7 Weeks Out
I wrote about my first 7 weeks and now it’s September – I’m halfway there in my bodybuilding journey! I’m in a good routine with the training and the diet is getting a bit easier. Now onto the other pieces, like some cool positive ripple effects of being this dedicated to training.
New Fitness Accomplishments and How Prep has Positively Impacted Me
One immediate huge positive outcome of this Competition Prep is how it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to tackle a few things I’ve wanted to do, but never made the full fledged effort,
Biking to work was one of them. For 2 years I have been saying I should bike to UBC: Vancouver is such a green city; I should take advantage of the biking infrastructure, and do something that is good for me, and good for the environment! Well now I had some extra solid motivation because, if I were bike to work, I would be checking off many goals, including fitting in fasted AM cardio!
Throughout the beautiful month of sunny September – I biked along the scenic waterfront and sandy beaches to the University and felt incredible to start my day after some intense cardio, that included a wretched uphill climb. It was absolutely awful during the whole process of slowly going up, while people passed me, but it really is incredible when you finally do summit at the top!
I was biking several times a week and during this time, a new bike share program was launched and two of my friends from my Young Professionals Leadership Group (CYP Peer Leadership Forum with the Vancouver Board of Trade) joined Mobi! It was so fun to go on spontaneous bike rides after work at Stanley Park.
The Whole Bikini Package
I got my posing shoes and had my first posing session with my coach Jennifer recently (at around 10 weeks out). I’m supposed to practice walking in these insanely high shoes every night, but I haven’t been doing that yet!
Actually to be honest, I’ve been questioning whether or not I should do the competition at all. I have a voice telling me that maybe I’m not ready and that I should give myself more time.
This is largely because I’m one of those people who researches subjects meticulously to the point where I sometimes I convince myself I have an ailment that I don’t haha!
Well some of the forums I’ve read have been pretty direct in that “Make sure you have spent at least a year putting on muscle – you shouldn’t enter a competition unless you think you will win!”
Am I really doing this? And Should I be?
I also stumbled upon this article on “6 Reasons NOT to Compete -” The author is pretty harsh “Either you’re in it to win it, or you shouldn’t be wasting your time, the audience’s time, the judges’ time, or your fellow competitors’ time. Period. I’m sick of seeing people up on stage that have no tan, they’re fat, have no muscle, look sloppy, can’t pose, and have no stage presence.“
Well, as my coach likes to say, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one!”
But I did want to be realistic about my reasons and objectives behind competing, and I found this forum be a valuable resource on REAL women’s experiences and how some of them regretted competing before they were truly ready.
“Fairly regularly we hear from ladies who have decided to compete or to make extreme body transformations. Most often these ladies are new to fitness or lifting and really just want to have a nice/transformed body. They erroneously think that adding the competition component will also add motivation or incentive enough to make their unrealistic goals reality. After all we so often see amazing body transformation on TV or in the magazines. It is a logical jump that with enough discipline and will-power that anyone could do the same with equal results within 12 weeks or less, right? Unfortunately setting these sorts of expectations surrounding our goals nearly always results in failure and more often than not also psychological and physical damage.”
Am I really ready for this? Should I train longer?
Although some of those articles could be discouraging, another part of my brain found it reaffirming. I told myself, well, you have been training in the gym for years, just not necessarily doing a specific competition prep, so keep at it and stick to your goals of being the best you possible!
And with that, Eric and I drove all the way to Langley to meet Colleen and Tracy of the Suit Lady to look at competition suits.
The Suit Lady
My coach Jennifer has been tagging me in competition bikinis all year to give me an idea of what they look like and what she thinks will look good on me. This was really cute as I wasn’t even contemplating a competition earlier this year! But, I thought it was cool to see what they look like, an I honestly never thought I would actually be looking for a suit for myself! I was very undecided as to whether I would even be capable of competing. So I admired some of the bikini suits from afar – I’ve seen the sparkle in photos but WOW in person, it really is blinding!!
The Suit Lady has a page where you can buy consignment suits or you can custom build your own or even rent. I was thinking of buying one on consignment and there was a purple one that had just come in which Jennifer tagged me in. I was advised to get one by time you are 4 weeks out from show date, so that there would be enough time for alterations.
My coach is featured on that wall of fame below there several times :)!!
I tried on all of the ones above and felt good about the purple one. I paid a $50 deposit to hold my suit and then I was done!
Well, once I showed photos to my coach, she said, “Nope get a different one!” I was a bit disappointed but I appreciated her honesty, because even though I said I had paid already, and was happy with this glittery shiny suit, she said I could do better.
5 Weeks Out
These last two weeks have been tough. I’ve been sick, I didn’t celebrate my birthday, I slipped up a bit, and have been swamped at work. But now that I have a deposit on an actual blinged-out bikini, I’m also committed! I’m also nearing the deadline to get a suit so I have to make the trek back to Langley.
This time, we went with my mom! Jennifer had just tagged me a beautiful blue bikini and as I entered the store and back upstairs to familiar glitzy showroom, Colleen informs me that a new blue suit had just arrived from one of their sponsored competitors that very day.
Sure enough, it’s the one Jennifer said I should try! She has such a talented eye for these details!
I put it on and Colleen and Tracy immediately say that it’s the one! I shouldn’t try on anything else. But, since I’m already back in the shop again, I’m curious to see how the other colours look on me, so I give the green colours a try on too 😉
Blue it is! I ask about jewelry and Colleen says it’s fine to decide when I pick up my suit in 3 weeks.
It just got even more REAL!
With a competition suit picked out and deposit paid, I know there is no more room for slipping up on my diet or missing early morning cardio.
Blue suit at 5 weeks out, Purple suit at 7 weeks out. Seeing a lot more changes and how much a suit colour and shape can influence overall look.
Setbacks and Deviating from the Plan
I had a cold last week during my birthday week and thought it was fine to eat Whole Foods chicken soup without the noodles. I also turned to my typical Neocitrin tea to help with flu symptoms. Of course, it was only afterwards that I learned these were bad decisions!
Did you know one packet of Neocitran has 20g of sugar??? That’s more than a soda!! I might as well have had a chocolate bar and enjoyed that much more thoroughly!!! Neocitran doesn’t even taste that good.
I’ve been honest with Jennifer the whole time about when I’ve gone off plan or only been at 80% plan (several sushi rolls here and there) and I feel that’s important so that she can factor in what’s working for me and tweak my program accordingly. In this case, she said in the future it’s better to message her if I’m not sure! I may have have slipped but I’m really proud that I’ve gotten right back on plan, instead of letting one missed thing spiral out of control.
Hanging out with an Experienced Bikini Figure Competitor!
This week I met up with Tania who I haven’t actually seen in person since we had sushi the Summer before her very first competition! Since that time, she’s become one of Canada’s Top 10 Figure Competitors (a class up in musculature compared to the bikini class I am aiming for) we’ve messaged each other back and forth and commented on each other’s instagram updates. Usually her comments are asking whether she can watch me eat since I’m a huge foodie and love cooking and trying new restaurants!
She knows I have been training with Jennifer and on this evening, I let her know that I was doing a prep for November.
It was really inspiring and encouraging to be around someone else who was going through the same disciplined eating habits and she even took it a step further by pulling out her scale to weigh her food at the sushi restaurant!
I weigh out my food at home, but since I hadn’t been eating out much, I never thought of bringing my scale with me wherever I go! (Later I would learn that I was eating too much fish when we went out. Eye-balling does not work!).
- During the final weeks of prep you will be SO tired and exhausted, like you have never been before!
- People get into accidents when on prep!
- Superstore has the best prices on buying groceries like vegetables and white fish – aka Superstore rocks!
- It’s going to be smelly backstage because no one has showered and you can’t wear deodorant for 2 weeks before the show otherwise your tan will turn green!
Off to Superstore and a Movie
On the note of Superstore, we ended up heading there to hang out before watching a movie. Motivated by Tania’s discipline, I bought a new portable food scale so that I could measure out my food on the go!
She said she found movies relaxing because you’re so drained on prep that it’s a huge welcome and escape to sit back and check out.
It was very comforting to have a friend that I felt at ease with and could be open with about some strange new habits:
- We both were eating our final meal of the day in the theatre out of tupperware containers.
- We were buying and drinking lots of water!
- We could watch each others bags when we had to go to the washroom multiple times during the movie! (From all the water we were drinking).
- We raved about different protein powder and BCAA flavours – and she even got me a ton of bulk items on discount. Thanks Tania!
I bought a cute, portable scale at Superstore!
Tania’s groceries – busy lady always on the go!
Thanks Tania for the fun dates!!
I’m glad I have all these knowledgeable, experienced and friendly people in my life that serve as a wealth of information and where I can draw inspiration from.
Meals This Week
I’m still cooking big batches of food on the weekend (and once midweek) and then weighing things out with my scale.
I find meal prep really easy overall:
- I buy the same basic ingredients (chicken and fish, rice, gluten-free hot cereal).
- Lots of green veggies.
- I bake everything in the oven.
- I play around with different sugar-free spices that I’ve picked up at the local markets (like Kebab seasoning!)
I’m starting to lower my carbs now, here are some of meals that are actually really tasty and satisfying and I will definitely keep these healthy habits when I’m done. Eric is really enjoying these healthy dinners at home too!
Please feel free to post any questions you have below in the comments. Read my introduction post below and stay tuned for the rest!
- 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 – More Firsts, Real Talk and Staying Grounded
- 1 Week Out – Last Posing Class, Motivation and Discipline
- Peak Week – Final Days Before My Bikini Bodybuilding Competition
- Competition Date! My First Bikini Competition – Show Day
- Post Competition Reflections –