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  • Writer's pictureJill Louise Foley

A Night to Remember: Official Retirement

A Night to Remember: Official Retirement

I titled 'Natty Nationals' (competing at a National Level Bodybuilding show without the assistance of PEDs) my final show but I think faith had a better finish for me. This alignment of situations is nothing short of a miracle. Two months leading up to the show I had broken up with my fiancé (long story short we're back together) but the timing of my broken heart was serendipitous. Without the “distraction” of my relationship, I focused only on myself; changing how I ate was but one way I filtered what I allowed into my being. My desire to remain mentally clear was overpowering, and everything in my being pushed me to treat myself with the love I had been so aggressively giving away. I didn't want to watch junk, I didn't want to eat junk, I didn't want to feel junk and I didn't want to produce anything from a negative space. I felt a sense of freedom for standing up for my own wellbeing. I was living my BE BRAVE mantra. It was uncomfortable because this lead me to reflect on my actions, my lack of boundaries and my tendency to be extremely codependent. Through learning these valuable lessons, I spiritually, mentally, and physically felt myself become lighter as the burdens I carried began to fall off. I still held a deep sadness in my belly every day; to quiet the hurt I would send prayers of healing & comfort to the love I needed to set free. But this lightness I felt didn't go unnoticed. Clients, strangers, and coworkers constantly kept asking me if I was going to compete in the local Van Isle Showdown. My answer was the same to each of them... “No I don't compete anymore but thank you for asking, just eating my Fit Fix meals and training to mend a broken heart.” :) Must be working!

Fit Fix Cafe: I love these people. Mama Cyntra (her middle name is Shelley which is the name of my birth mother... God-incidence? I think so!) and Jakub, have literally welcomed me into their business and family. I have cried, laughed and laughed until I've cried in their presence multiple times. They have fed me with deliciously nutritious food, knowledge and love for over three years-- my words can't even begin to express the amount of love I have for them. Anyway, about 8 weeks out from the show both of them commented on how lean I was getting, and I joked and told them it was their food! Every few days they'd mention how I was looking leaner, and they coupled their commentary with encouragement to compete at the local show. I thought about it for the majority of my meal prepping shift, but then again dismissed the offer. The more I refused the more they pushed by offering to sponsor all my costs. They took me to the Suit Lady in Vancouver to have a suit fitted to my body (never in my 8 years of competing had I worn such an incredible piece!), and all I had to do was show up on show day! And so, five weeks out from the show, I agreed. It warms my heart just thinking about the amount of joy these friends shared, and how it turned my 'tragedy' into a blessing. Now for those of you who know anything about the 'off season' to 'on season' transition and the work it requires to prepare for a bodybuilding show, 5 weeks is almost insulting, but I'm Jill M*therfucking Foley with a village of incredible support guiding me to this unforgettable moment!

The Day of the Show: Waking up in my own bed for the day of the show was pure perfection--not having to deal with traveling, packing, or being in an unfamiliar place was the best. My best friend was responsible for driving me to my 5:30am makeup and tanning appointment--and for someone (Vadim the Dream) who is constantly an hour and a half late--was on time, that in itself is probably the largest miracle! Show tanning sessions always make me incredibly anxious. Envision this with me (try not to make it weird): Enter down a long windy hall way leading to a room with 8 other naked tanned fit women all of whom will be competing with you on stage in another 3 hours...ugh. I hate it! I hate it! But this show, faith was with me walking me through every challenging point with grace. I left the tanning tent bronzed and encouraged; the lady applying my tan had recalled my past shows, was shocked to see my transformation back to myself and shared with me her memories of my routine 5 years ago, which she recalled as her favourite! God-incidence? Maybe. The day moved smoothly, allowing me to pass the time chatting with numerous athletes I'd come to know through Victoria’s bodybuilding community. As I looked to see when I'd be entering backstage to get my 'pump' on, I saw I was in my own category. I measured an inch and a half taller than all the other women in my category, meaning I won before I even stepped foot on stage!... God-incidence!?!

The reason I left competing was because I no longer wanted to pretend, I didn't want to change my hormones in order to compete in a jacked beauty pageant and I didn't want to be compared/contrasted against anyone. I was built to be Jill Louise Foley for a reason, I'm not designed to be marked on whether my stomach is flatter, my quads are more diced or if my deltoids are more rounded then the beautiful girl next to me. I don't believe that elevates my worth, but I needed the experience to appreciate the magic I possess--and we all possess--as unique individuals. A score sheet is marked with numbers based off only physical appearance, and my physical appearance is only the shell for the pearl that lays within.

I honestly said yes to 'competing' in this show so I could share one kick ass posing routine. Side note: I love dancing and being the center of attention. During my Nationals appearance (the show I said was my last) I was placed 6th out of 6 women, I was the only competitor in that line up not to do a routine. That sucked! But this was the gift I was being given: an opportunity to share my joy with so many of my biggest sources of encouragement.

I was blessed to have so many of my clients and friends come to support me on stage that day.

The moment I walked to center stage I felt the whole room meet me there. All I was asked is to Show Up as myself (sort of resembling a jacked Kardashian) and I answered the call!

In the words of the great Eminem:


If you had

One shot

Or one opportunity

To seize everything you ever wanted

In one moment

Would you capture it

Or just let it slip?

Here's my routine *Warning*: I have very vocal friends! So, before you listen to the video on headphones there is more yelling and cheering than music. I personally love the voices of everyone else; this was the most memorable moment in my bodybuilding chapter! But if you want to sync up the first minute of Jessie J 'Masterpiece' it's the piece of music I chose (which by God-incidence was selected during a Powerhouse Princess class by my client Katy stating 'This is your theme song! It's so powerful.’).

Every time I watch this video I feel all the feels. I embraced that moment and I'll never forget it. Clear minded I entered that stage with the intention of being present during my last dance and I NAILED IT! I see this whole show as one big gift. The lesson I really took with me during the separation with my love was this: receive love! You are worthy of love! You are loved! Your productivity doesn't tally up the love you deserve! You are enough!

And--others are enough just as they are.

A flower will bloom on its own time-- stop demanding change. Casting shade as you block the light of the sun. AKA MOVE B*TCH GET OUT THE WAY.


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