Friday, June 11, 2010

My Metabolism Story

As predicted earlier this week, I've felt like crap the last two days. Hate it when I'm right about that! LOL

I'm still steadily dropping water weight, gettin' leaner, and keeping my strength up. I'm also ravenously hungry! I eat about every 2.5 hours, which comes out to 6 meals a day ... and I'm hungry about an hour after I finish eating. So I figure I spend about 80% of the day feeling hungry. My tummy feels like it's eating itself all the time. I'm pretty sure it's already eaten itself and is on to my other internal organs.

But this is really a GOOD thing. It means my metabolism is cranked, and my body is burning fat. Oddly enough, this is the most food I've ever eaten during a prep, and I'm still hungry and still dropping weight. Hmmm ... maybe Jerry DOES know what he's doing after all! ;)

I've been reading a lot about competitors who have completely messed up their metabolism due to prep, and all the struggles and despair they go through. I completely identify with them, because I did the same thing 5 years ago. I did my own prep, and while yes, I won a trophy, I also severely damaged my metabolism to the point where I gained 20 lbs in 2 weeks, and reset my body at a higher weight and slower metabolism. My body turned into a sponge that just absorbed everything I dumped into it, making me feel miserable, depressed, and out of control.

I couldn't fight the cravings, and just ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I got really sick 2 days after the show, tried to go back on my diet, but failed miserably. Cuz really, who wants to eat dried out chicken all the time?

I can claim ignorance, but what I should really claim is stupidity. I knew nothing about metabolism, and thought that in order to spur more fat loss, I should eat less. So instead of speeding up my metabolism, instead, I pulled food out of my diet throughout prep, and ended up on barely enough calories to function, and nearly killed my metabolism. The next year, I did the same thing (cuz I got lean the first year, so why not try it again?! :P), and ended up with the same results, sans trophy.

The third year, I finally realized I needed to work with a trainer, so I tried the online training thing. While the trainer's dieting protocol seems to work very well for male bodybuilders, it wasn't the right match for a natural female competitor. I did end up doing very well that year (two 1st places and an Overall win), but I still gained a bunch of weight after the shows. I literally ate my way through Mexico a week after the last show. My family was amazed at the amount of food I could pack away! I literally ate 3 desserts with every meal (thanks to the amazing desserts served at the all-inclusive resort!).

Gaining a bunch of weight in the off-season just makes it that much more difficult to diet down the next year. My body wants to hang onto the weight, because it created a new set-point. A much higher point than I'd ever wanted! I was dealing with a ruined metabolism.

When I started prep for the Arnold this year, Jerry told me to start by just eating when I was hungry. I'd so completely messed my body up, that I was only hungry a couple times a day. Now, 6 months later, I'm hungry about every 1-1.5 hours. Talk about a drastic difference!

In the next 4 weeks (OMG - only 4 weeks left!!), I expect my metabolism to continue cranking, and my appetite to continue to be ravenous. The real test will come after the show, though. Jerry's already coming up with a good off-season plan for me, and I'm resolved to stick with it cuz I don't want to be embarrassed to wear a bikini this summer - like the previous 4 summers :(.

My goal? Remain about 5-8 lbs above contest weight, keep the metabolism cranked, and put on some good size! But until then, my focus is on Team Universe! In 4 weeks, I'm lookin' forward to rockin' the stage!!


  1. You just typed my fears! I am sooo hoping that the program that I am on is proper for my metabolism. I feel I have had a really good diet... but am soooo worried about after the show. Being my first one I have no clue what to expect or how I am going to feel once I allow carbs back in my diet... While I see we have some of the same struggles is there anything tips or anything you have for post comp, which for me is going to be in two weeks. I am doing the provincial qualifier next Saturday, and I WILL place top 5 and get my bi to provincials the following weekend... I have ejoyed this journey so much that I am choosing this as my lifestyle after... but I can't see that just happening overnight as I need to deal with post comp aftermath first :)HELP! lol

  2. Confession: I have never competed but I hava crazy dieting history. I lost 40 pounds when I was 16, gained 75 lb. by the time I was 17, lost 20 lb. and then gained 45lbs by the time I was 19 , then I lost 60 lbs by the time I was 21, I gained 45 lbs over the next year and then lost all of it 2 years later, I have now gained back 27 lbs. and I have hired a health coach. Craziness. I didn't give out any senior pics in highschool bc I had gone from size 0 to 16 and I was ashamed. It was liked feast or famine. Ugh

  3. It's like dejavu'. I have been there too with the extreme dieting, but I have learned through blogs like yours as well as others and the articles that I read, it so much more fun to eat a lot and still lose weight...I mean who would have thought I could eat this much food (clean) and still lose weight. I am happy to finally "get" it and knowing that slow and steady will get me to my goals.

  4. CJ - Check out these 2 blog entries about how to manage food post-contest.

    Hope these help! Best of luck with your shows! :)