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The Difference of ONE Year

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The Difference of ONE Year

If you look forward one year from now, it seems like a very far place. However looking back to one year ago, seems like it was yesterday.  

In one year we make millions of small decisions daily that combined over time have put us in the exact place we are standing now. As I sit here and write this blog, I can’t help but think about what my life and I would be like today if I had made a very different decision 1 year ago. 

The Spark

My journey actually started about 3 years ago, when I first found a Bikini competition. We were in the middle of Covid and social media was exploding more than ever. I was just scrolling when I found a bikini competitor. I was in AWE at how women had so much dedication and discipline to create such sculpted bodies, yet still look very feminine. I told myself that one day I wanted to compete. 

At this time, I was working out and my eating was like any other 21 year old who thought it would never catch up to them. I mean what else was there to do during Covid. 

I had no idea where to start so I did a lot of researching and researching more. Looking back, I think I was just procrastinating completely out of fear. I ended up “researching” for over a year. 

Life Lesson: Stop researching and just DO… you will get farther!

The Power of Persuasion

Fast forward to the end of 2021, I had decided that I was going to start diving head first towards my goal of competing on a NPC Bikini stage. That very exciting decision I made that day was very quickly overshadowed by the others’ opinions.

I quickly fell to the negative words of others.

• “But you’re going to look like a man”- a family member

• ” That’s a lot of hard work. Are you sure you can even do it?”- a family member

• ” Yeah, you need to lose at least 30 lbs. before I can help you”- a Pro Coach

Let’s say 2022 was not the easiest of years. I let my environment, others opinions, and situations dictate everything that I saw, thought, and did. I stopped focusing on what I wanted and fell to the grip of society. In that ONE year of millions of decisions I managed to gain 30 lbs., stop working out all together, and started eating to cope with feelings. I not only believed what everyone else was telling me but I also used those words to push me further away from myself. Feeling the worse I had ever felt about myself and my body, I knew that 2023 had to change. 

Lesson: YOU are the only one that you have to live with the rest of your life. So YOU are the only one who needs to be okay with your decisions. 

The Beginning

January of 2023 I was starting my first day at Recoup. I was so nervous because I didn’t look like them and I was definitely not as put together. I quickly realized that that voice was not them or me talking. This was the voice of fear and doubt. They saw me as no different than them and actually praised my strengths within the group. 

After just a few weeks of working there I weighed in for my first Kickstart with Recoup at 170 lbs. That was the heaviest I have ever been and a pretty daunting number to see. The original sole purpose of doing the Kickstart was just to learn the program that I would one day have to advertise and explain to others, but seeing that number I knew I needed this more than I originally did. 

Four weeks later, I had transformed my eating habits and dropped 10 lbs. At that moment I saw what I was capable of doing with the team and support I didn’t have before. And that spark was reignited.

Lesson: If you don’t have a team to support you, go find one that will!

The Journey

With the help of Bo and Stevie, I joined that life program where they created a custom nutrition program and spent many hours talking me through my fears and doubts. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy road but it would be worth it. 

February 2023 I set a date for February of 2024 when I would complete this goal and step on my first Bikini Competition stage. 

I remember thinking I would DIE if I couldn’t have pasta. I knew that eating chicken and broccoli for a year was not going to work out for me in the long term. I took normal family recipes that I was used to eating and started altering them. 

  • Panda Express Beef & Broccoli -> Homemade lean steak and broccoli with 1 Tbsp of low calorie sauce over white rice 
  • Spaghetti -> Healthy Low carb noodles- or Ground turkey and red sauce over broccoli
  • Burger and Fries-> Keto bun/turkey burger/ sweet potato fries

I learned that I had to make it work for me not necessarily . I prepare meals on Monday not the weekend, go to the gym at 5 am, and I still eat chicken strips and pizza. And I did all of this and lost 40lbs. since that first Kickstart to September. 

During this time, I went on a week-long cruise, traveled to other states, went to fairs and concerts and still made progress. While my goal was still at the forefront of my mind I still didn’t miss out on my life…just brought my own snacks. But the real challenge was yet to come…the HOLIDAYS.

The holidays alone are a struggle for most people with the never ending list of gatherings to attend, long list of gifts to buy and wrap at that, and all of the food and sweets to tempt you. Going into this time of year I know that I thought that the food was going to be the challenge so I put a lot of thought and effort into trying to make it as easy for me as possible. My plan was to figure out what was being served at all attending parties and prepare my own food but healthier. For example, if turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole was being served my meal was my own turkey, mashed red potatoes made with seasonings and water, and fresh green beans. My brain just thought I was eating exactly what everyone else was and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. Of course, the part that I thought would have been the hard part, the food, was nothing compared to what really took me out. 

NO ENERGY. Between working, prepping food, gifts, and gatherings it felt like a constant game of catch up. My energy and sleep were taking a hit and my recovery was going downhill. Reality decided to slap me in the face just as fast as the pain did. 

The sharp pain would shoot down my side when working out, walking and sleeping. Between leg days and the Stairmaster 3 times a week this hip injury was taking me down with it. I felt defeated and frustrated. I was so close and I wasn’t going to let this take me down. After many chiropractic visits, adjusting workouts, and lots of rehabilitation stretches I was back to normal within a month. 

Lesson 1: Study your weaknesses and attack them head on.

Lesson 2: Setbacks are just detours. Redirect your route to the same destination.

The Home Stretch

We made it through the holidays and the injury. But now we are just 7 weeks out. It was crunch time. The food decreased, the cardio increased, and so the exhaustion. At this point, I saw nothing else, thought about nothing else, and visualized like nothing else. Walking on the stairmaster I was watching videos of professionals competing. While brushing my teeth I was visualizing myself competing. Vacuuming my house while walking in my heels. I always had a scale, my food, and water with me. 

As we got closer I started to notice my moods fluctuating, my inability to focus on what I was working on, and the extreme decrease in my cognitive speed. I was very thrown off and a little worried. I was reassured that this was a normal side effect to competing. At this point my body fat percentage was so low that there was no more stored fat to pull energy from. My body could only take energy directly from my food intake. My energy levels would spike up the moment I ate and within an hour and a half would shoot right back down. At this point, I had to change the quantity of times I was eating in a day. For 5 meals, I was now eating 6 meals starting at 6 am and ending at 9 pm. 

The week before gave me a whole new appreciation for my body and the village I had backing me up. My body was sore but it pushed through. I could barely complete anything at work and my coworkers were there to back me up. My lovely clients were so patient with slowness and kept cheering me on. My family worked countless hours to make sure everything was perfect for my show. My fiancé endured some crazy emotional rollercoasters and stood strong. 

Lesson: Don’t let your mood determine what you are doing today.

365 Days Lead to TODAY

 I made a decision to step on a Bikini competition stage. One year and ten days later I walked on to that stage taking home the one thing no one could ever take away from me… the confidence in myself. I don’t mean the confidence of being skinny, winning, or wearing a bikini in front of people. I had the confidence and proof that I could do anything I put my mind to.

I am not proud of the perfect day because believe me when I say there were many days that were far from that. I am proud of the moments that I failed. When I couldn’t get my last rep out, I ate too many carbs, I didn’t finish all of my cardio, I didn’t have energy, and I didn’t finish my water…but I kept going. Strength isn’t found in perfection, it’s found in failing and getting back up because that fail was so yesterday, so one hour ago, so 10 seconds ago.  Strength isn’t found in perfection, it’s found in failing and getting back up. 

Your goal might not be to compete in a Bikini Competition one day. You might have a goal in your career, in your health, or your education. What you do in the next 10 seconds could define your next year. One month at a time. One day at a time. One meal at a time. One rep at a time. One step at a time. Turn your ONE DAY DREAM into your DAY ONE REALTY.

Photo Dates: March 2023, July 2023, February 2024

Fat Loss

Fitness

Health

Success Story

Weight Loss

Well-being