Hi! This is Emily, the TSF Office Manager & here’s my story for you today:
I competed in my first NPC Bodybuilding show in June of 2016. After my first show, I became addicted to this lifestyle and everything that involved competing. I loved the extreme aspects it took to get to the end goal of stepping on stage. In early 2017, I decided I wanted to start preparing for my second show. I felt ready; mentally, physically, emotionally…I was ready to do it again, but better.
At the time, my coach created both nutrition and training plans for me and I was on my way to competing in my second show in May. I was crushing my workouts, my cardio and nailing my diet. Everything that I could control, I was doing perfectly. The first couple of weeks, I was seeing major changes, up until I was 5 weeks out from my show. It seemed as though I hit a plateau. I voiced my concerns to my coach, because not only could I see the changes coming to a pause, but I felt it too. I felt as though I needed more. I needed more attention, more variety and intensity in my workouts. However, the response I received was that she did not feel the same. As an athlete from the age of 4, I’ve always been super in tune to my body, knowing when I could push further and when I needed to pull back some. In this case, I knew my body and I knew it well. I had more in me and I knew it would take more to continue to progress to get where I needed to be to step on stage. Because it was only going to be my second show, I didn’t feel as though I could take the rest of the prep into my own hands and coach myself, so I decided to pull out of the prep entirely. At first, I felt as though I let myself down and was upset about my decision…like really upset. I felt like I was a disappointment and a quitter. But then I sat on it and listened to advice from the close people around me. I realized this was the best decision for me in that very moment. Simply put, it wasn’t my time. It wasn’t my time to keep going because I did not have the right coach by my side guiding me throughout the rest of my journey.
The biggest piece of advice I can share to anyone looking to step on stage and compete in a bikini competition is to do your research and find a coach that works for YOU – A coach who has your best interest and genuinely cares about your health and your success above all else.
After deciding to leave my previous coach, I tried out someone else who I thought would be the PERFECT fit for me. I saw her as a role model, someone who was likeminded to me, had goals as big as mine and seemed as though she cared greatly about helping me prepare for my second show. After pulling out of the previous prep, with my new coach, we reverse dieted for a very short period of time…about a month and then started another prep. Again, I thought this was it. This was going to be fantastic because I was ready in all aspects AND had the right coach. WRONG-O.
I endured the same thing as before, I followed my diet and training to a T and did everything I was told to do. As the weeks went by, I was killing myself on the stair master, doing 2-a-days, feeling the overwhelming hunger and seeing results. But, only seeing results once again, to a certain point. Again, my body just stopped responding! But how?..I was doing everything I was being guided to do. It stopped responding to continuously digging deeper, adding more cardio and eating less. Why did this happen? This happened because I was not properly reversed out of my previous prep. We jumped into a prep waaaaay too soon. My body was not ready to go to that extreme again. What I needed was more like 2-4 months of lowered cardio and increased calories before I was to start a prep again. Instead, my body plateaued and was screaming to stop what I was doing. It was trying to send me a message.
At this point, I was a little less than 2 weeks out from my show and in my opinion I did NOT look like I was 2 weeks out. For one, that was messing with my head, but I also did not feel confident with the package that I was going to bring. I knew I could be better. Being that this was the second time this happened, I decided to listen to my body because in my gut I knew something was wrong. I can remember finishing up my training session and sitting in my car crying because I felt as though ONCE AGAIN I let not only myself down, but my coach as well. I sat for a long time and just reflected. I went back and forth; do I do it or do I keep trying to push and just stick it out. I finally just started to form the text to my coach. I explained everything, how I was feeling, what I was thinking and expressed how badly I want to step on stage and be proud of my final package. Fortunately, we both agreed that it was OKAY to pull out of the show and prep again when my body was ready to go through it. Even though I still had feelings of disappointment in myself, I felt the weight get lifted off my chest. It was different than the previous time because I learned to accept the fact that I didn’t actually quit. My body was telling me something and I had to listen to it. The stage will ALWAYS be there. When your body and mind are ready to give 110% to a prep, that’s when you should do it.
Hey, this is Alexa here to admit…I did the same.
I started this business shortly after I competed in my very first 2 shows. I loved it so much that I started a business in the industry! The following 2 years after the birth of TSF, I prepped to step on stage again…and quit both times.
I not only love the sport of bodybuilding but I love this business so damn much, that it was too difficult for me to handle both. At the end of the day, my priority is caring for this business like a baby. My priority is YOU, the person on the other end reading this.
Worrying about making sure my meals were prepped, getting in all my cardio, lifts, BCAA’s, etc. felt selfish to me. It was consuming too many hours of my day that instead needed to go towards building and nurturing this very business.
So not once but twice, I had to make the painful decision to pull out of prep and focus on what was most important to me.
The purpose of this blog is to let you know that we’re all human! We all experience different life scenarios and we all sometimes can’t handle everything at once. We know so many people have also been in this same boat and beat themselves up over “quitting”. So we want you to know that you are NOT ALONE! The ladies behind TSF have been there too! And guess what, the stage will always be there waiting. It’s okay to put yourself first, in fact, it’s necessary. When the time is right, you will know and will come back better than ever J