Morning everyone! One day to go…
I’ve just had an espresso so bear with me if this post is a bit frenetic and over-emotional. To say that the last few days have been up and down is an understatement. Here’s a recent selection from the rollercoaster:
Emotional ups and downs from peak week
– Tuesday (during my carb-deplete), I had a lovely day. But by the evening I was so exhausted, I’d had enough and – despite being just five days away from comp and two days away from carbs – I was honestly ready to jack it all in. I mean it. I was ready to cancel our travel plans, call it all off and just not turn up at the show. As my training diary notes: “Stupid sport, stupid posing, bloody diet, f***** water, ridiculous prep. Feeling really lonely/alone in all of this even though Mark, Kat, everyone so supportive and always there.”
After training in the evening, I still had to do posing practice. Just the thought of it almost reduced me to tears. I came home and put my dinner in the oven and posed in the kitchen, so I would be nearer my dinner, despite the fact that the rest of the house is about 60 seconds further away from the oven…
– Thursday (final day of carb-deplete) I drove to Kent to watch my l’il sister in a play. Yes, I know, bad move, but we are very close and it was important to me to see her. But in hindsight – sorry Sista – I will never ever do something like that again so close to competition date. The M25 was horrendous and an 80-minute drive took me over 3 hours. I had a bursting bladder from all the water I’d been drinking, and was on low-carbs. Not nice. I felt like hell by the time I got there. Thank goodness the M25 was clear on the way back! (American readers, the M25 is one of our motorways, notorious for being more like a carpark than an actual road you can move along…)
– Yesterday, I was home alone (no dog, no husband – he’s also in Wales this weekend but doing a three-day mountain biking event for his own training. He’ll be there for my comp!) I swung between napping on the sofa under a blanket with Wimbledon in the background, feeling blissed-out, and struggling with self-doubt, fear, anxiety and what-ifs.
I texted Kat whilst I was buying last-minute items in town and she texted back mentioning “…train as hard as you can today…” We’d planned a rest day, and I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. I honestly felt defeated for the first time in this prep. I struggled not to cry right there in the High Street and walked home muttering “No! I won’t do it! I hate you!” (sorry, Kat! ha ha!) Coming from the sport of channel swimming, I am used to coaches throwing last-minute challenges like this at you, so I thought this was part of my mental prep. Turns out we’d both got crossed wires and it was a (hideous short-lived!) mistake. I didn’t have to train at all. Back to feeling blissed-out!
Body changes one day out
OK I hesitate to post this next bit but I’ve decided I will anyway. I woke up this morning and could see lines/striations in my glutes (bum cheeks) without flexing or holding a pose. This is insane. I know very well that it’s almost all to do with the carb and water manipulation of these past couple of days but… still… it’s nuts.
I know this is just a temporary look, by the way. I am fully aware that by Monday – Sunday night, even – I won’t look like this. It’s not sustainable, and I don’t honestly want to sustain this level of leanness. But… it’s pretty nuts.
Stats and figures from throughout prep
Back when I started blogging about this prep, I said I would never post figures about my weight or fat % and I hold true to that. I just don’t see how it could be constructive but I do see how it could be potentially negative to some readers. But I have had a lot of questions regarding the facts and figures of my body’s changes. And I do think that, taken as a set of completely emotionless data points, it is interesting. So here are the stats, from 15 weeks ago to most recent:
Weight – down 6kgs
Fat % – down 9%
Lean weight – up 1.3kgs
Fat weight – down 5.5kgs
The weight is from this morning, the rest are from Wednesday of this week (when I weighed 0.9kg more – see, told you it’s mostly about carb/water manipulation!) so the fat/lean stats relate to the higher weight. I registered as 70% water during the body fat test, which was taken by bioimpedance machine – the type where the electrodes are stuck to your hands and feet. It was done by a friend of mine who’s done the same test on me periodically throughout prep.
I know these tests aren’t completely accurate and I’ve never thought the actual numbers were, but what I have always been interested in is the gains and losses themselves. I only ever wanted to see losses in fat and gains in lean as we went along and (barring this final few weeks when it said I’d lost 0.2kgs lean mass in a month), that’s what’s happened. Which I am delighted about!
Competition packing list for female bodybuilding competitors
OK one more thing before I turn this machine off and start packing. A packing list for female bodybuilding/physique competitors! I love a good list, me. I cobbled this one together from notes Kat gave me and my own modifications. I’m hoping someone out there might find it useful at some point!
Phone, flip cam, chargers
Federation membership card
Robe (I bought a cheap one from Peacocks so I don’t mind when it gets tan all over it)
Warm clothes including hooded top
Clothes for afterwards/travelling in
Pyjamas or shorts and t-shirt for sleeping in
Old sheet or duvet cover to sleep in (tan!)
Latex gloves for tanning touch ups
Dry mouth spray
Glasses, contact lenses
Toothbrush and paste, glasses, contact lenses
Hair stuff – brush, comb, bands, grips, hairspray
Straighteners or hair dryer
Sewing kit and pins, scissors
Bikini bite (glue)
CD of posing music x 2
Warm up equipment – resistance band
Pen and paper
Something light to read whilst waiting backstage
Thank you cards/pressies for supporters
With that, I’m off. Well, not off, just offline for a bit. In a few hours, my coach Kat, friend and supporter Annie Uelese and my wonderful Mum (she needs a blog name – thefitMum?) will be here. I’ll put my first coat of tan on then we’ll drive to Wales and check in to our hotel where we’re going to have a good old girly evening of chit-chat, giggles and DVDs. One of us will be the colour of creosote, that’s all. 😉
Thank you all for your support, tweets, facebook messages, emails and texts. I am so glad you’ve enjoyed following my story and I hope to do you all proud tomorrow.
Stay tuned to twitter to read updates! If you have any questions, do tweet them and I’ll reply.
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.