Don’t worry, Sarah, you were between two national level competitors.”
I sensed her empathy as we wrapped up posing practice. A good coach indeed. I winked to reassure her I was ok. My ego was a little bruised, but deep inside, I knew I had asked for… and needed this. I jumped at her invite to join the posing class because I figured it would be good for me… and it was. I just didn’t anticipate the psychological part – or the turkey part…
Babe, I think I took old turkey from the fridge! 🙁 “
Texting my husband at work, I began to pick at the suspect protein with a plastic fork. It happens to all competitors at some point. Protein gone sour…
Between my Jewishness and my innate stubbornness, I ate the meal anyway, wondering if I would get sick. Fortunately, I did not, but a few hours later as I stripped down to my bandeau top and booty shorts, I could see my stomach had reacted. Serious belly bloat. That, and, in general, I’m noticing my body goes in and out of transformation. Some days I look tighter and more cut, while other days, I look soft and puffy. (Note: pics shown in this blog will feature my tighter & more cut days!)
In contrast, the other two bikini competitors were mid-season between shows rocking their fabulous physiques. As I want to be. Game On. Make that, Enlightenment Opportunity On.
I start to see it’s all relative. As I rock my evolving physique through everyday life, here I’m taken aback by my mid-section as I practice posing among current competitors.
Compare to despair. This journey is uniquely yours. On stage as in life, your job is to bring out your personal best. Your unique expression at its brightest. In reality, you will never “compare” to another. So, don’t attempt. More flower, less robot…
A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~Zen Shin
So, just bloom! Let that sh#t go and return to the journey at hand… your journey.
Sarah, don’t worry, all this (midsection) will be gone.”
My coaches (past and present) have always taken pains to reassure me (or…themselves!) as I practice posing. I am thick-waisted. On me, it’s the last to go. It’s where I – and many of us – hold water, stress, and hormonal shifts. The rest of my body will take shape steadily, but my mid-section will…let’s just say…take it’s sweet time.
Love you, mid-section!
I make peace. You should always make peace with your body in the endeavor of transformation. It responds better as friend not foe, so this is not just an act of self-kindness, it’s strategic as well.
My Seven Secrets this week take you through the road oft-traveled to stage or any type of transformation. The return route back from setback.
1. Take a little time to reset.
Find an empathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on…or an Evernote app to type on!
2. Push pause with smart choices…
Do keep the pity party contained. This is still a critical time in your transformation.
3. Continue on, stay on.
The next day – if possible – get right back to plan. Release the temptation to do less — or more. Side note here – a lot of times we respond to a slip or setback with a punishing mentality. I don’t recommend this because the intention is negative and not self-loving. Through this process of transformation, we wish to build up our self-compassion, not damage it. So, just get back to your plan and think of it as the most loving thing you can do for both your present self and your future self.
4. Don’t take your foot off the pedal by skipping meals…or steps on the Step Mill!
Remember, your metabolism is being trained with the frequency and consistency of everything — from your meals to your cardio and lifting sessions.
5. Reflect on the lessons.
Every setback has at least one…if not, twenty! Through the return to your breath, your plan, your routine, you grow in strength and resilience. So, rather than cursing the incident, find a way to bless it and feel gratitude for the lessons you are learning.
6. If sleep is escaping you due to worry, anxiety…or soreness, try guided sleep meditation.
Looking for a great app? I recommend and use the Insight Timer.
7. Lastly, revise to avoid recurrence.
In my case… avoiding sour turkey! Mine was a case of a disorganized fridge and a portion of turkey I had simply overlooked… for more than a week (ick!). The only thing I prep more than a few days out are my hard-boiled eggs. A lot of people do weekly meal prep, but, in my experience, it is not ideal. Fish gets slimy, veggies get soggy, chicken and brown rice dry out. When your food tastes better, you will enjoy it more, digest it better, feel more satiated…and suffer less bloat! So, perhaps stagger it a bit. That way, you’re not prepping all at once, which makes it feasible and not too time-consuming.
This week’s take-away: Treat yourself well. Treat yourself with kindness, especially during a setback. Give yourself time to reset without wallowing in the setback or allowing it to become an excuse to slide on a regular basis. So, yes, sprinkle on a little toughness as needed…mental toughness, mindful kindness.