13 weeks ago, I decided to do something new. A challenge… one I felt I needed in order to get over a huge mental, emotional and physical hump.
After the last Figure competition I did in November, my body was shot. Adrenal fatigue settled in over the weeks leading up to the holidays. It started with slight weight gain, insomnia, then exhaustion during the day, then loss of appetite, followed by slurred speech, stuttering, short-term memory loss, extremely dry skin, and severe water retention around my joints. I was a walking mass of miserable-ness, working at a new gym, trying to build my business, all the while, I could barely piece sentences together because my brain had checked out. It was like watching a movie. I knew what was happening, yet, I couldn’t stop it. Training became near impossible…. For starters, there was no way I was going to be able to lift anything considerable because I was falling asleep standing up… I also had no desire. All I wanted to do for weeks at a time was lay down and sleep. Not fun.
In April, I decided that the only way I was going to get myself out of this slump was by pushing myself. I started going to a different gym, surrounded myself with new people, started training a different way… and after a few days (literally), I decided to take on this new challenge. So I committed to training for this Powerlifting meet. Having 17 years of weight training under my belt, the strength foundation I have is solid. It’s all been a matter of learning technique, not backing down from heavy weight, and pushing myself beyond mental limits.
I’ve been criticized by many people, including some that were outright rude to my face or on my social media posts, telling me things like, “Oh, I guess you don’t want to try to lose weight anymore”… or “Stick with what you’re good at, you don’t want to be manly”… or “You’re gonna get a thick neck and waist and start looking like a man”… Nice supporters, huh? Little do they know the private battle I deal with day in and day out… How every single day when it is time to leave my house, getting dressed is a huge ordeal because I have no clue what clothes fit and what doesn’t. How even now, since I’ve lost over 10 pounds during this prep, I still have moments when I see my reflection and it stings.
Figure competitors typically fluctuate in weight at least 10 pounds… some 15 and some even more than that (which I personally thing is not healthy)… but it is common. I know what my personal goals are and quite frankly, it’s no one’s business!
What is great about these past 13 weeks for me is that I have shut a lot of people up. The weights I throw around speak for themselves. The incredible progress I have made in such a short time is outstanding and I am very proud of myself. No, I’m not ripped up with striations in my shoulders or lower abs…. Guess what? I really don’t care…. Most women my age and size can’t touch me when it comes to strength and that is something that is not going away anytime soon.
I did this all while treating my body, working with a doctor, a nutritionist, my chiropractor and several friends to get myself back on track… For the first 45 days of this prep, I was on a detox and could not have anything with caffeine or stimulants in it. I also was on a restricted diet, eliminating foods that cause inflammation… and yet still, throwing around weights with the boys that had jaws on the floor. The interesting part is, I don’t want to go back where I once was… been there, done that… I’m ready for new places, new discoveries, and a new comfortable happy place.
Powerlifting may not be the end all, be all for me, but it certainly will remain my training style for a long time to come. I have incredible support behind me NOW and for the first time, I’m not too concerned about my abs showing or the tiny bit of fat on the back of my legs showing…. What a world of difference from Figure Shows!
As the meet draws closer, it’s in 3 days, I am remaining calm and focused on what I need to do. It is so exciting to do something for the very first time. I know this entry is rather long, but I’ve got a lot to say! Thanks for your time and I will be posting a Post-Meet Blog reflecting on the experience.
Thank You so much for your support!