I'm back and ready to share about my journey back to the figure competition stage! My goal is post once a week about the entire process for my friends, gym members and anyone else who is interested to follow along.
I am beginning my cut a bit earlier than previously planned. Kyle and I decided I would use Chris Goodman of GPS Coaching for my nutrition again. Chris sponsored me for my last competition and it was such a great experience, I am pumped to be working with her again. It's not that we aren't capable of handling the nutrition part of the cut but this way Kyle can focus 100% on the training part and being a supportive husband through the process :) One thing to always remember, it is always in your best interest to have a coach or mentor even if you are a coach! You can learn so much from other knowledgeable people and should be constantly learning about your craft.
When I reached out to Chris she wanted me to get started fairly quickly so I began on Monday. The start of this cut is so much different than any other cut because I am starting off at such high calories. During my building season I got myself up to 2700 calories a day which is so much higher than my previous cut starting point, I was only at 1680, that is crazy!!!! Starting at such a high calorie level will allow so much wiggle room for adjustments and make the process more enjoyable.
This also goes to show that with a properly functioning metabolism you are able to truly eat more food, give more fuel to your body and not have a lot of weight gain. I am eating 1,000 calories more per day and am only 3 pounds heavier than my starting weight of my previous cut. Eat your food, listen to your coaches, listen to your body and you will THRIVE.
As with the start to all cuts I had to send my photos to Chris. My current weight in the photos was 154, three pounds more than the start of my last cut. Kyle and Chris both see growth in the comparison photos, I do as well but I can be a little harsh on myself.
The biggest change I see is in my glutes and legs. They are definitely thicker and my wings are bigger too! Chris noticed growth in my shoulders as well, I do see it through my lats and traps for sure.
My calories were adjusted by 10% and I now have four "high" days and three "low" days. On the "high" days my carbs are 271g and on "low" days 239g. Last year was the first time I had done carb cycling, I loved how Chris had me do it and am looking forward to using this method again.
Chris strongly advised me to take the break I did in order to build more muscle. I really wanted to compete May 2019 but took her advice and decided to give my body the time it needed to recover from the previous cut and focus solely on building muscle mass, which also meant cutting out cardio. Cutting out the cardio was tough, I LOVE kickboxing and have continued teaching but not taking the actual classes. I did play sand volleyball over the summer on Sundays but other than that there really wasn't any structured cardio. We are now adding in 3 sessions of 15 minutes of LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) keeping my heart rate around 135 bpm and also 6 rounds of HIIT post workout.
I feel really good about the plan and am just so damn excited for this cut. I know I have grown and I know I am starting off in the best place possible. There are some health issues that I am dealing with but I am taking the steps I need to in order to stay healthy.
Ladies, our bodies change so much as we get older. I have been in denial of that for quite a while. My energy levels have been low which I kept associating with POTS but during training I would be exhausted after like two lifts, which was not normal for me at all. My period has become a monster and it is because I have fibroids in my uterus and my only option at this point is for a full hysterectomy which will then put me into menopause. Due to my family history of breast cancer I had my blood work done on Monday and found out that I am anemic. So I am taking iron supplements and will have my blood work done again in one month. I will have the surgery at some point next year and will do everything I can to keep myself healthy through this process.
So here we go, Stephanie of 2018 I am coming for you!!!!