7 Weeks Out. Travel, Hunger, Portable Workouts & The Physique Summit
For about the last week and a half I have been getting days where I am hungry pretty much all day… like seriously counting down the minutes until I can eat again. I will eat food cold because I don’t want to wait for it to heat up. Everything tastes damn good right now. Quest bars heated up in the microwave are like the best things on this earth all warm and chewy. We don’t have a microwave. Heating them up in the pizza oven just isn’t the same.
Focusing on food all day is actually kind of miserable. You have got to get busy doing something other than thinking about eating! I just about died of hunger last week… just about but I had to re-frame. And if you get started on eating something you shouldn’t… well, it’s all down hill from there. Like down hill on a waxed sled after a freak ice storm. Many times I will put something like a random piece of chocolate in my mouth and think ” I really don’t want this. This won’t help me reach my goals” and I end up spitting it out. Yeah it’s only one little bite but those little bites add up…. or sends me off down that hill of eating the whole bar.
Staying focused on my goals is the only way I WANT to stick to my diet. Note the “want” part. When I stay focused on my goals I don’t want to eat more calories than I should and dig into a chocolate bar or an entire bag of Quaker cheddar rice crisps. It is how I re-frame and stick to my plan.
Cheese and rice…. I could eat a damn bear right now… quite literally. And what did my scale say this morning? 137.0. and yeah…. still holding that gosh darn number. I know I am definilty making improvements but I am worried they are not fast enough. I mean fo riz.
Taking the Wind from My Sails
So today I get this email regarding a pro qualifying show I planned on doing this year. The promoter pulled out of the federation he was sanctioned by leaving him an orphan. What does that mean? The contest is no longer associated with any federation like the DFAC , NANBF or NPC for now. You win overall… no pro card, no qualification for bigger shows… nada.
Now, there are lots of shows that are not pro qualifiers but that was one reason I wanted to drive my a$$ 2 hours away to do this show aside from the fact this dude puts on a pretty sweet show.
And really, if the promoter cannot consciously continue under that federation he had some serious balls to pull out with 7 weeks to go knowing full well that good competitive people may retract their registration. And he offered full refunds including the fees you paid to the federation which he does not get in the first place. What ever politics were going on behind the scenes I have no idea but I hold the promoter with mad respect because people with integrity uphold their values and I am only assuming that is what happened. A hard decision made that may hurt the promoters show this season but long term will be the best choice. (again, based on what I know, this is my assumption, and, I like the promoter so, there.)
I still plan on doing the MN Mayhem at this point. It will be fun as hell. 😀 He has lined up some pretty sweet deals for the overall winners like being on the cover of Finetix Magazine and tons of swag from show sponsors.
Lifting and Cardio Week 18 & 19
7 & 8 weeks out
upped the cardio these weeks: all steady state went to 30 minutes and all HIIT sessions went to 12 intervals.
Medium-Sun: Legs (rep ranges, 6-8) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
High-Mon: Push (rep ranges, 20-30 reps) 12 HIIT
Medium-Tue: Pull (rep ranges, 10-15) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
Medium-Wed: Legs (rep ranges, 10-20) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
High-Thurs Push ( rep ranges, 10-15) 12 HIIT
Med-Fri: Pull (rep ranges, 20-30) 30 mins SS cardio 130 Hrate
Off-Sat: 12 HIIT
The the past several weeks, maybe the past month I have been training at REDLine Human Performance and Aaron Sidner is kicking my butt. I love it. It’s addicting and the crowd there is darn awesome! I love going and know I am putting 110% toward my goals!
After my workouts I have been hanging on this thing to help decompress my spine. I have crapola spine issues due to a car accident 20 years ago rendering my neck totally effed up and aged to that of a 70 year old which then leads my lower back to compensate and also straighten out and degenerate. yay. Hence, I hang up side down and man does it feel good!
Macros are set at about 175 g protein daily, 47 fat and then carbs cycle. High, medium and low days are specified on the workout schedule above.
Low (off day): 100 carbs (Sat)
Medium day: 125 carbs (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun)
High day: 155 carbs (Mon, Thur)
Body fat is def making progress even though my chart says 137 across the board, with the exception of the one 136.2. I am not holding my breath. Working my butt off and most days I am hungry throughout the day… or at least, not super satisfied after meals. Taking it one day at a time because making food for my kids and not popping a bite here and there is now the biggest challenge.
⇐⇐It’s mornings like this when my weight is up a pound and I’d like to throw out the scale but, I’ll keep the mirror. It’s usually up a pound after a HIIT day and I can see why. After 12 intervals of HIIT I am most likely retaining water due to muscle damage and micro-tears in need of repair. Also see 7 Reasons Why Your Weight Fluctuates.
Things are creeping down. As stated in the first paragraph of this post, I am usually pretty hungry and training really so hard I am just wiped most days.
6 weeks out to the MN Mayhem and 9 weeks out to the Northern States Natural Classic. This has been one long slow cut… about 1/2 pound per week. I have been tracking my progress with dexa scans and the Fit3D scans at DexaFit Minneapolis because, I like numbers. 🙂 But pictures are the #1 tracking tool because I have been 137 pounds for like, EVER but my physique has changed considerably. I still have some leaning out to do to get my abs shining through and my booty poppin for that stage! 😀
I know this sport gets a lot of flack for being so aesthetically driven but for those of you who have been through this process, you don’t look stage ready all year long. There is something about building muscle and a body over time to then challenging yourself to diet down, show off that muslce and hit the stage.
It is no different than training for any other sport. You work hard EVERYDAY. You watch your nutrition. You try and beat what you did yesterday or last week or last year. It’s a process. You love it or you hate it. It’s not for everyone. Just like ultra marathons are not for me. Competing may not be for you. Do work.
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7 weeks out and this is what I do every morning ….pose in front of the mirror and see how I look constantly critiquing and analyzing. I have been so focused this prep because I want to win. And looking at these pictures I know that I have a little ways to go to hit the stage but I feel right on track. Sometimes I get a lot of flack for being so critical but it's flack from people that are not in the world of bodybuilding. People that don't understand for a grounded confident person like myself, that doesn't shake who I am in everyday life. I am critical of my body to hit the stage because I want to win. I'm comparing myself to Champions and champions are driven, focused and always seeking to be better. I will bring my best package this year and wherever I place will be just fine because I know it has been my best stage bod so far. #determined . . #focused #winner #neversettleforless #nevergiveuponyourdreams #bikini #hardworkpaysoff #dowork #workhardtrainharder #push #contestprep #contestprepcoach #GF2Crew
um… if you don’t know what this is, you should read my blog more ;D or follow my snapchat at HeatherGF2.
and I am getting to the “lick your plate clean” stage….
We have been getting these meals from BlueApron.com or just making up one of the recipes posted and they are really good! I love the simplicity of the meals and that they use whole foods! YUM! I of course have to make some modifications to my meal separate from the family but it works out.
This was part of my breakfast yesterday morning. Not a lot of bulk but SO tasty! Trader joes gluten free bread, chocolate PB2 and dark chocolate chips.
This sauce I bought at the Physique Summit (see below) and it is SO good. I am super addicted. Macros are spot on and super low but the flavor and quality of ingredients is out of this world! AND, no sucralose or artificial sweeteners… bonus! Check out @DelishNutrishredhead.
Right when I get up on an empty stomach:
Qualia step one
or, I have been burning through samples of fat burners I have. Who knows if they work but what the heck.
SuppRest by Natty Nutrition (LOVE this supp– this balances my hormones like crazy good)
Multi vitamin (every other day)
Bitter melon extract
Sauna (if I have time)
Ceylon cinnamon on my post workout sweet potatoes
400 mg Magnesium Glycinate (highly absorbable form)
Apple cider vinegar before dinner
CBD Oil – help relax and bring down cortisol levels for recovery
We got a new bottle of fish oil and it is really good… I mean, it doesn’t taste like fish oil as it shouldn’t. And, my kids like it!
My $8 rhinestone bracelets came in! In a previous post I mentioned that I scored some gold rhinestone bracelets for $8 each from a florist supplier. Turns out, they us these for corsage wrist-lets. Other sites had similar bracelets for $15-$35. They may have been better quality but I didn’t want to pay $60 for bracelets I won’t wear that often and happened across the site saveoncrafts.com. The bracelets came with the flower clips on them. I simply untied the metal flower clips and they are ready to go! The bracelets are elastic and fit snugly which I like so that they will stay put while posing and not slide up and down my arm.
My Pro Tan came in the mail as well. I was told this won’t get me dark enough and that Jan Tana Ultra 1 is what I need to use but it turns me green! I have Ultra 1 from last year so, if I don’t get dark enough with Pro Tan I will be sporting a green hue. 🙁
Prepping for a competition is very time consuming. I have a few clients that just don’t understand this concept. They would like prep to be a more functional, everyday, flexible fitness program. But, when you are fighting your body to lose fat and get super lean, there is no messing around.
I am usually lifting about 45-70 minutes 6 days per week and then there is cardio for which I spend about 30 minutes everyday, 7 days a week right now. Then you have to factor in meal prep and planning and tracking your food. That isn’t a long list but it sure takes up a ton of time!!!!
Last Friday I drove my bootay 9 hours to Springfield, MO for the 2nd annual Physique Summit put on my John Gorman and Cliff Wilson. It was a small crowd but the quality was absolutely there. It was very well organized. The speakers were um, AWESOME and everyone that I met (speakers and attendees) were super fab. It was a good time.
I had to pack all my food for the weekend for diet success. I packed steamed veggies, lunch meat, cooked turkey, turkey pepperoni, rice cakes, cucumber salad (basically vinegar + salt), quest bars and fizzy water + crystal light.
I also had way more bags for food than clothes:
Driving 9 hours alone while in a calorie deficit is not picnic. You can’t just snack on yummy things until you are full… no, you look at the clock every 3 minutes counting down until your next meal.
The things that got me through the drive and made it quite enjoyable were podcasts. I had listened to all of the TNT podcasts on our big ol July family vacay and I needed a break from Layne Norton’s podcasts so, I hit up Tim Ferris Podcasts, the Oprah of audio. His shit is always good. His interview with Jamie Foxx was the shiz, Tony Robbins... another super fab podcast and then of course, NPR’s news quiz Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. That show just cracks me up.
Other ways I occupied the time;I signed up for Spotify premium so that I could listen to my playlists off line.
But srsly, I wanted to eat every 2 minutes. The last 2 hours of my drive kinda sucked. I did however stick to my diet because, I brought nothing tempting ….. well, except quest bars. But I held back until my allotted quest bar break. I also had fizzy water and crystal light in my arsenal to curb cravings and I kept my carb sources high fiber so I could eat more and keep the munchy effect going with cucumber salad. I steamed up all my veggies ahead of time and ate them cold which was totally fine. I also traveled with all lunch meat because I find them tasty when cold instead of my weird turkey, chicken or fish.
Running on E
Along the way, drinking this gallon of water, I was so concerned about hitting all the rest stops when I had a chance so that I could pee that I forgot to look for gas stations to gas up the car! Right when I noticed I was on E, I passed up the last gas station for 10 miles! I freaked! I new I had some time but I didn’t know how much since I wasn’t sure how long I had been on E. I was sweating but I did make it. 😀
The Summit was Friday night and a full day Saturday. Friday night we checked in, got some swag and heard from the keynote speaker Dr. Mike T Nelson speak on Heart Rate Variability and training. That was super interesting stuff. Heart rate variability is the variation in the time interval between heartbeats. Having that time vary is good! When the beat to beat time does not vary, that is bad news. This data shows you when your body is in periods of stress. Yeah sure, you probably know when you are stressed out but there are many times when you don’t know or that stress has become a base line for you. For example, when you don’t get enough sleep, that stresses out your bod and causes a whole host of issues with recovery, immunity and hormone balances. Actually seeing these numbers can be helpful in making correlations to lifestyle factors that can be hindering your health AND you can use this to custom your workout program as some exercise regimes can cause stress for some individuals and not others. (also see 7 Simple Ways to Live Mindfully to help manage stress and live in the present).
The next day we heard from Brian Whitacre on The Physiological Changes During Natural Bodybuilding Contest Prep, Layne Norton on Practical Prioritization, Cliff Wilson on Foundation Concepts of Bodybuilding Success and last but not least, John Gorman spoke on Metabolic Capacity and Reverse Dieting.
All great stuff. My favorite part of conferences is when they have a Q & A panel. Each person on the panel at the Physique Summit (included all of the above as well as Jason Theobold of Scooby Prep) had their own strengths and expertise to add to the experience. All in all, it was REALLY good.
I had a GREAT time there, met some great people and got to meet Layne Norton and Brian Whitacre! BOOM!
I chuckle just about every time I see this pic.I stalked these two back into the auditorium during a break and introduced myself… and what do we talk about…. the weather. Cracks me right the eff up. I have a chance to talk BB with two influential people and the weather it was! LOL!
While in MO I had to fit in my workouts. The hotel gym did the trick for shoulders. On my way home, I stopped at Gold Gym in Des Moines which was about half way to break up the drive and workout my glutes!
Tis the season for cabin weekends and water fun in MN. This means more meticulous meal prep. I packed similar to what I did for the physique summit. Lots of temptations at the cabin with all the friends around and drinking and snackies and boat outings but man I was so good! It also helps that everyone knows my goal!
…and not to forget a portable work out! I brought up resistance bands and hit up lower body and core. Feel the burn.