Well, it's about that time. Time for me to put on my stripper heels and don my custom-fitted glorified sparkly thong. My next show will be the OCB Yorton Cup on 10/29/11 in Washington DC. I'm very excited about getting back up on stage for a few reasons. First, even though I placed 5th in my class at Jr. USAs, I felt I got lucky, especially considering my physique wasn't as bangin' as I wanted it to be or as I knew it could be. I was personally disappointed in my own performance (although, I do blame my prep), and I feel the need to better myself. Second, I have worked my ASS off to put on good, lean, quality muscle over the last 10 months. I've hit the weights HARD, eaten lots of good, clean food, and have put on about 12-15lbs since last year. My physique is going to look so different from what I brought to the stage last year, and I'm excited to see what is underneath. Third, putting on that much muscle/weight has affected me a little bit, mentally, since it required that I get a bit bigger. I look good, don't get me wrong. I'm not fat, but I did have to buy some bigger clothes, which, as any woman will tell you, can be difficult. My legs grew a bit, and so have my lats and shoulders, which has increased my overall size. I've had days where this really affects me, and then other days I'm fine. I know I can be overly critical of myself, and I am aware of this. I am also aware that you cannot gain muscle without gaining some fat. It is what it is.
I start a new diet July 1 - I will still be off-season, calorie-wise, but I will be changing back to higher protein, moderate carb, lower fat. My body usually responds very quickly, so we'll see how the first few weeks go. I'll stick to that for 2 months or so before I start a true contest prep diet. I'm lucky in that I need only about 8 weeks of more strict dieting to get ready for the stage. People that prep for 20+ weeks - you're in the wrong sport. It should never be that hard or take that long; if it does, see my previous statement.
Some people have asked me, "Why the switch from the NPC to the OCB?" I have many, many reasons - probably too many to list; I won't bore you with all of them. I've competed in the NPC for over a year, and I've seen and heard some things that simply to not appeal to me, do not sit well with me, and that I do not want to be a part of any longer. That's not to say that I won't do an NPC local show in the future for shits and giggles, but I likely will never compete in the NPC at the national level again. I'll leave it at that. Additionally, the drug use really gets to me. I had a long discussion with a good friend about this last week when I was up in Chicago for Jr. Nats. I am an athlete and have been since I came out of the womb. I play fair. I believe that the person who is the best that day should always win. And that person should be the best because they've played fair. The drug use is just too much for me, and I just don't think it's fair for a natural girl like me to stand next to an amazon woman who has been using steroids for 3 years. We prep for months for these shows and to be screwed on show day is a slap in the damn face. If you cheat to get on stage, whether that be by taking drugs or doing something weird with a judge, YOU DON'T DESERVE TO WIN. At the end of the day, you have to look at yourself in the mirror, and you know what you've done. I am in no way willing to compromise my morals/standards/values or my body for this sport. This is a hobby for me - something fun to do, a personal challenge to overcome. I've seen way too many deserving girls get screwed and I'm really tired of it. I could say a lot more, but I won't. I will continue to support my friends who compete in the NPC, but I'm moving to a federation that I feel is more fair, and where the cheating is less. I may piss a few people off with these statements, and that's fine. These are my opinions, and I've had over a year of going to these shows and hearing weird stories and SEEING things backstage, and this is the conclusion to which I have come.
So, gang, my recipes will move towards more prep-friendly food. For those of you who don't compete, I still think you'll find some of the recipes good alternatives (ie protein pancakes - truly delicious). And for my competitor friends, you'll get to see just how creative I can get when I start to get lean and mean :)