Guest post by Lisa Elaine
Prepping for a NPC fitness show has been challenging. (Check out my experience through prep so far here) The preps are long with strict diet and work out plans, so I ask, is it worth the work leading up to the ONE big day? The answer is one only the competitor can decide for their self. Anything worth having is going to have sacrifices and it really comes down to how much your willing to put in and give up.
When you’re on a competition prep your social life suffers. During prep, your schedule revolves around your gym sessions and meal plan. Going out to eat is difficult because even if you’re ordering chicken and rice, you don’t know for certain how much is being served and the sodium level you’re about to intake. I guess you could have a food scale on hand at all times, but I chose not to! Going out to eat doesn’t happen often because trust me, when everyone else is eating the foods of their choice and you have a plastic container in front of you filled with what you’ve had the past month everyday, the will power to not cheat becomes a little more intense. I could manage not cheating at home where there were no cheat foods to temp me, but being out was a different story.
Even when I did have some extra time to make plans, all I wanted to do was relax.
Your energy levels hit all time lows.
You’re at a calorie deficit and working your body into overtime.
I was exhausted at times and questioned if I would be able to do this another day. There were days I was hungry, so completely hungry. I was craving and non stop thinking about food and questioned at those moments then alone, is this worth it? I had break downs during work outs and had break downs emotionally because, well, prep is difficult.
So the question remains, was it worth it to me?
I have grown so much physically, but most important mentally. I learned to push even when I wanted to sit down. It taught me to keep going when I had zero motivation. Motivation you get from the outside will only last a temporary amount of time. I learned to dig down deep and pull out the passion and find the reason I started this journey in the first place. Prep taught me how to manage my thoughts and the power of the mind. What you believe and think will take over. It taught me patience. I am a instant gratification type person. When you are trying to alter your body and mold it, you have to learn to enjoy the small changes.
I learned to love the process not just the final product.
It taught me control. If you can control what you eat, you can control pretty much anything else that comes your way.
Lastly, it taught me that winning isn’t everything. I am a very competitive person and it drives me to be the very best at anything I decide to pursue. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” are words I live by. I don’t mind starting or ending my journey not being the best, but I can guarantee you I won’t be outworked. For me, this prep started out with a trophy in mind and as much as I still want to place, I am so proud of myself for not quitting and not slacking during this 12 week prep. I haven’t stepped on stage yet and I feel like I won so much already.
About The Author
Lisa Elaine is the author of the Positive Lifestyle Blog which brings readers insight on life lessons, fitness, inspiration and more. Lisa is a high school teacher, former dancer for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, NPC competitor, volunteer for mission work, and blogger. Be sure to visit her site at Positivelifestylelc.com and follow her on Instagram