It’s funny, I look huge but look at my weight! It’s a lot of hard work and discipline, this has not come easy! Although it’s interesting to hear what others “think” about me and what they “think” my life is like in order to look like this.
First, I think its important to point out that I have been in the gym since 1993! I have barely missed a gym date except when life thru me a curve ball and I got pregnant. Once my girls came into my life there was no doubt I took time away from the gym. Not to say I quit training, I just did not train at my potential for at least 5 years. Once my second daughter was born in 2006 I realized that it was time to get back training. Although walking the talk back then was not a priority, my kids were.
Fast forward to now and I can say that I have worked my ass off since July 2011 when I decided to compete again. I’ve been on stage before back in 1999 and even made it to the Nationals so I knew that it would take a lot to make significant changes in order to be competitive. I diet hard and train hard but I still live my life.
I’ve had people follow me on Instagram and Facebook and on my blog and message me about my dedication to the sport. I would say that 90% of the people who follow me are people who know me and understand the dedication it takes to make it in the sport of bodybuilding. What boggles my mind is the assumption that I only live and breathe this sport and all that I have is my gym, my kids and my husband. That part is true but so is this….I have a life! I go out, I have friends, I enjoy time away and yes, I eat! To assume that I don’t do anything except live in the gym and eat chicken and rice and veggies is completely untrue. THAT WOULD BE UNREALISTIC!! It kinda upsets me that people think that I have put my life on hold to do this. If this were the truth my family would be non-existent. I have kids, they have sports to go to. They have friends and birthdays to enjoy. I have a husband that works away a lot so I have to step up for both of us when he is away which means if my kids want to go for dinner, we do! I never ever ask my family to sacrifice!
I don’t ever think I sacrifice. I am different. I am the one that loves the way I eat and train. I am the one that enjoys every minute of contest prep and the discipline that it takes to be competitive. I love this because I live with passion, true passion for the sport, not just the aesthetics. I am a personal trainer, it’s what I do. I am the trainer that walks the talk. I am the trainer that believes I must truly understand every aspect of training and nutrition, to be MY BEST. I have made huge changes in my life to support my goals. What gets me is that people think I live in a bubble and find it hard to believe that I actually live this life…It is a lifestyle not a contest!
I don’t live in a bubble. I go to movies, I go to basketball games and I go camping, hell I will travel too. I do it all! What I do differently is I plan when I’m prepping for a contest. I also plan when in my offseason. I make choices that are good for me and my goals. If I want to go to a movie and not have popcorn, why is this such a big deal? I don’t judge those who choose to HAVE the popcorn. If my kids want to eat out while I’m in contest prep I still go with them. Why not? Why should I be judged if I don’t eat? It’s ok for a person who suffers from allergies to not eat certain food at a restaurant but not ok for me to say no because it’s not on my plan for my COMPETITIVE show? In my offseason we plan dinner and we go out. We do this so that we actually follow thru but because it’s once a week that we do this, not every night like most.
Here’s what you need to understand about me. I am a very busy mother of two very busy kids. I take them everywhere. I am their taxi service. My husband works extreme hours and sometimes days or weeks away so I am a single parent somedays. I am it. I have to live my life normal. Here’s another important fact about me. I don’t drink! I never have been a person who enjoys alcohol. It’s funny that I get more flack for this than my diet! I train and when I say I train, I train hard. I’m always asked how many hours a day I spend training and its simple…1 hr! Unless I’m in contest prep adding cardio, I’m training 1 hr ea session with high intensity….ALWAYS! Those who have hired trainers understand this more than anyone. Just when you think you are hitting the gym hard you find out very quickly that you are not training to your full potential. When I have clients that have never been pushed and I push them, they quickly understand that maybe they are not training to their potential. I have understood this myself by having my coach put me thru some workouts! Just when I thought I was training crazy hard, he kicks my ass and makes me re-assess my training protocol. So before you say “I train hard too,” ask yourself if you really are? I am also very dedicated to eating well and fueling my body. I was just saying to a client today that it has been weeks since I had a desert from a restaurant. Not that I don’t have a treat, I just choose to make my own and it is always very satisfying!
This is not a rant, I just wanted to have everyone understand that I do have a life full of enjoyment and rewards. I want people to know that it is real and it is manageable. I love what I do. I love training and I love competing. I’ve been a bodybuilder basically my whole adult life and I wouldn’t change it. I never feel deprived but I do get tired and I do get sick. I choose to take time off when I need to and I enjoy the very small and big things in life. These last 3 years working with my coach Ron Partlow has been the most dedicated I have been to any sport in my life. I am proud of my accomplishments and proud to walk the talk.
If there is one thing I could say and leave with you is to always follow your heart and your dreams. I took a lot of time off in between 2000 and 2011 and I do regret not getting back on stage sooner. But I don’t regret my life, my kids, my family or my choices now. I love that I am happy, probably the happiest I have been in many years. I am turning 40 this year and I am proud that I can manage and still at the end of the day say “I did it!”
You are worth it to try…If I can so can you! Live with Passion.