comfortable in my own skin.

But now, I walk around like I own the place. Well, not really, but I walk around thinking about more important things, things other than "what do my thighs look like as I'm doing this?" or "I hope my tummy isn't showing right now, is it jiggling?"

Deciding to do this fitness competition, and committing to the dietary and lifestyle changes has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I never fully believed I would feel so much better, and look so much better, after just working on this for basically 3 months. I didn't think this was possible. I truly thought I'd be that body that "was just going to look like this no matter what I did." Because I have always been so conscious of what I ate, yet it wasn't working for me. Being very mindful of food intake without this set program, simply was not working. It's nuts, because I probably thought about food choices before, than I do now. Now, I know what I will be eating next, and what I will not be eating next.

I encourage anyone out there who is even considering doing this, to take some time and consider this for themselves (and if you do it vegan, I think personally that would be even better).

Words cannot express how good I feel, mentally, physically, and emotionally!

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