Your Struggle is Part of Your Story
I can’t believe this was one year ago. Many friends are preparing to take the very same stage today and tomorrow, and I can honestly say for once I don’t have that itch to be up there too. This was the most difficult show I had prepared for not physically but mentally. I had absolutely terrible guidance, and I struggled with following a plan laid before me that I knew wasn’t working for me rather than deciding to do what my body felt was right. Competing for me has never been about winning a pro card, or being better than the girl next to me, but about being a better version of myself each time. This show I fell short of that in all aspects. I had never felt more let down. As much as I am trying to learn to let go of things, I still have a lot of resentment in my heart. It has been a good lesson learned, but it put a bad taste in my mouth and caused me to struggle for many months to come afterward.
I put my trust into people who failed me which then lead me to feel I failed myself. My prep was handed off from one person to another halfway through without a discussion about it. I was not even given a choice or even asked how I felt. I questioned things the entire way, and each time I was shot down and told, “Don’t worry,” “I’ll take care of it,” “Because I said so,” “Why do you question everything?” Don’t ever let anyone (more…)
Change Leads To Growth
Hello Fitastic family!
I apologize for my absence. You may have noticed change has been a popular thing with the Fitastic team lately. Steve dropped a new training program with many more things in the works. Wild Will has been killing his 16 week total body transformation and sharing hilarious videos along the way. So of course I’ve been making some big changes too! I’m writing this as I sit here in bright, sunshiney Florida……MY NEW HOME!!! Yes! You read that right! I traded snow boots for flip flops, long sleeves for tan lines, and cornfields for palm trees on April 1st! In January it was just a thought, in February we made the decision to move, and the last day of March we hit the road.
I’ve been here 5 weeks already, so what have I been up to? Well, to be quite honest, not too much until recently. I thought we’d get down here, get settled, and I’d have a job and be back to a “normal” state again within a week or so. Wrong. The first few weeks were long days spent in the house not doing much of anything other than applying for jobs all day. The first job I applied and interviewed for seemed pretty promising. The interview went well, they seemed really pleased, and then decided to go with someone else. That was ok. No need to feel let down just yet. I applied for many jobs I didn’t hear from and followed up with some who never got my application in the first place. Way to go technology! Yet still nothing. After two weeks I was feeling really let down. Then I finally caught a bit of a break! Not only did I have one job offer, but TWO with only about 24 hours to make a decision. No pressure or anything. (more…)
This Is My Confession…
So I fell off the grid for a little bit. Where was I you might ask? Oh I was just over here binge eating and feeling sorry for myself. Yes, you read that right. I fell OFF the wagon! The holidays had come and gone, and here I was 8 pounds later wondering what on earth had happened. Halloween and Thanksgiving were a breeze to get through. Having a treat every so often, a holiday meal, then right back on track. Then December rolled around, and that was where it started to get ugly. I started to have a bit of shoulder pain that was getting progressively worse. The worse it got, the angrier I got. Then I also started having huge feelings of resentment. Mostly because of my experience from my last show and some instances prior to that as well. Being so restricted, hours of cardio a day, weeks of no carbs, having zero life outside of prep, pushing important things to the side, wasting my entire Sundays driving over an hour for posing, a workout, and critiques that completely belittled me 99% of the time, missing out on an awesome sponsorship opportunity, believing many things I came to find out later were a lie, feeling like I had let people down, and so much more. All of this started to weigh very heavy on me.
My once to twice weekly treat meals started turning into, “Oh, someone brought cookies to work today! I’ll just have a couple!” or “I don’t feel like making anything tonight. Let’s order a pizza instead.” My 6 days a week at the gym had dwindled down to 3. I had an excuse for anything and everything. This has never been my mindset, but somehow I just let it continue to spiral out of control. There was one night the beginning of this month my boyfriend and I went out to dinner and a movie and of course I stuffed myself to the max. When we got to the movie there was a man next to me who (more…)
“I want shoulder caps like theirs.” “I want my bicep peaks just like that.” “I want abs like hers.” “I wish my legs were that defined.” “I wish my glutes were as round as hers.” “I wish one day that my back will look like that.”
I want, I want, I want. I wish, I wish, I wish. I know many people in this boat. There was a time when all I wanted and wished for was the physique of someone else. I wanted Nicole Wilkins shoulders, Amanda Latona’s glutes, Michelle Lewin’s abs, Dana Linn Bailey’s back, and so much more. I chased the pump day in and day out hoping one day I would be just like them. To have all of these features that mirrored them.
Then one day my mindset changed. I looked in the mirror, and was happy with what I saw. I was so busy wanting to look like someone else that I didn’t even stop to see the changes my body was making along the way. I was amazed, surprised, and finally started to wonder why on earth I wanted to be like someone else. I loved the new me! I was building my own body in my own way. The best part about it is that no matter how hard anyone else tries, I am the only person that can be and form the mold of myself.
The most important thing I have learned so far is that you must love your body every step of the way. There will be days that you are at your absolute best, and there may also be days that you are at your worst. Don’t worry about those days. They are just bumps in the road that you’ll get through. There’s nothing wrong with looking to others for motivation and inspiration, but just remember that the ultimate goal is to be the best version of you possible. Not a secondary version of someone else.
This next bit is from my very first blog post at themightyhbombs.blogspot.com and still to this day I feel it is very important. Sometimes you just need a little reminder…
“Sometimes I feel, I’m sure many of us feel, we need to be perfect. I agree we should always strive for perfection, but no one is PERFECT and never (more…)
Don’t Be So Quick To Jump Ship
Having a prep coach for a bodybuilding show is not a necessity. However, many people benefit from them greatly, and I highly suggest having one. I found my coach a year and a half ago, and honestly have no idea where I would be if I did not have the right guidance from the start. Even MY coach has a coach to prepare for her upcoming shows! Straight from my coach herself, “I know there’s a lot of talk about people not needing a team…I’m not afraid to admit I do. Perhaps it’s my 12 years in the military and the loyalty & comradery that I experienced there that has me feeling this way. If that makes me weak…so be it. However…I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.” Now, can I just say…What is with all these girls doing the “one and done” with prep coaches lately?! They start lifting, decide they want to do a show, hire a coach, do a 12-16 week prep, don’t get top 5, blame their coach, and end up with a new one. Or you have the competitors that are somewhat “seasoned” athletes and jump from coach to coach because another’s way of doing things seems more appealing. Let me tell you, you are doing nothing but making yourself look bad.
First and foremost you should start by choosing the right coach for you. Interview them. Ask lots of questions. What is their track record like? Do they themselves have credentials or hold a special status such as a pro athlete or produce pro athletes? Are they educated in not only fitness but nutrition as well? Do they want to know your goals or help you set realistic ones? Are they curious as to what your diet and training regimen were like previously? Too many people do a few shows then decide they want to be “prep coaches” when in reality it takes years of experience to help you do well in this industry. Just because one thing works for one person does (more…)
Never Let Them Dull Your Sparkle
I was reading a thread on Facebook about a bunch of females talking about how unsupportive their significant others were being of their weightloss/fitness journeys. Wait, what?! Would these men rather them feel insecure, unhealthy, or whatever it is they’re feeling about themselves instead of doing something that makes them feel better? It was completely mind blowing and definitely heart breaking to read through the comments and see things like, “He thinks I will get too bulky.” “It will take away from time together.” “He won’t allow me to lift.” No, no, and 100% NO!
Even more interesting to me is that some of these women felt they should respect that decision. Hold it right there missy! You didn’t ask to go out and buy a new car, a new home, or take out a $100,000 loan. You decided you wanted to change the way you look and feel about YOURself! No one has ownership over you and your body. You have the decision making power over that. If someone is going to tell you that they don’t like that then tell them to kick rocks!
You will not, I repeat you WILL NOT get bulky from lifting weights! Cupcakes can make you bulky(not really….unless you eat the whole batch at once) and steroids can make you bulky. Females do not produce enough testosterone to get the “bodybuilder” look. I have been lifting as heavy as I can for the better half of two years and (more…)
Kick Those Nasty Thoughts!
Ever had “one of those days” where you have to force yourself to get up, get dressed, and get your butt in the gym? I’ll be honest. Even I have those days every now and then. Today happened to be one of them. For about two hours this morning I kicked around the thoughts, “Maybe I won’t go today. I’ll work extra hard tomorrow. One day isn’t the end of the world. Come on Heather, get up and go. Ok, fine!” I knew that had I decided not to go, I would regret it later. So I got myself in gear and finally made it to the gym.
As I’m going through the motions trying to find my happy place I catch myself looking in the mirror picking myself apart between every set. Why can’t my progress come quicker? Why aren’t my shoulders rounder yet? Why are my calves so stubborn? Why can’t next year be here so I can be a lean machine again? But do you want to know what bothered me more than any of these things? I’m wishing time away. As if it doesn’t already go by fast enough. I have caught myself doing so on more than one occasion. Wishing to see what the results will look like in 6 months. In one year. In 5 years. I know they say times flies when you’re having fun, but I can’t believe how quick this last year and a half or so went! Did it go by so fast because it really DID just fly by or because I’m wishing for this or wishing for that to come sooner and letting time pass me by?
I need to learn to SLOW DOWN which is hard to do when the word slow is not in my vocabulary. I have enjoyed the journey every step of the way. The good, the bad, and everything in between. But I need to always remember that as long as I am giving 110%, the results WILL come just as they have all along. Sometimes I get caught up in where everyone else is not thinking that I too will be just where I’m supposed to when the time comes. I have friends who are already looking lean and mean for the upcoming fall shows and watched Olympia competitors completely shredded making history that make me second guess myself. Hello Heather! Half the fun of getting back up there is what it takes to get there!
So maybe my shoulders aren’t as round as I’d like yet. They sure are a heck of a lot bigger than they were since I competed in June. Sure, my calves are pretty stubborn. You better believe this next year they’ll take (more…)
Consistency is Key
How many times have you set a goal and not achieved it, or got there then ended up falling off the wagon? Do you then stop and ask yourself why? Were you being consistent in taking the steps to get there and also after you made it there? I’m going to bet the answer is no.
What keeps you from reaching or maintaining your goal? Is it because it’s too hard? Of course it’s going to be hard! That’s the fun in getting there. If it’s something that is truely unattainable then start with a smaller goal and create a new one each time you reach it. Your journey should be a marathon not a sprint. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Maybe you reached your goal and no longer think you need to work at it. Wrong! Once you get there the very thing you want to do is go back to your old lifestyle. Just as before, that will set you up for failure. This is a big downfall for people who follow fad diets (which I’m sure I’ll be writing about either here or my personal blog). Yes, you can eat a bit more, but you need to stick with your maintenance calories otherwise all your hard work will quickly fade away.
A great tool to use to help you stay true to yourself and your goals is to use a calorie counter app on your phone. When I first started getting serious about my lifestyle change I used the My Fitness Pal app. I always go in and set the numbers myself to my personal goals. With this app, you log EVERYTHING you eat so it really makes you think twice about eating that piece of candy or second helping at dinner. There are quite a few other apps you can use so I highly suggest to give them a try!
My personal goal at the moment? (more…)
HBombs ignites Team Fitastic
Hello Fitastic World,
Some of you may remember me as Fitastic’s March Athlete of the month. For those of you that didn’t catch it, my name is Heather Hayes and I am an NPC bikini athlete. Fitness has had a place in my life on and off for the past few years, but it wasn’t until January of 2013 that I decided I really needed a change. I wanted to feel healthy, energized, and of course finally have a body I had once only dreamed of. I regularly started going to the gym, eating what I thought was “healthy”, and pulled workouts from here and there. But that just wasn’t enough. In May of that year I got into contact with my coach, Staci Boyer, and had decided I was going to take the next step, prepare for the stage. After 20 weeks of hard work and discipline I finally made it to my goal. Once I stepped off stage, I knew it was something I had fallen in love with! Here I am just over a year later with three shows under my belt and hungry for more!
Unlike some, this isn’t just about a trophy, a pro card, sponsorships, or exposure. Sure, those things are great! But for me it’s about sharing my story, my ups and downs, my successes and failures, my knowledge, and my experiences along the way. I hope that they not only inspire someone else, but that they help them pick themselves up when they’re on the brink of giving up. The fitness industry is full of some of the most supportive, positive, caring people I have ever met! Many others have helped me in more ways than they can imagine along this journey so I guess you could say this is my way to pay it forward. I hope those that I reach to will do the same.
How lucky am I to have the opportunity to be a part of the Fitastic team?! Now I can share these things with all of you and people all over the world! I hope that you will follow me as I continue on my journey to wherever this road may lead. It might be a bumpy ride at times so hold on tight!
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