Props to bodybuilding and everything that it has taught me.
So I’m sitting here trying to write this blog post about my whole bodybuilding/life journey these last few years… I don’t even know where to start with this story trying to explain it in a page or two. This isn’t probably the typical blog post you might read on here, but it’s the only one I know how to write right now. I didn’t want to just list off the last few years with my bodybuilding career, kinda going through all the details, my training, what the dieting was like because the whole journey has been about so much more than that. It’s all really about feeling confident in yourself, knowing you’re worthy, and feeling like enough the way you are, righttttt now.
I’ve competed for the last 3-4 years of my life up until a few months ago when I decided that I needed to take a break from the whole lifestyle. I don’t even know how to sum up what those few years of competing were like. I watched my body get to a crazy lean level that I never even knew was possible. I obsessed about the food I ate and what my weight was down to the decimal that day. I checked my abs multiple times a day to be sure they were still there. I based my whole self worth— everything that I was as a person— on what my body fat percentage was.
I let the comments and praise about my weight be the driving force of my life. I lost friends and fought with family about the smallest things. I’ve binged on so much food in such a short amount of time that I’m in physical pain and can’t move my body. I’ve done 3 hours of cardio a day with the hope to just lose a few lbs. I’ve lived caring about my appearance far too much, for far too long. This is what I learned from the whole journey.
I’ve learned that if you aren’t happy with your body, if you don’t love and respect it wherever you are right now in your journey, then losing some weight isn’t going to solve your problems. I’ve learned that who I am, my identity, my self worth doesn’t have to be dependent on my looks. It doesn’t have to be about how I did at a show, how lean I did or didn’t get, or how flat my stomach is looking for the day. I learned that it is easy to get so focused on something that you can lose track of everything else that actually matters in life.
I’ve learned that my happiness isn’t dependent on anything outside of myself. I’ve learned that if I don’t love and accept myself right now at whatever weight, then no amount of change to my outer body is going to bring me inner peace. I’ve learned that everyone struggles in different way, and that we are never alone. I’ve learned that sharing my story and struggles with this sport has helped so many people going through the same things. I’ve learned that it is possible to have a healthy relationship with food again, to actually enjoy working out, and not having weight loss be the number one focus of your life. I’ve learned that we are alllll sooo much more than the meat suits that we wear.
I’ve learned that peace, joy, and acceptance doesn’t come from your looks, what your job is, how much money you have, or how much shit you have collected throughout your entire life. Real peace and joy comes from being here right now. It comes when we focus on the present. Letting go of whatever you’ve been through and not stressing about the future and what could or needs to happen, but just letting life happen how it is. Accept the day, be thankful for your “struggles”, all your life lessons, and know that you are everything you need to be right now. Take what you’ve gone through and use it as a tool to grow, learn, and evolve into your best self.
Changing your body or something about you in order to hopefully be happier, feel better about yourself, love yourself more, isn’t going to happen. Basing your happiness and worthiness on anything outside of you is a pretty risky thing to do. To say you can only be happy when you look a certain way is bound to bring you sadness eventually. Our bodies change, what we are capable of doing changes. We grow old and what would our lives become if you can only be happy when things are exactly how you want them. Learn to embrace it all. Don’t attach your identity to anything superficial… your looks, talents, job, money… just experience it all and let it go. Know that you are more than the things that you have, what you look like, your job, etc. You are the consciousness behind it all.
I can feel this getting progressively more hippie-ish as I go on, so I’m gonna finish up here. Take the crazy things you go through and use them to grow. Learn from them all and share it with the world. Find what you’re passionate about, how you can help other people, and do it. Love yourself along the whole journey, not just when you think you are “good” enough.
Cyberprops is excited to announce that the official countdown to what you’ve all been waiting for has arrived! Check out how you too can give props: http://app.cyberprops.com/cyberprops-introduction/