So, I thought I would share with you a retrospect from last year. When I started this blog, I was preparing for a figure competition. “Bodybuilding Lite,” I call it, though I train just like any other bodybuilder, using the same weightlifting and diet manipulation techniques. I already shared with you my “before” pics, which you can find in the archives of this blog. Fast-forward a bit, and I will now disclose to you what you are probably most interested in, my competition pictures from my June 2010 competition. This was the result of all of my hard work:
Check out those shoes! These are the regulation shoes for figure competitors. Something else, huh? Out of all of the things people ask me (besides what I ate), I think I get the most questions about those shoes and whether or not I wear them around the house for Tony, my husband. The answer, in case you were wondering, is: No, my bunions don’t let me wear them for fun. When I was 20, maybe I would have thought about it.
So, how did I place? Out of seven competitors, I placed 2nd in the Medium Height Novice Division and 4th in the Masters Division (they have too much tact to call it the “Old Lady Division”). Not too bad for my first bite at the apple. Oh, and the winner of the Medium Height Novice Division was 19 years old. I was 39 when I competed. I am OK with that, for my first time around, however … I am an old-school competitor. That is how I got through law school, at night, while I worked full-time during the day and still had a family to care for. I graduated with honors. The old-school competitor in me wants to WIN.
This year, I have decided to compete again. My first show is June 4 in Middletown—the OCB Central Eastern Seaboard States. I figure if I am going to embarrass myself, I might as well do it in front of friends rather than a bunch of strangers. I must be out of my mind. To achieve the goal last year, I basically had to eat the same things every day for six months. David Pulcinella, my Food Nazi, of Pulse Advanced Nutrition and Fitness Counseling, helped me tweak the diet to curb carbs and adjust fats and protein portions as my physical changes progressed. But, overall, it was the same foods every day and BEYOND BORING. At least I know what to expect.
While this was a test of taste buds as well as moral fortitude, I survived. I also learned an immense amount about the human body, the will to succeed, the need for organization, the power of visualization, and, most importantly, how to utilize every spice known to man.
Since the competition, I re-worked my diet to conform to my “off-season” goals, which was to gain 3-5 pounds of lean muscle and still maintain a body fat of 15 to 19 percent. Well, I think I am within the range for the lean muscle gain, but I did go up to 21 percent body fat, which exceeded my goal, but I am OK with that. For the most part, I stuck to a regimented program all week, and let it all hang out for a cheat meal once a week, usually on the weekend. Remember, though, this was only ONCE a week—one meal, one time a week. In essence, I continued eating like a bodybuilder in the off-season. Sounds like a great time, huh?
I will only know whether I achieved my off-season goal to gain lean mass when I start dieting off the body fat. I started my diet this week—nothing drastic, just cycling some carbs and starting to journal again. To preserve muscle mass, the body must slowly go into the diet—no crash dieting or there will be a loss of body fat and muscle. Body fat will only go away without wasting muscles with a progression of diet and increased cardio.
For now, my dieting parameters are about 1,800 calories per day, with a 50/30/20 percent ratio of protein, carbs and fats. I do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach about five or six days a week for about 40 minutes, which will increase over the course of the next 16 weeks. I lift five days a week, every week, and have for years, and this will not change during the course of the contest prep.
I look forward to continuing to share my journey with you. All the best in health to you.