Monday, May 10, 2010

A Peek into the Windows of My Life

Since my blog is about my everyday life ... I thought I'd give you a peek in the windows of my life.

Let's start with my work life ...
I haven't posted in several days because last week, something called "scope creep" happened at work. I was originally asked to write a half hour training course for a couple employees. Over the next couple days, that half hour expanded into an hour course with audience interaction and a possible video connection ... plus a complete re-vamp of an existing PPT. Whaaat?! And then the date of the training got pushed up a week. To this week. Which is my final prep week. Which is usually when my brain power is the lowest.

So, like a good little employee, I said I could have it done. And so I've been frantically working hard to get all these materials finished. And surprisingly, I've got the rough draft done already, which is why I have time to write this blog. :)

Final prep week + job stress = not a good thing

Now on to training, diet, and cardio ...
It's all on point. This week starts week 24 of dieting for me. Yep - I started dieting right after Thanksgiving, and have been following a keto-type (zero carb) diet since then, with a weekly planned Treat Day or Meal (depending on my conditioning).

After the Arnold, I scaled everything back. Added more food into my diet - still very strict, though - cut cardio in half, and started doing less intense workouts. All of that contributed to my weight remaining constant, but my body looking flatter and more watery. Jerry and I couldn't figure out why I was looking worse and worse, yet maintaining my weight.

Then he realized that I was losing muscle and holding water. We had anticipated the water retention, but what we didn't count on was me losing muscle as a result of lower intensity training. So we increased the intensity of my workouts, add more cardio in, and changed the diet a bit all at the same time. Oh, and cut out any treats. And just like that, my body tightened up in a week! So there I was ... ready at 3 weeks out!

Since then, I've been maintaining. My workouts have been intense (which I love!), the cardio has actually decreased (which I also LOVE!!), and since last week, I've gotten to ADD some foods back into my diet (which I also love love LOVE!!). And I'm still maintaining my weight, leanness, and conditioning. Whoda thunk?!

Last month, there was a big (blown out of proportion) debate on a forum about diets damaging metabolism. Sadly, many women (including myself in past years) have experienced metabolic damage due to overtraining, poor contest diets, and trainers who don't care about their clients or know how to properly diet/train their clients. Jerry was accused of being one of those trainers. Obviously the people accusing him had never worked with him, cuz my metabolism is screamin' right now, and I'm not even remotely overtrained or over-dieted! :)

What about my emotional state ...

As I talked about in a previous post, I know that maintaining this conditioning is not healthy, nor is it feasible for me. I'm excited about the changes I've made to my body, and can't wait to bring those changes to the stage. My legs have come down quite a bit in size, but now they seem to balance my upper body better. So while I love how I look right now, I know it's not healthy long-term. I don't feel very good most of the time, as my body is struggling to find homeostasis (and believe me - it likes to be a LOT heavier!).

I'm trying to prepare myself for the few days after the show when I'll be retaining a lot of water, will feel bloated, and yes, fat. Even though I'll KNOW I'm not fat (because it's not possible to gain fat in one day), I'll feel like it. But I need those treats and different foods after the show for both my physical and mental well-being.

The diet is really starting to get to me. Not that it's a difficult diet by any means. In fact, the reason it's starting to get to me is because I'm bored with it. I made it easy by deciding to eat the same thing for most of my meals ... so while it's really easy to prepare my food for the week, my meals are also very boring. And like I said earlier, I haven't had any treats for several weeks. I think this is the longest I've gone without any Treat meals.

I'm so ready to be done dieting. For the first time during prep, I've been looking at pictures of food. Big confession: I purposely walk through the bakery section and sniff the donuts and cookies. Yep, you read that right. I actually open the donut case, stick my head in, and inhale deeply. Then I close the case and walk away.

 This makes me drool.

I probably sound like a crazy lunatic, but my body is craving sugar right now. I have 5 different kinds of sugar-free gum in my purse just to get some different flavors into my mouth. I'm so focused on my goal that there's no way I'll stray off my diet, but there are definitely moments every day that I struggle and wish I could have more variety. I don't want to change anything the last week before the show, though. I just need to get through this week, and then Jerry and I will come up with a plan. I realize I need a better balance in my life, and less of a focus on food. I think just adding some variety into my diet after the show will help things immensely. Oh, and a day or TWO of eating COOKIES!! :)

Jerry and I are dieting for the same show ... how does that affect our home life ...
Let me start off with the good things about dieting at the same time as my boyfriend. The best thing is that there's no "bad" food in the house. By "bad" food, I just mean food that's not in either of our diets (except for the 20 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, half of which are in the freezer behind the broccoli bags, and half of which are hidden in a cupboard). By not having any of that food in the house, we're never tempted to eat anything off our diets. That's not to say that we couldn't have it in the house, because we both have enough will-power to resist it, but it's much easier to not have to look at it.

We both eat at relatively the same times throughout the day. We don't have to worry about sitting through a dinner of different (and yummy smelling) food that everyone else is eating, and then either eating different food during the dinner, or sitting there watching everyone else eat. We don't have a dining room table yet, so we either eat standing in the kitchen, at the computer desk, or on the couch. Classy, I know.

We also both understand what the other is feeling. Most of the time, neither of us feel very well. We're tired, we're sore, we hurt, we're hungry, we're frustrated. It's nice to know that someone understands and can empathize with me when I'm feeling down.

At the same time, since we're both experiencing these feelings at the same time, neither of us has the other to pick us back up. If I'm feeling down, chances are, so is Jerry. Who's there to try to pick me back up? And vice versa. We're both tense, emotional, stressed, tired, and run-down ... recipe for disaster!

I'm not gonna lie - we've had some "discussions" and outright arguments these past few weeks. At times, it's been tough for both of us. But I really believe that this experience is making our relationship stronger. We're learning more about each other, and growing together. I can't wait to stand on stage with him next Saturday, and know that all of the struggles, dedication, and hard work was worth it!

Jerry and Me

So there's a peek into the windows of my life. Sometimes it's difficult to be brutally honest and open, but at the same time, I firmly believe that it makes me a better person. It forces me to look deeper inside myself and find positive things out of experiences and emotions that don't seem positive at the time. It's also a good exercise for me to reflect on my experiences and to apply the knowledge I gained to create a wonderful future.


  1. What a sweet picture of you and Jerry. I am so glad I am NOT alone. Everytime my husband eats something that is sugary I insist on smelling it. Last night he ate some cake leftover from a graduation party we had for his brother and I grabbed it before he ate it and sniffed it for a few seconds. It smelled REALLY GOOD!! I do this often. HA!! Then, I also have 5 different flavors of sf gum in my purse. I HAVE TO HAVE IT or I might go off the deep end. Hang in there, you are very close. I am 32 days out from my first bikini comp too.

  2. I love that picture of you two - its beautiful! I totally get what you mean about the boredom of your diet. For the one show I did I tried to still be the creative cook that I love to be and it took me hours calculating out the macros of new recipes I wanted to try. Then it would be torture to try to cook without picking at all the ingredients.
    You are so close and you're going to do awesome. BTW, it was very nice to meet you too.

  3. You are almost there...and the cookies will be delish ;)

  4. Hahahaha!!! I get teased because I smell food! Glad to know I'm not alone! I also noticed how you made sure to put those side notes about the diet (being not healthy) and the feeling of being fat (even though you aren't), isn't it sad we feel we have to always put in the disclaimer? Because if we don't someone will have something to say about it?
    Enough rant, good luck to you and Jerry at the show!