I'm going to get a little vulnerable with you for a moment. We all have demons; sometimes they're around constantly, other times, they show up unexpectedly.
In the past, I've shared with you about my eating disorder. I have so much anxiety about relapsing that it's eating me alive. After getting fit and healthy, I look at myself and still feel unsatisfied. I can find the littlest area of fat on my body and convince myself that I'm "getting fat". While I know it's not true, I can't get the feelings to go away, no matter what I do.
I have an insane case of body dysmorphia. If you don't know what it is, here's the definition:
A mental illness involving obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance. The flaw may be minor or imagined. But the person may spend hours a day trying to fix it. The person may try many cosmetic procedures or exercise to excess.
People with this disorder may frequently examine their appearance in a mirror, constantly compare their appearance with that of others, and avoid social situations or photos.
I'm having a very hard time this week. Every time I eat, I feel sick. I'm to the point where I don't know if there's actually something wrong, or if I'm somehow suppressing anxiety about my eating disorder and I'm unconsciously not wanting to eat. I know that in order to gain lean muscle, I'm going to have to gain weight. I've been so scale conscious that my scale is now hidden.
I don't want to feel the way I'm feeling. I want to be strong, fit and healthy. I love seeing my muscles grow, it gives me confidence.
Anxiety is real. If you've ever dealt with it, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, please try to give a little extra love and encouragement to your friends who have or are.
Writing, lifting and podcasting are my release. I always feel that if I could at least help one person with my words, then being open and vulnerable are worth it.
Sometimes life doesn't go the way you plan it. Grin, bear it, fight, and eventually you'll find the light at the end of the tunnel. And if you don't find a way, make one.
PCSD...I call it post-competition stress disorder. It may or may not be a real thing, but for me, it's definitely real.
Since stepping on stage on April 22nd, I've continued to hit the gym. With that being said, I haven't been eating as clean as I was during my 125 day transformation. I've felt a little bloated and can tell I'm not as tight and shapely as I was when I competed.
I was feeling okay about myself until I had my first post-competition measurements done. The verdict: I've gained more than 2% body fat. My first reaction was to completely freak out. In fact, I almost cried. Am I really flushing 125 days worth of hard work down the drain because I like cookies so much?
The answer is NO! I'm not giving up and I'm not backing down on how far I've come, I still have so much more to work for. I want so badly to gain muscle while staying lean.
Mentally, I feel like I'm losing it. Obtaining competition weight and physique is possible. Maintaining competition weight and physique is not healthy, especially if your goal is to build muscle. I could easily look like a string bean year round by sticking to a clean diet, but that's not my goal.
Muscles need fuel. But guess what that means? I have to eat.
I've written about my struggles with body image and eating disorders in the past. The good days definitely outshine the bad, but those feelings of self-doubt, insecurity and anxiety still catch me off-guard sometimes. In my mind, eating more protein and carbs is going to make me get fat. The reality is, eating more clean food, higher in protein and carbs, is going to give my muscles the nutrients they need to grow. As long as I continue to work hard, and lift heavy, I'm going to be fine!
I hate the voices inside my head! They make me feel worthless some days. Other days, I feel like I'm capable of anything and everything. Anxiety is a terrible monster. Insecurity is a terrible monster. Depression is a terrible monster. I'm beyond blessed to have so many incredibly supportive friends who help me fight through days like today.
The hard truth is that many of us feel this way but we don't always talk about it. We set goals for ourselves and when we fall short or don't accomplish them, we feel worthless. The best thing we can do is keep fighting, keep battling and no matter what, we can't give up.
When you feel discouraged, stop what you're doing, take a deep breath in, and look at how far you've come. Remember, it's not always about the destination, it's about the journey.
Like Coach Mark Mangino says, Keep sawin' wood.