I recently was asked by one of my sweet pageant friends… “Do you ever feel burned out that you have to keep up with working out and eating healthy most of the time?” When I thought about it, and it really inspired me to share this post; so thank you, Ala.

First, I think it is super important that you understand my background; a lot of you are new here … as readers or Insta followers within the last year, which is dope and I appreciate it, but it’s also super important that you understand where I was before now.

Additionally, there is a huge amount of confidence that comes when you start hitting those weight loss goals, but you have to remember that this is a lifestyle, and you’re not always going to lose weight. I know every year after I competed for Miss Colorado I would gain a couple of pounds and would be back to team 2 abs (LOL!), and that’s nothing to beat yourself up about. Body image is so tough on you mentally. I know me getting physically stronger has made me mentally stronger. Do I look like I did when I won Miss Colorado USA? Definitely not, but that’s fine! I was so unhealthy when I won, but I looked good, and that’s something to consider too. Never sacrifice your health for “looking good”.

I am not a naturally skinny girl or even a smaller girl, I never have been. I played sports in high school, was decent, but not great, and I never was super competitive because I wanted friends in high school. I lifted weights, showed up to practice, put in a decent amount of effort, but never really full effort (except softball, I can hit a ball). I wasn’t skinny or fit, but I also had a high schooler’s metabolism so I wasn’t big either.

When I was 18, I decided that I was going to compete for Miss Colorado USA. I got a personal trainer and decided to get in shape. I fucking hated every minute of working out, of dieting, and I would eat so much on a cheat day that I would gain 5-7 pounds. Competing in my first pageant and going on my first diet honestly mind-fucked me for years to come.

In college, I gained lord knows how much weight, but somewhere around the time of graduation (I was 21. I graduated early.) I decided that I didn’t want to live a life where I didn’t like how I looked. The summer after I graduated I decided to truly start my own fitness journey. I don’t know if I ever really said what I weighed because I was so embarrassed, but I’ll tell you now. I was close to 170 pounds. I am pretty good at hiding weight and dressing for my body, but I knew I didn’t want to be 170 pounds. I signed up to compete in Miss Colorado USA that year as motivation to figure my shit out…. walking on a stage under a spotlight in heels and a bikini is a real motivation.

I worked out once or twice a day. I did a lot of cardio, especially the stair stepper. I would find music videos on YouTube and just get lost in the 30 minutes of cardio. I also got a trainer that year, and he pushed me to lift more, but we didn’t really focus hard on my diet. I don’t remember if I counted calories back then or what I did exactly. Paleo was popular at the time, and I recall doing that for a while. A diet is something that is so difficult for me, not because the diet itself is difficult, but because of what it does to me mentally. I hate obsessing about food… I like to eat, so taking food away from me or restricting myself just makes me crazy… like actually crazy.

This was the first real beginning of my love for health and fitness. I had finally felt like my goals of weight loss were actually attainable. This journey has had its highs and lows, and I think over the course of it I have lost over 40 pounds. I still don’t love how I look every day, nor do I feel constantly motivated, but I think of myself as a work in progress.

When it comes to losing weight or wanting to get in shape, it’s so important to not put any energy into comparing yourself to others. It’s easy to look at a smaller or more fit girl on social media or in real life, and think “oh she can eat that and I can’t, but she still gets to look like a model”. Tell those thoughts to get out of your head! Everyone has their own struggles with image, and looking at someone in envy isn’t going to make your journey any easier.

Being healthy is so much more than winning the competition, running a marathon, or whatever your fitness goals may be. It’s about loving your body, moving it, and giving it proper nutrition.

Now that I’m 6 years into this lifestyle, I love working out. Group fitness is my fave, but I do like going to the gym a lot, usually for cardio. You’re also not always going to be motivated, no one is motivated all of the time, but energy creates energy so get moving. I typically work out on vacation and at least 6 days a week. Working out is my time for me to push myself physically which has directly translated to the work in my career and my mental strength.

Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey, hitting a speed bump in your fitness journey, or crushing your fitness goals, I hope this was helpful for you. If you’re in Denver and ever want to work out together or come to one of my Pure Barre classes, just let me know!

XO,

Madison