If you didn’t know already, I chose to not participate in the two competitions I had planned on in October, and instead begin reverse dieting. I’ll touch base on why I chose not to compete this fall, and also what reverse dieting is and how its going.
So first off, I chose not to compete this fall because of a few reasons. I was feeling like my heart and focus just wasn’t in it like before. That’s not to say that my drive or passion is gone, but just that I was really struggling to focus in and find the inner determination to succeed. Mentally it was just tough, I was tired and ready to rest. My body was going nonstop and I could tell I was ready to reverse and give it time to grow.
The second reason I chose to reverse diet was because we just ended up having a busy schedule for the coming months. We sold our house, have been packing, preparing to move, I also will be flying out to the east coast, and it’s a busy time of year at work. The thought of then trying to compete on top of that was overwhelming. It just seemed like a decision that was lacking in wisdom. I probably could have done it but the stress I would face, the stress my husband would face, just wouldn’t be worth it.
So, that being said, what is reverse dieting? Well, just like when going through a cut or competition prep, where you slowly decrease your food intake while slowly increasing your physical output… with a reverse diet you do just the opposite. You slowly increase your food intake while slowly decreasing your physical output.
The reason for this is because if you suddenly go back to eating at maintenance calories, and decreasing your output, your body will more than likely store the increase in calories as fat. You’ve been asking it to do so much on so little for so long, that it won’t know you’re not going to do the same. So it will store those calories as fat to use as energy, however your output has decreased and so the demand for energy isn’t what it was.
So the idea is that you slowly change the balance, so that your metabolism and body have time to adjust. This will lead to an increased metabolic capacity with minimal fat stores. Which means your body will use the increase in food to fuel your workouts, rather than being stored as fat.
Now, I am in week 3 of my reverse diet, and I have to say…. it’s not easy. It’s actually mentally a lot harder than dieting for a show. There’s no deadline to hold you accountable, mentally you’re ready to eat foods you like and of your choosing, you want to have a cheat meal, and you’re just plain tired. Then throw in that your metabolism is now up-regulating instead of down-regulating and you’re even hungrier.
My food has increased each Monday, and my cardio has decreased twice a week. I still love doing fasted cardio in the mornings but am finding that my motivation levels are all over the place. Some days they’re great, and other days I am dragging. My hormones are adjusting and my body is getting back to normal….which means hormones are making me want to cry at the drop of a hat lately. The other day I cried because I was so excited for fall…. WHAT!?
Anyway, its hard, but I’ve decided to use my birthday as a little bit of a deadline for myself. To keep myself dedicated and accountable, my birthday is at the end of October, and I’d like to still feel confident, healthy, and fit. So sticking to the plan will get me there. Eating off the plan will not. :)
As a whole I think my body has been responding well. I’m averaging out at the end of each week with the same weight, and my measurements haven’t changed much. My waist did get a little wider, but nothing to be concerned about. I weight the same, and some days less, than I did heading into peak week for the competition, so I would say this has been a success so far!
I still have a ways to go as we work on bringing my metabolic capacity up beyond what it was to start with, and building more muscle. I havent made any decisions as far as when exactly I will compete again. Part of me doesn’t want to think about that, and instead wants to focus on bringing my body to it’s full potential, full health and happiness. I also find myself wanting to determine and establish what long-term health, fitness and balance can look like for me. I love competing and love the stage time. I love the incredible challenge it gives. I also know that I have been focused on that goal for almost 3 years and it may be nice to find some balance for a bit.
The stage will always be there, and I have no doubt that I will step on it again and do even better than this last time. But I also know I don’t want to end up running myself into the ground chasing after a placing or a sword. I want to establish long-term healthy balance and goals for myself too.
So, that being said, I’ll keep updating you all along the way. Blogging is really hard for me. I have enjoyed “vlogging” a bit via snapchat, so that has been an easier quick way to give updates. Sitting down and writing is a LOT harder for me, as I am busy and my thoughts end up all over the place. But I’ll do updates as best as I can and keep you all in the loop as to my goals and progress.
Let’s build a better backside and improve my metabolic capacity!!!