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Winter Blues

7 Dec

Tonight, I’m sad. No tissues, hugs or sympathy please. I’m telling you this because I want to share with you my strategy for pulling myself out of this.
I’m not sure what’s the matter, realistically it’s probably nothing, nothing more than winter blues and a little tiredness. BUT I don’t want to feel like this tomorrow so here’s what I did to pull myself out of this.

  • I had a nap. Not very pro-active you might say but I needed a rest. I woke with just enough energy to do the other things that will make me cheer up.
  • I ate some wholesome, nutritious food. Sound straight-forward right? Well if you can say you always eat well that’s amazing and have a huge pat on the back. I knew after eating some broccolli with my chicken and rice and tsp horseradish that the latter would be my little gift to me and that the broccolli is one of my saintly foods that I always feel proud I’ve eaten. So a meal down and already I’m feeling better.
  • I made a forward plan. As I said, no looking back, what could I do moving forwards?

I set myself some mini goals for next week as these things have slipped a little and I want to be in control of giving myself the healthiest life I can:

  1. I will set alarms on my Outlook at work, to make sure I’m eating exactly when I should. The odd extra half hour creeps in here and there and I don’t want it to.
  2. I will drink 1 bottle of water before my lunch break and then an additional one between post-lunch and leaving work.
  3. I will open my rice cakes and take out what’s needed then put the packet away. I tend to eat my rice cakes at work one by one from the packet and if I get side-tracked I forget how many I’ve had. This isn’t really good enough.
  4. I will get in 3 solid workouts next week – whatever the circumstances.

That’s it for now but I KNOW I’m going to look back at this blog post next Friday, and pat myself on the back. Small babysteps forward add up to the big changes.

So, that’s my ‘Get Happy’ plan! Know what will make you feel better and make a plan to put it into action!

 

On other news, I can pat myself on the back for completing the Muscletalk 12 week Shape Up Challenge! You can see my results on their website
http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/MT-ShapeUp-September-2012-WOMENS-JUDGING-FINAL-m4926125.aspx

 

What positive changes will you make this week ahead? Why wait til New Year?

Play hard, train harder,
Flick x

Post-prep analysis – why it’s important

6 Sep

A really important thing about preparing for a competition is analysing what you did afterwards. If you don’t know what you did, how will you be able to make positive changes for the future? While you’re dieting, it’s hard to think objectively about a) what you’re doing and b) how you look. If you leave it too long, you’ll completely forget all the minute details. So, with that in mind, I did my own photo comparisons along with having a look at my diet at each stage. I made the comparisons from 7 weeks out (because prior to that it was quite hard to see anything as I was still carrying a lot of bodyfat).

Always try to take photos in the same light/bikini. This is the hardest thing of all to do. The seasons obviously change, and so lighting at the same point in the day weeks apart can look completely different. You can see below my photos suffer from the ‘lighting’ effect.

2012 comparison Front

As a female, the tell-tale comparison pics are always from the back. This isn’t the same for every woman, but I carry my fat on my butt so if I keep an eye on that, I’ll know if I’m making progress. Also, always try to stand the same! See below for an example of how NOT to do this:

2012 Back comparison

At 7 weeks out, my hips were noticeably wider from the front, and from the back my butt was small, but soft. My back had started to show leanness.
At 5 weeks out my hips were narrower, my Sartorius had started to come through, my hips weren’t quite so pointy and my butt had more shape but was still soft.
At 3 weeks out (I’d had a big slip-up between weeks 5 and 3 to the point where I wanted to pull out of the show), from the front I look softer and smaller, from the back I found some Hamstring but added some size onto my butt (note this could be the slightly different camera angle – we were having lighting problems that day).
At 1 week out I was happier from the front, but the lower carbs and diet slip had taken their toll from the back and my legs and butt were softer.

Looking into the future, if I competed again, I’d go back and look at my diet from the 5 week mark and see what I’d changed and compare this to the photos and decide what to do moving forwards. I learnt a few things from my prep:

  • I have to be really stable in work to be able to prep properly. I was working two jobs this year and doing a lot of travelling locally and I found it really tough.
  • Whilst I stayed high carb throughout my diet, and it allowed me to train more intensely and gave me bags of energy; I was perhaps a little too enthusiastic with this and need to accept that there does come a time where I do need to drop my carbs to make further progress with leanness.
  • Even though I prefer to train first thing in the morning, this isn’t feasible to get enough cardio in. For me, 20mins wasn’t really cutting it and I needed to give myself time to do more.
  • Cheat meals do not work wonders for the metabolism if you have them week in week out. This is the first year I’ve had a weekly cheat, and although it pains me to say it because I like my food, but I’ll never do this again.

I hope some of my thoughts have helped you think about how analysing your prep can help you for the future. There’s one thing about bodybuilding and that’s that it’s always a learning curve!

Play hard, train harder,
Flick

Getting back on the clean eating wagon

9 Jul

This post is inspired by my BNBF Southern report which, yes I haven’t forgotten, I just know it’ll be a long blog so finding it hard to find the time to sit down and write it!

That competition was on June 24th – since then, in 2 weeks, I have eaten, what I wanted when I wanted. The time has come however, for me to do what we all do from time to time, and make a pact with myself to regulate my eating a little more.

Daunting isn’t it? Even as a bodybuilder, I’m just the same as any other person trying to eat healthily – I have the same struggles even if when I get my head down, my motivation is a little more than average.

So in this post I’ll be detailing my steps to getting back to clean, sensible eating:

1. Make sure your head’s in the game

This is the same with giving up/cutting down anything – if you don’t really want to do it, you WILL struggle! Only do it when you’re ready.

2. Prepare your meals

Sounds basic right? It’s not as easy as it sounds. You need to consider where you’ll be for that day, when, how long for, plus always be prepared for any unexpected eventualities (car breaking down etc).

3. Drink more water

Again, sounds basic but during the two weeks I troughed everything in sight, I can safely say, I barely drank my standard 2 litres a day. Water fills us up, it aids digestion, it helps the body’s metabolic processes work *waves hello to fat burning*

4. Don’t take your calories too low

A rookie mistake – “I want to eat healthily so I will do but in turn I’ll eat less” – it won’t work. If I think back over my last two weeks, each day I’d guess I could’ve consumed anywhere between 2-4000 kcals a day. Yes I’ve gained weight but the point is, if I clean up my diet and cut my calories instantly, my stomach will be screaming murder at me and I’ll probably cave in by the end of Day 1! So be sensible, eat a little more initially, just keep all food clean, then as your stomach adapts, adjust your calories accordingly.

5. Keep busy

If there’s a time you know you munch (for me it’s after dinner), keep busy! Tonight (Day 1) I have a client until 7pm, I then plan to do some cardio and get home for dinner about 8pm. Eat, watch Easties, and start to unwind for the evening to get an early night, thus minimising the munchies. Failing that I’ll sit in bed reading as it’s rare I’ll get up to eat if I do that.

Once I’ve gotten past Day 3, I should be fine.

What are your strategies for cleaning up your diet? How do you stick to your goals? Any more tips that should be included here?

Play hard, train harder,
Flick
x

Dieting for Dummies

10 Sep

One of the big changes life will throw at me for 2012 is that I won’t be able to afford to have someone oversee my diet. You’d think having Nutrition qualifications that this wouldn’t be a biggie right? Wrong! Planning my own diet is the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’ve done it in advance because I know once I start dieting, all of my rational thought processes will go out of the window, and I’m not superwoman, I WILL do things to suit me, rather than for the best.

In total, it’s taken me 8 weeks to plan out a 20-week diet (without even thinking past the ‘If I qualify, what will I do to get me all the way to the finals’ – that’s a far too scary prospect to be honest). It’s taken me 8 weeks because it took me 2 weeks to sporadically work out macro’s food amounts, what if X happens?, what if I stop losing?; then my brain was frazzled so I hid for 4 weeks; then I had the recent period of enlightenment regarding my post-workout nutrition in particular – and then I’ve gotten my head back down again and finished the whole plan! I am extremely proud of myself.

I’ve written this thread because I wanted to highlight things you need to consider when embarking on a weight-loss programme:

  • Calorie intake – how many calories were you maintaining your weight at? If it takes 3500 cals to lose 1lb of fat you need to make sure that you’re in deficit by your normal calorie intake.
  • Exercise – how many times a week are you going to exercise? What exercise are you going to do?
  • Balanced diet – are you taking in the right nutrients? Is there carbohydrate, protein and fat in your diet? Are you consuming too much sugar through ‘low fat’ products?
  • Plateau – everyone reaches a plateau – what will you do when you reach one?
  • Water intake – the biggest reason why a lot of my clients don’t initially lose – you MUST consume enough water! It flushes out the system, aids digestion and rids the body of toxins
  • Treats – everyone needs to let their hair down once in a while – have to scheduled in times when you’ll ease up a little?
  • Habit – are you a creature of habit? Do you need to eat the same thing everyday? Beware of potential pitfalls of this!

If you consider all of these things, I’m sure you’ll have just as much success as I will do next year!

What are you doing this weekend? Training? Relaxing? Any treats planned? 

Play hard and train harder,
Flick x