11 Weeks Out - Focused on Progress

What most people don’t realize is that happiness is not about what you have (or own) or even wherever it is you stand right now. It’s about where you feel you’re headed, about whether or not the future is looking brighter. Put simply, happiness is progress. Happiness is the joy you feel moving toward your potential.
— Susie Moore, The Greatist

I often wonder why I get so much pleasure from exercise and training for this bikini competition. It's uncomfortable, inconvenient, and time consuming - yet - I am kinda obsessed despite the hardships. I have been talking about this silly event for almost a year now, torturing my family, friends, boyfriend, myself and even my dog who'd prefer some longer walks in return for less gym time.   

After reading this article, I understand some of the reasons why I have invested so much of myself into this. At the cost of time, more satisfying meals, sanity and relationships – I get this deep rooted feeling of purpose that I am making progress as a human being or at least I'd like to think so. 

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I've come to the conclusion that it is worth the discomfort because that means I am pushing myself to grow inside and outside of the gym.

  • I want to be able to grow in self-confidence by challenging my self-doubts, pushing past barriers, and overcoming set-backs.
  • I want to live my life out loud. Sharing my journey publicly is way outside my comfort zone, but I am learning to accept who I am for better or for worse through failure and success and even when it's not understood by others.

It's worth the inconvenience because with it, I am learning how to master the art of self-discipline.

  • I need to be willing to do what it takes to reach my goal which means it requires my time, attention and focus to yield results.

And even though 80 days couldn't come soon enough, it's been worth my time. Classic means so much more than getting into a sparkly bikini (even though they are really quite amazing) and achieve a lifelong quest to get rockin' tight bod... It's about making progress and I moving toward my full potential physically, mentally and even spiritually. 

Natalie Barnard