Wednesday, May 1, 2013


So, 7 weeks ago, I began a journey to finally accomplish a bucket list item, namely; to compete in a fitness competition! I've wanted to do it for more than 25 years! I came close about 12-13 years ago, but fell short with an injury (story of my life!).
Now, I'm doing it, barring any unforseen injury or life-changing event!
I signed up with a coach who specializes in contest prep training and he started me on a diet and workout plan on Feb 18, 2013. The contest is June 15, 2013 (16 weeks).
As I stated before, I'm almost through week 7 of training, so I thought I'd chronicle my journey, now that I have a good foothold on the diet and training regimen.

My diet looks like this:

1/3 cup oats
1 cup egg beaters
1 cup spinach
I usually blend it all together and make green pancakes (thanks for that idea, Megs!)

Snacks (if you can call it that):
Syntha 6 protein shake (1 1/2 scoops), twice a day in between meals.

5 oz either tilapia or chicken breast
4 oz sweet potato OR 1/2 cup brown rice
generous helping of one of 6 approved veggies (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, cauliflower, celery). I pretty much never eat the celery, because.....ew.

That's it. Same thing, every day. Once a week I get a cheat meal that consists of 600 extra calories in the form of a protein, carb and dessert.
I usually choose steak, a salad and cookie or ice cream.

I'm craving peanut badly!!
Also popcorn, apples, strawberries, things to crunch and frozen yogurt.

I chew a lot of gum and I mean A LOT!
Also, I have sugar free jello every now and then but it doesn't help much.

I lift, heavy, 5 days a week and do 45-50 min. of interval cardio 5-6 days a week. Every day includes abs/core and back extensions to failure.

I'm living and breathing this lifestyle. Mostly, I'm compliant. I would say I'm giving it 95%, most days.
Very soon I will have no choice but to give 100% every single day if I want to successfully get on stage by June 15.

April 8:
Beginning of week 8! By sunday, I will be half way (I hope).
One of the toughest challenges of this process is telling people what I'm doing. Most people respond with a look of dismay, confusion or disinterest. That's fine, I don't really care what anyone thinks, but it is a challenge trying to describe the diet, lifestyle and restrictions involved. I get responses like, "why would you want to do that"?, or "I could never do something like that" etc....People are very fearful of change (myself included) even when the change is happening to someone else. We (humans) are so protective of our habits and ways, but fear is crippling! 
Almost no one understands the process of Bodybuilding and what it takes. I have always viewed Bodybuilding as an art form melded with sport or athleticism. Sculpting the human body resembles an artist's process of sculpting a likeness of the human body. By that I mean it's time-consuming, requires accuracy and precision and skill to mold the medium in precisely the way intended. Yet there is no room for artistic license or interpretation; no degree of the typical 'creative process'. Instead it is regimented, strict, difficult, relentless, painful and sacrificial! The end result is a sculpted body of work that is living and breathing. This is where bodybuilding is a true sport. No not in the team sense, or run-to-a-finish-line sense, but bodybuilders are athletes. They possess every element that an athlete must have to be successful. Yes, the competition is a stage performance and "show" of their bodies, but the real competition is in their own heads! The daily conquering of one's own will. To be completely consumed by living a specific lifestyle and to overcome the daily noise in your head meant to deter you, not to mention overcoming the pain and fatigue, hunger and cravings, begets true athletes. Here's the thing though, it can be a very lonely endeavor. I eat my own way, different from anyone else. I work out alone and I have very few like-minded people around me. I have to say no to many social situations. It's tough and lonely work, but to become the master of myself.....that is the epic victory!
Plus, I'm strong! : >) 
This week I'm going for 100%.

April 30:
Today, (short side of week 11) I received a surprise from my coach. He said he was thinking I could compete (well, choose to) in the Physique category (as opposed to Figure) on account of my muscle mass. YIKES!...was my first thought, as in, what do I have to change up in my daily regimen in order to be successful in that category???? I'm already busting my arse! One thing about my coach, he isn't the most verbose individual. We correspond mostly via text message, with an occasional email. He's usually very brief and never answers all of my questions until I repeat myself a few times. He didn't really answer the question, which was, "which category do you think I"m best suited for"?. He just told me, "Either, it's up to you". Up to me? My goal was to just see this process through and get on stage. Now I have to decide what bodies I want to go up against? Help!! Yesterday, his wife (co-coach) told me to start choosing a competition suit. Another YIKES! in, this is getting more real and closer than ever. Plus, dang....are they expensive! I am 10 weeks down/6 to go and I am freaking out! I have yet to be 100% convinced that I'll be "stage ready" by June 15, let alone in Physique! Holy......!! Does he know how old I am??? 
Deep breath....
On the bright side, I'm getting a lot of positive feedback from people who are noticing the physical changes. They also notice that I eat on a fairly strict routine and take food with me everywhere I go! I'm starting to get questions and comments like "You look so good, what are you doing?", and, "How much time do you spend in the gym?" "Are you a bodybuilder?" definitely boosts my ego and helps motivate me. I'm here to tell you, motivation is a DAILY struggle for me; always has been. Some days I'm brimming with it. Other days, I don't want to get off the bed! Not to mention the daily, yes DAILY, assortment of aches, pains and outright injuries I'm battling. I spend a good deal of time stretching, icing, downing the ibuprofen, getting deep tissue and structural massages, and sleeping for recovery. Good thing I have an enormous amount of stubborn determination and pride (as in, I can't quit anything until the last dog is hung and the rope is cut!).

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