Views From Here

June 20, 2016
by Shalama Jackson

Are you committed?

what is your commitment level? How committed are you to reaching your goalsI have been questioning my commitment to things and people a little more than usual, which got me to thinking about my commitment levels.

Overall, I would say that I am very committed to whatever it is I said I would do or set out to do. But this past week things changed. I am really questioning myself.

Have you ever questioned your commitment?

I am days away from the 2016 South Carolina Grand Prix. And depending on when you ask me how I am doing you might get varying answers. At this moment, I am feeling more confident about my posting and what my body is looking like. Two months ago when my coach suggested that we, meaning I, do this show in addition to the one a few weeks ago I wasn’t so sure. Could I make it through the additional weeks of training? Could I keep myself from going off the deep end? Could I find the inner strength to push forward?

Last week I still wasn’t so sure. I had a few times where my commitment and belief in myself were tested.

And then this past weekend, I wondered how I would muster the strength to get out on the pavement and do what needed to be done. I reached out to a few folks and none took me up on my offer to run. I’m not sure about you, but sometimes it gets a little lonely on the drive forward.

However, here I am 5 days away zeroing in on the day at hand.

Actions speak louder than words

I came across this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that seems perfect: “What you do speaks so loudly, that I can not hear what you say.”

People are constantly saying that they wish they could achieve X, eat better or make a commitment to exercising regularly. I believe we all can.

I challenge you to ask yourself this question; “Am I all talk and no action?”

People who are consistently putting actions into their goals aren’t only committed to them, they have a vision. This vision includes where they are going and why. I’ve been thinking about this and if you’re struggling with being interested in something, how do you turn it into being fully 100% committed?

Create your own personal vision.

Sit down and write a list of all the reasons why you want to achieve your goal and what it’s going to give you personally.

You can work towards your goals and visions once you see it.

What are you goals and visions you are committed to achieving?

June 13, 2016
by Shalama Jackson

Are you comfortable in your skin?

Are you comfortable in your skin?Are you comfortable in your skin?

It’s a question I have been struggling with lately. You might think because I am someone that has been working on my physique for sometime and been on stage in a bikini as an NPC athlete that my answer would be, “yes.”

Would you be surprised if my answer isn’t a resounding yes?

Overall, I am but like others and maybe even you, I have my moments of vulnerability where I feel less than adequate. As I prepare for my the next show, I will admit that my core is where my physical insecurities lie.

I am working on it more so because I want to continue my new found passion and love for the sport of bodybuilding and competing.

True and lasting self-confidence grows when you become comfortable in your own skin. This is not to say that my or your self-worth is rooted only in your appearance. However, being comfortable in your skin includes being satisfied with your body image.’

Accepting who you are does not mean that you have to give up on improving yourself. If there is an aspect of your life that you would like to change, then set goals for yourself to help get you there. You can work for change while still accepting where you are in the moment.

For me, that means doing more than hoping for change. I am proud of the work that I have accomplished with Bernita in the past 9 months. However, I didn’t like how I posed/presented myself at the NPC Upstate Classic. I looked at the video and pictures and said, “never again.” I let the bright lights and my own self doubt get into my head. I defeated myself before I got to center stage. I hope to make that change before the 2016 SC Grand Prix Pro/Am.

And for you…

Is your self worth dependent on what others say about you? It shouldn’t. Mine does not, but I know that I can improve. Confidence comes from within, and developing your confidence means feeling good about who you are, where you are and what you have to bring to the table.

shoulders up and confidence within while being comfortable in your skinLook confident to feel confident.

People who aren’t comfortable in their own skin walk into a room like they don’t belong there. The next time you walk into a room, keep your head high, smile and sit in a chair like it’s your favorite comfy chair at home. If you project confidence in your body language, you’ll be much more likely to feel it. You can show confidence in your body language.

It is something I am working on. Because I don’t completely feel it, it is something that I have to work on each and every day.

Are you comfortable in your skin? What advice do you have for someone working on their confidence?

June 8, 2016
by Shalama Jackson

It’s not over yet

Stepping off stage at the Upstate classic in masters bikiniThe bug has bitten and the countdown has restarted. I stepped off the stage this past weekend with the desire to do it again, but a little better.

I have decided to compete again in the South Carolina NPC Grand Prix Pro/Am on June 25.

This will be my third competition, but only my second as a bikini competitor. As my coach said, one diet/two shows. At first I thought it was a crazy idea. Now, I’m ready to get back at it because there are things I know I can improve in this short period.

I took show day and Sunday off of diet then got right back on it on Monday. I kicked off the day with egg whites, oatmeal and blueberries. The rest of the day was fish, rice and asparagus. You would think I would be tired of asparagus after peak week, but I am not.

this week's workout plan includes plenty of cardio of sprint intervalsThis week’s workout plan:

Monday – rest day

Tuesday – fasted cardio before work and cardio with sauna session after work

Wednesday – fasted cardio before work and lifting with coach in the evening followed by cardio

Thursday –   fasted cardio before work, posing session at lunch and cardio with sauna session after work

Friday – fasted cardio before work and lifting with coach in the evening followed by cardio

Working toward the goal

The plan was to take Monday and Tuesday off. I couldn’t do it. I want to really take the next two weeks to burn the fat that I am still holding on around my core. So, sprints and runs will be my friends until I can’t do them anymore.

I will also continue to work my core as much and hard as I can.

My posing is something that I will also work on daily. I need to do it until I can’t do it wrong. I also need to be able to feel it. I am disappointed when I look back at the pictures from the Upstate Classic. So it means practice, practice, practice.


May 29, 2016
by Shalama Jackson

It’s almost show time

Preparing to compete and working on my bikini posing routine with a little curtseyI can’t believe that I am suppose to compete in a week. I am excited and nervous about getting back on stage again. Can you believe that it was just six months ago that I competed for the first time?

I am registered for the NPC Upstate Classic. I have also booked my tan.

There’s nothing keeping me back now that my bikini has arrived. There was a lot of heartache around getting it in my possession, but it arrived yesterday.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do if it didn’t get here.

What were my other options?

  • Purchase a suit: I could purchase a suit from a designer.
  • Rent a suit: Instead of spending money for a brand new one, I could rent one.
  • Not compete: It almost sounds absurd that I would get this far and then not compete.

I was not spending another dime for a suit. I paid for two suits and that was all that I was going to spend.

The beginning of peak week 

2 gallons of water in preparation to competePeak week means changing my water and food. My coach has me doing things differently this time.

This week is a lot of fish, asparagus and water. I am excited to get sweet potatoes at the end of the week. I haven’t had sweet potatoes in more than a month, so I am looking forward to them.

I am not sure which my heart aches over more – the fish only protein diet this week or the gallons and gallons of water I need to drink these first few days. I like water but somehow seem to get stuck around 80 ounces. I make it to one gallon a day but to drink two today and tomorrow will be somewhat of a feat.

It will be a crazy week with all the preparations and tweaking for the show on Saturday, but I will Periscope from backstage around 11 a.m. Want to follow? Find me @shalamajackson. I plan on doing broadcasts once a week following this weekend.

Are you on Periscope? What’s your handle?