As a coach, I have lots and lots of brand new athletes who begin their journey on my team.
As their shows grow closer and closer ,it’s common for them to tell me.. “I thought I’d
1. be showing more muscle
2. look just like the Instagram competitors
3. be tighter
4. be more defined
5. have more muscle
or some variation of this.
The hard truth is If you started your prep having not done a full off /grow/build season, you did it backwards. Yep. I said it. As athletes.. we NEED a full grow season before we begin to prep for stage.
It is very common to see people who “workout” think they can cut down to what you see on the gram. It’s not the same as taking a strategic off season, eating, building, and then cut to unveil what you have built.
In 2012/2013, it was common to see coaches advertise “12 Weeks to Stage” and starve a sister to stage lean. It was a simpler time back then because the bikini physique was not pumped , super conditioned or showing striations. It was beachy. BEACHY.
Fast forward to the ultra competitive nature of the stage of today. Conditioning needs to be on point. If a new athlete has begun her prep without mature muscle, she will come in lean and sexy but without the visible conditioning she is thinking she should see.
In every cut.. we lose muscle. EVERY one. That is real. We work so hard to keep what we have when we are on a cut. If you are lifting heavy and training with high intensity and keeping your protein higher.. you are doing your best to keep that valuable muscle for stage. You will not be building any muscle in a caloric deficit. If you are on the normal path of losing body fat, and your calories are lower, you will be fighting to keep the muscle you have.
If you have very little muscle to start with.. you can certainly come in lean and gorgeous but with visible work to do.
WE ALL HAVE WORK TO DO.
Does that make you unworthy to compete?
Not at all. Does it mean you are going to lose?
Not necessarily. Can you even win?
Of course you could!
Why bother? UGH.. well..
Because this sport is about improvements. When you compete, you must look at what you brought to the stage and work with your coach for improvements.
Do the work and come back with a better package.
Your first show should be a baseline. It’s a BASELINE.
You gain experience, you gain, knowledge of your body. You gain reality checks and you lose the nerves associated with the competition process. You become less about the madness and all about strategy.
We all have to take the time to build mature muscle to get the IG look. Some of those women are NOT natural and it’s deceiving. No offense to anyone who is not natty just be realistic!!
There is no fast track to mature muscle when you are natty.
It’s surplus of calories and progressive overload on your muscles. It’s diligence and time spent to create the physique you want. #science
No magic. Science.
I’m not writing this to bring you down. I’m asking for you to understand your sport and realize your amazing potential. I’m asking you to focus on what you are accomplishing in a very short time and what knowledge you are gaining in this process.
I’m asking for all of us to stay away from comparisons when you are looking at your pictures. It is not going to further your progress or goal to compare.
You do not know who will show up on stage next to you.
You do not have any control over the judges likes and feelings. You are in a sport that has literally no criteria and is subjective.
FOCUS on YOU and your best package. Retool and learn how to apply what you are learning.
Baby Iggy wants you to know that you are enough.. just work hard!!
Good luck with your show
Progressions through my journey. I’m getting better every year.
It’s been a while since I posted an update on my training/dieting. I finished my show season in June and have reversed dieted back up to over 2000 calories a day. I will not have another bikini competition until I take the stage at UFE Worlds in Toronto, November 2018.
I am however.. training for my first pole competition here in St. Louis, December 2017.
I spent the bulk of my life in a binge restrict pattern. I was knee deep in the Tosca Reno EAT CLEAN movement but never measured servings. I refused to eat sugar because it was the devil (according to the Skinny Bitches movement). I was deep in orthorexia but still binged until I made myself sick. Cookies, cakes, whole pies, then returned to a restricted plan with full intentions of redeeming myself. I know I choose to compete in a competition partially because I knew I could lock myself down to get rid of these binges. This is the first time I admitted that.
When I began my competition journey in late 2012, I was basically starving myself. Nutrition was tough for me because of my patterns of binging. ;(
This is how I looked on my first day of bikini competition training. Yes.. I was lifting, doing massive cardio but not getting enough nutrition to fuel the work I was doing. My coach told me “you are starving”. I agree.
Bro plan: Restrict. 2013/2014
I started immediately on low carb bro plan but.. I also started eating more protein and I began to look better. My nutrition was improving too because I was consistently eating 12 cups of spinach each day. My vitamins were on point and I was fueling my workouts.
I was focused and did well until I binged out. I had terrible derails that lasted for days.
My coach told me 8 weeks out from my first show, that one more derail would keep me off stage. Well. I handled that just fine. Placed 2nd and ate an entire pound of birthday cake fudge in the car on the way to the restaurant.
I had no reverse diets either. It was a hot mess. I did Bro hard core off and on.
I got very sick from the lack of nutrition my coaches gave me. I resorted back to my binges in the off season and then I would grab my old show diets and use those. It makes me so sad to say that. I never fixed one thing. I only proved to myself that I had an iron will until I fell apart and that was NOT going to be ok for me any longer.
Jan 2013 and June 2014. I began IIFYM post show Nanbf in July 2014.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I asked my coach during 2014 prep for swaps and was told I wouldn’t look right on stage if I swapped out my protein or carbs. I don’t believe that is true. I was going to make this happen and end this nightmare of binge/restrict. I fired her and began this part of my journey.
I want to say to you, if you are still with me.. all of the things I experienced above made me a better athlete and a better coach. I’m not mad about this journey. I’m here to learn and grow. I’m leaving behind those old ideas and people who won’t use science!!
IIFYM: The First year with IIFYM was interesting. I set a goal to learn to find out what triggered me and my binges. I found out!!! Then I fixed it. Sometimes it was baby steps but it was information. I still believed in ‘clean’ food but I added in small sugar treats until I started to get mad when my veggies got in the way of my snacks. 😦 Read more about that here
I worked very hard my first year to decrease binges by eating foods that made me happy.
I still believed some food was “bad”. I made huge strides in my physique and my happiness. I would go 6 months without a binge. This was great. Here’s how that looked. I had almost 18 months between shows and I prepped myself for UFE Halloween Mayhem 2015. I did not binge in prep. I did however have 2 months post show that I lost my way. I’m just being honest. I pulled it together and set new goals for 2016.
IIFYM Flexible Prep: 2016
For my second full year of IIFYM I wanted to take my nutrition to the next level. I had done so well curtailing my binges and I was very confident in my ability to master flexible dieting. I paid mind to eating food that made my body run great, I focused on my fruits and veggies and variety. I began to let go of the “bad ” food concept and allowed myself to eat foods that were previously off limits. Amazingly, I didn’t get fat, I didn’t lose my way. I began to understand that I could fuse lots of great food into my plan as long as I was eating my daily nutrition requirements!! YESSS.
That journey was seriously incredible. I focused in on micro nutrition as well as my macros. I began to understand more about my body than I had ever dreamed. I wanted to know!! Yes… old habits die hard. I still found myself wanting to have treats (albeit “clean”) to help me stay out of that binge territory. I know what works for me!! I made it work. I want to show you this picture because this was all about fueling for my build from just doing a basic cookie cutter bro plan. Yes.. time had passed but let’s be honest.. I started this at 47 so three years isn’t’ that long.
Halloween Mayhem October 2016 I became a UFE Elite Athlete. I loved my package and I loved my prep. It was an amazing learning experience. I ate so many amazing foods in my prep and came in with my favorite package!!
I competed right away again in June of 2017 and I loved my package but this prep was harder on my body and I had to dig deeper to get lean enough. I basically did 42 weeks of prep in 1 year. I would never do that again!! That’s not what my body wants at all.
It was still a great prep and I ate beautifully as I got ready for stage.
After Fury in June 2017 my next step was to reverse diet and then begin my training for the Pole Sport Organization Gateway competition in December.
Intuitive dieting: What is it?
The goal of our team with clients is to teach them the progression of flexible dieting so they can learn to be truly flexible. That means they can begin to use their knowledge to eat for their goals without being tied to a scale and tracker. This comes with time and practice.
To be effective a client would understand and manage your macros in their head. I know I have to reach 150-180g P each day. I need 25g min of fiber and 500g veggies min. I know my minimum fat intake should be about 40g so I just eat and add this in my head. I’m using visuals and my scale as well as nutritional information on lables.
When would a person use this? I started using intuitive dieting loosely post show 2017. It was magical. I was spot on because, trust me.. I’ve seen 5 ounces of chicken breast more than I’d like to admit. I often use it when I”m traveling or eating out. Most restaurants have nutrition on their websites. It’s handy!
Who should use this? Only people who have a clear understanding of their body, macros and feel committed to hitting all their micros/macros!!
Do you do it daily? Maybe.. I might do it on a day then use my tracker. I started gingerly and progressed. I’m very tied to MYNETDIARY tracker. It’s a safety blanket for me. However.. being able to start this process is a huge step for me.
If you want to know the dang dirty truths, this is the blog to read. I’m going to tell you everything and some of you won’t like it. Some of you will be haters and think you know more than me. You might. This blog is my journey and if you get anything good out of it.. that’s a bonus.
I have done two preps in the last 52 weeks. Each prep was 24 weeks long. I am 51 years old. You think that doesn’t matter.. it does. My body is tired of prep. That’s the honest truth. I’m tired of prep. I’m pretty much hit the wall on this and if you ask me to my face.. I’m probably going to spout off.
Personally, I would never do two preps back to back but the federation I compete in suddenly removed the pro qualifer in October so there was only 1 chance to try for my pro card in 2017. My husband and I discussed it and we made the decision to do this show even though I had not yet recovered from my last show. I went in fully understanding what had to be done and I did my best. We worked hard and I did a great job. I am 100 percent confident in the package I brought to the stage!
As it turns out..
I actually had a great prep. Our whole team started January 1 and we did an entirely flexible prep. OMG OMG OMG
Basically what that means is each day I hit
my protein goals,
my fat minimums,
my fiber goals,
my fruits veggie goals,
my micro nutrition goals,
and I ate over 35 different foods weekly.
The flexible part came in the fact that I was able to be flexible with my carbs and additional fats to suit what I needed to fuel but also to accommodate what I wanted to eat.
My workouts never suffered. I never “did fasted cardio” unless I wanted to. I never did anything that wasn’t fueled properly to give me the most effective workout.
Our whole team has found success prepping this way. It is truly based on each of us .
We teach our new competitors to pay attention and learn this process so their preps will become more and more flexible the longer they compete with us.
This prep we were able to perfect our food so I never felt deprived
Frankly, doing prep.. I can do this stuff with my eyes close. The diet is easy. It’s easy for me because i am not suffering like I did on my bro preps! We had some gorgeous food!!
Things I liked about this prep:
Front loading my tracker with dinner early in the morning. Hubs and I would decide on dinner and I would be excited! I would fuel my workouts, then fill in the rest of the day so I had plenty of macros for dinner. Here’s a few of our dinners.
That Monte Cristo Sam had jelly on it.
Our team has Taco Tuesday and Waffle Wednesday each week!! Yummo. We ate Shrimp and Grits a lot as well as Halo top ice cream! I had a cookie almost every day. Near the end, I did not because it would not fit.. but that is the way the ‘cookie crumbles’.
What I did not do:
Binge: I had one day when a refeed went out of control. I was about 14 weeks out and my Cinnamon Toast cruch measurement turned into something crazy. I modified my other macros for the rest of the day but I had to remove CTC from my food roster because I felt it was triggering me. I’m not bragging. I’m stating progress. In 2013 and 2014 on my Bro preps I found myself having full on binges. I began purging again after both shows. Getting a handle on prep with IIFYM was a life saver because I don’t feel deprived. There’s no ‘poor me” here. I need progress not perfection. I planned my days so they felt fun and I did not have the urge to dip into food that was not on my plan.
Eat Out: . I did not eat out at all in my prep. I only ate what was prepared in our house. Even early on in prep, I won’t do it. I just stayed out of restaurants or I brought my food. I’m fine with that. Traditional training
I have had plenty of injuries this year. A few of our team mates really suffered with some bad injuries. We were all able to train in such a a way that we still got our work done and hit the stage having met our goals.
I cannot have a bar on my back anymore. I cannot run stairs nor can I do plyo. I probably did 3 plyo sessions this whole year. I had to modify my training to keep my back pain free. My pole workouts kept me strong and flexible and I added the chiropractor weekly. I need longevity over PRs. I will never try to beat my 185 pound dead lift PR because it took several chiropractor visits to get me out of pain. I’m totally ok with this.
My workouts were focused on muscle activation and not based in ego or how much I was supposed to suffer for my sport. I wanted to focus on form and creating balance in my physique. I incorporated Fascia Blasting and while I have so far to go there.. I saw amazing changes in my abs and lower body.
Blasting those abs!! Holla
Results: I took 3 trophies in my show. I loved my physique this year. I feel like this was my favorite package I brought to the stage. My team took two pro cards. We took a total of 7 trophies in this show. Our current trophy count for 2017 is 31 and we are all IIFYM and using our own unique plans.
Part of this journey is to share what works and what didn’t. I’m in no way saying my way is perfect or I couldn’t have come in better or whatever. I’m saying that the bigger picture shows that
1. I have never been given a trophy for suffering, nor has anyone else to my knowledge.
2. Everything has variables and you have to work with what you have and are able to do.
3. Cookie cutter plans would have been the death of me for prep.
4. Being happy and making progress in my journey is paramount to someone handing me a plastic trophy.
5. I can always strive to improve and use what I learned to better serve my clients and my future preps.
6. Science is indeed a thing.
Here are some of my pics.
We received 7 trophies for this show. IIFYM. Yes.. and two pro cards for our ladies.
Bikini portion of the Glamour category as well as the themewear.
I’m 51 and I’m fucking proud of this. Yeah I said it.
This body was built on IIFYM, truly enjoying what I do. I have put the time in to slowly learn to trust my body. I will always work incredibly hard but never suffer for a sport that does not reward you for how much you suffer. It’s useless. Working smart is much better! Strategies!!
There is something powerful about learning how your body works and building on this concept. As athletes to it seems beyond ridiculous for us to continually tear down our bodies and offer it poor nutrition yet ask for it to improve.
Believe me.. I have room to improve but my first priority is recovery. I will not take the stage again until I Worlds Championships in Nov 2018 so I can have a solid building season .
I am very proud of my athletes and their placings are important but what is most important to me is not what someone else thinks of them, it’s the improvements and knowledge they are gaining in their journey. Having a team with ongoing dialog of our experiences has been a game changer as we navigate our competition endeavors.
If you like my blog.. be sure to follow Caitlin on her blog. She is very honest and truthful about her journey!!
Are you a creature of habit? Do you eat the exact same thing every day? Did your coach give you a plan with a total of 6 items on it? Are you struggling to incorporate variety into your meals because you “just don’t know what to eat?”
This blog will help you.
Sports nutrition 101 tells us that we need to eat 35 different foods a week. Our team of athletes and lifestyle clients follows this goal.
This is important simply because, variety allows us to get micro nutrients from lots of different sources.
I have spoken openly about my Bro diet plan and how it made me very sick. You can read more about that here. I was eating a ‘totally clean’ competition diet of
I had 12 cups of spinach on my plan each day.
I hated my meal plan. As I got closer to my show, my calories were very low and I had 6-7 meals a day of tilapia and spinach.
That is about 9 different foods and entire food groups are missing from this plan.
There is zero nutrition coming from beautiful fruits and other veggies. I could have had other options and still reached my goal. I would have felt better and had more energy. I certainly didn’t look better on this plan than I do on a variety of food. That’s a fact.
Nutrition should be a priority no matter what plan you are on.
It astounds me that intelligent people accept this style of eating when “dieting”. If you were told to give your kiddo this food 6x a day, you wouldn’t. Kids need better nutrition. They need their calcium and fruits and veggies. How dare someone recommend this.
When did we lose our sensibilities!! Let’s eat some beautiful food! Stop removing total food groups! You don’t need to!!
How can I increase my variety to get to 35 different foods a week?
DON’T OVERTHINK IT.
Eat simply. If you are in the mood for black berries, eat them. Have an apple on another day. Eating the rainbow is a perfect way to increase your variety easily.
DON’T SHOP FOR 35 DIFFERENT FOODS You don’t need to do that!! Just start with what you like, and add to it.
We use challenges like “Taco Tuesday” and “Waffle Wednesday” to help our clients get creative and increase their variety. Both of those meals can be created with lots of variety! It’s easy to find yourself with 15-20 different foods a day on those days!!
Think of the toppings, the ingredients. If you want fish tacos, great? Do you want a taco salad? Or waffles with Halo top and chocolate sauce.. Or perhaps you just want Waffles with blueberries!
Hack: My Net Diary tracks your food amounts!!
You can see the number of foods you have eaten each day! Cool. MyNetDiary Pro is bomb!
Congratulations to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for being chosen as People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.
Note: This is also win for the ladies who like a little beefcake, that’s for sure. 🙂
The Rock is a fitness icon! He is an athlete and clearly he lifts!
Not only is he a super positive force in his career, he knows how to eat for his physique goals.
One thing we can all be sure of he has his food correct !!
Plus, he likes pancakes.
Pancakes! After he finished filming “Hercules” The Rock held an epic cheat day! On this day he whipped up his famous pancakes and ate 12 of them!
I love this picture because in our world of IIFYM, we call this a ‘carb up’ or refeed.
When a person has dieted for a while, a few things happen.
1. The person gets weary of the diet. Even on IIFYM the fact that we are on a hard cut means we are eating less.
2. Our bodies can become adapted to the lower calories/macros.
A simple carb up or re-feed or in this case.. cheat day will help in both those scenarios.
So while “The Rock” called this an epic cheat day, he still utilized the concepts of body building and IIFYM. He is eating with purpose!
In our program, carb ups or re-feeds are given to clients with specific instructions. It’s not a random cheat day or binge day, just so you know.
The Rock is a huge dude so 12 pancakes fits his macros. Most of us, ladies.. not so much. That’s why we tailor our carb ups for our clients so they have the best results.
If It Fits Your Macros is amazing because it’s all about the YOU. You can carb up on things YOU like. I like Fro-yo and Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Our clients have a lot of fun when it comes to their re-feed!
If you would like to know more about IIFYM and learn the secrets of success, please check us out on LEARNIIFYM.COM We will teach you online!! We will work with you to help you reach your physique goals!
Working with as many clients as I have for the past 35 years, I have noticed certain patterns of sabotage that can destroy physique goals. My goal is to help clients recognize and problem solve.
Problem: All or nothing attitude.
“Well.. I just blew my diet so I may as well eat everything I want then start back tomorrow.”
Does that sound at all like you? So many clients tell me they are either hardcore dieting or propelling into a buffet, face first at warp speed. The “all or nothing attitude” can be created by habitual on again off again diets.
What you should know. Consistency not perfection is how you make progress in your physique goals. No one is perfect and we don’t need to pretend to be.
Solution: What we need is a plan that will allow us to eat things that make us happy so we can follow through on that 7 days a week. Falling off a diet is not a fail. It’s a learning experience. Why did you derail? Was it lack of preparation? Was it a certain food triggered your hunger? Each time you notice a concern, problem solve it. Fix it the same way you would fix a leaky faucet. It’s not personal. If you need to plan ahead more.. do it.
Even when we derail, remember tomorrow’s tracker is empty! We keep trying again and again. Soon you have strung together weeks and months of successes and those blips won’t matter.
Problem: Diet ADHD “I blew my diet so I will just go on the Whole 30, or HGH or Dr. Oz’s new total starvation plan”
You need another style diet like a hole in the head. Switching gears to, yet another diet isn’t the solution when the diet isn’t really the problem at all. Diet fails aren’t really fails. They are learning opportunities. No one is perfect at their diet but we can get better by problem solving.
I call out the Whole 30 because basically you get a whole lot of nothing to eat. Food group elimination seems like the perfect reaction from someone who has just felt that they failed their current plan. It’s super OCD, restrictive and straight up punishment for your screw up!
What you should know: Thinking that one diet works better than another because it is more restrictive is setting you up to fail. Studies show that 80% of restrictive dieters will rebound.
Solution: Consistency wins over perfection. The diet you should do is the one you see yourself doing a year from now. Not half ass doing but for reals. How about, while you are at it, stop punishing yourself with food or lack of!! That would be great.
Problem: Detox Debby “If I do a juice cleanse, detox, detox teas, zero carbs, 24 hour fast, I’ll lose weight so I’ll do that.”
Again, you are switching gears and how has that worked for you in the past. This client is throwing things at the problem to see what sticks.
What you should know: You don’t need a detox diet because you have a liver.
“Your liver detoxifies harmful substances in two steps. The first step uses enzymes and oxygen to burn toxins, especially fatty ones, so they are more water soluble, making them easier for the body to eliminate.”
When you do a juice cleanse, you are still ingesting calories and carbs and well.. macros. These are things should be eating anyway! Juicing removes much of the fiber!
If you take out all the fiber.. why is that a good thing? You could add juicing to your IIFYM plan if you like it but restricting food other than veggies still leaves you with a restricted diet. And where will your protein come from? You still need protein. Remember?
Now.. if you are juicing for weight loss.. remember science. To lose body fat you must be in a caloric deficit. Basically starving on really healthy food is still starving.
If you are doing the low carb/no carb plan, you are going to see the scale move because you are losing water. Carbs draw water into the muscle so once you get off your plan and eat again.. scale will go back up. Did you lose fat.. .. though? It was water. WATER.
If your detox tea makes you pee or poop, you could really start with some dandelion root tea and eat fiber each day! Dandelion tea is at the grocery store and is a natural diuretic. It is in a lot of products with the word “shred” on it. Good info, Yes?
Solution: Stop wasting your hard earned money on magic potions and solutions. You are smart enough to know that these protocols are very temporary. Being honest with yourself , can you see yourself living on this plan for the next full year? What is going to happen when you stop this restriction? Will you find yourself in a binge?
Sustainability wins over perfection.
Problem: I eat great during the week then blow it out of the water on the weekends.
Well.. this is really just about everyone I know and this is a big one! Being “good” during the week is somewhat easy because it’s more routine. The weekends are social or off routine.
Let’s talk about Mary: She’s on a fat loss plan and she’s doing great Monday-Friday because she has a routine. Weekends she finds herself at the ball game, bbq, having a few drinks .. well you get the picture she’s in a surplus of calories from her plan. (Binge)
Monday rolls around and she’s upset because she didn’t lose any weight. She might be heavier on Monday and begins a plan to “really get it together”. This week she tells herself she will not have any sugar, dairy, or carbs. (Restrict) That lasts for a bit until she derails again. (Binge)
Several months pass for her and she’s steadily gaining weight and highly frustrated!
What you need to know:Consistency wins over perfection.
Mary needs to be in a deficit for the the entire 7 days for fat loss. The 5 day a week deficit was great but the weekend put her calories into a surplus for the whole week! Those numbers would be super bulking numbers!! Her body is now set to store not lose fat.
Solutions: Mary is great at her work week and a simple weekend plan would be one thing she could do. Mary could go to her tracker and put the macros in for the food she is going to eat on her date this weekend. She could plan the amounts of food she can eat that will fit her plan and stick to that.
She could also save some carbs from her week and use them for her event on Saturday. She would still need to eat her nutrition/macro goals but she will eat what she likes and be accountable . Since she is consistent with her total calories for the week, she will be remain in a deficit and continue her fat loss.
Problem: End around the plan so you can continue to “do what you want”. Examples:
“I saved all my carbs and fats for the whole week so I could go to Craft Beer Fest 2016.”
“I ate no carbs and fat all week and had 300 g fat so I could eat at the buffet and drink all weekend.”
“I save all my carbs all day long so I can eat what I want on the couch and watch movies.”
What you need to know: These things just chap my hide.So let me start this one by saying, this attitude/behavior is never going to help you ever get the physique you want.
We all need to eat for our health, and we have macro nutrient needs that we must meet daily. Our bodies need macro nutrients, protein, fats and carbs especially if we are training or body building! We must not eliminate them in attempt to save calories for binges!!
Our brains require certain nutrients and we certainly don’t want to mess up our hormones!
Eating on our macros daily is good for our physique but also good for our health. We all need a balanced diet.
Solutions: One thing a person could do is carb cycling. Carb Cycliing is basically taking your carbs for the whole week and eating more on some days and less on others. If you like that idea, that’s fine as long as you are fueling your workouts. Fat cycling is not a thing. We all need our Essential Fatty Acids and fats daily for proper nutrition.
Carb hording is becoming a problem because clients are seeing an opportunity to binge.
This is not an example of problem solving an issue with your physique.
It is way to “cheat” your plan and do what you want.
Saving carbs for your evening movie night, isn’t wrong as long as you are accountable and have met your nutrtional goals for the day. Carb hoarding is a slippery slope.Clients not reaching their protein goals but overeating carbs can also find themselves in a surplus of calories or eating too much discretionary food.
Solution: Make a plan. If you are looking forward to movie night, pick something that fits your macros and put it in your tracker ahead of time. Be consistent throughout the day with your nutritional requirements of fruits, veggies, fiber.
If you are solidly committed to drinking a lot on a fat loss plan, you will be disappointed in your results. Unless your macros are high and you have room for discretionary calories, finding room to fit booze is tough. Frankly, I have yet to find a weight loss plan that allows you lots of booze.Personally I don’t think you should drink while you are cutting . You can read more about alcohol and macro tracking here. if you want to know why I’m such a hard ass on that subject.
These issues are not essentially diet related issues but non commitment.
1. Stop trying to be perfect.
2. Consistency wins in this game
3. Consider your health as well as your physique
4. Notice concerns and don’t personalize them.
5. Work on solutions one day at a time.
6. Stop doing things that don’t work.
7. Don’t try to end around your plan.
8. Problem solve for success
I know you are working hard. I hope this helps you in your journey.
I am so happy to introduce to you our new coach, Michelle Palumbo. I am thrilled to have her on our team. She will bring so much to our bikini team, lifestyle clients!
Michelle is by far the best macro counting wizard I know. She just competed and brought her best package to date using IIFYM. No starving!
Here is her transformation story!
Alright Team Sleek Body! As a new coach and after coming off my first show in 10 years, I wanted you all to see where my journey began. I was never an athlete growing up and after my freshman year of college, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. That’s me in 1999 the summer after freshman year. I wasn’t happy or confident. With a family history of heart disease and obesity, I made the choice to change my genetic path and am so thankful I did. My first leg workout, I literally crawled up the stairs to my dorm room for the next 2 days. I post this to say it wasn’t easy, there were ups and downs along the way but it has certainly been worth it. Yes, it takes a lot of time and effort to do food prep but it’s totally worth it!
When I started prep for bikini, I was eating what I thought was the right foods but not tracking or measuring anything. It makes a huge difference!!! And when you get to eat foods you like, it makes it easier. So when you don’t want to measure your food and count your macros, just remember your goals and envision yourself on that stage. We are strong women. #proveyourselftoyourself#striveforprogressnotperfection
If you read my blog, you may already know lots about me. I want to just take a moment and tell you some things that maybe you don’t know.
1. I’ve been coaching/training/weight loss since I was 16 years old. That is 34 years! I’ve always been passionate about fitness!
2. I am not thin and always struggle with my weight, physique.
3. In the 80’s I was treated for eating disorders. That is now under control but I, like many of my clients struggle with Binge eating disorder. Mostly restrict binge! 😦 I hope you can tell from my blog that I work very hard to focus on health and keep that under control.
IIFYM is the best thing that has happened to me! I have peace! I have grown so much!
I accept that this is part of my journey! I’m not perfect. I just strive to be consistent! It has made a difference!
At age 40, I was dealing with a torn quad. I gave up on the gym!
Rob and I owned a web development business that kept us chained to our desks 18 hours a day. We worked so much we started having our groceries delivered. We had all food delivered. We never left the house. I was in my jammies for days. My kids asked me if I was ever going to get dressed again! I was depressed and miserable.
I was 40 pounds over weight!
It’s so frustrating to KNOW what you need to do, but not be able to begin. I had no joy in my life. I was on high doses of anti depressants that left me really unable to care. I felt dead inside. Mood swings were horrific. I was a mess. I’m so sad for my family that they had to deal with this. I was sick constantly. I had a terrible cold for a full year! I was on so many medications.. sigh. I just gave up. One day, our smoke alarm was going off and I just laid in bed. I never even thought to get up and get out of the house.
One day we were set to go vote and wanted to walk to the poling place. I couldn’t make it. Walking around the mall was impossible. I felt like I couldn’t even breath!
I said NO MORE.
I started by eliminating sugary stuff from my diet and made small changes at a time.
I began walking our puppy then started training hard at home. I got off my medication, and went to more holistic/supplements. I began immersing in ways to improve my health as well as my physique!
I was happy to get back to training/coaching and we reset our priorities. Rob and I had lost 100 pounds between us.
Moving forward to success: Fast forward: I moved on to competitive body building and am so happy! My studio has over 100 clients in lifestyle training.I have amazing online clients and I have a figure/bikini team of like minded, strong women who believe that you can be healthy and compete!
I will never judge someone for their journey. I believe we all can eat well, train hard and be healthy!
I am 50 years old and my doctor told me my tests results were amazing. She said “I’m freakishly healthy”. I actively strive to be healthy, strong and yes.. have a competitive physique.
I want you to know that my coaching comes from the heart. I care but I’m tough. I want my team to succeed because I believe in them! We all have work to do! We can be examples for those around us! Keep pushing hard! We never give up, right!?
“I’m not going to make it”
“I’m not changing fast enough”
“I won’t be lean enough”
You are normal. It’s ok! Don’t let doubt overwhelm you!
I quit 3 times in prep. My 5 week out mark is always my worst. I am 5 weeks out. I just hit milestone goal in my prep and immediately threw myself under a bus. It’s almost funny how I always self -sabotage and get down on myself at this point.
Three weeks out is another hard time. Suit arrives . Never fits. I know I’m not going to make it.Crying crying then I pull it together and ROCK OUT with a vengeance.
I always make it. You will too. Everyone who is on stage has doubts.
They don’t weigh you on stage. You will be lean enough. You will get you there.
Skip over those doubts and know that you are going to be spot on. Visualize your success!
Every aspect of it. When you step off stage, you will have done something very few have done!
For my clients..Believe me.. if you are worried, I’m on it. I will adjust you so we are on point every step of the way.
Trust this process.. cliche but real.
Your job now is to focus each day and bring your best! I believe in YOU.
You have this!
So you have been prepping for your show and right now you want to quit.
Trust me I have been there! If you discover that competing isn’t for you, I get it. Maybe you are on the fence. Maybe you need some tough love and strategies.
First of all, during prep, there are a lot of emotions. Being a competitive body builder is hard. It’s HARD. It doesn’t matter if you’re bikini, figure or body building, it’s incredibly demanding. That is what sets us apart from fitness seekers.
Reasons you might find yourself wanting to quit.
1. Restricted dieting. As you get further into prep, the food gets harder. Even doing flexible dieting you still have to be leaning and that means eating less.
I typically question why I ever started competing when I see people leaving Quik Trip with bags of treats. What did I do? They look happy. I am dying. Sometimes I actually get angry!
2. Schedule: Contest prep training schedule is very demanding. We all have to work, tend to our families and obligations. I am up sometimes at 3:30am for my workouts. Many people have to carve out the time to make it happen. It can be very overwhelming and exhausting.
3. Fear of not making it. I usually quit 3 or 4 times per prep. The worst times are at about 5 weeks out. I lose it. I just know I won’t make it. It’s not worth it. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m sick of whatever. Then I cry and refocus. I also freak out when I get my new suit and it doesn’t fit. About 3 weeks out I break down in the gym and cry then I get my eye of the tiger back. So much of prep is mental. We all already know how to lift.
4. Negativity from those who are close to us.
When others question you, it’s easy to question yourself. Frankly, body building is a lonely sport. You often train alone, eat alone. If your friends/family are critical or not understanding it is very hard to sustain the drive to succeed.
Let’s just say.. the bloom has fallen off the rose.
If you end up having a weak moment and derail, that may cause you to want to quit altogether.
I want to share with you some things that helped me considerably in my preps. Let me explain how they were different.
My first show prep was adrenaline driven. The show was ALL I thought about. It was my everything. I had zero balance. I feel like this is common with a lot of competitors in their first show. It’s actually pretty awesome. It doesn’t mean it isn’t grueling, or you aren’t hungry. It’s just different. Stepping on stage after that prep is a high I cannot begin to explain.
Subsequent preps I try to do with more purpose. I work hard in off season to bring up lagging parts, improve my physique each time. Prep is now very different.
I, in fact have a love/hate relationship with prep. I think it’s incredibly grueling and requires much more focus and strategies than adrenaline.
Mistake number one
I don’t want to be perfect. I want to eat. Ice cream is all I can think about.. Why am I doing this? Do NOT throw everything away for a cupcake. If you are truly, at wits end because of the food, try to find something in your macros that will feel treat like. What I know is after a free-for-all food binge, many clients suffer with remorse. A weak moment can wreck your prep mentally! Trust me. Problem solve! Talk to your coach. Remember:
A betchy word about discipline and commitment and being elite.
Discipline and following through on what you said you would do is an elite quality. Every lay person who fails at a diet proves this point. Yes.. that was super betchy. I’m not speaking to fitness seekers who need help with their diet. Competitive athletes set them selves apart from fitness seekers by choice and by their actions.. I’m not being touchy feely here and I’m not apologizing. Wanting to drink with your friends and throwing your whole training away for that is NOT what athletes do. Sometimes you flat out have to remind yourself YOU set yourself apart from the other fitness seekers. Level up!
Before you quit: Ask yourself these questions.
1. Will you feel remorse or relief?
2. Are you quitting for someone else? Because of pressure from others?
3. On the day of your show, will you be upset that you are not there?
4. What will be different when you officially quit? Do you have a plan?
Sometimes I just need to accept that I feel this way and refocus.
How I focus
First and foremost: Reminding myself I chose this journey.
I also want to remind myself I can finish this project …
1. Knowing I am capable to do what needs to be done. Fear has no place here!
2. Knowing my food will be colorful. I will eat things I like and that are fulfilling because I choose the right things to forward this process. My health is important to me!
3. Knowing that it’s going to be very hard sometimes but I will prevail. 🙂
4. Knowing that skipping the struggle isn’t an option.
5. Knowing that I’m going to feel weary, and want to quit but I won’t.
6. Visualizing myself being on stage with my best package.
7. Knowing that others will question me not support me, be rude, comment on my body/food or try to make me feel like it’s ok cheat on my plan. I will prevail because my goals are important.
8. Knowing that everything that tempts me, will be there after my show.
9. Knowing that this challenge is something that very few people actually complete and that I can do it.
10.Knowing there will be times when I doubt myself, feel I won’t be ready, feel I’m not going to do well . I will push past that with the mindset that I am bringing my best. Negative self talk is out of place.
11. Knowing that I can give 100 percent to this goal every single day. I will be disciplined when desire/motivation fails me.
Stop trying to skip the struggle: So, in my last prep, I realized that I’m pretty much, always wishing I could skip the struggle. It’s not an option. Did I embrace it and work through it? Sometimes. Sometimes I was just angry and questioned why I ever really wanted to compete. Once that light came on for me, I really found myself pulling it out at the end. This is typical Tracy fashion. Getting out of the comfort zone is like me jumping off a cliff willingly. hmmm..
Sometimes I wish I was flying blind again like I was in my first show.However, I have learned a lot about myself. I find the challenge of prep the thing I most appreciate about doing this sport. My goal is always to bring a better package but now I also have a goal to perfect my prep each time. I grow an incredible amount during this process. It is worth it on the other side because I prevail on the challenges I set for myself. When I step on stage, no one knows all of this, no one cares. It’s my journey.
I encourage you pause and make peace with the rest of your journey whatever it is. The internal struggle is by far the hardest thing about prep. Every prep.
I believe we can push ourselves far beyond what we think is possible. Whatever you decide I wish you luck in your journey!