My Story – Part 2/3
Continued from My Story – Part 1/3
… One day I stumbled upon a website featuring interviews with fitness athletes. I started reading the interviews and their stories sparked a fire in me.They were all so positive about themselves, their bodies and their stories. And they shared their programs and tips on how to achieve what they had. And what was the one thing they all had in common? They lifted weights!
It was my turning point.
Inspired but those women I started on my first real lifting program in September 2011 and supplemented with walks. In the beginning my goal was to just walk for 20 minutes every day. And if I had the energy, I would go to the gym in the middle of the day when it was quiet, and do the exercises in my workout program. And when I felt hungry, I would just eat. No guilt.
Later I learned how this approach is the best way to actually change your habits and be successful if you want to make a lifestyle change. Make a small change – so small that you will be able to follow through with it every day no matter what happens. It’s stress-free and requires almost no extra effort, but the results over time are life changing. In time, you will be able to add other small changes and build a solid foundation for your new habits from there.
I started working again and slowly training became a daily ritual for me. I was going through a rough time with a messy relationship during this period, and the gym became my way of dealing with the anxiety in a positive way. My weight started dropping rapidly, and I found myself below 70 kg. for the first time in 15 years. When the relationship eventually fell apart I decided to enter my first fitness competition to have something else to focus on.
My prep didn’t go as planned. I was accepted to study physiotherapy at Copenhagen University College and initially wasn’t planning to start, but suddenly I changed my mind and my whole daily routine was turned upside down only 5 weeks out. Then, 3 weeks out, I contracted a bacterial infection and it made me very ill. Almost so ill that I couldn’t step on stage. I did reach the stage, but in a shape that was far from what I wanted. I was very skinny with almost no muscle tone. At the competition I was placed 3rd last out of 15.
The following year had it’s ups and downs, but I stepped on stage again in 2013 and made it to the finals where I placed 6th. My diet still wasn’t on point and I struggled with minor injuries, infections and allergies the whole way. My body and mind was completely out of balance during this time.
I wanted to compete again in 2014 but my body said stop and I was very very ill for 2 weeks. The constant food cravings, binges and excessive exercise had become too much and I knew I needed to change my mindset before I could do another prep. So I waited until I felt I had a better relationship with food and the gym… My 3rd and (so far) last competition, I approached completely differently. I took all of my “binge foods” out of my diet for 6 months. No burgers, no sugar, no ice cream, no fried food, no alcohol. I was doing 3 daily workouts and keeping a strict diet while doing one of my last internships as a physiotherapist. I know it sounds very rigid, and it was, but it was the focus I needed at that time.
It was a crazy daily schedule monday-friday:
5am: Waking up
5:30-6:30am: PT Client
6:30-7 am: Interval cardio
8am-4pm: School/Internship at the hospital
5pm-6:30pm: Weight training
7-9: Dinner & home work
9-10: LISS cardio
Every morning when I woke up at 5 AM I would watch an inspirational video on YouTube, drink my black coffee and jump on my bike to meet my client at the gym. I remember it as always being cold and dark and rainy, as it was during Danish winter. But I didn’t give myself a choice to back out and every night when I went to bed, I felt so amazing and accomplished having made it through another day.
I got 7th place, putting me one place out from finals. Disappointing. I decided not to compete in Bikini Fitness again, but changed my mind. I went on prep again in the fall of 2015 but had to pull out in January 2016 as I was approaching my final exams and bachelor thesis and had to focus on finishing strong.
And then came the opportunity to move to Dubai…
To be continued...// Amanda Louise
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