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Scratch That

October 30, 2012

I was going to end this blog and only write over at my new blog www.runcarmenrun.com, but after a great deal of thought I changed my mind. I changed my mind because I think lots of women who decide to compete in figure or bikini don’t do it for the right reasons, or don’t realize the long-term possible implications of competing. It has been 15 months since I have stepped on stage and I have come a long way since then and want to keep writing here to share some of the mind games I went through after competing and what I’m doing now and how I went back to a so-called normal life and eating like a normal person and not struggling with food or body image issues. 

After I finished my shows last year I really wanted to stay smaller afterwards and not go back up to sitting at 160-165 pounds which tended to be my off-season weight (or now that I was no longer competing the size I would be the rest of my life). As anyone who competes knows, preparing for a show involves weighing and measuring every single thing you eat and not missing a single one of your weekly workouts (I was doing 6 days of cardio and 5 days of weight training a week). After my last show last year I took a week off dieting and training, after the week was over I went back to following a training and nutrition plan. I managed to stay at about 155 (I competed at 142) until mid-September and then I slowly made my way back up to 159. At that point in time I thought the only way I could control how I looked off-season was to continue to work with a trainer and follow a training and nutrition program perfectly. So I contacted a trainer, got on his waiting list and was set to start with my new program at the beginning of January. 

January came around, I got my new program and was ready to follow it. I followed it perfectly for four weeks and dropped weight and inches. At six weeks into it I went on a vacation and didn’t follow the diet for that week. My thinking was I was going to enjoy the week and eat whatever (and since I had been following a plan prior I went overboard with me eating because my mindset was this is my only chance to eat the junk food so I should get in as much as I can because once I’m back home I’ll follow my plan perfectly once again). This is where the problem is for me with following a strict plan. I can do it for a while and do it well, but during that time I think too much about the foods I can’t have and when I would finally break down and have them I would over do it. This led me into a cycle of dieting, then overeating for a time period, gaining the weight back and then doing it all over again. I continued to follow the program until the end of March, but wasn’t doing as well as I could have. I was turning cheat meals into cheat days and completely overeating one day of the week, so therefore I was working hard, but not seeing results. 

At the beginning of April I quit working with the trainer and decided I needed a break. For the month of April I did 4-5 yoga classes a week and maybe 1-2 spin classes a week and quit weighing my food. At the end of the month I felt much better about myself and was really happy I gave my mind and body a break. In May I started running again (see my running history) and in June I finally said goodbye to the food scale and quit weighing and measuring my food. 

Over the summer I made my own weight training workouts that were focused on making me stronger for waterskiing and running, and I ran a fair amount because I was training for a half-marathon. Food wise I focused on eating the healthy, nutritious foods I needed to fuel my body (I’ll talk more about this in another post). Low and behold for the first time in year my weight magically dropped and I kept getting smaller without trying and everyone kept telling me this is the best I’ve looked in a long time. Now I’m sitting at 155 and that’s where my weight is staying (it’s been the same since August) and I’m happy with how I look. For the first time in years I’m going shopping and buying clothes, without thinking that I should wait until I dropped 5 pounds to buy something because it would look better if I was smaller. 

Over the past few months I’ve also had little things that happened that were a big deal to me because of how I dealt with things in the past. For example I went out with friends on a Wednesday to a restaurant. I ate my meal, had a glass of sangria and that was it. I went home afterwards and didn’t over think it. In the past when I had the dieting mentality my thought process around the night out would have been – I didn’t eat perfect today, so now I might as well and go and eat some other junk food because I’ll follow my diet perfectly starting tomorrow. I’m so happy I’m finally over that mindset. Now I eat healthy 90% of the time and if I really want to eat a meal out or enjoy a treat now and then, I do it with out over thinking it, or feeling guilty for not following my diet perfectly. 

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