Friday, July 29, 2011

The Last 13 Weeks of my Life - Training for my First Fitness Competition!

Well as several of you know by now, I decided to finally commit to competing in my first fitness competition, the Europa Supershow on August 12th here in Dallas. I have lost over 52lbs from when I started back at LA Fitness back in June of 2010 and also stopped my personal training sessions this past April 15th. As an avid reader of Tosca Reno's The Eat Clean Diet and Robert Kennedy's Oxygen Magazines, I believe I have clean eating down to the core. Add in there 10 months of personal training sessions and numerous group exercise classes, I believe also that I had a good grasp of self-training myself in cardio and the weight room. What is missing then, what now? In the back of my mind, there's this tiny, quiet voice saying, why don't you take it to another level and compete? Hmm, there's an idea ... Well, in the middle of April, I meet a nutritionist from MaxMuscle while working out on a Tuesday afternoon. The LA Fitness manager of training and my trainer weren't too thrilled that I quit my personal training sessions a month early and created a good amount of drama around it (perhaps another blog?) that I decided to move my morning workouts to the afternoons. Well, thank goodness I did because I would have never met Adam G. of MaxMuscle Rockwall. Sure I had been to a couple of fitness shows in my lifetime, but where does a used-to-be-overweight-now-lost-a-significant-amount-of-weight-girl start if she wants to compete? I got my answer that day! ... My husband, Jason was out of town that week so I waited for him to return and we discussed the reality of actually training for my first show. We visited Adam, set a show date and voila, here I am 2 weeks out from show :), crazy, right? ... I started training at 13 weeks out (May 13th). I received a diet from Adam that consisted of 6 small meals a day. My once-a-week cheat meals ended on June 1st and I have to admit, I was nervous to give up my indulgences (i.e. coffee, chocolate chip cookie, tex-mex, ooh and Godiva lol) ... Soon, as the weeks continued on along with my workouts and sticking to the diet, I started to see significant changes in my body. Back in June 2010, my bodyfat was at a unhealthy 37.2% and as of today 8.0% - it is still unbelievable at times I tell you. I often get asked why I put myself in this "hell" and I reply because I want the experience, to say that I have done it, because I have goals ... similar to runners who train for marathons or athletes who train for triathlons. I am a woman/mom of goals, especially after accomplishing such a huge feat as becoming healthy, fit and active again. My first pregnancy, I started at 155lbs (already overweight) and day of labor w/ Alexander, 210 pounds! I kid you not, I must have treated myself to a banana split everyday during my 3rd trimester :-/ .... And (as we all know Moms), having a child changes our lives for the good and the bad of course, (ugh our once-flat-no-stretch-marks-pooch tummies *sigh* - I still have mine at 8.0% bodyfat btw) - don't ever think you are not able to get your pre-baby body once again, it is possible - it just takes commitment and dedication and truly setting your mind to it ... I refuse now to use excuses for being not fit. The benefits of being healthy and fit are endless; I am a much happier individual, self-esteem and confidence is through the roof (or else I wouldn't be competing, right?), so excited to share my success with others and to help others in their fitness journey .. to be able to keep up with my ever-so-active 2 year old, Alexander and be a role model for him as he grows and to my husband admiring his new wife (lol - may I add that Jason has been so supportive and wonderful throughout and have loved me unconditionally at 210 and now at 120) ... thank you honey :) ... Training for this competition is one of the hardest experiences of my life ... definitely the hardest 13 weeks. It is summer and you miss out on barbecues, good eats, my awesome ethnic Filipino foods, re-schedule trips and vacations to be able to stay on track w/ diet and exercise regimen (Andrea Russo - I can't wait to visit you in Austin!), my once a week date night w/ hubby is replaced w/ chicken breast and veggies in front of our TV - we call it couch movie date :) ... I have had to miss or re-schedule girlfriend lunches/brunches because of the time commitment it takes for this competition, along with balancing still my full-time job, full-time wifey and mom. But believe me, I am SO looking forward to spending more time w/ family and friends in the fall :) ... There are positives about this strict diet: for example, I have learned to wean off my splenda addiction. Before in my coffee, I would put 5 packets of splenda and 1 tbsp of dairy powder creamer. Now, I don't crave sugar as much (artificial sugar that is) and able to use just 1 splenda packet for either my oatmeal or coffee. I will be switching to more natural sugars and eventually none at all is the goal. So aside from being fit and to be able to wear an extra small (and gosh, wear white pants without worry), training did help me clean up my diet some more. I won't lie to you, I may be happy and have tons of energy most of the time in the gym when you see me, however, I do and have had my "moody moments" at home (and Jason will tell you), where I just cried and want to call it quits (and eat donuts - yikes). The most recent last night! I guess 65+ chicken breasts will do that to you ;) - lol. Joking aside, this is truly a physical and mental test ... and I will not quit! Whether I place first or dead last, I will walk away with the experience knowing I gave it 100% and will strive to do better the next time around. Plus, just to be in the best shape of my life .. no trophy can ever replace that. Last but not least, I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my fitness journey. Competing will be the icing on the cake :) - Jason Chilcoat, Pascual/Smolic/Thompson Family, Tracy Payne, Julie Matusz, Jackie Flener Watkins, Stephanie York, Rebecca Floyd, Emily Slape, Jeni Colon, Crystal Lampe, Julian Ruiz, Kadeja Majidi, Ariel Arocha, Deepa Hariprasad, Navin Hariprasad, Andrew Pettke, Adam G., MaxMuscle Rockwall, Emily Carter, Erica Denton, Stefanie Kincaid, Ben Santos, Reeta Brendamour and many, many more individuals. Fitness brought us together and will keep us together. Each of you played a part in where I am today and I hope to make you all proud ... as always, I am only a text, email or phone call away .. or a familiar face at our local gym :) ...

Cheers to fitness and life! April