Adventures in Bodybuilding: Let’s be realistic

I don’t think I’m going to win my competition next weekend.

This opinion is not negative self talk, or pessimism, or poor self-esteem. I don’t think I’m going to come last, either. I think I look great and I think I’ll do a great job representing my hard work during this competition. I have no nerves, a gorgeous suit, and I can pose and flex and smile like a damn champ. But I’ve always been realistic (some say cynical) and based on the amount of effort I’ve put in, my physical attributes, and the calibre of people I’m competing against, I don’t think I’ll win. I believe I have to place in the top five in order to continue on to a national competition, and I think I have a chance at that, but how good of a chance? I don’t know. It’s possible.

I’m sure this isn’t the best way for everyone to go into a competition (it’s certainly not how my hero Arnold would talk to himself), but I’ve always been well aware of my abilities, and I take comfort in maintaining my grip on reality. I like to think I remain firmly grounded in my knowledge of what I’m capable of and what I can do, which is a lot. When I go into an interview, I know when I’m getting the job. When I have to speak in front of people and I’m practised and confident, I know I’ll rock it. But for me, being realistic and confident has always worked better than being overly hopeful, putting my hopes of happiness and success in a result that’s outside of my control. Bodybuilding is notoriously subjective—what if the judges like to see big, defined quads? What if they want someone who’s leaner, with visible veins? What if my competitors are just that jacked and awesome and I’m not quite at their level? There’s nothing I can do about any of those things – I’ve worked hard and I’m doing the best I can do within my limits. I’m enjoying bodybuilding, but I’m not willing to completely re-arrange my life, mess with my hormones, or otherwise detrimentally affect my life in order to be the best. (Not saying all  competitive bodybuilders have to do this…but lots do).

I don’t think I’ll win, and of course I don’t know how I’ll place. I still fully intend on going on stage and giving it everything I’ve got. In any case, here are a few things I do know:

  • I have crushed this competition prep. I will be leaner and more muscular this time, and I’m also healthier: my body is functioning properly, I’m not tired, and perhaps best of all, I’m not completely distracted by fantasies of peanut-butter covered donuts, torturing myself with daydreams of junk food. I don’t have a stash of garbage (PopTarts) that I plan to shovel into my mouth immediately after my competition; I WILL have some treats but generally my body feels healthy and happy and not deprived. This is a big deal.
  • I’m learning more and more about my body, and I’m excited about switching things up and pursuing more physical goals. Remember when I tried, and loved, BJJ? Yeah, I’m going back. There are chokeholds to learn and people to submit.
  • Even if I come last place in this competition, I’ve already won for most gorgeous competition suit ever (thanks coach!). If a mermaid was competing in a Miss Universe contest and was physically capable of wearing a bikini, this is what she would wear:


  • And, my abs are back! #winning
This is the house that sweet potato and chicken built.

This is the house that sweet potato and chicken built.

Stay tuned for updates from “peak week” and my provincial competition – I’m traveling to London, Ontario for the show and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of stories for you!

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