Is there something in your life that truly makes you feel like "you"? Something that you think about all the time, even when you need to be thinking about other things? Something that makes you so happy and excited that you want to share it with the world? I do. Health and fitness is that something in my life. There is something amazing that happens inside of me when I am being diligent about taking care of my health and fitness, I am just a much happier person all around. I feel more energized, I feel amazing!
I had always known that I felt better when I was eating well and exercising, but you see, I also have a passion for food and I LOVE to eat!!! I got through high school in great shape as I was a distance runner, but by the end of college, when sports were no longer a part of my life, I felt myself feeling - I don't know - bad? I had no particular workout plan, and I did not skimp on college festivities, if you know what I mean.
I was not very comfortable in my own skin. Even though I had remained thin through college, I really disliked a lot about my body - the details of which I will not get into. To make matters worse, I gained some weight right after I graduated from college. Something had to change. I started going back to the gym and eating better, and got back to a comfortable weight but I still did not feel comfortable with my body. At this point I was a cardio queen, but I was finding myself exhausted after work and definitely not into the same old routine on the treadmill. I grabbed an Oxygen magazine and started following a workout plan and fell in love.
Lifting for me is like running for the marathoner. It clears my head, makes me feel exuberant and happy. My best friend is a runner and when she describes why she runs and how it makes her feel, I can relate because that is how lifting makes me feel. I love knowing that I am making my body stronger and being able to sculpt your body through hard work is rediculously empowering for me!
I went for a long period of time where I would lift and do just a little bit of cardio. I ate as healthily as I knew how to for the most part but I got to a point where I stopped seeing much progress or results. I wanted more. And I wanted a goal. I needed to channel my 5-day a week gym regimen into something.
That is about the time where I started to really dream. I would read about Oxygen cover models - the likes of Lori Harder, Lindsay Messina, Jamie Eason, Alicia Marie, and so on - and ponder what it was like and how one went about attaining that level of fitness. One of my other best friends, Angie, who happens to share this passion with me, and I would read about fitness competitions and discuss how in the world you would go about doing something that big and crazy. One day, we decided to take the leap. Well, I should say that Angie decided to take the leap and I decided to put my toes in and test the waters.
One year later, I have competed in my first bikini fitness competition - the 2010 NPC New Englands, and have started training for my next show. My next show is 2011 Fitness America New England at Mohegan Sun. For the record, Angie has actually competed in four shows - all over the span of April 2010 until November 2010. We will be sharing the stage in April 2011 and I could not be more extactic.
What I want to get across before I close (if I have not already lost you!), is that whatever that spark may be for you, pursue it. And when your passion gives birth to your dreams, chase them as hard and as fast as you can! You will be surprised at what you can do when you set your mind to it!