I need to clarify my last post. my sister asked me if I used to take performance enhancing drugs when I competed, she thought that is what I was saying in my previous post.
No, I did not take drugs.
I did, however, waste many years "eating clean" so I could be as lean as possible year round.
My post combined them both because based on my experience, it is mainly the folks taking the drugs that are always pushing the "clean eating". Sounds a bit wonky doesn't it? Eat only fresh, healthy, low fat, low carb, no sugar foods and also take substances that are not approved for humans, or in the case of many of the drugs, approved for actual illnesses or conditions that these people don't have. These are the same people who are not drinking water "cutting' before a competition and taking diuretics, an extremely dangerous practice. In fact, in the last year an astounding number of young bodybuilders have died, and it's attributed to their drug and diuretic regime.
So the phrase "eat clean, train dirty" which is very well known in the bodybuilding industry and used all the time actually refers to that. Follow a clean diet and take drugs and you will succeed. I wanted to promote the opposite - "eat dirty, train clean" which means eat like a normal person and train hard, consistently and drug free.
I could write about this for days, there is so much to say. I do not have respect for those who chose to take drugs, and mainly that is because they won't come out and say they do. They want everyone to believe that their physique is all due to the hard work they put in, and the strict diet they follow. So a regular gym goer who also starts lifting regularly and consistently, and changes their diet feels like a failure because they don't look like that trainer in the gym. Obviously they cannot admit it since what they are doing is also illegal.
Competitions encourage drug use, unless of course you are in the natural organizations (but even those have cheaters who get caught taking drugs). Bodies cannot grow as freaky big, muscular, lean, and "3-D" as the promoters want unless those bodies are taking drugs. Of course there are genetic freaks and outliers who do not need the drugs, but they are far and few between.
The lifestyle of a competitor also encourages body dysmorphia, eating disorders, disordered eating, and a slew of unhealthy food relationships.
When I started on my "journey", it was one that started years of dieting. Hell I looked fabulous, but I also ate very low calories, stayed away from anything that had high fat content, alcohol, candy, fatty meats, breads, etc.
It all changed once I learned how to manage my calories by understanding nutrition, how many calories different foods have, how much fiber I needed, how I could incorporate anything I wanted.
I stopped competing for many reasons, but it mainly boils down to the fact that it is an extremely unhealthy lifestyle (emotionally and physically), even if you are drug free.
Several years ago I took a few trips to Europe and hauled all my weight training equipment with me: squat shoes, weight belt, gloves, wraps, deadlift shoes, clothes, water bottles, pre and post workout powders, etc. I would get up very early to train before anyone else was awake, and therefor go to bed very early. This was not exercising, it was an obsession and it was not fair to my family. On holidays I would find a place to train, even while everyone else was hanging out at home in their sweats having fun. But this is what the lifestyle will do to you.
I used to stay so lean, I was never more than 4 or 5 pounds over competition weight. My body never had a chance to recover between competitions. Again, this is not a healthy way to live.
Now, I am back cooking up a storm (my first passion) and while I do make sure I only eat a certain number of calories, I often go over those calories. I don't worry about what I eat on holidays, dinners out or vacation. I just went to Spain for 19 days and didn't train once!! I am a good 10 pounds over competition weight, I look great, but guess what? I still think I should be leaner.....and that's what competing will do to your brain. I know I look fine, but I walk by a mirror and think "well if I only lost 5 or 10 pounds....". I am working on it, I know someday I won't be worried that I don't look competition ready, but it will take some time.
Below I am fresh out of the shower drinking my favorite cocktail an Aviation.
For now, I encourage everyone to not consider a competition, or if you must, seek out one of the natural organizations (and ask me or others if you are unsure about the different organizations). learn about nutrition so you can eat like a regular person! I am drinking a glass of wine as I write this....Find an exercise routine that you love: cardio kickboxing, running, peloton, cycling, or weight training. If you choose weight training then find a program that you can follow (this is a must). There are many out there that cost less than $15.00 a month but they will keep you focused, learning, on track and motivated.
If you choose to work with a trainer or coach and they give you a written plan of actual foods and amounts to eat, run as far away from them as possible (ask me questions if you don't understand why).
We are only here for this one life (as far as I believe) and it should not be lived in deprivation, starvation, and angst (unless you are a nun).
My blog will be about how I have been able to continue training consistently, stop eating clean and enjoying a normal diet, and how my emotional and physical being has changed while doing this.
P.S. Thanks sis!