If you can take away anything from Megan Csanyi’s story, in her own words, “Never, ever, ever give up. Good things take time, and you can’t appreciate the victories if you haven’t experienced some defeat.”
Megan Csanyi has been an athlete as far back as she can remember. From hockey and soccer to competitive horseback riding, physical activity has always been a part of her life.
In 2014, she moved from Southern Ontario to Edmonton. Without her regular team sports, Megan found herself attending the gym on a regular basis. And what started out as a hobby grew to a full-fledged competition.
Megan met her coach in 2017 through mutual friends. The goal was to participate in a photo shoot. At the time, she had no interest in form fitness competitions. Yet, by 2018 – Megan says, “I was addicted to the process and was beyond excited for my toes to touch the stage!”
Megan went on to compete in The Gym Northern Classic 2018 in British Columbia. She claimed 1st in the Women’s Figure Class A and was the Women’s Figure Overall Winner.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Megan persevered despite a diagnosis of scoliosis in her lumbar spine and a second diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. “Although viewed as a severe setback when it was first discovered, I can certainly say that is hasn’t completely hindered my training or passion for bodybuilding,” Megan says. In fact, she claims if anything – it’s been a test of her strength and determination.
Megan further demonstrates these characteristics through the strict preparation that she undergoes prior to competition. The preparation process is a 16-week training program and diet plan. It frequently consists of 6 lifting days per week – with fasted cardio performed 3 times per week and eventually amped up to 9.
For Megan, a typical day during prep consists of waking up and heading to the gym. Her day continues with school or work and then ends with an evening training session. She elaborates on the process saying, “The fatigue, the defeat, the muscle soreness, the exhaustion, the insomnia, the hunger, the cravings.. it all sounds horrible, but it makes every single day a mini victory and an even greater victory on stage!”
What keeps her motivated? It’s simple. Megan loves what she does – and has no desire to conform to societal expectations surrounding the female appearance. She truly believes in staying true to herself and strives for authenticity on a daily basis.
With that, Megan is completely transparent about hurdles she’s had to overcome to get to where she is today. On top of physical challenges and diagnoses, Megan opened up about her mental breakdowns and social anxiety leading up to competition day. Like many others, she experienced varying degrees of self-doubt and anxiety. She says, “I was constantly in my own head tormenting myself with all the horrible scenarios that could happen in a room full of people on while on stage.” She also cites the post-show rebound as particularly challenging, “Watching yourself go from the best shape of your life to a ‘fluffier’ version is discouraging and really tough to deal with.”
In overcoming challenges, Megan offers advice saying, “Just remember your why; why you set this goal, why it will benefit you, why you want it so bad, what you will do differently when you achieve that goal, how it will make you feel, etc.” She adds, “Talk yourself through challenges and focus on self-improvement over winning. Whatever you do, just don’t quit.”
And Megan is already looking forward toward the future. Her goals this year include earning a pro card. However, she has yet to decide on whether she wants to remain in Figure competitions or transition into Physique competitions. Yet, she already has plans in the works to compete in the Toronto Pro Qualifier in Women’s Figure this spring.
From all of us at Athlete’s Choice Massage, we wish Megan the best of luck in her future endeavors. We hope that her story inspires and motivates others to get active and go after what they want.