“You were born to be real, not to be PERFECT”
I use to seek perfection. Waking up each day consumed by training and diet and in my best shape…still not feeling “good” enough or “perfect” enough. But what is perfect? After years of trying to achieve this idea of perfection I was slowly deteriorating and although I looked healthy physically, internally I was only hurting myself. As I sit here now, living a balanced life, I understand that I cannot let perfection interfere with my progress. That it is possible to love yourself while still working toward the body you desire.
It is extremely tough, and if I am speaking from my own experiences as once a figure competitor to now a fitness personality, I am judged everyday. Epitomizing a healthy, fit, tone physique but battling my thyroid and the pressures I put on myself being in this industry. I have a story that is tough for me to share but I feel that being honest with myself allows me to realize my self worth and know that I am more than just a “body” but I am a voice as well.
I have a new cover coming out in a couple of weeks. I am so honored and grateful to still get these opportunities in this industry that is highly competitive. Again, I must remind myself, I am more than just a “body”. When I first went out to shoot for this cover I was really nervous. My body was just not working and I thought I had to convert back to my extreme habits in order to get in shape, which is a ridiculous amount of cardio and living off protein and vegetables. Well, I have a thyroid condition and that is the worse possible thing you can do when you have hypothyroidism. So I show up to the shoot nervous to have them look at me because I know I am not in my BEST shape. The editor looked at me and knowing that I have had covers before and knowing what I was capable of said, “Felicia, we know what you can do and we want to give you a chance to do it…but this body we can’t have on the cover”. Now to the average person I was in good shape, but to be on cover of a magazine was a whole other level and I knew this.
I was devastated. To hear that as a fitness model and trainer is tough to swallow. I did the best I could but it just wasn’t enough. The editor was sympathetic to my efforts and wanted to give me another shot….which DOES NOT happen in this industry. So he gave me an additional 6 weeks to come back and shoot for the cover. If this would have happened to me early in my career I would not have mentally been able to handle it, but I am so much stronger today and again I am not defined by my “body”. This realization that came over me hit me like a ton of bricks the last couple of years and given the chance to come back better …was all I needed.
I got back home and worked my butt off. Ate a variety of foods, didn’t diet but ate healthy, trained hard and came back to that shoot, shot the cover and GOT THE COVER. It comes out in a couple of weeks and I am so excited to share with you all.
Again, perfection is impossible. WE must learn to love ourselves while still working toward the body we want. Health is and should be your number one priority. I am grateful for my experiences for they have made me who I am and to be able to write about it today. I am REAL. I am HEALTHY. I am MORE than a body. I have a VOICE!