As I stated in a previous blog, I am in preparation for my first fitness competition – an NPC Bikini show in March 2016. I shared this info because it was something I always told myself I couldn’t do, and my challenge to you was to do something you didn’t think you could this year.
It’s definitely a learning process, but not just about how to compete. No, mentally and emotionally it’s teaching me a lot that I think you’ll be able to relate with on your own fitness journey.
One of the biggest lessons in fitness – and life – is what you tell yourself and what you say you can’t do. If you constantly say you can’t, then you’ll believe it. Your words become a self-fulfilling prophecy, even if they’re just that silent voice in the back of your mind.
Trust the Process
Well, I am now 5 weeks out from the show. My measurements and weight have gone down just slightly, though not as much as I’d expected. But as my coach reminds me regularly, I have to trust the process. It’s working, just slower than I hoped. Which is likely true of your fitness journey, right?
We expect overnight change, when really our body may need 6 or 8 weeks to truly adjust and begin showing the results of the hard work we consistently put in with diet and exercise. That’s a rant of its own, though….
This one is about how we so often tell ourselves we can’t do something. Why do we do that?! It needs to stop.
Your Self-Talk Matters
When you assure yourself you’re incapable, you stop yourself from going after what you desire, when in reality, you’re probably completely capable.
This doesn’t only apply to big things like a career change, pursuing a passion, or a fitness competition.
This can be as simple as your daily choices, like what food to eat. The simple choices that lead to weight gain, weight loss, and self esteem (or lack thereof).
One of the biggest lessons in this process has been overcoming an unhealthy relationship with food. And I know I’m not alone in this. We idolize food. We place it above our health and well-being, we prioritize social events based on food; we let it control us.
I always felt that I couldn’t do a fitness competition because of the diet. You have to eat incredibly “clean” and in smaller portions. Though I eat healthy and watch my calories and macros, I still love food and the freedom to enjoy it however and whenever I want. I didn’t think I could manage on chicken, green veggies, and brown rice for months without sweets or red wine or cheat meals like pizza.
What has shocked me more in this process than anything else is that the food has not been difficult. I’ve barely had any cravings, I haven’t gone off my plan (okay, there were two Hershey kisses that weaseled their way in, and perhaps 3 sips out of someone else’s wine glass). Mustard and spices have managed to make every meal taste good, and random mixtures of things like cocoa powder, peanut butter, stevia, and protein powder have sufficiently satisfied my sweet tooth.
Yes, my food has taken a lot of energy and time to prep, but aside from that, it’s been easy. And this is why I wanted to talk about telling ourselves what we can’t do. I am shocked that the main reason I didn’t want to compete was the sacrifice of food, and yet it’s almost been a breeze.
What Are You Telling Yourself You Can’t Do?
Which made me think: What else do we tell ourselves we can’t do because it sounds too hard, and never even give it a shot because we fear failure, or simply discomfort?
I’ve talked to people who were once athletic and now out of shape, and are scared to start exercising again because they don’t want to come to terms with the fact that they’re out of shape. Yet for most people, it’s only 1-2 weeks to get past the initial discomfort before it starts to feel easier again.
And what’s the alternative? Always feeling bad about yourself because you can no longer do what you once could? Who says you won’t do all of that again?
Maybe that’s you, or maybe you’ve wanted to do something like a fast during Lent, but felt you couldn’t give up meat or sweets or TV or whatever your addiction may be. Maybe you’ve missed out on serious spiritual insights and growth because you were afraid to mess up or feel in need.
This could apply to fitness endeavors, dating, starting a business, trying a new hobby, or anything else. Whatever it is, if you tell yourself you can’t, then you won’t. Change the story you’re telling yourself, change your words, stop your negative thought patterns. Speak life. Speak truth. The more you do, the more you’ll believe it, and the better you’ll feel and more you’ll achieve.
Your Goal May Be Easier Than You Think!
Yes, it may be incredibly hard. OR it may be far easier than you would ever imagine. But you won’t know until you try. Right? As silly as it may sound, I’m excited to find that I have more self-control and more power over food than I thought. That is making me stronger, more self-assured, and destroying a sense of guilt.
What is it for you? I dare you to give it a try. Set a goal, find someone to hold you accountable, and discover just how capable you are!