4 Weeks Out: Competition Month!
Prep in a Zip-Loc Bag: I’m currently writing from the sky, on my flight to Tampa for work this week (last trip during prep – woohoo!) Every April, we have our annual sales kick-off event in Florida and last year was a doozy because it was just 2 weeks out from stage day. Thankfully, this year is 4 weeks out so it’s not quite as “holy crap!” stress-inducing. The trouble with travel on prep (for me, at least) is not the food as I always bring my own and don’t have much issue refusing alcohol & restaurant fare. The hard part is really two things: 1) The dreaded travel water retention. This really isn’t that big of a deal under normal circumstances but can be if you are TOO close to a show – you need a few days to reset when you get home. 2) Workouts: Let’s face it, I have a trainer for a reason. As much as I am super motivated and am really good at pushing myself when no one is watching, the reality is, I just can’t train as hard without my coach. Especially on legs! And on top of that, we all know that a 90s treadmill in a closet (read: hotel gym) is NOT the optimal environment for training. Thankfully, our sales kickoff is at the same resort every year and has a decent fitness center (there’s even a squat rack, heyyyy!) so I will be just fine this week.
Yesterday, I achieved a new PR in meal prep: 6 days of food cooked, weighed, baggied & color coded in 2 hours flat! DAMN! That may sound like a ton of time but it shaved off a good hour of what it normally takes me. I guess I was in a good rhythm? Here’s a brief summary of what I packed:
- Breakfast: waffles made of ground oats & egg whites (plus palette-pleasing cinnamon and almond extract make it taste like Christmas cookies! No syrup needed!) Shout out to my teammate, Tiffany, for the fabulous idea!
- Meals for the day: grilled chicken (with killer Rudy’s Texas BBQ rub), roasted Japanese purple sweet potatoes with sea salt & ginger (my favorite!), a few servings of baked fresh Pacific Cod (I’m going to buy more when I get there and cook it onsite since we have full kitchens in our rooms. No one likes old fish!), and grilled asparagus. Woohoo! Also on my grocery list when I get there is’ more asparagus & egg whites. One might think, “Wow, you eat the same thing every day? Yikes!” My answer? It makes packing SOOO easy! And everything I’m bringing with me are my favorite foods for prep so I have 0 complaints!
I decided to take a new approach this time by freezing all of my food (with exception of my meals for today) and pack them in my checked bag. That way, they should stay really cold the entire journey. Last year I brought a huge cooler as a carry-on and didn’t freeze my food. It stayed pretty cold but was a huge pain to carry around (not to mention the joking comments made by TSA). We’ll see how this goes!
In other news, my favorite night time snack this week was…..melted peanut butter on egg whites. And I freaking loved it, gleefully swinging and kicking my heels while I ate it. Haha! The things we do!
Battery laptop is dying – let’s skip to the stats!
- Weight: 124.6 (Up 1.2 from last week). An important note about this process (or weight loss in general I suppose), is that it’s not always linear. Your body fluctuates and it’s critical not to let it get you down or mess with your brain. I’ll admit, I was disappointed to see my weight go up this week but I know from experience that this is normal. Water weight, change in carbs, digestion issues etc. can all contribute to fluctuation. So while I use weight here as a metric, it doesn’t tell the full story. Looking in the mirror, I’m leaner and tighter this week despite what the scale says.
- Training sessions: 3-4x a week with my coach
- Cardio: 30min hard cardio every evening (I’ve been switching up between sprint intervals and stair mill intervals)
- Mood rating: 8. This was a great week! My calories were up much higher than they have been giving me tons of energy to really lift hard in my training sessions and sprint my guts out during cardio. And my body is really “chiseling up” beautifully. It is so exciting to see how different I look this year versus last year. My body is leaner sooner (meaning, my body fat is lower now at 4 weeks out than it was 4 weeks out from last year’s show) and on top of that, my muscles are a lot more developed and prominent than last year (after 12 months of hard work, they better be!). For instance, one of my most underdeveloped body parts is my quads. When I first started at Chrome 2 years ago, you could barely see them! Now that my body fat is melting off, I’m seeing REAL quads in there! Like a baby quad sweep and everything! Whee! This is probably the most exciting thing for me this season. I have naturally strong shoulders, glutes and abs but have really had to focus hard on developing my legs to catch up with the rest of my figure. And it takes so much time, dedication and even concentration during every leg workout. For me, my glutes are so strong that they like to take over during squats, presses, etc. so I have to use mind-muscle connection to force my body to use my quads to power during lifts, resisting its natural urge to just use my big ol’ butt. Wow – I really went off on a tangent there huh?
Anyway – my prep is right on track and it’s officially stage month! I’ll be at Emerald cup before month’s end! Looking forward to kicking butt this week while I’m away from home! 4 weeks to go!