2 Weeks Out Progress

The end is definitely in sight! These last couple of weeks have flown by – I actually have to keep looking at the calendar to verify where we are. While I’ve been including prep progress through my blog, I haven’t really gone into a lot of detail of things, simply because I assume it bores people.  But, the more I talk to people in person, the more intrigued they seem. So, this post will be a little different – it’ll be more in-depth.

Physical Progress

First and foremost, a look at where my physique is sitting (as of Saturday morning). This week things started to change a lot as the diet (which is less than fun) had time to sink in. Add in the fact that I decreased the number of classes I taught, giving my body a break from crazy cortisol spikes, dehydration, and a little extra recovery time, and I was in a better place.

Even though weight doesn’t matter for my category (we’re grouped by height), our loose goal weight was around 145lbs (which is ~10lbs more than my last stage weight). My check-in weight over the weekend was 146, so we’ll see how much that changes from here.

Picture comparison time! From the very start of prep to now (sorry, I’m super pale and our lighting is less than stellar for progress pictures):

12week2weekFront12week2week

New-to-me Experience: Lacking Hunger

I still haven’t figured out the reason behind this, but a few days last week were miserable, and NOT in a normal prep way! I hadn’t been hungry for about a week, then suddenly started to get stomach cramps / that unsettled feeling. I kept saying I was nauseous, but I knew I was never going to be sick… I just felt very off. I had zero interest in eating and had to force myself to get my meals in on Thursday. Thursday night I thought I might have been coming down with the flu as my body and joints were achy on top of the stomach issue. We had a vacation day on Friday to go to London to check in with my suit designer and had arranged to train with some friends who also compete, which probably helped me recover. I slept in on Friday, slept the whole way to London, most of the way home, and then slept another 9 hours on Friday night… I was pretty much TKO’d, and it was taking me 30-45 mins to eat a meal, definitely had some GI upset. Thankfully, woke up feeling mostly normal on Saturday, even mildly hungry at some points. It was a feeling I’ve never had before, and hope to never have again during prep – especially so close to competition day. Yuck! (Any competitors or nutritionist with thoughts on this – please share, I’ll detail my diet for you if you message!)

Over the weekend, I actually got a surprise carb refeed because I was so depleted (which may have been the cause of the flu-like symptoms). We opted to cook at home because we love cooking and miss it. I made a chicken stir fry with a ton of vegetables, Kyle had his amazing turkey burgers with sweet potato fries. For dessert I had some fruit (YES!) and he got to enjoy a massive ice cream sundae with, well, everything in it. Hoping the carbs hold me through the coming week, even though I woke up at the exact same weight after it…

I can't even begin to tell you how excited this made me - and how good it was.  PLUS, it was quick to throw together by using frozen veggies, pre-made broccoli slaw, and minute rice. Healthy food doesn't have to be overwhelming.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited this made me – and how good it was. PLUS, it was quick to throw together by using frozen veggies, pre-made broccoli slaw, and brown minute rice. Healthy food doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Another First: Journaling

I always try to compare my current prep to my last prep, but it’s nearly impossible to accurately remember details of your diet changes and your state of mind. So, this year I decided to keep a Prep Journal which focused on the mental aspects of prep. I wrote in it every day, sometimes with a lot of detail, sometimes it just had our training schedule – it depended on what was happening and how I felt. I included diet changes, my hunger, my thoughts on my progress, pain and injuries, and any emotional meltdowns with their “causes”. I know it’ll be really beneficial for the next prep I do, so I can truly look back and see the differences. I haven’t journaled much about full workouts, because that wasn’t the point for me. I’ll simply write down what we trained, where, and when. I’ve included my weight for check-ins, any chiropractor / massage treatments I’ve had, and new products I’ve added in. I’m happy I took the time to do this – I usually write in it before going to the gym in the morning when Kyle’s eating. It gives me something to distract myself from being hungry and has become a welcome part of my morning ritual!

I couldn't resist using these old-school exercise books as my journal. Took me back to grade school!

I couldn’t resist using these old-school exercise books as my journal. Took me back to grade school!

Mental Progress: Adrenal Support

As I’ve said before, prep is a bigger mental challenge than a physical challenge to most of us. The ups and downs are HUGE. When your diet gets challenging, your hormones tend to react and you can’t handle stress as well (especially for us females, thanks estrogen). It’s always a goal to have as smooth a prep as possible, meaning minimal meltdowns. In order to circumvent this, I started a new product at the beginning of prep – an adrenal support supplement which helps your body regulate cortisol and manage stress. I take it with my last two meals of the day as my trial run with it showed that was my optimal time. With this dosing, it likely also helps me sleep – which is another great stress management tool. I’ve had very few (maybe four) nights of less-than-great sleep. And, most importantly, I’ve only had two meltdowns. Compared to my last competition prep when I spent most evenings as a crying mess, and even cried during a few workouts, this is a vast improvement. I haven’t always been happy, but my ability to regulate my emotions during those times is markedly better than previous experiences. I’m sure Kyle is even more relieved about this than I am.

Another added bonus, which may or may not be attributed to this product is my serious lack of cravings – this has made day to day life so much easier. Obviously I want things, but it’s never been an overwhelming “need”, or a thought I can’t get rid of.

The Homestretch

This week I’m following the same diet has I have for the last two weeks leading into the final week (which I’ll explain next week). I’m done teaching classes at this point until after the competition, and I’ll stick to just some incline walking cardio sessions. My training has remained pretty consistent and strong, I noticed a drop in my strength over the last week, which is expected, but most days it’s a minimal decrease (mostly because I’m stubborn). I’m hoping this week goes by quickly, then we’ve got some fun plans on Saturday (stay tuned) before the short work-week of show day! It’s almost here!  Thanks so much for following!!

IFSig

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, Competition Prep, Fitness, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivation, Personal, Training, Wellness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 2 Weeks Out Progress

  1. Pingback: What the heck is Peak Week? | Iron Forged Fitness

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