Posts tagged prep
Competitor Series: Emotions 2 Weeks Out

And just like that, I'm 2 weeks out from my first fitness competition. I am hungry, exhausted, emotional and sore in a way I've never experienced before. For the first time in this prep, I'm not enjoying my workouts.

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But I'm so close.

I have so many thoughts about competing that I don't know how to put into words.

I read this article today which sums it up well. Especially this part:

At the start of your journey, you may think you're just working on your body, but getting ready to take the stage truly challenges you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You'll find new and vulnerable parts of yourself, but you'll also uncover strength and discipline you didn't know you had.

This whole thing has been a crazy experience. It has taken a lot of patience, effort, sacrifice and discipline. A lot of trust in my own abilities. A lot of courage. A lot of creativity to make it happen on a budget. Strength in every way of the word.

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Competing is a selfish sport that not everyone understands. You need to be stubborn about your goals and it can be extremely socially isolating. When you try to explain to people that you're going to get on stage in a sequin bikini and a spray tan to show off your figure it can be taken many ways.

But as I get leaner and ready for the stage, I'm not thinking less about how I look and more about all of the work that I put in to get me here. I made that muscle. I shaped my body. I put myself first. I went after a goal that scared the crap out of me.

I have applied that same attitude to other areas of my life. I moved to California. I got my driver's license after a lifetime of fear. I am marrying the love of my life. I am doing what is good for me.

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Regardless of the outcome, I am a winner.

I'll share more thoughts at the end of it all: the good, the bad and the ugly.

For now I'm going to give one strong final push and look forward to some Champagne at the end of it all (some things never change.)

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.

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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.

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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.

x

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