• Annie Jackson aka The Beauty Charmer

Decide. Commit. Succeed.


“Do the fitness competition with me” she said, “it will be fun” she said.

“We’ll get yolked and be in awesome shape for summer.” My good friend Shelby said to me, last year. In theory, it seemed like a great idea (at the time). Why not pick a competition that’s right before summer? So of course I mentioned it to one of my dearest friends, Carly Mitchell, who happens to be a personal trainer and former bikini competitor.

She reminded me that “competitions are not fun. They’re super annoying and lots of work” but we were bound and determined to do it, so here we are. Only 7 weeks out now from the Kelowna Classic. Shelby and I are both competing in the Bikini division and because we are almost the same height, we will be competing in the same class. Nothing like a little friendly competition to help keep you motivated 😉

We started our training at 13 weeks out, which I am so thankful for, for several reasons. Originally I wanted to start at 16 weeks out, but Carly said not to. “Believe me, it’s going to be a long prep at 12 weeks” And boy was she right!! The days drag on so slowly it seems. I’ve been doing my prep now for 41 days, and it literally feels like a lifetime 🤣 those carefree days of eating froyo are long gone. But on the other hand, so is my insomnia.

Six days a week of heavy lifting, cardio, and a clean diet and by 8pm I am struggling to keep my eyes open. There was even a night I went to bed at 730pm because I was so exhausted. However I must admitmy battle with Insom-nom-nom-nia only recently stopped. A self diagnosed condition where I wake up in the middle of the night and “sleep walk” upstairs to the kitchen where my family still indulges in literally every kind of treat you could think of. I’ll wake up in the morning feeling horrible, usually with some kind of stomach ache (probably from the unhealthy food or maybe it’s just the guilt) and usually surrounded by some form of evidence such as a spoon with Nutella on it or perhaps wrappers from granola bars or PopTarts (who the hell even still buys those?!)

Why do I do this to myself? Why does anyone?? I would like to believe it’s because I have some weird nocturnal eating disorder, but the truth just comes down to discipline. Plain old willpower. Or lack there of.

So what has this competition taught me so far? How restrictive this lifestyle is and how much discipline you truly need to have to achieve these desired results for fitness competitions. But also how the temptations of daily life and society has truly outweighed and skewed a normal and healthy diet and lifestyle. I no longer can eat out meals in restaurants because everything is saturated in some form of oil or sauce, or not on my meal plan. And in no way am I starving by any means. I often find myself gagging towards the end of a meal because there is so much food. And recently switching back to a Pescatarian diet has filled my program with so many fibrous green vegetables, I couldn’t be hungry if I tried. My water has now been upped to 3-5L maximum a day. I am required to sleep minimum 7 hours a night. At first, this was a major struggle. Now mid day I find myself dreaming of my bed. A no sugar diet has cured my insomnia as I mentioned before. I am allowed one cheat meal a week if my Friday weigh ins and pictures show progress. It truly is a lifestyle change that you must commit to 100%. But it can be done. All you have to do is literally say no to almost everyone and everything 🤣. No to alcohol, no to desserts (the worst for me!) No to late nights with friends. In a way I almost feel like I’m grounded, but since it’s 100% my choice to endure this pain and suffering, it’s really not so bad. It has only completely changed my life. But to be honest, I do find the joy in it and tease all the girls they only have to listen to me complain about it for 51 more days 😜

Being single, I found doing all of these things a breeze. Meal prepping on the weekends and getting to bed by 830/9pm daily is amazing. But recently throwing a new partner into the mix, at first seemed hardly conducive. I find now a days most people like to consume copious amounts of alcohol when they first get to know someone. Lots of wining and dining. But in my case, whining and eating out of Tupperware 🤣 I do find the idea of no popcorn at the movie theatre agonizing, but I know it’s only temporary. And luckily I have met someone who is super supportive (most of the time) and hilarious that I enjoy spending time with. “Do you want some of this cookie? Ok just half? No? Well that was a test and you passed. Good job.” Just some of his words of encouragement. The other day I made him some ‘healthy’ no bake cookies and I didn’t even lick the spoon. This was a record breaker for me. I think my eye was uncontrollably twitching the whole time I was making them, but I did not even have one. I was so proud of myself. Why did I torture myself like this? Well for one, sometimes I get a strong urge to bake something, it’s how I like to show my affection. Another secret is if you make the people around you fatter - it makes you look skinnier. Just kidding 😌 I just don’t think everyone has to suffer because I am. Plus I wanted to prove to myself that I could practice my willpower in it’s full entity. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it all comes down to.

Your willpower truly is like a muscle, and you have to exercise it too. Which is why we usually breakdown in the evening because we have been training it all day to not eat the donuts or the brownies in the back room at work or in the office. To not eat all the delicious foods in the house. But if there’s a will, there’s a way (to stop I mean 😋).

So how do we have self discipline? Start by picking one thing a day. Write it down. Work on it every day. Commit to small things on a daily basis that move towards a worthy ideal. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Follow your own path, and make progress to become a stronger version of yourself.

Be honest with yourself. What’s preventing you from reaching your goals? What kind of avoidance behaviour are you engaged in? We all know that the change happens outside of our comfort zones. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and push yourself to change. The biggest thing I have learned is that we can overcome self doubt. We can control our minds, therefore we can control our bodies.

Ralph Emerson said “Do the thing and you will have the power.” So just get going. If you need help or need some external motivation then just holla at me! It has been so fulfilling to see changes in myself but it was been so amazing to inspire the people around me to want to get going as well. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. My gym membership allows me to bring a plus one guest anytime, so if you are feeling brave and want to come be my work out buddy for a day, I would love the company! 😃

I look forward to sharing my contest results with you all on May 5th! Feel free to email me at thebeautycharmer.ylw@gmail.com with any questions, tips or tricks you might have up your sleeve or pop into the Bali tent and say hi!! 💘💘💘

Love & Sunshine,

Annie aka ȶɦɛ ɮɛǟʊȶʏ ƈɦǟʀʍɛʀ

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