By Kate Horney
This past weekend Patrick and I competed in our first fitness competition!
Not only did we step on stage in the best shape of our lives (yes, even 8 months after having Jackson) but I can truly say that we enjoyed the journey leading up to the show AND that we had a blast on stage.
It was a great day for me as I completed a personal goal and hopefully, in a small way, was able to show that being a mom does not mean the END of your fitness.
In fact, I see having a baby as a REASON to make health and fitness a priority, not an excuse as to why you can’t. (Yes, I was the only bikini competitor back stage with pumped breast milk on ice in my 6 pack fitness cooler! Mommas do what they’ve gotta do)
Stepping on stage was a great experience for me. I competed in a huge class of girls, managed to get 2nd call outs (WOOT WOOT!) and I loved getting to share the experience with my husband. It was fun to celebrate being 8 months postpartum, celebrate being a mom, and celebrate doing a competition the healthy, happy & balanced way.
As I reflect back on the competition, I have two big takeaways…
1) THERE IS A BETTER WAY!
It’s crazy what some competitors are willing put their bodies through in order to prepare for a competition.
Restrictive diets that are nearing starvation, hours and hours of endless cardio, dehydration, crazy fat burners, and more….
Follow that with insane binge eating and incredibly unhealthy lifestyle practices after the show and it’s honestly a recipe for disaster. I don’t know about you, but as a busy mom, I do NOT have time for that.
There is a better way! We were able to do our competition differently, and it set us up better both for the competition, and for our long term health.
2) Fitness Must Be A Secondary Goal.
There is certainly nothing wrong with making it a goal to be in the best shape of your life, but at the same point, I would encourage you to do so in a balanced way.
No matter how important we think the quest for a “perfect” (although we know there really is no such thing) body may be right now, none of us will take our bodies with us to eternity.
We will all age and ultimately pass away one day. When that time comes, and we are surrounded by our family, I highly doubt our dying words will be, “I wish I had have spent more time at the gym, and more time weighing my food and perfecting my body.” It’s a great goal-but it must be secondary.
I do think health & fitness should be a priority, but it is not (and should not be) the end all be all.
What is the cost/benefit ratio of your commitment? Are you pursing your goal at the sacrifice of your family? Of your health? Of your sanity?
Fitness should promote health, should make you happy and should NOT consume your life.
It should be PART of your life, but it should not BE your life.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and a fun one to do as a family. I hope that we do it again at some point. I have learned a lot from it and I would encourage anyone out there who is thinking about stepping on stage to take the plunge and do it-just do it in the right way! 🙂