Clean Cheating

The countdown continues… This weekend marked six weeks until I get back on stage. Ask any competitor and they’ll tell you how twisted time seems during prep. One day it can seem like you have AGES left, and other days you panic that there’s just not enough time. I can’t believe six weeks has already flown by, but I’m eager for the next couple of weeks to start seeing some substantial changes take place.

I haven’t brought up my prep in a few weeks simply because it’s been pretty low key. My cardio is still pretty low – 3 sessions a week in addition to my fitness classes, and my diet has stayed relatively the same… until this week. Starting this week, it’s undergone a big change, which makes me excited. It’s actually the first time in three years that I’m not drinking a protein shake post workout. I know it’ll take a couple of days to adjust to the new plan – it will take a little longer to pack my meals as I’ll need to reference my plan as I go, but by Wednesday it should be memorized. Hopefully.

This weekend I took the time to put some progress pictures side by side. I’ve been noticing small changes lately, but overall it’s easy to miss just how far you’ve come. Some of the most noticeable differences are in my legs. I’m seeing more quad separation, and my glutes are starting to take on the square shape we’re aiming for. This is why progress pictures are so important!

Week one in the black, week six in the blue & white. I'm happy to see my legs have kept most of their size while still leaning down, and that my glutes are starting to separate and get more defined. And yes, it's still strange to post pictures of my butt online...

Week one in the black, week six in the blue & white. I’m happy to see my legs have kept most of their size while still leaning down, and that my glutes are starting to separate and get more defined. And yes, it’s still strange to post pictures of my butt online…

Getting this close to competition time, my “cheat” meals (or refeed meals) are now going to be kept cleaner. What does this mean exactly? I’ll avoid fatty foods, things high in processed sugar, and stuff cooked in a lot of oil. The focus is on getting substantial protein in, and a good amount of starchy carbs to refill glycogen stores. For more info on cheat meals, check out this post.

Typical meal choices for these meals are sushi (avoiding tempura and the sauces), steak and baked potato, or pasta dishes with limited sauce. This weekend we went for sushi because we wanted to get out and not have to cook. We usually opt to go to an all you can eat restaurant because, well, we eat a lot and sushi is expensive. This way we can have a wide variety of dishes without the bill adding up to $100. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of typical sushi – I can’t stomach the thought of raw protein – so I stick to chicken, steak, and veggie options.

I couldn't get a picture before Kyle started eating. Actually, this was round two. Kyle is far more adventurous when it comes to sushi... and food in general.

I couldn’t get a picture before Kyle started eating. Actually, this was round two. Kyle is far more adventurous when it comes to sushi… and food in general.

For “dessert”, I got to try a new product – the healthiest ice cream around! I’d heard of Arctic Zero, but had never tried it because it’s not available in Canada. A friend of mine works in the states and found it at a grocery store, so she gave me some for my birthday! Fitness friends give the best gifts 😉  To make it a little closer to our usual frozen yogurt dessert, I crumbled a Quest bar on top. It did the trick without adding any fat or sugar to my meal.

My healthy, clean version of Menchie's frozen yogurt. The ice cream flavor was good, you could really taste the maple. Just don't expect your usually "creamy" texture or flavor - there's no fat and very little sugar. But, there's protein and fibre!

My healthy, clean version of Menchie’s frozen yogurt. The ice cream flavor was good, you could really taste the maple. Just don’t expect your usually “creamy” texture or flavor – there’s no fat and very little sugar. But, there’s protein and fibre!

Saturday date night was rounded out with a movie at home. I’ve been excited about Pitch Perfect 2 coming out, but Kyle had never seen the first one. After dinner we walked around Walmart (don’t be jealous of how exciting our date was…), and browsed the movie section. I saw the movie, so I picked it up just to watch that night. Kyle laughed a lot, so I think it was a success. I think it’s hilarious – if you haven’t seen it yet, do it before the new one comes out!

These dogs NEVER lay on the floor, so this was incredibly strange to see. I think everyone is ready for spring to finally arrive.

These dogs NEVER lay on the floor, so this was incredibly strange to see. I think everyone is ready for spring to finally arrive.

The dogs were incredibly lazy on Sunday and spent most of the day following the sun spots around the house to sleep in. I’m not going to lie… I enjoyed a short nap with them on the couch Sunday morning. It was terrific.

Hope you had a great weekend!

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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