The atmosphere was far more relaxed for the evening show. The nervous butterflies had calmed down and everybody feels better once they have had a bit of food and water.
It was time for my category to go out on stage again. We presented our hard work one last time, now they will call out the top five competitors. Yes, I am in the top five! Finally my number is called for the third place trophy. I can't stop smiling, oh wait I haven't stopped smiling since I first stepped on stage that morning.
Someone asked me if I cried or had tears when I was given the trophy? I said no way, I worked hard for that recognition, tears weren't necessary.
The one thing I was so glad about was that my mom was there to see me receive my trophy, she said she was so proud of me!
We all went out for a celebratory meal which included dessert. We were all tired, it had been a long day.
Sunday morning came and now life is different. No menu provided by our nutrition coach for the day. No need to take pictures to send to her. No scheduling of workouts for the week. No scheduling of posing practice.
I could now eat what I wanted and felt lost, what should I eat? How do I eat clean again, I had been told for 6 months what to eat everyday.
There is also the urge to get back in the gym, but the last few weeks are hard on the body and it needs a break.
Every morning after that I woke up and the first thing I did was look in the mirror to make sure my muscles were still there. I was still eating the same way but slowly incorporating some new foods.
I had a week to relax and then get ready to go back to work. I found myself craving chocolate and sweets. Chocolate I can't resist. But I was feeling guilty for my indulgence. I could feel there was something on my mind troubling me but couldn't put my finger on it.
Finally it came to me yesterday morning! I was putting pressure on myself to maintain as close to my competition body as I could. After all many people told me I was an inspiration to them, how could I now suddenly start to put on weight. Also I would be visiting my old home town in a few weeks and all my friends want to see me and I felt they wanted to see my amazing toned body. I talked to a friend of mine and told her what was troubling me and she quickly set me straight. She said it was not the fact I had this amazing body that inspired people it was the fact that I set my goal and did not let anything stop me. With all the challenges I had faced, I kept going and in the end won! She said that is what inspired everyone. She said you are human and you are allowed to satisfy your cravings, no one will fault you for that.
I think one of the most amazing things on this journey is all of the people that have been there for me when I needed to talk through emotional hurdles. I am truly blessed.
|Me and my beautiful mom who at 82 years of age still goes to the gym 3 days a week.|
|My final moment on stage. Thank you David Aboody for the photo.|