Today I was on the stairmill at the end of my workout, it was Saturday so I had time to walk for 30 minutes.I was next to a much younger woman, I see her on occasion, we talk only briefly, we are both very serious about our training, she looks great. She is obviously an athlete, a sleek gazelle like body. The first time I saw her on the stairmill she was going at such an amazingly fast pace for so long, when she finished I had to ask how long she had done it.
45 minutes. I mean she was pushing hard, and sweating, but not puffing, she does this quite a bit. I told her she was in amazing condition, she slowly looked me up and down and said "you're not in such bad shape yourself", we both smiled, laughed and have exchanged knowing smiles ever since.
She was there today before me, and there after me too.
A fellow stopped by to talk to me about my vacation, we stay in the same hotel each year, he at Christmas time for two weeks, me in February for one. At some point in our lives we must have stayed there at the same time, that's how I know him.
We were talking about the location, and the new restaurant at the hotel. I said that the chef was quite accommodating, willing to make any changes if we requested them, and some how I brought up the fact I ended up sitting on the beach drinking water and eating tuna out of a can. I believe I was telling him how I would get hungry in between meals, and am prepping for a competition so I really needed the protein.
He asked what I compete in, I said "Figure, it's sort of like Bodybuilding, but you don't get as big and muscular, you don't take all the steroids." Then I added, "well, actually lots of Figure gals take steroids too."
He looked at me and said "Are you sure you don't?"
I looked down and right in his eyes and said "If I did I would look a hell of a lot better than this!"
He said "You look pretty good to me now."
Conversations like this happen on occasion, and it gets me thinking a bit. I know that drugs are rampant in the industry, and those who tell you it is not either don't want to admit it or they are naive. Everyone does not take drugs, but many do, many want so desperately to have that freaky unobtainable body that they are willing to harm themselves. Some even get prescriptions, and then justify it by saying it is a necessity as their doctor prescribed it, well I have news for you, if it is on the banned list from the IOC (International Olympic Committee), they don't care who prescribed it or why, it is still banned.
Not all bodybuilders take drugs, but many do, women just don't have the testosterone that men do, so to get as big as a big bodybuilding man, they have to take drugs, simple as that.
Figure gals will take them for different reasons, not necessarily to get big, but those drugs are just as harmful and expensive.
I was pleased to listen to Erin Stern recently on Natural Bodybuilding Radio (a podcast for drug free athletes) discuss how she is natural, and she won the 2010 Figure Olympia! It's the episode on 10/19/2010 and she discusses her training with Olympic lifts!
I actually feel good that people think I look like I do! That means they think I look unnaturally big, or muscular, just the look I have been working towards for years.
But, it's all in the eye of the beholder. Minutes later, as I was leaving the locker room, I ran into a woman I met recently, Marni. She said "You look great! You look so small!"
hmmm...two different opinions huh?
I thanked her and told her things are a little odd. My weight has plateaued, I am right about the same, but I can see the body fat is slowly melting away, and my arms? They are getting bigger! The muscles are full, really full even though I am restricting my starchy carbs a bit. The skin is tight, I feel good. Just take a look at those arms in the picture, it was taken at 6:00 p.m. and today was leg day way back at 6:00 a.m, so they aren't pumped full of blood from any heavy curls. (I guess it could have been the 5 sets of 10 deadlifts I did with 135 pounds), that was just the start of my morning, I know that's not heavy, but that was 50 reps, I am going for some volume right now!
I mentioned I have changed my training and my diet. The training has been a pretty significant change, the diet not so much, but enough that my body is changing, taking a different shape.
I may find that in 8 weeks I cannot compete, I won't have the look the judges want, but I may have the look I want, and that's all that matters.
Interesting times are ahead! I see a fork in the road, and each path looks inviting and filled with excitement, which one I end up taking will be as much a surprise to me as it will be to you.