There are quite a few things that come up when people speak to me about what I have been working towards and my fitness goals. I do find it amusing that people feel so free to comment and say ‘not to go too far’ and lose any more weight. I haven’t felt the need to tell you how unhealthy you are or that you should really get down the gym as you are really unfit and may well be causing yourself long-term health implications!
I know it is all said with the right intentions but it still brings back the memories of when I was a lot younger and being told I was too skinny and needed to eat something. All this despite that fact everyone who has seen me eat knows I eat like a horse and could eat just about under the table! It is this need to comment and offer an opinion that has led me to write this post. I love all my friends and family dearly and this is in no way an attack so please take it more as an explanation than an attack 🙂
When I was going through the prep for my first show at Miami Pro a lot of people assumed that would be it and I’d stop after so that I could get back to ‘eating normally’. I think what a lot of people don’t realise is that eating healthy and staying fit and healthy is a lifestyle change. I don’t and never have agreed with ‘diets’, these are short-term and NEVER work long-term. If anything they do more damage to your body and your mind, especially when after the first week or two you have lost loads of weight (all water) then you plateau, your willpower wanes and you get into the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.
Before I started on this journey I had never counted a calorie in my life and had always been lucky enough to eat what I wanted but, and it’s a big BUT in general I have always preferred to eat healthy. I actually like brown rice, sweet potatoes and lots of veg 🙂 I haven’t eaten white bread or pasta in a very very long time but I do like my treats!
Anyone that knows me knows I love chocolate and have a sweet tooth, saying that though I have always believed in moderation and this has meant I didn’t feel the need to binge on treats and feel guilty for most of my life! The competition prep I did was extreme by standards but to be honest compared to a lot of other girls that were competing I had it easy. I still ate over 2000 calories a day and had ‘cheat’ meals up until the competition. The things I found hard was increasing my protein intake and the repetitiveness of the food on offer.
As it was my first competition and the first time Rob had been involved with this level of diet planning meant we were quite conservative and most days I stuck to the same things: eggs, chicken, tuna, cod, salmon, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, oats, sweet potato, nuts,seeds and brown rice. This got boring pretty quickly and also it was very time-consuming adding into My Fitness Pal every day to track my progress.
Competing for a competition is completely different to anything else and is not supposed to be sustained as a permanent diet plan. Now I have done my first competition I have added all kinds of foods back into my diet to make it more varied and balanced but at no point when I was in training did I cut any food group out completely! Any diet that requires you to cut out a food group is not balanced and you will not get the long-term results you want. People are far too scared of carbs- your body needs them, it just needs the right ones! I still don’t eat bread or pasta (it causes me inflammation and affects my Rheumatoid Arthritis) but if I wanted to occasionally I would but would make sure they were wholegrain.
I am now planning on gaining some weight and adding a bit more muscle (yes, don’t worry I won’t get too muscly and look like Jodie Marsh!!) so am now aiming for closer to 3000 calories a day and lifting heavier weights and doing a lot more olympic lifting so that’s the diet side of things covered which brings me to exercise:
EXERCISE and BEING A MUM!
I train 5 times a week normally and none of this involves any cardio right now and didn’t for my prep before. I would like to add in some sprint work but more to increase strength and fitness than anything else. I walk everywhere and am very active with my son so don’t feel the need to run for hours every day! Yes I have a child and Yes I train (hard). This does not make me a bad mum for finding the time to fit it in, it means I am organised and take my health seriously! It also means I have something for myself which I think is important and makes me a better mum.
Finding the time is hard but if you are determined you can do anything you set your mind to. How much TV do you watch in the evening? there are some days I feel I need a rest and don’t want to train, what do I do? I listen to my body and decide if it would be beneficial or do I actually need the rest, 9 times out of ten I decide to train and feel better for it.
To be completely honest the thing I need to work on right now is getting enough sleep as we are going the 2 year old developmental stage which has resulted in very disturbed nights sleep and means I am not allowing my body to recover as much as I would like which in turn means I will not see the results I would like as quickly. We are also considering night weaning which comes with its own struggles and battles,all of which reflect on my energy levels!
So to sum up I am still eating healthy, I am still training hard and I am still going to compete in more competitions. I made the top 10 at Physique Of The Week at Bodypower last week and am going in the right direction to get placed in the future. I would however like to add that if you are thinking of competing then you need to be in a good place mentally as it is very tough and can make you question yourself. Luckily I have always had a good relationship with food but if you have issues surrounding food then it can a very dangerous and rocky road to go down. Feel free to contact myself or Rob if you want any advice or want to change your lifestyle and start on your journey to a better, stronger body.