Saturday, 12 March 2016

10 weeks in and the big event is confirmed

I’m now 10 weeks into my diet (3 weeks into the super strict one) and I’m pleased to say it’s getting easier week by week – fingers crossed this continues in the same form over the coming weeks.
I’ve wrote before about how I’m booked in for a photo shoot. This was a goal that my PT; Mikey and I set back in December. It provides an end-point to work towards and something to keep you focused. Originally I had this booked for the end of March but when I got ill a few weeks ago and had a really bad week coping with the diet and training I decided to move this back. I didn’t feel that my body would be in a state I was happy with to go in front of the camera in some tight lycra gym gear and when you’re paying for that you want it to be at a point where you feel happy and confident. So I moved this back to the end of April so I have just under 7 weeks now and this feels much more realistic.
I was also worried that if I decided to compete in May and the shoot was at the end of March I would have a 6-7 week gap in between. As my diet and training programme for the shoot was prepared like one for a comp I was worried about what I would do in between; either sustaining a very strict lifestyle for much longer or risk fluctuating during those weeks. By postponing the shoot it also gave me the opportunity to approach my diet in a slightly less-strict manner, allowing a cheat meal once a week which I just couldn’t have done if I was working to such a short timeframe. This was really important to me as I was struggling to cope on 100% clean as I wrote about a few weeks ago.
I don’t know why I say ‘if I decided to compete’ in the above paragraph as to be honest it was never in doubt. I remember before I went to Australia, being at Bootcamp one Wednesday morning a few weeks before I flew and during the cool down Mikey asking me ‘are you going to compete when you get back?’
That was the first time competing had entered my mind. I knew very little about it back then; it had never been something I was interested in and it just simply hadn’t been on my radar. From that day it has been. And I think I knew right from that day that it would happen. At that point I had a year of adventure awaiting me so that was obviously my focus but even so; the thought of being on stage never left my mind. I knew how much I loved training and I knew how much I loved a challenge and this provided the perfect opportunity for both.
So whilst I was away I curiously stumbled through websites and social media sites and learnt a bit more about the bodybuilding sport. And on my return home; with a fantastic year behind me I knew I’d need something to focus on outside of work that would motivate and challenge me. I began my journey back to health and fitness and to be honest my eyes have always been on the prize; being on that stage.
I think Mikey figured me out as a person pretty soon after we started training and I’m convinced he knew exactly what he was doing when he would drop hints into every session; talking about what poses would look good on stage and telling me he already had my bikini colour picked out haha. With every mention of it the seed planted in my mind a little bit more. And he knew this. He never pushed it though; it was always left to be absolutely my choice.
Despite being pretty sure in my head that it was going to happen even back in October, I would never commit to it. I used to tell my best friend Lucy I wanted to do it and I’d talk to her about it but never to anyone else. It was so hard after coming home overweight, unfit and unhealthy to visualise being up on that stage as I had such a massive amount of work to do. But week by week I saw the progress coming along and by December I’d already got my Pinterest page set up with dozens of bikini and body inspirations on there.
It was January when I booked my photoshoot after chatting about it with Mikey and I’m pretty sure he knew if he could get me on a comp-like diet for the shoot that when I saw the results and got to the stage of the shoot that I’d be tempted to go for a competition.
As I thought more seriously about it I remember floating the idea by my mum and dad. My dad just rolled his eyes in disagreement with the look of ‘oh dear what on earth has she got into her head now?’ I often come up with these ideas to do something that will push me and he knows by now that once it’s in my head, it’s going to happen. I can understand why he wasn’t a massive fan; I’m sure no dad wants to see his baby girl up on stage in a tiny bikini with all these muscles on show being judged by a panel and in front of an audience.
My mum, bless her, gave me the same look of ‘here she goes again’ but my mum’s a bit more open to trying to understand (or at least pretending she does anyway). After I’d answered her first question which was ‘isn’t it all a bit seedy though getting up on stage and parading about?’ (LOL) I think I’ve managed to get her on board…almost!! They’re the most supportive parents in the world and even if they completely disagree with an idea, they’ll never let my sister or I know that. They’ve got our backs 100% and that always means the world to me.
I didn’t really mention it to anyone else at that stage as not everyone understands and to be honest it’s not for anyone else to understand. If they don’t agree with it or think it’s a good thing, that’s nothing to do with me. Plus I never seek anyone’s validation so the only thing that mattered to me, was that I wanted to do it and that Mikey believed in me enough to be able to do it.
Whilst I’d committed in my head to aiming for that stage, I knew at some point I would have to make that commitment real as there are lots of things you need to organise when preparing for a competition. So last weekend I took the plunge and decided 100% I was going for it; much to Mikey’s delight. Although I think he knew it was always going to happen…even if he had to drag me up on that stage.
The wheels were put into motion last weekend as I booked in at my beauty salon a couple of days before the comp; making sure my trusty beauticians were available to sort me out with my manicure and eyebrow treatments. And I'm also booked in with someone for my hideous fake tan. It's very rare I get spray tans but normally you go in and ask for the natural look this year I'll be going for the darkest most unnatural look possible. I can see a Ross off Friends moment coming up with layers and layers of the stuff being piled on…although hopefully it will be on both sides of my body not just one haha.
And more importantly my first consultation is booked for my competition bikini. I’ll be going to Joanne Todd in Wakefield for my bikini to be custom-built and my first appointment is in a couple of weeks when I go and pick out the colour I want and the style etc. Eek so exciting.
I’ll be competing in the National Physique Association (NPA) Yorkshire which is on the 22nd May in the figure class. I’ve already booked the day off work the next day, partly so I don’t have to go into HQ with my ridiculously orange tan but partly so I can absolutely gorge on food all Sunday evening and into Monday LOL. Although I am being told that I won’t manage to eat that much food after being on such a strict diet for so long. But there’s one thing for sure, I’ll be giving it my best shot.
 Mentally it’s helped me so much finally committing to it too. I spent a lot of time last weekend trawling through the NPA website looking at their girls to see where my body needs to get to. And I’ve been looking through bikinis for inspiration. It’s made it so much more real for me now which has helped heaps too with my willpower.
I know 100% now I HAVE to be strict with my diet, there’s no room for slip ups and I’ll regret it so much if I have to step on stage in May knowing I could have done better and could have looked leaner.
So this week my diet has been 100% on point, sticking with my plan and having zero naughtiness. I was at a conference yesterday where there was a hot buffet and today at work we had a huge fuddle and I didn’t touch any of it. More importantly for me, it hasn’t bothered me that much not having it either. A few weeks ago it would have killed me and would have made me such a moody cow and I would have started feeling sorry for myself. But this week my mind’s just been in a different place. Today I was able to stand amongst the food and mingle with my team having a good look at all the snacks and not feeling like I really wanted anything. My goals are more important to me than 2 minutes of satisfaction from eating a mini-egg cake. And it’s as simple as that; that’s how I manage the temptations; I think about what the end goal is.
Today's much naughtiness...
 Tomorrow night I will be having a cheat; although not as bad as I had been having a few weeks ago when I would indulge in a Domino’s and follow it up with Krispy Kreme. My stomach just wasn’t agreeing with foods like this as it’s now adjusted to healthy, clean foods and so instead for my cheat I’m just having something ‘normal’ that’s not overly bad but not super-clean, but is a break from my diet programme. And I’m not going too overboard either staying around the 1600 kcal mark. This week is lasagne and garlic bread followed by my new favourite; salted caramel chocolate brownies from Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’ range – oh my days so nice. It’s funny when you only have one cheat per week how carefully you choose this. I’ve been debating since Wednesday whether I wanted lasagne or curry…first world problems hey?
I’ve also found this week that my cravings haven’t been as bad physically either. Things just don’t taste the same really. And it’s interesting having read up on this that this does happen and I’m certainly not complaining if it makes this dieting game a bit easier. A lot of research has shown that we do truly learn to have an acquired taste. Our taste buds get used to certain foods and therefore crave them more. If you eat processed foods that are higher in sugar and salts you will crave this more. Whereas if you switch your diet to healthier options, in time you will actually start to prefer these types of food. We can teach our taste buds what to enjoy. I fully believe this is true as over recent years I’ve introduced certain foods into my diet that at the start I absolutely hated and couldn’t stand the taste of. But after persevering and regularly eating these things I actually now enjoy them. Rye bread being one example; I remember when Mikey first told me to try it I genuinely thought I must have picked up the wrong thing in the supermarket as it looked nothing like bread and it tasted even less like it. I actually threw it in the bin after 1 mouthful after spitting that out it was so bad. Now after a few months of sticking with it, I love it and I can’t wait for the day when it’s actually allowed in my life again. Crazy!!
I normally love a good cuppa tea too (typical Yorkshire girl) but this week it just hasn’t done anything for me. Instead I’m craving my water with amino acids and glutamine in; which when I first started on these a few weeks ago, I absolutely hated.
Apparently it takes 6-8 weeks for our taste buds to adjust fully so this is probably why over the last week or so I’ve found it much easier. As much as I love my Saturday cheat I also find it hard as once I have a bit of chocolate and something sweet my body wants more of it; so I have to be careful with my cheat that it doesn’t turn into a full-blown binge as has happened previously.
My training has also been on point this week. I’ve trained 8 times; 4 mornings of fasted cardio, 3 heavy weights sessions and then tonight a tough abs session finished with a bit more cardio. I’m pretty tired to be honest from so much training and a busy work week so I’m looking forward to my rest day on Sunday. I can see and feel a huge difference in my body and it’s been really lovely this week to get so many positive comments in the gym with people noticing the changes in my shape and definition. It’s so encouraging to just hear these compliments and to know you must be doing something right. It seems that Mikey and I have hit the right balance at the moment with kcals and macros and it’s working really well. I’ve had successive weight drops Monday to Thursday this week, which with me already being small and light is really satisfying as I aim to get leaner.
The definition is starting to come through
The quads are finally growing
I’ve got 10 weeks to go until comp and I know there will no doubt be some more hurdles along the way but mentally I’m there and I know now it’s getting closer I just have to dig deep and do whatever it takes as it will be worth it on that Sunday when I pull on the bikini, step into my heels and walk on that stage. It’s a whole new world for me with bodybuilding and competitions but I know I’m in the best hands possible, under the leadership and guidance of Mikey.
I can’t wait to share this next stage of my journey onto stage with you all. Thanks for reading.

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