Happy new year!!! Since I competed in November, I’ve been determined to allow my body, and more importantly my mind, some time off its strict routine. Christmas was my goal, to enjoy every second of Christmas cake, chocolate coins and cheese boards. This doesn’t mean I forgot my lifestyle. My training over this period was massively ramped up, with loads of double sessions and some extra cardio. But it wasn’t so structured, and if I wanted to do more or less, I did. The result? This morning I weighed approximately 3kg more than show day and I’ve gained a measly 1kg over Christmas. Now I’m not exaggerating when I say I went big on the food (probably overboard). Mum’s Christmas cake was consumed by a total of 2 people alone. I had chocolate or cake every day. I didn’t track a mouthful. As long as I hit my protein I could do what I wanted. Safe to say I enjoyed every creamy, sweet, cheesy second of it.
Pre- and post-Christmas comparison. A little (or rather large) relaxation doesn’t hurt too much!
My home made cinnamon rolls were a breakfast staple
This time off the routine also allowed me to re-evaluate my goals and construct a new plan. Now that my goal of Stars of Tomorrow was achieved, I needed a new focus. The thought of lurching straight back in to prep post-Christmas was less than appealing. Not only was I enjoying food, strength and warmth too much, but I want to compete at my very best every time. The shows I would aim for were timed such that I couldn’t be sure of that. Why rush for a mediocre outcome? More importantly, I have the incredible opportunity to attend 5 weddings this year, both as a bridesmaid and as a friend, and a PhD to complete. They come first this time round… So a new alternative goal was set. A fitness shoot in the beautiful land of California (given that I’m over there already for my big brother’s awesome wedding). So that gives me 7 months from now to build, eat and get in to the best shape of my life. Easy…
The next decision, was I ready to go it alone? Those that follow my blog, or know anything about my journey know that I’ve worked with a coach (Sam Bird – Zeus Fitness) since January last year. Sam pulled me out of a hugely negative relationship with food and overtraining and pushed me forward to a life of health and successful competing. He provided insight in to the world of competing, filling the gaps in my academic knowledge with experience and support. Safe to say I wouldn’t have made it to the stage without him. In fact, a friend told me yesterday how sure he was that I’d fail when I started. But I’m a sports scientist. I have a Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Nutrition and am finishing a PhD in Exercise Physiology. I have been a PT and taught a multitude of fitness classes. I have provided nutrition and training plans to countless people myself. Surely I could do this alone? At least, that’s what everyone had said to me since day 1. I don’t think they realised how much more than booksmarts you need to be successful in this industry, how much help a coach can provide when your mind is telling you it’s wrong that you’re eating more than a grown man, or when all you see in the mirror is fat despite being your lowest body fat in years.
But now, things have changed. Not only do I have my own knowledge, the ability to access relevant and current research and personal experience in competing, but I have developed a strength much more than just how much I can lift in the gym. My emotional brain no longer wins. I can see myself and my progress logically and objectively (albeit only 95% of the time). I have removed the emotional attachment to food that was there before and can coach myself as an outsider with the best knowledge of their client.
So that’s what I decided. For now, I’m going it alone. It’s bloody scary and slightly overwhelming, but I have to keep faith that I know what I’m doing. It’s exciting, being able to do what I want when I want (sounds ridiculous as a grown woman that I didn’t always feel this way!). But how can I expect others to trust in my advice if I don’t even trust in my own?
So as of 1st January 2015, this journey has now become a journey of discovering my own abilities as a nutritionist, physiologist, coach and bikini athlete… Anything new that I learn will no doubt be shared on this blog (science, food and health related), and stumbles will be recorded along with any milestones reached. I hope everyone reading this is on their way to achieving their own new year goals, resolutions or targets they have set! And if anyone wants to share, comment or look for advice feel free to do so 🙂 x