I wanted to pop in here to give you all a quick update on how my prep for my very first show is going. You all have been so supportive and definitely help me keep pushing when I feel like giving up.
I’m currently sitting at 10 weeks out and I’m learning more and more about my body each week. My arms and legs are toning up the way I want them to, but my stomach hasn’t quite gotten the message yet, haha. Hello, tummy, let’s get it together.
I currently look like a newborn deer when I have my 5 inch heels on, but I’m getting more confident with posing as time progresses.
I’ve quickly learned that this sport isn’t so much about how strong your body is, but how strong your mind is. It usually isn’t my body that’s ready to quit. It’s my mind that needs more training.
I spent years telling myself that there were “bad foods” and I was a “bad person” if I ate them. During this prep, I’ve been VERY mindful of my relationship with food. I’ll be honest here. I’ve chosen to NOT be “perfect” with my eating at some points just to show myself it’s okay to have a few fries or a piece of chocolate here and there and that those won’t diminish how far I’ve come. Conversely, I’m also learning about self discipline and how I’m choosing healthier foods for myself because they’re what fuel my body and get me through my workouts. It’s a complete mind game trying to find the balance between “treat yo self” and deprivation.
I am grateful to have people I love and trust who are keeping me accountable and checking in on my mental health. I can look at the scale and see it not moving or even moving in the opposite direction of what I’d like and I’m okay with that.
The exercise is the easy part for me at this point. Nutrition is the harder part for me, but I’m learning every day.
Now that I’ve updated you on how prep is going, I wanted to answer a question I’ve been getting lately. “Brittney, why the heck are you doing this competition in the first place?” Well, let me tell you.
1. First and foremost, I’m doing this for the animals. If you haven’t figured out by this point that I’m all about that VEGAN WORLD DOMINATION, maybe you haven’t been paying attention. I love the vegan movement and all that it stands for. That’s why I feel this responsibility to disprove that weak vegan stereotype. You see, there’s this all too common misconception that vegans are weak or nutrient-deficient or basically on their deathbed. I am in this to prove those people wrong. You don’t have to eat animals or their by-products or shovel down insane amounts of supplements to a strong and fit and healthy and thriving. My health improved so much when I went vegan and I want those around me who have that weak vegan misconception in their head to have one less excuse as to why they can’t go vegan.
2. This is my final kick to the face and farewell to low confidence. If you’ve been following my story for any time at all, you know I used to struggle with not being able to look at the girl in the mirror. I was as far from confident as one could be. Then I set out on a journey to change that. I know that if I can put myself out there in this itty bitty bikini to be judged by some fitness professionals with their clipboards and still have the confidence to hold my head up and smile, I’ve succeeded. I am only competing with myself, so I know now that I am enough. I already see so much success staring back in the mirror and I’m doing this because I DON’T need the approval of judges.
3. I’m doing this because I can. I didn’t always have the health to do this. Age 22, I couldn’t walk up the two flights of stairs to my apartment without having to take a break halfway. I couldn’t catch my breath for what felt like hours. I couldn’t do a single pushup. I could barely take my dog for a light walk. I had to ease into fitness very slowly because I was incredibly out of shape. Now, I can do 20 pushups in a row and I can keep up with advanced programs. It’s taken me three years, but I’m doing this because I can now when I couldn’t before.
4. I’m competing to be the strongest version of myself, mentally and physically. I just want to level up and see the very best version of myself. That’s why I’m not super stressed about the competition side of this. I’m only competing with myself and as corny as it sounds, I already see myself as a winner.
While there are many reasons that different people have for competing, I wanted to also share a few reasons NOT to do it.
1. You want to compete because “all your friends are doing it.” This is not a good reason to do a competition or anything else in life. That’s not going to give you the drive to succeed. Your reason has to be bigger than that. Think about how you will feel when you’re doing your second cardio session of the day, but you want to go demolish some vegan nachos with your girls because “all your friends are doing it”. This just isn’t a strong enough reason and you’ll fall off quickly.
2. You want to compete to get “bikini ready”. Stop right there. To be stage lean is not something that is healthy or sustainable for very long at all. If you’re expecting to do this just so you can look like that for the summer or whatever, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you realize your body won’t stay that lean for long. Also, you can totally have a “bikini ready” bod without putting yourself through intense contest prep.
3. You want to compete to find an acceptable reason to deprive yourself. I beg you to please not do this. No physical result is going to be worth destroying your mental health. If your focus is on a number on the scale or a level of thinness you want to desire, please don’t do this until you are more ready for it. I struggled with disordered eating for years and would give this up immediately if I felt myself slipping back into that mindset. If this is a struggle for you and you find yourself needing support, please don’t hesitate to call 1-866-578-6115 for eating disorder treatment so that you can get on the road to recovery. I’m open with my own story because I don’t want anyone else to feel the way I felt.
4. You want to compete because you saw this girl on Instagram (or your social media of choice) do it one time. Keep in mind that you don’t know her. You don’t know her background or her struggles. On social media, you’re only seeing the highlights. You see glitz and glamour and sparkly bikinis and heels. For all you know, she spent last night crying because she had three too many almonds. It’s really easy to hide on social media, so you may not recognize the commitment you’re getting into, so please do your research.