For a very long time (basically 2.5 years), I rigidly stuck to an eating and exercise plan. And when I say rigidly stuck, I mean religiously so. All out obsessed. I’m not about to say that it was a bad thing because how bad can it be if your addiction is to eating well and working on your body? There are far, far worse addictions in this life. So in late 2012 (God, that seems like a century ago now) my boyfriend caught the competition bug and as of May 12, 2013 my life changed dramatically. I honestly have no idea how I remember that date, except that it involved eating really good food, so things that important have a way of sticking with me.Anyhow, that was the day that the boyfriend officially began prepping for his first bodybuilding show. And as any good significant other does, I supported him so I began my “diet”, too.
For all the years of my life before this day, I never once dieted. I was lucky to have a fairly fast metabolism and I stayed active in sports through high school/college and was able to maintain a weight and body shape that I was happy with. But with competing comes strict dieting, and I began to understand more and more about nutrition, carbs, fats, proteins, synthesis, and how food really is fuel and that my body shouldn’t be a garbage can. You see, up until this point I was eating whatever I wanted. I had been seriously working out and lifting weights for about a year and a half before either of us thought of competing, but without adhering to any sort of nutrition plan, my results were minimal. But within a few weeks of semi-eating what my dieting boyfriend was eating, and working out at least 5 of 7 days of the week, my body started to change fast. It was shocking what eating on a plan can do to optimize your workouts. By the time September 2013 came and the boyfriend was at his best and ready for competition, I found that I also was looking the best I ever had, too. And I wasn’t even following as strict a plan as he was. And that’s my point in all of this babble, everyone. You don’t have to live a life of a hermit, never leaving your house unless it is just to the gym. You don’t have to swear off chocolate cake and good pumpkin beer for life just to have your dream body. You just have to learn to give your body treats such as those in moderation.
And that leads us to today. Here we are. And I can tell you that it’s a far cry from the person I was a year or two ago. Here’s the cliff notes of what happened from that first show in 2013 to now…
After the boy competed in 2013, I followed suit and did two shows of my own in the summer of 2014. We followed those shows up with a nice, healthy off season which still included working out at least 5 days a week and following a macro plan. (This means that I stuck to a certain number of grams of fats, protein, and carbs each day). And i stuck to my plan without fail. It was our lifestyle. We were dedicated. So then, as if we hadn’t already had enough of the dieting madness, the boyfriend entered a show in May 2015 and I followed suit later that year in September. And boom, here we are. September 29, 2016. About a year and one month since I competed in a bodybuilding show and about eight months since I decided that I would be happy even if I never competed again.
Following my show, I had what I like to call my “falling off the wagon” period. I dieted strict, I trained hard, and I truly did sacrifice a lot to compete in 2015. And when it was over I was just mentally beat. And I went a little wild. Kind of like the Amish Rumshpringa. I did crazy things like skip the gym for days at a time and forget what a macro nutrient even was. And that went on for a few months until I realized that I kind of missed the structure of following a plan, but I didn’t want to fall right back into that strict lifestyle again because I didn’t want to miss out on important things in life again because I couldn’t eat this or I couldn’t come to that because I had to go to the gym. So this leads me to what is now Intrepidly Fit. A place for me to share my story, to help a friend or a stranger, and to help myself learn to live a life of happy moderation.
Over the past few weeks, I have had some great feedback from different members of my small town regarding how much they enjoy this blog. My first ever boot camp this summer was successful enough that I have another planned in the coming weeks, and I’ve even had the opportunity to expand into some smaller group pop-up classes. It’s a great feeling knowing that what was once a dream is actually coming to fruition. And it’s all because I took a chance and made a change in my own life. I admit, it was scary. I was so used to getting up every morning and going to work, coming home and eating a pre-gym meal, then going to the gym to train a specific body part, that not doing that every day started to give me anxiety. I would think, “Oh my God, I missed the gym today. I am going to gain 5 pounds”, or “I forgot to pack my lunch so I have to order out. My life is over”. But guess what? I didn’t gain five pounds and my life obviously isn’t over because I lived to type about it. And I’m pretty damn happy, too. What a bonus. Do I wish I could lose a few pounds? Yep. I think everyone does. Does it bother me that my abs aren’t visible and I have some extra fluff around the middle? Every. Dang. Day. But at the end of the day it doesn’t bother me enough to feel the need to jump back on the chicken and green bean all day every day train.
And so here we are living a life of mostly moderation. And I say mostly because some days just call for a cookie for breakfast and ice cream for dessert. And again, my life isn’t over. Crazy, I know. Because, in all honesty, 2 years ago cookies and ice cream were treats that I only indulged in maybe once a month, if that. What I’ve come to realize is that of course I looked great at 110 pounds, but that isn’t maintainable. And if i have to spend my life working and thinking too hard about what I’m eating and doing just to maintain that number on the scale, then I’d rather toss the scale out the window. I am still a work in progress, and I still would like to lose a few pounds. But there are far more important things happening in life. As I’ve heard said before, “abs are cool, but have you tried donuts?”. Enough said. Plus, now with boot camps and pop up classes, I’m able to have a ton of fun with my workouts. It’s not just going to the gym and picking up some weights or trudging up the stairmill. I have realized that I can get one heck of a workout right in my own driveway. Plus, workouts are a lot more satisfying when you can change it up everyday without feeling like you’re missing something.
So, the moral of this story is that you should never, ever feel like you’re failing at your plan. For the longest time I had a single plan of eating and working out to compete, and when I realized that it wasn’t going to be my long-term plan, I was kind of lost. I floundered for a little, but I bounced back. It’s okay to not know what you want next year. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to try something new and decide you hate it (or love it).We are not trees. We are not rooted in just one spot. Just don’t ever stop moving and become stagnant. Just keep swimming…