Sunday, 1 May 2016

A rollercoaster of emotions...

It’s been a bizarre week. In some ways it seems to have flown by but then in other ways I seem to have packed that much into it that last weekend seems like forever ago.
 
This week has brought me a rollercoaster of emotions, not just in regard to competition preparations but just in life in general really and I know that’s just how life is – dealing with the ups and the downs in the best way that you can and for me always trying to take something out of each experience.
 
It’s now just 3 weeks until my competition so the finish line is now in sight. I’ve talked before about how I’m ready for normality again and that feeling is just heightening the closer I get to D-Day.
 
My week started out brilliant with Monday seeing me present to almost 200 people at my leadership conference with work. It’s the first time I’ve ever presented to that many people and I was so nervous that morning. But I knew that I’d prepared well and that I knew my subject area inside-out so I was confident in my knowledge which helped hugely. It went better than I could have imagined and whilst there were areas for improvement, I got some great feedback and was really happy with how it went.
 
It certainly got my week off to a high and Wednesday then brought my photoshoot. I booked my photoshoot back in January as a goal to work towards before I decided to compete. So over the last few weeks the photoshoot was at the back of my mind really as all my prep has been for comp so to be honest I wasn’t that excited about the shoot but I knew I’d be glad I’d done it. So on Wednesday afternoon I took myself off to Rotherham with a range of different fitness outfits and equipment all set to be snapped for an hour. I’ll put the photos on this week when I get them back so for now I won’t talk too much about it but I felt really happy after I’d done it and was really pleased with some of the images I got to preview straight after.
 
On Thursday I had another challenge lined up with work as I was delivering my newly developed investigation skills training package for the first time. It’s a full day delivery and I had been a bit worried about it as the week went on as I wanted to be sure the training package was as I wanted it and it’s always a bit nerve wracking running something for the first time as you don’t know how well it’s going to be received. But that went better than I could have imagined too and I got some great feedback once again from the students at the end of the day.
 
I was having a brilliant week in terms of achievements and successes at work. I’d had a good week of training and saw good progress being made on the weight loss and then had my photoshoot which I was really happy with and a complete contrast to the work successes I was experiencing. One day I was on stage in corporate attire delivering a presentation on a project I’ve taken the lead on for the last 6 months and then a couple of days later I was in a crop top and booty shorts swinging a kettlebell around for a photoshoot. I love that my life offers such contrast but as it happened on Friday it was the balancing of all these different contrasts in my life that I just found completely overwhelming.
 
The morning of my photoshoot
 
There’s been a few other bits in my personal life that I’ve been sorting over recent weeks and whilst they’re exciting ventures they require a lot of thought, time and responsibility; all of which despite having great friends and family supporting me, is simply down to me and my decisions.
 
Everything came to a bit of a head on Friday, for no apparent reason really. I was upset in the morning, I then got upset in the gym and then the floodgates opened when I got to my mum and dad’s that evening. I’d simply had enough of it all. I was feeling the pressure massively from all of the things at work I’m currently juggling, I was so tired from having to train so much and I felt pressure at the life decisions I’m currently making that are ultimately all down to me.
 
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not one for getting upset; I actually find it impossible to cry most of the time (I get a lot of stick from the girls for this as they think I’ve got a heart of stone haha). But the frustrations of the last few months and the amount of tears that I must have supressed during that time certainly came out in abundance on Friday.
 
It wasn’t the preparations for my competition that got me like that as I’m past a point now of being frustrated at not being able to eat certain things etc. but it’s the stress it puts on the rest of your life that I’ve found most crippling.
 
Currently I get up at 5am to go and do 40 minutes fasted cardio before I go to work, every day. I get into work and it’s full-on from the minute I walk through the door to the minute I leave and then I have to find the strength and energy to go and weight train 4 nights per week when simultaneously I’m not feeding my body up enough realistically to manage everything. So I cope pretty well Monday to Wednesday after my weekend of rest and my Saturday night refeed and then Thursday I just hit a brick wall. Those 2 weight sessions on Thursday and Friday evening are tough. I’m always so tired and it’s a real effort to actually go to the gym. And more often than not most week nights I then have to log back onto the computer when I get home after the gym to keep on top of my work that’s just flooding in at the moment.
 
Trying to be superwoman and keep everything on track...not so much on Friday!!
 
For me, preparing for a competition on its own would be fine. Having a stressful job on its own would be fine. Trying to do both together I’ve come to learn is just not an equation that works. We’ve all had those days at work where you want to just come home, order a takeaway and crash in bed that night. And it’s nice to be able to do that sometimes. At the moment I can’t and I think it’s the fact that I know I can’t that puts the pressure on. It’s got to the point where some of the enjoyment has been taken out of my training now. Particularly those end of week sessions I do not want to be there and I’m struggling to push through the sessions.
 
My sleep pattern has also been thrown out completely and I find it near on impossible on a weekend to sleep in beyond 6am so I find I’m not catching up on all of my sleep on a weekend or properly rejuvenating for the upcoming week. And I also feel bad for those around me as it’s impacting massively on my mood now. Normally I’m a naturally happy, bubbly person and I know at the moment I’m not and I’m probably not great to be around. I’m snappy and moody because I’m tired mentally and physically and I’m hungry and frustrated. It takes a conscious effort most days to have patience with people and that’s not like me. And particularly in my job where I manage almost 20 people I just can’t be like that on a daily basis.
 
And I need to be able to listen to my mind and my body and do what it needs to have that balance in my life. Which is why I’ve realised the two lifestyles of bodybuilding and having a professional career do not, for me personally, fit together to actually work effectively. And that’s without the stresses of everyday life that everyone just has to deal with as well. At the moment I am burnt out and I’m running on sheer adrenaline for competition and just doing what I need to do on a daily basis to get through. It’s not sustainable but I know having come this far I just have to dig deep and find the strength to push through.
 
What did get me through Friday and what has got me past the last couple of days has been incredible support from those around me. A couple of close friends have been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough. My mum and dad have been amazing so I know I’ve got the people around me to push me through these last few weeks.
 
 
This one has been an absolute lifesaver
 
Once my competition is finished I can get back to having a healthy balance in my life. I want to get that enjoyment back in my training where I do it to keep fit and healthy but also because I just love going training. I want that calmness back in my life where lift isn’t always 100mph and where I can give my mind and body a break when I need to. And I want to get that bright, fun personality back that isn’t always visible at the moment.
 
The competition is only 21 days away now though and don’t get me wrong, because of everything I’ve talked about above I am ready for it to be over but I’m tremendously excited for the day itself. And for the next 3 weeks seeing everything come together. Tomorrow I get to choreograph my routine now I’ve chosen my song and I’m excited to see what we can come up with. On Saturday I get to pick up my finished figure suit which I am beyond excited about. I tried it on a couple of weeks ago in it’s raw form and I fell in love with it. When I pick it up on Saturday it will be all finished and everything in place so I literally cannot wait to see it.
 
I’m very much enjoying watching my body get leaner these past few weeks. The white fish has certainly been helping massively and hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll see even more progress. Particularly as I head into the final week where alterations are made to my diet in order to get the water out of my body to really show off my figure. I’m excited to see what my body will actually look like.
 


44.7kg weigh in yesterday morning
 
And then there’s the day itself. That’s going to be a whole new experience for me and I’m glad I’ve got an experienced coach to take me through it all every step of the way. It’s going to be a great day I’m sure and I’m so pleased that many of my friends and family are coming along on the day to watch and support me. These are the exciting times now after weeks and months of just dieting and sheer hard work I actually get to do the exciting stuff now and watch it all come together.
 
3 weeks. 21 days. I got this.

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