Burpees Over Burger King

It's high pageant season in these parts.

We're talking less than 50 days until the next Miss Vermont is crowned.

What's funny is most people think that means it is crunch time for me, my diet, and my pageant body. It's not. Of course it's not. Because crunch time is synonymous with crash diets, panic, and some notsogreat body images.

Although, it is crunch time for talent practice, walking practice, and making sure all my ducks are in a row. But that's different, promise.

Here's the thing about your "pageant body." Or my "pageant body." It's actually just my body. I know. Crazy. But it's true, it's the same body I've been actively working on since I started in this program all those years ago. Yes, it has changed from a chunky college sophomore, to housing someone who is so proud of what she's built and who she is. In the end though, it's still just the body I live in, every day.

If you've been around here for a while, you've seen some of the posts about my weight. And if you haven't, you've probably noticed that for a while now this journey has not been about my weight at all. Because guess what? The judges don't give a flying flute what the scale says. They don't. It is literally just a number. One, by the way, they aren't privy to. I'm not a show horse, okay.

They care about how fit you look, sure. They are supposed to, you want them to. But what is going to come across a lot more clearly than your bronzed abs, or your Miss America turn, is the look on your face. Listen, if I am not walking across that stage like heck yeah, I love this body, and I've worked so hard for it, and I know you can see that then, nothing else matters.

Really. I don't care how many times in a "season" someone says it, it remains true: lifestyle & fitness is about your lifestyle and your fitness. It is not about how many pounds you dropped pre-pageant. It is not about how many miles you logged on the treadmill. It's about how well you live, and how well you treat your body. And if you are going to try to walk that walk, it takes a heck of a lot more than 50 days of crunch time.

I'm not saying that I'm not working like I'm about to compete in a pageant. I absolutely am. I am absolutely making sure my macros are 40/30/30, and I'm getting my workouts in, and I'm making those workouts count. The difference between that and "crunch time" is two fold.

One: I've been doing that all along - this didn't start in the last 50 days, or four months, or whatever. Yes, I gave up Cheetos for this. But, how much of a loss is that really? Don't answer that. Yes, I use my fancy new food scale to make sure I know what 4 oz. of chicken actually looks like - but one, I'm now a full fledged dork with that scale, and two, that's just smart practice. The point is this isn't new. While it might not be what everyone else puts their energy into, it's not something I just whipped up for the sake of the show. Which brings me to...

Two: This actually is my lifestyle, and actually my style of fitness. This isn't something that's going to come to a screeching halt on May 28th. This isn't something I'm doing just to compete, and afterwards I'll throw up my hands and say, great where's the Burger King?! This is something I enjoy, and that I've committed to because I like doing it, and I like the results I see and feel.

I know that pageants are still a little weird to most people - and a lot of that lies in what it means to compete in lifestyle and fitness. But when you break it down, it really is this simple: it truly is about showcasing how you take care of yourself. It really is about building something - through a lifetime, or at least 18-24 years old - that you are proud of, and that you want to put on stage.

When you are capable of that, of bringing that attitude of "I am proud of this body, and I want to be on that stage in my swimsuit" - that is when you realize why crunch time would never work. That is when you understand how some girls seemingly beam through their entire swimsuit walk. That is why some girls genuinely like lifestyle & fitness the best. Because they work for it, every day. Because they commit to it, every day.

It's not that I've never committed to swimsuit before. I mean, guys, scroll up, that Miss New Hampshire bod was worked for. It's just that this year has been so different for me. I've said it before, but I started really committing myself to 5-7 days in the gym last summer, long before I thought about competing. That's also when I went from four slices of pizza to maybe two. And two leftover. Whatever. That shift was sparked by my own desire to build something better of myself. My own drive to look in the mirror and see progress, strength, and sheer will-power instead of stretch marks, and belly rolls.

Newsflash, my stretch marks aren't going anywhere. (We should go back and tell 8th-grade-Rylee, who about died because she was so mortified, that they're a forever thing, and no one worth their salt really cares what the inside of your thighs look like anyways.) And yes, I still have belly rolls when I sit down. But you know what? So does freakin' Beyonce. Because, oh my gosh, we're both humans with skin, and muscles, and if you can believe it, fat.

So yes, a little less than 50 days until I walk across the Miss Vermont stage for the last time. But there's no crunch time going on over here. I'm already proud of what I'm bringing to the stage this year. I'm already so stoked that the body I have been busting my dang butt for all year is strong, and defined, and healthy, and 100% built by me. And sustained by like a lot of PowerCrunch bars. 

I know that there are going to be girls who compete - all around the country - that will have a more cut six pack, a higher butt, a more ripped back. Yup, that'll happen. Because some girls have been working for their bodies for longer than I have. Some girls were willing to take cheese out of their diets. Bless those sweet and courageous women though, and let's all send them good cheddar-y thoughts. Some girls just have it in their DNA. That's okay. Actually that's awesome, you go girls.

But the best thing about this - all of this - is that it really doesn't matter. Nothing that anyone else brings to that stage matters. Because I'm ready. I put the work, the time, the literal sweat and tears, and every ounce of effort into this lifestyle, into this body. And I'm ready for that swimsuit walk. I'm ready to show my lifestyle and my fitness.

I mean, I need the 50 days.

I haven't picked up my evening gown from the seamstress yet, but I'm ready.

Bring it.

No comments