Somehow life got away from me and I haven’t updated my DFC series in almost 4 weeks. Oops!
If you follow me on snapchat or Instagram, you’ve been seeing daily updates, which is awesome. If you don’t follow me, get on it! 🙂
One of the more acceptable reasons for my negligence to this blog series has been my recent cross-country move. Eric accepted a job in Michigan back in February and moved back immediately. My preference was to stay in Colorado until May. We just arrived in Michigan after a two day drive yesterday.
Both Eric and I are Michiganders (born & raised) so it wasn’t a hardship to move home, but we were sad to leave Colorado (6 years in Boulder!) and it was difficult to manage moving, school work, prep, and medical school applications. Unfortunately, blogging was pushed to the lowest place on the list of priorities.
Now that we have (sort of) settled in, it’s time to update everyone on the prep process.
WBFF Prep – 6 Weeks Out
On May 1st I came down with a really nasty upper respiratory infection. I’m talking coughing attacks until I almost threw up and an inability to walk fast without wheezing. Really helpful when trying to keep activity levels up and work through 2 HIIT cardio sessions per week. I knew it was viral so antibiotics wouldn’t touch it. My only choice was to balance taking care of myself, resting when needed, and still pushing through workouts.
My lifts didn’t suffer but my cardio did. The sessions were still completed but not with as much intensity. That is okay. I needed to go easy on myself. After about 8-10 days of zero relief I booked an appointment with my PCP for cough medicine. Again, antibiotics don’t work on viral diseases but I needed SOMETHING to help me sleep and breathe comfortably. Nabbed some prescription grade cough syrup and within about 48 hours I was finally able to get a decent nights sleep. This whole sickly process ate up about 2 weeks of my prep, which really sucked.
The week post-sickness (about 2 weeks ago) I was pretty stagnant on progress. After deliberating with my coach, she decided to set me on refeed macros for about one week. This means, for 7 days straight (at 8 weeks out from show date) I was eating 2,400 kCals and 240 g carbs daily. Talk about heaven!
Something like this can completely scare a competitor. Many women would flip out at the idea of pulling out of a deficit and eating maintenance calories 8 weeks out from a show. I understand the reasoning behind this (and trust my coach – I vetted her for a reason) so it didn’t worry me in the slightest.
The reasons behind a “diet break” or “structured refeed” are important to understand. When dieting down or continually in a deficit, metabolic function adapts. Meaning, your metabolism can actually slow down (which many women refer to as a plateau.) The seemingly logically answer is to cut more calories and increase cardio, right? Sure. That might work short term but what happens when you plateau again? Cut more? Run more? At some point, you are going to run out of calories to cut and miles to run. Misery will ensue. Welcome to the bro-competitor or yo-yo dieters nightmare.
Instead, it’s smarter to incorporate high carb days and/or structured refeeds into your program to keep metabolic function at high capacity.
Hormones play a monumental role in metabolism and weight loss. When dieting down, hormones adjust/decrease as the deficit continues. When refeeding, hormones like testosterone, leptin, and dopamine are boosted which aid in fat loss. (This means appetite usually increases and/or hunger levels are HIGH the day after a refeed. Normal and expected.)
Another [often overlooked] aspect of refeeds is the psychological one. When dieting down, it’s easy to fall down into a “cheat day hole” of unchecked calories and carbs. You can, quite easily, undo a whole week’s worth of work by indulging in 3,500+ calories in one day. Seriously, it’s much easier than some people think. Pizza, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, pasta… it adds up fast. It’s a “once you pop you just can’t stop” mentality. Not good.
By incorporating days of higher calories and carbs & structuring and scheduling refeed days you are able to manage the psychological aspects of dieting down and maintain some control over how many doughnuts and how much pasta you can safely consume without undoing all your hard work.
Refeed week for me went really well. The first 2-3 days I looked great. (Glycogen filled out my muscles and I looked full and tight.) About 4-5 days in I started looking soft which is totally normal, to be expected, and didn’t worry me in the slightest. For every gram of glycogen (carbs stored in the muscle) you also hold 3 grams of water. When muscles are full, you start to “spill over” a little bit causing a watery look. Again, normal and will resolve itself once a deficit is implemented again.
This week we dropped back down to deficit calories and macros with my normal refeeds 2x per week. I went from about 135-136 lbs down to about 131 lbs and -.5 inches off my waist, which is awesome!
This past week we did another drop (boo!) and an increase on cardio of 30 minutes. The only macro that dropped this week was fat (yay! Carbs were spared) which puts me at about 130 g carbs/150 g protein/52 g fat. My refeeds dropped to about 225 g carbs/150 protein/77 fat.
I do not believe I should have to disclaimer this but just in case… my numbers should not be your numbers. We are all different and these numbers are based on my body stats, goals, individual metabolism, and workouts. My transparency is for informational purposes only.
My cardio increased from 2x HIIT sessions at 10 minutes and one 30 minute moderate intensity per week to 2x HIIT sessions (same) and 60 minutes of moderate intensity per week. I am able to split the 60 minutes which means I am essentially doing 4 days of cardio. Two 10 minute HIIT days and two 30-minute sessions per week.
Theme Wear has been ordered and is being made. My suit has not been ordered yet which is bad. Playing with fire around 6 weeks out. That needs to be number one priority this week! My suit maker says 4 weeks notice is fine but I don’t play those games. I usually prefer my clients to order no later than 8 weeks out. It’s on the list!
My suits are narrowed down to the options below (with modifications of course.)
Both of my shoes arrived last week before we left Colorado. The WBFF has different shoe requirements than the NPC. While the NPC mandates clear shoes with no platform, The WBFF will actually mark you down for showing up in clear posing shoes. This makes me SO HAPPY. I hate those clear shoes with a firey passion. Platforms are so much easier to walk in because the heel angle isn’t quite as sharp. I can actually run and move much more eloquently in platforms/wedges.
The silver ones are my bikini/bikini-fitness shoes and the blue shoes are for my theme wear. Killer, right?
Time to start practicing posing again!
On a side note, one of my competition prep clients placed SECOND in her first WBFF show EVER over the weekend. I could not be more proud of her. 100% flexible dieting, never restricted, no foods off limits, and no two-a-day or fasted cardio. We are currently working on a reverse diet and hoping to pull her pro-card at the next show.
Interested in coaching? Information is here.
Until next week.