Friday, September 21, 2018

4 Weeks Out - Staying Strong

I had made a promise to myself to really document this journey to my competition this time around.......oops.

Pictures have been taken, measurements have been taken, workouts are being done, check ins with my coach are happening and life is just crazy.  With only four weeks to go tomorrow it is time for an update!

The changes to my body are insane, I have never been as lean as I am right now and there are new striations showing up nearly every day at this point.  My coach does not have me on crazy low calories or insanely low carbs.  I do have three low calorie and low carb days, right around 1182 for my caloric intake.  Is that lower than I would recommend for your typical athlete? YES.  But this is not your typical sport and towards the end when you are trying to cut the final bit of body fat you have some low days.

A couple of weeks ago I had my first really bad workout.  I hadn't hydrated properly the day before and it was a leg day.  My husband knew from the start it would be tough so it wasn't a heavy day by any means and he ended up cutting my training session short.  I was mad at myself, frustrated and shed quite a few tears.  My emotions have been a bit wacky and that day nothing felt better than having him wrap his arms around me in a huge hug reminding me that days like this happen, it's ok to cry it out but then I have to move forward.  He captures moments for me on camera and got a really good one.

This was on September 9th, just two weeks ago.  In my moment of frustration he captured a photo showing how far I have come, that thick back and all of those muscles showing.  I was blown away and it helped me rebound from my pity party.  It truly amazes me the things we sometimes don't see ourselves, I mean I rarely see my back besides photos obviously and photo proof of hard work is rewarding.  I would like to share two more photos from that day in my front and back pose.


We haven't taken my body fat in weeks, my coach Chris likes to base things off of weight.  In these photos I was the same weight I was when I stepped on stage four years ago but much, much leaner.  I am currently two pounds below that weight with four weeks to go.  There have been times when I've felt maybe I should be pushing harder but I really am thrilled with how this process has gone.  Her different approach to this cut has definitely worked and brought about a much different outcome.

Last week I had a work conference in Florida, I was able to go early and spend a few days with my best friend David.  It was a much needed break even though I have to admit traveling while cutting can be difficult.  The Atlanta airport is amazing they had this restaurant that served salmon and eggs, it was perfect.  I also preplanned and was able to get groceries there for plenty of protein waffles, egg whites, chicken and David knowing this process had protein cookies and bars for me.  He went through my two previous competitions with me and knows just how tough it is and how important it is to stay on track, especially in the final weeks.  We had a great time, he is majorly into Halloween and I was able to help him get his Halloween stuff moved from storage to the garage.  Of course some fun photos had to be taken as well :)

I wish we weren't so far away from each other but the time together was completely rejuvenating.  I'm not sure about any of you but I hope you are lucky to have friends who are truly a part of your soul, that is David for me.  He cheers me on in every aspect of my life and helps me believe in myself on the days I have a really hard time.


After a few days in Sarasota with David I was off to Orlando for the Teamsters Women's Conference.  It was wonderful, my co-worker was with me with her family and we had a great time.  The classes were awesome and being surrounded by so many strong, hard working, enthusiastic women was just awesome!  Of course I had to get my gym time in while I was there as well and even left an awesome sweat mark on one of the benches with part of a saying on the tank tops we made for our summer events with our gym.  The back of the shirts say "Find Your Strong" in blue font and "In You" is in white font.  A funny moment happened that day as I walked on the treadmill to warm up.  There was an older gentleman next to me and he looked at me and said, "I know you aren't here to do cardio", it just made me giggle.  That led to a conversation about my participation in the sport of body building and he was so encouraging, it was a wonderful moment.

The stressful part of this cut has had to do with our gym.  We are short on trainers so I have had to fill in quite a bit which has led to some 13 hour days, which I am not used to in any way.  Sleep is very important during this process to help your muscles recover.  I am a sleeper normally but lately I have had a hard time getting good sleep.  I've added in Melatonin which is definitely helping.  The day I flew back from Florida I landed at 4:20pm and taught the 5:30pm and 6:30pm classes that night and the 6:00am class the following morning.  That day completely drained me and I am still working on recovering from it.

I am looking forward to a weekend of quiet.  Yes I have my normal kickboxing, weight training and posing with my coach but that is just a few hours of my Saturday and Sunday.  Having my husband as my trainer and knowing he fully understands this process, has gone through it with me before is such an insane blessing.  I know this weekend he will encourage me to nap, hydrate and recover.  Our daughter is the sweetest as she also remembers my last two competitions and how tough the final weeks can be.  She is now 11, and will be 12 in just three weeks!  It blows my mind how she just wants to help around the house, make sure I am getting rest and encouraging me so much.  She just told me last night how excited she is for the competition weekend and to watch me on stage again.  I have surprised myself with pushing through all that has come along during this prep and know that these next four weeks will fly by.