My Fitness Competition Experience…and Why I Threw Out My Trophy.

Today I threw this lovely lady in the trash….


Although this trophy reminds me of the hard work, discipline and dedication I had/have for fitness and reaching goals, it doesn’t make me more worthy or a better person than the women that were standing on stage next to me who didn’t win a trophy. 

I competed in fitness competitions four times, placing 8th (bikini division), 3rd (bikini division), 2nd (figure division) then 1st, winning and becoming a Figure PRO. Improving each year, I proved to myself with consistency and commitment I can set out to accomplish anything I desire.

Through restrictive dieting and over-exercising for long periods of time I also learned some valuable lessons that weren’t so rewarding, like amenorrhea, adrenal fatigue, chronic migraines and infertility, to name a few.

I don’t blame competing on my health issues. Like any other sport; running marathons, competing in triathalons, or just following any type of diet in general, it’s a risk you take when pushing to the extreme and the most important thing is finding a balance, allowing your body to recover during “off seasons” with your health, happiness and mental state a priority.  Because I didn’t do this, I had to pay the consequences.

It can become obsessive and take over your life, something you might not see behind the scenes, when scrolling through pictures of sculpted physiques on social media. If you are an all-or-nothing type of person and a bit of a perfectionist, you might get into some trouble when it comes to any type of competitive sport and manipulating your body size. You need to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and have the right plan in place, so you don’t sacrifice your health (and sanity).

I must admit, it felt pretty damn amazing to reach a goal I worked so hard for, seeing my hard work pay off, gaining a lot of confidence and realizing my potential throughout the process. I know how strong, resilient, dedicated, and disciplined I can be, and have accomplished things not everyone could.

What I’m most proud of though, is how I was able to let go of control, making my health the #1 priority, learning so much through the process, and now can share my story to help others. After years of obsessing over food and my body, struggling with disordered eating, anxiety and depression, I was able to dig myself out of the hole I was stuck in. I have become a happier, healthier and more spiritual person through this journey and wouldn’t trade it for anything. But, I will also never compromise my health or happiness for a plastic trophy ever again.

So…I am able to say goodbye to her, without hesitation, because I now have peace and contentment in my heart, that could never come from 6-pack abs.

XO Stephanie

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