Now I know I said that I wouldn’t be posting anymore progress photos, but really it’s the only way that I can truly gauge what’s going on. I’ve since put the scale in the closet when I figured out what caloric level I need to be for my diet. I’m allowing my body time to adapt and change, then will recheck it at the end of the week. I’m keeping a closer eye on things with my new changes just because I’m so close to the show and these next few days are going to be crucial in making sure I stay on track with remaining lean, yet keeping my fullness. I felt like I started losing a lot of fullness over the last few weeks and started looking just thin. I took a few days off to let my body rest, and I allowed some more carbs in there (well ok I had a full out “fuck it” approach for a day or two — or four — and gained lots of water and about a pound of fat I’m sure). Most of the gain has subsided once I was back on track, water weight is mighty hefty, but thankfully pretty much gone. I’m definitely fuller than a few days ago, than last week. And like I said, I didn’t have a totally clean cheat — wings from Hooters was in that mix, some lemon cake, a slice of sweet potato pie, a slice of carrot cake, a fried chicken breast skin removed… We had a huge art and poetry fest in my apartment complex this weekend. I allowed myself a chance to just relax and enjoy life for a change. I knew there would be consequences, but I’m human, and I’ve been really on point up to this point. And the repercussions weren’t that bad, in fact my body probably needed it. I’m also supposed to start my period today, it’s normally on time like a New Yorker on a tight schedule.

So anyways, here is the 3.5 week difference btw July 31 to Aug 24th.

I mentioned in an earlier post that every prep I learn more and more about myself, I grow a little. Each prep is so different since the point at which you start is different. The goals change as your body progresses. For me every time I step on stage, I MUST be a better evolution of what came before. I must have something new to show. Something that may give me an edge. So this current prep was a lesson on figuring out what’s right for ME. It was a lesson in accepting who I am, my body, my genetic strengths, my weaknesses and how to make it all work for the division I’m currently competing in. I like challenges, I like growth and change. I think not placing well at Team U was the best thing to happen for me because it has forced me to take a step back, really and truly be objective, look at what I needed to do to evolve to the next level, then bring myself to a higher understanding so that I can just “GO!” When looking at what improvements I had to make, I knew I had to bring down my legs. I knew that my posing was off in a way that it only accentuated my muscularity. My muscularity is a GIFT. My legs are a GIFT and my absolute best asset. How many women are out there year after year trying to a build bigger and more dense musculature? How many women are out there killing themselves with squats, leg presses, lunges, step ups, plyos and more to build up their legs to match their upper bodies? I don’t have to do that as for me it’s a genetic strength. And to hell with the bullshit, I ain’t apologizing for that. Now it’s MY job to be sure that the rest of my body can be brought up to the same kind of size and symmetry; that the rest of my physique has a flow and line about it that connects well joint to joint, muscle to muscle, tie in to tie in. It’s my job to not allow my legs to essentially overpower the rest of my physique. And for that I’ve developed and evolved my style of training, my exercise selection, and other variables (reps, sets, rest, tempo, force production etc) to allow for the best overall symmetry that I can develop from head to toe. At one point after Team U, I felt I was working so hard AGAINST what I had that it was really making this journey miserable. My whole focus was on getting smaller, but I think I was missing the point. And to be honest, I really didn’t have anyone there telling me that I was missing the point and that only certain adjustments need to be made to bring a balance to the whole. So I had to be my own coach essentially and take a step back and really REALLY see what the overall picture needed to be. What I saw was this strong physique that just needed some balance. Streamline the lower half, and then work the rest of the adjustments for that portion of the body through posing. For the upper half, keep it tight and full, adjust for symmetry through proper posing.

It wasn’t until I saw this that it became enjoyable again. 

I learned a lesson. Know myself. Trust myself. Listen to the advice of others, but know what works for you because there are a myriad of opinions that will be made, you have to have really great filters on to truly HEAR what the OVERALL tone of what’s being said to you is so that you (or your coach) can act accordingly. The other lesson is that having people around you who are truly supportive is imperative. Keep the circle of advice small, and comprised of those who really know you, see you, and have close contact with you. They should be people who are honest with you and don’t blow smoke up your ass. A half hearted effort from those that hardly know you should be taken only half heartedly by you. At the end of the day, get to know you and trust in that, and you’ll never fail.

2.5 Weeks Out!

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