by Kendi Charls
I am the type of girl who is subconscious and always aware of what I eat and how it makes me feel – how my body responds to it. Between dieting for a fitness show and just being a healthy 27-year-old female, I had to learn discipline and balance. To be honest, it’s something I feel like I am just now beginning to figure out. After my first competition, I had it in my head that I had to be “show ready” and hold that physique all the time when I know first hand that it is 100% impossible.
I’ve struggled with finding a happy and healthy medium and in doing so I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know I have to travel a lot for work – I have client lunches and dinners frequently. My lifestyle is constantly on the go. I spent so much time ignoring everything to try and stay focused and perfect, when in the end its all about moderation and discipline. I was seeing it all in the wrong light. I don’t know why all of a sudden this concept seems so simple and easy when for months I struggled trying to figure out what was wrong with me. That’s just it – nothing is wrong with me. No one is perfect and it’s okay to live. I spend too much time feeling “guilty” because I wasn’t sticking to a diet that I didn’t even need to be on. As I continue through my off-season from competitions, I don’t think twice about prep and guilt and instead keep my food in-take in moderation and keep my workouts intense!
Don’t get me wrong, I am starting the beginning of a two week road trip where I didn’t “have to” pack weeks worth of food and meat because regardless it won’t stay good along the way anyway and then I’m stuck with dirty dishes….GROSS! I did however pack a few staples that can help keep me somewhat on track. For starters I always pack protein powders, oats, snack bars and I plan on hitting the grocery store when I arrive to grab some fruits and other healthier choices to have around. There will be lots of eating out with clients. However with my new insight of moderation and not perfect, I think I can handle it. I know I will make many healthy choices and I can bet there will be some not healthy choices along the way. However it’s planned. I know its coming and this time, NO GUILT!
Don’t strive to be perfect in anything; just remember a few simple words – balance, discipline and moderation……..ENJOY!
Kendi Charls is a top ranked National Physique Committee competitor and a well-known advocate of healthy living through diet and exercise. She is a life-long athlete in multiple sports such as soccer, basketball, track, softball and volleyball. She is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa where she received her BA in Fashion Design and played for the school’s volleyball team. You may reach Kendi Charls at firstname.lastname@example.org.