Competitor Series: Letting Go of the Bulk
Technically - I am officially 12 weeks out today. The pressure is on. And the struggles, my friends, are already very real.
If you watched my previous video you know I have been struggling with some blood sugar and sleep issues.
I have a tendency to wake up in the night, very anxious, a little hungry, but more anxious, with the feeling that the only thing that will stabilize my blood sugars and calm me to go to bed will be food.
As someone who is entering a cut - and needs to be using all of my food during the day for energy levels - this is EXTREMELY frustrating.
I dealt with a much more serious Night Eating Syndrome in the past, which over the years has become very manageable. I wake up, eat a snack, and go back to bed. In periods of less stress, I tend to sleep through the night no problem. Sometimes a blood sugar balancing snack before bed does the trick.
In periods of more stress, like currently trying to prep for a competition, plan a wedding, a major life move, and stress over finances... it can be accelerated.
But every challenge presents itself for a reason.
One of my main goals with any health problems I face is to try to understand them as they'll eventually let me help other clients. So I'm trying to face every part of this problem as best as I can:
Stress - I'm trying to spend time with those I love, take deep breaths, and went and picked up some GABA and 5-HTP to help with my mood and anxiety. While this hasn't completely solved my problem, it has helped.
Emotions - I have become accustomed to eating more food and it is difficult for me to let go of that emotionally. What if I'm hungry? What if I need the comfort of food? What if I can't handle this? Maybe I'm not cut out for competing? These are all very real thoughts that I know will only get more intense as this prep continues. I am working through these emotions and reminding myself that for one, I'm still in a caloric surplus, and for another, this is a short term diet that will still allow me to be a happy functioning human being (if only a little hangry at times). Learning to sit with these emotions is important.
Physical - I'm trying to figure out the things in my diet that help and hinder my blood sugar. I've got a soft spot for artificial sweeteners, protein powders and bars, but I'm pretty sure these only make the problem worse. I'm going to focus on blood sugar balancing meals and see if I do better on eating more frequently - or allowing more time between meals (apparently this can actually help balance blood sugar in the long run). I will also be doing some blood sugar tests next week.
While my progress stalled this week while going through the worst of this - and coping with peanut butter (smart, I know) - I know that I am on the right track. Below is a little visual of before bulking, during my bulk, and starting to cut.
I can see that I've put on shape, and I know that if I go through this with a good head and heart, I can accomplish something really great.
At the end of this I may say "never again", or I may find another passion. Regardless it's such a fascinating process and learning experience for me. I've found something really special in bodybuilding that feels right to me. We'll see where I go from here.
If you're following me through this all - thank you. If you think I'm nuts - I might be. If you think I'm brave - I like to think so sometimes.
Until next time.