It’s so hard to believe there is only one more week left until I’ll be stepping on stage for my very first bodybuilding competition. This past week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life, so thank goodness I’ve developed some good and consistent habits which are helping me go through the motions, rather than think too long and hard about my eating and working out. I’ve also had an incredible support network with friends sending me encouraging messages *just* when I needed it.
Today I went to my final posing class and thanks to facing my fear of driving on the highway along last week, I met Frances and she offered to drive me to Surrey to attend another posing session!
And by that I mean she offered for her boyfriend Andrew to drive. HAHA!
Sharing Goals and Lessons Learned
Andrew happens to be one of my closest friends, Victoria’s, younger bro, and he has the distinct honour of bringing me to tears when we were both in the wedding party for Victoria and Rob’s wedding!
This is because he went on stage and gave the most heart warming speech about his sentiments for the happy couple and it was all completely unrehearsed: waterworks everywhere! I hadn’t seen Andrew in person for years and since then, he’s been deeply involved in the fitness world, having competed himself and started his own company, and Frances and I had an awesome conversation talking about the industry and getting his views.
Discipline Versus Motivation
Andrew asked how I got into this and what I thought about the process, so I shared with him some of my major accomplishments from prepping for a competition so far – like my biking to work an hour in the rain, and facing my fear of driving! I loved how I was developing some really useful habits and how I was eager to take that drive and determination into all aspects of my life – work and other ambitions. He gave me a big high five for that and echoed back his own thoughts and experience about being able to do anything, after going through competition prep.
I read a lot of forums (ie. easily get into a time warp on reddit sometimes!) and I find the Get Motivated subreddit to be pretty helpful – https://www.reddit.com/r/GetMotivated/
But “theangryviolinist” said it well when putting it bluntly that motivation can only get you so far:
Motivation is fleeting and it’s easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you. You don’t even have to chase after it. Discipline is reliable. Motivation is fleeting. The question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated. It’s how to train yourself to work without it.
Adding a Third Gym Membership
This past week I jumped on a promo with Anytime Fitness and signed up with a third gym that was open 24 hours, so that I would have no excuses when it came to fitting in my 3 gym/cardio sessions per day. I was hitting the gym well after midnight, and back again as early as 5 am. It would be hard to believe that I would this, with this consistency, back when I began my 14 week prep but here I am, finally in a solid groove.
I don’t really think too much about whether or not to do it, I just roll out of bed, put on my gym clothes and head out. That’s the beauty of discipline and a routine. It takes a while but once you get going, it becomes manageable.
Don’t get me wrong, this has been far from easy – I’m just sharing some tricks and lessons (it takes 2 weeks to form a habit! Because, science!) that help make this routine easier.
An example of how I’ve gone a little delusional though: as I’m finishing my last meal and digesting until fasted PM cardio, I’ve been pinning all the crazy recipes I hope to make one day when I’m off prep. Stay tuned for when I bake 7 layer decadent treats and also, some creative healthy stuff (let’s be real though, a few of those junk food crack brownies will come first)!
Stay Close to a Bathroom!
Future competitors! Take note of the above – I’m drinking so much water these days and I find that I’m running to the restroom pretty frequently! Be prepared to stay close to facilities this close to prep! Tania was telling me about her most recent competition and the number of times she had to pull over at a gas station! Or another competitor, whose name I’ll protect unless she says otherwise, told me a hilarious story: she was so tired one night after training that she sat down and peed, before realizing she hadn’t taken off her pants!
I laughed SO HARD at this story!! And at this point in my prep, when I just feel so drained and tired, I needed all the laughs I could get!
I felt more at ease this time at posing class since there were familiar faces. There were also a few new ones though. I feel so lucky to have met this amazing experienced group of fitness professionals and experienced competitors! Thanks again Jennifer!
Frances and I asked the women for some tips and one of them was, “Take as many selfies as you can! Seriously, take 2000+!”
Well, with that said, I captured some more images!
After a bit of a stumble last week at posing, I was so delighted that Billy noticed I had improved! Theresa helped me take some videos so I could send it over to my coach Jennifer 🙂
Bonus? Dougie gave us all some free t-shirts!
Then I met Tarik, the man behind the Popeye’s show, who hinted that all of us athletes would be getting sweet swag bags at the show next week!
More Real Talk
After posing class, Andrew made a quick pit stop to get his car looked at and it gave Frances and I chance to talk more about our experience and just life in general!
Frances and I also had our meals ready on the go.
On the way though, we got rear-ended and so, that was another first for me (albeit, a pretty sh*tty one!!). I was startled and had an immediate headache. I went to the doctor and will be keeping tabs on this..
Anyways, back to some quality time with Frances:
I loved how honest and open we could be with each other. We admitted how hard we found the diet and that as strict and disciplined as we’ve been overall, there was a hard start. There were some slip-ups or cheats here and there. I’ve mentioned this in my previous posts – how hard it is to really grasp and then practice what 100% on-plan really is!
We’ve reasoned with ourselves though, that maybe those little cheats helped us long term so that mentally we didn’t go insane! We also had a good conversation in the car with Andrew about the “dark side” of competing, like the obvious issue with drugs and how that can mess with someone’s hormones and also the drawbacks of a competitor focusing too much on only the day of the show, and then feeling lost afterwards. I really appreciated the conversation with these two about realistic expectations and was reminded of how my conversation the previous week with Lauren was really helpful in keeping me grounded.
I feel a common theme through my whole journey has been one of gratitude. Some of the messages this week from friends sharing how they’re proud of me, have just blown me away. I’m saving all of these messages for when I need a pick-me-up 🙂
Sarah: You got this! I’m so proud of you! The more I have been reading about this, the more I am impressed by how someone can stick to something like this. I mean the whole eating thing is like, you’ve got no social life because you probably have to eat all your meals by yourself because no one else likes to eat that restrictedly. It’s crazy!!
Jen: Like I said before – super super proud of you for committing to this!
Coach Jen: I am SO proud of you – FYI <3
No More Shame
I really have no more shame about certain things, like eating out of a tupperware container on the streets, or packing chicken in a ziplock bag and throwing it into my purse 😀
Getting good at eyeballing and almost had my measurement on the dot!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions about the finals weeks!
“What did you eat?” seems to be the most comment question!
- 14 Weeks Out – My Journey to my First Bodybuilding Competition!
- 7 to 5 Weeks Out – Accomplishments, Picking Out My Suit and Getting Tips From a Top 10 Canadian Competitor
- 4 Weeks Out – Watching my First Bodybuilding Competition – Vancity Showdown!
- 3.5 Weeks Out – Applying this Determination to Other Areas of my Life – Biking to Work Even in the Rain (and my first accident)
- 3 Weeks Out – That Prep Life – Easier If Single? Tips from Another 1st Place Competitor
- 2 Weeks Out – Another First, Making New Friends and Being Real
- Peak Week – Final Days Before My Bikini Bodybuilding Competition
- Competition Date! My First Bikini Competition – Show Day
- Post Competition Reflections –