Sunday, 10 April 2016

You've got what it takes, but it will take everything you've got.

For the last couple of days I’ve been trying to decide what I wanted to write about for my blog post this week. I toyed with a few ideas and started writing pieces but none of them felt quite right. I like each and every one of my posts to be meaningful, honest, raw, interesting and none of the ones I started writing felt that way. So I’d kind of given up for this weekend (which resonates true of how I’ve felt which I’ll come onto shortly) and then something happened tonight and I just had to put some words down. So this may come across a bit like word vomit but I’m just talking honestly from my heart.
It’s amazing how things can change for you mentally and emotionally in such a short period of time when you’re body building and preparing for your first ever competition (and maybe your second and third and maybe it happens every single time). This time last Sunday I was full of adrenaline having completed my first ever 10k in an awesome time and my body was feeling so good.
Action a pro!!
This energy flowed over into the start of my week and Monday to Wednesday I was on top of the world. I felt full of life, happy, content with my preparations, I was seeing good results on the scales, my body was happy with the diet and I couldn’t honestly have felt any better. I do find from Wednesday’s my body gets a bit hungrier as my weekend refeed wears off and the training starts to make an impact but I’ve learnt to live with that and so I went to bed on Wednesday night fully in the zone and embracing the crazy world that is competition prep.
Fresh from Wednesday's cardio
On Thursday morning when I woke up for fasted cardio I was tired. Normally Thursday would be my day off fasted cardio and this week was the first week that that would change and I would add in an additional 40 minutes. I got out of bed, nipped to the toilet and jumped on the scales; which has now become my morning ritual and I was really pleased with my weight drop again. On Thursday morning I took myself back to bed for an extra hour. I have no other reason than I purely didn’t want to go do cardio that morning and I was tired. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t feel bad about it as I knew I was on track and I’ve become a bit better at listening to my body as the weeks have progressed so I did just that.
But then for some reason throughout Thursday I never really got into the swing of things. I felt tired and moody and I was hungry again, more than normal. I pushed through and went to my PT session in the evening which picked me up and then I headed home for dinner. I cooked my usual meal which consisted of chicken, sweet potato and asparagus and for some reason within two mouthfuls I was throwing it all back up. I literally could not stand the taste of it anymore. My body was rejecting it and as much as I tried to tell myself to just force it down as my body needed feeding, it just wouldn’t.
And from then my head just wasn’t really in a good place. I pushed through Friday, stuck to the diet, did my cardio and my evening weights session but I was in a horrible mood all day. I woke up on Saturday feeling better, feeling positive, full of energy and I smashed out an awesome legs session to kick start my day. I had my refeed last night which was a jacket potato and a steak and my body felt much better for having that and getting some extra nutrients back into my body. Today I’ve struggled again generally and felt pretty flat.
Just smashed out a strong legs session
I think it’s got to the point now where I’m just generally fed up of the life that comes with comp prep and it’s started upsetting me. And it’s just the little things like being able to nip to the farm on a weekend for a cuppa and a slice of cake, or being able to grab a bag of sweets when you nip in the shops and not think anything of it or being able to go out for a few drinks. And I know I’m feeling frustrated massively as even though I never drink much even when I’m not dieting all I’ve wanted to do lately is go out and get drunk and be reckless lol. Which isn’t like me at all. And the last few days everything like that has bothered me massively.
All I’ve been able to think about for the last few days is everything I can’t do, everything I don’t like about dieting, everything I’ve sacrificed and that resentment was starting to creep in.
And then tonight I had a few comments come my way. I’m not going to say where the comments came from as they were said with the best of intentions and purely out of concern but they were along the lines of ‘no one’s forcing you to do it, it’s your choice’, ‘people are very worried about you’, ‘you’ve lost your fun spark lately while you’ve been doing this’ and ‘it’s no good for you’.
I’m not going to lie; the comments hurt and upset me. At a time when I was feeling pretty rubbish anyway it was the last thing I needed to hear. And so I found myself responding in a way that probably let out all of the frustrations from the last few days and it turned into a bit of a rant.
And part way through that rant I stopped and thought about everything I was saying and in that moment it reminded me of exactly why I’m doing this. I listened to myself talk about how much this whole thing meant to me and the amount of time I’ve invested in it. I’ve been dieting since 4 January so for 14 weeks now. And I’ve been on this super-strict diet since 22 February so for 7 weeks. I’ve dedicated the entire year so far to this because it means that much to me; it is my life at the minute. I listened to myself explain how they only see the bad part when I’m having the same meal time and time again and not allowed to go and do certain things.
They don’t see how much happiness it brings to my life when I train and watch myself become stronger and fitter. They don’t realise how much more I love my body now than I did 6 months ago when I came home from travelling and was unfit and unhealthy and the daily hard work that’s gone into that to get me back on track. They don’t see the satisfaction I get when I jump out of bed on a morning and see my abs starting to pop through or when I’m around such positive and supportive people at the gym who motivate and encourage me every single day.
They don’t see the hours I’ve spent prepping my meals just to make sure I’m 100% on track and the time I’ve spent on the internet reading up on bodybuilding just to try and learn as much about the sport as I can so that I can be the best that I can be. They don’t feel that pride that I feel at the end of the week when I know that I’ve stuck to my diet and trained so hard all week to get me one step closer to my goals. They don’t see the hours that I’ve spent with my PT perfecting each and every meal that goes into my body making sure it will get me to where I need to be.
They don’t know how excited I was when I went to pick out my figure suit or when my shoes arrived this week and I can finally start to visualise what I might look like on stage. Or the small preparations that have been planned for weeks like getting my fresh nails and eyebrows the day before so that everything is perfect.
Because that’s how much it means to me. It’s what I think about before I go to bed and what I think about when I open my eyes on a morning. It is everything to me right now. When I decide I’m doing something, I’d doing it with 100% of what I’ve got and nothing less and there are no excuses.
And I don’t need reminding that my meal is boring or that I’m missing out on a night out. I know that. I really do. I’m the one who sits on a Saturday night when my friends are out drinking. I’m the one who turns down social plans. And I’m the one who cooks my meals day in day out so I’m more than aware of what my life has become. It’s not sustainable but it’s not forever.
So no, I know that no one forces me to do this and it’s absolutely my choice. And yes I could think sod this I’ve had enough and go out getting hammered this weekend and stuff my face with whatever food I want and just enjoy myself. But I have not spent 14 weeks preparing for that one moment on stage to throw in the towel now.
I have not dragged my butt out of bed at 05:15 on a morning to go do cardio then raced to work and then gone back to the gym for 1.5 hours on an evening, day after day, week after week, month after month, to stop now. I have not sacrificed so many social events over the last few months to quit 6 weeks before. I’ve not spent my hard-earned money on PT sessions, supplements and everything else that comes with it to throw away all the hard work at this stage.
And suddenly from listening to myself respond to these comments it hit home to me. Those are the reasons I’m doing this. Yes it’s hard and there are some bad days. But there are so many more good days than there are bad ones. And there is so much more satisfaction than there is sacrifice. 6 weeks today it will all be over. I’ll have done it. I’ll have competed on stage in my first ever body building competition and I know 100% that that moment will far, far outweigh any sacrifice I have had to make during this whole process.
And suddenly in that second my mood and my mind flipped. I felt that fire back in my belly that I’d lost the last few days and I felt ashamed in some ways. Ashamed of the lack of love I’d shown to the process and the lifestyle when it actually brings me so much happiness. And it also made me more determined. Don’t get me wrong I get supported but I know that some people do not agree with what I’m doing and with that in mind it makes me even more determined to go out and smash this. So that when I’m on that stage and feeling like a million dollars I can turn around and say ‘this is exactly why I’ve done it all’.
Within half an hour of hearing those comments I had my competition shoes on, I was stood in front of my mirror and perfecting my poses being the stubborn little madam I can be sometimes, thinking you can all go screw because I wouldn’t have my Sunday night any other way right now. My eyes are back on the prize and my mind is back in the game. 41 days. I got this.

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