How I became un-obsessed with fitness and found balance.
We will start this story and early 2016 when I prepared for my last, most recent, yet 13th bikini competition. I was under a lot of stress from a recent break up, finishing my senior year of college, going through major life and financial transitions while questioning who I wanted to be as I graduated and stepped into the real world. I don’t know why I felt that I should compete again at such a hectic time, since competing typically makes you very unhealthy... but the sense of having a schedule and a goal really helped me stay motivated instead of depressed. I've always used fitness as something constant and stable in my life, sometimes it's good, sometimes not so much.
I did not anticipate 2016 to be such a difficult transition in my life but it turned out to be a turning point for me as I moved across the country from Texas to Colorado. I was struggling mentally as a result of a few negative relationships and bad influences in my life. I needed to repair family relationships and find myself again.
I have always used the gym and exercise as my outlet for stress and coping with problems. In times of severe stress in my life I tend to work out extra hard and a little bit more than the average person in my friends/family circle. For me I have always seen it as normal but trust me, I get that it is not for everyone. I will say though that I’ve slowed down and learn to enjoy life without being gym focused now. I've matured. I've gone through some phases, and I'll proudly keep changing.
My true transition into a more balanced lifestyle really began in the summer of 2016 when I first arrived in Colorado Springs. Me and my roommate/ ex-boyfriend began going on hikes, adventures and walks daily with my dog. I have always truly loved being outdoors so the sunshine and fresh air slowly cleared my head of anxiety and I found more peace as I meditated in the mountains. (At this time I was not tracking macros after a lonngggg time of being a slave to myfitnesspal)...I felt I was finally away from all of the negative environment stressors and I had a chance to meet new people and be whoever I wanted to be. It was incredibly freeing to me but also scary because I left behind all of my friends and I left my comfort zone in Texas. I do not live near any friends or family so I had to really establish myself as a new person here and start my “adult life”, and one thing I did know about myself is that I NEEDED to find a good balance with this whole bodybuilding thing. I had to find more passions than the gym. One of the biggest stressors for me was finances and finding a “big girl job” so I had to shift my focus to that more. I had to really work with meditation and reading a lot of helpful books to get over my fear of basically going broke or not being as successful as I could me. My biggest fear is that I would hold myself back so I had to become open to every opportunity.
I find a lot of my peace of mind comes when I'm hiking in the mountains so I tend to do that at least once or twice a week and really contemplate my life. It is only in the mountains that I have solitude and peace of mind. I love the sun rise and sun set, the sound of the birds and the creek. In the past year I realized that I could only achieve such a feeling of being one with the world when I am connected with nature, not wasting so much time in the gym. Getting outdoors showed me that my problems were tiny in the scope of the universe.
I began experience feelings of wanting to be outdoors when I was training in the gym so I tried to transition into more biking and hiking and outdoor exploring which led me to realize that the gym is not all that important and that there is so much more to life than working out every day, lifting X amount of weight, looking a certain way, making a post on Instagram and getting feedback or making a sale. Well these are all aspects of my life, I definitely have found a deeper meaning to live and I was really just being present in the moment and enjoying the natural surroundings that is already here for us.
And that's how I evolved from fitness 24/7 to a more balanced approach. The answer was finding my peace :) thank you for reading. If you have a comment I would love to hear! Reach out to me.
PHOTOS- some before/"obsessed" pics vs some current healthy and balanced pics:)