I am committed to doing a second (and third) competition in the spring, this time in the bikini division instead of figure. There are three competitions within 2 hours of Charlotte over a six week period, and I am planning on doing at least two of them. The first show is April 13, 2013 (BSN North Carolina State Championships), the second show is April 27, 2013 (Charlotte Cup), and the third show is May 11, 2013 (Palmetto Cup).
I am working with a new coach this time around. There are many approaches to competition prep, and I thought I would try something different. I met with him while I was back in Arizona for Thanksgiving, took measurements and progress pictures, and got my diet that starts tomorrow. Fortunately, he told me to eat and enjoy my Thanksgiving holiday, which was a relief, even though there is a part of me that is so excited to compete again that I wanted to start my diet right away!
I flew back to Charlotte on Friday night and have taken the weekend off from the gym. I’ve been training hard and consistently for the past 4 months, and once Monday hits, it’s pedal to the metal until April, so I figured a few days off couldn’t hurt. I did indulge in some of my favorite foods that will be off limits in 24 hours, including honey-roasted cashews, and have a “last supper” of sorts tonight at The Melting Pot, which I am super excited about.
Although the pre-competition prep indulgences are fun, they aren’t nearly as important as getting my head right and planning ahead. I hit the grocery store yesterday and bought everything necessary for my meal plan, including a ridiculous amount of broccoli. It was perfect timing because my fridge was already empty since I had been gone for a week, so the only things in my fridge are the things on my meal plan, nothing else. I am certainly not immune to cravings, so creating an environment that is “binge-proof” is essential.
Getting my head right is a little bit more complicated. There is a quote I’ve come across recently that I have saved for moments of weakness:
There is inside you
all of the potential
to be whatever you want to be,
all of the energy
to do whatever you want to do.
Imagine yourself as you would like to be,
doing what you want to do,
and each day, take one step
towards your dream.
And though at times it may seem too
difficult to continue,
hold on to your dream.
One morning you will awake to find
that you are the person you dreamed of,
doing what you wanted to do,
simply because you had the courage
to believe in your potential
and to hold on to your dream.
I also recently read a book on the science behind muscular development and fat loss. When it comes dieting, there are some things that are inevitable – I will at some points feel hungry and tired. There will be times I will really want to eat something that I am not supposed to and I will have cravings, both physical and psychological. Understanding the science behind fat loss and how the human body responds to caloric deficits is helpful to me. Accepting that hunger and cravings will come and are a normal part of the process required to drop my body fat levels far below what my body would like it to be from an evolutionary perspective helps make them easier to deal with when they come. And in most cases, they are probably indicators that I am on track.
I also brought back with me the copy of The Mental Athlete, which is a book I picked up while in graduate school for sports psychology. I’ve gotten a bit rusty on my sports psychology techniques, so I know it will be useful in helping me with the mental part of competition prep.
I’m excited to see my body change and to get back on stage. People often ask me what first got me interested in these competitions or why I do them. Although I am competing against other people, the thing I find most appealing about bodybuilding/figure/bikini is the battle of the self. The amount of hard work and discipline required is tremendous, and the only person standing in my way is myself. It’s the battle within. And the feeling of conquering myself makes me feel like I am truly capable of achieving anything.
It’s go time…starting tomorrow morning, GAME ON!!