Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall (3-Minute Read)

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Connie Pretula

Connie Pretula is an inspiring health coach and Menopause Navigator to mature women, using a holistic approach to nutrition and life.

June 13, 2014

If you have been following me for a while you know last May I competed in the Masters Figure Class of the Western Canadian Bodybuilding Show and won Third Place. It was an incredible day filled with pride, happiness, laughter and a moment I shared with close friends and my mom.
Since that day, I watched my extremely fit body transform to a “normal” body. I put normal in quotations because what is normal, who decides what is normal. Is there one all-knowing person on this earth or a governing panel of what normal is?
Today I saw a quote on Pinterest that said “You are so used to seeing your features, you don’t know how beautiful you look to a stranger”.
The quote made me stop and think for a moment, I thought “how true!”
For eight months I watched my body transform; first into the bulking body which is a process of gaining muscle and fat. Then leaning down to a body with around 10% fat, which for a woman is not healthy to maintain for any period of time.
I have also shared how exhausted I was; body, mind and soul, and needed time to rebuild my overall health.
What I haven’t shared is the body issues I have had over the last year.
As I saw my competition body disappear each day I became more disappointed in myself for letting all my hard work go and I became very self-conscious of my body in general. I didn’t like looking at my naked body in the mirror. Most mornings I get up, I look at my abs with regret.
Prior to deciding to prepare for the competition, I was happy with my body. It took many years to become comfortable with the naked body I saw in the mirror.
When I was younger I was small in size and as I started to mature, let’s just say I did not have the curves other girls did. I always compared myself to them and rated myself second best amongst my friends when it came to physical appearance.
It took until my mid-forties to embrace and love my body.
I think part of it comes from what I see in magazines or on the various social media feeds of the fit women. I say to myself, “I was there; why didn’t I do the right things to keep the body I worked so hard for?”
Perhaps for me, that isn’t the body I should have, I’m naturally lean. I need to figure out the right balance in my life and my workouts to have a body I can sustain for the balance of my life.
Maybe deep down my body knows what it needs and it has been trying to tell me but I haven’t been listening. All I’ve been doing is looking at it in disappointment and regret.
The first thing I need to do is to start loving what I see in the mirror every day. I need to stop taking what I see for granted. I need to also remember who I am as a person, as a woman. I need to stop comparing myself to other women’s bodies.
What I achieved in eight short months at the age of 51 was truly amazing and something I will always be proud of. Winning third place at the Western Canadian Bodybuilding Show was a moment of time in my life and my life journey carries on.
The sooner I love every state of my body the sooner I will be happy with the woman I see in the mirror every day.
Whether you are a man or a woman; Love Yourself, That’s Beautiful!

Thank you for reading my words.

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