I figured for this week’s update, I would put in some information about what my program and nutrition plan currently look like.
I am 14 weeks out from the NC State Championships (4/13/13) and 16 weeks out from the Charlotte Cup (4/27/13).
Last measurements (taken 12/14/12)
Body fat: 14.9%
*(I am due for another assessment on 1/14/13).
Training: 4 day per week split
We throw in some core exercises a couple of times per week.
Cardio – 30 mins immediately after each lifting session (4 times per week).
I usually do the stairmill or treadmill sprints. I do hills on the upright bike if I’m feeling lethargic.
I obviously don’t want to give away my coach’s secrets, so I’ll keep this general. I’m currently carb cycling and eating 6 meals per day. I have a decent portion of carbs in the morning, but very few for the rest of the day. The carbs I do get throughout the day come from green vegetables. I have some healthy fat with most of my meals during the day. Every 3rd day I get a refeed meal consisting of mostly carbohydrates. I don’t get ice cream or anything crazy like that – things like oats, raisins, and sweet potato. My low days total around 1300 kcal and my refeed days around 1600 kcal.
I’ve been dieting for six weeks now. I’m just going to be blunt – my attitude sucks lately. I’m starting to feel the effects of being on significant calorie and carbohydrate restriction now. My energy levels are low much of the time, especially when I’m doing cardio. My strength when it comes to lifting is starting to decline for the first time (although I have been pleasantly surprised that has taken six weeks to finally have that effect). I often find myself having inner battles in which my body is screaming at me to just eat everything in my apartment (all of which I have won so far). I have been exceptionally negative for the past week or so about how my body looks and the progress I’ve made since starting prep six weeks ago. I expected that this would creep in at some point having been through the competition prep cycle before and knowing my perfectionistic nature, but I am a little bit dismayed that it is rearing its ugly head this early into the process.
This is all pretty much self-inflicted. My coach has been nothing but positive and encouraging, and the same goes for my trainer. I can’t seem to pinpoint where things started to go downhill for me mentally, but I think it was sometime around the cheat meal I got for Christmas. I haven’t allowed my crappy mindset to detour me so far, but I feel like I need to turn it around soon before I start getting in my own way.
I’ve been reaching out to my support system for help. I’ve been trying to be cognizant of negative self-talk so I can stop it in its tracks. I’ve looked at where I was when I first started back in August, and I even looked at where I started before my first competition (yikes). I’ve attempted to see myself, my thoughts, and my feelings from an objective third party’s perspective (which actually is quite helpful – it allows me to intellectualize the feelings I have, which seems to rob them of their power). I’ve tried to keep myself occupied (I have, in all sincerity, read 8 or 9 books in the past 2-3 weeks). I watch motivating videos on YouTube. I change up my workout playlists as much as possible. I remind myself that the only competition I truly have is myself. I write blog posts like this one. Slowly, but surely, I am clawing my way out of the hole. I’m not exactly sure how long it will take for me to get out of it completely, but at least I know I’m not sitting at the bottom of the hole playing the victim, or even worse, digging myself deeper.
The thing is, just because sometimes you want to give up, doesn’t mean you should. It is not abnormal or unnatural to feel like throwing in the towel when you are undertaking something difficult. I think too many people assume that if they were capable of achieving something, they would never suffer through periods of struggle or wanting to quit. They take it as a sign that they aren’t meant to succeed and use it as an excuse to give up. Speed bumps might slow you down, but stopping completely and then hitting reverse is an overreaction. Maybe I lost some momentum. But I’m still moving forward and that counts for something. I’ll continue to work hard and follow my plan. I’ll see where I am on the 14th and my coach and trainer will reassess my plan moving forward based on my progress.
I am not stepping on stage tomorrow. I have 14-16 more weeks (which is the same/more time than I had for my entire prep last time). Now is not the time to hit the panic button. I also want to thank those of you who have texted, called, emailed, posted on my Facebook wall, etc. to give me a boost lately. It really does help and I am always happy to hear from you. I think that sometimes everyone assumes I’m really tough and have this all locked down, but I am human just like everyone else. I have my bad days and my moments of weakness. I’m not immune to the same ups and downs we all face.