In this post you will find:
- Lifting and cardio
- A diary of my days
- Show registration
- Final touches
- DIY tan
- And a great IG post by angela_nguyenzel
These last few weeks have been very challenging. I now feel confident that I look ready but I don’t feel like I look. I am actually surprised every time I look in the mirror when working out or posing. It is amazing how our minds can play tricks on us.
I feel tired, low on energy, short term memory is shot and for some reason or another (stress), I have had stomach issues the last few weeks with cramping and bloating. I often wonder how I am going to make it to my 2nd show on Oct 22nd and still be sane. And then I also wonder how I am going stay sane while reverse dieting post show so that I don’t blow up like a balloon the first week without any hopes of getting it back off.
Prep got me like…
UGH! Constantly asking myself why I do this… over and over… and in a year I’ll be like… let’s do a show! Yay!
No changes from my last post 3 weeks ago. In the words of a fabulous and hilarious client, I am dieting “low and slow like ribs.” That’s how you need to diet for a good prep that will hopefully not be completely torturous. Many clients want results ASAP and start mistrusting coaches 6 to 8 weeks out if they aren’t losing 3 pounds a week. Harsh preps are not as effective, cause serious plateaus and other serious signs of physical stress. TRUST the process!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Macros are set at about 175 g protein daily, 47 fat and then carbs cycle. High, medium and low days are specified in the “lifting and cardio” section below.
1x a week: Low (off day): 85 carbs (Sat)
4x a week: Medium day: 110 carbs (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun)
2x a week: High day: 140 carbs (Mon, Thur)
Sometimes I just feel so darn accomplished that I stuck to my diet by the end of the day damn it!
I have to consciously tell myself that I am done after I finished eating. That goes for every single meal right now.
Common tip: Avoid dairy the latest 6-8 weeks. I think one blanket tip is a bunch of crap. Everyone is so individual I feel that if you should avoid dairy the last 5 weeks of prep then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it at all. If you can handle dairy, then keep on eating it. There is no magic food (based on studies as well) that will make or break your fat loss goals including getting you stage lean.
Chewing my food
I stopped drinking whey protein post workout because I need to chew my food! And I am staying fuller longer. I know research shows the benefits of protein post workout (check out The Ultimate Get Fit Girls Guide to Protein) but if I want to make it through the day sticking to my diet, this is what I need to do
What I Eat
People constantly ask me what I am eating and I usually tell them- IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). A typical day for me looks like this:
Lifting and Cardio Week 22.5-24
No change in cardio since my last post. I, at this point, would much rather do steady state than HIIT. I am finding it hard to get my heart rate up during HIIT as my muscles are just taxed and I can barely keep going hard enough. For HIIT I use an app called the HIIT Interval Training Timer to keep time for me and keep me from resting longer than I should between bouts.
I also like steady state right now because I can zone out, watch a movie and run my T-walk routine through my head.
Medium-Sun: Legs (rep ranges, 6-8) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
High-Mon: Push (rep ranges, 20-30 reps) 12 HIIT
Medium-Tue: Pull (rep ranges, 10-15) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
Medium-Wed: Legs (rep ranges, 10-20) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
High-Thurs Push ( rep ranges, 10-15) 12 HIIT
Med-Fri: Pull (rep ranges, 20-30) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
Off-Sat: 12 HIIT
Hit a new low but I am maintaining 134-135 which is good for me I think.
See how I had my sites set on 130. Well, 130 would have been too lean. That is why it’s hard to choose a goal weight. You can have a range, but pictures are your ultimate guide during prep. I would have been too lean if I went ape shit on trying to hit 130.
9-8-16 Finally Feel Ready
Finally feeling like I will be ready…hitting 134’s and looking good.
Keeping anything with artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols to a minimum. Sugar alcohols make my stomach gassy and crampy. That includes Truvia sweetened Crystal Light, Quest Bars, my protein powder Trutein naturals, too much gum and Power Crunch bars. Even a piece of gum will trigger stomach discomfort :(.
Today I brought a bunch of freezer meals over to a family whose husband and father is dying of brain cancer. I have known this family for years. I was prepared when going there on what to expect. I knew he was bed ridden and had trouble with cognition. l sat and chatted with him and his wife for a little while and caught up. As I was leaving his wife told me how much longer he has and how his teen daughter wanted him to see her graduate high school and walk her down the isle at her wedding. Upon a tearful good bye I got in my car and drove away. A few minutes later, I cried and cried and cried. You really realize how short life is. You realize your own mortality. It is a reminder to make everyday count. To appreciate every damn moment I get to spend with my kids and enjoy my life, my health and the people around me.
It makes me second guess all this time I put into fitness during contest prep. Is it really all worth it? I am not so sure.
Rod passed away exactly one week later on September 16th surrounded by his loved ones.
9-10-16 Why I keep on keepin on….
My body is tired, my lower back muscles are sore from posing today with Allison MacArthur, hunger is manageable as is my cardio.
My lifting endurance is declining a bit and the burn sets in much faster. So what is it that I love about this?
I have a giant network of people getting me through this and I am not so sure I would have made it this far with my sanity or my physique where it is without them.
During my posing session today, Allison took a video of me and I was completely blown away at how good I looked. It surprised me. For the last 6 weeks I have been moping around about not losing weight or feeling like there was a lack of progress and feeling like I will not be ready for that stage, but this past week my strength coach and diet coach, both on the same day told me I was right on track which was very reassuring.
9-11-16 Small dinners
My body is tired, my endurance during lifting has decreased and hunger is sort of manageable . The hardest part right now is when I get done eating my unsatisfactory. I just need to eat more! That is when I need to look at my fitness pal and see the total macros and how much I don’t want to exceed them. If I don’t do that, I will end up taking that bite(s) causing me to have to adjust meals later in the day to accommodate. And dinner starts getting REAL small when I do that!!
9-12-16 Brain farts
This morning as I was getting ready for for the day, rushing around getting my kids ready, breakfast made and making sure my pants weren’t inside out (which happens a lot actually), I went to put on deodorant and I absent-mindlessly turned the deodorant around to check the macros on the nutrition label. UH…. can we say brain is malfunctioning.
9-16-16 Over eating
Overate Wed night… 2 slices of pizza, paleo cookie dough and paleo ice cream with cookie dough in it. Gawd it was so good and I was full and my workout the next day was so awesome I had so much energy! But crap! That is a few days of weight loss gone and possibly weight gain!! OMG! I don’t have time for that! So what did I do? biked.. extra cardio…
Biked that night for 30 minutes HR 130. I biked the next morning for 30 minutes HR 130 plus my normal cardio.
This week my sleep quality has been crap and I couldn’t figure it out but my body thinks I am starving and it’s stressed out. Having trouble sleeping is common for super lean competitors like bodybuilders and physique women which is why it may be odd I am not sleeping well. I know I am not below 15% body fat right now. My Omron handheld body fat tester tells me 17%. But, the stress of contest prep can also do it which is why I think my stomach started cramping and getting all crazy the last few weeks. My nervous system is buggin.
As I have written in my Post “3 Reasons for Diet Plateaus & 7 Tips and Tricks to Bust Through Them,” your nervous system is categorized into two systems, the symapathetic nervous system also known as the fight or flight system and the parasympathetic nervous system also known as the rest and digest system. These systems maintain a balance in your body and when that balance gets tipped to one side, the whole system is thrown off.
Long term dieting and extreme lower calories diets and continuous heavy cardio, which is commonly seen in a competitors routine, stresses the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system sending it into overdrive where it’s “stuck” in the on position and suppresses the parasympathetic nervous system. You may wake in the morning with a higher heart rate, experience sleep disruption, be more sensitive to bright lights, have lower motivation, feel fatigued, retain water and have digestive dysfunction like IBS, gas and bloating.
Is my body stressed? Absolutely.
While in prep I tend to think of how much time I would have to do other things like blog posts or spend more time with my kids. I’m devoting 2 hours of my time a day to Fitness and another good 30 minutes a day just prepping food and supplements for the next day not to mention the big prep day cooking all that food once a week.
It is also imperative that I get enough sleep. My nervous system is already spazzing and my sleep quality is crap. I have learned to let my “to do list” go if it’s not done by 8 PM. At that time, I have to prep food for tomorrow, get my supps and drinks ready, pack kids lunches, plan dinner for my fam the next night so anything that needs thawing can be doing so.
I have to prioritize getting to bed by at least 10 PM. Not “get to my room by 10 PM” to only find three loads of laundry that I will then push onto the floor for folding the next day or three. I have to get sleep. I feel like super shit if I don’t. Sleep affects my workouts more so than not having enough calories right now. Last night I over ate on cals and got to bed by ten..but it stormed and hailed half the night. My sleep quality was shit and this morning, despite the fact that I had enough calories the previous night, during cardio I felt so nauseous I could barely finish 30 minutes. I had to take a break 20 minutes in and sit in the locker room for 10. Then I went back out to get in my last 10 minutes.
After cardio I headed to REDLine. When I walked in I wasn’t ready to face anyone because of they asked how I was doing I would just start crying… which happened. Coach Aaron came over and noticed I was pacing around the doorway and not fully committing to coming in. Once he asked what was going on I couldn’t hold it in. I just cried.
This also made me grateful that I have a supportive group around me that understands and was there for me. Arron let me cry on his shoulder. Then I got my shit together and got to work.
Although, I did almost cry 2 more times but I didn’t.
Today, my body is protesting and telling me I am tired and stressed… and protesting all day. I was in bed by 9:15 PM. Nothing else mattered today but my kids and my sleep.
All I want right now is….
I have been living off of this stuff knocking out bottles left and right! Its got a great flavor, great macros and a nice kick.
Try this with chicken breasts in a crock pot:
I tried these Oh Yeah One bars and they are super good and better than quest bars but they use a fiber source (isomalto-oligosaccarhides) that has been shown in studies to raise blood sugar levels which would then mean they are digested quickly, like sugar and will have to be counted as carbs and not subtracted from total carbs. Quest was sued in 2013 for using this type of fiber and claiming the bar only had 4 net carbs.
This is a tasty snack/meal. Jones canadian bacon, laughing cow cheese wedge- any flavor, red bell pepper and cucumber. YUM!
This was a meal I ordered when I went out with my family to celebrate. It was an appatizer chicken/veggie lettuce wraps. It was darn tasty.
I made this meal from a recipe on Blueapron.com. Its the pork chop with plum salsa recipe. I had to modify it so that it matched my macros for dinner and it was fabulous!
My go to recipe. The Macroexperiment.com protein angel food cake.
This is super good!! :
Simply cod, butter and red bell peppers with salt and pepper. really really good.
My new craving curber… zevia. The Black Cherry flavor and cream soda flavors are some of my fav! I did try to make a root beer float with the root beer flavor and the cream soda flavor for my kids but it just wasn’t the same.
A typical meal for me: red head chipotle sauce, kirkland turkey breast and broccoli. Sometimes I throw in the salad.
another great breakfast… egg whites with sauteed peppers and onions with Udi’s GF toast, PB2 and mini chocolate chips. tasty!
Try a low carb tortilla, turkey, onions, peppers, cucumber, blothouse farm salsa ranch yogurt dressing and salsa.
A tasty way to add bulk to your diet… spaghetti squash! I love having this with pasta sauce and ground turkey. Top with some fat free cheese and enjoy!
Registered for both shows
There is no going back now! I have too much money into this!
Suit Has Arrived
I picked up my suit last Monday from Perfect Fit Gear LLC. I bought this bad boy off the rack for $270. New it is $450. jeez! They get you in labor costs on those rhinestones!
I am making my list and checking it twice!
I still need to get suit glue and I should be all set. 😀
Check out this Show Day Packing List.
I will be doing my own tan this year for both shows. As much as I like to use the event tanner, $100+ per show for the tan is spendy. I will use a combo of Jan Tana Ultra 1 and Pro Tan products. See DIY Tan- No Prob! and What To Expect From On Show Day.
and to end…
getfitgofigure#fuckyeah a great post by@angela_nguyenzel
@Regrann from @angela_nguyenzel – “A woman is often measured by the things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or doesn’t curve, by where she is flat or straight or round. She is measured by 36-24-26 and inches and ages and number, all by the outside things that don’t ever add up to who she is inside.
And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is and who she is trying to become.
Because every woman knows, measurements are only statistics and STATISTICS LIE. ” – @NikeWomen
Yay! Go Heather!! You look amazing!!!!!!!
Thank you Cindy!!!!
Oh my, Heather! You are my hero. You look so ripped and I’m impressed with your determination. This fitness blog is by far the best out there. I love how you post your food screen shot and your recipes–I’ve already been to Patriot Sauce’s website to check them out. I also love how you put links for the tan products you’ll use and your beautiful suit. That’s awesome you got it at a discount. You’re so fortunate to have a place like Redline to go to. I live in PO-Dunk Central where I’m lucky to have a minimally equiped gym. I know even if you didn’t have RL however, still would still find a way to get that extra edge because of your knowledge and experience. I have read this blog twice and am so excited for you. This is going to be your BEST show yet because you look like you could win now (today). Just slap a tan on that thang, and BOOM! Winner! Thanks for posting this and offering so much information and transparency. Love to you and I look forward to your next post. Tammy
Thank you Tammy!! I really really appreciate it!!!