Life During Bikini Prep – Week #7 Recap
Just finished up week #7 and I’m excited to say that things are still going great and I’m making slow but steady progress!
By now in the past, I would have become more like a whiny robot counting down the weeks, days and hours until I don’t have to use a food scale…but I can still say that this has been my easiest prep yet and it’s kind of getting easier as the weeks go by believe it or not.
As of this morning I’m now seeing new lows on the scale the day after a refeed, which means the metabolism is-a-runnin’!
My “low day” macros were lowered just a touch recently, while my refeed day macros were raised.
Cardio has also been bumped up a bit (both for HIIT and steady state) but I don’t mind that because of how high we’ve been able to keep my calories. I would prefer to eat more and do more work!
I’m down 5 pounds total since I started dieting, but I feel my pictures make it look like much more than that.
This week I’d like to address things a little bit differently than the other blogs in this series.
I’ve been asked a lot of questions lately by friends in regards to how prepping for a competition works, so I thought that it’d be helpful to readdress some of those questions since I’m sure they weren’t the only ones wondering similar things.
- What are macros?
Macro is short for macronutrients.There are 3 of them which consist of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
I have a set amount of all 3 that I must reach by the end of each day, and I also eat them in specific amounts at specific times of the day to adhere to fat loss.
Each of the 3 macros contain calories in the following format:
1g Protein = 4 calories
1g Carbs = 4 calories
1g Fat = 9 calories
I count macros instead of calories because when your body is given a certain percentage of its calories from each of the 3 macronutrients, the metabolism runs properly.
Therefor, if my macros are where they need to be, than my calories will be where they need to be.
If you only count calories and a majority of them are coming from carbs and/or fats, (rather they’re considered “healthy” or not) you will have a much harder time reaching your goals (read “Healthy Foods That Can Make You Fat” for more info).
The timing format that I currently follow is:
Protein – in every meal, total grams for the day split evenly between all 5 meals
Breakfast – higher fat, lower carb
Pre workout – high carb, lower fat
Post workout – higher carb, lower fat
Meal 4 – moderate carbs & fats
Final Meal – higher carb, lower fat
Parts of this carb and fat timing protocal is something newer for me this time around but seems to be working very well for my body.
(Lately my breakfast every morning has been a protein shake + 1 Kashi waffle + 1 tbsp of butter + 1 tbsp of white chocolate peanut butter..that comes out to about 40% of my total fats for the day)
Having higher carbs before my workouts helps give me a good boost to push some weight around (since carbs are used for short-term energy and only take 1-2 hours to digest).
Lately I’ve been hooked on Sour Patch Kids for my intra-workout.
Having higher carbs after my workouts helps restore the muscle tissue that was broken down during the weight lifting session.
The carbs will also be stored as glycogen in the muscles for later use rather than just passing through the body with no purpose.
As stated in previous blogs, there are many different ways to do a competition diet (such as with the timing specifics) but my coach and I have found that this format is working very well for me both mentally and physically.
- How much muscle will you gain from now until your show? Realistically, none.Muscle is built during the off season phase while reverse dieting, not while you’re cutting calories.
When I started dieting I was probably around 17% body fat. Come show day I might be around 12%, but I don’t aim for a specific number just so long as I look a certain way.
Some people are lucky enough to see a little muscle growth during their competition diets, but it’s rare and usually in very small amounts.
It also depends on how long you’ve been lifting.
Those who are new to lifting weights experience muscle gains at a much faster pace, but since I’m on my 5th year of weight lifting, that phase is long gone.
In the last 2 years that I’ve taken off from the stage to build muscle, I’ve literally maybe added only 4-5lbs of muscle total. My body type just doesn’t add muscle easily, mainly because I’m a female (read: “I Don’t Want to Get Big” for more info).
- Why can’t you eat out? If I want to stay on point at all times and always know 100% of the amounts I’m eating, than that means I won’t be eating out for the entire 16-20 week duration.
Yes I follow flexible dieting, but during this process it’s vital that you are as consistent with your macros as possible which comes with weighing out every gram or ounce of food that enters your mouth during that time.
I’m sure there are some places that would allow me to order something very specific, but for example if a chef accidentally adds a tbsp of oil to the pan, that’s an extra 14g of fat that I’d be consuming and never know about.
Or maybe he doesn’t add it himself, but there’s still left over tid-bits in the pan from the previous meal cooked?
If I’m suppose to have 47g of fat a day, that extra tbsp of oil would make it 61g which is waaay over the goal (I try to consistently hit my fats within 1g plus or minus of my goal).
I would just rather be safe than sorry.
I made the decision when I first started competing that if I’m going to go through this long and thorough process, I want to give it my best and nothing but.
Therefor I don’t give myself the option to fall off track or not be as diligent as possible, hence why I make the decision to not eat out.
- Do you enjoy this process?I love this question and I have multiple different answers and comments for it, but overall, the answer is yes.There are definitely some sacrifices that come with this sport and those can cause for very difficult times, but the reward at the end of it all is extremely glorifying no matter what the placing outcome is.
I enjoy challenging myself and overcoming obstacles. I believe this process makes me stronger not just physically but mentally as well. It has taught me discipline, dedication, and the power one can have when they set their mind to something.
This is the 3rd season I’ve competed and each time I’ve gone into it with a different mindset, and each time I’ve come out of it learning something new and valuable about myself.
Am I excited to be able to go eat out and have a drink with my girlfriends again? Hell yeah I am!
But am I excited to get on stage and show off what I’ve worked sooo hard far both mentally and physically?
That answer is also a hell yeah!
This sport is definitely the upmost challenging obstacle that I’ve ever willing put myself through (multiple times now), but I wouldn’t change a thing…even the way I did things “clean” the first time around because of what it taught me and how it made me who I am today.