Scrolling through Instagram, it's easy to assume that fitness or bikini competitors look perfect all the time. Here's a reminder that's not the case at all. Beachbody trainer Autumn Calabrese, creator of the 21 Day Fix and the 80 Day Obsession, posted these comparison photos with the caption, "Can we talk about the difference between being 'stage ready' and 'life ready'?" She explains that the photo on the left is from her third fitness competition, and the photo on the right is from two nights ago, when she was going swimming.
Autumn posted these photos to show the reality of bodybuilding competitions. Autumn shares, "So often I see 'fitness experts' only ever sharing photos like the one on stage." She thinks that can make people feel like their hard work isn't enough. Here's an insider tidbit from Autumn: "Trust me there are a lot of tips and tricks and posing techniques to show the best angles that go into these photos."
People often ask Autumn why she doesn't compete anymore, and she gives an honest response. In order to get to stage ready, she says, "That's 4 months of eating 110% perfect. No treats, no alcohol, no really going out, several hours a day in the gym. It's fun but it's HARD!" As a busy mom, an entrepreneur, a sister, and a daughter, "It takes all my focus to train for that and that's not where I'm at in life anymore."
What she looks like on the right is her on a regular basis. "Still working super hard in my workouts but about 45-1 hour a day instead of 3. Eating 90-95% of the time on point. Not always getting enough sleep but doing my best." When she looks at these two photos she comments, she says, "Both are strong, both are healthy, both are beautiful."
Keep these photos in mind, and don't compare your hard work to someone else's. Autumn reminds us to keep a "realistic image in your mind and as your goal. Cause walking around stage ready every day all year just doesn't happen."