I thought I would write a short blog post this week to discuss how I am finding peak week in the run up to my first competition. For those of you who have just tuned into ‘Bite, Bench, Breathe’, I am competing in the ‘Ms Bikini’ and ‘Fitness Model’ categories at Miami Pro this Sunday (17th April 2016), and all being well at the UKBFF Bodypower Classic in May. I would say that my prep has been mostly smooth sailing, which I credit to my coach Eddie Abbew for pushing my calories high and keeping me away from cardio in my off season. To be honest, I really struggled with this at first. Running was my vice, my crack cocaine, so I will never forget walking into Olympian Gym to check in with Eddie, tail between my legs, and admitting that I had “fallen onto the treadmill”. Eddie and his assistant coach, the amazing Bodyfitness competitor Lisa Kelly, helped me through this blip and simply asked that I trust them, which I have done ever since! Trusted them every time they added yet another 40g of oats, or Vitargo, or nut butter (or all three!) to my meal plan. I appreciate that this sounds like a dream to a lot of bodybuilders, but to a girl with a history of disordered eating I felt like they were asking me to climb Everest. However, I stuck to the plan and, months later, I now see the method to their madness.
The madness meant that I was able to start my prep on a high calorie diet, do zero cardio and still drop body fat. Combined with having a pretty fast metabolism, I was still managing to start the day on 80g of oats (my favourite!) and only do forty five minutes of walking a day right up until last week. So, what’s changed this week? Well, less than you would expect! I still have some carbs in my diet, and I’m still only doing forty-five minutes of cardio. I won’t be going into specifics here, for several reasons:
1. Every body is different and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to a peak week diet, or any diet for that matter.
2. There are different methods available to achieve similar results. I trust my coach, and believe that his approach (eating single ingredient foods and using LISS for cardio) is optimal, however that’s not to say that other methods (such as ‘if it fits your macros’ and using HIIT for cardio) cannot be used to get someone stage ready.
3. I pay for coaching, so have decided that some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ will remain under my cap – well, under my hair extensions at least.
So, rather than discuss macros and water loading I propose to talk about how being in peak week is affecting my mood, my mindset and my outlook for the competition.
Mood – Let’s be real, I’m in a calorie deficit, so it’s up and down. One minute I am bouncing around full of beans, and the next minute I am snapping at my mother on the telephone for asking me if I had watched the final of The Voice – “Of course I haven’t, I am far too busy training, posing, food shopping, meal prepping, working, sleeping, tanning, organising MY LIFE for God’s sake”! Then telling her I love her. We always take it out on those closest to us, so (as I mentioned in my last blog post) the patience and understanding of my family and friends is really appreciated at the moment. However, as someone who has once been at rock bottom, this peak week malarkey hasn’t caused me to kill anyone or have a mini breakdown just yet!
Mindset – I would say that I am feeling very reflective. This prep has been a real eye opener for me, and taking the lifestyle that I love to such an extreme has taught me so much about both my body and mind. Will I compete again? I honestly do not know. Sixteen weeks has flown by, and it has given me a real sense of how short life is. It has made me reevaluate my relationships and my career. It has made me make a commitment to myself that I will continue to surround myself with people who inspire me, who motivate me, and who simply MAKE ME FEEL AWESOME. Some of these people lift weights, and some have never stepped foot in a gym.
Outlook – I am freakin’ excited! I attended a Mock Show over the weekend, hosted by my fabulous posing coach Audrey Kaipio, and this has given me an even greater buzz for getting up on that stage. It’s common to start spouting ‘you are your own competition, it’s you vs. you’ at this point. But, lets be frank, I would LOVE to place. I don’t understand anyone who enters a competition and doesn’t have that drive to win. But I am realistic. My concerns are that I am too lean for stage, that I may not drop that little bit of water weight that’s still clinging onto my ass… But you know what, in comparison to the scrawny runner of yesteryear I fully intend to get on that stage feeling and looking fantastic.
As a final note, thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey, in real life and through both the blog and social media. First and foremost I am doing this for myself, then I am doing it for all of you.