I’m giving you guys another break from pancakes and running and my daily life and giving the floor to Becca. Becca is seriously one of the most inspirational woman that I have ever stalked (um blogging does that you know) so I was thrilled when she wanted to show how seriously amazing she is. Anywho-I’ll get off my own blog.
On Season Vs Off Season
Hi everyone, I’m Becca and well, IHeartEggs?
Anyway! When Hollie put out a call for guest bloggers I told her to hit me up if she needed someone still and well, here I am so I guess you can assume how that went?
If you’re not familiar with my blog (… you SHOULD be) I’m a figure competitor/pretend foodie/hot mess but the biggest thing you should know regarding that is I never want to compete if it doesn’t allow me to be “normal”.
While I know that “normal” is all in how you perceive it, to me it means life still needs to be fun. I don’t want to spend every spare moment I have slouched on the couch because I’m so tired/hungry/cranky I can’t be seen in public, or that I have to live on chicken and broccoli or tilapia and green beans for 6 meals a day, everyday, all day.
My intense desire to be a fully functioning member of society meant a lot of trial and error with coaches and trainers, and unfortunately I learned many lessons the hard way.
Generally speaking a figure competitor has two phases to the year:
Prep: When you’re dieting, doing more cardio, still training, working towards a show date. Usually 12-20 weeks leading up to a contest
Off-season: the rest of the year. You’re still probably working towards a show, but in a different sense. This is a time to relax on cardio, put on muscle, refocus, grow. All the good stuff.
I’ll be the first to admit that transitioning from prep to offseason is hard. Mentally and physically. The first time I “pretend” prepped for a show just to see if I could do it I had a very restricted diet, no choices, a TON of cardio and when I ended that it was like I was set free. Suddenly I was allowed peanut butter, bread, a cheat meal.
Oh and how I cheated.
The end result? I gained back everything I lost… and then some. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t pretty.
So when I was shopping around for a coach to train for my first show I was very cautious, and thankfully found my coach Dr. Joe who has a very sane approach to dieting. No foods are off limits, and prep became a lifestyle, not a “diet”.
Focusing on the lifestyle aspect of it and not eliminating foods made transition to the offseason MUCH easier this time around. Yes, it was still scary, but since I wasn’t deprived during my dieting phase, I didn’t feel the need to stuff myself full of the good stuff.
This enabled me to back out of a diet, which while it’s a necessity for figure competitors, can be applied for ANY type of dieting to find your maintenance, or “happy place” if you will.
Slowly reincorporating foods over time, increasing the protein/carbs/fat or calories equally and steadily while slowing down on cardio will prevent the rebound effect which is all too common when people come off a diet.
We all know that losing weight isn’t that hard after all, it’s KEEPING it off that is the challenge right?
What a figure competitor looks like on stage is not a maintainable body, but by slowly coming off the diet you can prevent excess weight gain. The mental aspect of this is hard, you get softer, a little “chub”, but in my offseason I was able to comfortably maintain 10 lbs over my stage weight while having a big weekly cheat meal and little treats on special occasions.
I choose to make my competing my lifestyle, I do plan meals, weigh food, tote meals year round, but it’s how I enjoy living. Yes, I do go out in the off season for dinner with friends, and I will have a glass of wine, but having such a balanced, somewhat “extreme” healthy lifestyle has completely changed my life.
And there you have it, my views on offseason and well, how it relates to real world dieting. I fully believe you need to make a lifestyle change to see lasting results, no matter what your goals. Going full out, crazy fad diets, extreme cardio will get you nowhere but miserable. Making small changes, continuing to live your life, making your workouts (whatever they may be!) fun and exciting is the best way to make progress.
Question for you:
1. Does your diet/routine change throughout the year?
Mine does with swimming and running. When I’m running 50 miles and swimming 12 hours weekly…I need to eat a little more then when I’m laying in bed in the off season…more pancakes that is.
PS: Write a story about your life and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org