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what the hell did I get myself into?

I asked myself that questions several times during my 12 week competition prep. As I wake up at o’dark-thirty in the morning to do cardio. When I was at the gym getting in another workout. When I started having chicken breast nightmares. The questions always came up – what the hell did I get myself into?

Turns out, I got myself into a fine mess. A great one actually and I plan to stay in that mess. Rather than make this an all-out rehash, let me first tell you why. Why would I sign up for a physique competition? After working at a gym, being in the military, and just being around mothers in general, I heard a recurring theme – apparently a mom’s body went to shit after having kids and the only reason for said decline was the act of having kids. Kids were to blame for the state of a mom’s body. I didn’t want to be that mom. My child was not at fault for the way I looked and I never want him to hear that or experience the feeling of his mother blaming him for a body she does not like. You know what made my body that way? Hormones, diet, exercise, sleep, lifestyle. Not my child.

The other thing was that I was fairly uncomfortable with the idea of prancing about a stage in small clothes in front of a lot of people. You wouldn't think that was so. Crossfit girls wear booty shorts to workout in front of a gym and competition crowds all the time. What makes this different is I’d be judged based on how I looked. Being the person I am, I thought this thing that scared me so much was the perfect thing to try.

I did the competition to take personal responsibility for the way I looked. Being a person from the Crossfit way of life, functional fitness is always applauded. Let us be honest though. We use the terms “look, feel, and perform” to judge our progress. “Look.” That’s not necessarily functional. Rather than throw it out with the bathwater, just accept it. Accept that many of us want to feel good about what we see in the mirror. We want to look good naked. Hell, we want to look good clothed. Not to say, we have to be skinny and malnourished, but we want to be emotionally pleased. I won’t go into what pleases us vs what pleases society, but for this purpose I’m focusing on the “pleases me” part. I wanted to look good. I wanted to have a picture to show my son. Despite what I look like in the future, I wanted to have something to show him so he would know that mommy was pleased with the way she looked after having him. Mommy was fit and healthy (and VERY tan). She was able to find time to raise him, go to the gym, and eat healthy. The harder part is conveying that fitness was a priority as it relates to health and that is the foundation to meeting other priorities. It’s a start though.

Before I get attacked about how you may or may not have time, money, or another resource – this is not about you. It’s about me and my family. I’d say I’m sorry you don’t have time to workout or make your food, but I’m not sorry. I don’t care. For all I know, it’s not one of your priorities at all, which is also fine. I care that I found the time to do those things, minimize time in the gym to what was absolutely necessary, make time to be with my family and still manage to nurse and pump for my son. I wanted to manage it and I did. That’s it. That is what I used to keep pushing through the rough spots. That’s what I used to help make decisions about my schedule and my eating habits. So many reasons to come up with, but none that counted like this.

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