September 15

Points of Clarity

If there’s one thing I’ve promised to my readers, its absolute transparency. In my mission to chronicle this journey, I’ve vowed to not leave anything out, no matter how dramatic, emotional or difficult to read. However, I sit here tonight and feel inclined to contextualize and clarify the content of last night’s post, “Low Carb Character”. I understand the impression that it may have left people thinking: “Wow, she must be starving,” “Why is she doing this to herself?” “That can’t be healthy!”  I get it! And because I get it, I simply can’t rest until I do my best to convey the context of the truth. Here are some thoughts:

  • Low Carb + Low Cal are Relative: When I say my carbs and calories have dropped, its imperative to understand the subjectivity of this statement. The operative word here is: MY, meaning the quantity is relative to what MY body is used to.  What is “low carb” or “low cal” for me at this point is still very sustainable and healthy. For the full 10 weeks leading up to now, I’ve been on a mission to gain some serious weight (aka. muscle mass!) so I’ve been on a plan to EAT more calories and more carbohydrates than I’ve ever had before. We’re talking overflowing bowls of delicious oatmeal (my favorite!) several times a day (not to mention buttermilk pancakes, pizza, steak & potatoes, sushi & more!).  At the same time, its no surprise that the volume of my fuel would change just days away from the competition and so of course my body notices the change and perceives it as discomfort.  However, we are creatures of adaptation and in just the few days since Thursday’s meltdown, my body is quickly responding just as I need it to. And just to hammer it in, check out the pic below of a scrumptious meal from last week (of which I eat 6x per day). Can I get a “YUMMMMM!”?


    BBQ chicken, roasted sweet potato fries and green beans!

  • Deprivation: I post a lot about drooling over cake and pumpkin spice things. And I don’t apologize for it because, well, they taste freaking amazing! But even before this process again, I chose to limit them to occasional treats because they really interfere with my body’s optimal performance from my digestion to my energy level and even cognitive capacity. Junk food + Danielle just don’t mix well. The good news is, I’ve shared all of the tasty moments that these treat meals have been weaved into my nutrition plan during comp prep. AND I’m still eating all of my favorite foods (lean proteins, complex carbs, fats, etc.) every day. So, am I being deprived beyond all reasonable limits? Absolutely not!
  • Struggle. What is it Good For?:  It’s becoming a motif for my entries: the value of struggle. Y’all already know how I feel on this subject – that its not only OK for us to tackle really difficult things head on but also necessary for realizing value! At the same time, its important to note that my struggles last week and in weeks before aren’t a direct result of my diet or training intensity. Competition prep does not exist in a vacuum. Life exists in and around it! And with life comes all of its ups and downs (like I’m telling you anything you don’t already know!). Simply put, I  refuse to let a few moments of struggle unfairly skew one of the most positive, rewarding and empowering experiences of my life!

With that, I want to extend my arms as far as they will stretch to sincerely thank each and every one of you for supporting and encouraging me. To my loving husband, my uplifting family and friends, my incredible Coach Brooke, the fierce and compassionate women of Team Chrome, and everyone else who know who they are, THANK YOU! Here’s to finishing strong! (SHESTRONG?!?)