It’s been a long time since I’ve written! I apologize for leaving you all hanging. I’ve been focusing on my improvement season and career since I last updated you all. I bet you are wondering how my reverse diet has gone and what I’m up to now. So let me fill you in.
I began my reverse diet in August of 2016. It was the first time I was actually going to be successful at reversing and I’m really glad I did it! In hindsight, my food increased a little too quickly, but that’s ok. It took several months for my hormones to balance out, while I didn’t suffer from anything crazy like you hear about in the competing world, I could tell that they were not MY normal. I had some night sweats, I was puffy, I was grumpy, my boobs hurt, etc. It took several months to get my body to chill out, but it finally did. (I did have a blood panel done to see if anything was low and everything was in the “normal” ranges but I knew for me they weren’t 100%.)
I spent months trying to add some size and grow. It’s hard to say for certain how much muscle I have been able to add, but I feel good about the changes that have happened. I love to train hard and lift heavy! I also did no cardio during this time.
In March of 2017 I began a lifestyle “mini-cut” to just try and get my body composition to a better spot. I had a few HIIT sessions per week and my training had some added volume while I dieted a bit. I didn’t see the scale go down, it actually went up, but I did drop some body fat. In July I began to reverse diet again but more slowly.
This time I was able to get my macros up even higher than they have ever been. I’ve maintained my weight and composition while increasing calories. I’m really happy with where I am presently at and the way I feel. I’m not experiencing cravings, I don’t feel restricted and I’m balanced. It took a while to get here! I am not actively logging my food into myfitnesspal anymore or weighing my food out. I am mentally tracking my intake of course (once you learn macros you cannot unlearn it!) and making myself a meal plan each week, while allowing myself to freely eat on the weekends.
I don’t eat out all that often, as I just don’t prefer to, but don’t feel guilty about having wine every week or eating what I want to at a wedding etc. I have finally reached a place of balance, with high enough macros that I can live life without worry. I workout with enjoyment, and do cardio only whenever I feel like it. I can still fit into 90% of my clothes (shirts without stretch in the sleeves are tough for fitting my delts into!) and feel comfortable. It’s not a bad place to be in!!
Now, what are my plans for the future? I have just begun discussions with my coach about a 2018 season. Feels scary to say! I’m excited though! I am thinking that I may begin prep in April or May and compete in late September and early October. This may change and I may begin earlier, but right now that’s what I am thinking. It’s exciting and I am genuinely looking forward to prepping again. Sometimes I miss the daily grind of prep. But I really look forward to challenging myself and being on stage.
I’m also presenting studying to get certified as a personal trainer through NASM, and am coaching a few lifestyle clients along the way. I love being able to help others and share my experiences and knowledge.
So, there you have it! That’s what I have been up to this past year (!!) in my health and fitness journey. Feel free to ask me questions :)