It has been two weeks since my first show and what do you think I did right after the show... Yes, you are right; I ate! I indulged in those sweets and other unhealthy things that my co-workers had offered me throughout my prep, day in and day out. I am the first to admit I wasn't 100% on my first prep and that I was disappointed in myself for this when I hit the stage. Although proud of how far I had come, I couldn't help but wonder how much further I could have progressed had I stayed 100% on my plan. Right then and there I vowed not to do that on my next prep. This was a great vow for my future shows but that led me to over indulging as soon as the show was over to 'get it all in' before the next prep started. This was a tough lesson to learn because the worse I ate, the worse I felt. My energy level went down as did my workouts. I was able to get mostly back on track and start to get my mind right for my next prep. I did not do as well as I wanted before but I will persist until I succeed this time around. My struggle was failure or not performing as well as I wanted. This led me to bad nutrition and old habits. I think on some level I used this as a crutch or making an excuse for later when I didn't do as well as I wanted I couldn't blame it on poor nutrition and not that my best wasn't good enough. Everyone says that I am doing great considering how hard we work and the schedule that we have out here. I don't want to be great for out here... I want to be great! Truth be told. I didn't have the commitment I needed and this will not be the same this time around. I will overcome my fear and go all in with my workouts and even more so my nutrition. I WILL give it my all and then I will have NO regrets!
'Hard' lesson learned
I will let you in on what I learned during this process as it might help those who are thinking of competing in the future. Many co-workers of mine ask me how I do it - how I train to compete with the hours we work and the constant traveling of our jobs. Well, the answer is both simple and complex. I work 75-82 hours a week and living out of hotels. I work in the oilfield industry and that usually means a small town and a by hotel that usually means no gym, no kitchen just a mini fridge. Well, anyone who has ever been on prep or followed any of us on Instagram on a Sunday... All of that food would NEVER fit in a mini fridge. With each new job comes a series of tasks...this means each time I have a new assignment there are a few things that have to happen immediately:
- Drive 6-8 hour minimum to new job site
- Find a place to live
- Get groceries
- Prep for the first two weeks
- Find a new gym
- Unpack and get ready for work
- And much more... to get myself, Farrel and the pets all set up in a new place.
What matters is that each time I get to a new place, I do these things. I get set up and plan to succeed. If not, I am only getting further away from my goals and my dreams. The hard lesson I learned was when I wasn't making this a priority. I thought I could move to a new place and take a day or two to get set up and get back on track. Is it easier to grab food on the go when traveling? Sure. Is it easier to move in somewhere new and not have to immediately shop and cook for a few hours? Sure. But is it easy to watch yourself backslide and lose progress you worked SO hard to gain? NO!
The hardest part about competing
The hardest part of competing is by the far the diet! This will make you or break you! This is where you will find out what you are truly made of and how bad you really want it. If you don't eat every 2-3 hours per the plan, take in only clean foods or eat enough food your body be where you want it to be when time to compete. Sure anyone can get their plan, set their goal and be excited about it but what happens after the new wears off? You must have commitment and not just in the beginning. A 12 week prep can be very challenging... there will be days when you won't feel like going to the gym, won't want to cook or REALLY want that brownie or happy hour with friends. These days are the when you need to remember why you started and think about how great it will be when you step on that stage knowing you gave 110%. There will be many temptations and cravings but the easiest way to avoid these are to just stay away. This means don't go out with people who don't support your goal; meaning those who will encourage you that "just one bite will be okay." Don't go places where you can't resist temptations and absolutely don't keep these bad foods at home. You will no doubt have feelings of being left out or that you are missing out on your favorite things. You are NOT missing out on anything yet you are striving for something new. You have a big goal and you can do ANYTHING for a matter of weeks! The feelings of accomplishment when you step on that stage are far better than that cheat meal will ever be! There is nothing better than the feeling of no regret. Be strong and plan ahead. You can still enjoy many of your usual activities with just a few tweaks. Eat your meals when you are supposed to and take the others with you when you go, this way there is no reason to cheat. Your meal is prepped and right there ready for you. If this journey was going to be easy then everyone would be doing it. Just remember you CAN do this! Eat clean and train mean!