“I’m training for a bikini competition, and it’s been a tough week,” I told a client in my spin class on Saturday when she asked about some of the motivating phrases regarding mental toughness that I delivered during class that morning. One of my regulars overheard us, and interjected, “You’re not training for a bikini competition. You’re training to WIN a bikini competition.” Damn. Training to win it? I never really thought of it like that, but I guess I am.
As I write this week’s blog post, I am eating meal 3 of my strict prep diet in preparation for my show on April 29th. Meal 3 (of 6 for the day) includes 4 ounces of chicken, a half a cup of greens and 4 ounces of sweet potato. That sweet potato will be my last carbs for the day, and I am enjoying them at 1:40 in the afternoon.
Losing weight is hard.
This prep has been much different than my last one for many reasons. First off, I have bigger goals for these shows. I don’t really want to say them out loud here because fear holds me back. What if I FAIL? Then the 3 people who read my blog will know. Isn’t this this stuff we tell ourselves that holds us back? FEAR. FEAR. FEAR. Okay I will tell you my goals. In the first show, the OCB Catonsville Conquer, my goal is top 3 overall. In the second show on May 14th, the NPC Natural Capital Classic, my goal is top 3 in Masters. Okay, there I’ve said it, now let’s move on.
So now that I have these larger, scarier goals, I have to bring a better package to the stage this spring. I have to be leaner, I have to have more developed glutes and hamstrings. I have to have more balanced arms. And I have to nail my posing. No biggie right? Oh and there will be MORE girls to compete against and most of them will be in their twenties. Go big or go home, right?
Here are the top 5 things I’ve learned during this 16-week prep that may help YOU lose weight (and you won’t like them one bit).
- You have to be consistent. I started this prep around 137 pounds. Today I am at 133, and my goal weight is 127 pounds for the first show and 125 pounds for the second. Losing weight is HARD. 3500 calories = 1 pound. So that means that I have to burn about 700 calories MORE than I eat for the next 30 days. That means that my diet has to be on point everyday for 30 days. It has to be perfect, if that is my goal. It doesn’t mean that I can be “on point during the week and blow it on the weekends.” It doesn’t mean that I can “have a few cheat meals a week where I eat whatever.” Losing weight is hard. If you’ve tried to lose weight and you’ve fallen into speaking one of the two phrases I list above, then maybe that is why you have not been successful. You have to remain diligent, and you have to remain consistent. I told you that you wouldn’t like what I’ve learned.
- Eating clean foods is the best way to lose weight. Ughhhhhhh. This one is the WORST. Everyday that I look at my daughter’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with longing, I am reminded that I cannot have nut butter right now. I am training to be in the best shape of my life, and nut butter isn’t a part of that equation. Neither is bread, but that’s a whole other topic. Believe me, I fought my coach hard on this one when he kept telling me CLEAN FOODS ONLY. But what about my protein bread and protein pancakes. PLEASE! No. Clean foods only. After about a week on his boring clean foods diet, guess what, I dropped a pound quickly. Mainly water weight, since many processed foods hold water in the body, but regardless, I was beginning to look leaner for sure.
- You have to get up really early some days. I get it. You’re busy. We all have full lives. But it’s a hell of a lot easier to lose weight if you exercise, so I joined a great second gym, Edgewater Fitness, which is within walking distance of my house, so I could do extra cardio at o’dark hundred before my family wakes up. I get in there at 5:45am for an hour on the stepper burning 550 calories, pick up Starbucks for me and the hubs on the way home, and I’m showered and ready for the day before my daughter wakes up. I usually hit a second workout later in the day depending on my energy. Losing weight is hard.
- If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. One of my favorite quotes ever. I love when people tell me they want better __________ (insert object of desire here – arms, abs, booty), and then I start to tell them how to get them and their eyes glaze over. “Yeah, I can’t do that.” I love when I tell people how much food they GET TO EAT on my macro plans, and they say “I can’t eat that much food.” Kind of like when I told my coach that I really liked eating protein waffles and carbs and night and he told me I couldn’t do that. Ughhhhhh again, and that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach where you know you have to step outside of your comfort zone and CHANGE. Why can it be so uncomfortable to change? So fine, almonds and protein shakes it is, and more weight lost. I guess I really do have to change if I want to change.
- You are responsible for your goals. No one else is. Your mom drops by with dinner for the family. SO nice of her, but you’ll be having the meal you prepared. Family birthday parties. GREAT, but you’ll be sticking to your goals. It’s always important to socialize and show gratitude, but you don’t HAVE to EAT the birthday cake to show it. If you have aggressive weight loss goals, don’t let others be in charge of your ability to achieve them. Period.
Well there you have the truth from yours truly. Losing weight is hard. If it were easy, then the cabbage soup diet and juice cleanses would really work. You can’t take the easier softer way if you want long term, sustainable weight loss. It takes time, hard work, and diligence. So keep working hard on you, and always keep your eye on the prize.