Progress and Decisions

The other day I thought about how I hadn’t been posting much / anything on here about my competition progress. Initially, that was the purpose of starting the blog, but I found researching and writing more “educational” and opinion pieces to be therapeutic during prep. Honestly – it gives me something to focus on in the evening to pass time without thinking of food or hunger. LOL.

But, this post is purely a personal update (sorry?). My prep started 9 weeks ago, with the intentions of really slow progress because I didn’t have much weight to lose to be stage ready for the bikini category. My game plan for the year was to compete at Provincials in Toronto, in bikini as that’s what I’d qualified in, then jump back into a short build phase before prepping for the Windsor competition as my Figure debut. Well, in typical fashion, plans changed because my body clearly had different plans. About a week into the fat loss plan, my body had changed drastically, and was quite content to show off the hard work I did in the off-season. While this is great, it left me with a less than optimal physique for the bikini category. So, we slowed things down a bit, cut out cardio and planned to fill me back out. It didn’t really work, and I was struggling mentally with the idea that all the cuts and definition would disappear.

I talked to my coach, and we decided that it would be best to skip Provincials, and target a competition the following weekend, in Figure… AND Physique! While I’m thoroughly nervous about the Physique category, I’m so excited and relieved to feel like I have the freedom to keep training as hard as possible, without worrying about getting too muscular or lean. I can just train and love every minute of it!  To be clear, I still trained at a high intensity when Provincials was happening, but I was always conscious and worried about hitting my legs too hard. Now, that concern is gone and replaced with the thought to continue to push hard and have fun in the gym – truly the best part of my day! Excuse my face, it’s my “4:30am pre-workout progress picture” face… Obviously before my pre-workout kicked in.

Monday morning, following a cheat meal on Saturday night that my body plowed right through. The definition in my legs is not ideal for bikini competitors.

Monday morning, following a cheat meal on Saturday night that my body plowed right through. The definition in my legs is not ideal for bikini competitors.

This new plan has gained me an extra week of prep, putting me at four weeks out now. It’s going to be tough, as any prep is. These last couple of weeks have been unlike anything I experienced last year, and I’m lucky to have Kyle to reassure me that it’s normal. The cardio was draining, I’d never felt depleted like that, and the muscle soreness is intense – after EVERY training session. I’m going into these next four weeks knowing it’ll get tougher, but the end product will be worth it, and I’ll step on stage looking my best.

On that note, due to the fact that we’ve been so tired and busy, the house progress has been a little slower. We had an issue with our counter tops, but the last piece – the island – finally came in this week. The kitchen looks AMAZING now, and the sink and dishwasher will get hooked up tomorrow so everything is functional! No more dishes in the bathroom! The last piece we’re still waiting on is our dining table. The top has been here for a couple weeks, we’re just waiting for the legs to be built. All our living room furniture has been delivered, and we can’t even explain how incredible it’s been to have a couch to relax on! We went SIX MONTHS without a couch – just plastic lawn chairs. This is a luxury we can’t get enough of… especially on leg day! LOL.

Kitchen1

Island before the sink was cut in.

Island before the sink was cut in.

I want to thank everyone who’s shown so much support during my prep! Thanks for letting me fill you in about my progress, Just so you know, I’m working on a few other posts to go up in the next few weeks – on supplements, food misconceptions, “toning”, and cravings (watch for some amazing desserts). Also, I’ll have an exciting announcement and opportunity to share! Until then, have a wonderful & healthy weekend! XO

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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