Well guys it’s here.. it’s the day before my first show of 2012. Tomorrow I will be stepping on stage in my clear heels and scrunch butt bikini at the WBFF’s Fitness Atlantic in Wallingford, CT. It’s been quite a journey getting here and I’ve learned A LOT.
Last year when I competed I had some issues with my eating. I felt like I was at high risk of developing an eating disorder of some sort because I would binge eat (not necessarily a ton of food) but I felt like I was not in control. Then afterwards I would spend a great deal of time dwelling on it and feeling horrible and beating myself up. I needed to do this again to prove to myself that I am the one in control here and that I can beat those issues. And I have to say, I have accomplished that. On one occasions in this whole process I found myself feeling guilt over my food, and I stopped it immediately after I started with those feelings. I had just finished the very last of the peanut butter in the jar (maybe a tablespoon total), had about a tablespoon of raw, organic honey, and a dark chocolate square. It was the same day that I would normally have a cheat meal, but being 3 weeks out, my cheat meals were over. I started obsessing and immediately knew I needed to stop myself so I distracted myself by getting out of the house with my boyfriend.
My other reason for doing another show was because I needed the push. During college football season I spend a lot of my Saturdays drinking beers and eating snacks. Granted my snacks tend to include pita chips and carrots with hummus, shrimp cocktail, skinny girl pies and pulled pork, but drinking every weekend was taking a toll on me and I started to feel soft, but most importantly, uncomfortable in my body and I needed to do something that was going to put me on the straight and narrow again. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment? I knew I needed to step my game up.
So the first weekend of January I started my journey. I hired Julie Costa to be my nutrition coach. Julie was my coach last year so I feel very comfortable being open and honest with her. I wasn’t last year and I should have been. She does live in my area, but we do everything by weekly progress pics and she emails me my food plan. She knows that I need to eat a lot so rather than only eating 5 times a day she switched me to 6 meals a day, smaller portions of protein, endless amounts of veggies, 3 starches, 1 fruit, 3 fats, no dairy, loads of water, less peanut butter and 1 cheat meal a week. Certain foods were eliminated along the way, but this is how I continued to eat up until the last 2 – 3 weeks before my show. Anytime a starch was eliminated it was made up for in fat so I can honestly say I never once felt hungry! Julie is amazing at what she does. She genuinely cares about her clients’ well being and was always checking in to see how I felt and sure as the world, if I ever once told her “I feel like this may not be the right thing for me.. my belly is not looking tight at all,” she would take my words into consideration for creating the meals in the future and she NEVER left me feeling hungry or weak.
As a matter of fact, during the last 3 months I have:
Completed the Disney Princess Half marathon
PR’d a 5k at the Arnold finishing in 24:39
PR’d a 5k again March 18th finishing in 24:20
PR’d my 1RM clean and jerk with 95#
PR’d my 5RM back squat with 165#
Clearly I was eating well. I took care of my own training plan. It generally looked something like:
Monday – CATZ (total body ST/ HIIT)
Tuesday – 30 min cardio + yoga
Wednesday – Shoulders + CATZ
Thursday – 1 hour cardio
Friday – Arms + 30 min cardio + yoga
Saturday – CATZ + 30 – 60 min cardio
Sunday – rest
I LOVEEEEEEE working out so this was nothing new for me. As I have gotten closer I have had to increase my cardio but nothing overwhelming.
Over the course of the last 14 weeks I have realized a few things about myself:
14 weeks of competition prep is too long. I eat clean 95% of the time and I workout hard all year ’round. With the exception of some of the starchier vegetables like squash being reduced and dairy being omitted, my diet barely changed until the last 3 weeks. I think if I ever do this again I will give myself 4 – 6 weeks to get ready.
There are far more important things in life than having six pack abs. Feeling good in your skin and feeling confident is VERY important. But obsessing over having this tiny, super lean, “Perfect” physique is not worth missing out on life. Over the last 14 weeks I have gone through so many highs and lows. I have missed a wedding (not because of the show, but personal reasons), missed having dinner dates, missed events that included drinks, and just kind of missed my life and being able to have some freedom and wiggle room. If you have to seclude yourself from too many of these things then you can become miserable and it’s 100% not worth it to be this strict.
But now I can say that looking back on the last 14 weeks I can say that I did better than last year in terms of my diet and most importantly in terms of my emotions. Last year I was a mess on multiple occasions.. this year I’d say I was a mess once, a bitch a handful of times, scatter brained a little more than usual and drained for only a few days due to lowered carbs/ lack of sleep.
And looking back.. all of the times I have felt depressed I can’t completely contribute it to my diet. Something that plays a huge role in my life is the weather. I live in Boston and it’s no secret that I don’t like living here. January – May is very cold, wet, dark and dreary and without being diagnosed, I can guarantee I suffer from seasonal depression. It makes me very tired and cranky. As I sit here on this sunny (but cool) day I can tell you that I have so many things in life to be thankful for like….
my friends and family
I LOVE MY LIFE AND I WOULD NOT TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD but I can tell you that something needs to change.
I am looking forward to this summer because my next goal (after the next two shows) are to find balance. I want to find a way to spend less time on things that aren’t so important like counting macros and hitting a certain number of calories burned and more time enjoying the warm summer with my friends enjoying each moment for what it is.
I’m going to start now. I am nervous, but I am going to enjoy these nerves because I am about to step on stage to show of all the hard work I’ve been putting in!!!
The Get in Shape Girl