(hehehe abs shot!! Excited 5 weeks from my show in VEGAS, and 8 weeks out from Bikini Comp in Michigan)
Before I became a Beachbody coach, and before I decided to get fit and healthy, I would binge eat. I would not eat all day just so that I could go home and pig out every night. I never realized that this was an issue until mid way through my weight loss journey, when I stopped losing weight. I used to use binge eating as a coping mechanism. It would make me seriously happy in an a seriously unhealthy way! Back when binge eating started, I was at the peak of my depression in college. Even when the depression subsided, the binge eating habit stuck around. Even after I got fit and healthy I would still continue to go out on a Friday or Saturday night with my husband and eat until I was sick. I would rack up at least 2,500 calories, which for someone at 140 lbs and 5’5… this is 1 lb of body fat that I worked very hard to shred! I still wanted to get to a comfortable weight for me and I knew it was at 130. That is where I was before I moved to Michigan, and I felt great there. So being the dedicated person that I am… I never let off of that desire to be at 130 again (I know my body and I know that this where I wanted to be).
It is one thing to treat yourself, It is a whole other issue when you lose all control and you gorge. It is whole other issue when you find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to vomit because you ate so clean all week and you at so much and so bad in one sitting you could barely handle how you feel. It is a whole other issue when you wake up feeling terrible, sluggish and craving more bad foods all weekend, and you start to question all of your fitness efforts. All of that for one glorious cheat meal??!?!?
I was a big believer in cheat meals for the longest time (during the loss of my first 60 lbs), and for some people they work, for me… I am learning that they do not work anymore (being at 18% body fat, I have very little wiggle room to be healthy and happy and still lose body fat). Through this bikini competition prep I am learning so much about myself it is not even funny. I had a feeling that cheat meals were doing me a disservice, but I could not let them go. They were something I looked forward to all week, and I planned them out. But I chose to ignore how awful I would feel once they were done. Finally, 5 weeks out from my first physique competition (the Beachbody Classic) and 8 Weeks out from my first Bikini Competition (The Katy Wilkins Classic), I have realized that the cheat meals are putting my efforts down the drain. I have made it a point to keep my prep healthy, safe, and reasonable. I have made it a point to keep my prep fun, and exciting. It is impossible to do this with cheat meals. What I mean is… my calorie deficit is very small, and I do not workout for hours on end. For a bikini competitor I am working out a little less than average. I do about 1.5 hours a day. I have learned that a lot of girls will do 2-3 hours in the gym. With a child and a full time business.. this is not feesible for me. I also know that 1000 -1200 calories a day for me is very hard. I am not going to knock myself for sticking to a balanced 1400-1500 calorie deficit throughout the week to keep my sanity, and my metabolism in check. I am getting on the stage as a challenge to myself… not to anyone else. My point is, with such a low calorie deficit for fat loss (I am aiming to get to 13-15% body fat from 18%), I cannot afford to just totally stuff myself senseless with calories. It would make me laid up on the couch for days (with how perfectly clean my diet is right now), and I would just gain most of the weight back that I consumed.
Cheat meals are fine for someone who can control themselves and not go insane at the dinner table. But, I cannot control myself. Cheat meals are also fine for someone with some weight loss goals in place… I am now aiming to get to a much lower body fat percentage than I have ever been in my life, and my body needs me to be spot on with my eating. Bikini competitors need to be 90% on point with their diet at all times! That is what makes them look so healthy and fabulous on stage. The point is to get on stage and look amazing, muscles in tact, and to have your sanity in tact as well. That is why we are not supposed to starve ourselves! We need to stay healthy!
Anyway. I will allow myself sprinkled throughout the week “clean treats” on my higher calorie burn, and heavier lifting days. Perhaps a bigger bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and a half of a banana. Or I will allow myself a big beautiful salad with more of the good stuff on top. If I am invited out with friends to do something, I’ll go and plan a sensible treat to bring with me, or just aim to eat a balanced sensible meal while out, but I wont kill myself if I am not perfectly in my macros. Heck I might enjoy a little glass of wine along the way, but no more totally losing my mind, cheat meals. Its not worth it to me anymore. This is about being fit, happy and healthy. After not doing a cheat meal for a solid two weeks, that is how I feel! I feel more in control and energized than ever before! This is going to be a 2 month process ahead of me. I have to be able to keep my mind right. I would love a trophy, and so that is my focus for now. Popcorn, icecream, pizza, candy, cheeseburgers… I’ll see you in August if I still want you…
Gosh I am loving how much I am learning about myself on this competition prep!