Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have an announcement...

Oy! When I got to work this morning it was to discover that my video card and/or motherboard had gone kapuey! Dagnabbit! It's now been taken away by my computer guru & friend, Ron, and should be returned to me, fresh as a daisy, tomorrow morning (please, please, please!). So no cooler photos today, but I can tell you that my food is nearly identical to yesterday, and I'll be logging in right about 1600 calories.

I had Total Body Conditioning class last night... got my a$$ handed to me, lol! I absolutely love that class and was thrilled to learn that Tab will be teaching another Muscle class on Wednesday nights, too... I'll definitely be adding that one to my schedule!  I did push my knee too hard (boo!) and had to go home and ice afterwards. Still sore today, but nothing like last night. I'll be hitting the gym tonight for some weights and cardio. I think Ariel (my nearly 19 yo daughter) will be joining me, if not to work out, then to observe.

Ariel has decided to compete in the Bikini Division of Bodybuilding! Tabitha and I will be her fitness & nutrition team. We're working on The Plan this week to help Ariel reach her goals. It's fun & exciting, but it's also a lot of hard work for everyone involved.

Which leads me to my announcement....  I'm competing too. I'll be entering the Fitness Model division, and we're both slated to cross the stage on August 28th. I know I can handle the discipline - exercise and food. I'm confident I can meet the challenge. But I am absolutely scared spitless. Lol.

So why am I doing this? There's a lot of reasons/excuses not to, that's for sure. My belly area is my bane (loose skin, drastic stretch marks & scars), my boobs are nearly non-existent (not kidding, I'm a negative A), my lower body is weak due to my knee surgery & the lateral release, I'm 40, I'm busy, I have a full time job and a family, I'm shy - painfully shy... the list goes on. But...

When I was in Ohio, I had two key conversations with Tosca Reno that turned toward competition. The first, I blew off, explained I had loose skin and it just wasn't an option for me. She gave me this look that said, "We'll chat about this again." Lol. And we did. She encouraged me to try it. Suggested the Fitness Model division (it's softer physique than Figure, harder than Bikini). Told me that the leaning out & spray tan combine to hide a multitude of flaws including loose skin, stretch marks, scars, etc. Then she talked to me about poise, and that's where I started thinking.

Let me give you a little background. I've always been shy. Most people who know me, even those who know me well, disagree. They're wrong. I'm truly painfully shy. I'm a bright & bubbly person, in small groups & one on one, but shine any kind of light on me and I freeze up in fear. I remember one event as  teen vividly... I was on Varsity volleyball (and had busted my butt to get there), and we had a home game. My almost-boyfriend at the time came to the game... when I saw him, I panicked. I actually begged the coach to bench me. That's just one example, and that fear has always been with me. While I've grown, I haven't outgrown that. I've spoken in public, I've spearheaded events, I've been very visible in the public eye (was a pastor's wife for 10+ years, doesn't get more visible than that, let me tell you), but I've kept that shyness... a shyness that really does hurt.

Once I lost my weight, I pushed myself to do the Burlesque show (http://billandchelle.com/fitness/burlesque.html), and each class was a trauma. I did manage to get through it, I even enjoyed parts, and was thrilled to have accomplished it, but can't possibly imagine doing it again. I really don't know how I did it at all. And I get a tingle of fear in my belly when I think about it. I grew significantly through that experience. I did develop a greater appreciation for my body & the hard work I've put into it, and I did learn to feel more at home in my own skin. But it's not enough. I'm not done.

At the Arnold, I loved my time on the booth. I loved chatting with people and listening to their stories. I felt perfectly at ease. Then they had the team climb up on the Oxygen stage for some photos. We took a few standards, then Tosca said, "Ok, everybody have fun" and they all began to goof and dance. What did I do? Yeah, you guessed it. I froze. I actually had tears in my eyes and wanted desperately to crawl off that stage and hide. I tried to recover, I tried to loosen up, but I know I was tense, I know I was rigid. And I know I allowed my fear to rob me of my joy in the moment.

It was at dinner that evening when Tosca spoke to me again about competing. She said, "It will give you poise."  As we spoke, I realized that it's ok to have fear, but it's not ok to let it control me. It's ok to be uncomfortable on stage, but it's not ok to be uncomfortable and show it... to be uncomfortable without the poise to hide it. As a filmstrip of moments ran through my head from the weekend, I recognized that Tosca embodies Poise. And I want that.

It's time to grow again. It's time to learn how to glow in the spotlight, and not just in the shadows. Throughout our conversation, I felt that Tosca truly believed I could do it. It's time for me to believe too.

She threw down the gauntlet, I'm picking it up.

I know this will be a difficult road. I know I will struggle. I also know that when it is done, I will be a stronger woman, a better person. I hope to focus on the fun-factor of the journey and I plan to enjoy myself. The division in which I am competing, requires fluididty & personality. The athletes do not hold themselves rigidly in pose, instead, they strut across the stage with attitude and fun, showcasing their personalities and ease in the spotlight. In the competition I am registering for, they must also give a 30 second speech about fitness. There are two rounds, a bathing suit round, and a theme-wear round. And there is nowhere to hide. This is my time to show who and what I am, and what I can bring to the people around me. This is my time to shine. This is my time to make it happen.

I am 24 weeks out from the stage, and here begins my journey.


  1. Wow!
    I think this is a great opportunity for you, and I have complete confidence that you can do it!

    I know what you mean about the shyness. I am all too familiar with the freezing and mental (and often physical!) anguish that accompanies any sort of public appearance... or whatever random things my brain deems scary.

    Anyway, my point here is one of my group sessions was dedicated to the fact that there is no "cure" for anxiety. The best that can be done is to get used to putting oneself in these uncomfortable situations because eventually your mind and body will acclimate and it will finally feel doable, so I think it's great that you're going to be competing and I look forward to hearing all about it!

  2. Congrats on just going for it despite your fears! This is truly inspiring. I look forward to reading about your journey to the stage.

  3. You can do this! I was very shy when I was younger, but got into drama class in high school and that pretty much cured it. And then in 2005 and 2006 my husband's business was featured on a tv show...and yes, I was in it as well. Talk about putting it out there! I was there on tv for all to see...but once I got used to the camera it was like it wasn't even there!

  4. wow, chelle that is great! good for you...and good luck to Ariel too! you guys ROCK!!! great to have such an exciting goal ahead of you..

  5. WOW. Way to go Ariel and Chelle!!! I hope both you and your daughter document your journey to First Place. Such guts....

  6. Oh I am just about in tears right now. I had no idea how you were feeling that day on the stage. I would have never guessed how shy you were...we hit it off instantly and never shared any of that awkwardness strangers sometimes do. I am so dang proud of you girl...and will follow you and cheer you every step of the way! You are going to take that stage like a rock star....because you own this now. It is yours for the taking. The hard part is over...you committed. Now comes the fun part...reaching the goal. :) Please, please, please ... if I can do anything to help...just ask. ((hugs)) Tra

  7. Chelle this is for you! You will achieve it with great success. I have every bit of faith and confidence in you that you will get on that stage and shine! We are all here to support you and follow your progress! Best of success!

  8. Oh wow Chelle, this is exciting, I discovered your great blog from the Eat Clean site. You'll do really well in the competition, what a wonderful challenge!

  9. What a wonderful opportunity for you and your daughter- I relate to the being shy comment - esp when others comment that "really??" I too shy away from the spotlight and prefer a small number of people around vs a big group.

    Spray tan and leaning out- intriguing- interested in knowing more.

    Congrats for challenging yourself to move out of your comfort zone.