Putting health first

Last week Kyle and I started a new meal plan. As in, a fully structured meal plan, one void of peanut butter, burgers, and cupcakes… in our offseason. Why? Why would we opt to do such a thing? Because we’re sadists, obviously.

Through the wonderful world of social media, I learned about a strength coach who practices biosignature modulation who has done wonders for other competitors in terms of their overall health.  I’ll be the first to admit that what we do to our bodies during prep is less than healthy, but we  have the proper guidance and knowledge to return to a healthy state after the stage. Even though our sport is judged purely on our external appearance, serious competitors know the importance of internal health. I truly believe that we inherently know our bodies better than most people, and will take any advantage possible to maximize our health. Even with the knowledge we have, we’re always looking for more information, and we were hoping that we found the right man to shed some light on this.

One of my favorite quotes - make health a priority because when it comes down to it, it dictates how you live your life.

One of my favorite quotes – make health a priority because when it comes down to it, it dictates how you live your life.

We met with him a couple weeks ago for our initial assessment which involved a 12-point body fat test. A software program he uses computes these results to find the top three areas of concern. Each area is connected to a hormone, and by flagging the areas we’re struggling with, dietary changes can be used to repair them.  My results revealed problems with:

  • Cortisol (stress hormone)
  • Insulin
  • Magnesium
  • Growth hormone

After he had all our results, he sent us our meal and supplement plan. Even though we’re used to following meal plans, this one was so different, it took a few days to adjust to prepping our food and supplements. While the idea is the same in principle, the meals are drastically different, as is the supplement plan, which has taken a lot more prep time than we’re used to. Hence why this seems to be even harder than competition prep. Add in the fact that our meal plan is void of carbs (sob), making it even more difficult.

No carbs? But carbs are our friend I thought. Yes, carbs are our friend. BUT, for this first stage of our plan, they’re wiped out along with dairy in order to repair the lining of our stomach. Our meals are loaded with protein, vegetables, and plenty of healthy fats to replace the energy source. I can’t remember the last time I bought a stick of butter or a jar of mayo, and have never before had cream in my tea, but that’s the case right now.

FATS! Including some items I haven't eaten in ages has been a big change.

FATS! Including some items I haven’t eaten in ages has been a big change.

The surplus of fat is the tool used to repair our GI tract. Just like the rest of our body, the lining of our stomach suffers from regular wear and tear. Adding in the factor that we eat an obscene amount of food, means we’re putting an extra tax on our systems. Having a healthier GI tract will lead to better digestion and better absorption of our food down the road – all great things for overall health.

We’re now a week into the plan, and we almost quit over the weekend. We’ve both seen and felt physical changes already (some good, some less than good). Our weight is down (water coming out from the lack of carbs, and a little body fat), but this means we look small and flat. Also, due to the lack of carbs, our training sessions have been just as flat as our delts – we’re lacking energy and our bodies aren’t responding as they usually do. Throw in some brutal headaches from glucose withdrawals, and feeling pretty hungry all day, it’s been a long week to say the least. You don’t want to know what I’d do for a simple rice cake…

An email to our coach shed a little bit of light on these issues. He assured us it was doing good things and to hang in for the remaining week. This intro phase lasts 15 days, at which point we’ll get re-assessed and our plans will change again (and will include carbs!). Research has shown that stomach repair takes 12 – 14 days, so after this intro, we should be sitting in a better place to start our true plans.

What’s the point?

My hope in this is to get my stomach running as efficiently and healthy as possible. If it could mean eating less food with more impact, that would be ideal. Additional bonuses would include locating any food issues which may hinder prep progress, increased energy levels, and getting my magnesium balance figured out (maybe an end to muscle cramping??). Finally, by balancing my adrenal glands, prep might be easier in terms of emotional ups and downs – whereby stress wouldn’t impact me as harshly.

We’re keeping an open mind at this point, and following our plans – right down to every last sip of omega oil (raspberry lemonade flavored). We’re booked to be reassessed in a weeks to see where we stand, and what the next dietary steps are. This has definitely been a challenging week, and we’re counting down the days. Stay tuned!

*This is a very brief overview of the purposes and plan. Our plans are tailored specifically for us based off our scores.

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.
This entry was posted in Bodybuilding, Education, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Personal, Uncategorized, Wellness and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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