Thursday, May 01, 2008



I’ve hinted around it for some time but I’ll make it official now. I have decided that I wont compete this year.

Despite starting my training program with lots of enthusiasm, deep down I just couldn’t get my sh*t together. The reality of my situation is that over the last few months I have had major struggles with emotional eating, binge eating and destructive thought patterns. After the comps were over last year I went into a major re-feeding mode and even though I knew about this and the risks of it happening, I was powerless to stop it. I hated what I was doing to myself but I wasn’t ready to stop it and deal with it like a sensible mature adult. The result is that I gained back a lot of weight and assessing where I am and where I need to be to compete again I knew the road there would be one of virtual starvation, flogging myself with hours of cardio and managing my already delicate emotions. I could only envisage a miserable time ahead and that’s not what I believe such an a amazing process should be about.

Now you may all be thinking “quitter / scared of hard work / with that sort of attitude you’ll never be successful” and yep all those thoughts went through my mind initially. But then I was sensible enough and mature enough to realise that in order for me to successfully compete again, I had to make my healthy-living-lifestyle-foundation much stronger. Think of it this way: I have a very unstable foundation right now and I kept trying to build a skyscraper onto it. Result: every effort came tumbling down around me leaving me staring failure in the face every time it happened. Some very wise words from both Lisa Stokes and Liz Nelson finally sunk in and I’ve changed my focus for this year.


After I came to peace with the above decision I started to think about what this year would hold for me. Would I just drift through without a goal just taking life as it came? Would I run the risk of becoming quite slack about my training because I wasn’t working towards anything specific? These were real risks in my eyes.

And then it came to me. My new goal for 2008.

This is the year I will run the City to Bay (Adelaide’s 12km fun run from the city to Glenelg) and I will attempt it in a challenging time. Now some of you might be thinking “big deal, whats 12 kms?” but for a chronic non-runner this will be a big accomplishment. Ok I ran heaps last year and I improved quite a bit but I’ve since lost a lot of that conditioning. Plus I’ve never done a long distance. Several years ago I remember doing a one-of 9km run and it nearly killed me although I was running regularly at the time. So 12kms will be quite a challenge for me.

I’ve already consulted the local running expert at work, the lovely Miss D for some training tips. She has been good enough to invite me to train with her running group as there is a specific form of training I’ll need to do to run the race in the time I’m aiming for. I’ve worked out when I can do this and I’m excited and nervous and raring to go.


Liz blogged about this last month and she had also brought it up with me when I trained with her at the start of the year. To recap for you its about extrinsic vs intrinsic motivation. Eg does your motivation come from within you or are you motivated by external sources? If you’re motivated by external sources then this is a very effective motivational tool. Here’s how it goes. You set a measurable goal with a clear timeframe. Then you put up something of (significant) value to you that you will forego/lose if you don’t reach your goal. Simple.

Well when I first heard about it I wasn’t at all keen to do it. I think deep down I knew I just wasn’t ready to commit – but I never would have admitted that. Then last month after another big slip up around BS’s birthday I just felt so out of control, so sick of failing over and over again that I realised the RRLA was maybe the only way I’d get on track AND STAY THERE.

I talked to WH about it and after his bewilderment at “gee that’s drastic”, “why cant you just do it on your own?” and a host of other comments we made it official.

MY GOAL: Sub 65kgs by All Females – Friday 11th July

MY PENALTY: $500 of money I’d normally spend selfishly on myself AND no internet access at home (other than checking emails) – eg NO BLOGGING for one month.

So I’m really motivated to eat well and train hard. I don’t put food mindlessly into my mouth. I don’t eat to relieve boredom or to ease frustration or dampen the effects of feeling stressed. I think twice about when I drink alcohol and how much I have. In fact I plan my meals quite diligently and sometimes I ride out the feelings of hunger knowing that a planned meal is not far away. I’m doing ok and I’m feeling SO MUCH BETTER already.

I wish I was the sort of person who is motivated intrinsically but right now I’m not so I’ll work with what life has dealt me now. I’m just glad I bit the bullet and took action when I did rather than waiting for my weight to go up and my self esteem to go down further.

So this year I’m a runner, a figure competitor taking a break (still training weights though) and a lean and clean eater. I will continue to enjoy skim cappuccinos; a couple of alcoholic drinks a week, a relaxed meal out very now and then and will have my favourite cake on my birthday. Life is looking pretty good right now.




Kristy said...

Congratulations on joining the runners group for a little while and I know you will do great with the City-Bay. I love it last year and will be there again this year :)

Splice said...

Hey Mags!
Boy you must feel relieved now that you have made a definate decision on what you want to do for 2008, and what is best for you.

I wish you well with your new goals. Running is something I find extremely difficult so i take my hat off to you :-)

I will be following your progress as always!


LizN said...

Hey Magda,
I admire your courage and your candour in posting about all of these things that you have been dealing with.

It's a harder, more satisfying road and you will have the foundation there for a lifetime of leanness.


Raechelle said...

Hardly a quitter-you've gone through the hard yards for one comp-a quitter would not have done that.
You're a realist-nothin' wrong with that-and being a runner ain't no trivial thang either!
Good luck with your new goals!

Cat said...

Definately not a quitter, you are someone who is focused and knows how to get what she wants while keeping sane. Congrats on the decisions for the year ahead they sound great.

Magda said...

Kristy I'll be up the back huffing and puffing, eating your dust LOL. But I'm glad I'm finally giving it a go.

Deb, you're right about being relieved and just really happy with this direction. A new challenge is always exciting.

Thanks Liz. You've been so helpful and I learnt so much from you even in the short time we worked together. Now I finally feel ready to put it all into practice.

Thanks Raechelle. I'm just glad I finally opened my eyes to the obvious and made some smart decisions. I hope I find the running as rewarding as competing.

Ah that word "sane". I never looked at it like that Cat but I guess you're right. Whats that saying about the definition of insanity "doing the same thing over and over whilst expecting a different result". Well it was time to break the (negative) cycle and move forward, even if in a new direction.

You're fantastic guys!! Thanks so much :-) Cheers Magda

Antigone said...

I have a question for you hun hope you don't mind :)

How is putting your happiness first being a quiter?

I think it took amazing strength to decided to compete and it took even more strength to put your hand up and say that 2008 is not the year for me to compete, I pat you on the back hun your not giving up your choosing another way of getting to your goal :)

I wish you all the best hun :)
Can't wait to see how you go :)

Combat Girl said...

One thing that has never come to mind when thinking of you is quitter. determined, strong, undervalues herself, fighter come to mind instead.

Proud of you for making this decision. I think it is the right one for you at this stage and who knows next year may be a different story or you will have other goals.


Michelle said...

Congratulations for listening to what's best for you. Everyday when I hit the gym I make sure that what I'm doing is making me happier long term. You don't want to be training everyday to make your life worse, longterm. Not sure I'll be saying the same when comp time comes around, but I bailed at about this time last year and looking back don't regret the decision for a second. It's given me a much more solid base for this year. Best wishes on building your solid base.

Kristy said...

Magda one more question which runners club are you joining?

Magda said...

Gee thanks Em. In the past I've started so many things and never finished them and I'm now trying to change that. Deciding to compete and then saying "no" reeked a lot of the past. But I just have to get over that coz it felt so wrong and I knew I wouldnt do it justice.

Thanks for those very kind words CG. I'm certainly happier with that load off my mind and a new direction to follow.

Thanks Michelle. I'm looking forward to building that base. And when its rock solid ..... well look out Figure World LOL.

Kristy I'll be running with Adelaide Harriers on South Tce, Mondays after work. Scared sh*tless to start with but hey I've got to start somewhere.

Cheers all


Kek said...

Magda, I did the same thing last year - made the decision to compete and then a few months down the track pulled out. I can absolutely relate to you feeling like a quitter or a failure. But it was the right decision for me at the time, and I'm sure it's the right decision for you for now.

I love your skyscraper analogy. Keep building that strong foundation! It'll be worth it in the long run.

Michelle said...

Hi Magda,

I totally agree with everyone else. You are by no means a quitter, it takes a lot of courage to make the decision you have made.



Alicia Negrin said...

Hey Magda,

There is no way in hell that you are a quitter! In all complete and brutal honesty, competing is bloody hard work and definitely not an easy road. On the upside, you have been there and done that, so you dont have to do it again if you dont want to!


Magda said...

Hey Kek I didnt realise you were a budding competitor too. I thought about it for a year or so. Started. Stopped (we were moving back to Adelaide in September when all the comps were on) and then just bit the bullet and DID IT. I reckon you will too one day.

Thanks Michelle. Your kind words are appreciated.

Hey Alicia thanks for dropping by. I know how busy you are. I guess I have one comp under my belt so I can say "been there done that got a T shirt" so thats cool but deep down I want to do it again. And I will when I have a better/stronger position to start from.

Cheers guys


Hilary said...

Awesome Magda, what a great goal! I dont think anybody here believes you are a quitter, its so good that you are doing something that really excites you! All the best for your running preparation, I'm no runner either so I'll be interested to read your journey!

Hilary xx

Lisa said...

Hi Magda
I think you should be really proud of the decision you've made. A long term healthy relationship with good food should be one of our first goals, the rest can come later if we've got that right. I'm also really excited about someone else doing the City to Bay! What time are you aiming to do it in? I wish I lived in Adelaide and could train with a group too.

little rene said...

DEFINATELY the right decision Magda! You have had me worried about you this year and I am glad that you have changed your focus.

Competing is not the be all and end all.

Happiness and inner peace are far more important.

Magda said...

Thanks Hilary. I'll be writing quite a bit about how I go. In fact I might even do a side bar of my 5km times hopefully showing some nice improvements as September draws nearer.

Hey Lisa!! I'll set my goal time a bit closer to race day. Based on my current ability I'd run it in 1 hour 20 assuming I could keep going for the 12kms. So perhaps 1 hour 10 or 1 hour 5 if the planets all align for me.

Hi Rene. Yep I've spent the first few months of this year battling constant bouts of misery resulting from my food struggles. With the pressure now off I know I'm going to have some really enjoyable times. My husband's birthday is one week before the comp so now I can enjoy it with him and I wont be stressing out on my birthday (in July) either. I'm looking forward to this year. Woohoo!!

Magda :-)