Back to the land of the living! After a fantastic holiday stuffing my face and gaining a wonderful 5kg (I weighed 10 kg heavier when I first got home, but was mostly water which has now gone!), and putting together a perfect little detox diet for the week when I came back of vegetable juices, fresh fruit/veg/ legumes, proteins, seeds and sprouted grains...blimey I feel better!
I’m back on show dieting and prepping my foods now too to get ready for the UKBFF British Finals 2015 in Nottingham. And am on it like a car bonnet!
I needed to gain some weight. The 7 weeks of maintaining weight between the last two shows was tedious! I need a start and a finish...I need to see progression and improvements rather than just ticking over. And with the weight I gained on holiday...I now feel motivated. And I sufficiently ate copious amounts of food to come back and look forward to dieting, and a routine with no cravings.
With lots of good food and rest I feel less emotional too, hormones a little more balanced. I knew I would. Everyone feels shaken up the weeks after a show whatever the outcome, and I knew my thoughts and feelings would change once I got back to being me, and flushed out my system.
The British Grand Prix wasn’t as bad as I had first thought for me. I was only 1 point away from the 3rd place lady. 1 point away from a potential invite to the Liverpool Amateur Olympia and Arnold Classic...but now rather than pull me down, that thought now is motivation. No experiments, use what I have learn’t works, and hammer out the next few weeks and bloody nail it!
I was asking myself in my last blog why I compete? Why I put myself through it over and over when it is so taxing on the body? Especially with me all year round being such a health and fitness freak. And the reason is....I simply love show day. Competing is my only vice! I don’t drink or smoke or have any other bad habits, the only things that does tickle my fancy is showing my wears on stage.
And yes, it is for all that I mentioned before...recognition for hard work, some adoration, to show off, fulfilling my 25 year ambitions and to be unique or unusual. All these reasons and more are what I do it for. It pushes my boundaries, proves my physical control of my body and mind and it motivates my off season training giving me something to work towards. I think it is an art; to sculpt your body, balance it out and work on symmetry, correcting your form and posture and the only time you get to see what you’ve been working on all year and all of my life...is when I am stripped of my fat and water, tanned, oiled, bikini donned and with the most revealing lights pointing straight at me...only then do I know if all that food prepping and training has paid off. That’s why I put my body through those tough weeks.
So I am going to continue with the great federation that is UKBFF...and continue to compete.
After all, competing is my only vice...
So, sitting here sunning myself in Egypt having a fantastic holiday with my sister, sat in a cabana after a snooze and a massive breakfast...I found myself reflecting on the show last Sunday which now seems a million days away.
For those who didn’t read the show reports, I didn’t place top 3 and came 4th out of 4 (last in other words, no denying it!) and I think it was my worst show to date. For two reasons, my worst placing to date, and my worst package brought to the stage to date.
What went wrong, you may want to know. I tried a different prep which, as I am already qualified for the British this year, was always my plan to use these early shows as a time to tinker with final weeks of prep, try some different things and see what happens. When I first booked the Bodypower and British Grand Prix show they were non qualifiers which were perfect for practice. But they became qualifiers over the year, which upped the anti a little, but I still went with the plan of experimenting.
Bodypower 2015, I was still happy with, as I felt I produced a good stage package, my mistake was not getting the posing right, and also I was told by judges afterwards I am too muscular for the Body Fitness and looked quite muscular on stage. I can deal with that, dust myself down and move on.
The UKBFF British Grand Prix 2015...I’m struggling to deal with. It was a fantastically organised show, with some great prizes and a high standard of competitors. Which was exactly what I expected from the UKBFF Panther Crew!
The day before I visited a pal who gives good honest opinions on my standard, and I got the thumbs up. Looked bang on he said. I thought so too. I had decided to try sodium loading and all that was left to do was to sodium load starting on the morning of the show. 5.30am - My tanning buddy who has tanned me on all my shows with Liquid Sun Rayz said she’d never seen my lower abs look so good.
I had 3 small amounts of salted nuts (about 10 peanuts) before stage over the morning...then started to swell...and swell......
Got on stage and looked horrid next to the fantastic other competitors. I deserved to lose. I did feel gutted. I don’t do this to lose after all. I am always egging for a win. I feel embarrassed and wished I never got on the stage, I should of re-assessed the situation beforehand, and pulled out rather than making the fool of myself, which is how I feel right now.
Trouble didn’t stop there. I swelled...and swelled...my eyes swelled, I felt very unwell and couldn’t sleep or eat properly, and my heart was trying to jump out of my chest. Because of the de-hydration process and the sodium mix, I drank 6 litres of water through the night as my mouth kept drying out. And although tired was glad when it was time to leave for my holiday as it took my mind off how I felt, although was starting to feel better.
I have been having to sleep and sunbathe on holiday with my legs raised to stop myself from swelling up. Each day I am feeling better. Great to be properly hydrated too. Lots of good (and bad!) food and did do stair intervals and do some weights yesterday as felt the urge to train.
I’m 44 years old this year. I have a passion for fitness, health and nutrition. I believe food to be medicinal and can fix and repair...and clearly can poison too if used in the wrong way.
It has left me wondering why I do shows. Adoration? Recognition for my hard work? To show off? To fulfil a 25 year ambition? It’s unusual/uniqueness? I’ve always loved being on stage since my singing/acting days, so maybe a need to return to it? All of the above?
The prep is tough ...and very unhealthy. I spend all year eating to improve my skin, hair, bones and joints and go shopping in the best fish and meats suppliers, eating and discovering new superfoods to improve my immune system, slow the aging process, to keep my heart, lungs and organs healthy and generally keep a spring in my step...to then poison myself for a show just to be the tightest, least watery, most vascular, driest, most defined, most serrated, the lowest in body fat....and all that on show day jargon that you hear.
Body building is in my blood. It fascinates me. I love the way it makes me look. Visibly fit. I can sculpt and shape my body and get rid of annoying parts of my body, change its shape, and re-design my look, over time, slowly...with training and diet. I look in the mirror and I’m happy. Do I need to do the shows? It’s the un-healthiest part of what I do. To be physically at your peak for a matter of days, but at the cost of being at your un-fittest for that period of time?
A decision I am still toying with.
I have 3 more days of holiday. One more week off diet when I get home, before I start prep again for British Finals in October. Got a lot of thinking to do....and another blog in between, as I also know emotions are high. I think it’s good to share my thoughts and feelings during these times. It hopefully gives you an honest insight into the world of being a body builder.
You might think ‘I know exactly where she’s coming from’ or ‘I didn’t realise that it can make you feel like that’ or ‘Sodium loading worked for me so she’s wrong’ ...whatever it is, it’s good for me to share my feelings, thoughts, emotions and physical awareness during this process with you as it might help you somewhere along your journey too. Or help with a decision you need to make during your journey.
My great friend and advisor said ’Put it down to a bad day at the office’. I liked this thought process. Just that phrase has helped. Shit happens...learn from it. Will it make me even more of a looser if I give up? Or will giving up make me a winner in keeping my body fit and healthy all year round?
Or am I over-thinking...was it simply a bad day at the office.....