Making a comeback…from baby to #8 in the World Pro Fitness Model in 1 year!

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So I’m going to go right in there and be blatantly honest with you, I have felt in a sort of “black hole” for the last few months since I stepped off stage this summer. It’s only now I can look back on my journey this year and appreciate how freaking hard it was. Not just hard, it was intense!

To recap, after competing in 2014 and placing 2nd in the World in the WBFF World Championships, I fell pregnant. My desire to become a mummy had been growing for a long time and I had the choice to either continue with my competing career or recognise that I wasn’t a spring chicken anymore. At 34 years old, I wanted to start a family. I didn’t want to leave it much longer. In July 2015, I achieved the greatest goal of all, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl Atari Maya. It was never in my mind that I would be stepping on the World stage again a year later.

Just 6 months after giving birth, I knew I had to have a new goal for myself. Becoming a mother is the most amazing gift but it’s also an extremely overwhelming time. It’s all too easy to lose sight of who you are, your identity and to give up on things for yourself because society (and old lingering traditions) make us feel like we must now put our children and family first, our needs last.  I’ve spoken to many of my mummy friends and for some reason there is this all-consuming guilt when we want to do anything for ourselves. Then there is the time aspect, and a huge lack of it! There is never enough time for yourself anymore once you become a parent. “Me time” ha what is that? I was determined to prove that it doesn’t have to be this way.

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For me, having this fitness goal, this ultimate physique goal, taking my passion for health & fitness to a higher level, was an extremely important commitment I wanted, and needed, to make with myself. I wanted to get back into my training and I wanted a good enough excuse for doing so. My love for it wasn’t going to be enough now I was a mummy and had this little person to prioritise. I had to have an excuse to prioritise time for myself too. And why not? I could still be “me” and a good mummy. I could continue to chase my dreams, which would in turn help to inspire this little person who will be looking up to me.

It had been 2 years since I’d stepped on stage and I tell you, the pressure was great! But I had to get myself in the right mindset. I placed the bar so high in 2014, this year wasn’t about placing higher, it was about competing with myself. I was a mummy now and if I completed this challenge, I had already won. After all, competing is about the journey, not the trophy, and it can shape you in so many ways as a person, you just need to embrace it in the right way. As I said before, it is important to go into a journey like this with the right mindset. The dedication and commitment is either within you or it isn’t. You have to want it bad enough. I thrive on pressure and having a challenge, the bigger the better, I wanted this badly, even if it broke me, and this time it almost did break me.

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I was having to work my butt off each day of my prep. I’d be up at the crack of dawn with Atari. She would need her milk, breakfast, changing, teeth-brushing, all before the nanny arrived. I needed to put as much time into my online business and was also seeing 121 clients also…a nanny doesn’t come cheap and neither do competitions! Then I would have to find the time for myself during my day to train. I was training 5 times a week but some of my lower body sessions would take me 2 hours. I’d have the nanny until mid-afternoon, then it would me “mommy-daughter” time. I’d take Atari swimming, we’d play in the garden, go to the beach or meet friends. Quite often I didn’t feel very social. Prep takes a lot out of you…the dieting, training and overall tiredness, all impacts the way you feel, both mentally and physically. I made a conscious effort for this not to impact on Atari in any way at all, and funnily enough, I always found the energy to give to her. She was what kept me going most days.

Some days I would have been quite happy to just lie down in a dark room and be with myself, but yeah that didn’t happen! I look back now and I think I must have just been on auto-pilot, going through the motions and trying keep my eyes on the goal, whilst doing my best to manage the chaos around me. My evenings would be taken up with never-ending food prep. Cooking dinner for my husband, my daughter, all whilst trying to cook, weigh, count & track all my food for the next day. Then catching up with emails and online clients before falling into bed always later than I had planned. My days were quite simply relentless.

Anyway, you get the gist. Back to the now.

Finally, I feel I am out of this “black hole” I have been somewhat at the bottom of over dan-galicthe past few months. After the competition was over, I no longer had a focus. I’d lost my mojo with my diet and training, and didn’t at all feel my usually happy, productive motivated self . However, these feelings weren’t new for me. This was my 4th time on stage and I’ve been here before. I had to ride out this storm and I knew I’d eventually come out the other side a stronger person. Here I am 🙂 And thanks to a good friend who gave me a good talking to whilst I was in the UK the other week, I am well and truly back and ready to tackle some new challenges!

Competing is a big part of who I am. It’s not about jumping on stage, but more the emotional rollercoaster that it takes to get there. There is something very powerful about hitting the gym and staying on track when everything in your body says stop. A very small minority of people can actually do it, especially whilst managing everything else in life at the same time.

blog-6If there is one thing that I get a kick out of though, it’s challenging myself. Setting my sights on a goal in order to take my strengths to the next level. Once I have that goal, I’m not one to back down. I don’t like failure. The sense of achievement I know I will feel once it is over is what keeps me motivated. A lot of people fail before they’ve even started because they put barriers up.

I’m hitting the gym 4 times a week now. Not as much as I’d like but it’s a realistic goal for myself with everything i’m currently juggling. Most days my workouts will only be 30 minutes but they make me feel great! We can all find a spare 30 minutes for ourselves a few days a week, right?

If you’re not yet following me on Instagram, please check out my profile @mirella_strongbeatsskinny. Each week I am posting bodyweight workouts you can do at home, or anywhere, with no equipment. Or you can throw in some weights if you wish to advance the workouts. These will take you 20-30 minutes. Easy to squeeze into your day, even if it means getting out of bed half an hour earlier.

I am also very excited to be launching an 8 week fitness challenge, where I will fly one lucky winner out to Ibiza to come and train with me for a day and show off your new curves on a sunny beach…just sign up at www.mirellafitness.com/challenge and join my IBIZA BODY CHALLENGE kicking off January 2017.

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I hope my daughter reads this article in years to come and feels the same inner strength, drive and determination to be the best version of herself too.

I found this quote today that really resonated with me. I hope it does with you too x

“Every woman has infinite potential to achieve anything she wants. She just needs to stop underestimating herself and discover her true inner strength. She will find within her an unlimited capacity to achieve” (Aarti Khurana)