Do you ever get that feeling that you’re on the right path? It hit me this morning when I was at the gym at 6am, getting in my workout before my family woke up. I checked my phone between sets of shoulder exercises and I got a message from a client who had recently hit a weight loss milestone. Then I thought back to all of the other messages I had received over the past several weeks from clients that were now “fitting into clothes that were too tight this summer,” “wearing two of their pre-pregnancy tops” and “losing weight while eating more food than ever before.”
I actually starting to tear up right there. I became overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. I don’t speak of God too much in these posts, but I felt that he was right there with me saying, this is your path. I felt His warmth and guidance and presence. Whenever I get these messages of gratitude from these women, they usually end with a phrase thanking me for their success. I am always the first to respond to my clients that I did nothing. I am teaching them something that was taught to me, and THEY are doing all of the heavy lifting (so to speak). While many of my programs do offer a weight lifting plan, the bulk of my coaching is helping women to develop a better relationship with food, and that is where my gift truly lies. I have been putting one foot in front of the other for many years on this path, and it has led me to where I am today, with a gift for helping and motivating others. It gives me so much joy. I believe we all have these gifts and paths that we are destined to follow.
My sister, for example, is in the home healthcare field. She works with elderly patients who need special care and attention. She has so much patience and is so kind, and she is constantly praised for her work. She is on her path. My friend Amanda has a knack for event planning, specifically tailgates and special events (see photo below and on Instagram). She spends almost an entire year brainstorming for her kids’ birthday parties, and when their day finally arrives, you better believe that all of the invited guests RSVP yes. She is on her path.
Just as the right path is clear today, the wrong paths in life are also clear. Sometimes we just refuse to acknowledge or accept them. We deny them. We cope with them by being overly busy, or eating too much, or shopping online. If we only listened to the voice that guided us a bit more often, we might relieve ourselves of some pain and suffering.
With 13 days left until my first bikini competition this fall, the path down the bodybuilding road also feels like the right path for now. People always ask me what the end goal is, and I don’t really have one. Let’s be serious, I am 36-years old. Many women start this journey in their early twenties. Right now the end goal is to win my competition in 2 weeks, and earn my pro card. That’s as far as I look ahead. To what’s next. Not what’s next, then next, then next. Right now, this is my path.
Bodybuilding has taught me so many lessons. Trust the process. Be patient. Be patient. Be PATIENT. Winning takes sacrifice. Remember what’s most important in life. And it’s not bodybuilding. With each show, I choose to suffer more, because I want to obtain more. My last 2 preps, for instance, I chose a once a week “cheat meal” or refeed meal (calorie surplus meal) as a night out to my favorite steakhouse. I also would have occasional dark chocolate in the weeks leading up to the shows. That was all I was willing to suffer at that time, 6 days a week. This prep, my refeed meals have been 6-8 extra rice cakes a day. And there’s been no chocolate in this house for weeks. Fun, right? But this show I want more. So I choose to suffer more. As a result, my physique is better and I have experienced tremendous mental growth from this process. I know that no matter what happens in 13 days, I gave it my all.
Each show, I have to perform a 1-minute stage presentation where I choose a song and show off my hard work with a serious of choreographed poses on stage. This year’s song was a no-brainer, “Millionaire” by Cash Cash ft. Nelly. Certainly not for the context of the provocative words, but for the beat and to represent my personal motto: “My health is my wealth.” Everyday I wake up feeling like a millionaire because I am healthy. It is one of the blessings that I am most grateful for in life.
This prep, I have spent less time away from my family at the gym and at the grocery store, and more time getting up really, really early to achieve my goals. My little girl is growing up way too fast, and she couldn’t care less if Mommy had a 6-pack. She does, however, like to practice posing and show off her muscles. She doesn’t understand why I reluctantly give her a bite of my egg whites when she has a plate of something I’d much rather be eating. Maybe if I’m still doing this when she’s old enough to remember one my competitions, she’ll understand a little more.
I will continue to listen to the little voice that guides me down my path, and I will veer off and take a new direction when I am guided. We all have unique and special gifts, and I feel that we honor our lives by using them for good and to help others. Cheers to everyone today on the right path, and for those of you who are struggling, may you find the courage to listen to that voice and make a change.