On November 14th, 2015 I will be strutting my stuff on stage at the 2015 New England NPC Championships.
I will be wearing a bikini and posing in front of judges….
I’m freakin’ out!
I’m also excited!
What’s interesting to me, however, is how I came about the decision to do this.
I think it speak volumes about “why” we all make decisions to set off on new endeavors.
Anytime we start something new, we know “why?” right?
Or at least we think we know “why.”
Looking back, I know why I tried a new sport, why I played a certain song in class, why I programed a certain series of exercises at Barry’s etc.
It’s always important to know and understand why— that’s what keeps you going. It’s what makes you your authentic self.
For instance if/when your “why”, is no longer valid, or non-applicable to your life then your motivation for doing “___” diminishes.
Knowing your “why” is key. However, deciding to carry out an action for your “why” requires belief in yourself and your own ability.
Your “why” and self-efficacy: the two go hand-in-hand.
In example: you know why you should go to a group exercise class or the gym but you don’t sign-up or show up until you “believe” that you can actually do it.
The ability to act on our why or our curiosity is directly related to you own self-efficacy– your belief in your own power; believing you can succeed.
And that is what I want to talk to you about in this article: self-efficacy.
I have decided to do this bikini compeition for three main reasons, all of which fall under the same umbrella of self-efficacy.
I believe I can do this bikini competition.
But before I take your through my reasons why and my short how-to guide on self-efficacy, let me tell you a few reasons why I didn’t want to compete in the past.
Honesty, I had toyed with the idea before, but when I contemplated the idea, my thoughts were the following:
- fear mongering articles about competing convinced me I would develop eating disorders and ruin my metabolism
- fear of failing
- fear of being judged
- fear of time commitment
Sounds like a lot of fears, right?
I had no self-efficacy when I first thought about competing in something new.
I focused on what I didn’t have instead of what I could do and could have, if I worked hard.
Where was T-Swift when I needed her?
The extra push I needed to hit “sign-up” came when I realized the RPS powerlifting meet I was training for in October was sold out.
I wanted to train for something so I decided to see if there was in fact a bikini contest in the area sometime kind of soon-ish. I needed time to prep and I wanted to do something that allowed me to continue to powerlift for training.
I found out there was one literally down the street from me in November.
And, now that I have been working on getting leaner without a timeline, this competition really pushes me to finish my own challenge by setting a hard date.
The day I found out about this competition online, I realized it was exactly 16 weeks away.
“No better time like the present,” I thought to myself. And just like that I was signed up.
I have already been practicing posing– but more on that in a later article.
It’s important to know that I am not ding this for the first place prize or the trophy, I am doing it for the challenge and experience.
Today I want to let you know why I finally decided to do it and explain how I made the decision to hit “sign-up.”
When I get an idea in my head or I become really interested in something I start to try and picture myself doing it.
Last fall when I pictured a powerlifting meet I thought, NO WAY. Absolutely not. There’s no way– I won’t wear the outfit, I’m not strong enough, experienced enough etc.
And honestly in the past 6 months that’s exactly how I have felt about the bikini thing.
There’s no way. I can’t get abs. I don’t know how to pose, I’m not skinny enough…..
But after my own Getting lean(er) challenge, and working consistently with no timeline I have started to see enough progress to prove to myself that I am capable.
Progress feeds motivation.
The other day I started to picture it and let me tell you, visualization is so key.
It’s like when you first sign up for a race, a half marathon, a competition etc. you start to practice and train right?
As you go through training, you start to peak or prep for the “competition day” which pretty much forces you to visualize it.
You start to realize that sooner or later you WILL have to perform, you WILL hear the gun go off and you WILL be sprinting, you WILL salute the judges… as soon as you start to see those things and visualize the performance/competition arena, BOOM now you are motivated more than ever to be on point with training.
You start to have tunnel vision. You won’t stop until it’s #gametime.
At the 16 week mark I began tracking every single thing I was doing for my training and #BikiniPrep so I can help other who need it later. I am tracking my macros, boy weight training performance etc.
If you want to know my exact macros, bodyweight and get bi-monthly updates. sign up for my #Daretomove Motivator at the bottom of this article and you will get the updates as well as an insight to my mindset.
2) The timing is right
It’s all about realizing that you have the power to change your own perspective and actually being motivated to go ahead and change it.
The “timing is right” when you want it to be right.
You have to want to change your perspective.
I decided I could change from “I can’t because” to “I am going to because…” and all of the sudden the timing felt right.
Sixteen weeks didn’t seem so far out. Being diligent about dieting didn’t seem so daunting anymore. I realized I wasn’t as scared to push myself as I thought I was.
And I have a feeling there are several of you out there in that phase where you might have curiosity about a powerlifting meet, a marathon, a triathlon, or a bikini competition, but it doesn’t seem feasible, right now.
And maybe logistically it isn’t the right timing at the present moment. Or maybe mentally, you can’t wrap your head around the idea enough, yet.
For some people, myself included, going through something else very difficult in your life makes dieting for a fun competition and new experience seem like a cakewalk.
But trust me, I KNOW this will be hard. In fact, just yesterday I got nervous about it… until a woman from my #DaretoMove motivator messaged me about competing.
This woman trains herself in her basement and has competed 10 times. She is 40 years old and she’s my new inspiration. She coaches herself, teaches herself and works out alone. She has passion for it. It’s possible for her because she wants it.
But what if you can’t seem to attain that perspective change?
Read this below from another #Daretoemove motivator the other day:
How do you stay motivated to stick with the program? I go back and forth with consistency, lately I’m just lazy and feel out of shape. I know once I get moving again I will feel better, but just making it through long days in the office is a struggle for me lately.
Part of my response to her had to do exactly with what I am writing about now.
And, in my current article about “why now” for bikini, honestly it has a LOT to do with self-efficacy— my own belief in myself. Sometimes our ability to believe in ourselves is clouded by things in life… things we really can’t control. And, being able to recognize that the things we can’t control won’t always be in the way is important. For instance I can’t control that I have to be up at 4 a.m. three times a week, but now that I have my nutrition and everything else locked in, I am able to not see the 4 am wake ups as roadblocks anymore.
Takeaway: Change your perspective and it will all feel right. Talk to yourself positively and everything else will be positive.
I have had a huge mindset shift and I am ever so thankful for it because it will carry me through the challenges ahead.
3) I want to challenge myself
I have clients come to me with their own goals. Some clients feel like they need to make a change, others want to take training to the next level and some simply like to push themselves really hard in many facets of life.
My client Adam is a great example of the latter.
He came to me with a personal challenge of wanting to get as lean as possible.
And he did it! He stayed diligent with the diet, he learned a lot and then he was off to is next big thing– increasing his deadlift and push press. Today he’s currently training for a marathon.
You see, I am a lot like Adam.
I have completed three half-marathons and in everyone I improved my time because I wanted to see if I could.
Training for the SFG was an incredible time. I wanted to NAIL the skills.
I love learning about powerlifting and continuing to get strong in powerlifting.
And now this bikini contest? I am stoked!
Will it take hard work? Sure.
Will it test my will power? Of course.
It will require 100% attention to my nutrition.
But the thing is like Adam, I WANT to get leaner, I WANT to compete. I think it will be a neat experience and I am happy to share that with you!
If you want to know more about my macros, how I am changing my diet and my training please enter your email address to the box below! I and sending bi-monthly updates of my own training and nutrition!
If you have questions or want to chat about fat loss, feel free to shoot me an email about it at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look out for other upcoming articles about how I am preparing!