So this could be a long post… so bare with me. Some of you know me personally and some of you simply know me from social media. Either way, i think by sharing my story with you all it will give you some more insight into myself and the things i post on this blog. So where to start?
Throughout high school i played soccer and ran cross country for a few years. I never really focused on what i ate. When i went to college at Cal U was when i really started working out and going to the gym. More than anything it was a lot of cardio and “abs”. I ate salad and pbj sandwiches my freshman year literally every day. As college progressed the more i focused on losing weight and what i ate. By my junior year, i was tracking all my food and spending hours in the gym. I was probably eating around 1200 calories and i was definitely under eating. I remember i got down to 112 lbs (This was REALLY low for me- i was 116 this past season on stage.) I had zero muscle at this point.
When i transferred to IUP, my sister and i continued to workout and track our food together. We did a food plan off of bodybuilding.com because we were going on vacation to florida and we wanted to look good. We tracked everything we ate and workout religiously. Great. When we went on vacation, we ended up not having a plan and by the time we left vacation we had probably gained all the weight we had lost back. Not good. (Hello yo-yo dieting)
Soon after, my sister and i started looking into doing a bodybuilding competition. We had always enjoyed working out and we thought this would be a good way to challenge ourselves. We found our first coach off of instagram (BAD IDEA– more about that in another post). We followed a meal plan for 16 weeks and then competed in my first show. I competed in my first show but did not place. While i was not unhappy with how i looked come show day, looking back i was definitely not satisfied. I did not look like a bikini competitor should look come show day. But then came after wards.
Following my first show, i had a TERRIBLE rebound. I gained all the weight back plus much more. I had no plan post show. I ate excessive amounts because i felt so restricted from months of following a strict plan from a coach who had no idea what they were doing. I became uncomfortable in my own skin (from the quick weight gain) and had no desire to go to the gym. This was a really bad time for me. I would not say this was Binge Eating Disorder, although i definitely had Binge like tendencies. Because i was so uncomfortable with my body- i thought this would be a good time to start to prep again in an effort to become more comfortable with myself… that lasted a few weeks and then i decided to not prep. I worked from a reverse standpoint right then and upped my calories until last december.
Last November, i did some research for a GOOD, QUALIFIED coaches and found Dynamic Duo Training- Coach Chris and Coach Eric. Who are AMAZING! Once we picked up with them we agreed on a flexible dieting plan and two diet for 20 weeks. Had a successful prep and competed in two shows- The Midatlantic Cup and The Northcoast Coast Championship. I placed 5th in my first show and 4th at my second. I felt like i looked how a bikini competitor should look and i was so pleased with how i had progressed from my first competition. With an immediate plan post show, i slowly started reversing and adding in calories all while cutting cardio.
5th place: midatlantic cup (first photo) 4th place: Northcoast Chapionship (right photo)
I reversed, as plan, for about 6 months. I was counting my macros, weighing myself everyday.. I had a few times (prob about 3) when my binge tendencies came back. I spooned ridiculous amounts of pb from the jar but it was 100X better than after my first show. I was slowly gaining weight back. However, my disordered eating habits were returning. I was getting really anxious about weighing myself everyday and seeing the number on the scale. So many bikini competitors i knew were losing weight on their reverses and here i was … gaining what i felt was “so much” weight. I didn’t want to go on dates with my boyfriend and not track because i knew the scale would go up. I felt restricted by these set of macros that i had been following for 10 months. I had anxiety if i didn’t hit my numbers, if i went over, or if i ate something off plan. Despite the freedom from having a flexible diet, i still felt restricted.
June 1st to August 10th:: 1 week post show to 11 weeks post show
So, for about 2 months ( a little less). i decided to stop tracking. To stop weighing myself. To stop following a flexible dieting approach. (this is not to say iifym is bad…. but thats for another post). I have been working on practicing intuitive eating which involves listening to my hunger signals and working on having a positive body image. Ultimately.. i am searching for “balance”. Some people say balance isn’t necessary or they don’t like the word. I tend to disagree.
Balance is necessary. You may be tracking your macros perfectly but at what cost? Are you happy with your life? Your relationships? Or are you getting anxiety at the thought of stepping on the scale, going out to eat without your scale or food calculator, and getting anxiety at the thought of going over your macros? It is so much to think about and that is what i am working on.
Have a thought about competing in the spring? Yes. Absolutely. It is something i love to do and i will do it in 2016. But i know that i need to focus on myself, mentally (finding balance, loving myself at every stage), and physically (gaining musclessss). I have a potential start date but at this point thats it. #Priorities.
So that’s it.. And why am i posting this? I know some of out there have similar stories and can relate to what i have gone through as well. Even though you may think so, you are not alone. So many of us, competitors and non, go through these phases. So reach out- if you have any questions or need someone to talk to.. feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on social media.
Ultimately, i think we need to remember that we are more than our bodies, more than our macros, and more than our past. This is my story and theres so much more to come.