"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning.But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill
It's hard to believe that after 17 weeks of hard work, Show Day finally came and went in the blink of an eye. I can honestly say this was one of the most fun days I've ever had, and it is easily the most fun I've ever had at a show.
Now that the excitement of the show has died down, I'm finally getting around writing my final progress update for this prep...but not THE final update. Just because my show is over doesn't mean my progress is over! I didn't work this hard to get this far just to revert back to the point I was at 18 weeks ago.
Over the past week, many people have asked me how my show went and congratulated me for my hard work. They then usually immediately followed up with the question "so are you excited to go back to eating how you use to?".
I struggle to understand what that even means (and have become annoyed with the question) as I still managed to eat all the foods that I love during my entire 17 week long prep. Sure in the past, that was my mindset. As soon as the show was over, I felt the need to reward myself, with food, for all my hard work. (Hi - I'm not a dog)
Not this time, however.
I've made some great strides in finding my balance with nutrition and I would hate to throw that away now that I don't necessarily have a 'goal' I'm working towards. I'll admit that this first week post show was a bit of a struggle staying strict with my nutrition (it also didn't help that I am about to start my lady time of the month). I measured some of my food, but not all. I had a few extra treats when I maybe could have done without, but my overall, I'm happy with this first week. I'll get more into what my next steps are, but first let's look at my 17 Week Progress!
Over the last 17 weeks I've coached myself through nutrition and training, surprising myself with how much I was able to achieve.
I made the most visible and measurable changes to my waist, abdomen and hips.
It is my hope that I am able to show you that you don't need to follow an incredibly restrictive diet and spend hours in the gym on a weekly basis in order to achieve your goals. You simply need consistency, self-discipline and a desire to achieve - that's it! I was still able to enjoy the holidays over the this period and never once did I alienate myself from friends and family because of prep. Could I have been more lean and lost more weight during this time? Sure - but my primary goal through this all was to show you that you can still enjoy all the foods you love to eat while still losing weight, as long as you adopt healthy habits of balance and moderation.
Now...Showtime! The actual day of the show is a loooong day. Competitor check-in was on Friday evening, along with my first coat of spray tan. I had to finish packing up everything I needed for Saturday that night as well. Needless to say, it was a long day.
Saturday. I was up bright and early at 5am! I had to get down to Santa Clara by 7am for my second coat of spray tan, followed by doing my hair and makeup. Nothing says GOOD MORNING like a cold coat of spray tan. I needed to report to the Convention Center by 9:30am and was on stage by 10:30am for pre-judging.
The morning isn't nearly as exciting as the evening show. There is no music, a relatively tame audience and the presentation follows a strict format. Each competitor within a height class comes to the stage one at a time, presents a front and back pose to the panel of judges and then lines up to the side of stage. Once all competitors have come out, we all come back out onto stage in a line for quarter turns. We present to the front, [quarter turn to the right] to our right, [quarter turn to the right] the back, [quarter turn to the right] and finally to our left.
You want to be as close to center of the line as you can - this means highest placing. In my class, I started in the center and another competitor was moved to center to stand by me. The quarter turns were repeated and then we exited stage. The judges make their rankings at this point but we won't know how we did until the evening show.
That's it! A quick 10-15 minutes on stage. At that point you are free to leave until the evening show, which meant I didn't have to be back until 5:30pm.
I knew that regardless of placing I had already reached my goal. I wanted to beat the figure I had brought to stage my last show and I believe I did just that.
I see the most progress in my back, waist and shoulders. I still need to keep working away at my legs, but still there is an improvement from the last show.
When the evening show came there was much more glitz and glam. There is music, an announcer on stage, a lively crowd and trophies are awarded. I was in Novice Class B and won 2nd Place! Very proud of this accomplishment. I think I just barely missed the 1st Place trophy by a margin, but it probably came down to needing leaner legs. Good to know for the next show!
After the show I was ready to celebrate with the real trophy: this big ol' burger! It was incredibly satisfying to enjoy a burger (with the bun!) and a glass of wine.
I took Sunday off from training, but believe it or not I was back in the gym on Monday! I'd really like to compete in the weightlifting meet at the end of March, so my primary focus right now is working on Olympic lifts.
I'm also thinking about what areas I can improve for my next show...ahem, my legs. I'll be making sure to keep plyos and sprints a priority in my training. I'd like to work on Olympic lifts 2-3 times per week, do track workouts with plyos, sprints and agility drills 2 times per week, and then round of the rest of the week with 2 full body lifting days.
I'll still continue to track my measurements as I reverse diet out of this show. (see Nutrition below for details). I took my measurements this past Saturday, water retention and all. I'm happy to report that even this morning these measurements have gone down and I'm pretty much in line with what I was 2 weeks out from the show.
I plan on switching to monthly updates, as opposed to weekly. It won't be quite as exciting week to week in the reverse dieting phase as the hope is for my measurements to stay exactly the same week after week while slowing increasing my macros.
What about the next show?
Well, I absolutely want to do another show. I've got a fire in me to keep competing. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy being up on that stage in a bikini with the lights and hundreds of eyes on me. There are plenty of shows throughout the remainder of 2016, but locally and short distance travel. I'm going allow myself some more time to work on chiseling down my legs while not eating at an extreme deficit. I'm also traveling to Japan and Thailand (woo!) at the end of April for 3 weeks and I don't plan on carrying around a food scale with me everywhere I go while vacationing. Realistically, I can see myself doing a show in July or August, as well as one of the shows in September or October. That will be another series to keep you updated with my progress... !!
So now that I'm not training for a show (in the immediate future, at least), what exactly am I eating?? Honestly, pretty much exactly how I was in the weeks leading up to my show! If I were to have a sharp increase in my food intake at this moment my body wouldn't know what the heck to do with all those excess calories and would likely store them as fat. My goal is to s l o w l y ramp up my macros while maintaining as much body composition as I possibly can! This is commonly called 'reverse dieting'.
I started off Monday with this incredibly fresh and delicious sashimi salad. Since Monday was a holiday, I took advantage of the extra time, lazy schedule and amazing weather. Yes, I ate this outside on my patio where it was sunny and 70F :)
During the work week, I kept my lunch identical to what they were before my show. I wanted simplicity and structure. It was somewhat of a struggle to stay on track given the fact that I was eating in deficit. I wanted to 'auto-pilot' as much as possible.
I was VERY happy to eat my gluten-free quesadillas again! I had opted not to eat them my last 2 weeks since they aren't very macro friendly. Now that I have slightly higher macros, I'm eating them again!
My macros for the first week post-show and continuing into this second week are the same as they were 3 weeks out from my show. My first week after the show I didn't stick strict with my macros at all. I used them as a guideline but I would be lying if I said I was perfect in tracking.
Going into this second week I'm feeling a lot better than I did last week. I was retaining a lot of water post show, largely due to the fact that it was my lady-time of the month. I've shed a lot of that water and my cravings are virtually gone. Sticking to the macros this week shouldn't be a problem and it feels good to be back into a routine.
Lifting Day Macros:
- 1,540 Calories
- 150 g Protein
- 145 g Carbohydrates
- 40 g Fat
Non-Lifting Day Macros:
- 1,360 Calories
- 155 g Protein
- 50 g Carbohydrates
- 60 g Fat