Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Soon...but not yet

It was not long ago that my coach, Layne Norton, recommend that I hold off competing to repair my metabolism. He did not feel that it was in my best interest to start dieting the excess body fat away at that time. In only three weeks (probably less time actually), I experienced 20-lbs of weight gain after my first competition season in which I placed high in all three shows.  I'd even won an overall Masters Figure title in my first show.  

The excess weight was brought on by a combination of binging post-competition and metabolic issues I'd created by following typical advice and published work of "gurus" in the bodybuilding world before hiring Layne. It was difficult to see all of the added weight after working so hard! I wanted to get lean again! Boy was I thankful for his caring guidance. 

I waited until my body was in a better place and then another journey began which was more challenging than before.  When I competed this past November, the only thing that really kept me from my ultimate goals was my own inconsistency.  I will take that over metabolic damage any day!!  

Over the past eight months I have not done the expected get-lean/stay lean dieting.  Some life events took precedence. There was zero free time to focus on competition or measuring food for months.  So, I just had to make sure I was getting my workouts in around personal training clients and taking care of family/friends who needed me. I don't regret it for a second! It would be a lie to say that I have been consistent and doing everything as recommended Between competition seasons. But I do not regret eating pizza with my best friend's children in the days following their dad's death, I do not regret taking that same friend out for dinner and a drink, I do not regret missing the gym and eating vending machine crap or fast food when I was in clinics and hospitals with my kids (cellulitis, influenza, broken bones, stitches, asthma, gastrointestinal troubles--mom stuff), I do not regret taking my kids to ihop for their birthdays while guessing whether macros for my egg white omelet and toast were under or over, I don't regret missing workouts to have time alone with my children to nurse broken hearts... It has been an extraordinarily challenging time and it is a blessing to have finally given myself permission to give myself a break. 

Don't think that I don't have my share of glum "I feel fat days!"  The truth is that I've had those off and on throughout my life since puberty-regardless of how big or small, lean or softer... In my opinion, most women have these from time to time.  The difference is that those moments do not dictate my peace or my sense of self-worth anymore. 

Whatever we do, we need to keep perspective!  My metabolism seems to be thanking me for this.  I'm heavier than I wish I was but have maintained and even lost weight eating twice what I was able to eat after my first competition season, there is fullness in my muscles that shocks me, and I'm recovering from intense workouts with great ease.  I have stayed injury free for a very long time and have greater knee and back stability than I did as a teenager even though I'm lifting very heavy weight!  

Now, life is getting calmer and thoughts of competing again have resurfaced. Someone recently told me that I don't have what it takes to bring a winning physique to a national stage because of my curviness and that even trying would be selfish for a mother of "so many kids"to do.  Well, guess what....my kids and husband got fired up about that because they've always loved being a part of this process.  It's going to happen...soon!!

My goal is to bring my best-not only to the stage but also to the entire prep process.  I have seriously contemplated competition dates only to dismiss them soon thereafter.  So, I'm giving myself until the end if this semester (because algebra is kicking my but) to settle on a date and prepare for it. I'm not binging, but I'm also giving myself more edible liberties. The picture here is me 25lbs ago, two days before stepping on stage for the first time ever. The next photo shoot/stage will see me at least as lean but with fuller delts...and more confidence!

Join me in this journey! But before you do, buckle up because it's going to be a wild (and at times bumpy) ride!

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