Monday, March 30, 2015

Journey to a Bikini Fitness Competition, No Calorie Counting

Something I think most of us as women forget or do not realize, the women in fitness magazines, models and such do not look like they do in their shoots, cat walks, competitions all the time. They pre-pare for months to be that lean. They diet down, cut calories, dehydrate themselves, and unfortunately some even go so far as starvation, bulimia and causing permanent damage to their bodies. But, these are the images we are bombard with and think we need to achieve to be beautiful, self confident, sexy.

With that being said, I decided to be really crazy and entered into a physic/bikini competition. I did this for many reasons, but in the end it was to compete, push myself and have fun. I know, we all have different definitions of fun, but entering a bikini fitness competition was fun, to me!
I took some photos to document my journey, the first one is from July 2014 and my competition was in March of 2015. I put some of the changes to my eating habits, I did not do anything to extreme. I wanted to come out of the competition with my health, that was my top priority, along with my sanity and not making my hubby want to divorce me because of this. I manage to do them all, kept my health, stayed happy, up beat and good energy levels and my Hubby is still my Hubby! He thought I was normal through out it, did not notice a difference other than a day or two, something unheard of in the competitive fitness industry.

What I hope to show you through this journey is:

  • what a healthy maintained weight looks like, this is not stage or photo ready for most of us.
  • what is takes to diet down and lean out to put your ass in a teany tiny ittsy, bittys bikini for stage.
  • this stage ready look is not maintainable, realistic or healthy.
  • show some of my own personal demons I had to face.

First part of July out boating with some close friends. I trained hard and enjoyed my life, eating mostly Primal, ~90% nothing strict or extreme.

Beginning of October 
The largest change I had made from the top photo to this one was adding in CrossFit with the heavy weights, about the same on my Primal eating, other than I began eating more. I actually increased my food intake. If you are not eating enough, you will not lose weight.

End of December
From this pic and the one above, there were several changes, my body went through some good detoxing, nothing crazy or scary, feeding my body at a cellular level with nutrient dense food, adding in desiccated liver supplements as well as a specific liver detox supplement. Both from this company: Perfect Supplements. I also started watching more closely what I was eating, things like only having one glass of wine or nothing to drink at night, one serving at a meal instead of seconds cause it was tasty, but I was not really hungry for more and reducing my over all carb load. I always felt nourished and satisfied. I was not depriving myself of nutrition or health, I just stopped over indulging, even on healthy foods. I had super high energy levels and trained hard, heavy and fast in the gym. I tried keeping up with the big boys at our box, tried is the operative word, but this made me push hard. It was always fun! 

Obvious changes 
Working on my front pose. From this pic to one above, a lot changed, I am just under 3 weeks out from my competition, guess I forgot to take more photos in between, sorry, this is the end of February. I used my sugar challenge to really kick off my prep for the competition and once it was over, I continued eating about the same way as I was on the challenge. I did go into fat ketosis much further and began decreasing my over calories. I was eating a lot of fat, moderate protein and low carb along with fasted workouts. My body really liked ketosis, so did my brain, other than the low calories. Due to fat ketosis, I was able to stay really stable in mood and not go crazy. Most people could not believe how happy I was and sane. If I had not told them about my competition, they would not have known. Ketosis was good, something I will keep up once the competition is over, just not as low on the over all calories, eat when I am hungry and until I am fully satisfied.
Idea of how I ate:
Breakfast was several hours after waking and some type of workout, walking the dogs, plyometric workout, something to get the body moving, most mornings
 Bullet coffee, at least 3 TBS of both butter and coconut oil and 2 whole eggs
Sometimes I scrambled my eggs, sometimes I did protein pancakes, just depended.
Lunch was hit and miss, depending on how hungry I was and when I worked out. I did eat a lot of salmon during my prep, about 3 times a week, usually for lunch with a salad or some other veggies, cooked in fat and drizzled with olive oil salt and pepper. Other times I did left overs.
Dinner was always from scratch, typical healthy, primal meals. I would say most of my eating came at dinner time. It was a combination of fat, meat and veggies. I did eat a lot of sweet potatoes until the last two weeks or so.
I drank bone broth with gelatin almost every day as well.
Snacks were not eaten often and if I did snack it was usually coconut oil or hard boiled eggs. The fat and protein kept my energy up and my mood stable.
For all of you who think you need to count calories, weigh your food, follow the flowed common wisdom, I NEVER counted a calorie, weighed my food, measured, counted how many of something I ate. I just ate real, nutrient, dense, rich foods, just not as much as normal. Calories in verses calories out only works on paper, not in real life. These pics are proof. You do not need to count calories, weigh your food, say you ate 5 asparagus sprigs, just eat real, nutrient dense, foods, feeding your body at a cellular level. Focus on healthy fats first.

Working with my posing coach, 2 weeks to competition 

                                                              Inside the two week mark

I honestly freaked at this point and did not think I would be lean enough for stage and decided I really needed to lose another 5 lbs. This is my demon and it got the best of me. Everyone was telling me I looked great, but I could not see it, more on this later. I did lose the 5 plus pounds by going deeper into ketosis, fasted cardio workouts and getting lots of sleep. I would not recommend this to anyone. I lost it healthy, but did not need to lose the last 5 lbs. I was too lean for my competition. I can see it know, but I could not then.

Competition Day!
It all came down to this....

Following day cheat! It was tasty.

At the end of all this, I am truly happy with myself, in fact I am proud of myself. I am still blown away by the body I created, but I have also learned and grown, more on that to come. I hope you can see, it takes a lot of work, dedication, will power and desire to compete and lean down to what I did. I hope you can see you do not need to lose those last five to ten pounds. Learn to love your body, what is really there, not what you are making up in your head.

No flexing

Here I am about two weeks out from my competition. I have put back on some of the weight. I took a week off from training, my body was truly grateful for that and re-nourished my body. I went right back to my Primal eating, with loads of fat, maybe not as much, but still a good amount. Where my body will stabilize, I am not really sure, but I will continue to nourish it at a cellular level.
Learn to be happy with your body, love it, enjoy it, it is the only one you have to take you through this amazing journey called life.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings,