You read all of these blogs talking about people and their journeys into bodybuilding and healthy living and those are fantastic! You get motivated and inspired and it’s a lovely sense of community in the bodybuilding and competition world.
But once the competition is over, the blog posts stop completely or they change gears to something else like a new fitness endeavor or another life journey (I’m totally guilty of this.)
It’s been exactly one month since my competition and I have been through some ups and downs post-competition.
The hardest part being the eating.
During my first two weeks post-competition, I was pretty good at sticking to my eating clean. I had a couple of cheat days per week (when I visited those restaurants downtown.) Although, I wasn’t too religious at the gym. I was just taking ‘er easy and spending my time rollerblading or hiking and enjoying the late-blooming beautiful spring weather.
Then things switched up a bit. The last couple of weeks, I had been more lenient on my eating plan (eating way less clean), including indulging in bread (!!!!!) and some bulk candy. (My vice, apparently.) But I also was more dedicated to the gym and was lifting crazy heavy and reaching PBs left, right and centre.
(I hit 165lbs on squats, 270lbs on leg press and 95lbs on bench press. I even successfully did four pull-ups!) So that was a definite ‘good’ during this post-competition experience.
However – obviously – I have gained weight after the competition. (It is both unhealthy and impossible to retain your stage weight and body fat percentage. For one, I was eating less than 1,000 calories a day and severely dehydrated.) I have never been one to let the scale dictate my life, but it has become somewhat of an obsession for me. Watching my weight climb slowly back to just below my 14-weeks-out weight is very difficult, especially mentally.
But the strange thing is I still feel good about how I look for the most part. Sure, I don’t have my shredded abs anymore and I’ve probably gained an inch back on my waist (and my chest is not so flat anymore. Bonus!)
I’m sure it could have been a lot worse and I could have binged a lot more and been put in a lot more difficult of a situation — like gaining more weight than I had originally lost. Plus, this wasn’t about losing weight. It was about challenging myself and transforming my body and healthy living outlook.
I’m eating cleaner as of this week and planning on continuing my lifting heavy regime at the gym whilst challenging myself at the gym.
(Tonight is legs and I’m going to attempt my first Smith machine-less squat. I’M GOING TO ENTER THE BULL PEN UNMANNED. JUST ONE WOMAN IN A PAIR OF SPANDEX. I’ve never used the power rack before except for dead lifts so this is a big deal, okay?!)
Now that I have more control on my eating plan and I’m back in the swing of the gym routine, I just have one more obstacle to conquer: my digestive system.
I’m not sure if I had mentioned before – I probably have – but I thought I had developed an egg intolerance nearing the end of my training. Post-competition, I went for a check-up with my family doctor and she suggested I get blood work done. Results came back that I had elevated liver function. Almost like a trigger, the day I heard those results was the day I started to get digestive problems – severe stomach pains and lots of bloating. I did a follow-up blood test yesterday morning and I’m awaiting results.
But yesterday I was feeling terrible. (I had eaten a few macaroons at lunch, but still, I had eaten them on Friday and I didn’t feel this way.) I had severe stomach pains, a noticeable pounding heart, chest pains, my back hurt, I was lightheaded, bloated and I think I went to the bathroom 15 times yesterday. Normally I feel better on my train ride home but I was almost doubled over walking to my car in discomfort and pain.At the suggestion of my dear old mammy, I went to a walk-in clinic where the doctor presumed my pounding heart was from PMS. (Uhhh…what? I normally just get bad cramps and a bitch attitude, so I’m not sure about this.) She suggested I try out Iberogast – a natural remedy endorsed by the ‘GI guys’ – for my stomach symptoms. Iberogast is a liquid that you drop into water (or shoot it straight!) with your meals three times a day and it is usually given to people with mild IBS.
Needless to say, today I feel so much better. I ate a lot more fruit and trying to drink more water to help my poor old internal organs.
So, I guess I just wanted to share my post-competition experience and struggles, so maybe if you experience the same thing, you know you’re not the only one!
Now I’m off to scare the boys in the weightroom. 300 pound leg press here I come!