My Summer 2020 Challenge

I finally nailed down my two siblings to grab a bite to eat last week. Kahlil picked me up and we met Nicholas in front a strip of restaurants and bars close to my apartment. We had reservations elsewhere, but that place lost power so we needed to come up with an alternative. We tried one spot that is known for having great oysters and small plates, but they had no tables available. We went next door and had better luck there. As we sat down to eat, I announced to the table, “So, I’m on a diet, but…” and the collective groans, eye rolls and a fist slamming into the table ensued. LOL You see, my brothers have watched me voluntarily torture myself with Bodybuilding Competition Diets for years… and after my last show, I told them I was done.

We are smiling, pinky swear!

Over the course of nearly 15 years, many of our conversations started in this fashion and turned into them asking me things like… “why do you put yourself through this? how do you find this enjoyable? who cares what some stranger thinks about your physique? You already look good, why do you feel you need to change anything?” etc… They love me and I appreciate it. But their love and concerns never stopped me from pursuing the goal I once held tight to my chest of competing for the coveted Miss Figure Olympia Title and gracing magazine covers. Sadly, those dreams would not come to fruition. The Universe had another plan for me. My family is grateful for my departure from the stage, after me experiencing a multitude of physical ailments and minor mental health issues, all of which I have gotten treatment for.

Bringing it back to the fabulous Coronavirus-fueled summer of 2020 that we are all enduring together, but apart: I decided to put myself on a mini-cut… or a short-term bodybuilding style cutting diet, for multiple reasons.

  1. I am taking new photos for my website.
  2. I wanted to see what kind of shape I could get myself in with 7 weeks of time to prepare.
  3. I got soft during the beginning of the shut down and I was not happy about it.
  4. This was an incredible test of my mental toughness. I wanted to see if I still had what it takes… and let me tell you, YES… I… DO!

It’s the night before my shoot… I feel really calm and relaxed… I’m hungry for sure, but I am proud of myself. I went off plan twice in 7 weeks, both occasions were planned and both times I didn’t feel great about cheating. I made a plan and I stuck with it. Is my physique where I had envisioned it at the beginning of this process? Sort of… but I don’t regret putting myself to the test. I cut out so many little extra things here and there, trying to eliminate any excess cause for water retention, bloating, and to work towards burning body fat. I will say, body fat is really stubborn, and there were a few times I got on the scale and wanted to throw it out of the window! (I didn’t don’t worry).

My friend that I spend the most time with has marveled at the fact that I have not gone off the rails or had even a morsel of food that I craved. I would routinely send her food pictures, videos, and IG reels from popular food accounts. Yup, the diet must be working. I normally do not get cravings of any kind.

So tomorrow morning, I’ll be back in front of the camera. I am excited. I am nervous. I hope I remember to smile more, to create pretty shapes with my poses, and to suck in my stomach! I gave this personal challenge everything I had to give. I left no stone unturned. I did everything I possibly could to feel comfortable during this shoot. (I even went on a few dinner dates and didn’t cheat!) Thanks for reading. I’ll be sharing the photos in the near future. Cross your fingers for me!

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