My last post was on April 15th, way too long ago. I wrote about being discouraged throughout my training, and that I felt that the emotion of discouragement was unproductive and a waste of time. The blog post ended with these words: “I trust in this process and the results will speak for it in exactly 8 weeks!” The process I trusted was a nutrition and training protocol prescribed by two super successful trainers, my brother Pete Ciccone and his wife Meriza. 8 weeks after I wrote that post, the results did speak…and I won my first show ever!
Extremely thrilled and wanting to ride the excitement out, I looked to a national show 6 weeks later and made an attempt to place at the USA’s in Vegas. This would be the second time that I’d compete in this show; last year I placed 10th out of 35 and I hoped to improve on that. Plus, I would be wearing the lucky bracelet and ring that my beautiful friend Lillian let me borrow – she won 4 shows and I won the SoCals in it! I knew that I couldn’t lose, especially since I would be able to watch my brother Pete compete along with his 619 Muscle teammates, which is always amazing to see.
We don’t aways get what we want though do we? Feeling somewhat embarrassed, I did not place well – actually, I did not place at all! A little rushed backstage, a little bit nervous, and questioning if I did enough, I did not bring my best to the stage that weekend and got lost in the group – there were 45 of us girls in Class C! However, I do feel that I have made some improvements since last year. Some time off from running allowed me to add some muscle to my upper body. Unfortunately, it did not treat my thunder thighs so well! Some people say that it is a subjective sport, competing in shows like this. However, that does not really make me feel better. I would like to say that I just crashed and burned, or ran out of steam because that would mean that I went all out and I had no regrets. But, that is not the case. I am starting to realize that training for these shows is not like training for a marathon – you don’t need to save energy for the run back home! The regret I have from not going all out, 24/7, the entire weeks of training – I imagine that is why I felt rushed, nervous, and questioned my level of preparedness. I plan not to feel that way again. Time to dust myself off and get ready for the next 12 weeks of insane intensity. Making my way to the NPC National Championships in November with the help of superstar trainer Meriza –
HOTLANTA……HERE I COME!
One of the things that I hate to admit the most is that I have failed. The word failure, F!, has such a negative feeling associated with it, that it is no longer part of my life!
I recently decided this when making the decision to push back the date of my next NPC bikini competition from March to April, then to May, then finally to June! At first, I felt very badly about this. The reason was because my physique just was not going to be where it needed, and more importantly, where I wanted it to be in order to reach my desired level of success. After some time of training and dieting, I was disappointed and upset with myself that I had to make this decision. I worked hard to get where I was, and to push back the date because I wouldn’t be ready made me feel like I was failing!
I hate failing! I hate the feeling so much that I even tricked myself into thinking that I did not want to compete. How can I fail at something I don’t want, right? I stopped going to the gym, I stopped eating my healthy foods, I stopped thinking about the shows, and I even ignored writing a blog! I think I even ate some ice cream that I didn’t want just in spite of it all! That lasted a week… 🙂
Then I got sick, and that lasted a week…
So now, here I am, two weeks later, with a little less muscle, a little more flab, feeling way more “not ready” than before, and not to mention, way behind on my running schedule for the NYC half marathon! I am sure I am being overly dramatic because in the big scheme of things it really doesn’t matter, but still, all of this because I was mad about feeling like a failure! So, I have decided, failure is no longer part of my life. If there is something that I want to succeed at but can’t or haven’t, I have the power to change it. I have the power to change it so that I do succeed, and therefore I never fail but am constantly learning and living.
That will be my new mindset as I go into the next 14 weeks of dieting and training. But, I have to figure out why I wasn’t ready or where I needed to be. What do I need to change?
– Well, I already posted about the areas that I needed to focus on so I know what training I need to do. See Living Art – A Work in Progress
– I attended a nutrition seminar by one of the best in the industry so I know my nutrition is on point. (Thanks Pete Ciccone – 619muscle!)
– Everyone at the gym looks at me like I am crazy so I know I am training with passion…
I guess I will just have to keep on searching (and meantime be inspired by this poster of Bruce Lee)!
A few weeks ago, after I posted about my results from my last show, I got some good feedback about what I was doing, right and wrong. I always love to get feedback in my quest to achieve any goal, because it can only help me. Even negative feedback makes me sometimes think “screw you!”, and then I just try harder. However, there was a certain piece of advice that really stuck with me. Thanks Pete!
What my older, wiser brother told me to do was to remember the old saying about how success leaves clues, and to follow the clues that successful people leave behind. He told me to keep my eyes and heart open to self-analysis of the things I am doing to be the best I can be! And of course, he then says…”time to grow!” Well, because of my engineering and financial background, the word analysis really got me excited (yeah, yeah I know, I’m kind of a nerd) and I decided to take this to the next level. This analysis is beyond calculating and manipulating protein, carb, and fat ratios for nutrition on Excel and calculating weekly mileages and average paces for training. It goes beyond looking in the mirror and at photos and asking what my weak spots are…
While I was waiting for my largest meal of the day to digest before going for a long run, which is oatmeal at breakfast time, I combined my scientific background with my love and eye for art and beauty, and have created what I call… “Paulina Carla Living Art – A Work in Progress!” It is a photo analysis where I have overlaid photos of a previous NPC bikini champion that I deemed successful onto my photo from my last show. I then drew on my photo the areas that I needed to improve in order to reach my own masterpiece! Note, this look can only be achieve through diet and exercise….NO surgical help!! Lol. Then I removed the overlaid photo and voila! Aside from realizing that there are two major round things missing from my living art, I can see more clearly the areas that I need to target.
I am not sure if this is what my brother meant by stealing clues and self-analysis, but I thought it was kind of funny! And believe it or not, I accomplished all of this on my IPad! Thanks Apple!
Note: this is only the front for now, back is for another day…or never!