Coming Home Bikini Prep Series: Post 14 “The Adventure Within the Adventure”

I’d like to think that I’m pretty honest about the ups and downs in my journey. I believe that what it comes down to is that if you’re lying to strangers then you’re lying to yourself and ultimately you’re in denial that you ever have problems. The beginning of this week was stressful. It was the final week for JP at his job and that brought up a bunch of emotions that hadn’t really surfaced before.

There was fear – Will he find a job when he moved back to Massachusetts? Will my salary be enough for us? Will we like each other after more than 6 weeks of living together? side note: JP was home for 7 weeks taking care of me post-surgery

There was excitement – We can finally go apple picking, I need to make apple dumplings for him. We won’t need to always have a plan. It won’t be about sharing his time anymore, I know he’ll be home for dinner some nights and out with friends and family others.We can go on vacation if we want to.

There was hope – We can finally move forward with our relationship.

There were other thoughts that went through our head, but I believe fear was the one that took over the most and shadowed the hope and excitement. I was anxious and some days found myself not being 100% focused on my workouts. I mentioned this the other day because there are some of you that comment about how focused I am and how motivated and a lot of other terms that can imply that I am perfect. I am so far from it.

I had my own food issues and planning treats in kept me on track the majority of the week. Going to bed early and going for walks also helped. Here’s a recap of some of the treats that I had planned.

I made double chocolate fudge cookies from Sarah Lynn Fitness’s  healthy cookie cookbook. Making her cookies has helped a lot because 1. I LOVE baking and this gives me the chance to do it in small quantities 2. Her approach to baking is new to me and it’s giving me the chance to play with my favorite cookies while still hitting my nutritional goals. I do have a dairy sensitivity – even though you wouldn’t think I do from the amount of goat cheese I eat, but most dairy is made with cow’s milk and if you ever noticed I don’t have more than a serving and most days, less than a serving. Regular ice cream can really upset my stomach, however, Ben and Jerry’s is always worth dying over. These baby cookie sundae’s with 2 tablespoons of dairy or non-dairy ice treats has also been helping get the taste without going crazy. I’ve said it before, for me, it’s not necessarily about having a large quantity of something, just the ability to have it that helps me keep a better relationship with food.

Waffle Wednesday was accompanied by a yolky egg. Something I love, but something I don’t eat often. I really should consider having yolky eggs twice a week. While all the fat lives in the yolk, having them sometimes isn’t bad. It’s having multiple yolks, many times a week that can be problem IF they’re not balance with your other fats.

My Friday night ended with the second SLF double chocolate fudge cookie, again topped with 2T of ice cream, this time caramel apple gelato and a little apple crisp peanut butter. Truly, I build my day around breakfast and dessert. Those are my favorite meals so I build around them. This week they may have been a little bit more fun. I’m not saying that it’s ok to find comfort in food, but let’s face it, many of us find comfort. I just found a way to make it fit and work with me versus not planning ahead and possibly failing.

I did have a few great days towards the end of the week as it felt real that JP was coming home and was going to stay. I think the idea that it was becoming real made it less scary because it was realizing that it’s the next step in our relationship and we have to take that leap sometime. Reality kind of started to kick me in the butt.

I also decided this week to cut out BCAAs. Scientifically speaking, they’re not necessary for progress. I eat after my workout and I do watch my micros like I watch macros – so I know I’m getting enough vitamins. I switched to coffee, which is what I did in my first prep. I take it black or with a little flavored syrup and I drink it throughout my workout with a bottle of water. I felt more alert during my workouts because of the caffeine and I also felt like I was pushing harder too. This definitely assisted in getting my stress to level out. Friday’s workout was in the morning, unlike the past two weeks where I did it at night because I had a day conference and I wasn’t sure I would be home and willing to get to the gym that late. I felt really great during my back day. I had no issue with my lifts and cardio was steadily strong throughout.

And the end of the day on Friday, after all the food and water, I felt really good and I looked pretty good too. I felt that even though Thursday and Friday had been very hot and humid, with the stress and my emotions being all over the place – the week was successful.

I weighed in this morning and even though there was no change on the scale, I did have a .5″ loss in my hips, which dropped my body fat a bit. I feel good and that’s important during prep as you’re getting into a deeper deficit. Your body is working on less fuel and it’s working in over time. There’s a lot that can show progress, which is why I share photos and take measurements and use the scale. For me, it’s also about understanding where my body has come from. There are things out of my control and I will continue to talk about them because it’s important to note, like the loose skin that I still have in my lower back. In reality it doesn’t bother me, it’s not noticeable in my clothes and not noticeable in a normal swim suit; but for prep, it’s a little different. That’s why posing is powerful. With the right movements, you can hide a lot. The back pose photo below is an excellent example. My pelvic tilt hides a lot. If you jump down a few photos and look at me standing straight up, you can see the skin sitting over my suit. Eh, take it stride. We can’t be perfect or “fix” everything.

I am really pleased with the changes that have happened this prep in the first 6 weeks. Between nutrition and exercise paired with posing, I think the next 7 weeks are going to be much breezier. In general, when I look at very old photos of heavier Cristina, I’m floored at where I am. When I compare to a year ago, I’m still in awe. Lastly, when I think of this summer and the past month and a half, I can say “yep, I did this. This is my hard work.”

This morning I checked in with Avatar Nutrition for my macro update and I did something I normally don’t do. I added a higher fat/carb day. Yesterday was mine and JP’s two year anniversary and while I was in Boston for my conference I explored and walked myself over to Bova’s in the North End. I was going to bring something home for just JP because I had intended on bringing him a dessert, I found German chocolate cake. This is my favorite cake because it’s everything I like in dessert: cake, chocolate, caramel and coconut. I NEVER find places that make it as a cupcake and I definitely never find it sold by the slice, so finding a square was a jaw dropping moment. I bought it and figured I could adjust my macros so we can have a day to celebrate.

The photo below depicts my macro decrease on the top from last week: same fat, down 4c and up 1p. However, below is are the changes since I selected to make Monday a higher fat/carb day. Originally the computer was going to allow me 204c and 57f, but that would mean a much more drastic drop for the other days of the week. Also, I just want to fit in the cake, I don’t need a huge increase.

So macros for the upcoming week are:

52F/130C/133P with Monday being 55F/182C/133P

JP and I have talked about grilling chicken and steak and some veggies for our anniversary dinner. Prior to him leaving his job, we had talked about fancy dinner because the place we discussed would definitely fit, but to save some money and have more control of the nutrition cooking at home is the plan. It’s the only part of the plan that has been determined. I have however, moved my first leg day to Monday this week to accommodate the higher carbs, which may mean that I move my second leg day to give myself the proper amount of recovery time.

Which brings us to workouts – I just finished my third week in a volume block and I’m moving into a 3 week strength block. My lifts are similar to the first block, I did make a few changes from the notes I had made then and in my volume block. Again, my focus continues on my lower back and mid/lower back with some shoulder focus. The shift in style means I will be adjusting my cardio a little bit. This week is tricky because I have airplane travel at the end of the week and I know that will impact my movement, but not in a bad way. My flight is toward the end of the day and I should still hit my step goal on the way out of town. I will be in DC and I will have the opportunity to walk A LOT more, so I will be omitting a cardio day this week –  probably the Friday session since I will be in DC the whole day and then exploring in DC all Saturday as well.

Last week my cardio was 4 sessions covering 135 minutes: 2 HIIT, 1 steady state and 1 interval state. Based on progress this week after traveling, I will adjust as necessary or maintain the same total length of time. I’m not a fan of doing a ton of cardio, however, sitting at a desk all day or in a car or plane traveling is hard on my legs and lower back. It can increase clotting and other not so fun things. It’s also important that even when you’re tired during prep to keep moving. For me, it’s difficult to get movement outside of the gym, even though I’ve been taking walks around dinner time. There have been a few nights that hitting my 10K step goal felt far fetched. Out of 42 days of prep, I’ve missed my 10K goal twice, but again, there are some days where I felt like it was going to be impossible.

There are 7 weeks left of prep. Another 48 days, if we don’t count show day. I’m nervous and excited and while this week was a little rough in the beginning, it ended strong.

JP met me for breakfast this morning, where he enjoyed a breakfast sandwich and I threw back a new to me protein bar and cup of coffee. The roller coaster continues and I can’t wait to see where it ends.

Now all that’s left is to unpack his things and get this place homey. He’s got 7 weeks to put up with prep and then it’s the holidays. Let’s see what happens this week!

❤ Cristina

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