Sunday, February 22, 2015

Progress and game plans

around 2 years of compositional changes

 1) I had great news saturday morning when I had my body composition tested. I am up to over 109lbs of lean body mass, which I am super happy about! At 4'11" that is great progress and I can't wait to break the 110lb mark. That is up 3lbs of muscle compared to last year at this time. Hard work and a adhering to my nutrition is paying off. I am so eager for what is to come and this makes me more determined than ever to push and see where I will be in a year, 2 years, 5 years and on.

2) With those results in hand I am seeing that to be where I want to be as far as body fat by april 18th I would need to lose over a pound a week of fat. So far this season I have not had success losing at that rate, to the benefit of my muscle mass, and keeping that mass is more important to me than being ready for the april show... so I am going to plan on making june 6th at the Naturally Fit Super Show in Austin my first show this year, followed by the Columbia Classic June 20th. I am not sure if I will do another show later this summer after that. I think I will just play it by ear and see how my body is feeling at that time. If I am doing ok holding my fat low I may push for a third show. If I am struggling I will begin a reverse diet and start my off season in July.

3) It is tough to be hungry, and to not allow myself to graze a little, especially at the end of the night when I am trying to go to sleep and can't stop thinking about food. This week I finally feel like I am rounding a bend physique wise and starting to see some of the indicators that I am getting lean. I am happy with what is happening in my quads and with my shoulders taking some shape as I lose a little of the fluff in my upper arms. These photos and indicators of my progress give me the determination to keep pushing forward.

4) I am feeling a little sappy and as always I have to thank the people in my life that help keep my morale up: Dani- without you I'm lost, seriously. Thank you for keeping me on path, keeping my head on straight, and driving the ship. Co-workers- thank you for taking the time to mention that you see my shape changing, you might not realize it but that helps me make it through each day and push harder in my workouts and cardio. Thank you for always asking how my workouts went and how I am feeling. I have never had such a strong support system so close to me daily. My clients- thanks for your check ins and being understanding when I am a little spacey or continuously mention that I am hungry during our sessions. You are the best! Karen- cheerleader and cardio motivator, I appreciate you to no end... thanks for understanding that going out to coffee is my new favorite activity. Dad- I live to make you proud, thank you for always being my biggest fan and getting me started on this path. Stacey, Jack, Erin, Iron Ethos crew, all of portland really- <3 thank you for the love and support. Teammates- Thanks for doing this with me... together we will change the world. Social media friends and fans- knowing you are out there and that some of you see me as an inspiration makes me work harder to give you the best I have. Every comment and positive remark makes a difference to me and has more than once helped me through a tough day.

Ok, enough of my dramatics ;) I know I am not doing anything impossible or anything tons of people haven't done before, but I am doing something that means a lot to me and is very challenging- and I couldn't do it without you!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The slow crawl towards stage lean

4 weeks progress
I know people love to see progress photos, so here I am in my underwear for you.
This season has seemed like an especially long trek to me. I have been cutting for about 8 weeks now and my weight has not changed too significantly. I am down around 5lbs and about an inch in the waist, 2-3 inches in the hip area, and an inch and a half in the booty.
The cool thing is that in november, my measurements compared to now were larger through the waist, hips, and butt- but my weight is about 2lbs greater... so I know I have gained several pounds of muscle.
I am trying hard to not become frustrated with the slow progress, and to remind myself that even though I am frequently hungry I still eat more than a lot of women my height and weight do to maintain. Really I am doing great, I have lost fat while maintaining and possibly even increasing my muscle- which is a rare thing during a cut... but it's tough to work so hard and know I still have so far to go. I am estimating about 12-14lbs to really be where I want to be on stage this season... It may not happen, but I have many years to get good at cutting down to essential fat. I get dunked on saturday and I am very interested in seeing where my Lean Body Mass is in comparison to the last time I dunked over a year ago.
Cardio is hard for me, and being hungry sucks, but the toughest parts are the mental things- being patient and just trusting the process, having to fit every meal within a budget of calories/macros- with no free meals, and no meals out now that I am more limited in my calories. I really just want to go get nachos and a slice of pie... I am starting to remember all my tricks for making food volume increase while calories decrease, making the most of extracts and spices, and turning towards a few sugar free products to curb sweet cravings.
This is just me letting off a little steam, venting my frustrations... I have a harder time than some cutting body fat- my body really likes to keep its womanly bits. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, I may have a hard time losing fat but I gain muscle somewhat easily and each season, while on a deficit I have continued to gain muscle almost through my entire cut. I will make it to the stage by june, lean and in a better condition than my last season. I still don't know about april but I am not feeling very optimistic.
I am super resolved to reverse diet properly after my shows this summer and minimize the amount of fat I gain in my off season so that next year I hopefully only have to cut for 16 weeks instead of over 20. I can say with complete certainty that dieting is one of my most hated things are hardest challenges. I stay resolved knowing that what I am doing is going to make an impact and help change people's minds about veganism and maybe convert a few meat eaters.
my zen pump at golds gym capitol hill, seattle
photo by Karen Mishelof