Total Transparency

“You don’t need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections”

As I lay here on my couch after a weekend in Frisco, TX for Advocare Leadership School my heart is heavier than ever, my mind is racing, and my fire is burning.  The inspiration, the training, the champions I was surrounded by… all of it left an impact on me that I’m not sure I’ve ever received from any other training. As I keep replaying the weekend in my head, the same phrase continues to come to mind over and over again.

**Total Transparency**

Almost (if not every) person that walked on stage, whether it be a Rising Star, a corporate leader, or an athlete mentioned these two words at some point in their presentation.

So this got me thinking…

Why can’t I be transparent with all of you?

Show you my weaknesses
Open up about my flaws
Let you see behind the mask I put on every single day

If they can do it, why cant i?

So lets get started…

For those of you that don’t know, I competed in my first NPC Figure competition 2 weeks ago on April 12th.  My journey to the stage was not easy… it was a roller coaster ride with the highest of highs and lowest lows
— when things were good, they were really good… but when they were bad, run for the hills–
I have no regrets from doing the competition… but I can’t promise there will be another one for me.
Prep took a toll on me mentally and physically but I was battling more than just hunger and a dull diet.  I was fighting off ED at every single turn.  It took every ounce of energy I had not to let him slip back in… and to be completely transparent with you… I lost the battle on more than 1 occasion.  I would fall into a binge during cheat meals, I would compensate the next couple days by skipping meals or taking an extra fat burner.  I would hate myself 5 out of 7 days of the week.  But God knows I wouldn’t tell anyone I was struggling (except mom)… “these people look up to me”, “I need to be the strong girl they think I am”…
So I would put on my mask, post pictures, and pretend that this was the happiest I had ever been.

Now… being on stage was a great moment for me.
I wasn’t there to win trophies.. I was there to prove to myself that I could do it, and to bring the absolute best package to the stage that I could.  And thats exactly what I did.  It just so happens that I went on to win first place in the Novice division and 2nd place in True Novice and Open.  Not too shabby for a newbie…

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So what now?
Everything I’ve done for the 5 months has led me to this point… I’m on top of the world, the “best shape of my life”, my dream has just become a reality…
Now the only way to go from here is down?
And boy did I go down…
My stomach was a bottomless pit just waiting to be filled with Oreos and Peanut Butter.  “I’ll get back on my diet Tuesday”.. until Tuesday turned into Wednesday and Wednesday turned into next week… and the next thing you know I’m 10lbs heavier than my stage weight.

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My healthy brain knows that a lot of this was water retention
… however my corrupted ED brain was not so sure.
To be totally transparent.. for the last 2 weeks I’ve been fighting ED and failing miserably.  The outpour of love and support congratulating me on my accomplishments and telling me how good I look… that all fell by the wayside because all I could think of was how awful I looked and felt in that moment.
(I threw my scale away this morning btw..)

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*Transparency*
I have been dreading Leadership School for the past week because I didn’t want people to see me 10lbs heavier than the girl they see in pictures… “I need to be in the best shape of my life.” “I need to put on a brave face an act like eating a burger and fries at the restaurant doesn’t terrify me.” “I have to be picture perfect at all times…”

Truth? Thats not me… 

Beyond body image issues I have also been struggling in other aspects of my life these last 2 weeks… career, relationships, Advocare.. the list goes on

I was writing in my journal on the plane to Texas and the word I kept repeating was “inadequate“.  I felt like my world was slipping through my fingers and I was failing because I wasn’t good enough.

Truth?  I don’t take failure lightly…

“Work harder on yourself than anyone else,” This message has been driven into every single Advocare training that I’ve had to date… but although I listened I hadn’t really ever heard.  Up until this point I took this phrase very literally.  I worked hard on me, my body, my needs, wants, dreams… me, me, me
So why wasn’t I happy yet?? 

What clicked for me while I was on the plane on the way home was that this phrase, “Work harder on yourself than anyone else” is not talking about your abs, or shoulders, or anything that can be attained by lifting heavy things.
This phrase is talking about my heart, my character, and my leadership qualities.
“Creating a following and being a Leader are two very different ends of the spectrum…” I wrote on the plane ride home…

I have been so focused on the physical aesthetics of perfection that I everything else was pushed to the side.  Loving my body was the only thing I knew… so when that was taken away from me, I felt like I had nothing left to give.  “I can’t help others if I cant even help myself” – I thought..

But guys, thats why I’m writing this and spilling my heart to everyone thats willing to read this far.

I have flaws… lots and lots of them… but they don’t define me.

I have lost a couple fights with ED, but that doesn’t mean I will lose the war.

And I haven’t been the leader my team deserves… but that changes today.

“Without leadership ability, a person’s impact is only a fraction of what it could be with good leadership”
– John C. Maxwell

Thank you to everyone that hasn’t given up on me…

2 thoughts on “Total Transparency

  1. Absolutely beautiful. It takes a strong person to be completely transparent. I know it’s something I am trying to do. God knows it’s difficult, especially with ED hanging around, and always at the worst/most stressful times. But because of people like YOU, the rest of us can sit back and take a good look at ourselves, and be transparent with ourselves first and foremost. Then, and only then, can we take our struggles, hardships and successes to others and show them that there is a way through this crazy life! Thanks for being transparent. It will touch so many lives reading this tonight (or whenever!) :)

  2. Don’t worry Morgan, you can overcome this. If you were strong enough to get to the point that you could walk on stage looking like that, you can do pretty much anything. It’s only like 0.0001% of people who have the dedication and willpower to do that, don’t forget that.

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