Day 3: Why in the hell am I doing this?


Why the hell am I doing this? Um, short answer: I’m not sure.

I want something challenging – I want to compete – I want to win something. I told my parents yesterday at our disastrous pizza lunch that I entered this bodybuilding competition in February and the looks on their faces told me that this what they thought I was shooting for:


So, I immediately shared some pictures with them to illustrate this is more along the lines of what I’m shooting for:


They were both weirded out and told me not to get too skinny. Sigh.

This afternoon I was driving home from work with my friend and she was sharing with me how the resident chef in our office was going to be bringing in her homemade Honey Apple Challah. I remember how delicious that was last year. I decided to ask Samara not to bring any to my office ‘cuz I’m on a strict mission to eat super clean. I told her about the competition in February. She was totally supportive and cool about it. Completely different reaction than my parents.

Funny thing happened. I still found myself defending my decision to her…telling her all the reasons I wanted to do it. I listed them out: I want some type of goal to work towards to keep me motivated in the gym, I want to have a competitive edge in my life, I haven’t played soccer in years but I still have that need to compete, and very specific goals are proven to keep you on you track, etc. She already understood – she was already on my side. But I still feel defensive about this.

Why? I thought about that this afternoon. I think it’s because I hate the idea of traditional pageantry and when I personally hear the words “bikini competitor” I immediately think about the viral videos of the vapid Miss America contestants. I like the idea of bodybuilding competitions for a few reasons: both men and women compete – both sexes are fair game, up there on stage strutting their stuff for the world to see. They’re showing off years of hard work and dedication and athleticism.

When I spend the whole weekend binge watching an entire season of Rectify or Scandal or The Killing I never feel the need to justify myself to anyone. So I’m going to stop defending this decision. I’m doing this because I want to, dammit.

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