Yes! I am so proud to say that I am officially a professional athlete.
I flew to London, Ontario, a week ago to compete for my UFE Pro Card, and I got not one, but two of the little suckers!
It took a lot of hard work to get my body in the form required, but I did it!
I am still on quite a high. I had this crazy goal, and I went for it. I was just happy to have a goal to work towards, and so meeting it was a bit surreal.
There’s a bit of an elephant in the room that I feel the need to address. And that is the fact that I once had an eating disorder, yet I am competing in an industry that judges my body. (Not just mine, obviously.)
I get the concern. And for all of you who are concerned about me, I love you, but I need you to know that I am ok. I am strong in my recovery, and I am in no danger of slipping back into that sick place. This is my sport, and leaning out is a requirement of this sport.
But I have to admit that I’m getting a bit tired of people telling me to go eat a hamburger.
I get that for the person making the comment, it’s no big deal. And that it usually comes from a good place. But, it’s actually a pretty hurtful thing to say to someone who once struggled with anorexia. Or to someone who has trouble putting on weight.
And for someone who is sick with an eating disorder, saying something like that could fuel their sick brain to encourage them to keep restricting calories.
When I was at my sickest, hearing someone tell me to eat a certain food would have been one of my rewards. My sick self would have been motivated to keep going.
But, I did not starve myself for this competition… far from it.
I know what it feels like to be starving to death, and I will never go back there.
I ate what I normally eat, which is pure whole foods. I was more careful with my portions, and I cut back on my healthy treats. Now that the competition is over, I’m eating the same foods, but I’m not limiting myself at all. And I’m having plenty of my favourite treats. Heck, I even had some belated birthday cake the other day!
I am an athlete. Just like a runner who ups her carbs while training for a marathon, I modify my diet when preparing for competition. And my overall diet needs to be healthy in order for my body to do what it needs to do. I’m involved in a sport that requires me to eat a lot of food in order to maintain my muscle so that I can keep my body strong, and so that I can lift heavy weight. I am serious about my sport, and I am serious about fuelling my body properly.