Thursday, February 02, 2017

My First Bikini Prep: Why I'm Doing This

I first started blogging to figure out who I was and what I stood for at a time when my whole world – predicated on the permanence of a relationship – was crumbling beneath my feet. I was a soon-to-be-divorced twentysomething trying to raise a baby when I was just a baby myself. Blogging was a way to make sense of the muck, to manifest my story, to write myself back to life.

When I found the things that gave me a sense of worth and purpose, I felt an overwhelming desire to share it with the rest of the world. And so the blog went from being a catch-all for the pain and confusion and darkness to a more neutral space where I shared my beauty tips, workout routines, and healthy recipes.

While I love makeup and working out and eating healthy, my life is so much more than those things. It's also the times I lose my patience with my five-year-old and feel like I'm completely failing at this parenthood thing, or when I'm too lazy to go to the gym and instead polish off a whole pint of ice cream. It's the times I feel completely and utterly lost, wondering why am I here and why am I doing this? We've gotten away from that – the why – and it's time to come back.

Every so often it's important to dig deeper, to question why you do the things you do to make sure you're in it for the right reasons. When it comes to blogging, my goal isn't to show you only the good parts. I want to share everything, including the low moments, because hey! I'm human, too. We're in this together. And without the bad parts, there are no good parts.

Here's the thing: The bad parts will always be there. But my hope is to show you that despite whatever struggle you're going through, big or small, you have the ability to choose happiness, which I'd argue is the single, most important decision you'll ever have to make in your lifetime. 

With that said, I'm excited to announce I've decided to compete in my first NPC bikini show. And I'm sure a lot of you will ask, but why? Why work out every day? Why diet? Why put yourself through what seems like torture to ultimately have someone sit there, compare your body to that of other women, and then judge you? Sounds crazy, right? I get it. These are all legitimate questions, questions that I myself had to think long and hard about. There were some boxes I knew I absolutely had to check off to make sure I was readybasic guiding questions I think we should all ask ourselves when contemplating a big change.

So, in case you're struggling to make a decision, ask yourself:
  1. Am I doing it for me? I'm lucky to have an amazing support system of friends, family, mentors, and a coach, but I'm not competing for them. I'm competing to show myself that I have the physical and mental discipline to do it. Fitness made me feel strong and in control over myself at a time when I felt weak and completely powerless. I love the structure it gives me, and I'm excited to dial it in even more to compete. 
  2. Am I scared or uncomfortable? The thought of getting up on stage in a bikini scares the shit out of me, which is precisely why I'm doing it. I want to move beyond the fear. If something scares you or makes you uncomfortable, chances are you should probably do it. Fear isn't real; it's a construct you create in your mind and it occurs when something is threatening to push you outside of the model you limited yourself to. Growth doesn't happen from staying in your comfort zone.
  3. Will I be happy no matter what the outcome? I used to think I would be happier if I had toned arms and abs. While I did get my arms (still no abs, ha) I came to learn that a "nice" body (1) looks different to different people, (2) cannot always be maintained for reasons beyond our control and (3) isn't really going to make me happy. What makes me happy is more so the journey and sense of accomplishment I get from committing to something and staying loyal to it even when it's the last thing I feel like doing.

Let's be real: I'd be lying if I told you it wouldn't be nice to win a trophy, receive an accolade or get shredded, but no matter what happens – whether I get first place or don't place at all, whether I lean out in all the right places or I'm the girl without a thigh gap – I will choose to be happy because I'll walk off that stage knowing I gave it all I've got, and hell if that isn't a win in itself.

I'll be documenting my prep – the highs and lows – here on the blog, and I would love for you to follow along. Tell me what your goals are, why you want to achieve them, and what you plan to do to get there. Let's do this!

xo – Sc


  1. Hey Sarah,

    Great post, as always.

    I am glad you are finding out who you are, what you want, and how to get there. You are such an inspirational young lady.

    For me, my goal is to earn my black belt. My martial arts journey started 9 years ago when I joined a karate school with my son in England. My lack of confidence, and also motivation due to being a mom to 3 kids with little time, and feeling constantly exhausted resulted in me quitting before I barely got started. 1 belt in and close to a 2nd test, the fear and dread took over and I came up with many lame excuses as to why I couldn't continue. I've always been athletic, being on the school soccer, basketball, netball, volleyball, swim, track and field teams. I thrived being on a team and doing it together, but doing it alone feels me with a sick feeling at the pit of my stomach.

    Fast forward to 2010 when I moved to America with my husband and young family. I am a family person, extremely close to my parents and siblings, so leaving them and friends behind felt like a huge hole being ripped through my body. I wasn't confident with myself, incredibly shy, I had no friends or family here and dreamed of going back home to England. My son wanted to continue with his martial arts training and begged me to join him wasn't happening :( new country, people I didn't know "Are you kidding me, you want me to stand up and do exams in front of people, possibly on my own, you are crazy" were words that kept filling my head. I couldn't tell that to my son, I didn't want him to grow up feeling insecure and to be shy and not achieve his goals, so again I continued to make excuses as to why I couldn't go, but I would still watch his classes. Even my younger two sons started and still, I couldn't do it. I would sit and watch and wish I had the confidence to do it, do something for me. Not for a team, or for my kids, or my husband, for me. 3 years passed and my son earned his black belt, one of the proudest moments I've shared with him. I was proud of his achievement, emotional that we had raised such a confident and remarkable young man. That day is what changed me for the better. I decided to begin my martial arts training once again. After 3 years I our marital arts school felt like a second home and family. I felt I could be myself, I could make mistakes and learn from them and that no one was judging me because I didn't get it right the first time. Overcoming my fear of doing something alone crept in so many times, I dreaded each and every exam, now a few months away from my black belt the dread has become nerves, excitement and confidence. I have worked so hard for almost 3 years to reach this goal for me. Being a working from home mom, my life revolves around my family. I put everyone else before myself, but earning my black belt is something for me, something I have wanted for so long, and I am incredibly proud of myself for overcoming my fear of as you say 'stepping out of your comfort zone'.

    I look forward to following your journey xx

    1. Michelle,

      Thank you so much for following and supporting this blog. You've been there from the start and I truly appreciate it.

      And thank you for sharing your story! It's funny, isn't it? While you set out to do something for yourself, your loved ones play a huge part in fueling your fire, and you also end up inspiring so many others along the way to chase after their dreams. It just goes to show that change starts with you. As the saying goes: You can't pour from an empty cup.

      So glad to have your support! Stay in touch.



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