Less than two weeks out.....
Two weeks out from what? you ask...
Two weeks out from competing in my 2nd figure competition. The training is hard. It’s 12 to 14 weeks of two a day workouts and eating clean every three hours. However, right now that seems like the easy part.
These last 2 weeks are by far the hardest. I am pushing my body to an uncomfortably low weight. It’s hard to be at the perfect weight, feel healthy and like the way I look and then push past that to a place that does not feel right..... but that is show training.
So, why this craziness? I have written about this before and I feel more strongly about it now than I did then. I’m about to be 42 years young! I love my 40’s, they are already some of the best years I’ve had. I realize as I get older this vehicle I call my body may have some issues (wear and tear). I’m loving life so much right now I don’t want my body breaking down (getting sick) and having to worry about those issues later.
I have also dealt with clinical depression for most of my life. Antidepressants for me are what insulin is to a diabetic. I can however take better control of my brain chemistry and hormone systems by working out and eating clean. The difference in my moods and overall well being are night and day when doing the things I need to do versus not doing them. I can also keep medication at the lowest dose since it’s more of a booster for all the other things I do (eating clean and working out).
The actual show day, posing, figure suit, crazy colored spray tan, walking across the stage, being judged and winning a body building trophy are not driving forces behind why I do this. I feel like the nice arms are the bonus (but wait.... there is more- if you start training in the next 30 minutes we will throw in toned arms as a bonus) I wish I could infuse this feeling of being light, healthy, fit, strong and lean into everyone that struggles with their weight. I just know if they felt that way for a day they could really get on board with what being healthy means and what it does for you.
I haven’t always been this passionate about health and fitness. I have been very overweight. When I was pregnant with my daughter I gained 70 pounds... I had to go up 2 shoe sizes and get a new wedding band, I was so big. Keep in mind I’m 4 foot 11 inches tall. 70 pounds is about 62% of what I weigh right now.
When I married my husband three years ago I was 36 pounds heavier than I am right now..... So I have been there. I don’t have one of those magic amazing metabolisms that keeps me naturally thin. I have to work hard at staying healthy, and lean.
I am aware that I will have to for the rest of my life. It’s not a luxury- if I’m cranky and depressed everyone else in the house is pretty unhappy. If I have to visit the doctor once or twice a year for a check up that’s preventive medicine that I control with what I eat and how I workout.
I’m not perfect- it would be crazy to think I am.... I have a sweet tooth - I like chocolate, lattes at Starbucks, a good burger, popcorn at the movies.... all that stuff. I do like feeling healthy more. Getting up at 5:30 am almost every day of the week SUCKS.... I can’t say I love getting up at that time to get to the gym. But I can tell you that at 8 am I am so happy I got my workout in. There is a time for a cheat or treat - the problem is that those things that used to be a once in a while treat as kids are now our everyday norm. We have been spoon fed fast, processed junk food that does nothing but make us fat, mess up our natural body chemistry and created an obese generation. But what if we did what we need to do for our bodies 85% of the time and allowed ourselves that little treat once in a while (15% of the time.... say one day on the weekend)
What would happen if we all just stopped the madness and took back control of our bodies and our overall health?
There might actually be more dinners at home with our families instead of the drive through.... We might be able to control high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, the need to have knees replaced due to years of too much weight on them...
If we could collectively achieve these things - the price of health care would drop and the national debate on how to regulate health care may not be an issue. We can’t keep abusing our bodies and expect the health care industry to fix it! We have to take responsibility for our own lives, health and happiness.
I personally want to grow old gracefully, fit, strong, full of energy and as illness free as I possibly can. When I was 20 I didn’t think about these things but at 42 I better think of it now so I don’t have to manage it later. I also don’t want to place the burden of taking care of me on my daughter.
No doubt, training for a figure show is hard core and a bit on the extreme side but I have to say - I love it. I love what it does for me on so many levels other than how my body looks.
The discipline it takes to train spills over into the rest of my life. It helps to keep me organized in other areas of my life. In order to ensure I eat every three hours - I have to plan ahead. I cook all my chicken on Sunday, portion it out to 4oz servings and all week I have plenty of chicken. I have to shop and prepare in advance as well as plan my days out so that I can fit in everything. My days look a little like this.... 6-8am workout- somedays I’m home at 7 to get Anna ready for school and then I head back for my second hour. Eat, work, eat, work, eat, pick Anna up from school, homework, snack, practice (football, softball....) cook dinner, eat... check emails again, hang out with my family, maybe catch The Voice or the Biggest Loser. Two nights a week I teach TRX as well as traveling twice a month for seminars. I know we all busy but the way I see it you can make time now to be healthy or you will have to take time later when you are sick....
The next two weeks are the toughest. I look forward to adding berries, greek yogurt, apples, red wine, Sunday dinner and a few of my other favorite things back into my diet.
I hope this in some way inspires someone struggling with feeling sluggish, unhealthy and depressed to take back control of their health and do something positive for themselves.
Some of my favorites things to read:
Eat Clean Series by:Tosca Rena
Thanks for reading my little rant!