This past week has been a doozy. I’m most definitely 2 weeks out from a contest. It’s always the 2.5-3.5 week out mark that hits me the hardest, and that observation has yet to fail me. I’m currently 13 days out from MN State and I would be lying if I said I felt good emotionally, mentally, or physically. My mind has been full of self doubt, insecurity, and the feeling of not being “good enough” next to the girls I’ll be competing against. I’m getting caught up in comparing myself to them – and all I can do is think, “I don’t have shoulders like that”, or “I don’t have glutes like that”, and “I’m not as lean as they are”. It’s really become detrimental and I know I need to shake it and cut the shit. I know I need to focus on myself and how I can bring MY best to the table. I know that I have made undeniable progress over the past 23 weeks. I know I need to believe in myself. But actually doing it? Actually believing it? When your body image is so skewed and so far-off from what you desire… It’s really tough. All I see is what needs improvement. What needs to be bigger, leaner… and while I may be being realistic, I’m also being really negative. Your mental and emotional health can get absolutely destroyed during this point of prep. I have reached extremes, and I acknowledge that…. But I will push through, and I will persevere until my season is over on July 9th. My emotions and negativity are strong, but my mind and body are stronger.
Well… with that said! Haha…. I have some protocol changes to update you on! After my first week with my new coach, I made huge progress and had a big weight drop. After this successful but risky move, my coach told me he wanted to take it one step farther. He INCREASED my carbs and DECREASED my cardio yet again. So to this day, I’m doing half the cardio I was before and eating 300 calories more than I was a few weeks ago. To some, 300 calories might not seem like much, but for a bikini girl at the end of prep, it’s an additional meal. After a couple days on this new protocol, my weight continued to drop like mad… I was so confused. I know there isn’t such thing as “magic macros” and all that, but how did my coach know that if he made these changes that my body would respond so well? How am I eating so much more and half the work I was before and still lose weight? I asked him. I genuinely wanted to know. I am going to paraphrase what he told me in hopes that someone else may be able to relate and understand what is going on in their own body.
“I have a hunch with you. I think you’ve overworked yourself. If you eat enough, your body doesn’t need to store fat. There is enough food coming in. If you work too much, your body needs to store fat for later workloads. Getting rid of body fat is a fine balance of the two. This is where the ART of the diet comes in, not the science. Science tells you what happens, the art lets you decide when and how to make changes to adjust to what’s happening or what you want to happen. That’s the hunch. Reducing cardio last time led to favorable results, which confirmed my suspicion. Adding food also did that. So, I think we can get more out of it.”
Now read that once. And read it again. That is what happened to me, and chances are, it could be happening to you. In 10 days, I have lost over 4 pounds. All because of this concept being applied to my protocols. As risky as changing coaches was at 4 weeks out, I couldn’t be happier with my decision for precisely this reason.
This past weekend, I road tripped up to Duluth with Courtney (@cpacee)- her sister was competing and we decided to head up together. We met up with Tori and Kim and got in a really great lift, cardio, and posing session. Kim (@kimberfit) gave me some really great tips for glute activation and I learned a ton! I love her. She is apart of the original bikini squad and she has always been so supportive of me. We cleaned up a bit and headed to watch finals. The show was amazing, and all my friends that competed looked absolutely incredible. I am so proud of them and their hard work. Whenever I go to a show, I’m always so motivated to keep pushing hard to get ready for my turn on the stage. My original plan after Iron Viking was to drive 2.5 hours back to my Grandma’s house, but I was too tired and I knew it wasn’t safe or smart to drive at 11pm when I was that out of it. I booked a room across the border in Superior, WI and it was hella sketchy…. Thankfully, it was a place to sleep and rest my head, which was enough for me! My usual oats and eggs were devoured, and I was back on my way to Red Wing. Successful trip.
On Monday, Tori (@tors.fit) and Carrie (@carrie_fitness) and I met up at Los to lift. It was Tori’s first time there – and she loved it! We ran into Marie Wold (@mariewoldfit) and I chatted with her for awhile. She’s competing at Junior Nat’s this weekend and at my show in a couple weeks. Her progress from last season is unreal and I’m so excited for her! We smashed out an awesome shoulder and back lift and hit some deadlifts because, hammies are life. Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty chill, and I handled them fine. But then Thursday and Friday came, and recital weekend hit me hard. I worked 16-17 hour days… I was exhausted, hungry, and stressed. Not going to lie, I cried a lot. Every night after I got home, actually. The stress was unbearable and I can only imagine how much my body hates me. I’m hoping that tomorrow (Saturday) goes better… It’s the last show and the day isn’t quite as long. I forget how much I rely on routine and structure until I’m completely thrown out of it. I struggled, and I know it’s something I need to work on… Letting go, and being okay with being out of control. But what’s important is that I survived and stuck to my plan. Progress will ensue! Can’t wait for the next 2 weeks to dial in!