Redefining My Dream

This is not an easy post for me to write. I have wanted to write it for several days.  But each time I sat down at the keyboard, I would chicken out.

“What will my readers think?”

“I’m going to lose my creditability”

“People will see me as a quitter.”

Almost three weeks ago, I blogged this post where I declared that I would be competing in my first figure completion on March 23rd.  And when I typed those words..I was dead serious, 100% committed.

I mapped out every.single.workout for the next 3 months, I prepared meals, cancelled social outings all in the name of training.  I saw my body starting to change.  But ya’ll – life at the Lee house has not been good doing for the past 2 weeks, and if I am really honest since I started loosely training back in September. 

I was spending my free moments either on the treadmill for cardio, hefting weights in our home gym, or at the computer researching figure competition sights. I was ignoring the two people who matter most – my husband and my daughter. And it showed.  My husband became moody, distant, and we were fighting a LOT. My normally happy go lucky daughter was throwing temper tantrums at the drop of a hat.

Last week, I had an “ah-ha” moment – and made a valiant attempt to schedule my training around my family.  For the most part it worked.

Then last night as we sat at our kitchen table enjoying a dinner of homemade fajitas (that I cooked!), I realized something.   I was engaging in true conversation with Micheal rather than answering yes/no, or nodding while going over my training plan in my head. I snuggled on the couch with my daughter rather than heading to the gym for extra cardio. For the first time in months, I did not feel stressed. There was no ball of tension in my stomach, or knots of apprehension in my neck, and I was not only smiling but laughing

So I said all of that to say this – I will not be competing in the Iron Eagle in March. I am sure there are women out there who can balance the demands of a career, family, and training without completing wigging out.  But I’m not one of them. 

Does that mean I’ll never compete?  Of course not, it is still a dream of mine. It’s just not a dream I want to pursue in this season of my life.

Does that mean I’m giving up weight lifting? Nope.  I love lifting weights – and my hubby has shown a recent interest in lifting with me, so that will continue to be part of my routine.

So what’s next?

I have registered for Round 4 of Best Body Bootcamp hosted by the ever amazing Tina. And am seriously considering training for a half-marathon starting in April. 

I also plan on using my extra time to play in my kitchen as I try to expand my arsenal of healthy meals, take long walks with the hubby and kids, and work on this blog.

And instead of spending our anniversary in Savannah for my competition, the hubby and I are heading to a little B & B in St. Augustine where we will enjoy bed in breakfast, in-room massages, a carriage ride thru the city, and a fancy-shmacy dinner.

To those of you who have supported me while I trained – thank you.  And I hope that your support will continue as I redefine my dreams for now.

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Countdown To Iron Eagle

A few months ago, I shared my dream of competing in a figure competition. I reached out to a coach about training me. And for the past 8 weeks, I’ve loosely been following his training plan. And I’ve seen some results. But my diet has not been in line with my training and my effort in the weight room has only been 80%.

But two-weeks ago, I saw a flyer for a competition to be held in Savannah, GA.  Savannah is the town where I was born, where my mother grew up, and holds a special place in my heart. So it seems only fitting that my first competition would be there.  Then I saw the date of the competition – March 23rd.  That’s 2 days after my 4th wedding anniversary.  The thought of spending an entire weekend in Savannah – first to compete then to celebrate my anniversary seemed like the perfect combination.

So 118 days from now, I will be taking the stage.  I’ve got my training mapped out – every workout for next 118 days is in my planner. My kitchen is fully stocked for competition eating. I have an extensive meal plan ready to go.  No more excuses, no more delays….it is time to get focused, get serious, and GET READY!

Iron Eagle…here I am come!

A Week of No Workouts

Last week, I did not work out a single time. No evening runs, no early morning yoga sessions, no lunchtime walks….nothing, nada, zilch.

The week of no workouts was unplanned.  Last week our church held its annual fall revival which meant my days looked like this:

5:00 a.m.: Wake up, make coffee, get hubby out the door to his office

5:45 – 6:15 a.m.:  Shower, dress, eat breakfast, put on makeup, pack lunch, and load up car

6:15 – 7:00 a.m.:  Wake up daughter, dress her, give her medicine and breakfast, drop her off at sister-in-law’s

7:00-7:30 a.m.: Commute to work

7:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Work with an hour for lunch. Spend lunch hour eating in the car while driving to and from errands.

5:00-5:30 p.m. – Commute home

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. – Arrive home, freshen up, eat something, get hubby and daughter ready for church, head out the door

6:45-9:15 p.m. – Revival

9:15-10:15 p.m. – Return home, unwind, and prepare for next day, crash into bed.

Monday I had ever intention of squeezing in a workout either before revival or afterwards. But Monday evening came, and I was extremely tired and opted not to workout.  By Tuesday evening, I realized that I would be doing more harm than good if I tried to add in workouts to an already jammed scheduled.  So I didn’t work out AT ALL.

And guess what happened?

Nothing. Nope, the world did not stop spinning, I did not gain a ton of weight, and the clothes in my closet did not stop fitting in just 7 days.  If anything, I feel stronger now, eager to get back into training.  Given how much better my body feels with the rest, I am adding in 1 full rest day each week to my training schedule. Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

Monday: 60 min jog

Tuesday: Lower Body Weight Session

Wednesday: 30 mins HIIT jump roping

Thursday: 60 min jog

Friday: Upper Body Weight Session

Saturday: 5K Run

Sunday: Total Rest Day!

Have you ever taken an entire week off from working out?

Change Comes Slowly….But it Comes

Competing in a figure completion has been a dream of mine for years. I can recall devouring issue after issue of Oxygen magazine in college, secretly wishing that my physique would match those of the cover models.  But I never took the initiative to make the change, to pursue my dream.

And now I am.  Yet, I still feel restless – unsettled.  There have been a few days this week where I just wanted to scrap the whole plan.  Why?  Simply put – it’s hard.  The workouts require more of me physically than anything I have ever done before… and part of me wants to quit.  Then the results seem to be slow in coming.  2 weeks in and the scale has only budged 2 pounds.  I know 2 pounds IS 2 pounds but I feel as though I should see more.  I WANT to see more.

I am left feeling frustrated, wanting to quit and not wanting to quit all at the same time. This “quit or not to quit” argument had been playing on a continual loop in my head for several days, when a co-worker commented on the callous on my hands.  I informed her that I had started training for a fitness competition and the weights were shredding my hands (note to self – start wearing gloves).

There was a look of awe and admiration on her face when she replied “Wow!  You must be working hard. I admire you.”

Later that same afternoon, I slowly climbed the stairs to my office because my glutes and inner thigh muscles were screaming in protest. I contemplated scrapping my evening run. But decide that I could always stop and take walking breaks if the discomfort became too great.  The first few minutes of that run were tough. My legs felt leaden and my gait was awkward.  I kept running and soon I found my rhythm finishing the run a full minute faster than I had done on Monday.  

Thinking about it during the post run stretch, I realized something.  My body is being challenged – muscles that are underdeveloped are being forced to work, to tear, to breakdown so that they can grow stronger. It’s painful at first – just like the beginning of my run. However, if I keep going, it will become easier.  And I will be stronger at the end of it all.

So I am not going to quit.

I am going to keep training.

I am going to keep pushing.

It won’t always be easy.

There will be days and workouts that just plain stink.

But when all of the sweat, tears, fatigue, pain, and mental challenge will be worth it when I take the stage to compete.

I am pushing publish on this post.  So that the next time I feel like throwing in the towel (and my trainer assures me that day will come again), I can come back here and find the motivation to keep going.

Weekly Workouts: 10/15/12 – 10/21/12

I ended my post yesterday with a promise to be back later in the evening to share my weekly workout plan. However, life got in the way and I was unable to make it to my blog until today.  But better late than never….right?

The first week of figure competition training was intense.  Due to muscle fatigue and soreness, I was only able to complete 3 of the 6 workouts that my training plan called for.  Frustrated and disappointed in myself, I reached out to Terry.  He assured me that lots of people struggle in the beginning and suggested I scale back my lifting workouts to 3 times per week until my fitness level increased. He also recommended that I aim for 5 – 30 minute cardio sessions per week. Since I am already running 3 times per week for 30 to 45 minutes, I only have to add in an additional 2 cardio sessions.  With all that being said, here is my training plan for the week:

  •  Monday:  2.2 mile run with my running group
  • Tuesday: 30 minutes of Jump Sport Trampoline work and Week 2, Workout #1
  • Wednesday:  30 minutes of cardio – either walking on treadmill or Zumba
  • Thursday: 2.2 mile run with my running group
  • Friday: Week 2, Workout #2
  • Saturday: 5K run
  • Sunday: Week 2, Workout #3

 This training plan is still challenging but seems more manageable with both my schedule and my fitness level.

What do your workouts  look like this week?

Week in Review

Note: This post is quite wordy so bear with me!

Week 1 of my figure competition training has come to a close. And I have to say that is was probably one of the most challenging weeks I have experienced in quite some time.   Adjusting my eating habits and training style while attempting to juggle work, caring for my daughter, church activities, and housework left me feeling tired and slightly grumpy.  But I knew going into this that there would be an adjustment period, and times where I felt overwhelmed. However, I reminded myself the goal that I am working towards, and pushed thru.

So let’s talk about my triumphs and challenges this week.

Meals and Nutrition

Terry’s nutrition plan had me consuming 1600 calories per day that were spread over 5 meals. In terms of macronutrients, that broke down to 41% protein, 42 % carbs, and 17% fat.  Two days into the week, I found myself seriously struggling to eat all 1600 calories.  1600 calories may seem low like a low number, but  when the source of those calories is lean protein, vegetables, protein shakes, and either sweet potatoes or brown rice – it is a high volume of food.  I e-mailed Terry with dilemma and he advised me lower my calories to 1500.  The small switch made it easier to get in all of the food that I needed to consume.

I’d like to tell you that I ate according to plan every single day but I’d be lying.  There was a cheat meal with my family on Wednesday night, an off-plan lunch with co-workers on Thursday, and a family reunion on Saturday.  At each of these occurrences, I ate food that was not on plan and that truthfully, I really did not enjoy. Instead, I left the meals with that overstuff, sick feeling in my stomach.  It would that my body really does prefer clean eating.  I realized that I have to work and being comfortable enough to tell people what I’m doing, why I will not eat off-plan foods, and then prepare to bring my own meals to functions or events.

Workouts

Last Sunday, I posted my training plan for the week. It looked like this:

  • Monday: 2. 2 mile run with group, Workout #1
  • Tuesday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #2
  • Wednesday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #3
  • Thursday: 2.2 mile run with group, Workout #1
  • Friday: 20 minutes of Cardio, Workout #2
  • Saturday: 5k Run with group
  • Sunday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #3

Monday was a holiday for me, so after running errands in the morning, I came home with intention of completing the entire first workout.  However, the first part of the workout kicked my butt, picked it up off the floor, and kicked it a second time.  I had worked so hard that I actually thought I would be sick – thankfully I wasn’t.  As I laid on the floor of my home gym, I was certain that my training plan was overly ambitious at best.  I spent some time foam rolling and stretching and was able to do my run on Monday night.

Tuesday’s workout seemed a tiny bit easier and I was able to complete the entire workout. This may be due to the fact that I worked out with a friend – and since I did not want her to think I was a wimp, we did the whole thing.

Wednesday brought MAJOR muscle soreness. I spent most of the day shuffling around the office as though I was 80 years old, and let’s not even talk about the stairs in my building. *Shudder*  I opted to take a rest day Wednesday night.

Thursday saw me complete my run and Part 1 of Workout #3.  I did not do part #2 due to time constraints. It was late when I got started, and since I was solo parenting for the evening, I needed to get Joycie bathed and ready for bed.

Friday was another rest day.

I ran with my group on Saturday morning.  However, due to time constraints the run was only 2.2 miles instead of the normal 3.1.

That bring us to today, Sunday.  What will I be doing today?  After talking with Terry, I have decided to start on Week 2’s training plan rather than squeeze in another Week 1 workout.  I’ll share my training plan for the week later today.  For now, I am off to church and then lunch with my family.

I hope each of you has a wonderful Sunday morning!