Lightbulb Moment Reflections

About 5 weeks ago I was having serious conversations with myself about throwing my name back into the bodybuilding ring. Seriously, who doesn’t like the crazy adventure of training like a mad woman, counting every single macro that goes into your mouth, practicing posing every single day, and re-crafting your life to center around an audacious goal?

Ok, you’re right… not very many people.

I will be the first to admit it, I am weird. And awesome. You are ‘something’ and awesome too.

Ideas, plans, and strategies were running through my head. I was going to start up the Bikini or Bust! blog again, dive into the subculture of bodybuilding, write like a mad woman on the blog, and refocus my life around competing.. In my dream world, books were being written, sponsorships were appearing out of thin air, and I was all over the dieting like a fat kid on a Smartie.

Note for all American readers – Smarties are Canadian candies that are similar to M&Ms but not tasty like M&Ms. In my not-so-humble opinion they are icky.

The shells are really hard, I feel like the dyes are giving me cancer when I eat them, and the chocolate is 'bleh'!

The shells are really hard, I feel like the dyes are giving me cancer when I eat them, and the chocolate is ‘meh”!

It seemed like a good idea…until I really thought about it.

This past weekend I was helping out with the INBF show in Calgary. My job is to run around backstage and make sure everyone has their tan on, give pep talks when necessary, and answer the same 5 questions 8,000 times. It’s crazy, fun, and by the time the night show ends I am dead on my feet and covered in tan from getting hugged by happy competitors.

After 15 hours on your feet, you eventually have to sit down.

After 15 hours on your feet you eventually have to sit down. My deodorant stopped working at the 12 hour mark and my hair was officially out of control.

This wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, but it was the first time I didn’t walk away sad because I wasn’t on the stage.

A lightbulb went off.

I am actually so happy to be my buck-sixty self because at this moment in my life, I am the best Donloree I have ever been.

  • Why do we decide that looking a certain way will equate in happiness?

Being my best self doesn’t require me to wear a size four. In fact, wearing a size four has nothing to do with being my best self. The amount of mental, emotional, relational, and physical health I sacrificed to get there was ridiculous.

Lots and lots of numbers, but mine isn't on the table and that is more than ok!

Lots and lots of numbers, but mine isn’t going to be on the table any time soon and that is more than ok!

Happiness is an inside job and a daily job.

We are the ones who self select ourselves to not participate in life. No one checks my dress size at the door and tells me I am too chubby to have the time of my life, participate, or change the world.

The truth is, those who take the opportunities are the ones who get them.

Is the door in front of you closed? What if the door is unlocked and all you have to do is open it? What if you knocked or went in search of another door?

So many interesting doors to open up in life!

So many interesting doors to open up in life!


Hear me well, I am not saying don’t take care of your body.

Nor am I saying bodybuilding is not an incredible sport that taught me discipline, how to think well, and birthed many great things in my life. Its when I made bodybuilding my identity rather than something I do that things got wonky real fast.

I am saying take care of all of you and love you, no matter what size you are. Choose physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and choose to get better every single day. All of you matters.

  • And all of you are ‘something’ and awesome.

That healthy ‘something’ is what the world needs. Don’t wait until you have arrived at a certain look, age, accomplishment, weight, or size to start living.

Happiness comes from knowing you are, fully accepting it, and then being it without caring what other people think.

happiness 2


Who knows? I may just go rogue one of these years and do a competition again. If and when I do, it will be one of the things I do, not be who I am. And it will have to be when I have the time and attention to give to it without sacrificing my purpose in life.

My one and only job is to be Donloree in every single season and size of my life.

Who are you? How are you living it out?

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  1. Awesome post, Donloree! It’s been fun and a privilege to watch you grow (via your blog) from the girl who was so caught up in competition prep that I began to worry that she was losing sight of who she really was to the amazing human being that you are today!

  2. Love this post! It’s so true and I think I fell into, “bodybuilding is my life and who I am” during my first competition. Now it’s just a hobby like reading, playing bass, and the rest of the hobbies in my life are. And I’m so glad you’re the best Donloree you can be today! Hooray!

  3. I can totally relate to this. I have competed in every decade of my life; teens, twenties, thirties, forties, and was getting ready last year for the first one in my fifties when I realized it just wasn’t happening. Oh, I will compete in my fifties, but now is not the time. That doesn’t mean I don’t watch what I eat, and train. I does mean that right now I’m enjoying traveling, pizza, M&Ms, and skipping workout.

    Bodybuilding for competition has always been an all-in endeavor for me. I won’t compete unless I can give 100%. Of course 100% means the rest of my life gets like zero%, and uhm, that’s not healthy, intelligent, or purposeful.

    When wasn’t in BB shape I used to hate myself. Now I check my mail with my shirt off anyway, and let those love handles roll! And jiggle. I’m good with it. I sleep better when I eat. I laugh more when I eat. Like you, I’m a better me when I eat.

    One thing bodybuilding competition does do for me is remind me that I have do have discipline. Apparently though, I only need that kind of discipline reminder once per decade — that’s plenty…

    • I love the once per decade approach. I think that is the route I will end up going if I compete again. I have another 15 years to get a competition in ‘during my 40s’ so it should be doable if I want to make it happen. 🙂

  4. I love the Donloree that you are. I’m glad that lightbulb shone this weekend, so that you can continue to pursue the things that are closest to who you were made to be. As for “weird” and awesome, in my mind I am substituting “weird” with “outrageously encouraging”, “honestly inspiring (and inspiring with honesty)” and “fiercely goal-oriented and gifted”. I won’t substitute “awesome” though. Love you!

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