One of the most commonly asked questions fitness competitors get asked is, “what have you given up for this life?” This question irritates me because it assumes all competitors feel that they’ve sacrificed something for this life, in a negative way.
I suppose in theory we do give things up during competition prep. The first things most people think of are junk food and alcohol. Is it just me, or is it sad that this could be considered a sacrifice? These are things which aren’t healthy or helpful to us in any way. Are they fun? Sure, they’re enjoyable, but it’s definitely not a true sacrifice to remove them. They don’t give your life any extra meaning or purpose.
Sacrifice is all a matter of perspective. If you love what you do, and want to make your goals and dreams a reality, there is no sacrifice. There’s simply a new lifestyle with new requirements and adjustments.
Have I given up the right to allow myself to eat what I want, when I want? No, I’ve made the decision to fuel my body with the foods which will make me perform and look my best. Have I given up my free time? No, I filled it with something I’m passionate about. Have I given up the ability to go out with friends? Not at all, I just might leave earlier because my body’s clock is set a little differently.
I never feel like I’m missing out on life when I go to bed at 9:30, or have to pack three days of meals to go away for the weekend. Am I always happy to have to do it? No, some days I’m tired and want nothing to do with a 4am alarm. There have been a few instances where I really didn’t want to pack food for a weekend away because I didn’t want to put the effort in. But, I’ve never regretted a workout or been unhappy to have food with me. It’s easy to talk yourself into thinking negatively, but then when you’re in the situation you wonder why you ever thought of doing something else. That’s your true emotion.
I truly can’t think of one thing that I miss in my life right now. I wake up excited to train, excited to see how my body has changed, proud of what I’ve created, and the new life I’m living. Where’s the sacrifice in that?