Staying Fit for Life

There's more to fitness than the glitter and glam of the stage for IFBB Pro Patty Zariello. Here, why she is staying fit for life

March 21, 2013
Staying Fit for Life

Although the weather here is still wintery, spring is here already and time is flying by! This is the first time in a couple of weeks that I’ve had a chance to sit down at the computer and blog. Lately I’ve been buried in insurance claims and trying to restore our home at the beach from hurricane Sandy before summer gets here. I’ve also been deep into contest prep zone as shows are quickly approaching. I always find that during stressful or extraordinarily busy times of my life contest prep kind of keeps me sane. Although it’s challenging and can be completely exhausting at times, ironically I function so much better having that structure. I really believe that’s what helps me keep it all together, especially at times when I feel like there’s disarray in my life.

As a mom, I know my kids work better with routines. When they were babies I always had them on a schedule, and even now I try to give them structure as much as possible. I guess it’s my personality type but I’m more or less a creature of habit. I like to know what to expect and to have a plan (at least a loose plan). There’s also something to be said for spontaneity. Some of the best times of my life have been unplanned, but for the most part I rely on routine when it comes to being more productive on a day-to-day basis. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong here but for me personally, it just makes me feel more in control. Perhaps this is why “me and competing” seem to mesh pretty well.

I often hear competitors talk about how much they love being on stage and all that comes with the “day of” competition. I definitely can relate to some degree, as I love the day of a show, too—I certainly wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. The friends I’ve made and the fun we have is one of the best parts about competing, and it’s a big part of why I continue to compete. But I have to admit that what I truly love even more than being on stage is all the days in between. I honestly love my lifestyle, and I think a lot of the reason why has to do with being so routine. I lived a fit lifestyle long before I ever even knew what a figure competition was and now this is just part of who I am. I love the food that I eat and I could eat the same thing everyday. (Of course I crave a cheat from time to time but I know it will be there after the show, and oddly enough, when I can finally have it I suddenly don’t want it as much!) I absolutely love training hard and challenging myself each day. I get energized and feel so empowered on the days when I’m feeling good and I can see any small result of my hard work. Like anyone else, I have my “not so good days” too where I’m just in a funk and I don’t feel good about myself and motivation is low, but I actually love those days just as much because those are the days that push me to new levels and make me dig deeper and work even harder.

So even if I never stepped foot on stage again my lifestyle would be pretty much the same (minus the glittery suit and heels). I’ve lived a fit lifestyle for many years before and God willing I will be healthy enough to continue to do so long after. I thank God every day for my health and allowing me to do what I love no matter how hectic it gets.

I’m currently prepping for the Pittsburgh Pro on May 4th, followed by Detroit May 11th, and then New York Pro on May 25th, which I absolutely cannot wait for! There’s nothing better than competing in your hometown! Counting the days…

Patty Zariello
IFBB Figure Pro
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