Week 10: The Great Pancake Experiment

I’m proud to say I’ve officially smashed 10 full weeks of comp prep! WOW! If you read last week’s post, you’ll know it was one of the toughest I’ve battled yet. I’m bursting with energy right now to announce: this week was SOOO much better! I’m back and unequivocally better than ever! Here’s how my (superwoman) week went:

  • The Great Pancake Experiment: As you may recall, last Monday I had a drool-worthy re-feed of steak and potatoes. The goal? Not just an emergency calorie injection following my brief spat with the flu but also to find the just-right-for-me combo of food that will plump up my muscles the night before the competition. Verdict? The steak and potatoes just didn’t quite give me that morning-after tightness that we were looking for. The same goes for the pizza we tried in July – just not the magical food for my body. So on Tuesday after training, my coach said words to me that I never, NEVER thought I’d hear: “I want you to go to IHOP and eat a big stack of pancakes with butter and syrup.” [crickets]. Yea. You read that right. And don’t worry, my jaw dropped too. Knowing I had a half gallon of the most incredible Grade B New Hampshire REAL maple syrup in my pantry at home (Dad, I know you’re teary with pride!), I asked if I could forego the International House of Poop and make them at home. Brooke agreed as long as I promised not to make anything whole wheat, flax-y or “healthy” whatsoever (she obviously has read my blog! ha!). I couldn’t race home fast enough! I busted out the box of buttermilk mix that I keep on hand for hubby’s weekend brunch and got to work. I made a huge stack of fluffy pancakes, slathered on the butter and practically water-boarded the poor things with my maple gold. And there I sat at my kitchen table, reveling in my masterpiece of a “dinner”, on the verge of weird, sugar-induced happy tears. No law of diminishing returns here, folks. Every freaking bite was as euphoric as the first. And the next morning? Ninja turtle abs! I think I found my food!20140907-191102.jpg
  • To Coach or Not to Coach? Every week, I find myself reflecting on how fortunate I am to have such an incredible Coach/Trainer/Nutrition Guru in my corner as I prepare for the most unique fitness challenge of my life thus far. When I signed up for the competition, I had not yet decided if I “needed” a coach to do this. I know I’ve reflected on the value of a coach in pervious posts but as I near the finish line, I can’t help but notice little things every single day that reinforce the value of  joining Team Chrome.  Yes, she trains me harder than I could have ever trained myself, she gives me expert posing advice that YouTube videos never could have given me and she sends me precise meal plans each week that are customized for my body. But more than that, the aggregate value of all of these things is what is so striking to me: the value of peace of mind. I know without a doubt that if I give my all every time I train with her, if I eat exactly everything she tells me to and if I follow all of the instructions that are laid out for me, I cannot fail. No matter what the outcome of the competition, I know that by making the decision to join Team Chrome and following the plan religiously, I will wake up the morning after the show knowing that I did everything I could to achieve the best results possible for me. Had I tried to do this on my own, my neurotic brain would have been constantly doubting, constantly questioning, constantly wondering if I was doing the right things to prepare. And knowing my old habits, I can bet that I would be doing WAY more cardio, eating WAY less and certainly wouldn’t have had pancakes for dinner. And guess what? I look in the mirror and see proof that my coach knows exactly what she’s doing. My body has NEVER looked this way and it continues to evolve as each day passes.20140907-191132.jpg
  • Tanning Giggles: On Wednesday, I decided to get a dark spray tan before heading to posing practice so I could get a better picture of what I’m going to look like on stage. I wanted to see what my skin tone and hair would look like against the color of my suits – not to mention that “lean” muscle pop look that a deep tan will give you. Great idea, right? Well, in theory, yes. However, this particular spray tan had a bit of a snafu. It was still a little sticky when I left the salon and drove over to the gym for practice but I didn’t think anything of it. Once in the locker room, the disaster beneath my clothes was revealed: I looked like a drippy fudgecicle on the 4th of July (except with stark white armpits). Yuck! Hahaha! I couldn’t help but crack up as bronze sweat dripped down my skin during posing practice like a really, really bad kindergarten finger-painted project. For the few seconds (and from the few angles) that my tan looked normal, I must admit that it made me LOVE the color of my suits even more. So I suppose it wasn’t a complete waste!

So there you have it – another awesome week in the books. And I’m especially pumped for this week because I get….wait for it….SWEET POTATOES! All day, every day. Serious morale booster as I haven’t had them for the entire 10 weeks! Alright – only TWO (and a half) weeks out!! Final stretch!