The Highs and Lows of Entering a Competition.

When choosing to do my 8 Week health and fitness challenge, I didn’t really want to enter a ‘competition’. I knew in my heart my ‘transformation’ wouldn’t be what the ‘judges’ would be looking for.

They stipulated it wasn’t just about the before and after photo but the total transformation but they stated on the terms and conditions that you would agree to release your photos for marketing & social media purposes. These photos I did no give permission for release.

My challenge as it went wasn’t an all up and go forward ‘I feel alive’ challenge. For me it was a rollercoaster. It was tough. Some days I felt I was killing it and others I felt really uninspired and doubtful of my progress. The winner I followed her journey and she posted buoyant each time and going from strength to strength. It didn’t change my life my challenge. I’m not a new person as a result, I’m just happier in myself, because I wasn’t unhappy before. The person who won said she had ‘completely turned her life around from unhealthy and depressed to unstoppable’.

Me, I was happy and healthy prior but wanted to lose about 5 kg and reboot good habits because I’d become a bit complacent. Having achieved what I set out to do, I’m really pleased but still basically me, who I was before I started and nothing at all amazing re overall transformation. No wonder I didn’t win I say to myself!

I knew before I started that would be the case. I only entered the ‘competition’, to make it official for me to help me switch my thinking over to an official start and end date for complete focus. It worked, I focused, I gave it my best and I got the result I wanted. So why when the ‘winner ‘ of the all expenses paid family holidays Port Douglas was announced I felt a bit envious.

Was it the holiday I was envious that I hadn’t won or was it the pat on the back of acknowledgement that I didn’t get, that made me envious. Why did I have this visceral reaction to this, I never really wanted to enter a ‘competition’ as such and knew that my personal transformation wouldn’t be winner material. There were so many wonderful and deserving transformations. Better transformations than mine and the winner was deserving. She put in the effort and got there. We all did. I think once you mentally register competition, there’s a subconscious or not so subconscious thought in your head that someone is going to be a ‘winner’. Our innate competitive survival instinct kicks in. We want to feel a winner. What does feeling a winner mean. It means feeling like you made it, you achieved and someone patted you on the back and congratulated you. Is proud of you. Your efforts are acknowledged and you feel your effort has been validated. And in a competition validated for all to see. Like getting the student of the week awards at school!

It takes me back to school and swimming heats and athletic trials or academic awards. Being one of those average kids that never gets an award 🥇🥈 🥉. Never acknowledged for your efforts. Never feeling really good at anything. That’s the message awards gave me.

I think that’s why I hate competitions and awards. It’s great for the winner for sure, the prize and recognition of their hard work, determination, effort and focus. But it tends to make me think what was it about that winner that they topped the pile of other amazing contestants. And where in the pile did I fall.

It’s crazy to think like this because it doesn’t matter. I got the result I wanted and that’s all that should matter. I congratulated the winner and unfollowed the online feed. Not because I’m not happy for her but because I don’t want to be faced with comment after comment of how deserving and amazing she is.

We all did the hard work and got to the end. I know mentally how much this challenged me. The mental challenge is the hardest of the physical and nutritional. Not giving in. Not saying it’s to hard I give up. I don’t feel energised and don’t feel like exercising but pushing through those thoughts and getting it done. I don’t feel like eating a vegetarian meal tonight but pushing through that feeling and preparing and eating a vegetarian meal because you know it’s good for your body, it’s good for your physical health. The mental challenge to resist that chocolate or biscuit or cake because you know your body really doesn’t need the calories that it’s just instant gratification of the sweetness you desire.

Staying healthy is bloody hard work! Especially when peri menopausal and your hormones are fighting against you.

I wish everyone who put the effort in all the best, but right now I need to nurture and acknowledge me. Be kind to me and remove myself from the winners floods of congratulations. And just get on with my life and my achievement. Because without the ‘competition’ winner/looser issues I feel content in me and pretty dam good. And once again reinforced as why I hate competitions. They make me feel not good enough and minimise my effort, and I don’t need to feel that. Because I’m good enough for me and I’m the only person I need to compete against.

Don’t waste time on jealousy, sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind ……The race is long and in the end it’s only against yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this tell me how. ‘

Baz Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free

Maybe I’m a sore loser. But better to retreat if that’s the case. So I will pull back from the group and allow the winner to bask in all her glory and be kind to me and nurture me in private. Because I’m a winner to me. I acknowledge to myself that 3 years ago when I started to gain weight I took action and lost 8 kilograms and maintained that loss for over 2 years and then readdressed my 4-5kilogram weight gain in the past 6 months and have done something about it. I remind myself I’m a winner because I have achieved a lifestyle change, a change of living an ongoing healthy lifestyle to give me, although full aware no guarantees, the best chance of health and wellbeing moving into my next few years. I have proved to myself that I can set goals and focus and achieve. I have proved to myself I have the ability to maintain and reevaluate. For the winner, her real challenge now begins. I know that, I’ve been somewhere where she is. I’ve experienced the high of losing 8 kilograms in three months and how amazing that feels. It’s great she’s lost 10 kilograms and feels unstoppable, let’s hope she is, let’s hope she can sustain her energy and focus for the next few years or more and go on to live a healthy lifestyle. The lifestyle she joined the program and 8 week challenge to achieve. I wish her every success.

Love Lucy x

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