I have an announcement. I'm doing two things that really scare me: getting my Youtube channel going and... doing a fitness competition.
(I uploaded another video before this one reviewing Gymshark leggings.)
WHAT, WHERE, WHEN?
I'll be competing in bikini in the 2016 IFBB/NPC Golden State competition in Sacramento, California in August 13th.
Understanding my why was an important part of me deciding to do this.
You might remember in 2014 I started The Great Fitness Experiment. After gaining weight and taking on some unhealthy habits I decided to reclaim my body and my health. For the first time in my life I focused on building a healthy lifestyle that I could maintain. Since then, fitness and nutrition have become a really important and positive part of my life.
In the last few months I decided I needed another challenge to motivate me. With a lot of thought and time, I decided to do a fitness competition. I thrive off of having a clearly set goal and have fallen deeply in love with bodybuilding. I want to keep learning and progressing, and this forces me to do both at an accelerated rate.
I've had a lot of crazy dreams in my life and I've pursued them all. It's time for a new one, and everything in my gut tells me to go for it. I'm planning a future working in the health and fitness industry, and a challenge like this will give me a much deeper understanding of what it takes to reach the next level.
And or the first time in my life, I will be considered an athlete. That kind of blows my mind.
WHAT I'M PREPARED FOR
This is not something I take lightly. My body has been through a lot and I wouldn't do this if I felt I was doing it from an unhealthy place.
Luckily, I am in full control of my plan, and am going to make sure it is at a healthy level the whole time. I am dieting in a manner that will allow we to still lose fat and keep my muscle on a reasonable amount of calories. I'm also not going to deplete myself of water or sodium, or take laxatives like some competitors do. I have been researching all the healthiest ways to go about this and following some great natural athletes for inspiration.
I understand that the final physique is not maintainable and expect to gain weight after my show. I plan to do so in a smart manner and get back to building muscle once it's over. I'm even interested in going into power lifting after!
If at any point I feel like the prep is affecting my health or is not financially possible I will hold back for a later competition, but for now I'd like to focus on accomplishing this before I turn 30.
HOW I'M DOING IT
I'm on a major budget and bikini competitions can get quite expensive with coaches, personal trainers, the outfit, the makeup, and the entry fees. To keep it as inexpensive as possible I am doing my own diet and training with a lot of research and questions.
I am lucky enough to have a coach monitoring my progress and helping me free of cost. As for training, I am filming my workouts when possible and seeing personal trainers when I can to make sure my form is correct (see video above.)
I am currently lean bulking, meaning gradually increasing my calories while increasing the intensity of my workouts to put on muscle. I'm carefully calculating my macros using the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) approach and MyFitnessPal to track everything.
I will begin lowering my calories at the end of April as my cut begins to lose body fat, while maintaining muscle, and monitoring my progress to see what needs to be adjusted and when. I'm giving myself a good 16 weeks to so that I'm not scrambling or cutting calories too low last minute.
I know some people will think I'm nuts for doing this but I hope they'll respect my decision and personal challenge.
I hope you'll enjoy following my journey.