I just filled out my entry form for the 2008 N.P.C figure championships. What the heck is that? It's a show where bodybuilders, fitness and figure competitors strut their stuff in a small swimsuit with an over tanned body. I have been planning on competing in a figure competition all year after the end my running season. Well, it's here and the show is on Oct. 11th. I have 5 weeks to turn my body into a very lean, toned, tanned machine. Can I do it? I have absolutely no idea but as of a week ago I started the nutrition plan and yesterday was my first day of the training plan. With the help of Mark Nichols who is a championship bodybuilder and owner of Sledge Fitness and Atlas Fit Foods I have a very specific plan of attack. Mark helped me with my nutrition with regards to ultra running, providing menus and constant adjustments to my caloric intake. By the end of the season my caloric intake was super high ranging from a base of 2,404 on an off day to 3,860 on a training day not including any calories consumed while exercising. I was NEVER hungry and had such a hard time getting all the whole food eaten each day. That was then!
Now I am on 1,802 calories a day and this is definitely enough for my body size but it has been an adjustment. I have been hungry begging for the clock to tick faster so I could eat again. I have 6 meals a day and they are eaten in intervals every 2-3 hours. Mark said there would be an adjustment and if I felt myself diving for a jelly donut to call for intervention. It's been interesting to feel even the slightest bit hungry but it's not been so bad I have wanted to stray. Don't get me wrong, thoughts of ice cream and burgers have circled the empty space above my head but I have been good. He also said my metabolism would adjust within about 4 days and he was right. I am still anxious to eat my next meal but not pacing the kitchen.
My workouts are interesting and basically consist of very little cardio. I think this will be the biggest hurdle. I have a hard time grasping the fact that I will get leaner and stronger without much cardio. I am supposed to be on a running BREAK anyway and for 5 weeks I think I can change my focus. The workouts consist of 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill at a serious incline and maintaining a heart race of 70% of max which for me is 142.....upon waking! Are you kidding???? That means get out of bed, put on the clothes, go downstairs and walk. This morning I was at 15% at a speed of 3.1-3.2 to get a consistent HR of 142. It was harder than I thought it would be. I was sweating but I am not sure if it's because my body was in shock, confused or that speed is a workout! Then I get to eat my first meal which when I do the math that means I need to be done doing that workout by 6 a.m. Three hours later I eat my second meal then head to the weight room for 1 hour of weights. Immediately following the weight workout it's back on the treadmill for 20 minutes but my heart rate has to be lower, at 60% which is 129. Then immediately following that I eat again.
That's it for now, sounds too easy but apparently it will get harder. I didn't ask Mark what that meant because I don't really want to know yet.
Now for the hard part.......the swimsuit! I don't wear a swimsuit, I don't expose my mid-section and I don't wear heels. Well, not only do I have to wear a swimsuit I have to wear it with heels! And......the swimsuit is super small and the rear end is glued to your cheeks to hold it in place. And....I have to practice posing in this rhinestone studded number. For me this weighs heavy on my mind, bring on the nutrition and the workouts but this is going to be an adjustment. Maybe this is some insecurity bubbling out But.....I really want to do it so I am going to have to own it and I will.
There are few folks who knew I was planning on doing this and my close friends are actually pretty excited and some are planning on coming to the competition for support. A few questions I have gotten are:
1. How do you feel having your body judged? Answer: I could care less, I/we are judged every single day and lots of time we are scrutinized by our appearance. To think we aren't is just silly. At least I might get a ribbon for this judgment.
2. How will you feel if you don't do well? Answer: Bummer, but I wanted to try it and I did. And....I have watched other folks do this and it's not easy so if I can get anywhere near competition level in 5 weeks I will have no regrets.
3. How will you feel when your body goes back to normal? Answer: I don't know? I am fine with my body now so I assume I will have a good picture to show my grand kids when I am 100.
4. Do you have to take diuretics or do anything weird to achieve the look? Answer: No, Mark said definitely not and I won't do that.
It's never dull around here...operation Go Figure.