This picture is a great example of why I need to take the rest of the year off in order to bring my best physique to the stage next year.
Lehigh Valley Championships Overall Comparison
The quality of the photo isn't the best, but you can clearly see the size difference between me (far left), and the Overall winner (middle). We both have a very similar shape, but everything about her is just one size bigger. There was nothing I could've done differently to win the Overall - she just had me in size. And that's the size I need to build in order to be more competitive at the National level next year.
Although I made the decision not to compete last Thursday evening as I was packing for Chicago, I still brought most of my food along for the long weekend. I had planned on eating clean most of the time, with some occasional treats after our photoshoot on Friday evening. What I hadn't planned on was a slew of severe thunderstorms that slammed Chicago on Friday evening, knocking the power out in some areas for a couple of days. What do thunderstorms have to do with my turkey? With no power, there was no way to keep my turkey cold, and it all went bad. That was confirmation enough for me that I'd made the right decision not to do Team U! I can't even imagine how badly I would've been freaking out if I'd still been in prep!
So far, I've kept my diet relatively clean. I'm still eating my usual turkey and eggs, but I've incorporated a couple other food sources, and have added some carbs back in. My appetite is still ravenous, and I'm still doing cardio twice a day, although it's a lot lower intensity than it was last week. My goal is to drop about 3-4 lbs of water weight within the next few weeks, then back off the cardio a bit and start my off-season training plan.
I'm trying to listen to my body and eat only when hungry, and stop eating when I'm full. For those of you who have dieted before, you know this sounds simple, but can be quite challenging. I need to keep reminding myself that moderation is key, and no foods are "off limits." I'm trying to find a healthy approach to eating clean and living a balanced life. For now, it's a work in progress! :)