That video was taken two years ago today. It’s funny how you can look back on things and see yourself from where you stand now versus the person you were a few years ago.

2 years ago, I knew it was time for me to step away from the stage. What I didn’t know was what would happen to me over the two years between that date and right now.

It was a struggle for me, I’m not going to lie.

What I wrestled with most is seeing how much the division had shifted and changed before my eyes. By the end of my last show, I knew that I was going to be outsized. I knew that I was going to be out-conditioned. And really it was only because I wasn’t willing to cross the lines that I had drawn in the sand.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really didn’t want to do the amount of drugs, or steroids, that it would take for me to achieve the look that was winning in women’s physique.

I’m not going to say that I have been completely natural without any performing enhancing substances, whether legal or not, throughout my competitive career. What I am going to say is that I’ve never used anything that I felt would alter my definition of femininity to a great degree.

So I decided to step away.

I decided to give it up for a while. And my initial intentions have always been to focus on my business, Roxstar Fitness, and to continue to leave my own impact on the fitness world is as best as I can.

But something happened during the two years that I took off. Not only did I struggle with no longer having the label of “competitor” to my name, I had dealt with a major break up with someone I really loved. On top of that, I was also dealing with another relationship, where the person I was with found me less desirable simply because I put on so much muscle.

And for any woman, no matter how confident she feigns to be, that kind of thing can really take a blow to your ego. And even how you see yourself in the world. And to be honest it really took a shot at my confidence.

For me, the last two years has been a blur. I sank into a deep depression, no matter how hard I tried to stop the fall. I became a shell of myself. And I really sometimes wondered why the hell I’m even still on this Earth. My driving purpose was gone. I had retired from both acting and dance at this point. So I felt like I had nothing, and that I was nothing.

My business took a big hit as well.

I was no longer doing blog posts, nor was I keeping up with my YouTube videos. I was doing the bare minimum, and really trying to act like everything was okay. But you know something else was actually in the back of my mind…

I came up with the story that because I wasn’t competing any longer, that I was not worthy enough to coach anyone. That nobody would care what I had to say. And that because I was no longer competitor, my advice was invalid.

How f****** crazy is that!

That last statement really dawned on me a few months ago. And it had been the number one thing that I’ve been grappling with all this time. And when I was able to face it, I was able to start to overcome everything I was dealing with.

So fast forward to August 2017…

I kind of see that month as a rebirth and awakening for me. I decided to close my business down, and stop taking on new clients. I took a step back to revamp my entire company, and the way that I deliver MY services to my clients.

More importantly, I decided to take a look in the mirror and start respecting the woman that I saw that. I started to give her back her dignity and place in this world. I started to allow her to see that it’s okay to be exactly who she is, without relying on the approval of others. I allowed her to know that she will one day find love, simply because she is found the love in herself for her. And for me to get out of the funk that I was in, that realization has been incredibly crucial.

Now that I have my confidence and swagger back, I have new goals, I have my drive back!

I do things differently now.

Even something as simple as getting up every morning, dressing up for myself, putting on a little makeup, and even putting on a little lipstick! These little gestures make me feel great about me.

And then, there are my goals…

After two full years away from the stage, I am ready to take my place once again on the ifbb pro stage. But I decided this time I’m going to play the game on my terms. So I’ll be returning to the figure division to compete as a pro.

And I decided that I also want to coach myself again. One of the things that put me on a map in this industry was that I had always been very open about my process from day one. When I started working with coaches I couldn’t really be open as I had once then. And for me it’s been very cathartic to be able to share my process and progress. And to do that very openly with my audience.

The one thing that separates me from a lot of other people who try to coach themselves, is the fact that I actually know what the hell I’m doing. After 20 years as a fitness professional, and nearly another 10 years as specifically a contest prep coach, I feel like I’m in a place to do this even better than I ever have before.

So I want to invite you along for this ride, and give you a fly-on-the-wall view of how I am prepping for my upcoming season.

This is my current starting point…

What I’m most surprised about is the fact that I’ve been able to maintain a lot of my shape and size through my break. To be honest with you, over the last two years, I was never really focusing on putting on any more muscle or even anything that remotely had to do with bodybuilding at all. In fact I think I was more trying to take size down, just so I can have my shape back to its normal muscularity and athleticism.

Luckily enough losing muscle isn’t an easy thing. So despite all of my efforts, I still have a great base and foundation that will look great once I’m leaving enough for the stage.

I’m currently sitting around 162 to 163 lb on any given day. And I’m thinking that my stage weight will likely be closer to 142 to 145 lbs. I’ve already got my first set of shows kind of mapped out. And so, it’s looking like I’ll probably be stepping on stage around May or June of 2018.

So that’s it! My big announcement, my rebirth, my return to the stage.

Why, you might ask?

Because I love being on stage, I love inspiring others, and I know that I can once again be at the top of this Sport. And quite honestly I’m ready for it.

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