For those who follow my fitness journey on social media you’ll know I’m well into my fourth season of competing. I regularly get messages asking how I stay so motivated and make it all look so easy… Well here comes the honest truth, I struggle just as much as the next person and it’s definitely far from easy!
This year has been especially testing for me with the very sudden and unexpected death of my dad three weeks out from my first show of Season A. Time and time again during those three weeks I wanted to give up. But I knew how proud my dad was when he came to my last competition and so I had to keep going and do him proud again.
It’s been almost five months now since my dad’s passing and whilst I thought things would get easier in time, it seems to be the opposite. Still at times the grief strikes me all over again as fresh as the moment I first got the news.
Aside from the personal stress and grief I’ve been going through, I still need to be a mum, a wife and work full time. I don’t get any extra hours in the day as much as I would desperately love to, I just prioritise and ensure every waking moment is productive towards my responsibilities and goals in life.
A typical day for me looks like this
- 5am – 6am: Wake up, have breakfast, pack my gym bag, pack the kids school bags, tidy up around the house or do laundry.
- 6am – 7am: Battle with my kids to wake up and get ready for daycare (my son is four next month and my daughter is two. Those with young children know that leaving the house is no easy feat).
- 7am – 8:20am: Hit the gym before work.
- 8:30am – 4.30pm: Work, work, work… I’m a sales analyst in the wine industry for anyone who wants to know.
- 4:30pm– 6pm: Pick up kids from daycare, get them home and entertained while I prepare their dinner (my husband I meal prep on the weekends so I only have to cook for them each night – it’s a massive time saver).
- 6pm – 7:30pm: Family time/ housework/ kiddies bath time.
- 7.30pm – 8.30pm: Bed time for the kids. This is when they generally realise they’re hungry, thirsty, can’t find a specific teddy that they MUST sleep with etc.
- 8.30pm: Sauna, shower and in bed by 9:30pm ready for a new day.
I’m very lucky to have a totally hands on and supportive husband. We share the household responsibilities evenly, although this close to competitions he definitely pulls a lot more weight around the house than I do, which is the best possible help in an otherwise stressful time.
Lots of mums I speak to tell me they feel guilty if they want to do something for themselves. But from my own experience, spending one hour out of the day for myself makes me a better wife and mother.
My motivation in the beginning came from trying something that was totally outside my comfort zone. I was so scared of failure that I worked as hard as I possibly could to ensure I didn’t fall flat on my face.
It has now evolved into a desire to keep bettering myself and reaching new heights with both my performance in the gym and my physique. However, that doesn’t come without added pressure. I regularly think “what if I don’t do as well as my last show?”
Whilst prep isn’t easy, the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices. I’m fitter, stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been in my life and I’ve also learned how to best manage my time efficiently and productively.
I have less than a week to go until the ICN Victoria Titles on the 23rd September and three weeks until the ICN Nationals at the Melbourne Fitness Expo on the 13th – 15th October. I just can’t wait to get tanned and glammed all over again.
Follow the final stages of my prep via my Instagram @marias_fit_life where I post lots of prep friendly meal ideas, workouts, gym selfies and other snippets from life as a sports model and fitness competitor.