Hello to all of my incredible friends! Welcome back to my NPC Prep Diary! I initially wasn’t going to do this again for the 2017 season, for two reasons. First, because bodybuilding isn’t the same as living a “fit & healthy lifestyle”. It’s an extreme, and I don’t want to send the wrong message to anyone that doesn’t compete. Secondly, I didn’t know anyone really enjoyed these weekly updates. I threw up the question on my Instagram and received an overwhelming “yes, please do a prep diary”.
The goal this year? To win my IFBB Pro Card. Aggressive, but I find that if I publicly state my goals, it forces me to stretch & push myself.
So, here I sit at 18 weeks out from the pro-qualifier show NPC USA Championship in Las Vegas. And GIRL DO I FEEL THICK.
(Thick compared to where I need to be on stage, not in terms of a normal human woman. Because let’s be honest, any and all shapes and sizes are beautiful, and I feel just as confident at this weight as I do as a muscle-skeleton on stage).
Remember how last year I reverse-dieted perfectly, getting even leaner than I was on stage for my wedding, and then started competition season about 15 lbs over my stage weight? Well NOT THIS YEAR. My Hashimoto’s Disease took a weird turn last summer, and my thyroid lost a significant amount of its functionality (meaning: it died some more). I should have been on a much higher dose of my medication. So, in a short amount of time, I put on quite a bit of weight. This paired with some binge eating I was dealing with immediately after my 2016 season ended, and I’m sitting at about 180lbs (gentle reminder that my stage weight is about 146-150lbs). I’ve got work to do.
There are also a few other things going on in my (and Kevin’s) life right now. We’ve been building a house since December, which is wonderful and exciting on one hand, and miserable and stressful on the other. But we’re almost to the finish line and close & move in April. Exciting, but I’m ready for my nightly stress-dreams to be over.
Meals this week are nice and easy. Right now I need as little additional stress in my life as possible, which includes creative meal planning. So, bro-meals it is.
Lunches are shredded chicken with a BBQ dry rub seasoning, roasted golden potatoes, and steamed green beans. The chicken was cooked in chicken stock in a crock pot, shredded, and then put under the broiler on a sheet pan for a few minutes to “crisp up” the ends.
If you’re an OG reader, you remember that I also used to show off my weekly “treats” I’d buy at the grocery store to fit into my macros for the week. Well, we have a new game called “spend the least amount of money as possible on groceries, so we can put as much down on our house as possible”. So I’m afraid my treats are either cheddar rice cakes or a Square bar (Discount code “6ftfit” gets you 20% off! I don’t get commission, Square Organics are just really great, generous people!)
If you look back to the start of my prep last year, training is almost exactly the same, only a little less cardio. My coach creates all of my training programming, and this year has really focused on what judges are looking for in a bikini athlete. Actual exercises are different (hint: I haven’t squatted for almost a year), but the training split remains the same. A typical week looks like:
Monday: Shoulders & Arms Hypertrophy
Tuesday: Rest/Cardio Only
Wednesday: Power Upper Body Day
Thursday: Power Leg Day
Friday: Rest/Cardio Only
Saturday Upper Body Hypertrophy
Sunday: Lower Body Hypertrophy
Cardio has been slightly increased to two 20 min steady state sessions, and one 20 minute HIIT session.
Cheers to the start of another great competition season while juggling building a house, moving, daily work life, and trying to shed as many pounds as possible between now and July. While it’s sometimes overwhelming, I feel so blessed & highly favored, keeping one of my favorite Christine Caine quotes top of mind: “Favor is for purpose, not status.”