The digital "dings" and cyber "swooshes" have resumed on both my cell phone and iPad. My vacation must be over. But, it's not all pouts and tears, because I can honestly say I'm ready to be home.
In the past, I've taken a day or two of rest after a competition or a photo shoot, but it's been more than two years since I've taken three or more consecutive days of rest. The last vacation we went on was skiing, and I didn't allow myself any breaks from a competition-prep diet, so I'm not counting that.
It took me weeks to mentally prepare for all-inclusive buffets, swim-up bars and all-night discotecas. I wanted to be beside my husband every step of the way on vacation, not two steps ahead of him hitting the gym before he wakes up - like I usually do.
And I was! I totally slept in, just about every day. I ordered piña coladas and room service. I ate some crap... Like fried, greasy crap. I ate lean protein and vegetables the majority of the time, just because the food variety was crazy-good, and I could still eat clean, delicious meals. But, that didn't mean I had to play it safe for everything.
I feel like by day 4, my mind had finally relaxed. Up till then, I was analyzing every reflection of myself in the mirror, comparing myself with every Latino beauty queen strutting the sand and tallying every mimosa or French fry that touched my lips. I think it took four days of purposeful indulgence and relaxation for me to run low on the negative energy that had consumed my mind - the stuff way in the back that I cover up with task lists, jobs to work and goals to meet.
Despite all of my progress, both physical and spiritual, I found out I still struggle with low self-confidence.
When I first started shows and bodybuilding, I made the typical muscular gains and then got "shredded," and I felt pretty good about myself - better than I'd felt in years! And I think part of me thought, "I did it. I've overcome the battle of a poor self-image."
Now, I'm sure that the battle never ends. The Lord's presence in me just gets stronger, and the devil's just gets weaker.
I would totally recommend taking a week-long hiatus to anyone in the fitness industry who struggles with overtraining, anxiety or deeply-rooted perfectionism. It took me a long time to truly detach, and I think somewhere like an all-inclusive resort in Mexico is a fabulous way to do it. You don't have price tickets to talk you out of purchasing a drink or meal, and you've paid for everything up front, so you feel like you need to get your money's worth.
We traveled to the Hard Rock Cancun, which was freaking awesome. They treated everyone like rock stars. We got our nails "did," we got a mud massage, we got a private jacuzzi, and we got access to unlimited drinks, bars, clubs, restaurants, beaches, and pools. We also got access to a stellar gym, sauna and steam room, in which we trained three days, but only for about 30 minutes each time (I promise).
I'll definitely miss Cancun, but it's truly a pleasure to be coming home now (I'm writing this on the plane). My hope is to approach every class, session, workout, meal and encounter with others with a renewed mind, one that says, "You truly are a rock star."