After a Fitness Competition: Finding Self Love & Sustainability

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Looking at Adrienne’s physique, the outside person would simply see a strong athletic female. This figure competitor had an amazing physical transformation that ultimately led her to the stage last fall. With so much success that comes with such accomplishments, you’d think the pride would carry on forever… but once a competitor steps off stage and returns to more their everyday fit lifestyle (necessary for health), very often are mental battles that accompany that change.

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“For a while after competing last fall, I stayed very positive in terms of watching my body change. I was proud of how I reverse dieted afterward to maintain a certain level of leanness while allowing my body the opportunity for new muscle growth. While I love the shredded lean look that the sport of bodybuilding creates… and while you wish it would last… you know it can’t.”

Around Christmas, Adrienne had surgery that required some down time. “I put everything on hold to give my body time to recover and heal… and that’s when the struggle began. I discovered that if I’m not enforcing a regular exercise routine, I’m not enforcing diet either. It’s a double edge sword.”

After several weeks, Adrienne was cleared to begin exercising again. “While I was finding my routine again, I was also left with the feeling of, 'Oh my God, what did I do?' I became very hard on myself and the transformation of my physique during that time.

Everything I had told others about self love…went out the window.”

While Adrienne had great support from family and her coach… she lacked that former sense of pride and confidence she once had. “Personal opinions are so much worse than how others view us.” As females, we put so much pressure on ourselves that “how far we’ve come” can become overshadowed by “how far we have to go.”  With a less than favorable view of her off season body, this figure competitor found herself struggling with thoughts of “I want to compete again but… What if I don’t exceed my own expectations? What if my physique isn’t better than last time? I’m 35… when does my time run out?”

Her struggles led to a conversation with her coach. Val said “You have a daughter. We’re not in this sport to make ourselves crazy. Competing should fit into a small part of your lifestyle. A sustainable lifestyle is what we should strive for. Find your everyday fit.” Those words resonated on a deeper level for Adrienne, reminding her of how far she’s come over the last few years and validating her REAL goal. “Val snapped me back into reality. I had struggled after having my daughter.

My sustainability is finally solid. And my inner transformation was larger than any physical transformation.”

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Beyond just what this lifestyle means to her personally, Adrienne hopes it will create a positive impact in her daughter’s life.

“I want to be a good example for my daughter. I don’t want her to ever feel defined by anything she sees. I want her to look in the mirror and feel confident. There’s so much pressure put on girls today… even more than when I was a kid. I want her to feel proud of who she is.”

What began as a simple conversation between Adrienne and her coach led to a deeper reflection and a shifted mindset. "Goals change. My body represents two sets of goals. Looking at my competition photos, that was one goal. To step on stage, and be lean enough to compete. Today’s photos are a different set of goals: To build mass and take a bigger, better, stronger package to the next show. I have a path of where I want to go in terms of competing. As a goal-oriented person, having something on the calendar keeps me motivated. But on that same token, I want to enter my next competition prep with a positive mindset, love myself through the process and ENJOY the process.”

“Sometimes you can’t always see the fruits of your labor…” says Adrienne, which can undoubtedly lead to feelings of self-doubt on whether you’re making progress toward your goals. But during those times, it's essential to reflect on our WHY, celebrate successes, remember the struggles you’ve overcome and embrace where you are at that moment.  

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While Adrienne plans to compete again once her military family has settled from a cross country move this summer, she’s learning to feel proud of her everyday fit physique. Adrienne has a deeper appreciation of what this journey has offered, in terms of perspective.  

“A sustainable lifestyle is most important to me. I have come to that place where I UNFORGIVABLY know who I am. That’s one of my greatest victories in life.”

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  • EXERCISE (specific to your unique life!), 
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