I truly think mentally preparing yourself for a competition is far more intangible than any of the physical actions like training and sticking to a strict diet. So often I find myself looking in the mirror and fighting with myself not to think "oh this could be better", "this needs to go", "why is that not more built?" - the list goes on. Unfortunately, in this sport that's what we do - we critique our own bodies in order to be critiqued on stage, which can become really a vicious cycle and if you aren't a super strong individual it really can cause you to have a lot of body image issues that get taken to another level. I will honestly say, I do have body image issues, I've had them my entire life - don't think that just because I started competing and working my tail off that all these image issues just magically vanished, because they haven't and quite frankly never will. What I have learned though is how to deal with them, accept them and be proud of myself. That right there is a victory in my eyes! Now with that said, I have my good days and my bad days. Some days I feel like I'm a boss and like I should be strutting my stuff on stage and winning shows left and right (ha!), then there are those other days where I feel beyond bloated and *gasp* fat.
With this particular show prep that I'm in the midst of right now (3 weeks, 2 days to go) I feel probably the best I've ever felt. Granted this is my 5th show on the horizon, so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of how things go, but what I really mean is in my mental state. I have finally accepted that some days wont be great, some will be down right terrible and make you want to throw in the towel - but in the end I have a goal and nothing and no one will stop me from acheiving that goal. What's helped me throughout this prep, as vain as it may sound, is taking progress photos of myself. These photos are fantastic references for me to go back and take a look at myself from just a few days before where I felt bloated or just not together and see that ya know what? I looked pretty darn good. Also, each day gives me the opportunity to see what parts of my body are changing and what parts may need more work. We are always a work in progress, never will I settle, I can always better myself - in a healthy way.
So with that said I'm so very excited to bring this package to the Pittsburgh stage in just a few weeks and know that no matter what my placing might be - I am already a winner and on my way to meet my goals by just pushing myself further and further and accepting myself each and every day. <3 Nicole