Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We All Make Mistakes

It appears as though I've been found guilty. Guilty of being a prep monster this go-round, and not in a good way. I'm familiar with enough bikini competitor blogs and resources to know that I've been making some of the most common--and uncommon--competitor mistakes.

First of all, no prep really goes perfectly. There's always something that can be done more, something less, something to change and something to keep the same. I say this partly from the little experience I have, and partly because it's intuitive. If you were just shy of first place and instead walked home with a second place trophy, what would the first thing be that you would ask yourself? "What could I have done better? Differently? What was I lacking? Why did I not exceed expectations?" Like I said--intuitive.

As I approached the show date during last prep, I already had a good idea in my mind that one competition was not going to be sufficient enough. I knew I wanted to do another, sooner rather than later, but had not decided on which yet. It wasn't until ON show day that I actually chose not one but two more competitions for which to register. I went from a mindset of "I'm going to simultaneously celebrate a paid week off work and finally being able to say that I'm a bikini competitor... no matter how well I do," to a mindset of "Well, now what? Do I really take a week off knowing I'm 6 weeks out, or do I just take it easy?"
Order beer (and a pitcher of water), drink 2-3 ounces.
Call it a night.
The uncertainty and my over-ambition brought me to a very confused state. I was a lost dog, wandering in circles. And because of that, I did not fully "enjoy" my week of freedom, but I did feel good knowing that I exercised self-control during that holiday week(end). The flip-side? I felt like I was overanalyzing everything I ate. It was like the "Eat This, Not That" mentality redefined to "If I eat this, I can't eat that." Not to mention, my protein intake was certainly lower than I'd intended for it to be.
One evening of fun with the new Flattie (Roomie)
This was all in an effort to avoid the post-competition rebound, the one that is infamous among amateur figure competitors. I'd heard horror stories--girls that went wild the night after the competition and by monday morning, they were crying to their coach about legs so swollen they couldn't see their ankles. The girls that only lost 15 pounds to get to stage weight but ended up gaining 30 after the show. I was not going to be one of them.

The day after the show, I felt so IDLE. I had just driven back to Charlottesville and needed to get in some form of activity. So I headed to the gym for a 4 mile treadmill tempo run, snapped the following picture, and officially called on the Booty Sculpting Offensive.
Work to be done.
The rest of that week, while I did not train at the intensity I had been during prep, I did not miss a day. Well, aside from 4th of July--an unplanned, but needed rest day. While I was at the beach visiting my mom, I still managed fasted cardio. Back up in Charlottesville, I hit the gym and went on some runs. It's not that I was overtraining, but I may have been a little too eager to jump back in and probably could have benefitted from the extra rest. Mistake #1.

Mistake #2--as I already mentioned, I was very careful to avoid the weight gain. And I did (and have). I fluctuate between a 3 and 5 pound weight gain from the morning of the competition til now. What does that mean? That means that I'm stepping on the scale wayyyy too much. Thus relying on the scale as an "indicator of progress" wayyyy too much. Not good. It's a bad habit and not at all indicative of good gains or anything.
Two days pre-show. Within 2 pounds of stage weight.
A bad habit I'm trying to break. Typically, I start my day with fasted cardio, go home and weigh myself pre-shower, and compare to previous days. And also again after my afternoon workouts, at which point I'm also typically slightly dehydrated. In case you don't see what's wrong with that, let me point it out to you--WAY too excessive! So this morning, I kicked the scale. Ideally, I should take out the batteries and hide them until Sunday mornings--my actual weigh-in days.
Better indicator of progress.
This hasn't affected much in terms of my training, aside from mentally. It's a lot harder to go through prep when you are in constant comparison of two versions of yourself. So rather than look to the scale, I've started to turn to my iPhoto as an indicator of my progress. Why let the number define me? Instead, perhaps I should be looking to compare my current physique to that which it was 4 weeks out from my last competition.
Then: 4 weeks out from OCB Natural Bodyz
Beach Classic
Now: 4 weeks out from Presidential Cup
Tell me: Do you see any differences?? No need to filter responses to make me "feel good." Clearly, I'm working on posing and thus the posing between then and now is completely different...another mistake I'm working hard to fix!

What mistakes have you made in your fitness goals/training/etc??

1 comment:

  1. Aw man, I had written this long comment and my computer locked it out. (This is why I shouldn't blog at work....)

    Your posing has really improved, and it can really highlight the best parts of your physique... I can really tell because your legs look SOOOOO long! Posing always feels VERY exaggerated when done right, IMHO.

    I read recently that a trainer has his clients write down their thoughts about their body & improvements BEFORE they weigh, and then again after they weigh. I guess it helps people see the reality of their body, regardless of what that scale says. I think I'm going to start doing that, because I am just as guilty as the next for putting too much importance on the scale.

    It took me a long time to allow my mind to return to normal after prep. Its hard to accept that bloat and rebound is a normal part of peaking... I think my biggest mistake was allowing myself to feel guilty for eating normal healthy things, that weren't "prep approved". You know, like choosing a protein bar over a whole protein. But its also very difficult to stop thinking in terms of prep. I think it just takes so much mental restraint to continue through prep, that to make it easier I would classify foods as "good" or "bad". This brought on feelings of guilt, which brought on some binging, which brought on the rebound weight. Now, I only gained... (counting in head)... 15 pounds.... But I worked hard to work it off, and if I had only told myself that having a treat was fine, I might not be here now. BUT!!!! I genuinely believe that our mistakes happen just to teach us, and I obviously found out that my emotional food issues are still there, so that makes the mistakes just as important as the successes. :)

    You're doing great chica!! Keep it up!!!