I wanted to share one of my favorite, easiest recipes with you...the complete breakfast pancake aka CBP. Why is it compete? Because it's got just the right amount of protein, carbs, & fats to be filling and super tasty. I also like that you can adjust the ingredients down to fit your needs and it still works well. It gives me the proper fuel to run, strength train, or just get through til lunch! So give the CBP a try and let me know what you think. Here's a handy dandy recipe card for you.
Twelve weeks out??? How did that happen? It just seemed like I was starting my prep! So here are my random musings from this time.
Posing and Walking
I was super fortunate to meet up with a local Sisters in Shape coach, Val Solomon. She's a Pro Figure athlete with UFE, the creator of Busy Mom Gets Fit, and Editor-in-Chief of GORGO Fitness Magazine (and she was recently on Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge--badass!). I was really grateful for her help. I'm so clueless in so many aspects when it comes to this competition. I messed up at the end (in addition to the things we identified that I need to focus on).
Some of the things I need to focus on:
I don't really care that I have a lot to work on. The point of this exercise was to find out what I needed to work on. And I did just that. Now it's time to focus and practice, practice, practice. As I told Val, I've been overweight basically all of my life and I don't know what my body is going to look like in 12 weeks, but I can do my part to at least look good coming and going!
Time for Tweakin'
My coach spiked my macros the week after my photo shoot and then brought them back down to pre-photo shoot levels. The mentally challenging part is my weight and measurements haven't come back down. This has been really difficult for me because I need validation of progress. I had a text rant with my coach the other day (she took it really well that I was blowin' up her phone). I don't usually do things like that and doubted my ability to actually do this. There are so many changes that need to occur in the next 12 weeks. By my estimation, I need to drop about 12% body fat and lose at least 15 pounds. For someone whose resting caloric rate is around 1530 (and who likes food), that's not an easy task. I also had a major calorie vs. macros discrepancy the other day, which is caused the text event. I had gone over my calories by A LOT but still had a ton of macros leftover. I had to eat unplanned foods because I hadn't prepped an was running late that morning. This was the cause of a lot of worry. Counting calories is easy and when those calories go above my current goal and my resting caloric rate, I get nervous...especially since I hadn't seen a loss last week. In the end, my coach told me to focus on the macros. Tough to do, but okay, I can do it.
So, here are my photos 12 weeks out. I'm not posing, just taking the standard, front, side, back, side photos. I'm pretty objective about my body. I see the areas that are lagging (back, glutes, and abs).
However, I also see progress. Sagi Kalev once said something that stuck with me (I'm paraphrasing here). Don't look at it as a trouble spot, look at it as though that area of your body hasn't caught up with the rest. My back has always been one of those areas. But when I look at this picture, I see a little progress, so that's encouraging.
I also see some good things. Though there's a lot of weirdness with this photo, 1) I felt like Bey because I had a fan blowing my hair (totally unintentional) and 2) look at those calves coming in!!! Moo, baby, moo!
In my head, 12 weeks out has been a big deal. I'm closer to competition (I also got my competitor email from UFE too!), and I'm close to single digits weeks. There is a lot of work to do, but I'm up for the challenge. This is my big, scary goal, and I just need to trust the process and give it my all. As a result, some things I'll be working on tweaking my nutrition by getting cleaner and reducing/eliminating dairy (unless it's a cheat meal), eliminating my protein bars/brownies, and eliminating my beloved Jif Whips. This caused a major sad face. Almond butter just doesn't taste as good. This morning as I fixed my breakfast, I thought about how I'd really love my Jif whips and half and half. But, I had the following thoughts.
Nothing is permanent
Don't look back, knowing you didn't give it your best effort.
And I think those are some good thoughts to carry me through.
If you follow my personal/fitness Instagram account, you know that I post A LOT of food pics.
I love food. I love the taste, the memories, the energy it provides. There have been a lot of posts lately, like this one from Nia Shanks-Lift Like a Girl and Kim Miller of Fit Mom Diet talking about food. There are folks like Jessica Procini, Camy Kennedy, and Sarah Vance that say to enjoy food freedom. And there are folks on the other end of the spectrum telling us not to eat certain foods for gut health. It's enough to make you say...
So, am I writing this to agree or disagree? Nope. One of the things that stuck with me about Nia's Exercise is not Punishment, Food is not Earned post was that it's hard to get out of mitigation mode (I'll mitigate the food/drinks by working out). Take for example a Saturday a couple of weeks ago. I ran five miles, went to the gym and did strength training for about and hour, got a light lunch, and then went to a zumba fundraiser where I lasted 1.5 hours. When I was telling someone about my morning, I kind of apologized-or maybe discounted is a better way to put it-that I wanted to do all of those things that day. Partly to just exhaust my body, partly because of each of those things were important...and I wanted a complete rest day (as restful as I can be with two kids) that Sunday. Instead though, what I said was, "I'm offsetting the yummy food I'll have at a birthday party later tonight," Oh snap, I just earned my food.
Kim Miller of Fit Mom Diet also wrote a post recently about eating for health and not eating for a certain look in her post Because Health Doesn't Always Crave Chicken. Kim's post made me say amen a couple of times. Essentially, Kim provided insight into what she ate to have a bangin' body for a fitness competition and what she eats for long-term health. I LOVE this!! The bodies you see in fitness competition are the result of a training program to achieve a very short-term result. Since I'm training for a fitness competition, I did wonder if Kim followed IIFYM, would her perspective have been different. We'll never know (unless Kim competes again and actually follows IIFYM). But, one of my friends shared a post that compares a typical bro diet to IIFYM. It makes me glad my trainer has me on IIFYM.
Finding Freedom From Food
Then we have the folks like Sarah Vance, Jessica Procini, and Camy Kennedy who are showing us that we can have freedom from food. I like their messages too...don't feel guilty about food, have a good relationship with it. Enjoy the cupcake. All good stuff.
All of this leaves me a little perplexed. I have specific goals...I want to lose some fat because all else equal, I learned when I get above a certain weight, my knees and my back start to hurt and I start feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. So how do I reconcile eating pizza, donuts, cupcakes, with trying to achieve my goals. To make sense of it, I go back to a concept I learned during a Whole 30 (which by the way, I like for some reasons and don't like for others).
Important note: This is my definition of nutritional off-roading. I have provided the flowchart below from the Whole 30 folks here so you can be informed. In nutrition off-roading, you make a deliberate decision to eat something that's not healthy for a variety of reasons. But it's a well thought out decision. It's like if you follow a paleo lifestyle and you go to your grandmother's house and have a piece of her creamy, fatty, oh so tasty coconut cake that you get once a year.
I mean, all calories/energy are not the same. They just aren't. If they were, then we wouldn't have categories (like carbs or protein) and we wouldn't have recommendations like eating protein after strength training for muscle recovery.
So Em, What's Your Point?
So why am I writing this? Okay, so I need #foodfreedom, I can't have a #cheatmeal (because that implies food is bad), I can't say #foodisfuel, so what the eff do I say?
Whatever I Want
Look, I know we live in a time where we are all socializing (and I love that, mostly). I also believe we have become a little more judgmental...we are quick to provide our perspective to an IG post, a Facebook post, a Twitter post, or whatever else this 38 year old mama is behind on. But the thing is, I shouldn't be concerned if someone doesn't think I have freedom from food. And I do consider food as fuel...it's comprised of calories which give us energy, which makes us able to function. And yes, I have cheat meals. I am trying to transform my body but building muscle, losing fat, and in order to do that, I can't eat whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want, as much as I want. So what does it come down to?
Critical Thinking and Knowing Yourself
Some people need to have a better relationship with food because it is mentally and physically unhealthy (disordered eating). I say, take all of the things we see on the interweb to form a stance that we are individually comfortable with. I like the idea of balance, which may or may not take the form of eating a cheat meal. Because that's where I am currently. I know the impact of eating (even healthy) carbs. I know what happens if I don't have a cheat meal (I go over my calories). I know how many calories I need to maintain my weight. I use this information to determine how and what I eat. Right now, I'm eating a certain way to try to achieve a specific goal. When I'm no longer pursuing that goal? Then I'll reassess what I do.
So why am I writing this post? Because I needed to. The relationship we have with food is our own.
Because food is...food.
It's been awhile since I've blogged about fitnessy stuff. That's because I've been busy being a life coach! Shameless plug: check out my life coaching site www.emilykund.com for all kinds of awesomesauce.
So I officially began prep 3 weeks ago. And it's been good. I also had a photo shoot do I feel like I got a little taste of what prep will be like later on. And because my coach adjusted my macros down, I leaned out some. I was feeling totally empowered after that shoot. I've made some good progress over these last few months. I can definitely see more muscle even though the scale hasn't changed that much.
Every week I need to do progress pictures and I usually take them Saturday mornings when I wake up. After getting some feedback that I need to stand taller and smile, I decided that I needed a whole routine to get me to smile. It involves self-tanning, brushing my hair/curling it a little, applying a little makeup, & wearing heels. Because I'm in a bikini in my landing and I still have a waaayyyys to go, I need all the help I can get in putting a smile on.
While I hadn't seen a lot of movement (or maybe as much as I liked), the timing of the beginning of my competition prep and photo shoot, was enough to put me In a great mental state. I owned being a bikini competitor. Which side note: after consultation with my coach, I think I'm going to switch to bikini. Oh and in January, I registered for my competition, UFE Liberty.
Circling back to my original thought, because I mentally owned being a competitor, I acted like one. I also found ways to drink a gallon of water each day! This is something I'm really proud of!
This week, my coach upped my macros. I'm not gonna lie, I was scared. I wrote the following to her:
Can we adjust these down...maybe to 1375 or 1400? The new macros are more than where I was at prior to competition prep. I'm afraid I'm going to lose the definition I'm starting to see. My resting caloric rate is 1535, so this would be gaining. I didn't see any movement at 1640 before and even at 1542 there wasn't that much. I really felt like at 1440 I started to see some progress and at 1330, saw even more. I have so much work to do in 15 weeks that I'm scared this will set me back.
She was super helpful in her response indicating this was a short term increase (1-2 weeks) and then I'll go back down. I might be the only person who is happy about going down in macros.
So for now, I'll enjoy my increased nutrition, drink my water, do my workouts. I really want to rock March as I start going on work travel in April, and will need to plan accordingly (my guess: tuna in a pick will make an appearance).
I know it's tough. But what prepping for the photo shoot taught me is that I can trust the process and that's huge!!
I firmly believe that fitness and well being is a journey. I love strength training and running. I tend to eat clean, and I'm currently practicing flexible dieting (IIFYM)!