We all struggle. We all have our own personal issues, family issues, life issues. In the large scale of things I know my struggles are nothing compared to some and often times find myself feeling guilty for not being able to see how many blessings I have all around me. A wonderful life I have, I truthfully should be very grateful. And I try to remind myself of that daily. To see the big picture in this superficial industry I often times feel stuck in.
So whats my deal? Why am I struggling?
Some of you can probably read through that first paragraph and here resentment in my tone. Its not something I try to hide although I do try to put as much positivity as I can out there each day. But am I resentful in my everyday life? A little bit, yes. You see this industry looks so glamorous from the outside. “You have a perfect body, perfect husband, perfect life.. what do you have to complain about?” right? But that’s just it. To achieve what we have, my husband and I, we have hidden many of our struggles to get to where we are at. Damaged our bodies, damaged our metabolisms, over dieted, over extended ourselves, put ourselves out there to be scrutinized, and most importantly risked the very thing that is so important to us both- having children.
Brandan and I both want kids. We knew as soon as we met and have had many conversations regarding having kids after we were married. As many of you know, we work closely with a hormone doctor and we both had our hormones tested last December when I first moved to Sioux Falls. We are both a mess in terms of balanced in hormones and where we will need to be in order to have children. Unfortunately the only way of getting our bodies back to balance is through increasing our body fat, allowing ourselves more rest and recovery and introducing some hormone therapy to help jump start our systems in that direction. None of which can be done efficiently when one is dieting and/or restricting for events every few months.
I have accepted that this is my/our careers and this is what we do for a living now. But I cant help but often times feel resentment when I feel I have another purpose to live for rather than how lean I can get to look good in a photo or at an event. Its funny, I have been called narcissistic, conceded, etc on a few of my blog posts. But what some people fail to recognize is that more than anything in the world I want what everyone wants- a family, a “normal” life, a life not full of selfies, abs, weighing myself each day, stress over what I look like, etc.
About a month ago I found out I would most likely have to diet for the Olympia, as I am signing with a new supplement company and will need to do another photoshoot. I have noticed as time goes on, dieting seems to get harder for me. Not harder in terms of wanting to eat things that are off plan necessarily, but harder due to the underlying thoughts I have about what it is doing to my body long term and how it may affect my future and desire for a family. These are the things people in my position don’t openly speak about. Its not all glamour and fun- trust me. I have realized I feel I have purpose other than dieting now, I have a husband and something to live for outside of what I look like. Its a dream come true although it also causes a lot of torment. I will elaborate further here in a bit…
So along with that, some of you know I had my eyebrows tattoo’d last weekend. I knew I would get a lot of criticism openly talking about that but I decided to post it on my Instagram anyways. Kind of superficial after everything I said above huh? But if I am going to be real with you all and pride myself on that, then I need to be honest and share these things too, as getting your face tattooed is kind of a big deal in my opinion. I explained on Instagram the reason I did this. To save myself from writing that out again I am going to paste what I wrote on Instagram here:
“So today I had my face tattooed on. It’s funny cause people always comment on my “eyebrow game” but don’t realize I was blond for the first 19 years of my life. That being said I have tried to perfect the shape of my eyebrows for years so yes I have natural hair that provides the way my eyebrows are shaped. Unfortunately though, they’re naturally lighter than my hair is and it bothers me, so I fill them a little darker to match my hair shade a bit better. Anyways, I had heard about eyebrow hair stroke tattooing from a friend who had it done and really wanted to do it but had to find someone I trusted enough to tattoo on my face because every girl should know your eyebrow game is seriously one of the most important things in life (joking…kinda lol). I am super happy to say my hormone doctor in Lincoln, NE recommended someone to me who did them perfect today and I am thrilled with the results. So my first tattoo happen to be my face (sorry mom and dad)….”
The tattoo itself I do not regret at all. I posted an after photo as requested and I am very pleased with the results and do not regret my decision. I went very modest in getting this done and I have always been self conscious about not having my eyebrows filled in with my hair so dark so I feel this small procedure makes me feel much more confident. Like I mentioned, the shape of my brows has taken me years to “perfect” to my liking and I have hair everywhere I fill my brows, it just isn’t the color I wished it was.
Anyways, the downfall was I had an allergic reaction to the numbing agent that was injected into the nerve and my face has been extremely swollen with lots of fluid in my eyes and face. My doctor had prescribed a corticosteroid for me to help with the inflammation and swelling. Anytime you introduce a steroid or any type of foreign substance into your system though you never know how you may react to that either and I have to say I have dealt with more consequences of doing so.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been collaborating some exciting moves in the direction of my fitness career lately. I was a Beast Sports Nutrition Endorsed Athlete but was unhappy with my working relationship and decided it was time for me to see what else was out there. I am excited to say I have had a couple great contract offers on the table from other supplement companies who I just happen to love. That being said, I thought I was done dieting for the year after my Oxygen Shoot in June and was being more relaxed with my nutrition while trying to reverse diet and get my metabolism to a healthier place when this all happened. So as I mentioned, now that I am collaborating a contract deal with a new company, I was asked to do some photoshoots for new content on behalf of whoever I chose to sign with at the Olympia.
I was 5 lbs up from my shoot weight when this happened, so at 4 weeks out I didn’t think this would be a big deal and could hang in there and diet one more time to make this work out. As an extremist, I never show up to a shoot, show, event, etc not feeling prepared. This is a blessing and a curse of the type of person I am. I dont like to not show up my best and represent what I know I can. So even though I had my reservations on dieting again, I started right away to get back to the condition I felt I would need at the O. The first week I noticed my head not being fully committed and I couldn’t figure out if this was due to me trying to maintain some balance in my life, or if it was my reservations eating at me with knowing I was only furthering myself from my ultimate goal of children. Either way, the changes I was making in my diet and exercise should have eluded enough change for me to be prepared at the O. The second week I wasn’t seeing the changes I wished for so I upped my cardio and cut my carbs a bit more but I also have had this voice in the back of my head this entire time that I would not go to extremes NO MATTER WHAT. Because extremes are what cause rebounds and I have been trying to avoid that at all costs. The crappy thing is I felt I was just finding a good off season/reverse diet balance with my intake and choices everyday and I knew going back into “prep mind” could throw this balance off course. For those of you who have never been through these things, this is a very hard thing to explain.
As for dieting, I was at 160 grams of carbs daily so figured bringing them down slightly would elude some changes that week. I didn’t see much in terms of scale change and that was frustrating for me. And then…. I got on these prescription meds and what do you know… I have gained a lb a day. 5 lbs up in a week and 9 lbs from my goal weight at 2.5 weeks out was not at all what I was planning for. I have been killing my workouts, cut my calories more and still gaining. Tuesday morning I woke up to a swollen face and weighed more than I had in a year. I was starving and pissed and I just lost it. Literally had a crying fest. I felt tormented inside and pulled in every direction. Long term goals versus short term benefit was eating at me, not to mention I felt the furthest I ever had from a goal in my entire fitness career. Thank god my husband is such a wonderful man and helped me threw my sob fest.
I have taken a bit of a step back to re-gather my thoughts on all of this and feel much better today. I have hit up the sauna, continued working towards my goals, and decided that regardless of shooting at the O I needed to stay positive and know that everything happens for a reason. Like I mentioned, I am tormented mentally each and every day. The life I live is a blessing but it is very hard to be pulled in two different directions and not have your career choices in line with your long term plans for a family. Dieting becomes much harder when you feel you have something else to live for outside of your old selfish extremist ways. But I have recognized that even that is a blessing. My life is everything I have ever wanted it to be. A wonderful husband, a thriving career, a warm home. I have the “simple” things that will forever be more fulfilling than my abs and I thank god for those simple things everyday.
Today I am two weeks out from the O and am happy to say I can finally see my abs again and my weight has come back down to 131lbs. That is still 6 lbs from my goal weight and what I would feel comfortable shooting at and still almost 3 lbs up from where I started. But its coming down slowly. I honestly have not posted many to any progress photos as I have been so disturbed at the amount of water my body was carrying and the way I changed shape so quickly regardless of all my extra efforts. But now all I can do is hang in there for two more weeks and see what happens. And although I hold some resentment towards this lifestyle and its affects on me personally, I will continue to enjoy the ride as long as I can (selfies and all).