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  • Writer's pictureJill Louise Foley

I Got Too Big.

Every fit chick has probably been told “don’t get too big”!

Well jokes on me that’s exactly what happened. Now I know the opinions of others don’t need to be taken in as facts. But I just want to share MY experience.

When I went from “bar star” to “fitness enthusiast” I loved training, and I do LOVE training. Going to the gym working really hard and seeing the results was very addicting. Not to mention others noticing definitely was a nice stroke on my ego. I didn’t even think of putting my body up against someone else’s until someone mentioned that I should. So off I went on the journey of competing in my first bodybuilding show. Western Canadians a tested show, I was placed last. But that didn’t dampen my spirits I trained harder I learnt more and I competed again. I got 2nd last. Again not ideal but I was determined. So for my 3rd show I decided to hire a coach. I knew I could train but I needed help with my diet. That year was the first year women’s physique was a class. I was following DLB religiously and I knew I wanted to look like her. So I competed again at the western Canadians and I took home 4th! I was so delighted.

That show qualified me for BC Championships which was a month later. I remember being so excited for BCS, because a few ladies that had registered, I had placed higher than a month ago so I felt confident I would be in the top 5. I was wrong. I got off stage grabbed all my stuff and cried. I didn’t understand how these ladies got so big and shredded.

Mystery shattered, Steroids. I was really taken back from the idea. I loved how I looked and I was really proud of how much I’d changed my body just from hard work and dedication. My decision to become more competitive in bodybuilding was one of the hardest things for me to do, probably because everything inside me was trying to stop me. I decided to

test the waters. I made a lot of Gains! I gained attention, I gained strength, I gained muscle, I gained followers, and I gained haters… I was all about them “Gains”. My 5th show I did was in Fort Saint John and I got 5th out of 6 ladies. I had taken the special pills but still didn’t win, but that didn’t stop me. I finally decided to invest fully in a coach. I wanted to win!

Now this time there were only 2 of us competing but the physique I brought to stage was pretty insane. The crazier I looked the more praise I received. I was finally seen as a bodybuilder! Something I had been working towards for a long time.

Why am I sharing this, because I have never been so scared.

In my head all I wanted to do was accomplish my goal. Win a show, but for what cost.

I remember my first side effect… my voice. I can’t sing anymore. I would talk to people a lot less because everyone always asked me if I was sick. No sorry, I’m not, I’m just abusing steroids and my voice is changing.

The next was my skin. I got acne all over my back even on my legs. When I was getting my spray tan they just made me darker and darker so the spots would get covered up. And lastly was hair. My biggest insecurity! To the point where the thought of letting anyone close to my face would give me anxiety. I didn’t talk about it, because I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. Bodybuilding is a solo sport. Headphones in, emotions off, just train! It was my hiding spot for about 8 years. I hid my emotions in my training and when my body started changing, I mean really changing all I knew how to do was go to the gym.

I haven’t ever taken a break from training but after my last show at BCS it really made me think. What am I advertising? I speak a healthy and fit lifestyle style, but is it? I fully believe in fueling your body and being active! But what I had done was so extreme. To the point where I lost who I was and became an alien in my own skin. I worked hrs, weeks, years in the gym but I would cover myself up to go to the grocery store or walk outside because of the reactions I would get. Points, stares it would make me feel more self-conscious then proud. When I talk to someone new I can tell I’m being stereotyped, or even feared just because of my appearance.

The thought that I discourage people from coming to the gym is what hurts most of all. I want everyone to fall in love with fitness. I really do. Bodybuilding has taught me a lot, on what true dedication and hard work can achieve, I just got lost in it.

I see so many people in the fitness community going through this similar cycle. In the end it is your life and your body. But if my experience can help someone from making a huge life decision I consider my story worth being shared. I know how much pain and insecurities using steroids has brought me and I don’t want that for anyone else.

I'm not blaming anyone for my experience. I take full responsibility. I accept my body fully for what it is, and I am confident in whom I am, not just how I look.

I'm confident to speak when I am told to be silent.

I’m scared to share this, and I know I need to BE BRAVE!!!


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