FreeMotion Figure- Natalie’s Journey to the Stage (Competition Wrap Up)

“Congratulations on tackling this big project in a real and awesome way. You are such an example of hard work, courage, and doing what you say…three things that are hard to come by these days. I have loved reading your blog posts. You are honest, positive and always looking to help someone else with your words. I don’t think that a lot of people, while on a hard journey, are looking out for others, but that has been your quest. I hope that you are getting out of this just as much as you are giving to others because you deserve it.

So tomorrow, rock that tiny little bikini, pose those poses, flex those muscles, bask in the light, take lots of pictures, relish the moment, feel the accomplishment, and enjoy the thought of where you started and where you are now physically and mentally. Can a muscle competition change the world? Probably not…or can it? Because of this whole thing there has been a lot of self-mastery, sacrifice, focus, determination, motivation, dedication, learning and growing…and isn’t that why we are here in the first pace? You got this! Good luck tomorrow, I love you.”

This was the text message I received from my big sister the night before competition day. If you understood our relationship and my complete admiration for her, you would more fully understand how much her words meant to me.

I took her words to heart and SOAKED in every moment of that entire day! It started at 5am with my 4th layer of tan. YES, I typed that correctly…4th layer! The tan is actually a really important part to the process. When you stand on the stage under the lights, without the tan, your muscle definition would not be as easily seen. Think of ALL the hard work put in to build those muscles and not getting credit on the big day because you opted out of the silly dark tan! Lets face it though; I looked like Ross on the episode of Friends…I’m a 12!

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I came away with two 5th place trophies. It was nice to get some hardware that I could share with my girls, but whether it was first place, fifth place or no place…it wouldn’t have mattered! It’s just not why I did this competition. However, I can remember a moment when I was standing on stage and all I could hear is my curly head, 4-year old Mya cheering “Go Mommy”! Now that is why I did this competition.

A few things I feel that I have proven along the way:

1. You can absolutely build muscle training on FreeMotion Cable! I trained for this entire thing on FreeMotion Cable!

2. Striving for personal goals does not make you selfish!

This has really been a family journey. In ways it has even strengthen my marriage. My husband was incredibly supportive throughout this process. My girls got to watch mommy accomplish something really hard and I know that will have a positive effect of them. Sometimes as mommies we especially play the guilt game when we do anything for ourselves. I would challenge you to look at that a little differently and see it as an opportunity to grow and teach.

3. Disease, genetics, post baby, and all the other reasons we can’t have the body and health we desire DO NOT HAVE TO BE OUR STORY! All I need to post here is this one picture of my abs. These are Hashimoto, Hypothyroid, Two baby, and genetically challenged abs. In NO way is this a brag, but rather a IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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4. Work smarter not harder! Toward the end of my prep I changed up my cardio and allowed for more rest. This was when I really started to see and feel my body change. Sometimes we think we have to do more, more, more, when really we just have to get smarter and more efficient with what we are doing in the first place. When we over train or put too much stress on the body, our cortisol levels spike and with the presence of higher cortisol levels we tend to hold weight especially in the abs, butt and thighs. Rest and Recovery is so important!

5. There is not a “ONE DIET FITS ALL” fix. Do not get caught up in the diet crazes of today, tomorrow and yesterday. Find balance, figure out what works for your body and then STICK TO IT! The best diet you can choose is the one you can be consistent with and make a lifestyle. Most of the time that falls right into something called BALANCE.

I am just as excited for this all to come to an end, as I was to stand on the stage and accomplish my goal that day. I have come to realize how much I appreciate and crave balance in my life, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Tonight I had a BBQ with my hubby and girls on the deck and I didn’t have to weigh and measure my chicken or make a completely different meal. That’s balance. This past week my workouts consisted of hikes, runs, lifts, and circuit training. Nothing super specific but just what my body was craving. That’s balance. I’m your girl that loves fitness and staying active but craves a chocolate chip cookie every once in awhile. I eat it and enjoy it! Everyone keeps asking what is next and if I will compete again…NEVER say NEVER, but I’m hanging up my bedazzled bikini and clear heals for now. Hopefully the next time you see me, I will be 25 pounds heavier growing baby Vetica #3.

For those of you who have been following along and have been inspired by this process, I will challenge you to pick a goal that scares you a little, get clear about what that is, get clear about the steps and actions needed to accomplish it and then get to work! When you have accomplished it we will celebrate and I’ll meet you for pizza!

Thank you for all the love and support! What an incredible ride!

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