"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection." - Mark Twain
1 month down. 3 more to go.
When you think about your progress day-to-day, it is easy to think you aren't making any forward movement. It is hard to recognize changes and you can easily lose sight of where you've come from. We strive for perfection, but it isn't until you step back and look at the bigger picture that you are able to recognize improvement.
This is how I've felt this first month of prep. The scale hasn't changed all that much, my measurements have gone down in my waist and abdomen, but everywhere else has remained unchanged. I've been going about my prep in a very slow and calculated manor, but I have questioned if what I'm doing is the right decision. It is all too easy to focus on the negatives.
This past Saturday marked 1 month into my prep and 12 weeks out from my show. Going by the scale and the scale alone, I have only lost ONE pound. After I took my progress pictures I decided to compare them with my very initial photos. The results thrilled me.
I couldn't believe I had actually made this much visible progress. Sure I feel so much better than I did 4 weeks ago, but I didn't realize how I felt on the inside was slowly translating to how I looked on the outside.
Ladies, the scale does NOT tell the whole story! I can't stress enough - there is only a 1 lb different between these two photos.
Just for kicks, I didn't stop there with the comparisons. I looked back at my progress photos from the last show I did, March 2014. The photos on the left were 9 days out from my show, while the photos on the right are 12 weeks out from my next show.
Am I ready to step on stage tomorrow? Is my physique where I'd ultimately like for it to be?
Have I improved in the last year? Since my last show? Will I be better this show than I was my last?
A Change in Training
My training calls for a new program every 4 weeks, meaning it is time to move onto the 2nd month! I'm really excited to start a new routine.
My training thus far has been going greater than I could have anticipated. My 4-day a week lifting program is fun and has yet to become monotonous. I've actually been ENJOYING my plyo routine I wrote for myself, as well. HUGE STEP. I tend to be guilty of disliking things I'm not good at (I blame the perfectionist in me) but I was determined to keep a positive attitude about plyos/cardio this go-around.
Keeping with the theme of continuous improvement, I also hit a PR in my olympic weightlifting training this week! Since breaking my wrist back in March of this year, I haven't been able to get fully back into heavy lifting. Friday night I hit a power clean of 70 kg! To put that in perspective, just last year (December 2014) my max clean was only 70 kg. For those not familiar with olympic weightlifting, you are able to do more weight with a full clean (as you go down into a full squat with the lift) than a power clean (where you are able to get under the weight without going into a full squat because it is light enough to do so). So again...continuous improvement!
This week I was really creative with my meals. I don't think I had the same exact meal twice in one week, which is almost unheard of for me. All the same building blocks, but many different combinations. My lunches were even different almost everyday this week. I kept it somewhat consistent with the fact I had my Whipped Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions almost everyday (recipe to be posted tomorrow!) and broccoli. A couple days I at the cauliflower at dinner and had a salad during lunch instead. My proteins changed daily between chicken, fish and turkey at our office Thanksgiving lunch.
My dinners varied quite a bit. If I didn't have the cauliflower at lunch, I had it for dinner. One night I paired it with ham and sausage.
For lifting day dinners, I had shrimp & scallops, rice and a cheese quesadilla one night. Another I had open-faced turkey sandwiches with cheese which were incredible!
I, of course, did not forget about dessert! I had my Apple Cranberry Pie all week. I had to test it out and make sure it was fit to eat for Thanksgiving...
Great week and a great month of progress. On the scale, I've only lost 1 lb. With my measurements, however, I've lost 1.5" from around my belly!
- Weight [lbs] - 149
- Waist [in] - 27.75
- Abdomen [in] - 29.5
- Hips [in] - 39
- Thighs [in] - 22.5
- Upper Arm [in] - 11.5
- Bust [in] - 33.5
- Weight [lbs] - 150
- Waist [in] - 28
- Abdomen [in] - 31
- Hips [in] - 39.25
- Thighs [in] - 22.75
- Upper Arm [in] - 11.5
- Bust [in] - 33.5
In preparation for Thanksgiving, I'm doing things a bit differently this week. Instead of keeping consistent lifting vs non-lifting macros, I'm looking at this from a total week perspective. I'm ensuring that I still achieve a weekly deficit from last (about 190 calories, which is on average what I've been reducing) but I'm dividing up my macros very differently. I don't want to completely restrict myself on Thanksgiving. For me, I don't mind sacrificing a bit leading up to Thanksgiving so that I can enjoy the holiday.
For this week only:
Non-Lifting Day Macros (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday):
- 1,380 Calories
- 160 g Protein
- 50 g Carbohydrates
- 60 g Fat
Lifting Day Macros (Monday, Tuesday, Saturday):
- 1710 Calories
- 155 g Protein
- 160 g Carbohydrates
- 50 g Fat
THANKSGIVING DAY! (Thursday, also lifting on this day)
- 2085 Calories
- 155 g Protein
- 220 g Carbohydrates
- 65 g Fat
I'm not really sure how my experiment with this macro shifting will go, but I'm excited to give it a try. This will be a great test prior to Christmas, where I will also want to enjoy the holiday and not completely restrict myself when I am home with my family.
Everyone have a great short week of work and check back to My Engineered Nutrition for recipes to make at your Thanksgiving! :)