I met Christine at the Cutler Classic last year. She shared her Poptart with me. Bikini girls eat the weirdest stuff to pump up before getting on stage, but I gladly accepted the Poptart. She messaged me soon after the show, and I’ll admit, it was a rough time in my life so I was questioning and curious why she was being so friendly.
Since getting back online, Christine and I reconnected and have had a chance to get to know each other better. When she told me how her life has changed since competing last season it broke my heart. I told her that she’s not alone and that it’s possible that if she shared her story, she may find support in unlikely places. One thing I’ve noticed about Christine that you may notice too – she is still cheerful and pleasant regardless of what she’s going through.
Her story is the first I’m sharing.
This wasn’t my idea…
Happy November !!
It’s been awhile since I have written a general post, so when Cristina asked me to write, I figured my birthday month was the perfect time to give it a go. I was trying to figure out how to start this post and decided I would start with a quote from one of my favorite people, The Rock.
“Being a true badass has no weight or gender requirement — just 100% commitment to greatness.”
Now that I’ve broken the ice — I’ll come back to this later.
There have been some changes to my normal gym routine which have been a little hard for me to adjust to. I’m used to going six to seven days a week and hitting it hard at the gym. I felt I found a place in my routine where I felt comfortable with my appearance and my diet. But how did this change come about? It wasn’t my idea.
I’m looking to start a family, and I’ve been advised that my workout routine is too aggressive- hence all these changes.
My normal routine consists of weight lifting five to six days a week including cardio, and one to two days just cardio. For cardio, I love the stairmaster and jogging. I always feel the most accomplished after a workout when I’m a sweaty mess. I also specifically got a heart rate monitor (I use the Polar 360) so I can visually see that my heart rate was going up. I felt accomplished when I could get my heart rate up to 170 during portions of my cardio sessions.
My absolutely favorite thing to train is legs.
I was training legs three times a week. I had a full leg day, a hamstring day, and a booty day. (Kind of laughed as I wrote this, but it’s true).
So, as you can see with this many leg days, I needed extra days so I could train upper body. I loved seeing results, and feeling amazing. The results I accomplished was being toned, feeling confident in a bikini, feeling great in my clothing, having sculpted arms, and strong legs.
There was never a time after working out that I didn’t feel just a little bit better. I crave that feeling after a workout, and I’m sure that is why I enjoy it so much.
I did reap other benefits of weightlifting and cardio.
My confidence increased, I felt energized, I felt amazing in my clothes and felt that almost anything I put on looked great, and I also loved the endorphin rush.
I have been weightlifting for about five years now. There was no overnight change or magic shake or pill. It was years of being consistent to get to this point with training and nutrition. It was also years of trial and error and seeing what worked best for me.
Everybody is different.
So like I said, I felt I found a place in my routine where I was working hard and challenging myself and had flexibility in my daily diet. I could maintain the look that I liked and felt most confident in.
SInce being advised to tone down (pun intended) my routine my current protocol allows for workouts three times a week. I have to monitor my heart rate. I’ve been cautioned about increasing my heart rate too much, which means I’ve eliminated running, HIIT, stair climbing and other intense cardiorespiratory work, all the things I actually enjoy. – all the things I actually enjoy.
If I can complain for a minute – IT STINKS.
I miss how much energy I had, I miss how I looked, I miss my routine, I miss seeing my gym friends, I miss the consistency.
I almost feel like I lost a part of myself.
It’s crazy how much the gym and my routine played a role in how I feel. played a role in how I feel. I never realized the effects working out had on me. I know I did it often (more often than most people) but it never felt like work to me. It became a part of my routine and was a normal thing to do like brushing your teeth.
I have been having trouble trying to figure out how to adjust my eating habits to accommodate the decrease in activity. I knew there was no way I would have a drastic activity change and still eat the same, but I never thought I wouldn’t be able to figure it out.
It’s been ROUGH.
I don’t think this has changed how I feel about helping others reach their goals and seeing their success. I know with time, I will find a new balance. That’s what it’s about, finding the perfect balance that is sustainable.
The hardest part for me is that I finally found that balance after competing. For lack of a better phrase, I now feel like total BLAH.
It’s not like a visible injury, where it’s easily understood that you need to slow down and rest up. It’s been hard for me to adjust my mind and body.
I so badly want to go for a jog, and I miss the stair master like crazy- I know who would ever say that???
I have been able to replace all my high intensity cardio with walking. Don’t get me wrong I like walking, but I much prefer doing 20 -minutes of intense cardio over a 45 minute walk. I almost feel lazy, even though I know I shouldn’t. I don’t get the same adrenaline rush of getting my heart rate up. I miss that.
My diet — well….I started adding a protein shake in the morning for breakfast. I was doing fasting until lunch time. But after reading articles that it can mess with your hormones, I decided to start having breakfast (been eating breakfast for 2 weeks now). I was looking for a fast alternative, and a protein shake was that for me. I wanted to try using whole milk, as well due to google and reading articles (lol), but after a week I switched back to almond milk. It’s amazing how your mind decides what makes you feel comfortable, and I feel I have been making so many changes to my routines, that I felt I didn’t need to give up a healthier milk alternative. Hence why I changed back to almond milk. Baby steps.
Mentally, I have been struggling for sure. I never used to feel guilty when I would indulge, but since so many other parts of my routine have changed, I find myself feeling terrible. I don’t feel like myself and when I look at myself I don’t recognize myself. I know many would look at me and not think of the weight gain that I’ve had, but I’m 5’1” and I can feel it.
I’m trying to stay busy. I go on long walks, work on my schoolwork (I’m getting my masters degree), see family and friends, watch The Vampire Diaries and Shark Tank (lol), and just stay positive.
That’s what we can do right? Stay positive and make small changes that are doable for us and make it work.
I feel I do a pretty darn good job at staying positive. So, that’s what I’m focusing on. Surrounding myself with more positivity, doing what I can and looking forward. Everything will work out.
To follow Christine on IG, check her out here @fitchristinemartin