Monday, January 12, 2009

Finding Inspiration at the Olympia!

We all go through slumps during training.

Motivation? Where are you?

Often, we ask ourselves why we pursue such an unforgiving sport. Our muscles ache, our moods are unpredictable, we can't seem to lose weight fast enough for a show, and we feel alone.

Ice cream is calling, and we are close to picking up the phone—or a spoon.

I felt this way last fall. Post-competition blues hit me harder than ever. Training seemed meaningless. But then the opportunity of a lifetime came along: I was asked to present awards at the 2008 Olympia.

Backstage, the air was electric! Smelling the Pro Tan and seeing the stage lit up was intoxicating. I was drunk on excitement!

I watched each athlete in utter awe and admiration. I studied their movements, their energy and their presence. In those precious moments, I fell in love with competing all over again.

My happiest memory from the Olympia was presenting the Fitness Olympia award to the incredible Jen Hendershott.

When her name was called, I felt like I had won! She embodies fitness and is an incredible athlete, one who I look up to.

Now I secretly romanticize about competing in fitness. But I'll save that for another post.

Standing on that stage with so many of my heroes, I learned that you can't always find inspiration in the gym. So if your regimen is getting you down, go out there and get inspired!

Go to a local show or watch a video of a competitor you admire on to get your mindset in the right space.

Or maybe you've already found your own special source of inspiration.

So tell me, what motivates you?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Take Your New Year's Resolution to Lose Weight and Shove It!

During my third workout today, I finished reading Diary of an Exercise Addict by Peach Friedman.

Fitting, huh?

In her memoir, Friedman describes how she suffers from a combination of anorexia, bulimia, overeating and overexercising. Thankfully, Friedman recovers from her eating disorder, but her struggle to refrain from relapse and accept her body continues.

The book was unsettling because I found myself relating to many of her habits and thoughts. If you're like me, you'll see yourself in this passage:

Many women work out as a way of undoing. They work out to undo what they have eaten, to lose what they have gained. They are persuaded by magazines to "fix your tummy flaws" or "lose twenty pounds by summer," and they develop a pattern of self-loathing that is perpetuated by our culture.

How many times have you found yourself running an extra mile because of those cookies you ate last night?

And how about the time you tried on those jeans you wanted, only to hide in the change room and fight back tears of disgust over your soft muffin top?

Chances are you think about your weight constantly. You think about how your exterior appearance is flawed. You think about how you'd fix it.

And you tell yourself, tomorrow I will start my diet.

I'm the first to admit that I constantly focus on my problem areas instead of accepting and loving those parts of me that are perfect.

With that said, I would like to announce my New Year's resolution: to lose my unhealthy thinking patterns that weigh down my self confidence.

And I will enjoy the journey to the stage as Anita Kus-Roberts, not as someone I'm not supposed to be.

So tell me, do you obsess over your weight? If so, does it get in the way of your normal day-to-day activity?