My Experience with Fitness Competitions

Why I’ve decided to not compete in fitness competitions:

Hey guys, long time no post!

I’m not usually one to put my personal business out for everyone to read, but I feel like this is something I have to share.

I’ve recently competed in the bikini division of an NPC fitness competition. This was my third competition. I honestly decided not to compete after the second competition, but I had made friends with these great girls at my gym who talked me into one last competition before I go into an accelerated nurse practitioner program in the fall.

I knew before going into the competition prep that it’s not really healthy. I knew that I did not enjoy prepping for competitions. I knew that I did not need to lose weight or fat (I was at a healthy weight BMI for my height). However, I wanted to be there for my friends, and I figured one last competition wouldn’t hurt.

I did a 14 week prep, which, in retrospect, was way too much for me. I did not have that much to lose to begin with, and I lost a lot of weight really fast. I would classify myself as a bit of a perfectionist. I tend to take whatever I do to extremes. It is something I am working on changing.

I started off at about 122 pounds and quickly dropped down to about 116 in the matter of a few short weeks. Then, I was stuck at 116 for a few weeks, but suddenly my weight plummeted down to 110 rather quickly. I had not changed my diet or exercise so I was highly surprised by this sudden drop.

Toward the end of prep, I was pretty exhausted and run down. I had no energy to do much of anything besides workout and cook food. I also had a week where I was just so depleted and “depressed”. I was just sad. I could not cheer up for the life of me. Nothing was exciting or fun or interesting.

I was feeling this way towards the last 3 weeks of the prep, but I did not want to stop because I had already ordered my suit and bought new heels and the whole nine yards. Looking back, I probably should have just stopped prepping and focus more on the pressing health issues at hand, but I did not want to be a “quitter”.

What also made things even more difficult to back out of the competition was that a huge group of people from my gym were coming to watch the show and cheer us all on. I knew I would feel guilty or like a loser if I just quit with only three weeks left of the 14 week prep.

So, I pushed through and some how made it through the last 3 weeks. Competition day came, I did fairly well. I placed 4th in my division. When it was all over, I looked at my little plastic trophy and all I could think was “wow, this totally was not worth it at all”. All of the social events I gave up, all of the pain I pushed myself through, all of the dieting I did, all of the cardio and weight lifting and days of complete depletion — and all for what? Some recognition by random judges? All to say, “I did it!, I competed and placed!” . All to say I was able to push myself to my lowest weight yet? To be able to write on my instagram, “qualified npc bikini competitor!” ?

I understand that people love competing, and I am not knocking or belittling anyone who competes. It’s a great thing to have goals and to accomplish those goals.

However, for me, I found competing to be unfulfilling and disappointing.

And the darker side:

3 weeks post competition, and I am at my lowest weight ever. I am 106 pounds and the body fat machine at the gym won’t even register my percentage. It says “error”.

This is extremely unhealthy, especially for the female body. We need fat to function, reproduce, protect our organs, conserve body heat, and much more! I’ve cut back immensely on my workouts. I’ve upped my caloric intake, but I just continue to drop.

I have noticed some disordered tendencies in my eating too. Without meaning to, I pick diet foods. I still count what I eat and weigh and measure. I try a bit of some food, decide it’s not worth the calories, and throw it out. I am really struggling to just let myself go and eat whatever. It’s hard to get out of the “prep mentality”.

I am making huge strides to change my mentality, because at this point, it’s affecting my long-term health.

Low levels of body fat and hormone levels lead to osteoporosis later in life. I do not want to be hunched over and immobile later in life. I do not want to become permanently infertile. I want the option to be able to have children in the future. I do not want my long-term health to suffer for short-term bodily aesthetics.

So, I am working out less! I’m following an online program to cut back my workouts. I am slowly ratcheting down the length of my workouts.

I am allowing myself to indulge more.

I am probably going to start minnie maud protocols to restore my health.

I am making myself go out to eat at least twice per week to places I would have forbidden in the past.

I am challenging myself to eat “bad” foods.

I am filling my mind with positive and uplifting information.

I am reading my Bible and remembering that only God can judge me. It is a great reminder that we are more than our bodies, that our souls are what matter. Nourishing your soul can make all the difference.

Competing has really brought out a super perfectionist side of myself, a side of myself that I do not like. It is so unhealthy. I’ve never had such disordered thoughts before. All I can do is hold myself accountable to changing and setting a good example for everyone else thinking of competing or struggling with getting back to “normal” post competition.

There are so many bigger and better things I’d rather put my resources towards than worrying about what to eat or how my body looks. I have big goals in life that I plan on accomplishing, and I will not allow this small bump in the road to hold me back from my full potential.

Has anyone else experienced this? Please leave tips/advice/stories below!

God Bless!

Danielle

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Maximize Muscle

Hello lovely people!

It’s been a little while.

But I’m back with more knowledge to share ! 🙂

First, I’d like to say that I’m currently sipping organic Mexican Chiapas coffee with grass-fed heavy cream and a few drops of vanilla creme stevia. I’ve never put heavy cream in my coffee before. It is the best  thing in the entire world. Try it!

This is the cream I used. I found it at Whole Foods.

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So tips for gaining muscle and maximizing fat loss!

  • Lift weights, but vary your training. Your training should include a mixture of endurance, agility, and speed training. Resistance training is catabolic. It breaks down muscle fibers, but it triggers an anabolic process when muscle fibers have to rebuild themselves in order to handle more stress in the future.advancedtriangle
  • Train for your goals. Velocity and high speed training will more likely develop lean muscle. Muscular strength is acquired through maximizing resistance and minimizing endurance. Training only for strength can minimize muscle endurance. The body has a muscle mass set point. The body will try to remain at that set point. At a certain point, as long as your not using steroids, your muscle gain will cease.keep-calm-and-set-your-goals-4
  • Vary your food intake. Periods of under eating can actually be beneficial. When you under eat, you trigger a mechanism that detoxes your body. It clears out unused proteins and recycles nutrients. However, under eating should never exceed 24 hours. Muscle breakdown will occur if under eating is sustained for too long. If you under eat for a few days, you should compensate by overeating during one meal the next day. This will help you avoid metabolic decline and muscle breakdown. Overtime, under eating and then overeating will allow you to increase your metabolic capacity.kefir-duo-230w
  • Vary your macronutrients. Slow twitch muscle fibers are endurance muscles. They have more mitochondria. Mitochondria use fat for energy. If you are going to perform mostly endurance training, it may be best to eat a higher fat, lower carb diet. It will take your body a few weeks to months to adjust to this diet, but once you adjust you will have tons of energy. If you’re training for  strength, velocity, and speed, your diet should be higher in carbohydrates because these muscles use glucose more readily. There is apparently a “super muscle fiber” that can use both sources of fuel efficiently. By varying your training you can help to create “super muscle fibers”. Macronutrient_Ratios
  • Post recovery meals are essential. It is so important to eat a recovery meal after a workout to stimulate insulin release and IGF1. Protein with fast and slow release is the best source of protein. The fast will immediately be used in the damaged muscles, while the slow releasing protein will sustain anabolic activity throughout the day. Low glycemic carb sources are the best to help rebuild muscles. There is no need to overly spike insulin to recieve the benefits of carbohydrates in muscle repair and growth. Whey protein is naturally high in IGF1 and can promote muscle growth. The best fat sources to eat post workout are MCT oil fat sources because these are short chain fatty acids that are able to be used immediately and help to repair the muscle. Avoid cheap, overly processed, chemical foods that can cause hormonal deregulation and stress the liver.
    • Most commercial protein powders do not include all the essential amino acids.
    • Minerals are important to replenish after a workout too.
    • Carbs should come from non-fructose sources, fibrous sources, and low glycemic sources.
    • Incorporating high fat and high carb days will increase mitochondrial density and glycogen reserves, as well as increase performance in the gym.
  • Keep your detox organs healthy! Liver detoxification is critical to fat loss. Your liver needs to be functioning at its optimally capacity to maximize fat loss. The liver plays a roll in processing nutrients for fuel and producing steroid hormones.liver-detox1
  • Eliminate the reasons for fat tissue to exist. Fat tissues produces hormones, hold toxins, and protects the body from chronic over feeding or underfeeding.
    • Avoid chronic calorie restriction.
    • Avoid long-term low carb diets.
    • Avoid hormone disrupting substances (plastics, fertilizers, chemicals, herbicides, etc.)

Above all: TRIAL AND ERROR. Find what works for YOU and your specific body type! We are all different!

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You can read more about this in the book: “Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat”

 

Have a blessed day!

-Fitgirlfab

 

 

 

 

No pain, no gain!

TGIF ! Happy Friday to you all 🙂 Today I will be continuing with the workout program that I have been doing for the last 4 days. Today will be hamstring/deadlift day! I am now hitting legs twice a week– why, you may ask? Because my legs are probably the weakest part of my body/ hardest part to build for me. And when something is weak or you don’t like doing it, you should do it more! Hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and a little pain now will beget big gains later. 😉

Learn to love the pain! ♥ Here’s the workout for today, plus I may add in a few extras if I still feel good. The deadlifts are making me a little nervous because the last time I attempted to do them things didn’t go so well. I decided my body just wasn’t meant for deadlifts because my arms just didn’t seem to be long enough. BUT I will be giving it my best shot. I want to do the deadlifts–they’re a great workout for multiple muscles!

Today’s motivational quote:

“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.” – Vince Lombardi

Deadlift and Hamstrings
Deadlift and Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift – Power 2-4 3 to 5
Romanian Deadlift – Muscle 3-4 6 to 12
Leg Curl  – Muscle 3-4 6 to 12
Leg Curl – Burn 1 40

Just keep swimming

Blogging to you live from my gym ! La Fitness — aka best gym ever. ( well I’ve only ever been to one other gym, so what do I know!?) but today that ab workout was weak ! So I did a lot of my own stuff . And for cardio I just got done swimming ! I swam for 12 years when I was younger and I absolutely love it ! It’s a love hate relationship. I hated it after 12 years but now I love doing it in my free time. I love the smell of chlorine , brings back memories ! I’m like a fish 😉 could spend all day in the pool haha. Got to have your swimming essentials !

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Swimming is so great for you! It’s a full body workout and easy on the joints 🙂 do any of you swim? Favorite stroke ?

Determination, motivation, dedication!

So, according to the program I’ve been following the last few days, today is suppose to be rest day. Me? Rest? NEVER! .. haha but on a serious note rest is very important for you body. Your body needs rest to regroup and have time to build muscle/ repair all the little tares all your hard work created. However, I usually save my rest day for Sunday because I’m busy with church and even the good Lord says its a day of rest 😉 . So today will not be a rest day for me! .. continuing with the next day in the program, today I will be doing… ABS AND CARDIO !

.. but I feel like this is not enough ab work… I may throw in a few of my own favorite exercises. We’ll see how it goes!

Hope you all have an AWESOME day. Enjoy every moment, because life is too short to not enjoy it all!

and a motivational quote for you all:

“Working through difficulties carves you into a strong person. Doing things that are painful make you less susceptible to pain. Calluses are good. Scars give you character. Grit your teeth and juggernaut through those walls life builds up in front of you. Don’t look for the work-around. Go through”. ❤ AMEN!

Workout 1 – Abdominals
Abdominals
Exercise Sets Reps
Cable crunch 3 12
Weighted leg raise 3 10
Weighted exercise ball crunch 3 12

Leggo ;)

Well, these workouts are proving to be much more difficult than I expected. However, I’m lovin’ them because I believe in the saying “no pain, no gain” ! Yesterday my muscles were literally burning! It feels good to be switching up my normal workout routine. Today I will be doing chest and tris, but I may switch up some of the exercises to assisted machines because I will not have a spotter. And the last time I didn’t have a spotter…well, things didn’t turn out so great! (I may or may not have dropped 60 pounds on my chest…) Hey, train insane or remain the same 😉 … welll here’s the workout for today!
I’ll be posting wiaw later on! Love you all ❤

Chest and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press – Power 2-4 3 to 5
Incline Bench Press  – Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Bench Press – Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Flys – Burn 1 40
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Closegrip Bench Press – Power 2 3 to 5
Seated French Press  – Muscle 2 6 to 12
Cable Tricep Extension – Burn 1 40

Burn Baby Burn

wellll holllllly shamolllly did that workout yesterday KILL– in a good way of course 😉

I’m loving the different lifting levels of power, muscle, and burn. The power sets consist of heavy weights, muscle is a medium weight, and burn is light but high rep and boy oh boy does it live up to its name.

I also did a hip-hop class yesterday at my gym. It was SO much fun 🙂 I loved watching my mother dougie haha.

So, today I will be doing the following workout -continuing with the same program!

Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Rows – Power 2-4 3 to 5
Dumbbell Rows  – Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Lat Pull Down – Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Seated Cable Row – Burn 1 40
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press – Power 2-4 3 to 5
Seated Arnold Press  – Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Barbell Front Raise – Muscle 2 6 to 12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise – Burn 1 40