The Dark Side of Competing

The Dark Side of Competing

I  have always been very open about my journey when I was competing. Truth is, there are days I miss it.

The build up, the structure, the focus, the determination, the time on stage (although brief in many circumstances) it was so much fun and it taught me so much about myself and the health & fitness business…..but I don’t miss the dark side to competing.

I am NOT sharing this to prevent you from competing, (if anything I actually encourage you whole heartedly)! HOWEVER I am sharing this so that you can avoid the dark shadows that come with the sport.

We are at that time of year where everyone is hyped up and ready to “crush it” on stage…..sadly, most will step away being crushed by the sport itself.

I am one of the fortunate few who have walked away stronger, wiser & happier…..but most walk away broken, beaten & defeated, physically, emotionally & mentally.

 

When I started, man oh man was I ignorant. My first national show (my 2nd show I had ever done) was such an eye opener. By the time the day was over, it felt like I got punched in the stomach.

 

But by the grace of God I was given wise words that day, that helped me change the course of how my competing career turned out (I share them at the end below).

 

So, if you are thinking, OR in the process of preparing, for a show, here are some things to keep in mind as you move forward. I hope that it will help you avoid the dark side of competing so that it can be a part of your life journey that you can look back on and smile!

The dark side of competing #1: Relationships

Competing puts strain on friendships and especially relationships. Many times, extreme behavior is required to achieve extreme results. Days are consisted of double workouts & meal prep, 7 days a week. Diets that would make any sane person retreat to the loony bin. Strict time schedules & zero social life. Put this all together with a very low carb intake and you have a highly strung, moody individual who has little patience anything & anyone!

 

It’s a selfish sport as well. It’s ALL about the person competing and if you have someone who can handle and support that (I did, I was SUPER fortunate with a man that supported me every step of the way), you are blessed. However, I have witnessed many relationships fall apart during or after competing.

It’s not a normal or healthy way to function and when it is done for an extended period of time, it can cause a partner to step away and leave.

 

Be aware of this. Discuss it with your partner and make sure you are both in agreement with how things are going to go…..and just keep communication open! Make it a journey for both of you!

The dark side of competing #2: Juicing

Steroids, they get used & they get used often! I don’t care who or what anyone says, if you decide to go that route, you are digging a grave for your body!!!!

 

I have been in the industry for too long and have seen young bodies & lives being permanently  damaged and destroyed by the irresponsible behavior of coaches.

If your coach says you need to take it if you want to get somewhere in the industry, you can either a) choose to fall for that crap and go with it (which means you have to take responsibility for the consequences as well), OR b) you can call BS on their pathetic coaching skills because clearly they have zero faith in their ability to get you to the top without that stuff.

 

It is not safe, period! And if you are currently on it GET OFF GET OFF GET OFF!

Can you get to the top without it, YES YOU CAN!

The dark side of competing #3: Knowing the right people

I have taken part in multiple shows where it helps when you “know the right people”. Remember, this sport has become a business and they have certain athletes on their radar that they keep a keen eye out to keep them in the federation. It makes the federation look good and it keeps the participation rate high. It also gives them a certain status level.

 

I have been a judge where the winners were determined based on their social media activity and number count!

 

I have competed against other girls who’s placements were determined before we had even stepped on stage because they were being coached by “the right people”.

 

It happens all the time but don’t let that stop you from giving it your best. Over time you can win the hearts of the judges and show them that you have what it takes. Just don’t feel you need to “belong” or “do things” you are not comfortable with!

The dark side of competing #4: Judgement 

It is a sport of judgment and personal preference. You will be judged on your body and scrutinized to see your “weak areas”. It can feel like a “meat market” on a rotation belt.

I had the SHOCKING experience of witnessing the WORST POSSIBLE RACIAL BEHAVIOUR by 2 grown men during a judging debate backstage. It was embarrassing, disrespectful & downright pathetic! I immediately lost so much respect for them, as well as the other men who didn’t stand up & say something!

 

There is also a big possibility that you could be judged by individuals who don’t even look like they have seen the inside of a gym…or worse yet, have never stepped on stage! They will tell you what you are doing “right and wrong” and you will smile and nod and thank them for their honest and professional opinion, when in all honesty you are thinking: “….why don’t you put on the smallest bikini in the world with 5 inch heels and stand on stage in front of a panel of men to be judged on what’s “right and wrong” with your body…then we will see how you feel”.

But that is not how it works. You step up there & you be PROFESSIONAL & GRACEFUL AT ALL TIMES!

 

 

When you compete, you also make yourself vulnerable to social media judgement, badgering & trolling. People will pop out of the woodwork, giving their opinion on what you should or shouldn’t have done.

As much as you might try avoid it, it can hit your heart & spirit sometimes, especially if you were feeling good and proud of your achievements, no matter how small! One has to realize there are people out there who make an effort to put other people down just to make themselves feel good. You have to learn to IGNORE and rise above it.

The dark side of competing #5: Cost 

Another dark shadow that many get caught up in before they even realize it, is the cost involved. It is a costly sport (like most sports), especially for women. Hair, nails, make up, tan, bikinis, shoes, gowns, coaches, registration fees, affiliation fees, supplements…before you know it, you can be a good few 10 000 in & not get anywhere! I know some who have gone into debt only to end up broken, broke & alone!

 

Budget for it! When I started I did EVERYTHING MYSELF. EVERYTHING! I made my bikinis, costumes, learnt how to do my hair, makeup, nails and tan. I coached myself (best decision of my life) used minimal supplements (only to realize in my final 2 years of competing, I never needed them to start!) and I even made my own evening gowns when I changed federations!

 

It’s possible but you must be prepared to put in whatever it takes to get your goal!

The dark side of competing #6: Reward

You will also spend months and months working EXTREMELY HARD, only to be given 5 min on stage. Yip, that is it for some shows (my longest was 45min….the lineup was over 80 girls….I came first ;)! However, when I went to London to compete there (…and after spending A LOT of money to get there and take part), the female pro line up was given 5min on stage…..we each got 30sec…..

 

That is why it is so important to have a DEEP SENSE OF PURPOSE as to why YOU are competing. That purpose should go BEYOND titles, placing’s and fame. That purpose is your reward every single day. So whether you are on stage for 45min or 30 sec, it won’t matter because you achieve your purpose for competing every single day….and THAT is your reward!

 

On a side note, I believe more care & consideration should be given to athletes who take part in shows and support them, so that they can keep going. I don’t care what your name is or who you are, the athletes are the ones that make your show possible! Treat them with respect & kindness!

The dark side of competing #7: Athletes

I have met so many INCREDIBLE people in my competing career with whom I am still in contact with. However, for every amazing person you meet (and you will meet them) there are a dozen out there who are manipulative, narcissistic & HIGHLY insecure. Be aware. I use to keep to myself at shows and was told I was “unsociable and rude”. In all honesty, I kept to myself because I didn’t know who to trust and I didn’t want to be sucked into the dark side of competing.

 

That is why it is so important that you go into competing with a strong head, strong mind and deep sense of purpose that you are doing it for YOU and no one else, regardless of what ANYONE SAYS or whatever the outcome may be!

 

That is what saved me after that terrible 2nd show….I had been placed dead last. In actually fact they didn’t even place me.

I couldn’t understand what “look” they wanted. The so-called “rules” somehow didn’t apply when it came to show day and the poor & pathetic behavior by most of the athletes backstage was just bizarre.

 

I was heartbroken. It was just NOT what I thought it was & after months of prep & hard work I was told I wasn’t even good enough to step back up on stage for the evening!

 

HOWEVER, something happened that day that changed my entire outlook on competing. At that show, we had Tony Freeman as a speaker. He gave an amazing presentation and just before I dragged myself back home, I plucked up the courage (with the help of my amazing friend) to ask him for some advice.

 

If there was 1 person I was going to listen to, it was going to be him because he LOOKED the part, spoke with respect & knowledge and there was zero ego.

 

I never will forget. When I ask for advice he said: “I remember you. You were second from the right in the bikini line up with the green bikini.” Not only that, he said I was classy, flawless & graceful & had incredible potential to achieve my dream of becoming a pro. “Don’t give up, keep your head down & keep doing.”

 

Paid off. I got my Pro card 5 years later, I placed 6th in the world out of 80+ best of the best pro athletes (my goal was top 10) AND more than anything, my health, happiness & integrity is still intact and strong!

 

I DO encourage those who want to compete to go for it! However, be aware of the dark side of competing. Don’t sacrifice your body or soul for a promise or placement.

 

You deserve better than that!

I recommend working on your inner strength, accepting yourself and your body for what it is NOW no matter what stage of prep you are at for your show.

I have a beautiful 30 Day SELF LOVE & BODY FREEDOM COURSE that will compliment any athlete getting ready to step on stage.

 

 

It will teach you how to gain confidence & courage from the inside out and help you get the most out of your competing journey!

Click here to find out more details 

THIS is your superpower!

THIS is your superpower!

Embrace EVERYTHING that makes you different & unique because that is your superpower.

That is what courage & beauty looks like blended into one. That is where you’ll find the strength, understanding & ability to set your body free & become the best version of you that you can be!!!

I never use to fit into society’s definition of the “it crowd”, “beautiful” or “hot”…

When you are young, all you want to do is escape your body when it feels like the 1 thing that is keeping you trapped.

 

It’s only when we get older that we begin to understand & see the power in our uniqueness. From the gifts, skills & talents we possess to the bodies that encompass our spirits. Life can’t be lived to the fullest if we are still those little girls feeling trapped inside our beautiful bodies. It’s now that you must use your superpower so that you can set yourself free! 

Don’t wait another year …. it breaks my heart when I see women putting their needs last and allowing time to slip through their fingers. Life is short, & I know so many of you have experienced that lesson this past year!

YOU have the power to become the strongest, & most beautiful women who are born to be…You have the power but it’s going to take courage, commitment, perseverance & an unshakable faith in the person you are.

Promise me never to trade in your uniqueness for mediocre

Your courage for doubt

Or your beauty for acceptance

You are so damn special it’s time you saw it & owned it! Don’t settle for normal… You want to be extraordinary & you can be by embracing who you are & becoming your very best!

 Never stop trying & never stop believing in your incredible ability & beauty.

I always believe in divine intervention when we need it the most……when our mind has been asking for it from the deepest part of our soul.

Trust me, if I can pull myself out of the darkest days of self-doubt, self-loathing, insecurity, depression & eating disorders…..you can too!!!

I get to celebrate my body & me every day I want every woman I meet to have the ability to do the same!

If you are ready to embrace your superpower & live your best life, then I have something really special for you!

 

CLICK HERE to learn more!!!

 

Don’t wait for the “perfect moment” or “right time” because the only time you have is THIS MOMENT! Change can be hard but it is essential if you want to live your best life!

I’m excited for you to join me here!

 

————☆☆☆————-

 

Destination Addiction & our bodies

Destination Addiction & our bodies

Have you ever heard of the term destination addiction? It is one of THE MOST common “disorders” of our modern day society. And it is especially prevalent when it comes to our bodies and health!

Last week I had 2 destination addiction quotes cross my path in a matter of 2 days and it made me realize how much of our modern lives divert our mentality & beliefs to the future ESPECIALLY when it comes to our bodies. I am sure you will recognize at least one the following:

“When I am 10lbs lighter I’ll be happy”

“when I am a size 8 pants I’ll be satisfied”

“When I meet my perfect partner, I’ll love myself”

“When I have six pack abs, I’ll be worthy”

“ When I have a 8% body fat, I’ll be confident”

 

There is ALWAYS something we are telling ourselves that is still to come in order for us to be happy within ourselves! I have believed each one of those destination addiction statements above. For a very large part of my life I believed a number, size or person would bring me happiness within my body.

 

It’s so easy to get sucked into destination addiction. Just open up your social feed and you will see an endless supply of perfect pictures of happiness. Perfect bodies, with a perfect partner, reflecting perfect health. Society’s definition of happiness has become that and it is causing huge problems…immense unhappiness and dissatisfaction are 2 of them. We start to tell ourselves “If I look like that, I’ll be happy”!

Here’s the thing, all those “when I” statements DO bring pleasure HOWEVER it is NOT happiness and it WILL NOT “fix” a little hole inside of us that is creating this deep desire for happiness & self acceptance.

Turns out happiness can be achieved no matter where you are on your journey to health & wellbeing. It is NOT a destination but a state of mind and being.

 

Being present in the moment is the first step to achieving contentment and removing yourself out of the destination addiction mindset.

 

Being grateful for what you do have is the 2nd step to achieving abundant happiness.

 

And when you are PRESENT in the moment and GRATEFUL for what you have, you can start to learn how to love yourself completely. Self-love is the key to achieving happiness. Because when there is self love, there is self-respect. There is an immense appreciation and gratitude for the body. You naturally want to follow your passion & surround yourself with people who make you feel good. You will naturally only want to eat foods that bring your body wellness. Working out will be something you do because it makes you feel good NOT because it changes the number on the scale.

 

Turns out when all of this starts to flow, your body naturally transforms itself into it’s best version. The body has no other choice when in such a state of complete awareness, happiness and self love.

When there is self love, that external needing for validation, love or completeness fades away because what we need is within us. We are complete and beautiful in this moment.

We have to realize (and believe) that happiness is within us in this moment. Happiness comes from the heart, the feeling. It does not come from the head which is the thinking. It is up to us to CHOOSE how we want to feel in this moment. If we truly believe that this future stuff are the only things that can bring us joy, then your belief of happiness will be manifested that way. You will always be wanting more stuff to make you happy.

 

 

My little bit of advice is to learn how to be present in the moment & grateful (and I mean truly grateful) for what you have been blessed with in your body.

It might not be where you want it to be, and yes, it’s totally normal to want to lose those extra 5kilos and tone up the thighs, but KNOW that it’s not that end goal that brings you happiness. It’s the self-love you have for yourself that will guide you to nurture and love your body through healthy choices. And with these healthy choices, your goals will be achieved, guaranteed. Happiness is NOT a destination, it’s a choice that becomes a process & then an entire journey.

 “There is no path to happiness, happiness IS the path” ~ Buddha

If you recognize the patterns of destination addiction within yourself & you are struggling with negative thoughts about your body and your ability to achieve your goals, drop me a mail and let’s set up some coaching sessions for you. Let’s break free of that destination addiction and become present in all that is now. Results will flow easily and naturally once you have made that shift!

E-mail me at info@beautifulbodyfreedom.com for more details on coaching.

Plastic Surgery – how I honestly feel about it

Plastic Surgery – how I honestly feel about it

For a long time I felt guilty for wanting to get a breast augmentation (the “posh” word for boob job).

“If you truly loved yourself you wouldn’t want to change yourself” was a sentence that I often heard. But I wanted to feel comfortable in my body, love it and be HONEST about it.

If you truly loved yourself you would be brave enough to be honest about what you are struggling with within your body…& for me it was my flat chest.

My body was not always like this but after years of intense training & strict dieting, my body changed & I was struggling to accept it . Because lets all face it, when you drop a lot of body fat, the boobs are the first to go. And the longer you stay that lean, the more it becomes permanent.

 

I didn’t feel feminine & I felt as if something was “missing”. I saved up for 7 years before I could get surgery. It gave me time to think about  WHY I wanted it. It also gave me time to address any emotional or mental challenges that might be associated with plastic surgery.

So to be clear straight from the start, I don’t have a problem with plastic surgery at all. What I DO have a problem with, are individuals who are not being honest about it. Especially when it comes to promoting their bodies as part of their job in the health & fitness industry or using it to sell a product as an “influencer”.

Don’t tell me you got that XXX butt & size 0 waist by just drinking protein shakes & doing squats & crunches….I have worked for 2 decades in the industry and have seen many different individuals transform their bodies in amazing ways. Along with that I have developed a skillful eye for knowing when it is pure hard work and when it is “assisted”.

But here is the thing. There is NOTHING wrong with having some “assistance” from your surgeon, just be honest about it (& responsible).

Everyone knows I didn’t get my cleavage from doing pushups, I had a breast augmentation and I have never hidden that fact.

I believe the same can be said for steroid use. You have the right to do what you want with your body  but be honest about it. That is a topic within itself, especially in the arena of competing, but that aside……if you “use” & you are promoting a “physique”, be honest about it.

 

I think the challenge comes in when people think surgery will change their self-worth, inner beliefs or heal their health problems.

 

Getting your stomach stapled or having liposuction is not going to heal the destructive relationship you may have with your body or the eating disorder you may be struggling with due to unhealed past trauma.

FIRST, understand the underlying reasons WHY you are wanting plastic surgery.

AND is surgery the ONLY WAY to solve it?

 

If there is “pre-work” you can do (like lifestyle changes, counseling, therapy, nutritional changes, increase physical activity etc etc), FIRST do that and then go for surgery.

 

Sadly, plastic surgery has been abused in so many ways, not just by the clients but the doctors as well. Extreme cases are not good examples of role models or someone to look up too. Many times those extreme cases are dealing with mental & emotional challenges and traumas and they are using plastic surgery as an escape or in search of an answer.

 

However if it is done right under the correct circumstances and with the right lifestyle changes & support, it can be a wonderful thing.

 

Yes, some may still believe that self-love is about accepting yourself AS YOU ARE, but then other things need to be considered. I classify wearing make up, fake eye lashes, fake nails, fake tan, hair extensions & hair dye, in the same box as plastic surgery. You are changing your physical appearance to enhance it & make yourself feel better.

 

All these things are part of the evolving modern human, but it’s OUR responsibility to use it wisely and to BE HONEST about it!

CONCLUSION on Plastic Surgery

YOU have the right to choose what is right for you & your body.

BE HONEST about who you are and what you have done ESPECIALLY if you are in the health & fitness industry & you are promoting a physique.

Do the “pre-work” first. UNDERSTAND WHY you are wanting it and what the underlying cause may be for you wanting to change your body.

Place your health 1st!

Do it for your self-love journey NOT to try win the love of someone else.

DON’T judge the person who has had work. You may not agree with it (completely ok), but judgment in itself is NOT self-love. It’s body shaming….wish them the best and do what feels right for you.

“I’m doing everything right but I’m not reaching my body goals?!?!?!?”

“I’m doing everything right but I’m not reaching my body goals?!?!?!?”

“I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing but I’m not losing the weight?!?!?!?”

“I work out regularly & eat clean but the weight just won’t budge”

“I have done extreme…. and things did changed but it was impossible to maintain”.

“How come some people can eat and do what they please and not gain an inch while I just have to look at a bread roll and I am 2kilos heavier?”

“I don’t want to do some crazy diet, I want to enjoy life as well….but at this rate, I am considering going back to …….(fill in the blank of extreme diets)”

 

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

I bet they do and I have personally used them in the past myself!

 

On paper, you tick all the boxes. You have dotted all the ‘I’s’ and crossed all the ‘t’s’ but nothing is happening.

 

I have heard this more times in my career than I can count. And I have personally worked with numerous women who have experienced this.

 

Now, this is something that doesn’t just happen in relation to our body and weight. It’s a phenomenon that happens in a our relationships, business, careers, love lives…..you name it!

You are doing what others are doing; you follow the guidelines; you take the correct steps but somehow you don’t get to where you want to be. And what makes it, even MORE, frustrating is that when you look around, you see others who are doing LESS, have fewer qualifications/experience, LESS personality/charisma, LESS whatever…..but they seem to be cruising ahead.

I have really taken the time to study this over the past couple of years because let’s face it, there are a countless number of “guru’s” out there who say “If you do this, you will get these results”. And ya, maybe you do get the results but they are so brief, so unmaintainable & so unenjoyable that it’s a guaranteed fail. OR maybe you do do everything “right” and get zero results!

The question remains…..What makes someone succeed at achieving their “body goals” while others struggle so much?

Here’s what I can tell you.

It’s NOT a specific diet

It’s NOT a specific training plan

It’s NOT a special coach or guru

It’s NOT a supplement, shake or pill

It’s NOT will power.

And it’s NOT even about the weight!!!! It is NEVER about the weight. Most women think the ideal weight is what will make them happy but it’s not (read Destination Addiction)…..guaranteed!

 

Yes they do have an effect on results but only AFTER you address the REAL blockage which is this….

It comes down to a belief system because what we BELIEVE about ourselves has a direct impact on our results. And what’s even scarier, is that our belief system outweighs ANY AND EVERY physical effort you put in.

 

So before you tell me: “Ok Jody, so what now? Am I supposed to ‘think myself slim’?”…..Definitely not, it will have no effect or benefit to your results.

 

“But Jody, I don’t have a bad belief system about myself, I know I am a good person who deserves results.”….If that was the case I can guarantee you, you would be happy and satisfied within your body and your results would have manifested themselves long ago. You THINK this about yourself but you don’t BELIEVE it.

Thinking something and believing something are 2 very different things.

 

And here is the part why most people fail…..

Changing our belief system is harder that ANY EXERCISE OR DIET OUT THERE!!!! 9/10 people would rather try another fad diet, starve themselves, gym for 3 hours a day, buy copious amounts of pills, hell, I bet some people would rather run the comrades, twice, before they start working on changing their mindset. Because to change your minds belief about WHO YOU ARE & WHAT YOU DESERVE, will be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do!!!

 

HOWEVER when you do……EVERYTHING CHANGES. Not just your body, but your entire life!

 

 

Now there isn’t enough space or time to go into this in detail but what I want to leave you with is this.

 

If you KNOW you are doing everything right, but not achieving the “body goals” you want….it’s NOT your diet, stamina, training, coach, supplement or will power. It is your BELIEF system and until you change that…. you will NEVER achieve your goals.

I believe in this so much that I have even stopped selling “diets and training” programs and my focus is primarily on healing, exercising & changing THE MIND & SOUL so that you can achieve your true body goals (physical, mental & spiritual) which ultimately is what I call BODY FREEDOM (…and I’ll let you in on a little secret….what you “think” are your body goals, really aren’t. They are a watered-down version of who you are born be).

If this has sparked something inside of you and you are ready to make a massive mind shift to get to where you want to be in your health, body, and life…..drop me a message & I can share more on my coaching options with you.

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