“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free”. ~Robert Tew.
I’m Kathleen, and I am so excited to share my experience of fitness competing with the Finding My Beautiful readers! I work in two industries that I love: wine and fitness. However, it can definitely be challenging to find balance between the two.
I finally overcame my struggles with weight gain and lack of self-confidence and am now a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, nationally qualified bikini competitor in the Nspire Sports League, and an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor. Fitness has always been an important part of my life and has gotten me through many tough times throughout the years.
My decision to compete came after a very difficult time in my life. I was recently divorced and had just moved to a new city. My self-confidence took a big hit and I felt like a failure. During one of our last conversations, my ex said that he “wasn’t attracted to me anymore because I had gained weight.” I knew the words were said to hurt me and weren’t necessarily true. However, they hurt like no other. What disappointed me the most about this is that I lacked the confidence to let these words roll off my back. Why didn’t I have the confidence to only care about what I thought of myself? I knew I needed to do something to build myself back up so that I was in control of my self-esteem and not other people’s opinions.
I decided to get back into teaching group fitness classes since I was new to the city and didn’t know anyone. In doing so, I met my boss, Lauren, who I truly feel was put in my path to help get me through this time. She too had gone through a divorce, and now seemed to be living a really happy life. She gave me hope that I, too, could have a great life after this experience.
I soon discovered that she was a serious figure competitor! I remember being extremely excited. I asked her a million questions and thought this could be something that helps me rediscover my self-confidence. This was an opportunity for me to push myself to achieve something I had always thought about doing, but was always afraid to do. I hired the same coach that Lauren used and decided to go for it!
I had no idea that I was about to go through such a life-changing experience. I decided to compete in the bikini division where you don’t have to put on as much muscle mass. I saw competing as an opportunity to:
Here are my pros and cons to competing:
So, there you have it! A lot of good and bad when it comes to competing. Ultimately, my main reason for continuing to compete is simple. Preparing for competitions picks me up like no other. There is no better feeling than setting a goal for yourself and going after it. Competing has helped me get through some very tough times in my life, and for that, I am truly grateful.
5 TIPS IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT COMPETING:
Whether it’s a bodybuilding competition, or something else, I challenge you to go after a personal goal for yourself that scares you a little bit.
I promise, you will surprise yourself with what you are capable of achieving!
Kathleen Jane Fit
[I've linked her Instagram above—ya'll need to go follow her—she's one of the most inspiring people I know! Thanks, Kathleen, for being open and honest about your story—it truly will empower more women than you know.
Hope everyone enjoyed this guest post! Comment below with any thoughts or questions!
~ Xoxo, Carrie]