What a wild ride! My first fitness competition is officially in the books. I can't begin to thank you all for the kind words, emails, messages, texts and encouragement along the way. I'm truly blessed beyond measure!
After training and clean eating for 125 straight days, this way of living has really become my lifestyle. Last week, I ate whatever I felt like eating. It actually made me feel pretty crappy and I gained 5 pounds within a few days. I felt sluggish and I was a little grumpy. It also made it really hard to sleep.
So what comes next?
I'm back on track this week with my clean eating and training. I already have my sights set on competing again the first weekend in November.
When I started this journey, my biggest goal was to become healthy and feel good about myself. Competing was secondary to my main goal. Now that I've done it, I can't wait to do it again. I also think it's going to help me stay on track with my eating and workouts.
So many of you have reached out to me asking me which specific diet I have been on to achieve the results that I have. The answer isn't simple. Every body is different. Every person is made up of different components. Something that worked for me might not work for you.
Here are the basics of what I did:
One of the biggest keys to my success was preparation. I tried to pick one day of week to cook and prep out all of my meals. Doing that has been really instrumental because I'm super busy.
The most important factor is staying disciplined, even when it's hard and you're not seeing the results you want. Losing fat takes time. Gaining muscle takes time. You're not going to see a change in your body right away. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Like I always say, it's not always easy, it's always worth it.
If you're tired of the way you look, change it! If you want something bad enough, you will stay committed and disciplined. We all have excuses; "I have three kids and I don't have time'" "I work bad hours and it's hard to make it to the gym" "I don't like eating healthy" "I'm embarrassed to work out in front of people" "I can't afford to eat healthy".
STOP MAKING EXCUSES!
If you can't find a way, make a way. Life is too short and too valuable to be living unhappily.
I used to use every excuse in the book as to why I looked the way I did. I hated the way I looked and I complained constantly about it. I stopped giving a crap. That feeling translated into every aspect of my life, from my job to my marriage to my friends, or lack of friends.
There are so many reasons we fall into bad habits. The good news is that we can break away from that way of living and create a new lifestyle. It's never too late to make a change. You're never too old or too weak to re-invent yourself.
Don't wait any longer! Don't start next week or next month or 30 days from now. Start right now! Take control of your life.
My next step in this journey is to start pursuing some of the other goals I've given up on in the past. I feel like I have a new life and a new confidence.
More than anything, I want to inspire others who have faced similar setbacks in their lives.
If you're reading this and you need extra encouragement, words of advice or someone just to listen, I'm here. I want to help! Please reach out to me. You're not alone in this. Your road of life doesn't end here.
If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you!
I got to go on Colorado's Best and talk about the competition, check it out here: http://kdvr.com/2018/04/30/daras-transformation/
Be sure to follow me on social: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
I haven’t written a post in a while but I’m definitely not slacking on the social media selfies. You know what’s insane? There are only 10 days left until the Rocky Mountain Musclemania competition. That means I’ve been on this journey for more than 100 days now. Honestly, it blows my mind. Now is the perfect time for me to reflect on this process.
Speaking of my mind, there have been so many days lately where I actually feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t tell you how many times during the last few weeks where I have really looked at myself and thought “I can’t do this. My body is not ready. I don’t have a butt. I still have cellulite. I’m awkward. I don’t look as good as the other girls. I don’t have the best theme wear. I don’t look good in booty shorts. I’m tired. Are my muscles even growing? What was I thinking? Am I really ready?” Those are thoughts that have flooded my mind and I probably think them on a daily basis.
But it then I stop myself. I didn’t decided to take this journey for anyone but myself. When I say that out loud, it sounds really selfish. I don’t want to get a healthy, strong body and mind for anyone but myself. If I did, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I would’ve given up after a few weeks like I have with so many other goals I’ve set in the past.
That’s one of the biggest, most valuable lessons I’ve learned on this journey. If you really commit to a goal, you can achieve it. As cliche as it sounds, nothing is impossible. You’re mind is the only thing stopping you from succeeding.
For the first time in my life, I’m learning to love food. I’m on my way to feeling comfortable in my own skin. Before this journey, I never really loved myself. If you know me, you know my story.
When I was 12, I was raped by my next door neighbor. I never told anyone, including my parents, until I was 16. I kept that pain inside and I let it eat me alive. I hated myself. I felt disgusting. I starved myself and if I decided to eat, I made myself puke. I was ashamed. I sought attention any way I could get it. That was one of the darkest times in my life.
When I went off to college, I got a new start. New friends, a new city, a fresh outlook. The world really was my canvas. I set my goals so high and got involved in as many activities as I could. Somehow, though, I still never felt like I was enough. I felt lost. I always found a way to screw up whatever I touched, or so I thought.
See, that’s the thing about me, my mind always gets in the way. Or maybe that’s the excuse I use.
I’m the worst at following through with my goals, dreams and aspirations. I graduated college, sure. That was a big goal of mine. But as I look back now, I can’t say that I gave it my 110%.
I have given this new lifestyle change 110%. I haven’t cut corners. I haven’t missed workouts. I haven’t cheated on my diet. I’ve spent endless weekends practicing my posing.
When I step on stage on April 22nd for Musclemania Colorado, I will be doing it as a new version of myself. A stronger mind and a stronger body. I will do it knowing that I did absolutely everything in my power to be the best version of myself. I’m going to feel proud.
The journey doesnt stop on April 22nd. This is a new lifestyle for me. I’m committed to reinventing myself. I’ve come this far, why stop now? I have a new list of goals and a new focus. I can’t wait to see what happens now that I have the ability to fully commit to life.
Even more important, if I can do this, you can do this!