This post comes from a place where I have my moments of ups and downs. This past week was a really great week for me as far as stress levels go! I was able to keep myself calm, collected and peaceful. Yet I still struggled with staying within my macros. So I wanted to take a moment to reflect on it.
I am really pleased with myself in that I was able to find a sense of peace and balance in a chaotic season in my life. I haven’t felt this peaceful and rested mentally in several weeks, so to have just a collected and well-paced mental week was great. I am really extremely happy about that! Maybe I will finally enter into a more normal stress level season again before the chaos of end of the calendar year fundraising begins! ;)
My workouts were better than the week prior, so that was good as well! I would personally assess them as being not my BEST, as I was at times just getting it done and not vigorous like I usually am. I still didn’t skip or miss any workout, and completed every muscle group along with cardio on every scheduled day. Again, I wouldn’t say I gave it 110% like I prefer, but after the last couple of weeks this was an improvement! I finally asked my coach if it would make a difference if I did my hip thrusts on the floor rather than a bench (I didn’t think it would change things much,) and he said it was fine! So that’s great because there’s only one bench that’s bolted to the ground at my gym, which happens to be the cable row machine….which is also the only one, so I hate to steal it! Plus, since the benches move all the time, I pretty much end up falling on the floor partway through each set anyway! May as well start and end there! So I have been enjoying finally perfecting those, and am starting to really experiment with how heavy I can go for that exercise! My deadlifts have also been going well, and been something I look forward to!
All that being said, I struggled this week with eating within my macros. While I never completely blew it as far as bingeing or anything like that, I was retaining water and bloated all week until Saturday. I am not entirely sure what to attribute this to, but my thoughts are 1) I had slow cooked my chicken with some higher sodium sauces and was experimenting so I didn’t really give it much thought….but I probably went overboard, 2) I ate dried banana slices several days…which I absolutely LOVE but given that bananas in general are REALLY high in carbohydrates, they definitely set me over my carb intake those days, 3) I tend to consume a good amount of Crystal Light on the weekends because it’s fun, different and keeps me interested when it’s hot out…again this is high in sodium, and finally 4) my cardio hasn’t been to the intensity it should be. I am still getting it in and haven’t missed a cardio session, but I wasn’t fully focused the entirety of each session. I had chosen the stationary bike most days because I was tired, exhausted, knew I needed to get it done but truly just wanted to ZONE OUT. So I think that held me back.
It’s always interesting to see how your body responds to things, whether it’s food sources, nutrients, cardio, stress, etc. I am hoping that since my stress levels are finally back down, that I can amp up my intensity in the gym again, and re-focus on meeting my macros EXACTLY each day. It’s hard to do, and there is obviously a little wiggle room with 5g per macro, but I would feel so much better about my efforts if I really made it a point to be exact.
My teammates had a really great weekend at Masters Nationals for NPC. Quite a few of them took home their IFBB Pro Cards, and those that didn’t still got first call outs! (What that means, is that in the lineup of girls in their division and height etc, the judged scored them well and called them out of the lineup first to do comparisons on placing. You ideally want to be first call outs as this typically means you are top 5, if you get second call outs then you’re usually top 10.) My coach’s wife, Tiffany, got her IFBB Pro Card for Masters in Bikini C. So that’s exciting! Overall, my team had a REALLY GREAT weekend! There’s more major national competitions next weekend as well. Lots of teammates placing well and gaining their Pro Cards! It just makes me want to work harder! :) Still with some balance, and not draining myself, but I definitely could put in more work and dedication!
Anyway, we all have struggles, and each week…really each day, is different. Some days I can feel super great about my progress, and even at times later on the same day I can feel disappointed in myself. Ultimately I just have to take it a day at a time, and keep going! It will all work itself out with consistency, dedication and time.