I started dancing when I was 10 years old. I have a naturally competitive nature, so it wasn’t long before I entered my first dance competition. After my first win, I was hooked. Weekends became littered with competition dates, week days were spent practicing and it went on like this for years. I think after the first few years, my parents became sick of driving me all over the province, but they never persuaded me to cut back at all.
With age my interests changed, but dancing still remained one of my favourite ways to stay fit. The opportunities to compete weren’t as frequent and I was ready for a new challenge.
After a chance run-in with an old manager, she told me about how she traded in her Managerial role for a future in fitness competitions and training. At her very first bikini model competition she placed 1st and went on to become a sponsored athlete and personal trainer. Needless to say, I was impressed!
The whole thing got me thinking; maybe fitness competitions were my next step too. I’d been a gym junkie, health nut for so long it seemed to fit. It was time to do a little research.
Like all things athletic and healthy, it’s a lifestyle and it takes dedication. Food choices change, training becomes a priority and surrounding yourself with supportive peers is essential. Being out of the competitive dance scene had made me just a little bit lazier than normal. It was time to dig in.
I’ve always been good at procrastination and justification so getting back in training gear was a little tough. Here are a few of the ways I kept myself accountable and took my first steps intot he world of competitive fitness modeling.
Keep a Journal
I take a little food and fitness journal with me everywhere I go. I write down everything I put in my mouth, what muscles I workout that day how much cardio time I’ve clocked and even how much money I spend. It sounds obsessive, but I prefer the term “dedicated.”
Writing down everything makes me accountable for all of my actions. It also makes me think twice about eating that ice cream cone or having a beer. Keeping track of my money allows me to track how much I’m spending on this new lifestyle. Protein powders and supplements can really add up, so it’s good to know what you’re getting into.
Get Out the Gear
I like getting my workouts in before noon. I find early morning fit sessions get me juiced for the day and I accomplish more. The early wake up call also ensures I get a good nights rest which is imperative for muscle recovery and general health.
Each night before I hit the hay, I prep my workout gear. Protein powder is scooped into my shaker, BCAA’s are measured into my water bottle, morning vitamins are organized, clothes and shoes are laid out and ready to go. When I wake up, these items are the first thing I see. It’s like they call to me and I feel more motivated to hit the gym. You’ll be surprised by how something so small, can have such a big effect on your actions.
Prep Your Weekly Meals
I’m a busy woman; or so I think. Each week I sit down, work out an awesomely clean and green grocery list and start prepping my weekly meals. Having pre-packed, pre-portioned meals saves me time and reduces the likelihood of making poor food choices. Because life is about a little spontaneity, I give myself the freedom to enjoy a “treat” day, where I health-ify whatever comfort food I’m craving. I don’t like calling them “cheat” days because that has a negative connotation. The more positive you can make your training experience, the more success you will have.
Celebrate the Small Successes
Getting fit and maintaining it can be a lot of work. It can be a lot of hard work when you’re first starting out. Celebrating small successes gives you something to look forward to. For example, just this morning I opened up a new tub of protein powder and the scoop was on top. Win!
A more serious small success would be accomplishing 10 unassisted chin ups. Sounds easy? Well, it took me 4 weeks and I’m a pretty fit chick.
Reveling in these personal milestones has made all difference for me. As I get closer and closer to my competition date, I rely more heavily on these 4 fit tips. Hopefully they can help you on your fit journey too!
Sabrina is a clean eating, fitness competition training Flight Attendant who is always looking for a new health challenge. She shares all her fitness and food secrets over at http://CarryOnDiet.com. Connect with her via Facebook and Twitter.