... But I felt like $h!*.
This is a picture from June 2010. After my first, (and last) fitness competition.
I had just graduated from University & College Basketball & Cross Country. I no longer had a reason to hit the gym and stay strong + fit. I longed for a measurable goal to keep my accountable. So, I turned to something everyone around me was doing at the time - fitness competitions... and I jumped all in.
$1000's of dollars spent on a trainer, fat burning supplements, powders, bathing suits, tans, protein powders etc.... and that picture is what I took to symbolize my "success."
I still remember the 100's of LIKES I got when I posted this + the comments..
"You look so good, congratulations!"
"How can I look like this?"
Well, you can start by giving up everything social in your life.
Isolate yourself from your friends.
Hating going on vacation with your family because it messed up your gym routine.
Fearing all types of foods except dry chicken breast and low glycemic carbs.
Stare at yourself every time you do a rep, willing your muscle definition to show just a little bit more than the day before.
Compare yourself to other females, and long to be someone you are not.
Annoying and worrying everyone around you with the constant questions of: "am I fat?!"
or "do you think I look ok?"
Dehyrate yourself before you snap the photo.....
((at least that's how it was for me))
It's not that the fitness competition is bad itself... Please understand this blog is not an attack on fitness competitions, or people who participate in them. I know many people who participate in these and are able to manage themselves just fine. This is a reflection of my personal experience, and belief that there is just so much poor information out there. And, as a 21 year old female, I succumbed to the thought that this ideal look would somehow make me more worthy, would make me a better person, would make me more likable, would make me more successful, would give me a better sense of self.
All this picture did, was capture what I looked like for about 12 hours on one day in June 2010. And truthfully - that was dehydrated, defeated and desperate to find value in myself.
But I didn't find value after this competition,
I don't look at this picture as an ideal version of myself.
I don't look at this picture and long to look like this again.
I look at this picture as being lost, unhappy and unhealthy.
I look at this picture as the first step away from the wrong direction of fitness, and guiding me to a better place mentally + emotionally.
I look at this picture as the best lesson I could have ever learned, as someone who sees herself as a fitness authority, and has the privilege of working with 100s of people on their health + wellness everyday.
You see, the question I am most often asked in a clinical + fitness setting is "how can I lose weight??" The majority of people are seeking my guidance in changing the way their body looks... and that's OK. It's a starting point.
However, my approach no longer revolves around the "after picture." Instead, I am steadfast in focusing on the changing of the mindset, and allowing the aesthetic changes to be a by product from developing a good relationship with food. By detaching self-worth from the attainment of abs. By focusing on changing habits, building a beautiful life for yourself, and sifting through all the BS info out there.... we actually get the body composition results that people desired in the first place!
This is your LIFE. You don't get any do-overs. There is nothing wrong with training with a certain physique goal in mind, just make sure it's not the ONLY reason you're training. Abs are nice, but you won't find your self-worth in a six pack.
- Dr. Alli
P.S. let's get personal here.
I don't have to tell you that a lot of people in CrossFit work out with their shirts off. For the longest time, I was never comfortable enough in my own skin to do this. I never longed to look like other people, but I longed for the confidence that others had in their own skin! I constantly feared judgement from gym members & colleagues that my physique was un-goddess like and therefore, how could I be the trainer that they looked too?! I finally gathered the courage one day to take my shirt off to train and never felt so liberated, free and in love with the fitness and health I had built for myself. You see, it's not about building a body for the approval of others. It's about being damn proud and loving the skin you are in. Let's do this.
P.P.S. If you're ready to eat, move & think better grab my 8 week macros success ebook.
Dr. Alli Cain Team
Our mission is to act as a catalyst for as many people as possible to make a meaningful change to their health.