a body that changes | a spirit that remains

a body that changes | a spirit that remains {photo source}

With the All Females Classic bodybuilding titles on this past weekend, I remembered my own experience as a competitor. Although I never competed in this event (wearing a bikini in Melbourne in June — no way!) I stood on stage two years in a row in the best shape of my life.

Although there were trials and tribulations before and after competing, in that moment, standing on stage, I felt beautiful and proud of my efforts.

It’s been three years since I was obsessed with food, exercise and my body and I’m sure people wonder if I miss the thrill of being lean enough to parade my body in a small bikini. The answer is no.

I have come to realise that I’m still the same person.

When I look at the photos from that time, I can’t see much difference. Of course I’m carrying more fat, I’m a bigger size and my ribs aren’t visible, but I am still that person in the photo. I have the same smile, the same fighting spirit and the same ability to do anything I set my mind to.

The people who knew me then and know me now don’t turn away from me because I’m no longer competition lean. The size of my body is of no interest to them at all. All they want to know is that I’m happy.

I am happy.

I’m loving my life, loving my friends and family and letting go of the thoughts that make me suffer.

If you’ve ever been beautiful in the past — you are beautiful now. The essence of you doesn’t change depending on the size, shape or age of your body. That spark inside you, that sliver of divinity, always remains.

Who you are as a person is important to the world. You are the only person who can do the job of being you. Everything about you is exactly the way it needs to be for you to fulfil your purpose on this earth.

Don’t long for a past when things were different. At your core, you are still the same … perhaps wiser, kinder, more joyful and more interesting.

When you believe that your personality, your spirit and your capacity to love are the most important things, then your body is as irrelevant as the changing weather.

Life goes by quickly. Looking backwards with wistful longing robs you of happiness. You are more beautiful, more capable and more loved than you were when you were thinner, younger, or richer.

You are loved because you are simply you.

“If your self-esteem really does depend on how you look, you’re always going to be insecure. There’s no way you can get around it. Even if you get the perfect body, you’re going to age. At some point, you have to take control, shift the focus, and decide that who you are, what you can contribute to the world, what you do and say, is so much more important than how you look.”

– Portia de Rossi

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

10 thoughts on “a body that changes | a spirit that remains

  1. Although you’re still the same person I love you more now than I did when you were competition lean. You are wiser, kinder, more loving and far happier in the body you have now than you ever were back then.

    As for standing on stage practically butt naked in Melbourne in June? Fuck that, I’m having enough trouble being dressed in Brisbane in the rain ;).

    Happiness doesn’t rest in the size of your body, it rests in your soul. You are a soul, you have a body.

  2. Katie, I love, love, love this post! It was exactly what I needed to read. I completely agree with you; it’s all about who we are as a person. The size of our body doesn’t mean anything to those who truly love us. Love, Julie

  3. All true; but I’d just like to say, for me, the whole comp thing isn’t just getting to a certain look. I was perfectly happy and healthy 4 kilos ago-and will be again. Yes, I wanted to see if I could make certain changes to my body that I didn’t make before (knowing they would be temporary), but for me it was also about a big meet up with lots of other gals who enjoy working out just like I do.

    For me it’s never been about trying to change who I am-just putting myself to some physical challenges, and meeting up with gal pals.

    I know what you are saying in this post, as I said, all true. But I guess I just don’t want to be lumped in with a stereo type of what figure competing is.

    Having said that, there is a good chance that I won’t compete again (though I won’t say never, as I’ve done that twice already…lol!), as it is much time, effort and money that, unless one has big dreams of magazine covers or full on web services etc, really leaves a person a bit empty at the end.

    But I’m still glad I did it.

    Does that all make sense? hope so! 🙂

    1. I’m glad I did it too.
      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with competing at all. I was addressing the thoughts of regret some competitors experience when they look back on the past and mourn the loss of who they were when they stood on stage. My belief is that we always have that beauty, confidence and sense of accomplishment. It’s not because of our body, it’s because of our heart.

  4. Great post Katie…I understand where you are coming from. And Raechelle I really admire your dedication and can see where you are coming from as well. I used to get so down on myself because I couldn’t lose weight and all I wanted to do was be like the gorgeous Fern…I just loved her muscles. Physique was for me, not figure. Well guess what, I’ve put on another 15kgs since then, mostly around when my mum was sick and the time following her death.
    Finally I have come to realise that I have spent almost half of my almost 50 years on some sort of diet!! Even when I was in my 20’s – 30’s and really was a stunner! No need to diet, but I thought I had to. Slim, blonde, but I still wasn’t happy, in fact I was severely depressed. Half my life denying myself.
    I will now never go on a diet ever again. I will eat what suits me, and when it suits me. I’m not denying myself anything. I thought being the ideal weight would make me happy, but I what I didn’t know then and do know now is that it’s ME who make ME happy. I need to lose weight because of health issues and that’s fine, but I’m taking my time. (I shouldn’t be counting but so far 2kg loss in 2 weeks is great). AND I AM NOT DIETING OR RESTRICTING IN ANY WAY.
    Sorry to hijack Katie, but this post really struck home and I am slowly turning my thinking around. I saw a show on SBS last night on the brain and loved this quote “Don’t believe everything your brain thinks”. Getting thinking about food right first, then I’ll see what’s next. I am going to print out this post and keep it where I can see it. Exx

    1. Thanks for your great comment Erika. I watched that show last night too on neuroplasticity. I loved the stuff about mindfulness which is how I live my life. I’m a great believer that thoughts are just thoughts and not always telling the truth. As Byron Katie would say …’can you absolutely know that it’s true?’ and ‘how do you feel when you think that thought?’
      It sounds like you’ve come a long way Miss E — I’m so inspired by you ♥

  5. I love all of the ‘stuff’ on mindfulness and neuroplasticity. I hope I got that quote right. But it’s so true. Going to watch that show again as I was doing some of my study and want to watch without interrruption. I still have a long way to go.

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