Already dropping the ball on weekly updates! Oops.
This past weekend was busy. My fiance (Eric) was back in town and we were on a cleaning-and-fixing-up-the-house marathon. For those who are newer to my blog or social media, we are currently living in separate states. Eric took a job in our home state of Michigan back in February but I still had obligations in Colorado through May. We’ve been traveling back and forth but are quickly approaching moving deadline. The house in Colorado is being rented, which means we had to run through and paint, fix some odds and ends, plant grass, clear trash, etc. Regardless of the craziness, we still made time for the gym and macros were still met. Unfortunately, blogging fell to the wayside.
Last week was awesome. My energy levels were amazing, I was feeling really strong in the gym (set a couple of new PR’s), and my macros were on point. I may have burned myself out because on Sunday I crashed and burned HARD. Rest and recovery were crucial and naps were had.
Looking back, I may have caught a little bug over the weekend because this entire week I’ve been sick. Not enough to really knock me out of the game but enough to make me feel pretty crappy. It seems to be an upper-respiratory type of thing so I’ve been sleeping extra, taking additional supplements, reducing the intensity of my workouts, and generally taking care of myself.
As of today, aside from my raspy voice, it seems like I’m on the mend.
My macros haven’t changed (yet) and I’m grateful for that. My coach knows I prefer to EAT. Increasing cardio is fine by me as opposed to slashing calories.
My current macros:
- 5 x normal days –150g carbs 150g protein 67g fat 18-25g fiber
- 2 x refeed days — 240g carbs 150g protein 93g fat 24-34g fiber
If you are interested in how I am meeting those numbers you can follow me on MyFitnessPal. My diary is open to friends. My username is amandamariefitt
Not many people realize that keeping calories and carbs high for as long as possible is actually the best route during prep (or life.) 😉 Without adequate nutrition (both calories and carbs – as carbs are your body’s main source of energy) workouts suffer. You can’t possibly give workouts 100% effort if your coach has already slashed your calories to 1,200 at 10, 12, 14 weeks out. (i.e.; get a coach who knows what’s up!) If you can’t give your workouts 100%, you won’t succeed.
Lack of energy from lack of fuel (calories) also impacts NEAT. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or exercise (i.e.; our daily movements.) Walking, typing, fidgeting, etc are all under the NEAT umbrella. NEAT decreases due to underfeeding, which means less calories burned overall. If you don’t have enough fuel to give your workouts 100%, it would be safe to assume your general energy levels throughout the day have crashed as well. No beuno.
Speaking of carbs… my Doughbar Doughnuts came this week. If you haven’t taken the plunge, DO IT!
I cannot rave about these doughnuts enough (not affiliated nor an ambassador, just love this product.)
3 boxes dropped on my doorstep on Monday, like a little gift from the IIFYM Gods. I ordered Cake Batter, Oreo, and Cookie Butter and each of them are amazing in their own delicious way.
These doughnuts are moderate carb, high protein, and low fat. Basically, every flexible dieter’s dream doughnut. They are so macro-friendly that I have been fitting one doughnut + doughnut hole into my macros every single day. Yes, that includes my lower carb days.
Macros for the doughnut plus hole:
- Calories: 150
- Carbs: 16 G
- Protein: 11 G
- Fat: 4 G
Pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, then pop the glaze into the microwave for about 5 seconds, decorate your donut (sprinkles and crushed oreo included), and enjoy! The best part is the nutritional information for both the doughnuts and the toppings are all included (nutritional information for the toppings varies but the macros are very minimal.) Extremely easy to input into MyFitnessPal for tracking purposes.
Right now, everything the pretty much the same. I’m still lifting 6x per week with 2 HIIT cardio sessions at 10 minutes each. My coach added one 30 minute session per week as well. This actually gives me a chance to plug in my headphones and catch up on news and politics which is fantastic.
My 30 minute session this week was a little brutal due to the bug I’m battling but I made it through AND turned it into 30 minutes of sprint intervals. Not sure where that energy came from but I hope it sticks around.
Let’s talk theme wear!
Note to future self and other future WBFF competitors, get theme wear started ASAP.
I started emailing people 12-14 weeks out and just started hearing back (those poor designers are BUSY.) Many of them are already booked through September as well. *Panic mode* Thankfully, I found one who has some openings, can work with my budget, and is sending me sketches this afternoon. Whew. Crisis averted.
** Full disclosure (since that is what this series is all about) ** I am paying about $700 for my theme wear. Like I mentioned last week, competing is NOT cheap. If you don’t have a budget set aside, do not compete. It’s not worth it. No one needs to go into extreme debt over stepping on stage. WBFF tends to be more costly when compared to something like the NPC because of the theme wear and gowns, but each federation is costly in its own way.
Finding designers can be tricky. WBFF is a relatively newer organization and theme wear continues to get more elaborate.
Based on my searches, these are the best options I found. In order of preference…
- Lux Costumes (My top choice – unforunately booked through September 2016)
- Gingerwear by Tracey Labrecque (Tracey is designing my theme wear.)
- Ravish Sands
- Samba Couture (Affordable and pretty theme wear. Never heard back from them.)
- Alex Davey (Gorgeous theme wear but VERY expensive. I was quoted 3-4x the amount I’m paying Tracey. Close to $2,500.00 – yeah not happening.)
Hopefully that list will help other newbies navigate the WBFF theme wear waters. Definitely reach out to them early if you know you are competing in the fitness division.
I still haven’t decided if I’m crossing over into bikini. With the bikini division, I would need an additional suit and gown. On top of this being an added expense, I am not sure if it’s worth it. My reasoning for dropping bikini previously was that I wasn’t super stoked on the mentality surrounding the bikini division of bodybuilding. With that being said, WBFF obviously holds itself to a different standard and bikini could be much different. When I make the decision, I’ll let you guys know. 😉
Overall, life is still good. My goal with prep, and the idea behind my transparency, is to show people that prep doesn’t have to ruin your life. It can be fun and challenging but it shouldn’t be hell on earth. Those stories you hear about 900 calories, 2-a-day fasted cardio, waist training, 5 gallons of water followed by water depletion, and zero carb days really suck. Please don’t think that is what is necessary to step on stage.
Those competitors (and their coaches) have shown that they have very little knowledge about nutritional science, exercise physiology, or human physiology. Anyone can put their client on a super restricted 900 calorie diet with 2 hours of cardio and get results. That’s not called nutritional science though… that’s called starvation.
A smart coach has multiple certifications in both training AND nutrition, will explain the thought process and the science behind their methods and recommendations, and will never say “because I said so.” If you are planning on competing, please do your research. Pick a coach who is rooted in science, who keeps up with the latest research, and will never shy away from discussing their methods or process with you. If someone is telling you to cut complete food groups, giving you a list of only 6-10 foods you CAN eat, and encouraging unsustainable amounts of cardio… run in the opposite direction as fast as you can.
Prep is hard, I’m not going to sugar coat it. In “normal life” if I’m feeling run down or simply don’t feel like going to the gym, I don’t. In “normal life” I don’t track my macros (I focus on intuitive eating with an 80/20 balance of “healthy” and “treat” foods.) In “normal life” I have plenty of “oops!” moments.
What separates “normal life” from “competition prep” is that those oops moments must be limited or eliminated. There is no “I don’t feel like going to the gym.” You go and get your workout in because that’s what you have to do. You track and meet your macros every single day. These are the things that take you from normal life into prep life.
Prep isn’t destroying my life. I am smart and deliberate about how I plan my days and social events. On Saturday night, I went out with friends. I strategically planned for that day to be a high carb day so I could enjoy a burger, fries, and dessert. I don’t bring tupperware food with me to the bar because, in my opinion, that is 100% ridiculous. The best part about flexible dieting is the ability to be F L E X I B L E. Did I slack on my macros and not meet my numbers? Absolutely not. Did I bring cold tilapia and asparagus with me to the restaurant? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
I know for a fact that many people disagree with both these methods and me personally. That is okay. Disagreement is a normal part of life. I will continue to root myself in science, coach my own clients in a sustainable way, and follow my wonderfully educated coaches advice. I will also continue to be a voice for the flexible dieting community, in or out of prep.
For fun updates, follow me on snapchat! Amandamariefitt