The Night Before Competition + 20% Off
Tomorrow is my last bodybuilding competition of the year, the Texas State Naturals, or as I like to call it, 24 hours until I can drink a glass of wine and eat chocolate cake.
The past 18 months have been a tumultuous time for me and my family. My mother moved in with us, was going through chemo, and eventually passed away from lung cancer. She was given 12 months to live but only made it 10 months after her diagnosis.
While she was wasting away I was gaining back the weight I had fought so hard to lose and keep off; this just as my book, She’s Losing It! was launching. I was ashamed and embarrassed, I dropped off the women’s bodybuilding team I was on last year and quit a fitness competition two weeks before the show to care for my mom.
The story could have ended there. But it didn’t.
Recently, I stumbled across a quote on Instagram that made me pause. It said something like, “Boiling water makes the egg hard and the potato soft. It’s not circumstances but what you’re made of that determines how you handle adversity.”
She was right. I knew I had to get my act together, and not through my old bad habits. Bodybuilding had rescued me once before and it rescued me again this year.
I started training with Robin Johnson Jr. At first he was pretty soft on me, because I told him my only goal was to not gain back weight while my mom went through chemo. But once I entered the Arnold Amateur, the 2nd largest international bodybuilding competition next to the Olympia, and got accepted, the whole game changed.
I had something to look forward to, a goal to reach for. It was a total fluke that I got accepted. Most people who get in are winners. Oh sure, I lost weight and competed for fun, but only ever came in last. And by last I do mean dead last. Like 1st place, 2nd place……17th place….dead last is Lisa Traugott.
I used to say that some people had a Cinderella story where they trained hard and won their first competition but my story would have to be The Little Engine That Could.
This year my train came in. Robin told me that I was setting my own bar too low and that he had higher standards. He almost sent me home once because I had fallen off track and started stress eating and told me I needed to figure out my priorities. My priorities were that I really just needed to kick the shit out of something, so he taught me how to box that day.
Thank you, Robin, for pushing me past my comfort zone and into the winners circle.
Simultaneously, I realized that no matter how clean I ate or how heavy I lifted, if I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin while doing poses I’d never move up the ranks beyond last callouts. I met with Serena Hicks, a pole fitness dance teacher, and she helped me move past my fears and own the stage. Thank you, Serena, for helping me get some game.
At first I kept my struggles a semi-secret, not sure if the readers who followed my blog would be disappointed. On the contrary, you all have been so supportive of my highs and lows this year and I am so grateful. Thank you for reading my blog and posting such encouraging comments. You have no idea how much you lift my spirits.
And I am grateful too for Shine Athletica for believing in me when I didn’t fully believe in myself. Heather Warner, the creator of the clothing line, said she would be my fitness apparel sponsor and kept me dressed in cute clothes all year. To celebrate my last competition of the season she is giving a 20% discount to my readers who purchase via Amazon.com using this code: Shineon3. I will be posting pictures of Shine’s cute clothes all day tomorrow when I’m backstage to let you see the different options.
Thanks to my friends, old and new, especially Viv, Obidia, Liese, Regina, Cynthia, Meghan, Deirdre and Jenny,
who have been there for me to dry my tears when my mom went into hospice and to cheer me on as I directed all my energies into fitness and began to move up the ranks and eventually place in competitions:
- 20th out of 38 in the Arnold Amateur, open bikini (aka – I was up against 20 year olds)
- 3rd place Texas Shredder, bikini masters
- 3rd place Fitness Universe, sports model
- 2nd place Poseidon, bikini masters
Tomorrow, I’m going for my pro card, 1st place. But even if I don’t win it’s ok. Even when I lost I won, because I learned. I hope that by posting my ups and downs you see that there is nothing magical about what I do. No fairy sprinkles pixie dust on my muscles. It’s just consistent dedication, getting back on track when I mess up, and putting in hard work. When you are surrounded by such good people as I am, it makes the effort worthwhile.
My husband will be in the audience, as he always is. He is a rock star for taking the kids to school so I can sleep in and putting up with protein farts. My kids keep me laughing and are my cardio buddies (and sometimes my weights.) They are wanting me to bring home some more bling. We have grown closer as a family this year and I am lucky to be so well loved. They are my life and I’m sure they are ready to finally be able to eat some pizza.
I have no regrets. Because this year I’ve been through boiling water and it’s made me harder, stronger. I appreciate life more, and my body more too, because I’m acutely aware of how quickly it can deteriorate. So as long as I’m breathing and able, I will push myself to the limits: body, mind and soul. And I hope that you will push yourself too.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.
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