Last week was miserable. There’s no other way to say it. I was a vile person to be around. Bad news surrounding my PhD combined with missing home (I made a recent move to Manchester for a new job) and feeling uncertain about life all combined to result in one very unpleasant girl. One weekend back in Scotland to reflect and I’m glad to say I think my head is back in the game.

So I started this year with 4 goals: finish my PhD; get a new job; compete in my first bikini show and rid my silly body of two giant hernias that have plagued me for years. In order to achieve these goals, I’ve sacrificed a lot this year, socially, financially and emotionally. Hernias? After an albeit horrendous operation and a few months off training,  they’re almost gone (although the reoccurrence of one pushed me further down in to a bad mindset last week). New job? Yep, covered that with my move to Manchester. 

Now to the big two.This weeks setback with my PhD left me feeling completely helpless, and has meant I might not achieve that goal this year. Anyone that knows me knows I’ve worked my ass off to get that done before 2015, working 14 hour days 6 days a week to finish it. But it seems it isn’t meant to be, and that’s out with my control, which is unbearable for me!

So to deal with this stress? Oh I just put more pressure on myself to get my final goal, my bikini competition from which I’m now 5 weeks out. I channeled my competition, focussed on my diet and training and pushed myself to the extreme in the gym. Yes I had some great sessions, but my god by the end of week I wanted to quit! I have never wanted to quit (despite a few wobbles after my operation). I felt rubbish, exhausted and isolated. I felt misunderstood, judged and alone. Was this diet brain? Stress brain? Or just the way I am now? I’m a pretty positive person so this was not ok. 

Emergency trip back to Scotland to see my hero. My mum. My best friends, constant support and those who don’t necessarily understand but support me 100% in whatever I do. And jeez that gave me some perspective. Getting back to a real life, real love and realising there’s more to life than winning a bikini competition. Stuff like relationships (which I’ve sacrificed this year a lot to reach my goals), friendships, and family experiences. 

I’ve had a genuine realisation this week. I need to get back to the head space from before. I started this journey as a healthy route to channel my stress. I loved the healthy control it gave me. I loved the excitement about dressing up, being a girl and getting a sparkly bikini. Somewhere in the last few weeks of the prep process Id lost that mentality. It was about winning, beating other girls and comparing myself to everyone else. That’s not me, and not why I’m doing it. And it made me bloody miserable. So I’m going back to that. I’m going to enjoy every second of this and go out there and just bring my best, show off my healthy physique and be proud of what this journey has done for me. If someone looks better? Great, good for them. But I’m going to finish this journey happy, healthy and enjoying it. I’ve worked so hard for 10 months, why waste the happiness it has brought me now? 

My best friend said to me after my operation: be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can. It’s one of those lines that will stick with me, because she’s right. I know I’ve given 100% every second of every day this year. Whatever happens now, I’m so proud of that. And that’s my focus now, and I’m pretty proud of that too! X

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