It's been four weeks since my last competition and I have been focusing in on building as much lean mass as possible, and I am not even ready to slow down yet.
I am relaxed in the picture, no sucking in the stomach or flexing the muscles, it's me! As you can see, the completely cut look is gone, but I still look great, I am 7 pounds heavier and it's right about where I will most likely stay. I feel I look better a couple pounds lighter, but that isn't going to help me gain the muscle I am looking for.
I am able to maintain a low body fat consistently because I learned how to eat properly year round from my nutritionist.
Although I do like some great junk food now and again, I am not a snacker, I don't care for nachos, chips don't do much for me, and I have my health and my goals in the back of my mind at all times.
I am just about adjusted now, emotionally I mean to my bigger size, which in most people's books is still tiny and slim. I can see my arms are really looking better, unfortunately it's my legs I am hammering!
This morning at the gym as I walked downstairs after my workout a woman I know from our children's school events turns and looks at me and says "Just when I was starting to feel good about myself and you walk by..." with a smile of course.
I thanked her and said it helped me to hear it, as I still wasn't quite adjusted to the weight gain. Her eyes rolled waaaay back in her head and I laughed and had to explain the whole thing about competing....
Then at the grocery store (not my usual one) near my house the produce manager asks me where I train. " Courtside" I said, and he replied "Cause I can see you train, a lot"
I told him I just had a Figure competition too and would love to try bodybuilding but I just can't get big enough. He said "Well whatever you are doing, keep doing it because it works and you look great."
These are comments that help get my head on straight! I needed those for that last push over the "feeling fat" stage, I am over it!
My diet has been relaxed although I have stayed loyal to my macro nutrients at most every meal (making sure I have 4 ounces lean protein, 3-4 ounces complex carbs and lots of vegetables). I have 5 meals some days instead of my usual 6 if my calories have been higher than usual, and have been adding fruit to my oatmeal on occasion.
A few drinks here and there, and eating dinner with the family once in a while. I can maintain this weight and low bodyfat without a struggle and life is fairly normal.
I have been really pushing hard in the gym, lifting as heavy as I possibly can, less reps but heavy, heavy weights. My cardio is 20 to 30 minutes three times a week in the gym after lifting, and 2 to 3 times a week I hit the bleachers across the street and run through some plyos, never more then 15 to 20 minutes.
I believe in eating, eating a lot! Unfortunately to prepare for a Figure competition, many women starve themselves and it doesn't work in the long run. Drastically reducing calories is not only unhealthy, but it sets them up so that as soon as they have reached their goal, they will blow up and gain a huge amount of weight. They have never learned to eat properly, so they cannot ever maintain a reasonably low bodyfat percentage and weight. To prepare for another competition they must launch themselves into a horribly restrictive diet for several months again.
If they learned to eat properly, prepping for a competition wouldn't be as difficult, it wouldn't require so much weight loss, they shouldn't be fluctuating so much.
I was listening to a podcast today on the elliptical and the fellow talking said something that really made a lot of sense about Figure and Fitness competitors.
He was actually talking about the extremely low calorie diets some people live off, and unfortunately, there are " a few, very well known and popular who are leading many" with the concept of starving themselves, instead of feeding themselves."
Figure is a sport, just like any other physical sport, yet it is one of the only ones that thinks starvation is the way to achieve their goals. I think you see this in gymnasts and ballerinas, but no other sport do they starve themselves, and it just doesn't work for long.
He likened it to a concentration camp.
"You can put many people in a concentration camp and not feed them, some will survive longer than others, some will die sooner than others, but eventually, they will all die of starvation."
Don't starve yourself.