Why Compete?

My own personal press conference, part one:  “Why did you decide to do a figure competition, way back when you were blogging about that??”

Because I was obsessed with looking good.

For those who haven’t been reading my blog blogs for the past six years, or if you don’t know me at all, or if you have a really, horribly bad sense of perception you might have missed a kind of big part of my life, namely living with the eating disorder Orthorexia. Not now, because now I apparently eat chocolate-covered strawberries with reckless abandon can enjoy one chocolate covered strawberry with only a small twinge of guilt. For a couple of hours. But at the time, from about 1992 to 2002 I had a very hard time…existing.

In conjunction with an excruciating and all-consuming obsession with monitoring and restricting food (and occasionally crying after eating cereal) I discovered exercise, otherwise known as doing four hours of cardio a day.

One fateful day around the year 2000 a couple of guys from the gym invited me to join them in their weight lifting routine. And I did join them, everyday for over a year until I moved away to California. My first day in California I found the closest gym and continued my obsessive compulsive quest for fitness. And by fitness I don’t mean “health”, I just wanted to look good. Truthfully, I didn’t care about my health at all, I was striving to remove as much fat from my body as humanly possible.

Over time I submerged myself in every piece of literature I could get my hands on in regards to nutrition, dieting, training and did I mention I can be obsessive? I learned how to eat correctly, and happily for my brain “correctly” still mostly equated to “major restrictions and calculations” but now they were supported by books and trainers! I also realized that I could not change my body’s composition (read: obliterate every fat cell I had) without help from a professional.

When I first met with the man who would then become my trainer & nutrionist my intention was only to “get in shape”, and I basically pointed to the fitness models plastered all over his walls (HAHAHAHA!) I didn’t even know what a figure competition was, exactly, but he asked me right then if I wanted to compete. I honestly didn’t think I would ever look like I belonged on that stage, but he assured me I would and I agreed to compete.

In total I competed in four competitions  over the course of three years. The prep for my first show was pretty close to torture near the end. I was miserable. But overall I loved the process because it was a really excellent (and socially acceptable) outlet for my own “issues.”

I don’t think I’ll ever compete again, and it makes me sort of sad, but sort of not. There are a lot of reasons why, but the main one is that I just don’t want to – I don’t have the drive in me right now that’s absolutely critical if you want to compete.

Plus, I like beer.

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2 Responses to “Why Compete?”


  1. 1 Kristin December 13, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Yay !!! Good answer. Especially the part about the beer.

  2. 2 Suzi December 15, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Nice answer! I am glad you are in a “healthier” place now.


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AMYELLA

Amyella (pronounced Amy-ella) is a pseudonym for Amy Levitt, a fitness and health food fanatic and a beach girl at heart. She has been sharing her sometimes nonsensical thoughts and self-amusing stories online since 2002 and currently spends a good deal of her time wrangling her 90 pound Rottweiler and 60 pound Boxer. Which is quite a show.
The origin of the name Amyella.

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