My Journey to the Stage – Part 3: De-Loading & De-Socialising

Well I’m now in week 3 of my comp prep and less than 10 to go; or I’m over 2/12 of the way in; or I’ve completed 1/6 of the journey; or the last week doesn’t really count so I have less than 9 weeks to go…..These are all the different spins I put on it when I am feeling that the road ahead seems quite long….Have you ever found yourself doing this when counting down to something??

I was watching the Biggest Loser last night and I got to thinking –It must be very difficult mentally for these people because they have so much weight to lose and that road must just seem insurmountable at times…whereas I only have less than 10 weeks to go on this particular journey so I should just enjoy the ride!

Most days, particularly during the week, I feel great: Positive, energetic & not tempted to divert from my track at all…But I am human and I do have days (particularly weekends) where I feel weaker and I start to question why on earth I am putting myself through this…. but quitting is not an option for me….I chase away the negative thoughts in my head, read my motivational poster and remind myself of why I am doing this….I have also seen some really great results after this short time and that has spurred me on and made me determined to stay focused…

So….the highlight of this week (apart from, of course, my always anticipated cheat meal) is that I am in week 3 of my first 4 week phase which marks “de-load” week in my weights training….It really is the small things at the moment!

Basically this means that instead of doing my usual 5 sets of each exercise, I get to go down to just 3 sets….Given that my average rest time between sets is about 15 seconds, this is pretty awesome, especially on the days I am training predominantly legs….The idea behind this is that you are giving your body a little bit of much-needed rest to allow it to recover….

Rest is very important to the body…If you don’t get the appropriate rest, you may find that you are stagnating in terms of your fitness/strength gains/weight loss or whatever it is that your goal is….So instead of walking out of the gym on shaky legs, I have been walking out this week with a spring in my step = Winning!

Whilst I am enjoying the de-load aspect this week, I must say that I am not really enjoying the “de-socialising” aspect of my journey….

The nutritional aspect of this comp prep is so strict in regards to what I have to eat, when I have to eat and the portions that I have to eat that it is not possible for me to go out for lunch or a coffee or to a dinner party and just make a healthy choice, as I ordinarily would….It’s not like I can ring a friend who has invited me around and ask them to please accommodate my need for a certain amount of grams of protein, accompanied with a certain amount of broccoli and please ensure not to add any flavour but just the right amount of bland – oh and please ensure that dinner is on the table at 7pm exactly!!

So although I’m sure a lot of seasoned pros still continue on with their daily life and have ways around this dilemma, this is my first time in preparing for such a comp and I am so determined to stay focused on my goal that I feel OK about having to make some sacrifices if it keeps me out of temptation’s eye….I am very lucky I have understanding and supportive friends who will still be there at the end of the 12 weeks to have a girl’s lunch, a girl’s night out or simply pop over for a glass of red on a Friday afternoon….

In sharing my journey, I wanted everyone who read my story who may be on their own health and fitness journey, to take heart from the fact that everyone has to make sacrifices, everyone has bad days where they struggle to find motivation and it’s not always fun & easy. BUT it is so important to stay focused on that goal; Do not let quitting even be an option and when the going gets really tough, have a read of this quote which is my favourite one on my motivational board: I LOVE it – it signifies everything about my journey and always hardens my resolve when needed…

“It will hurt, it will take time;
It will require dedication;
It requires will-power;
You will need to make healthy choices;
It requires sacrifice;
You will need to push your body to its’ limits;
There will be temptation;
But I promise you, when you reach your goal, it will be WORTH IT!”