Have you ever had a diet or a new change in your life get in the way of your REAL life? That was one of the fears I had before I started training for this competition. The fear wasn’t around what people thought of me because frankly “what people think about me is none of my business,” a phrase I learned about 7 years ago that has forever stuck with me. I really didn’t care if people rolled their eyes if I brought a container of pre-weighed, perfectly portioned food to the beach or social event. I didn’t fear if people thought that I was obsessed with my body or selfish and self-centered. It was not my job to convince people of my motives, of my desire to challenge myself more than ever before. It’s absolutely none of my business what anyone thinks, and that is a very freeing feeling. Feel free to borrow this phrase anytime and apply it in your own life. Go on. Try it. You’ll thank me later.
The fear that I had was around if my training would negatively affect my family – my daughter – my husband – our marriage.
My husband is a football coach, and the summer is his only real time off. We spend a lot of time together which is well deserved and needed, because during the season, he works 7 days a week from August until February. So beginning this training during his time off was something that we talked a lot about before I committed to this challenge. Would it affect our traveling, our ability to eat out, our time together if I had to pull away for training? I decided that it would only negatively affect us if I LET it, and during this part of my training while my husband is off from work, I have to be a bit more flexible than I plan to be as I get closer to my competition. So when our four-year wedding anniversary came last week, we decided to head to the beach for the night.
I texted my coach a progress picture the day before, and he gave me permission to have a cheat dinner AND dessert. Score! I am very pleased with the changes I have seen in only 3 weeks of working with him. My lower fat macros, although very hard to hit, have set off some changes, notably in my abs and my legs. I am not complaining.
We had an amazing dinner at Salt Air Kitchen in Rehoboth Beach that evening. The wait at 6:30pm for 2 people was quoted 90 minutes, but they got us in after about 40. The place reminds me of one of my favorite Baltimore restaurants where we spent our two year anniversary, the Woodberry Kitchen. The atmosphere was rustic and charming, and the food was comforting and so fresh. My cheat meals have to be “clean cheats” so I opted for filet and crab cake with a “candy bar” dessert.
Even though I got a pass for dinner, that is only one of the meals that I would be eating while traveling for the 36 hours that we were away. I still had to plan for 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and snacks. I packed a lot of food with me for the trip – protein bread, chicken salad made with Greek yogurt, celery and onions, a nuts ‘n more toffee crunch and jelly sandwich on flax and quinoa bread (bread, nut butter and jelly all weighed on a gram scale), harvest snaps for snacking on the beach. We ate out for lunch at the hotel when we arrived, and I ordered a spinach salad with a piece of salmon on top. It had minimal ingredients in the salad, so it was pretty easy to log into My Fitness Pal, and I asked for salsa for the dressing. That is one trick I always use when I dine out – use salsa for dressing and save the fat that is in oils for something much better, like avocados, nut butter or red meat. In the morning before we left, we opted for the free hotel breakfast, and I had a small serving of steel cut oats and snacked on my protein bread. I also made sure to load up on water and BCAAs during the trip so that I did not get dehydrated. These BCAAs have a sweet kick, so they helped me with any cravings I had as I passed the local ice cream shoppes. Overall, I was able to do pretty well considering all of the temptations that are available on vacation.
We headed home to Annapolis at around 1pm on Friday, and after we got home and put Gianna to bed, I headed to the gym for an evening workout. Since this trip fell on Fourth of July week and I had already taken a rest day on Monday and Thursday, I HAD to get my workout in. I didn’t want to get home then rush off and miss out on time with my daughter whom I hadn’t seen in a day. I was back in time for a late dinner and a relaxing Friday night in. On Saturday morning, I was back on track 100%. An hour of weights in the gym, a one-hour grueling spin class and close to 1000 calories burned.
So, for now, my fears (false evidence appearing real) are just made up scenarios in my head that are not true or real. I can still prep for the toughest competition of my life while being flexible with my methods. I think we’ll even go back to the beach next week and bring the peanut. This time no cheats, more food for the hotel fridge, and more fun with my whole family.