Hey guys! It’s been over a year since my last post which chronicled my first six months of post-partum fat loss. Sorry for the delay, but a lot has happened over the past year! The major event related to living lean was my decision to attempt a figure competition! As if getting back into shape following my first pregnancy wasn’t challenging enough, I wanted to really take it to the next level for a few reasons. 🙂 Before I get into my in-depth blogs/articles about HOW in the world I transformed my body, here are some questions I’ve been asked so far. (If I didn’t cover a question you were thinking about, please ask!)
1. What in the world made you decide to do a crazy thing like a figure competition?!?
-Although I have been living an enjoyable Leaner Living lifestyle for nearly five years now, I really wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to see what I was made of and what I could accomplish if I put my mind to it (Yes, although I claim I was on the Leaner Living plan, I still probably ate too much cake.). As I was nearing one year post-partum, I wanted to take myself to the next level of lean. I decided to make it my New Year’s resolution. I already had a great base, so I knew with the extra intensity and attention to dietary detail I could do it.
2. How did you get started on such a task?
-I talked to a girl at the gym whom I wanted to look like. (After a year to get up the nerve to talk to her…) She gave me some good tips and pointed me in the direction of her trainer. (Moral of the story- don’t be afraid of your intimidating role models at the gym. They are probably very nice!)
3. Why did you use a trainer? Don’t you have a bunch of fit family members that could have trained you?
-Yes, I am very lucky to have people in my life that could have trained me. They trained me up until this point and made my new goal much easier to accomplish. I invested in a trainer because he specializes in physique sports (which is really a unique sport of its own). I say ‘invested’ because let’s face it- if you pay for something, you bet you’re going to work harder to “get your money’s worth.” Another reason is feedback/critiquing regarding personal progress. When my trainer told me I didn’t look as lean as I did two weeks prior, I knew he was right and I worked harder and ate “cleaner”. If a family member were to tell me the same, my feelings would be hurt and I would take it personally and probably go eat a dozen cupcakes. It’s just better for me personally and my relationships to use a third party.
4. Would you do it all over again?
-You bet I would! I have never felt so accomplished, not even graduating college, etc.! It was definitely a close second to a full year of breast feeding (that was tough but VERY rewarding!). Transforming my body to that level was something so beyond words. I gained much more than a new body from this experience; I have a whole new attitude on life!
5. Will you compete again?
-I’m undecided. If I can make the gains and improvements that I envision for myself, then maybe I will.
6. Do you think you took your lifestyle change a little too far? I mean, you’re starting to look like a dude.
-Absolutely not. Lean muscles like the ones I have now didn’t appeal to me in the beginning, but now that I possess them, I will strive to maintain them (or better them) for as long as I am able. Plus, increased muscle mass is healthy (ask the Lean Docs) and without unhealthful practices like using anabolic steroids, it is very hard (impossible) for females to actually gain enough muscle to compare to males let alone actually look masculine.
7. Isn’t competing in figure shows unhealthy?
-No and yes. I had a good coach. All throughout my prep I was never starving. I heard a few girls back stage talking about how they passed out during some of their workouts. Bad deal! I ate enough to cut fat, gain muscle, and function well. It’s a balance that I will continue. On show day, I was mildly dehydrated, but that was ONE day. Since we focus on health, which is most important, it is very important to understand that we don’t recommend chronic excessive dieting and overtraining. Dr. Karl always tells his patients, “It is what’s on the inside that counts, literally!”
8. I want to try the Leaner Living lifestyle, but no offense, I don’t want to be as muscular as you.
-Good news! Unless God (genetics) intended you to be super muscular without much effort, then you won’t look like me unless you train like me. Leaner Living will get you as far as you’d like to go. Leaner Living is healthy living!
9. What was the hardest part?
-Hands down: food. I love food! I did some major work on my self control and willpower throughout this process.
10. What was your #1 secret to achieving this goal?
-Another hands down: willpower. In the beginning, I had a huge goal with huge motivation but was lacking on my self control, specifically around food. I HIGHLY recommend reading the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. It helped me in so many other areas of my life, too, not just food. You can do ANYTHING with a little willpower!