Elizabeth Hanson is a former NFL cheerleader for the New England Patriots and now an actress and fitness professional in Los Angeles. In addition to living a healthy, active lifestyle, Hanson’s interests include real estate (she just began working as an agent with The Sunset Team in the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills market), sewing and cooking.
We are all constantly transforming. Whether from a student to a teacher, a daughter to a mother, a child to an adult; we are all in the process of change. Recently I went through a transformation where I had not only a physical change but also a mental change. This happened as a I trained for my first bikini competition. The physical change was expected, but the mental shift was far more profound.
Starting last April I sweated, dieted, spun, lifted, jogged, stretched, cried and crunched my way into a sleek, muscled frame I felt suitable enough to hop onstage in August. I gave it my all and was ready to win! But when I got stage and didn’t win, the biggest transformation occurred. The mental shift .
I was beyond disappointed at not placing first. I began to unfairly compare myself to others and stress about the things I could have done differently to obtain a higher place. I asked Shannan, my trainer, why other women placed higher when I felt I was in better shape than they were. I gave it my all and, being an incredibly competitive person, to not win was a major setback.
Shannan immediately stopped my frame of thinking. “Don’t get caught up in that…” she warned me; “this is a subjective sport.”
I realized that it is the subjective nature of this sport that makes it so attractive and exciting.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to win first place! But instead of comparing my physique to the women that placed higher, it is more about doing the work I know I need to do. Pictures don’t lie; I can see quite clearly where I need to gain muscle and where I need to trim fat. Continuing with this sport will be about doing everything I can to make my body the best it can be. I simply can’t (nor do I want to put myself through it) do the could have/should have/would have dance.
Now that I have my first NPC competition under my belt, I know exactly what I need to do. That means even though I didn’t place, I still won, because I won myself.