And so it begins: the 2-3 hardest, most ridiculous weeks of contest prep. I am ravenous, I am a little tired, and I want some goddamn Sweet 16s in my face NOW. And peanut butter. So what keeps me going? What prevents me from giving up? Why do I do this??
This is the period where most people throw in the towel. They say it's too hard, they say they miss food and they want to eat a cheeseburger, and they throw away all of their hard work for what? For food that will always be there? For drinks with friends? Because they don't have the willpower to continue? I don't give up because I actually enjoy this. Am I hungry? You bet your sweet ass I'm hungry. But I'm also focused on my goal: I want to win my class, I want to perhaps try to earn my IFPA pro card. Most importantly, I want to return to the stage and see how much my hard work over these last 12 months has paid off. This is very personal for me this year. I haven't been on stage since August 2010, and I spent the last 10-12 months in a caloric surplus, trying to build myself a true figure frame: strong shoulders and back, tiny waist, athletic legs, tight glutes. I'd be lying if I said this year was easy, mentally. I gained weight, I had to buy new pants, and I felt very self-conscious at times. There were days that I really struggled when I looked in the mirror. It was a necessary evil, though, and it taught me a lot about patience and perseverance. Now when I look in the mirror, I feel like I belong on stage with some of the women I idolize.
Now I am very lucky in the sense that I'm not doing too much cardio right now. I'm doing 2 days a week of HIIT. One of those days typically takes me about 28 minutes, the other about 45. Other than that, I'm lifting 4 times a week. I still have 1 entire off day, and I am not that tired. I'm not dizzy or lightheaded, I have plenty of energy during my workouts, and I have not decreased weight on any of my exercises. My strength has not been compromised at all, which is very important. I have retained a good amount of mass - my weight isn't really going down that much (started at 152, am down to 146ish), yet I continue to make progress every week. I'm losing fat but not muscle - WINNING!!
Weeks 5-3 are always the hardest for me. It's far enough out that there is still enough time to make changes, but it's close enough that you can almost smell the Jan Tana (warm summer breeze, my ass). I will continue to push, I will continue to make progress, and 10/29 will be here before I know it. And then..........it's Sweet 16 time, bitches!!