I knew when my camera battery died & I couldn’t shoot the vegan banana bread for today’s post, that I was supposed to share something else instead. Some things are just meant to be…
Have you ever had something on your bucket list for so long that it’s hard to explain why it’s there? Or else dismissed it because of “some reason”? When I was 7 and my mother was 29, she confessed to me that she dreamed of being a Country & Western singer in a show… but that she was “too old now,” and a mama, so she wouldn’t ever be able to. My mother had the most beautiful, rich alto voice, so powerful coming from such a tiny person, that your heart would swell with joy to listen to her. My little 7 year old self reckoned that she could (and should!) do whatever she wanted to, and that if she tried, she would surely be a star at 29! But Ma contented herself with the church choir and with picking her guitar for me and my brother at bedtime, sitting in the hallway between our bedrooms and enchanting us to sleep with old R&B songs. I wonder how long she entertained aspirations of more. But that was the only time she ever spoke to me about her dream, and I think I may be the only one with whom she ever shared it.
I think we may all, to a certain extent, have dreams or aspirations that for whatever reason- family, financial, or other, dismiss as unreasonable or unattainable. But how much does this limit us and rob us of opportunities for growth? And rob those around us of the chance to grow with us?
Over the course of the last several months, I’ve casually mentioned to a few family members my thoughts of competing in a fitness show… the sport of bodybuilding has fascinated me ever since I “retired” from gymnastics at age 17. But I kept hemming & hawing with excuses: I’m too old… it’s so expensive… what will people think… what if I don’t really train hard enough & get laughed off the stage… etc, etc. To which my cousin Matt replied: “Rebecca, you oughta just stop thinking about it, start telling people about it, then do it!” I love his attitude.
So I took his advice, and I’ve just begun a training program to compete in a fitness show sometime in 2017… my coach & I will select the show when I get closer to being ready. I’m just a little excited!!
For those of you who know me well, picturing me prancing around on a brightly-lit stage in a small bikini & 5-inch heels in front of a panel of judges is a bit of a stretch! To a certain extent, I agree… I’ll be doing a lot of practicing in those heels, ha! But that’s part of what appeals to me- getting out of my comfort zone in a way that will help me grow in boldness & confidence.
I do believe that anytime we challenge ourselves physically, mentally, &/or spiritually, all areas of our lives are affected in a positive way. I believe that this months-long process of following a regimented training & diet program will have profound transforming effect on my whole life. I’m looking forward to finding strength I didn’t know I had (in all ways!,) overcoming fears, exercising patience and discipline, and challenging myself to push harder than I thought was possible.
So I’ve only been on “the program” for a week and a half, and it’s already transforming me with a lot of heavy lifting…and no sugar… or wine! Before I started this program (which, by the way, my coach is with an online company called Next Level Contest Prep), I thought I lifted “heavy.” I didn’t. And I thought I followed a pretty structured diet. I didn’t. But I do now.
So I won’t be eating any of this banana bread… but luckily I have 3 lovely children who will! And I promise you the recipe very soon because it’s really delicious.
I actually do get to eat a lot at this point because I need to build some muscle. But rather than baked treats, I eat whole foods like veggies, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, & high-quality protein sources… with a few fun things that fit in as well.
One of my favourites is this blueberry papaya smoothie bowl with walnuts & cacao nibs on top… it’s like ice cream and I look forward to it every day. My trainer cares about what I love… and I love that.
It’ll be a long process, and I’ll keep you updated on my progress every so often. In the meantime, I’ll keep posting recipes… coz, hey, people gotta eat! Thanks, friends, for your support in this new adventure… it means the world to me.