SiS: Adventures in Competing – Week 8: Lifestyle

In our eighth episode of our Adventures in Competing Erica, Stephanie and I give you some insight into the lifestyle of a fitness competitor who is less than 4 weeks from the stage! In my case a fitness competitor who got SICK less than 4 weeks from the stage! I give you all the details of what happened, how I dealt with it (both the good and the bad) and what you can do if it happens to you.

Rose Blackman – Young Professional – Eat Clean, Train Dirty, Think Nerdy

Stephanie Laurendeau – Stay at home Mom – Decide, Commit, Succeed

Erica Willick – Finance Exec & Mother – Strong Body-Mind-Life

COMING SOON

Turning 25

Today is my birthday. I turned 25 today and I feel no different.

Usually on my Birthday I feel this big excitement build up to the day and then this sense of shedding and starting over for the next year of my life. No so this time around.

Enjoying time with my wonderful boyfriend on my birthday.

Enjoying time with my wonderful boyfriend on my birthday.

But it’s not a bad thing. I think instead that today feels like any other day because this past year has been one of the best and most balanced of my life.

There were most certainly some bumps along the road in the last year, but overall I felt very at ease.

Some of the things that contributed to this were:

  • I focused more on my health and fitness, and less on my appearance than I ever have in the past. I glorified in new PRs and didn’t worry so much about the scale. I enjoyed many a grassfed steak and didn’t cut off the fat. And it made me more whole and at peace with myself.
  • I moved back to Toronto where my family and best friend are… and my wonderful boyfriend moved with me. I now feel like I have a better relationship with my family, I actually see my best friend more than 3 times per year and get to spend every day with the love of my life, I don’t have to choose between time spent with any of them.
  • I actively chose to worry less about my work. I no longer put so much effort into appearing at social functions and being the social butterfly. I just did my job well, didn’t work excessive over time and when work was over, I didn’t think about it. I had a much easier time of this because I switched offices, so I didn’t have an existing pattern to try to reverse, but it was incredibly liberating. I still do an amazing job in my work, but I don’t put in so much effort to try to make everyone and their mother happy.

    Posing with my Doctor Who license plate cover with my brother.

    Posing with my Doctor Who license plate cover with my brother.

  • And more generally I just made an effort to enjoy life in an “easy” way. I didn’t go out clubbing and partying which is something that always felt hard for me, instead I went rock climbing, or for hikes, I drank wine and ate cheese, I completely vegged on the couch and watch whole seasons of Doctor Who with my sister.

This year has been the year where I finally feel like I figured out what makes me happy and what makes me feel whole. And it’s funny because it’s what I have always said it is, I just finally actively pursued those things. Health, fitness, family, friends and most importantly love.

So this coming year, before I turn 26, I want to make sure I have an even better year, and I have some goals and plans to make it one.

  1. Make a change in my career: I actually (finally) really like my job and the role I have, but it’s time for a change and the chance for new successes. This might be as small as looking for opportunities in another line of service, or a big change in moving to a new job.
  2. Be more compassionate to those I love: I tend to be hardest on those closest to me, probably because I am so hard on myself. But it’s something that I know I need to be more cognizant of and I am going to actively try to be more empathetic and not as quick to get frustrated.

    Some evidence of the "more moderate approach.

    Some evidence of the “more moderate” approach.

  3. Be more consistent with my fitness in the “off-season”: while I’m really happy with my progress in the past year, I know that in the few months after my show last October I really swung too far the other way because I was burnt out. This year, I have tried a more moderate approach and hope to maintain a more consistent training regime and diet throughout the year so I can…
  4. Compete in a figure competition and win!: I am trying my hand at a figure competition in just 6 short weeks, but my goal for this one is to just do my best, I would love to place, but it’s not actively my goal. That is for the next competition!
  5. Go on a super relaxing vacation: This year my boyfriend and I vacationed in california, 5 days were spent doing super intense hiking and the rest of the trip, while amazing, was crazy busy. This year I want to go and have a laid back trip, or at least part of a trip that is relaxing… I’ll probably get bored after 2 days on the beach and start trying to seek out adventures ;)

Thank you to everyone who has made this last year so special including all of the wonderful people I have “met” through blogging. You are the most amazing, supportive and creative group of people and I feel privileged to be part of this community.

Here’s hoping for another year like this one!

Progress and workout splits

So I am just over 7 weeks out from my 2nd fitness competition and I weight like 8 pounds more than I did at this point last year :/ So I’m freaking out a little. But looking at the pictures, I look about as lean as I did last year. I’m not sure how confident I am that I actually put on 8 pounds of muscle in a year, but if that’s the case… rock on!

Here are some comparisons from when I was 6 weeks out last year, vs. 8 weeks out this year. I am a little leaner in the 2012 picture, but definitely in a similar spot. So as lot as I give it my all I should be ok, right… RIGHT?! haha

One of the things I’ve changed in my ever evolving plan is the structure of my cardio… I added fasted cardio about 2 weeks ago, and it hasn’t made the scale move, but I feel like it is impacting my leanness, so I’m going to stick with my 40 mins 2 times per week at the moment. I’ll probably increase that up to 60 mins 2-3 times per week by the end and keep my 3 HIIT sessions a week for 15-20 mins a piece. Overall that’s still a LOT less cardio that many competitors do and shouldn’t negatively impact my metabolism.

My calories are hovering anywhere between 1500 – 1800 per day with one cheat meal per week and I have not been systematically carb cycling yet. I plan on doing that starting next week. As I get closer to the stage I will keep my calories between 1500 – 1600 and just cycle carbs not calories.

But the change I’m most excited about (and the one that has nothing to do with weight loss) is that I’m moving to a 5 day split instead of my current 4. Can you guess what is getting its own  day?

SHOULDERS!!!!

Well, shoulders and abs, but shoulders are the thing that I’m excited about if you couldn’t already tell. I’ll probably throw in some biceps there as well since my back workouts seem to be pretty long these days.

And today is my first shoulder workout :) This is what I have planned:


I also plan on doing some HIITs on the stationary bike. I may need some coffee today :) wish me luck for my self imposed torture!

Upcoming stuff!

Hey guys and gals!

Wowza, been a long time since I’ve posted, and this is not even going to be a real post. More of an update about things to come!

I will be competing again on October 26th, 2013 at the same show I did last year, UFE Halloween Mayhem. This is now just under 16 weeks away!

I will be doing a 12 week prep which I have already gone way overboard in planning, because I love planning. But before I start prep I will be going to San Francisco with my boyfriend for 2 weeks. 5 days of this is hiking, so I’m not too worried about gaining weight, I’m actually more concerned about losing muscle from all the walking… #figuregirlproblems haha.

Either way, my body seems to have reach its happy point” or homeostasis for the scientifically inclined at 150.6 lbs. I literally weigh that exact amount every time I step on the scale regardless of cardio, ice cream or weight lifting. But since I can see a huge amount of muscle gain in my lower body I’m not too concerned about it. I actually had a mini freak out (the good kind) about how excited I am to see what my legs look like when I lean out for the competition since I have put SO much work into them over the past year. I know I have put on size in my quads and hamstrings, but I have also lifted my butt up a lot (things that only a fitness competitor can announce to the world).

I have decided to enter 2 categories this time around: fitness model – which is what I did last time, and figure – which I think plays to my strengths more.

Well that’s all for now, I will probably not be posting much until I start contest prep, but I’m still here and can’t wait to share another journey to the stage with you :)

Short Term Goals

In general I live a pretty healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately there is a bit of a pendulum effect and the more strict you try to be the more you want to rebel against these restrictions. That’s why I maintain that you sort of have to “sneak up” on health changes.

 

I have been a little bad over the past few months. Not consistently bad. My eating and exercise are still probably 80% there, but the other 20% is way worse than it should be. I have been indulging in sweets and alcohol too often and my portion sizes seem to be creeping up along with the scale. I’ve tried to reaffirm my good habits with some goal settings, but I’ve been undisciplined for too long now. My will power has gotten a little lazy as of late.

 

So let’s take it back a notch. Baby steps.

 

Let’s do a daily and a weekly goal for now and just get that will power flexing again.

 

Goals for today:

 

Zero sugar – this includes raisins, which I have been indulging in, honey, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners (other than stevia)

 

Honey Comb

Honey Comb (Photo credit: beepollenhub)

 

Back workout – do 30 minutes of cardio and a full back workout right after work

 

Goals for the week:

 

No grains – I have been having popcorn too often because it’s a grain that is gluten free and I love it, so not allowing any grains this week will help kick that to the curb.

 

No dairy – my skin has been breaking out from all the dairy I’ve been consuming between the yogurt, the lattes, and the cheeses. No more!

 

Get in 4 workouts – I’ve been pretty consistent with at least 3 workouts per week, but I want to get in that extra one.

 

No alcohol – I don’t typically drink very often, but there seem to have been a few too many “occasions” recently.

 

The reason I am not making these overarching goals is because I won’t stick to it 100%, which is fine… usually. But I’m going off my plans a little too often so taking things day by day and week by week makes it way easier. I can commit to just about anything for a week… that’s only 7 days!

 

Next Monday I’ll let you know if I succeeded. :)