18.5 Weeks Out!

Once a meet is on the calendar, it's never too early to start preparing. However, this far out, my training is not focused on prepping and peaking for a meet. Instead, I came off the program that I described in my last post, and I'm in a split routine at the moment. While I did make this choice with my meet in mind, it's not a meet-specific training regimen. When I get to 10-12 weeks out I'll switch back to a competition-specific program that will be geared towards my performance for the event. For now, though, I'm just keeping the grooves greased, the strength gains flowing, and working in some other fun exercises that a more specific program won't have room for. (Oh, and cardio, lots of cardio.)

Why cardio?! Aren't you a powerlifter?!

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Well, while I may not be following a meet-specific training program for the time being, I AM working towards the meet-specific goal of losing some damn weight to make it back to my weight class. I haven't actually weighed myself in a few weeks, but last time I did I was at about 145 lbs... and I need to be at 132 or slightly below. 

To many of you, this meager ~13 lbs is no problem. (I've had plenty of people swear to me that they can get rid of similar amounts of weight the night before the meet... on which I call total bullshit.) But, for me, the idea of losing any weight at all whatsoever seems basically impossible.

A little secret about myself: I've actually NEVER consistently lost weight with the intention to consistently lose weight. (By that I mean, maybe it has happened once or twice, but I wasn't intending it to happen or tracking to see that it had.) The only time I've actually lost weight was ~3 pounds prior to one of my meets, and it was nothing more than water weight most likely. (A BIG secret about myself: I actually weighed in about 1/2 a pound too heavy for my weight class, but the angel sent from heaven doing my weigh-in put me in the 132 class anyway.) Other than that one time, I have only continued to steadily gain weight since my fitness journey began.

Now, much of this weight is muscle mass, and I don't want to part with it any time soon. I'm also not really interested in what the scale says unless it comes to competition weight classes when I unfortunately have to care about the number on the scale. However, I had reached a point where I was feeling unhappy with my appearance and out of control of my eating behaviors. I genuinely don't care what I weigh until I start to FEEL like my weight in an issue in the ways just mentioned. So, luckily, I signed up for this meet right around the time I was starting to feel unhappy and out of control, so I'd been given a deadline and a tangible reason for losing a few pounds. (As much as it's warned against to lose weight for a specific event or with a specific date in mind, the necessity in this situation really does help me.)

So, my first step was to start doing cardio.
Then step two was to do more cardio.
Step three was to turn the heat up on the cardio.
And here we are.

I've been adhering to the addition or cardio pretty effortlessly, which was a surprise to me. Turns out, I don't hate it at all. I actually rather enjoy it in reasonable doses. 

But then came diet... my last post in this journal actually talks about my issues with dieting and how it's easily my biggest demon. I lack self control and will power in many cases, and until the time of me writing *this* update, I also lacked the true desire to make changes to my diet. (Check out this Facebook post I just wrote about the difference between DECIDING on a change and actually WANTING that change if you care to have a deeper understanding of this concept.)

I muddled around deciding a change needed to be made for about 3 weeks, but I didn't actually adhere to anything. All I did was decide and declare that, "I need to lose weight for my meet." Until earlier this week I hadn't actually wanted it enough to DO anything. But, luckily, I've been able to change that. 

I wrote myself a meal plan, and I did it smarter than I have in the past. (I'm so thankful for that previous experience, or I'd probably still be muddling.)

I wrote out ONE entire day of meals and snacks, and I calculated the calories/fat/carbs/protein and the %s for that day. I intend to eat according to that plan every day for at least a week (I'm on day 4). Then, when I'm ready to change some of the menu, I'll adjust it, calculate the new intakes, and follow the new plan every day for at least another week, and so on... 

 My current meal plan for the week (or longer if I decideI want to keep going with this one). Short and simple. Easy to follow.

My current meal plan for the week (or longer if I decideI want to keep going with this one). Short and simple. Easy to follow.

This has made grocery shopping -- which was one of the biggest things I just could not get a grip on -- and packing/prepping my meals SO. MUCH. EASIER. It also takes the guesswork out of eating, which I struggled with when all I was doing was tracking on MyFitnessPal. Sure, just tracking gives the days some variety and some leniency, but I never knew what I was going to eat next, and that meant that I didn't pack or prep food, and THAT meant that I would often wind up eating out instead. 

Furthermore, I am ENJOYING the meals I've written out for myself, because I was smart about writing them. I didn't plan to eat things that I knew I would absolutely hate. I also wrote in deserts and treats and made them fit the macros and %s I wanted to hit. This way I enjoy every meal/snack, and I still get to look forward to a delicious Dove ice cream bar every day. :P

 This is breakfast: one egg, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheese scrambled together. 

This is breakfast: one egg, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheese scrambled together. 

 Lunch: 3 oz of rotisserie chicken, 3 oz of boiled potatoes, BBQ sauce, and 2 pickles. This is definitely my favorite meal. 

Lunch: 3 oz of rotisserie chicken, 3 oz of boiled potatoes, BBQ sauce, and 2 pickles. This is definitely my favorite meal. 

And lastly, I'm not being debilitatingly strict with it. Last night I went out for one of my best friend's birthdays, and it inevitably this included alcohol. So, instead of either (1) refraining entirely from participating in the shenanigans, or (2) completely saying "F it!" and going nuts, I made adjustments to the day's food so that I could afford the calories and carbs of a few beers while still getting enough protein and fat. I took out a high carb snack, drank about 3 beers, accepted that I'd be a bit over my calorie intake, and had a really good time. 

THAT is the kind of diet change I can stick to, and hopefully I will see more success with this than my many many failed attempts in the past. Additionally, I'm hoping that with all the nutrient dense foods, higher protein intake, and only slightly decreased calorie intake, I won't see the sharp decline in strength I usually see when I've (pathetically attempted) dieting in the past.

I'd definitely say meet prep is going much better than it was when I last updated. 

And, for good measure, some pictures of where I'm at. ;)