Mental or Physical Health are they one in the same?
Posted Nov 28 2009 12:14pm
So let's talk about our mental health some more...
About 5 years ago, I embarked on a journey to transform my body to become an amateur Body Builder. At the time I wasn't overweight per se, however, I knew my physique could be better. So, I challenged myself to set a goal of becoming a Body Builder. My journey was not embarked upon alone, I sought the advise of a trainer who also achieved her goal of becoming a Body Builder. She became my guide in my journey to my goal of becoming a Body Builder.
I don't know about you, but I have always been the perverbial pink sheep in my family. What do I mean about pink sheep, I was just always different, my goals were not the norm however they were never bad just different... So being the different one in the family, I could say that the support for my decision was lacking, I believe the comment was " it takes years for Body Builders to build the muscle they need to compete, what do you think you could do in 4 months?" If I had internalized this comment it would have stopped me in my tracks, yet I took this comment and shrugged it off, because I said "Why Can't I", "Why am I any different than any other Body Builder?? I am not out to win I want to embark upon the journey, challenge my body and yes my mind to go beyond what I know to be true." At that point I wasn't worried about the results I was just focused on what I needed to do each day. Everyday I connected with my body by using my mental strength to continue.
My intense training started in January with food restrictions and workouts lasting 1.5 to 2 hours everyday for 6 days then I would get a day of rest from training but not nutrition. Oh yes, and I had a full time job at the same time. Four long months of not taking one day off, sticking to the strick diet, eating, sleeping and drinking my goal to make it to my first competition.
It became obvious to those around me that I had a goal and that their influence good or bad was not going to deter me... My mind was made up and was going to make it to the end, I was going to get up on that stage and be the best I could be...
As the days progressed I became stronger, my persistance and determination pushed me along. My mental strength was what kept me going to reach my goal. I knew I could do it, I knew I was capable of achieving my goal. All my old messages of being mentally weak, fat, never finish, didn't come into play because I knew everyday was a new day in the journey to my final destiny.
I made it to my first competition and I was petrified, I stood up on the stage with my knees shaking and my stomach doing somersaults, but I stood up there and showed the world what I worked so hard to achieve. What they saw were my external results of all the internal growth I had accomplished in those four short months. This journey proved to myself that internal negative messages were no longer going to influence how I feel about myself physically. I found out that with each physical weight lifted, I removed an emotional and mental weight that had been carried most of my life. To be standing on a stage with just a tiny little bikini to show off your physique not only exposes you physically but mentally. There I was exposed to the world showing how proud and honored I felt to be there with the other competitors. Everyone had a different journey to that stage yet we all were able to achieve the best we could for that day.
So, it is now 5 years since my first Body Building Competition, which I won by the way, I became Ms. Natural Philadelphia 2004. I am proud of that accomplishment, yet that was just one part of my journey on the path to better mental health and passing my message onto others. Each day I wake up with my goal to be better, mentally, physically and emotionally. I am still standing up on that stage of life with others along side me. Whether you realize it or not, what you do for yourself reflects on the outside and could affect others either positively or negatively. So, if you like to look good on the outside, you need to take the time to work on the inside. So, do your best to be the best everyday of your life. Your journey is never ending and those around you will either benefit or suffer from the direction you take...
In my process of growth I take my time to study and learn from many inspirational speakers through their stories of success and failures. A really great movie and book that has helped me is The Compass. The Compass takes you on one mans journey to re-direct his inner compass while at the sametime teaching you how to re-direct your own Compass. Make sure you take a look at the website by clicking on the link above.