I just HAVE to address this because I feel like I’ve had a totally new experience, which incurred some awesome realizations as I finished up my competition prep.
(Me and my awesome husband Aaron, who flew in from Texas to watch my show)
First off- competing IS extreme, you push your limits in so many ways. People ask me ALL THE TIME if the diet is super hard, and make comments like “oh you can’t eat that huh,” or “you can’t eat out,” etc. In previous competitions, yes I followed a meal plan diligently and the more diligent I was staying on that plan, the better I looked on stage. It’s called discipline.. but it comes at a price.
I have a really hard time in social situations. I always hated watching everyone else eat, or avoiding restaurants because I was “on prep.” By the last few weeks leading up to a show, I’d fantasize about all the foods I wanted to eat, because I’d been deprived of them for so long (some competitions, I never even got cheat meals, so I literally didn’t have sugar, pizza, anything for WEEKS). I almost looked forward to the show because that meant I was DONE and could finally EAT. I got lean and stage-ready while eating “dirty foods!” As it got closer to show and my carbs were really low, I definitely had to cut a lot of that down but still!
You gotta understand that when you’ve been dieting for a while, the minute you introduce those things back in- you will gain fat FAST if you’re not careful. I was not careful. Luckily I didn’t “blow up,” but that tight lean body just didn’t stick around very long, and I quickly went back to my “normal.” Which is fine, but it would have been nice to have a little more control so that I could retain a hint of that physique. (Hence the reason REVERSE DIETING is so important!)
Downing straight agave and peanut butter just before I went on stage, all 4 times. Ew.
You guys- by the time show day came for my latest competition, my coach was feeding my so well. You have to fill out your muscles that have been carb-depleted so long, and you look BETTER on stage by doing so. I felt like I was forcing food down! And I was not even hungry to go on a binge-fest after the show. I ate plenty- we went to Brio- but what I most enjoyed was a big wedge salad!
My awesome friends and family who came to support =)
My mentality coming out of this show is SO different. I’m motivated to go back to my low macros (and ease on back up) because it will better set me up in the FUTURE. I don’t feel like I was deprived on this prep because I did eat pizza! I had sugar, I managed to fit some things into my measly macros that I NEVER would have been able to eat on a strict meal plan. And I know that food is always there… I’ll work my way into higher calories but it must be SLOW or rapid weight gain is eminent. But I feel sane you guys! I haven’t been perfect in my macros, but I feel more in-control than I ever have post-show. And this is why flexible dieting WORKS.
I was looking forward to a big break from so much working out. I’ve definitely cut back but I love having more energy, eating a little more food each week. In fact, I’m loving lifting even more right now! It’s part of my lifestyle- I don’t work out just to compete, I work out because I love it, and it makes me feel good. Trying to hold onto my stage body a little that I worked so hard for, but I know I’m softening up, and that’s okay. It’s time to live a little =)