Thanks so much for your encouraging comments and for following along on my fitness journey! I’ve been emailing with many of you who are sharing your own fitness journeys and have other questions. You can also leave a comment – I read every one! If you’re just getting caught up, I’m preparing for my second NPC bikini fitness competition on July 11, 2015. I competed in my first contest last July and I decided to do another one because I was doing most of the exercise anyway and already eating similarly to the bikini prep plan. It’s the best way I know to get in shape in a relatively short period of time, especially since summer is almost here!
But, “most of the exercise” and “eating similarly” are not the same thing as actually doing the work all the way when you’re training for a bikini contest. I have learned in the past couple of weeks that unless you are 100% focused and dedicated, you are not going to see the results you want.
Last Wednesday (just after 10 weeks out), my trainer measured me at 25% body fat. That’s bad because I went up 2% since he measured me last two weeks ago. I knew I hadn’t been strictly sticking to the meal plan/workouts (with being out of town, and then my Grandma being in town for a week) and it showed. For a contest like this, the goal is to get down to around 10%.
So, to get serious, we analyzed my food portions and cut from 6 oz to 5 oz of carbs on meals 2, 3, and 4. Cutting too drastically and I’d have nowhere to cut in the later on. I’m also going to up my cardio 5 minutes, from 40 to 45 minutes 6 days a week. Not that I had even been doing a whole 40 minutes 6 days a week yet. 🙁
I also realized I made a mistake in calculating my calories in my meal plan – it should be about 1500 calories, not 1900. I made the error by inputting the wrong amount of potatoes in MyFitnessPal, so it calculated the calories too high.
This type of sport is not for the faint of heart and make no bones about it- it IS althletuc training and conditioning similar to any other sport. You will definitely feel that when you are working out so hard each day.
My workouts are done first thing in the morning and then are done for the day. It’s hardest to get started on the bikini prep for the first few weeks, but once you start to see the results of your effort and hard work, then the motivation really sets in and you see the fruits of your labor. After that, sticking with it for the remaining weeks is not as hard as it was in the beginning.
I’m still in that “hard beginning part” and am a little freaked out because I only have 9 weeks now to get it done. I have to remember to trust the process because I know from experience that it works. This prep is also difficult because the first time, I was much more excited about doing it- thinking about it a bunch, but this time, having done it before, there’s not as big a fanfare as I made it out to be last time. Now, it’s just about doing the work, day in and day out, and keeping on with the rest of my life. It’s more like just a part of how I live right now.
10 WEEKS OUT
Here’s my 10 Weeks Out picture, snapped on Sunday, May 3, 2015:
One thing I will mention regarding body fat measurements is that even my trainer said that he’s surprised how high my body fat read last week. He always cautions me not to get hung up on the number and compliments me saying I look athletic, better than the numbers say. I’ll go back to the In-Body Analyzer Body Fat test in a few more weeks to see how that one measures too. It’s a good reminder to just keep my head down and work, not focusing too much on the body fat measurement, except as one tool to use on this journey.
WORKOUTS – 10 WEEKS OUT
Again this week, I trained with my trainer twice and he wrote out my 3rd and 4th workout since he was out of town. He is a champion in the sport of bodybuilding (although he’s super humble about it) and is a judge at NPC contests, so he often travels during show season. The high body fat measurement scared me straight and I did get 5 days of cardio in (but I’m supposed to do 6). For me, I’ll be happy with 5 days of 45 minutes. Six days is just so freaking hard from a time standpoint alone. My days have to be pretty structured to get all these workouts in. I’ll do a post about my schedule if you want to see. Let me know!
Those training days with my trainer are KILLER because we do our weight workout for nearly an hour, then I go straight to my 45 minutes of cardio. When I do cardio after weight-training, I get on the treadmill and put it at the highest incline (for the treadmills they have) 15, then alternate walking at 2.5 – 3.0. Or I might ramp it down to incline 8 and bump the speed to 4.0. To lower my heart rate, I’ll bring it down to incline 5, slower pace.
On days I only do cardio, I go to another gym closer to my house, and get on the bike. I put it on “quick start” at 7 and then make sure to keep my heart rate in the 70-75% range using my Polar heart rate monitor.
It’s crazy how little calories I actually burn during a workout (which is why it’s so much better to not eat too much in the first place). I keep track of calories burned with my Polar heart rate monitor. Of course, calories burned depends on your body size. My husband, for example, will burn over double what I do during the same workout.
On training + cardio days, I might burn 550 calories. On cardio alone days, I only burn about 300.
I’ve started prepping several meals in advance and putting them into plastic containers I found at my grocery store so all I have to do is pop them in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes when I’m ready to eat. I’m eating 5 meals a day, so these are Meals 2, 3, and 4. I will show you how I prep my meals for the week tomorrow!
Each one contains: 5 oz. lean protein (pictured here is chicken and turkey/beef meatballs); 5 oz potato (combo of sweet potato and white) just because I like that mix; and 1 cup veggies (green beans are my fave).
I measure the protein and potatoes exactly with my food scale. I put my frozen veggies in there and they are cooked through once thawed in fridge and microwaved. I’ll add a little ketchup to the meatballs and sometimes a tiny bit of salt to the veggies- but not always, just if I want it. Salt is okay at this point, closer to the competition date, we’ll cut it out.
Since I was scared straight after getting my body fat results, I ate really clean this week. With one exception. My son’s preschool class honored the mothers on Friday with the cutest presentation and homemade cookies they prepared the day before. I was not about to turn down a cookie made with love by my son and he was so proud to serve it to me!
Then, to show the parents some of what the kids have been learning this year, they took turns showing some of what they’ve been up to lately. I beamed with pride when my son was called to the front of the class first . . . There was a big audience of moms watching, and he did so good, even though I could tell he was nervous. #heartmelting!
Because I like to post in real time, here’s a peek at 9 Weeks Out, picture taken on Sunday, May 10, 2015. I had to scroll through all the pics to find ones that looked like an improvement and I’m doing the ‘bikini’ stance, which is meant to make your waist look smaller since you’re standing twisted and to the side. You’d be surprised how much effort it takes to suck in and stand this way for longer than a few seconds!
Now 9 weeks left, 63 days, just over 2 months. I can do it, right?! You can too! Even if you’re not competing in a contest, you can still make significant improvements to your health and shape in 2 months!
I’m so excited to have two friends competing in this same contest (July 11, 2015) with me this year. One woman is another mom from my son’s school (she’s kicking butt, already down to 16% body fat! and this will be her first contest). She’s training online with my trainer and he’s giving her workout plans to do in her home garage gym and also guiding her on her meal plan. Her husband is doing the plan too and has lost 10 pounds!
Another new friend followed my first contest prep then started training with my trainer and placed Top 5 at her first contest last year. This will be her second contest and we often see each other at the gym since we train around the same time with our trainer. She is adorable and has a small child also. The three of us are planning to do our posing classes together this time.
It is more fun to have a friend compete with you. Along the way, you can encourage each other, share tips, and just talk in general to someone else who gets it.
MORE BIKINI PREP POSTS
If you missed some of my bikini prep posts, you can get caught up here: