It is starting to all come together. I have five weeks until I walk across the stage in Seattle, Washington and show everyone what I have been working so hard to achieve. I have started to compile all of the information and all of the things that I will need leading up to the competition and behind the stage. I have officially registered for the event, I have my suit and shoes, jewelry has been purchased, and tanning, hair and makeup appointments have all been made.
As everything comes together, I am getting more excited and less nervous. Checking more and more things off the list helps to settle my nerves. While I find myself in a calmer state, by no means have I become complacent. I know that this competition will be hard; I know that every other competitor has been working just as hard or harder than me to do well. I cannot settle for mid-level success; I need to push myself as hard as I can every day. I am starting to get my fire back, the passion and motivation is growing, my cardio workouts are steadily increasing in intensity and I am lifting as heavy as I can. It feels good to reignite that fire that had once died down.
Staying on Track While Visiting Home
Last week I told you that I would be traveling home this past weekend for the Jewish holiday Passover. I had conquered my first challenge when going to Washington D.C., and now it was time for my second challenge— going home for the weekend. I knew going into the weekend that this was going to be much harder to push through than the previous weekend, and I was right. Unlike the prior weekend, I didn’t go home with all of the food that I would need for the trip. I brought my meals for the road but that was it. Every meal was a struggle, but my parents— being the amazing people they are— stocked the fridge with lots of vegetables, fish and chicken. I had access to all of the food I would need to stay on track and more. Seems like it would be easy to maintain my nutrition plan, right? Wrong. No matter how long one is away from home, home is home and the habits that you had when you lived there come back so quickly. I had to fight those urges to just reach into the fridge and grab something to snack on. We made a great meal of roasted vegetables, roast chicken, potatoes and salad— a delicious and nutritious meal. However, the urge to just scoop the food onto my plate without abandon, without weighing out all of my macronutrients, surged from within incredibly quickly. Yet, with regretful willpower I made it through the meal, which was portioned correctly.
It didn’t get easier after that— this challenge continued on with the Seder. The traditional foods eaten during my favorite holiday are by no means competition friendly— matzo ball soup, brisket, potatoes, macaroons and chocolate-covered matzo. Avoiding the foods used to celebrate such an important family holiday hurt, not because I wanted to eat those foods, but because I couldn’t share the holiday with my family the way I had grown up doing it. While I was not able to fully engage in the Seder, being at home with my friends and family reminded me that there are other things out there besides this competition. It also made me aware of how much I want to do well in this competition— that this journey is giving me something to be passionate about and work hard for. This weekend was hard, and at times I was so sad not eating what I loved, but I made it through it and am now back in my comfort zone ready to kill the remainder of my prep.
With less than five weeks until the competition, excuses are not allowed. There are no exceptions, no “tomorrow will be better.” No— today must be the best. I must be better today than I was yesterday and even better tomorrow. I am adopting this mindset from here on out in order to get the best results possible.
Training to Walk and Pose
I know that my weakness in this journey is my walk and posing. I have started to go to posing practice once a week, and am trying to practice at home every day, either walking, posing or both. Honestly, I am terrified. I am shaking in my clear heals. Hoping to help my progress, my boyfriend recently videotaped my walk and poses. This did more to break me down than lift me up. Watching the video brought me to tears; I was terrible. I am going to fail and all the hard work of the last 12 weeks will be all for nothing. Yet, while I felt terrible after watching that video, I had no choice but to “buck up” and keep practicing. I have been improving, but I still have so far to go. Being discouraged will not help my stage presence; I must stay positive and push on.
Achieving My Goals
Over the next five weeks I have several goals, many of which will not be achieved until I walk across that stage, however, one goal can be accomplished daily. This goal, to conquer my fears and turn them into motivation, can be reached each day, at each hour, during each moment. This goal will be achieved, from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep; fear will not hold me down, but rather it will fuel the fire within and push me on.
Thank you for all of the support. Please feel free to find me on twitter at @RachaelBruin with anything you would like share with me. You can also post comments at the bottom of this blog. Thank you, and as always, #trainhard.