March 2012 Newsletter: Pressure to be Perfect

Contest season is in full swing. At least if you live out here in California, where we have a show every month. If you are not ready for April, no worries, there is another one in May. I love the idea of creating the best time table that works for competition. There is no reason to stress or freak out about any particular show, since there are so many to choose from. Why not get ready on your own terms.

There are many things that we can do to stress ourselves out, and trying to force our bodies to respond to a particular time table that is not flowing is not good for our bodies or our minds. Which reminds me of this idea of perfection; since we are on sort of a quest for perfection sometimes we can let it get the best of us.

I have recently found some inspiration in a story outside of the word of physique competition but I think we can relate to it quite well and I wanted to share it with you, in case you have not heard about it already. I will share how I feel about the story and at the end you will find a link to view her story in its entirety.

Pressure To Be Perfect

Physique competition is a sport that requires us to look for our imperfections and even to some extent focus on them. We can let it get out of control if we become obsessed about only the things that are not perfect, while forgetting to look at the big picture of overall how much we are improving.

I was watching a video of the singer Demi Lovato, who has been through some tough times. As I was watching and listening to her story, I was thinking how young, vibrant and beautiful she is. She was on the TV show Camp Rock at the age of 14 and later went on tour with The Jonas Brothers and that evolved into a tour of her own. Yet in her mind she was struggling, she was not good enough. The limelight created in her mind a self-destructive path and she was purging and “self-harming” as she called it. I can only think that means cutting, but I am not certain. I wondered why would someone so young, talented and beautiful, deprive herself of nutrients and harm herself on purpose? In her head she was not good enough, not perfect, not where she needed to be. Being famous required her to look and behave in a certain way and in some instances I think maybe it felt to her like she was not able to be herself, like she always had to be “on”, maybe even like she was a phony or a fraud.

I think many of us that compete can relate to this story. For most of us, we don’t have an eating disorder, nor are we self-harming physically, but I think sometimes we harm ourselves emotionally by feeling that we are not good enough if we are not perfect. So I thought I would share Demi’s story, she has been an inspiration to many women to tell the truth of who they are, their struggles and imperfections and for it to be ok that we are not perfect on our way to self-improvement.

My wish for us all is to use athletics as a way to improve ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally to become more of who we desire to become; for us to grow into ourselves, in an ongoing way, never feeling the need to be perfect, but to find joy in the process.

Demi Lovato: Stay Strong

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