Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hanging Up the Heels

I've been thinking long and hard these last few months about whether or not I want to continue to compete.  I was originally planning on competing at the OCB Presidential Cup in DC in August, but I don't really feel like it anymore.  I know that sounds childish, but competing should be 100% personal; the drive should be internal, not external.  Maybe it is all of the major, major life changes that I've experienced since January that have made me re-think things, or maybe it's that I've been doing this for 3 years now and am over it: whatever the case may be, I simply don't feel like dieting, spraying myself with tanner, and donning my stripper heels to walk across a stage for 10 seconds.  Some may call me a quitter, and that's fine; I don't think I'm "quitting" anything.  Let's not forget that this isn't a "real" sport.  That's actually part of why I'm losing interest in competing.  It's not real.  Nothing about this sport is REAL.  The majority of the people I encounter are fake, superficial, and extremely narcissistic, contests seem to be rigged, people shoot drugs into their asses to get an advantage........I simply don't have time for that.  We all work hard and train hard to get to the stage, so why be a fake, cheating bitch?  Last year at the OCB show, some girl made it her mission to look me up and down backstage at least 20 times.  I wanted to ask her what her problem was, but I ultimately decided that she wasn't worth my time.  I just don't like to be surrounded by that kind of negativity.  In REAL sports, people encourage, support, and motivate.  That's not what I see in the physique industry.  There are a few exceptions to the rule, and I've made some excellent girlfriends through competing.  So, don't get me wrong - there are good people in this industry.  But I'm exhausted at seeing Facebook posts about chicken and friggin asparagus, how much cardio people are doing, and how someone is eating chicken out of a bag in the airport.  Live your friggin' lives, people, because I tell you what: competing is NOT real life.  And I'm tired of the same people being rewarded simply because they're managed by a particular group or train with particular people (who promote drug use and sleeping with judges).  It's high school bullshit.

The other reason I've decided to not compete is because I want to live my life.  I haven't celebrated my birthday in 3 years because I've always been dieting for a show.  I want friggin' birthday cake this year.  AND..........this is a milestone birthday for me - the big 3-0; I want some cake, goddamnit!  I'm in a great place with what I'm eating, with what my body looks like (I really don't believe in having an "off season" and an "on season" wardrobe, folks - you shouldn't be gaining that much weight!), and with how I'm training, and I just don't want to mess with that.  My boyfriend is super active and I love working out with him - we have such a good time.  I've been playing around more in the gym, doing more CrossFit style workouts, and not really being strict with my programs.  And I tell you what: I feel SUPER athletic these days.  I feel stronger, more powerful, more agile, and more flexible than I have in years.  I'm so relaxed and so at ease with everything, and the mere thought of hoovering dry chicken and cold sweet potatoes into my pie hole makes me cry inside. I want to be an athlete above all else, and I always have.  I got into competing because I was bored and didn't have an outlet for my competitive energy.  If I get into CrossFit more, and Tough Mudders/Rugged Maniacs (which I plan to), that void will be filled.  I just don't feel the need to compete anymore.

Lastly, this shit takes a toll on your body.  It ages you prematurely and it's exhausting.  Even though I always prep sanely (ie minimal cardio and lots of food), it still wears on me.  I hate feeling exhausted, fatigued, and I despise feeling hungry all the time.  I'm a food-lover (hence the name of the blog), so starving myself and being hungry 24/7 is so counter-intuitive to me.  I want to play in the kitchen, I want to eat at great restaurants, I want to be able to go on vacation and shove my face full of alcoholic beverages and ice cream if I so choose.  I want to be ME and to live my life as a happy, healthy, athletic woman.  I don't want to be some starving, dried up old hag who is desperately trying to hang with the youngins.  No es bueno. 

So, it looks like 2012 will come and go without me competing, and that is juuuuuuuuuuust fine.  In 2013, I will be looking to get my badass on at CrossFit Durham a little more (I like using it as my cardio a couple times a week - that shit is fun), and I'll also be looking into getting my dirty on at some mud runs.  Because, let's be honest: BP + mud + exercising go together like Kim Kardashian and Apple Bottom Jeans.  Goodbye stripper heels, helloooooooooo dirt.

24 comments:

  1. Good for you! You are truly healthy and beautiful.

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  2. good for you Beth! Color me impressed.

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  3. Rani Priya MullaneJune 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    LOOOOVE the blog!!! :) If people ENJOY competing, they should do it! If they do NOT enjoy competing, they shouldn't do it! Whatever it is you do, ya gotta ENJOY the journey, otherwise it's really not worth it!

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  4. Jessica Bourcier ElamJune 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Good for you girl!! I went through the same thing last year. It took quite a while for me to get my head right after the mental hell I went through with a bad trainer who really had no business coaching for competitions. I was at no higher than 12% bf for the entire year! Anyway, I am back in the gym with a healthy goal that does not include competing. And it feels awesome!

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  5. Feels good, right? I don't even know where mine are! XO!

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  6. Wow, what a perspective from the 'inside' of the bodybuilding industry. Great stuff Beth. I've often wondered why the competitive standards are so strict when in fact most competitors look better off-season anyway. I know that muscle has to show, since that's what this is all about, but the degree to which it is taken seems like pure folly.

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  7. Jen loves CrossFit KatesJune 14, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    You know this blog makes me smile from ear to ear. :) Good for you, BP!!

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  8. Good for you, Jess - and I can totally relate. I have made some awesome girlfriends through competing, so I am very grateful for that. But the bad outweighs the good, here.

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  9. I just found your blog yesterday and I'm a little sad about this for selfish reasons...I'm also turning 30 this year and prepping for my first show. As a foodie/fitness nut this is a major challenge not to mention having a 9 month old baby! I'd love to keep hearing about your experiences and read your clean recipes! I can completely understand your reasoning but for those of us who are new to this we'd love to keep hearing your take on the process as well as tips!

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    1. Hey Ashley!

      I'm more than happy to answer any specific questions that you may have. You can add me as a friend on Facebook or you can ask me here.

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    2. I'm sad for selfish reasons too! I just came upon your blog recently and love your humor and honesty. I am prepping for my first show right now too and needed to reread your post about hunger with contest prep! Def needing the reminder that this is part of the game and to suck it up!! Would it be ok for me to ask you questions too? Thanks- Leann

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  10. Awesome post. So happy for you, xoxoxo

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  11. This made me both happy and sad. Happy for you of course Beth, but sad for the industry which loses not only a great competitor but an actual sane person too. I'm not yet ready to hang up the heels since I arrived so late to the party but you'd better believe I'm loving my off season body/life as well. Anyway dear Beth, I will still follow you no matter where you lead! (Unless you keep mentioning Kim Kardashian. Then you're on your own.)

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    1. Hahaha, Linda!! I'll still be around, you know.

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  12. Fantastic post! I've never competed, and never will, but I really appreciate your honesty.

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  13. I quit competing too. :) Call me a quitter or a starter of new things; whatever makes you most happy. All I know is I am continuing on the quest to be the best me possible.
    You're awesome.

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  14. Girl, I am RIGHT there with you! Let's fuckin eat some real food, fuel our bodies with real nutrition, and train like a freaking ATHLETE!!
    Screw a bunch of starving, steady state, stair climbing, striper heels and suffering.. I choose to LIVE

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  15. This is the first post I've read being that I just found your blog today. All I can say is I love love love your authenticity and style!

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  16. I have just told my coach today at 14 weeks out my heart is not in it anymore....after 5 years of competing...I am finally able to feel good all year round, and at peace with what I look like with a balanced nutrition and exercise regime! I am having to gain at least 6 lb before I diet down at 8 weeks out and having the scale go up on purpose was too much for me. I can't believe I found this blog today.....you were speaking my mind! THanks so much!

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    1. Proud of you for realizing that your heart's not in it - most just push through and fight it and think they're doing themselves a favor. What you did takes much more courage than if you had actually gone through and competed.

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  18. scary cause I am just starting at my 30 but I totally understand. I feel this is coming for me even before I get on stage :)

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