2 Weeks Out: Polish & Gratitude

“This is my favorite part of prep,” – a phrase I’ve found myself repeating on almost a daily basis this week. And I really mean it! Why? We’ve reached the point where months of discipline, sacrifice, struggle, dripping sweat, flowing tears, and unrelenting mind over body strength all come to a head. These last few days are the advent of the BIG celebration, the big victory.

The Final Package: One of the occasions this week that made me blurt out “this is my favorite part of prep,” was during our team posing practice on Monday evening.  The joy of being on a team is that you get to experience the magnitude of achievement by a multiplier as big as the number of people on your team. You get to witness the transformation of many, not just one. And on Monday, everyone on my team looked drop-dead stunning. We all took the time to put on our new sparkly suits, polish our looks with hair & makeup and pose our asses off as if the judges were right there in the gym with us. I am SO damn proud of this group of women – we have spent the last 3 months together, building each other up, pushing each other, leaning on each other. To any outsider judging this sport as narcissism on steroids, I’d encourage you to spend one evening with the energizing, uplifting, family-oriented environment of our team. You’d see instantly exactly what I’m talking about.

Tiny Tweaks: Now that we’re embarking on the 2 weeks out window, its time to kick into high gear with the twisting and turning of tiny knobs and dials that ultimately fine tune that final package. One of those things for me is detoxing my diet of all products with artificial sugars. While this is certainly not required for everyone, I know my body and I know that this small little action really impacts my body’s water retention and overall tightness. So adios protein shakes & sugar-free everything.  The good news is that I really don’t consume much of this crap because a) I know its not good for me and 2) my tummy is not a big fan anyway. BUT, I do love stevia in my oatmeal/waffles in the morning, SF vanilla syrup in a cup of coffee or flavored BCAAs in my water jug. There’s no doubt that its a sacrifice to my tastebuds. But if I know what I want (my best stage package ever) and know why I’m doing something (bye bye, belly bloat), then you betcha I’m going to do it and do it with a smile.

Gratitude: Last, but certainly not least, I had several moments of profound appreciation wash over me this week. To be fair, I’ve had them consistently since day 1 of prep and am long overdue for sharing. Taking on a challenge like show prep, although very “me-centric”, dramatically impacts those around us, especially our closest loved ones. Competitors spend more time, more money, more energy than usual on the likes of training, preparing food, buying suits, show registrations, posing practice, etc. We get cranky. We have days of major fatigue.We aren’t “socially normal” at functions where the alcohol is flowing. And this can be a really hard thing to deal with for our significant others and family members, especially during your first prep. I’ll admit, it was a difficult adjustment my first prep as neither my husband or I really knew what to expect (we went to a half dozen weddings that summer which felt like pure torture!). But now, with practice and patience, we’ve both found the formula for balance that allows me to compete in a sport I absolutely love while still maintaining our lifestyle in a way that makes us both happy. He is a rockstar about not pushing me to go out on a Saturday night when I’m exhausted and don’t want someone’s birthday cake dangled in my face. Instead? We compromise to invite people over so we can be social but still afford me the comforts of my home and my food to enjoy. In return, I make an effort to still cook some of his favorite meals a few times a week, even baking chocolate chip cookies this weekend, because I want to show him how thankful I am for his undying support. Its a give and take. Its not perfect, but now that we are BOTH prep experts, we have learned how to manage it TOGETHER, not just me doing it by myself. And the money? Yea, its stupid expensive. While it makes my stomach cringe to think about how much 1 season costs in total, like any other expenditure, its a trade-off measured by value. We all spend our finite resources of time and money on what our priorities are. And for me, the personal joy and satisfaction this sport yields are of far greater value to me than the cash investment.And if cost is holding you back, be encouraged that there area  million ways to be creative with your show expenses (second-hand suits, DIY tans, buying food in bulk, etc.).  Point: if you want it bad enough, if its truly a priority in your life, you can and will make it happen. I am SO over the moon thankful for a network of people who get that and encourage me to pursue it.

And now, this week’s stats:

  • Weight:122.6 lbs (down .4 from last week)
  • Training: 3x week with my coach
  • Cardio: 30min of hard cardio every day
  • Mood Rating(1-10, 10=BAMF): 10 – Absolutely no complaints! I’m still feeling better than I ever have during a prep season and continue to wake up every morning with better results than the day before. I enjoyed a few trail runs outdoors this week that not only check off the cardio box for the day but completely refuel and replenish my soul. I’m spending today (Sunday) completely relaxing, no cardio or training of any kind. A well deserved TRUE rest day. The sun is shining and my sweat pants are cozy. I’m ready to tackle another week!

TWO. More. Weeks!!!

2 weeks out