Well, yeah. You could say I’m a little behind since my last entry was two weeks post show (this would have been in July of 2016) and I haven’t done any sort of blogging since then. I definitely owe everyone a little run down of how my off season went and how the first weeks of my prep have gone thus far. Please note I’m about to attempt to summarize 10 months of my life in a few paragraphs, so please bear with me. Ha!
I’ll just start off by saying My first REAL off-season was phenomenal. I truly enjoyed it. Some people itch for the stage pretty quick, but I didn’t feel that way until about March. I spent over 9 months in a surplus eating over 2300 calories/day with little to no cardio. I worked my way up to a 215# squat PR and was making huge improvements in my daily life in and out of the gym. Obviously, with these improvements came hella fat gain. Thankfully, Red (my coach) had a careful eye on me the entire time and adjusted things accordingly to keep my body fat in check. By the end of my off-season, I was 140 pounds. I didn’t look awful, but I also didn’t look great either. The day of my last show, I was 110 pounds. Yuuuuup, 30 pounds in 9 months. It sounds extreme, but because of how gradual it was, it really taught me to love my body and all it did for me. I had energy, I felt like a million bucks, I wasn’t hungry, and everything was just good. I didn’t have “bad” lifts. I wasn’t crabby or moody. My period came back. My sex drive slowly returned. I was living a normal fit life and I absolutely loved every second.
After Thanksgiving, Red had me do a short 4 week cut to get my fat gain back in check, to get a better idea of what I’m looking like, and do a little damage control. We dropped calories very aggressively and I lost about 6 pounds in 4 weeks with no cardio. I ended my mini cut right before Christmas time at 127 pounds. Safe to say I was happy to be a little more lean, and WAY happy to be eating 200 carbs again!
In mid-March, Red and I experimented to find my maintenance calories so we could be prepared to have a super effective cut right from the get go (whenever we decided that time would actually be, lol). He told me to eat what I “usually ate” without worrying too much about the numbers, track it, and weigh-in daily. If my daily weights averaged out to be the same, we would average my intake and call that my maintenance. It worked! My maintenance calories 2 weeks before prep began was 160p, 210c, and 75f. It was really cool to experiment with.
Eventually, the inevitable itch to get back into prep came. Red and I talked about a game plan and we came up with my shows for 2017. He wanted me to do a warm up show to see how my body would respond closer to show, and then we talked about taking the plunge into the realm of national level contests and decided it’s a GO! We decided on NPC Texas Legends in Dallas, TX on August 5th and then 3.5 weeks later we’ll take on IFBB North American Championships in Pittsburgh, PA to compete for my IFBB pro card. As of right now, those are the only two shows I have planned. As a natural athlete, pushing farther to compete in more shows could be too much for my mind and body. We are going to take it by ear as we get closer to my shows!
We started my prep at 18 weeks out to ensure I would come in conditioned enough to be competitive at nationals. My critiques from last season were to bring up my glutes and dial in on conditioning. I already felt so lean last year so it’s crazy to think I need to be much MUCH leaner than that. Slightly frightening, tbh. I’m hoping to be around 120 pounds or so on stage this season with the right look to win at the regional level and be competitive in my class at nationals. I have a goal to make 3rd call outs or better. It’s a hefty goal for my first nationals, but I’m totally going to roll with it! My prep began on April 1st, 2017 and things have been great ever since.
THE CATCH UP
Usually, I would have had separate blog posts for each of these weeks. Since I’m hopping back into blogging mid-prep, I’m going to do a quick catch up here in one post. These are my check-in photos from the beginning of prep thru 11 weeks out. My first weekly blog will begin at 10 weeks out!
38 Weeks Post-Show Stats and Check-Ins (AKA Day 1 of Prep)
18 Weeks Out
17 Weeks Out
16 Weeks Out
15 Weeks Out
14 Weeks Out
13 Weeks Out
12 Weeks Out
11 Weeks Out
**You’ll see in my weekly blog posts that I DO weigh myself every morning. I have no problem doing this since I don’t have an emotional connection to the scale or any particular number. If you do let the number of the scale get to you, I highly recommend throwing your scale away all together and just going by how you look in the mirror. Weighing myself and tracking it daily gives me a sense of what’s really happening with my body and I think it’ll be cool for you to see how weight loss ACTUALLY works!**