Show Pictures and Reflection: Subtracting Negatives is Addition

You have already seen some of the gorgeous pictures my husband took at my show.  (He did the ‘behind-the-scenes’ shots for our team and the really nice ones of me on stage.)  In this post, I want to share the pictures that were taken by the show’s photographer.   I’m using all the pictures to evaluate my performance, celebrate my progress, and identify things I want to improve so I can set new goals.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to sort out the emotions and get some perspective.  Coach has had to work a bit to help me process some things.  It helps somewhat to learn that many competitors go through a similar mental process after a competition.  The farther I get away from it, that doesn’t surprise me.  We train hard, we diet hard, we invest so much in this ‘hobby’.  Perspective is easily lost.  Two weeks later, I’m starting to feel more like myself.  And for those who are thinking it – yes, it is worth it to me.  Competitive bodybuilding tests me physically, intellectually, and emotionally.   But it also provides a structure to my life that keeps me physically and emotionally healthy.  It’s a paradox.

My previous goals were to come to this show leaner and with more muscle than I had at my previous shows.  I accomplished both – not bad for a 50-something, post-menopausal, high school teacher who’s only been lifting for five years, huh?  And for that, I need to give credit to my coach, Alberto Nunez at 3D Muscle Journey.  Freaking brilliant programming and prep protocol.  Remember – we never went low-carb and I didn’t cut water.


Coach Nunez and I finally met in person! Thank you, Berto!!

It’s important  to remind myself that I accomplished those goals on stage at a big show, in the open class of female bodybuilders with more competitors standing on that stage than I’ve ever had before.  People flew in from other states, other countries in order to participate in this show.   You will see the pictures below, my personal critique will follow, but it’s important to remember that I’m happy with the results and proud of what I’ve accomplished in a short amount of time.  The size of this show and the caliber of the other competitors were a bit intimidating, but as my coach said, I “looked like I belonged up there”.  After I saw the pictures my husband took, I thought “I look like a bodybuilder”.  When I got these pictures this week and I could see how I looked in the line, I think I looked OK considering the experience of the ladies up there with me. (The woman who won was a figure pro in a different federation.)

Here are slideshows documenting my inaugural appearance in the open class of female bodybuilding.

These are just me:

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These are Me vs. Me:

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These are the entire open class at pre-judging.  (The young lady in purple next to me was the only novice competitor.  She is 17.  So, the oldest, a high school teacher, and the youngest, a high school student, female competitors were lined up together – how cool is that?  Well, I thought it was, anyway. A nice memory for me.)

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Post Game Analysis – Time to “Subtract the Negatives”

I’ve spent too much time focused on the “negatives” of this experience.  I lived in that negative place for a few days.  One day this week, I remembered – removing negatives is the same thing as addition.  I can turn these negatives into something positive.  (I’m a math teacher – go with it.  Hahaha!)  When I reflected on the show and looked at these pictures, I identified the “negatives” that need to be removed in order to “add” to my progress as a bodybuilder:

  • Symmetry is a negative.   My pelvis is too wide.  My waist is too wide.   But I can’t change my skeleton.  Stalled?  No.  To remove this negative, I will need to create the appearance of a smaller midsection by increasing the size of myi delts, my upper back, and my legs.  I can address some of this with posing, too.
  • I screwed up the timing of my pre-stage feeding.  It’s a bit tricky to figure out when you’re going to be called to get on stage.  I got the first couple of meals that day in on time.  The last one was supposed to be a candy bar about an hour before stage.  The first part of pre-judging went by quite slowly.  I thought I had more time, but things sped up a bit and I ended up shoving that candy in while I was pumping up.  Big mistake.  Should have just skipped it at that point.  When the sugar hit, I was on the third quarter turn of the first symmetry round.  My blood pressure dropped, I had a dizzy spell, and I spent the rest of the pre-judging time trying to not faint.  I was trying to save energy by not smiling on every pose.  I’m sure that’s also why I forgot some of my posing ques.  I couldn’t hear my coach or my teammates in the audience because there were a lot of people in the front rows yelling.  The negative to remove is to do a better job of tracking the progression of the show and getting my food in me at the right time.  This was the first time I’ve had this pre-stage feeding protocol, so now that I’ve done it once, the next time should run a bit smoother.
  • Posing – I did not hit some important poses well.  I did better with posing during my practices, but forgot several ques when I was on stage.  Even had I been at my best posing, I don’t think I practiced posing in a way that would create the appearance of better symmetry.  That is something I will need to figure out and practice.
  • Body Composition – I still had fat on my lower abdomen and glutes.  Totally fine for life, so please don’t think I’m calling myself “fat”, but I wasn’t lean enough for stage.  To achieve stage-leanness for the competition,  I need to be able to maintain a lower body weight through the off-season so that when I start my next fat loss phase, whenever Coach decides that is going to be, the precious stored fat in those areas will slowly go away.  So far, I’ve only gained 3-4 pounds since the show.  I’m supposed to maintain this weight now.  When we started my cut back in Sept 2014, I was about 157 lbs.  The morning of the show, I weighed about 128.5.  Now the plan is to keep my scale weight between 130 and 135 lbs during the off-season.

What’s Next?

I do not plan to compete again until at least 2017.  I will be 55 that year.  I have a lot of work to do to subtract the negatives.  Life loses a bit of balance during prep, too.  That’s not fair to Hubby or my students.  But I’m a competitor.  I’m happiest when I’ve got a goal to work towards.  Now that I’ve been on the Mayhem stage, I have a vision of being on it again, but he next time, I will have fewer negatives.  I’m excited to get back to work.  If Berto’s programming can do what it did in the first 18 months of our collaboration, I’m 100% confident about what we can do now that we’ve developed a solid foundation for our athlete/coach relationship.  I’m enthusiastic about what my 55-year-old self will be able to accomplish.

It was a fun day overall.  I’ve had more fun on stage before – that is true.  The dizzy spell during pre-judging was a bit scary.  And the anxiety attack I had the day before was not fun for me – really not fun for my husband.  But Hubby did a good job to find humor in the situation and calmed me down.  On show day, there were 16 of my 3DMJ teammates competing that day, so the atmosphere backstage was like a reunion.  We all met up for dinner afterwards – I think there were 40+ people there?  Competitors, coaches, significant others, friends, and former competitors all together to eat too much, share stories, and laugh.  I had a great time, got to meet people I’ve only interacted with online, and made new friends with people I’d never meet in real life if not for this competition.  A special day with great memories.

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Oh – and I almost forgot – here is my night show routine.  The song is “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling.

Photo Credits: KodaMax Photography and Better Aesthetics Bodybuilding


Filed under Competing

My Competitor Self

Had a great conversation with my coach this week.  It’s similar to one we’ve had before.  I think I need to share it with people who are following my journey so you will have some context to apply to some things I say or do.

There is a difference between who I am in the the world and who I am as a competitor.

My top priorities about things are about who I am in the world.  That is who I am with respect to my health, self-care, my marriage, teaching, and being a friend.  Some things I share – like my health transformation story and how I practice self-care through nutrition and exercise.  Those are things that most people who follow my posts on social media are interested in, which is how you probably found me.  Like most people who have pages or blogs, I separate who I am in person from who I am online.  I’m more transparent about things than some, but that is only because I remember how isolating it felt when I started my transformation.  No one in my real life had done this.  It’s hard to know that what you are feeling is “normal” without something to compare it to.

I am also a competitive bodybuilder.  There aren’t many women doing that, so I suspect most of the people who follow my journey don’t compete.  Most of the time, it does not matter.  And the massive amount of support and encouragement is humbling.  When I want to quit, I think about that.  When I think it’s “hard”, I remember the stories from people who are really doing something “hard” who, for some reason, find what I’m doing inspirational.  I’m accountable – which was the point of starting this blog in 2010 and the Facebook page in 2012.

Coach’s advice to me was to make sure I keep “Tammy in the World” separate from “Tammy the Competitive Bodybuilder” in my mind.  But the competitive side of me is why I’m driven.   It’s what gets me up at 3:30 in the morning to go train before work.  It’s how I handle the crazy OCDness of weighing a handful of almonds and then putting some back.

Lessons learned from my journey to transform my health…

  • the skill to track food (which took about 6 months, by the way)
  • how to set a realistic, measurable, attainable short term goal
  • discipline required to reach that goal and set another one
  • patience when results aren’t predictable – because they usually aren’t
  • dedication to the promises you make yourself
  • be MORE patient
  • determination to stay consistent and do the work even when you don’t want to
  • learned that no matter how crappy you feel, you’re going to feel better afterwards
  • learned that nutrition is science and what the body does with the food is also science
  • learned to be more objective and less emotional about what I eat or what happens in the gym

… and a bunch of other lessons if I were to continue

These lessons prepared me to follow my dream to be a competitive bodybuilder.  Please realize that my goals for my sport are specific to that part of my life.  When I talk about my disappointments in not reaching a bodybuilding goal, it does not diminish what I’ve done as “Tammy in the Real World”.  But there will be times when I share my thoughts, successes, and failures from the perspective as a competitor.

As a competitive bodybuilder, I have improved a lot.  I am pleased and proud of that.  However, I’ve done three competitions and I have yet to actually earn a placement.  I am lucky to have two trophies and a medal because there were just enough to go around for the number of women who registered for my division.  Again – as “Tammy in the Real World”, I am proud of my progress.   But I’m not done.  I have not reached a goal that I have as a competitor – to earn a placement in an open division as a 50+ female bodybuilder.  It is because I’m competitive that I train harder, I diet precisely, and I practice posing.  If my goal was to participate as a woman in her 50’s, I did that in 2012.  To keep training diligently, I need a new goal.  I hoped that this time I had done enough,  but I knew the day before I had not. Improved, but not there yet.  I need more time.  It wasn’t a matter of work or coaching – I presented the best package I have ever presented.  Especially for someone who has only been lifting for 5 years.  At the show, I was moved to the end of the line during prejudging after the first round of posing.  There were three rounds, I think.  Went by quickly.

A few days have gone by, I’ve reflected, talked with Coach, and I know what I want to work on.  Because I’m competitive,  I was discouraged at first, but have since become fueled by it.  I like being an underdog.  I like being in a position of having something to prove.  Just like when I started – there were people in my life then who didn’t think I’d lose the weight, much less compete.  And now I’ve done three competitions.  (Yes, that’s empowering.)  I got back into the gym right away this week because I needed to.  I’m having a little harder time dialing in my recovery macros, but each day I’m getting a bit closer.  I’m determined to have a successful recovery from show prep and transition into another long improvement season.

So just because I’m disappointed with my performance last weekend, that’s only “Tammy the Competitor”.  “Tammy in the Real World” sees things differently  – I am grateful, proud, and joyful that I’ve been blessed with the capacity to do it.  I also have a secret weapon that no one I’ve competed against has had – the people who follow my journey.  When I needed a pep talk the day before, they were there for me in a way that was overwhelming!  I swear, I had almost made the decision to drive home, but it was the interactions we had on the page that gave me the courage to follow through.

And these pictures comparing my first show to my third reassure me that I’m on the right track.





Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Competing, Contest Prep

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Filed under My Lifting Log

1 Week, 5 Days…

As I sit with a cup of coffee to write this, I am waiting to hear my coach’s response to the update I sent last night.  Today is day 3 of a three day refeed period after being somewhat low carb for a week.  By “somewhat”, I mean my carbs were around 100 grams per day.  “Low” carb is relative.  I know many competitors wouldn’t think 100 grams is “low”.  Is for me.  I think I’ve talked about it before, but I don’t change my food selection much during these refeed, or diet deload, periods.  I will add in a little more bread, add in some healthy fats, and a little more fruit, too.  I keep the foods the same and increase portion sizes.  Usually.  But I screwed up the first day of this one and had to have TWO bedtime carb feeds.  I always eat right before I sleep, but while my mouth was happy a double feed, my tummy was not.

To be frank – I have come to dislike refeeds.  They were great last winter, but the last couple – and this one in particular – have been difficult.  Set aside the psychological stress of doing something counter-intuitive this close to stage, but I feel beat up by them physically.  My energy levels drop (???), moods swing,  and I feel metabolically beat the heck up.   I expect the next week will be really low-carb.  The first day will suck.  But once my body adjusts, I will feel hungry, but more stable.

I’m leaner now than I’ve ever been.  It’s a weird feeling.  I don’t really like it.  There is more loose skin now than I’ve had before.  Coach and I have already set an off-season goal of staying leaner permanently.  I don’t see a problem with that.  I’ve been hitting PRs in the gym all through this prep.  Asked to not check max lifts last week when I was supposed to because I just didn’t see the point.  Keep the goal the goal – and setting PRs two weeks before a bodybuilding competition was not my goal.  I know myself – if my strength drops, I get frustrated.  No point in risking a mental gymnastics session.

My days have been busy, even though I’m not working.  Lifting, cardio, posing practice, food prep, helping Hubby with projects, walking Tippy, and housework.  Some forced relaxing with reading.  A few naps.   Yesterday, I set up our recumbent bike in the living room so I could do some cardio at home.  It’s not the greatest calorie burn, but it is something I can do while hanging out here.

Not sure how much time I will have to blog between now and the show.  It has taken me days to make myself sit and write this much.  In a few minutes, I need to head to the gym.   I do post daily on Instagram and share it to the Facebook page.  If you want to follow my journey during the last few days, it might be best to follow over there.

Ok – gotta run.  Tippy is laying on the couch next to me and I just spotted a tick attached to his leg.  Need to do a little “dog mom” stuff and then it’s gym time.


Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Cardio, Competing, Contest Prep, Life

3 Weeks Out – Time is Flying By Fast Now

This past week was an emotional one.

  • Two graduations to attend – my new high school and my old one.  I don’t have enough words to describe how proud I am of my students.  Every single one had to work hard to achieve what they celebrated on that day.
  • Had to go back to school to clean up the room, print my grades, and turn in my keys for the summer break.  It’s a short break in our district – we go back at the beginning of August.  I’ll go back at the end of July.  When I locked that classroom door, I was a bit overcome with gratitude to have finally landed in a spot that works with my life and where I feel appreciated.
  • I dropped our parakeet’s cage in the patio by accident.  It wasn’t hurt – but it flew away.  I didn’t think I was bonded to that bird, but I miss it.  I feel remorse that my clumsiness probably killed the little guy.  I try to push back thoughts of how scared it must have been with the thought that, since he was kind of an old parakeet and never been out of a cage, that this was his great escape.  He is off having an adventure.
  • Life happened – no details – but for about half a day, it looked like I was going to have to pull out of the show because we would need to the money I have saved for show expenses to handle the situation.  That made me a bit sad for about half a day.  It worked out differently than I thought it would, so things are still a “go”.  Competing is NOT a life-priority.  I won’t let it be a consideration when we are making decisions.
  • Since I’m not working now, all my daily routines are gone.  It’s relaxing to be able to sleep without an alarm clock.  Still working on getting my days to run a bit smoother.  My training and prep activities do take up a chunk of time each day, but they aren’t the most important things I need to do each day.  Hubby and home are my top priorities.  I spent a lot of free time over the last year dealing with school transfers.  I’m still juggling things a bit to make sure my priorities are reflected with how I spend my time each day.

Look what came today!  I love it!!  Fits great.  I ordered the suit last Sunday night and it was delivered on Saturday.  This is my fourth suit from Saleyla , they are affordable, they have all fit and are delivered in a week.


New Posing Suit (Photobombed by Tippy)

This week, I chose the song I will use for my routine.   I had to download and learn how to use software to edit it myself.  It was a little more involved than setting a start/stop time.  I needed to figure out how to put three different chunks together and make it sound like it wasn’t three different chunks stuck together.  It can only be a minute long.

This is the song I’m using…

I think I have a rough draft of my routine put together.  Sent a video to my coach for his feedback.  The next three weeks will include a LOT of practice time for the routine and for mandatory poses.

Diet break ended and I was back on deficit days this past Thursday.  Body has dropped every day since.  I was at a prep low of 132.6 lbs this morning.  This is what diet breaks have done for me during this prep.  Haven’t really hit any unplanned plateau’s yet.  Those breaks are planned maintenance periods.  Not exactly refeeds – I have to eat a little under my burn to maintain my weight.  Months ago, these “diet deloads” were nice breaks.  Now, they are stressful.  Obviously, they are a psychologically stressful this close to a show, but the last two have also been physically stressful.  It’s a gear change that I actually feel.  But they are a break for my metabolism, though, which is the point.  These breaks are pushing my fat loss to a place I’ve never been.

Lifting has been going well.  Still no major loss of strength.  There were a couple times during the last week of school when I pulled back a bit, but that was to stay safe when I knew I was sleep-deprived and stressed.  This week, I’ve been able to do what was planned.  I am supposed to test my max lifts next week, but I asked coach if I could skip that.  I don’t need another thing to think about right now.  And I know myself – I get a bit competitive with myself when testing.  I just don’t see the point right now.  Coach said I could just add 5% to my lifts and skip it this time.  I’ll test again after the competition.

New progress pics were taken this morning.  I’m still nervous about being as lean as I need to be, but I am happy that I have already reached my goal of having better conditioning than I did in 2013.  I only post my progress pictures here on this blog.

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Filed under Competing, Life, Nutrition, Teaching, Weight Loss

4 Weeks Out: ANOTHER Diet Break! Really?

File this one under the “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR” category.  I’ve been back on my diet for a week, with a seven day break before that, and today Coach tells me to go to maintenance for three days, wait two days, then take pictures on Saturday morning.  This must be a test run to see how my body responds to carb-loading.  But still, it’s annoying.  Unexpectedly stressful to keep going on and off the diet.  When the nerves flare up, I want to suffer a bit to feel like I’m making progress with the extreme fat-loss that needs to happen to be stage-ready.  It’s a psychological thing.  This prep is so different than my last two.  Trust the process?  Trust the coach.

Hahahaha!  OK.  If I must eat, I will eat.

About that – I am sad to report that ice cream is out now.  I eat mostly whole foods anyway, so this won’t be an overhaul.  Just pulling out things that have ingredient labels.  Peace-of-mind, mostly.



Sent my registration.  This is happening.


Found my posing suits in the closet.  My black suit will still work for prejudging.  The fancy night show suit doesn’t fit well and I didn’t like how the color looked on stage in 2013.   Decided to order a new one from the same place, Saleyla, because they make great suits and turn them around fast.  I liked this simple style with a little bling, but I changed the fabric to be turquoise velvet.


About teaching…school ended last week.  Graduation is tomorrow.  The end of a school year is always a bit nuts – especially if you work with seniors.  Many ’emergencies’.  But they really need to be given a chance to earn that graduation, in my opinion.  I never want to see someone handed a diploma they didn’t earn, but I also understand how important it is to give that second, third, fourth chance to earn it.  NOT graduating is a severe, life-changing consequence.  So last week was all about trying to save as many as possible.  Most stepped up and earned it.  Can’t wait to watch them walk across the stage tomorrow!  I am grateful to have landed at this school.  Took the long way to get here, but it’s a good fit.  Looking forward to next year – which starts in August.


In other news…  I can’t share details, but it did impact me negatively, so it is that impact that I want to document in my blog.   Much stress was felt over the last couple months about this issue.  It’s not what or why that’s important.   It’s another chapter in my never-ending journey outside my comfort-zone.  I never wrote about this.  I wanted to, but I didn’t know what I wanted to say or even if it was appropriate for me to share my experience here.  I felt stifled.  Moved past it.   I thought I had dealt with this issue and found an ethical compromise I could live with.  However,  last week, there was a new development and I felt it was important for me to speak up to the group to share my discomfort about the issue.  Wasn’t sure how that would be received.  For a few hours, I thought I might get kicked off my bodybuilding team – which is a possibility.  Sometimes, coaches fire clients.  I didn’t think it would happen, but it took a fair amount of courage and trust for me to say what I needed to say.  Some things are bigger and more important to me than my own needs.  My coach reached out to me personally.  The other coaches were open to a dialogue with me and were sincere, understanding, and willing to revisit some decisions.  You don’t see that happening very often.  Most of the time, people get defensive, dig in, and hold their ground.  I’m sure that was their initial response privately, so to move away from that was unexpected and impressive.    The situation is resolved now, I guess.  Or at least it’s been discussed and air has been cleared.

One of the reasons this one issue blew up into something uncomfortable for me is an unshakable feeling that I have little in common with most people on my team, other than things related to bodybuilding itself.   I’ve only met a few of these people in person, so it’s hard to feel like I really know any of them.  The demographic is mostly 2o,30-something males with athletic backgrounds.  And then there is me:  a 50-something female who is new to anything athletic.  Heck, I don’t even follow professional sports!  I workout by myself.  I love to lift,  but I don’t enjoy discussing the nuances of it.  (I can talk about teaching ALL. DAY. LONG.)  I understand intellectually that I’m on a team, but physically, I’m alone. I only interact with my coach regularly.   For the last year, whenever I reached out and posted on our team page, very few interacted with me.  That’s to be expected, I guess, but it still makes it hard for me to connect.   Or to want to keep trying.  The issue that prompted the drama is behind me, but because I rocked the boat, I won’t know if it is something the others will understand and forgive as the coaches have done.  I hope some of that mutual discomfort will dissipate after my show since I will meet many of my teammates on that day.     When I’m on stage, if my results are evident, others like me will want to work with these coaches, I hope.   It would be wonderful if more women my age became part of this group so I won’t feel quite so isolated.   Yes, that would be awesome.  Logical, too.  These coaches put health, balance, and life ahead of everything.  Their philosophy fits perfectly with the needs of  middle-aged athletes with adult responsibilities and lives to manage.  And the results are impressive.  I plan to work with Berto and 3DMJ for as long as I continue in bodybuilding.

Sorry for the testimonial, but it’s true.  It’s why I’m willing to power through some stuff to make this work for me.




Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Competing, Contest Prep, Life, Opinions, Venting, Ranting, Teaching, Weight Loss

7 Weeks Out – Body Builder Brain

  • I’m too small.
  • I won’t get lean enough.
  • I’m too busy and can’t practice enough.
  • I don’t have a routine yet, so I haven’t been practicing that, either.
  • I don’t know where I put my posing suit.
  • Maybe I should just skip this year, too?
  • I lost my pecs.
  • My right calf is too small.
  • Tanning, makeup??  Where IS my suit???
  • I’m 53.  Guys in their 40’s are talking about being old – and I’m just starting??  What the hell am I thinking?  No one is going to take me seriously.  I’m a joke.
  • I am a wife.  I have a demanding job – people depend on me.  I don’t have time for this!  What the hell am I thinking?


And all of this happened while I was on a diet break.  Five days this week of eating at maintenance – which means I increased my food intake just enough to maintain my weight.  Gave my body a break from the stress of dieting.  And it is stressful.  Body is basically chewing up it’s own reserves to keep functioning.  When in a caloric deficit over time, brain doesn’t have enough energy to handle stress well – which is why dieters can be so much fun to be around!

I think the diet break was stressful for me because I’m feeling the time crunch now.  7 weeks.  Less than 2 months.  It’s already a stressful time because I’m finishing up a school year in a new building.  I can’t bring work home.  Training, resting, food prep, and life just doesn’t allow for that anymore.  But there are piles of things to grade, final exams to write, study guides to write, lesson plans for kids who don’t want to work – classroom management is hard right now.  Most of my students are seniors. They are excited and stressed about graduating and making the transition to adulthood.  So I’m picking up on all the anxiety around me trying to not let it add to my own anxiety about getting everything done.

During this diet break, I maintained my scale weight better than I have on previous breaks.  I kept the calories under my burn because the BodyBugg I wear is probably over-reporting the burn right now.  I’m smaller so it takes less energy to move my mass through space.  Processes adapt over time to use fewer calories when in a deficit situation.  On the first day of the diet break, I noticed I wasn’t as tired at the end of the day.  That’s a big clue that I needed to take the break, huh?  I was ready for it, but I only wanted to do two days.  When Coach said to do five days, I was surprised.

I was also surprised at how emotionally tough it was to eat more for those five days.  I didn’t have this reaction to diet breaks before.  It’s just my Bodybuilder Brain.  I was happy to get back on the diet yesterday.  I missed Hungry.  Hungry = Progress.  It’s not comfortable, true.  It sucks some days, actually.  But it’s necessary and it means I’m moving forward instead of standing still in my prep.

Now, I’m hungry again.  So I’m happy.  Moving forward and excited to be back on the ‘growling tummy grind’.  Today.  Let’ revisit that “happy to be hungry” BS in a week, shall we?  Hahahaha!

Bodybuilder Brain also needs to be managed.  It’s normal, but it cannot be allowed to run amok because one of my goals for this prep was to enjoy it.  There are some things I can do to stay calm and centered.

1) Keep involvement with social media to a minimum.  I do better if I focus on what I need to do and avoid looking at what others are doing.  We’ve talked about that before over on the FB page.  My “teacher voice” starts screaming when I see some of the things I see.  (I’m going to refer those kids to the office for dress code violations.)

2) Go outside.  Often.

3) Read more.

4) Sleep more.

5) Get caught up at work and ride the year out with as little effort as possible.

6) Find my suit!

7) Just keep grinding.  Embrace the suck.  I like it.  I like the self-discipline.  I like delayed gratification.


8) Keep perspective – yeah, sure, I’m getting on stage to be judged.  Risking public humiliation, intorvert’s nightmare… yada, yada, yada.  But it’s actually easier than you would imagine.  It’s mostly just fun. The audiences at these shows are bodybuilding fans.  They either know what it’s like to do it, wish they could do it, are family and friends of competitors, etc.  I get more stressed thinking about the travel, the makeup, the tanning – all of that stuff.  Stage is fun.

 9) Blog more.  It takes time, but writing helps me process my thoughts and emotions.  I’ve been using it that way for the last five years.  This prep is different than the last two.  It’s been fun, for the most part.  Life has been nuts for the last year, so the structure of this prep and working with this coach have helped me stay sane.  However, these last 7 weeks could be…interesting.  


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