Monday, August 12, 2013

Updates...and on to Limbo.....

June 2:
I feel very sheepish, slightly embarrassed and regretful as I write this. Since my last post, not a lot of progress has been made, sadly. It's my own fault. I took some time off after deciding to do a later show. That's not really a good idea, my coach told me not to, happened and now I have some ground to make up! Last week was especially difficult. I had a very busy work week; busier than usual and I was trying to spend my free time with my son before he left for 6 weeks on study-abroad. Therefore, I worked out exactly 1 time. I continued to eat clean up until "cheat" meal, which I planned to be the night of his going away party...but.....cheat meal continued into cheat saturday (whoops!). 
Now, I'm 11 weeks out (I mistakenly thought I was 12!) and I'm hoping to have a renewed sense of dedication and focus. I'm hoping with Miles gone I'll feel less inclined to be home/homemaking/doing chores etc.., and have less guilt about the hours I spend in the gym. It's a mental game with me, the guilt. Crazy! I may need some outside help (i.e. a trainer). That's really all I have to say at this point. Unless... you want to hear about the struggles? OK! Well, I'm really plagued with shoulder pain in both shoulders. They ache all the time! My medial deltoids are the culprit and I don't really know why. Sleeping is a real challenge because of the pain. "Cheating" is a double-edged sword. I am allowed one cheat meal per week and I'm always looking forward to it, then have major regrets after. When you eat extremely clean, the "bad" food really, really makes you feel crappy. I may have to give up cheats very soon or be very, very choosey about what I "cheat" with. Frozen yogurt seems to be ok, as do apples, steak, fatty foods and a few other things, but too much sugar and too many starchy carbs leaves me feeling sick and hungover the next day. Unbelievable. Lastly, motivation is a continuing nemesis for me. So many invasive thoughts that feed it: too tired, the gym is too crowded, gotta go do this, that and the other...blah blah blah, work was too hard/long day etc..etc...When is the "I'm doing this not matter what" attitude going to take hold and not succumb to the excuses? Fitness training requires a lot more than I've been giving it the last few weeks and time is of the essence now! I'm pissed off at myself, can you tell?

June 16
UGH! Cheat meal KILLED me last night! Went to Layla (one of my favorite places) with friends, and had a fantastic meal. All was going well until we came home. We had some desserts I got at Normandie (also a favorite!) and I indulged in a second glass of wine. BIG MISTAKE. I was ill the rest of the in...tossing and turning in pain, and I almost THREW  UP! Eating clean feels sooooo much better. I'm seriously considering giving up the cheats or only having a minimal treat; one that doesn't make me feel horrible! My body has become so sensitive to "toxins" such as sugar and alcohol, it's almost not worth the discomfort. To be honest, my biggest problem with cheat is that I have a really hard time not overdoing it. If I could be better at controlling it and not approaching it with a free-for-all attitude, I'd probably fare much better, pleasure center takes over and so does the "I deserve this" thinking. SO WRONG!
I'm 9 weeks out and feeling very nervous about my readiness. I still struggle with injuries but figure out ways to work around them somehow. 
The best part is the last 2 weeks I've had a much greater sense of devotion than I've ever had during this whole process. I'm hoping as the time ekes away, that will continue to intensify.

Some of my tools:
PowerFull (supplement for sleep)....OMG! This was my best discovery!
SalonPas. Patches you put on your body for pain relief. It's like BioFreeze in a patch. Kinda helps.
SMFR foam roller. Could. Not. Survive. Without. It!
Gel Ice pad. Ice is THE BEST pain reliever.
Sleep. Nuff said.
Gum. I was not much of a gum chewer, but boy am I now!
Homemade coconut oil/sugar scrub. I LOVE how it exfoliates, moisturizes, makes my skin glow and smells so good all at the same time. Plus, I can eat it in the shower! Hahahahah!
PB2. Powdered peanut butter. 

June 21
Tomorrow will mark the 8 week countdown! I'm feeling pretty pumped (mentally) about things now. I have more motivation and positive thinking than ever before. 
I still have a lot of work to do and lots of physical changes yet to come, but at this point things start really changing on a daily basis. 
My coach eliminated the peanut butter from my diet (soooo sad!), as well as the carbs from meal #5. For the first time in this whole process I'm starting to feel hungry at times. Yikes!
He also told me....."MORE cardio!". When you get lean, cardio is usually less. Apparently I have a lot of fat! I blame my age. I'm a little sick of cardio, I'm not going to lie!
My co-coach told me to order my show shoes: 5" clear platforms! Pretty much stripper shoes. SWEET! I meet with her next tues for suit selection and begin the posing process within the next week or so. I can't wait for that!!
There are definite benefits to living this lifestyle, besides the obvious. The last couple of years, I have experienced a great amount of stress from work, school, and other things. Long story short, it took a huge toll on me both physically and mentally and I struggled for quite a while trying to find ways to cope. Fast forward to last night when, after yoga class I really had the sense that I'm back. I have my mojo back! It's me, the real me, back from the walking dead. Ok, I'm being dramatic, but I spent a long time in an unhappy place and I'm so much happier now. Happy that the weight is lifted (how ironic). I'm loving all the comments I'm getting from strangers, as well as friends and family. In fact, I was "hit on" at yoga (Bikram) last night! Hahaha. Anyone who wants to pick up a 48 year old, super-sweaty person with mascara streaming down her face is OK in my book!! LOL!
I just hope, as I always have as a trainer, to be an inspiration to someone. I love it when someone asks what I'm doing or wants advice. 
One of my life-long fantasies has been to be a trainer full time and own a gym! I've been thinking about it a lot, lately, and really wish I could make it happen so I can help women get fit! I let my certification lapse several years ago, but am toying with the idea of re-certifying and trying to find a place to train clients. I think I've always wanted to teach people in some capacity. Here's a tangent: I've always had a desire to teach non-literate adults to read. Maybe someday.
One thing I've learned about myself, over the years, is that I always have to have a goal. I'm very goal oriented and if I'm not working toward something, I get a little lost and confused. I like the structure of a plan, doesn't really matter what it is, but I gotta have a plan!
One thing at a time, Renel. : >)

July 7
I think I've bitten off more than I can chew. Hit a serious wall. I don't think I can do this anymore. More specifically, I don't think I have what it takes. I'm in over my head. Total poser. I'm so depressed, sad and disappointed right now. 

July 18
Wow. What a process this is. I have been through an emotional ringer. Let it be known that when you are prepping for a physique contest, Every. Thing. That. Goes. In. Your. Mouth. Matters. EVERYTHING. The leaner you get, the more it shows up. UGH! I had a few meltdowns in the last few weeks and have almost given up. And by meltdowns, that usually means eating everything in sight, feeling really discouraged because of a perceived (or real) lack of progress, and taking a "day off". Guess what? That is NOT a good idea. I set myself back, probably a good two weeks or more. Consulting with my coaches has led me to understand the harsh reality: that I am not ready for the August show. Let me clarify. I'm still going for it, I just won't look great. I'm not lean enough, especially in my quads and glutes. Meanwhile, I've been learning to pose and have already paid $350 toward my suit. It's been cut and fitted, now it will get bejeweled and we'll have a final fitting about 2 weeks out from the show, to (hopefully) make it smaller! Praying my body will respond to my new-found dedication as I give it the final push to the end. 5 weeks. 100% clean eating is absolutely mandatory. Pushing hard in my workouts and doing as much HIIT as possible is mandatory!
Wanna hear something crazy? I'm going backpacking next week and taking all my contest food with me. That has been a whole new level of food prep. Can you say freeze dried everything?? Mmmmm! Not only that, but I'll be working out at camp every night with resistance bands strung around a tree and doing core/ab work on the dirt ground!
My posing coach said that she thinks I have huge potential. She said I have great muscle density and a great physique. If I lean out all the way, she said I could compete with anyone and crush it. Awesome compliment. I just have a really, really hard time seeing that level of leanness on me. The glutes and quads, F. A. T!
And, p.s., posing is HARD. So much harder than it looks. You have to think about 50 things while your holding a pose: Stomach in, lats flared, lean forward, engage glutes, head up, shoulders down, smile, don't shake, don't over breath from the stomach, etc...etc...and you have to make it look effortless. 
I'm such an amateur.

July 29
Super, super, super frustrated and disappointed with myself today. My coach and I have agreed that I will NOT be ready for the Aug show in 3 weeks. Therefore, if I still want to reach my goal, I'd have to set my sights on the Oct. show. That's another 13 weeks from now. 
Bottom line is I did not work as hard as I should have. That, coupled with a week-long vacation (although I was working my tail off backpacking, it's not the same type or intensity of training needed for bodybuilding) have set me back and my physique is just not ready. I am not lean enough and can't lean out enough in 3 weeks. This would be a whole lot easier if I were male and 20 years younger! What was I thinking becoming a fitness competitor at my age?? Honestly, if I don't pick impossible goals then apparently I don't know what to do with myself. 
I definitely have reached a stage where burnout is starting to set in. Bodybuilding, and therefore prepping for a contest, is a total lifestyle, just like any other sport that any other athlete is devoted to. It must become ingrained in the athlete with no room for compromise. That is especially difficult when you don't have something on the line like a career or olympic medal or sponsorships etc...When it's just for self-satisfaction, it's a little tougher to stay committed. But for me, the alternative is a fate worse than death. I cannot bear the thought of quitting. I don't quit, damn it!
So, I will press on, but I had a total mental break down yesterday after talking with my coach. Now I have to wrap my head around this and come at it from a different angle. I have to apply what I've instinctively known, heard and read about for months: I have to train like a champion.

Aug 12
Limbo. That's where I am. In a holding pattern. One thing my coach told me, unbelievably to my own surprise, is that some competitors take up to a year to get ready for their first competition. In retrospect and considering all variables, I shouldn't be surprised, but at the time he said it, I felt duped! Mind you, I know I sabotaged myself and have no one else to blame for my lack of progress.....but what a bomb!
After talking with him, I determined that I'm not getting what I need from him in terms of motivation and support so I decided to take a different approach. I still don't know if I made a huge mistake, but I left him in search of another coach (incidentally, that's not as easy as it sounds). Then I spent some time regrouping. I'm still regrouping and so here I am in limbo. It's a dangerous place. I have no accountability at the moment, but if I don't want to lose the progress I've made, I have to stick as closely as possible to the plan. It's definitely the safest thing to do, but for what? I'm too late to compete in Oct. and the next show after that isn't until next March! So, there's my "it takes some people a year", year!
Meanwhile, I've discovered I have some real food issues. I never, ever thought I did, but I DO! Was I starved as a child? Hardly. Was I concerned about where my next meal was coming from? NO. Did I have to share with lots of other mouths? NO. I don't hoard food, or eat in secret, or any of the other typical food addict behaviors, but since I started this process, I've had several crazy, out-of-body, periodic binges? I'm really not sure what that is about, other than just feeling deprived of savory/fatty/sugary food. My husband pointed out the fact that I have severe reluctance to throw out food. Even if it's spoiling in the fridge. It's true. I absolutely abhor wasting food. Why? I believe it is because it represents money; money spent and down the drain (or garbage, as it were). So is my issue money and not food? Does the fear of wasting money make me binge on some deep, psychological level? I don't know, and I don't really care, but it's just an interesting self-discovery. 
Ugh...what to do from here? I suppose I go into maintenance mode until I either, A- find a new coach, or, B- set a time frame to start prepping for March (or June). 
Another concept I have to wrap my head around in this very long and challenging process.
There is good, though. Lots of it! And I'll write about THAT next time, lest you think this is all just a hellacious, insane, self-inflicted undertaking. *wink*

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