12 weeks, 4 days out from my next bikini competition
It’s been a rough couple of weeks. To put it mildly.
Short version: my cat was attacked by the big dog(s) in the house a total of 3 times (the second time his jaw was dislocated from the dog picking him up and shaking him – lucky my boyfriend caught it before the cat’s neck broke – and the 3rd time all 3 big dogs ganged up on the cat in the bedroom when they somehow got through the gate, blood everywhere (partly from the dogs’ faces shoving under the bed to get the cat (one in particular who didn’t seem to get the concept that sharp claws hurt) the rest of the blood from the cat’s punctured tail). These incidences of course had to happen during my work rotations. (The cat has gone to live with my parents until my boyfriend and I find our own place, which will not be happening until after my shows).
The next life stressor was grandpa passing away in a hospital bed in Hollywood. The precariousness of his end-stage congestive heart failure tipped over the edge one time too many. And then there is the guilt that I didn’t hop on a plane while he was in there and things weren’t going well to be his advocate and maybe keep him from drowning in his own lungs from fluid overload (a constant battle even when he was at home). Sure it was going to happen eventually, but in his own home with his dog next him to comfort him as he took his last breath.
Shit happens. Even during prep.
Thankfully I got a head start on this one. I had my metabolic phase for a few weeks (kicked up the HIIT during circuit training), and now I’ve switched back to traditional bodybuilding style training with steady state cardio (think Arnold style training). Macros are pretty much the same for right now (170 protein, 40 fat, 150 carb).
There is a very important mental aspect to anything that one is trying to accomplish. The self-talk can either help or hinder. Are you telling yourself this is too much, you can’t do this? Are you out of your league? Letting yourself backslide and self-sabotage? Or do you refocus your mind on what you want long-term. Forgo the short-term comforts and indulgences for what you ultimately want, have dreamed of becoming.
Visualizing the end goal while in the day to day routine is vital to success. With every repetition and every cardio session I do, I’m visualizing the body I’ve worked to hard to sculpt up on stage winning. Like any daily habit/practice/ritual, it takes diligence to make it second nature, to unlearn old unwanted habits and thought patterns that took years to lay down. To make new dirt roads to healthier ways of thinking and reacting. Through repetition and daily maintenance those dirt roads turn into highways.
Building on past success and forgetting the failures is how you keep going to make it better every time. Of course we learn from the past failures, but we should not hold onto those as evidence of our true potential or self-worth. That’s a lie. The truth is in the successes which come slowly and are small at first, but build upon themselves as you build momentum. So keep going. Push through the resistance on the inside as well as the outside. It’s going to be uncomfortable at first, even painful. But stay the course. The strength and resiliency you are building now will serve you in the future in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.
It can be easy to get dragged down by life… into the day to day grind that seems to wear you down to your core, leaving you raw and exhausted with no reserves left to cope. When it all seems to be too overwhelming, just take one thing at a time and be present. Don’t worry about the what ifs or how bad it all seems; how much work is sitting in the que with red past-due notices, how much cellulite is still clinging like barnacles cemented on, how quickly that savings account seems to get drained when it took so long to build it up, and on and on. Just take one little thing at a time. Stay focused on what you are doing now and get it done, then move on to the next thing. It works for anything you are doing. Before you know it, you will look up and see you have made a dent. So take heart. One rep at a time, one set at a time. Patience and diligence may be all you can focus on achieving today, but these are virtues worth refining.