I knew when I posted my before and after photos all over the internet I was going to get some comments like “You are too skinny now!” or “I liked you better before…”. We all have our opinions of what we prefer. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. I also got many comments saying good job and how awesome I looked. The point of showing before and after photos is to hopefully inspire people but also show how hard I’ve worked and that anything is possible when you set your mind to something. I want to show others that you don’t have to starve yourself to get the results you want**. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished. This is a new avenue for my activism. I’m showing that you can be strong, healthy, and fit on a vegan diet. Take that paleo-dieters. This is my journey.
Most importantly, do I think I look too skinny? No.
This is the first time in my life where I’ve looked in the mirror and actually felt comfortable with my body. I don’t zero in on my thighs and my other perceived flaws. I don’t spend hours trying to find something to wear because I don’t feel comfortable in my body. I don’t go shopping for clothing that specifically covers up my body. Was I body dysmorphic before? Probably.
Even though I have never been considered overweight I have never been comfortable in my body. In this post I talk about growing up, being raised by my father, eating a healthy diet but never being active or playing sports. I was never a girlie girl, I wasn’t popular, didn’t have boyfriends, and didn’t have a mother around to nourish the feminine side of me. But somehow I still developed the all too common condition of hating my body. It was not pleasant. But it encouraged me to work on the inside more, read a ton of books and do well in school.
When I look in the mirror now I see all my muscle definition. I see the blood, sweat, and tears and hard work I’ve put in for the last 11 weeks.
I see the now blank canvas that I have to build upon.
The goal of this bikini competition was never to “get skinny”. Yes, I wanted to lose body fat but my physical goal was always to get stronger and build muscle. And that is what I did! And that is what I will continue to do. You don’t start lifting in the gym 5 times a week to get skinny. You don’t post photos of yourself flexing your new acquired baby muscles when you want to be skinny.
You don’t plaster photos of women that look like Erin above on your walls if you want to be skinny. And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being thin! People are beautiful because of their words, actions, accomplishments, compassion, loving nature, and a whole host of other qualities I hold dear to me. This post is not about shaming any person’s body type. Everyone has a right to their own personal preferences. I wish we lived in a society that didn’t give so much attention to a person’s outside. A part of me wishes that I had been comfortable the way my body was all these years, but pumping iron in the gym feels amazing. Being stronger feels so good. Tackling my workouts at Beyond Fit and being able to excel in this part of my life brings me a lot of joy. And that is all that really matters.
** Most bodybuilder/figure/bikini competitors do follow a strict diet plan but I ate, didn’t track my calories or macros, had “cheat meals”, went on vacation, but I gave up all processed foods and focused my diet on eating balanced meals and smaller 5-6 meals throughout the day. Many people will say you have to count everything and do the macros but that just wasn’t my style. I feel like my process was a healthy and realistic approach to losing body fat. The only restriction I’ve done is in the last 3 weeks pre-comp with a coach to tighten everything up so I bring the best package to the stage.
I’d love to hear from you on how your fitness progression is going! Also, have you had people make comments about your body and how did that make you feel?