100 Days Left of 2019
As of today, there are only 100 days left until the end of 2019. Kind of shocking, huh? I don’t know about you, but for me there’s nothing like a deadline to swing me into action.
I have to admit, even though I started the year really hardcore strong, I completely fell off the fitness bandwagon after my competition in February and had a massive case of “eff it!”
There were several roadblocks I hit that knocked me off course. For my annual birthday scare (February 2nd) my husband and I learned the final dance with the lift from the movie “Dirty Dancing”. Here’s the money shot.
While practicing the lift I badly twisted my ankle and was limping around for three weeks. This timed perfectly with the Arnold Competition (February 28th). When you twist your ankle the very last thing you want to do is walk on stage in 5″ heels and a bikini where you are supposed to arch your back for the poses. I had trained so hard for months and looked like a total novice on stage because I was in a lot of pain.
By training hard, I mean that I started training for the Arnold five months prior, in October 2018. If you have never done a bodybuilding competition, let me assure you the restrictive diet is the hardest part. This means I couldn’t eat Halloween candy, neither apple pie nor mashed potatoes with gravy for Thanksgiving, forget about Christmas cookies and candy canes, New Year’s was sans alcohol, birthday cake – well, I did eat birthday cake, cause I did the Dirty Dancing lift! – but then no chocolates for Valentine’s Day. To give up all of my favorite junk foods for every major holiday, plus do really heavy lifting and then bomb on stage because I was injured, sucked beyond belief. I didn’t go into the competition expecting to win, just improve my ranking; it really hurt to work so hard for naught.
Around the same time I was doing public speaking competitions. I was giving motivational speeches and telling some pretty personal stories about fear and loss and overcoming obstacles. I was taking an online public speaking class and recorded one of my speeches which I shared with the class for feedback about how I lost 50 pounds and changed my life. I was wearing a gray dress that I felt really pretty in. It was the same dress I did my 5 minutes of stand up comedy in back for my 42nd birthday scare. In one of the online chats, a woman I never met before wrote to the effect, “Who does that stupid woman in the trashy gray dress think she is?” Other women came to my defense, but still, it made me feel awful. Another women said, “I’d kill myself if I ate the way you did.”
So for the speech competition I didn’t wear the dress, in fact I wore pants and sneakers and covered myself up. I didn’t win the competition. I came in 2nd but all I felt was that I failed. I didn’t dress right. I didn’t speak right.
So then I began to ask myself some very unhelpful questions. Why the hell am I killing myself if I’m not winning first place and apparently everyone hates me and wants to see me overweight again?
So I said eff it.
I ate cookies. I drank wine. I ate popcorn. I did the bare minimum at the gym just once or twice a week instead of daily. Surprise, surprise, I gained back weight and felt like shit. This was compounded by the fact that I’m a personal trainer for a living! I stopped editing my next fitness book.
But then a funny thing happened. I realized that I missed being…me. I missed going to the gym. I missed eating vegetables and roast chicken. And even though I will always love chocolate it’s really not all that appealing when you eat it every day.
I also remembered that my New Year’s Resolution/Annual Birthday Scare is coming up in about 100 days. It’s to turn my memoir, “She’s Losing It!” into a movie. Flipping through my book I landed on the exact page I needed to read.
I had been losing weight, training for my first bodybuilding competition, and two women at the gym were glaring at me so I…went home and self sabotaged by overeating. I emailed my friend, Regina, venting about how dumb I felt and here’s what she wrote:
Vent away. Let me just say a BIG screw you to those bitches. This is a problem THEY are having. Maybe they were looking at you wishing they were already where you are. It doesn’t matter what size you are compared to others; it matters where you are for YOU. Listen to your emotionally healthy friend, the work you are doing for YOU is just as hard as the work I am dong for me. Don’t destroy yourself to fit in (either heavier or lighter). Stay on your path and you will get there. I’m here for you.
Regina was right then and she’s right now. Regarding bodybuilding competitions – you either win or you learn. I learned to perhaps schedule a crazy dance lift after the next competition. Now when I look at the picture from the competition, I don’t think ‘failure’ I think that I was strong to not quit.
There are 100 days left in 2019 and I plan to finish strong after wasting several months feeling bad. I’m going to practice chin ups until I can do at least five unassisted. (One day I will be able to do those salmon ladder jumps you see on American Ninja Warrior – perhaps birthday scare 46?) I’ve picked up where I left off on my book and it will be released (God willing) in time for Christmas. And I absolutely will turn my memoir into a movie because if nothing else some other woman out there needs to hear Regina say, screw those bitches!
Lisa Traugott is a personal trainer, Mom’s Choice Award writer, original cast member of FOX/John Cena’s “American Grit” and has a monthly fitness column on Bowflex.com. She won Ms. Costa Rica Sports Model 2017 and her transformation story was featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Good Day Austin, Great Day Houston and Austin Woman Magazine. She blogs at ShesLosingIt.com and is passionate about her clients.
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