Is Competing the Right Choice and Updated Numbers Going Into 2011

I am continuing to see that checking and logging body fat percentage, measurements and weight is an awesome tool for figuring out how everything seems to be reacting to meal plan, training and lifestyle changes. It’s also a really great way to keep things on track and feels like a fun experiment.

There haven’t been many training changes since it was checked last but the meal plan has changed to add in more calories from carbohydrates and a change in protein sources (examples will be added in the near future). This is to keep up with a change in activity level. I went from more of a desk position to personal training and am a lot more physically active during the day. Since making this switch in early November it seemed to make some big differences. Also, by cutting out gluten for so long (almost an entire show prep) and only having it occasionally, now it seems that my body is so much more efficient at using the nutrients it is being given. A really cool and great feeling.

I went to  my parents for 3 days over Christmas and took this time to break a bit from training, work and the regular meal plan. Even though it was only for a few days, these felt like some pretty significant and strange feeling routine changes. About 7lbs worth of routine changes! Yup, in the 3 days in a row of Christmas get-togethers I gained 7lbs. Lol awesome.

With some options high in sodium, other preservatives, a lot of choices containing gluten and a whole lot of other stuff; most was water retention (And I’m sure there was some peanut butter chocolate squares, an assortment of pies, mashed potatoes and other deliciousness in there in the form of fat storage, as well).

Not only did I enjoy myself and this delicious food (maybe not so much how it made me feel), I took the opportunity to use it as a bit of an experiment to see how I was affected mentally, physically and how much weight gain would hang around after switching back to the regular routine of clean, gluten-free food options.

In previous off-seasons when poor food choices were eaten, a lot of it would stay around for quite some time even when clean eating was re-introduced. Sometimes even for 2-3 weeks and would not always come off that much even then. This time, within 3 days I was down by 3 lbs from the post-christmas deliciousness gain and by the 5th day (yesterday) my weight was down to only 2lbs over what it was before leaving for Christmas.

The meal plan this off-season is also quite a bit more calorie dense than others have been.

The combination of new training, being more active at work, no gluten throughout the week and feeling a lot better with a lot of things seems to be  doing a lot of good. Body fat % has come up to where I would like it to stay and measurements seem fine, as well.

Numbers were taken yesterday, since I knew there was going to be some New Year’s eve celebrating going on.

Here are the measurements and number updates taken yesterday.

Height: 5’5

Weight: 141

BF%: 13.70% (7 point skin fold)

Chest: 35.25

Bicep: 11

Waist: 25.75

Hips: 35

Quad: 20.25

Things are very different now. Also, where in past off-seasons I would have to be more careful to keep weight and body fat down, if things do continue going as great as they are (which I think they will), the focus will be on keeping numbers up to this range.

I feel better, more clear-headed, energetic and balanced at this body fat level. As things dip lower, the common “pre-contest” feelings start to come up.

It’s nice to feel healthy, be comfortable at a more feminine feeling body-fat percentage and to not have those different feelings or hard to explain sensations that come around when body-fat percentage starts to dip lower.

Not allowing body-fat percentage to creep up much higher than this will also make getting into contest shape a lot less mentally and physically taxing.

Some physical things I will be working on (both for personal preference and for the next contest season) are bringing glutes and hamstrings out a bit more while keeping everything else more compact.

It would be nice to have more fullness there while keeping skin fold measurements in the same range as they are at this time. Just for fun, I’ll put a number on it to play with: Let’s say I’ll bring hip measurements up from 35″ to 35.5″, and thigh measurements from 20.25″ up to 20.5″. Skin fold measurement on the quad area will stay between 8-10 points all throughout these changes (it is currently at 8).Not a huge change, but enough to make a difference. Once those numbers are reached, I’ll see where to go from there.

I like this because before I would worry that watching skin folds and measurements would freak me out. It is now really fun. It sort of feels like you begin to see your body and yourself separately when it comes to physical changes. If that description makes sense. Nothing really feels “personal.”

A comfortable feeling and one that helps in reassuring me that doing what I’m doing (continuing to compete) may still be a “good” choice.

After each show and during each off-season I’ll give myself a little test to see if this is really what I want to be doing anymore and if it’s still a good idea.

Things to Look at:

1)Re-visit reasons for competing

2) Am I still having fun?

3) Is my health in check?

4) How are my finances?

5) How is it affecting other areas of life (personal relationships and family life, work, personal and career goals, etc)?

6) How is it affecting my mind and self-image?

They are all important points and not listed in any particular order. There may also be many other things to consider, depending on the person.

If it doesn’t seem to make sense anymore, it’s time to move on.

Here is an article that goes into deciding whether or not to compete or continue competing: To Compete or Not to Compete.

I am off to begin one of my New Year’s “Definite Commitments” of keeping my place tidier (I can be quite the messy person). Looks like there is a big job ahead!

I hope you had a great New Year!!!


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