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Contest Preparation Struggles, Successes, And The Epic Cheat Meal

Amber DeLeal March 8, 2016
Struggles Successes and Epic Cheat Meal

What a fantastic weekend!

Starting with a crazy weigh-in and amazing check-in with my coach, and ending with a date night at the movies with my husband, this weekend was jam packed and incredible!

Friday I had my usual weigh-in and there was no change in my weight… again. This time, I knew we would have to make some sort of change to my diet, though, because my coach gave me a heads up in a text the day before saying, “If there’s no change this week we will have to change things up.”

Naturally, this worried me. I guess you could say the thought of taking away more food slightly worried terrified me.

The Back and Forth Weight Struggle

I haven’t mentioned this in any previous posting, but for about the past four weeks I’ve been struggling with digestive problems.

When I say it’s been a struggle, I mean it made me miserable. At one point I actually looked seven months pregnant! It was very uncomfortable and I was in lots of pain because of it.

On top of that, my weigh-ins were being affected by it.

Holding on to water weight will change the scale considerably. But, if you’re looking for that number to drop, it’s not the change you want.

This made weigh-ins very difficult. My weight went up as much as 7 pounds at one point. Talk about nerve racking! As bad as that was, I was even more concerned with the discomfort I was experiencing.

Luckily last week I came a across an Instagram post about a product designed to regulate digestion and prevent bloating. I decided to give it a try. After a few days I began to notice a difference. Thank goodness!

I also made a change to the veggies I was eating. Instead of broccoli and green beans I began eating asparagus and spinach.

By friday I was feeling much better and much lighter on my feet.

Weigh-In and Check-In

The moment of truth. My Friday weigh-in.

I was hit with a surprise when the scale said the same thing as it did the previous week: 121 lbs.

I wasn’t too discouraged this time, though, because I knew there were positive changes. I felt SO different!

All my bloat was gone and I was feeling good! When I talked to my coach he told me to go ahead and take my measurements again – for the second week in a row.

Bright and early Saturday I woke up feeling even better than Friday. My waist looked significantly smaller and I looked noticeably leaner.

I got on the scale and BOOM! Dropped 3 pounds!!

In. One. Week.

That’s the biggest drop I’ve had during any week of my contest prep since starting back on January 1st.

I was shocked. I was excited at first and then a little worried. If you read my post from last week, you might remember me talking about how weight is not the best way to measure progress. If you didn’t read it, you should check it out.

I was scared, because, while losing weight can be a good thing, losing it too fast can mean losing muscle mass along with body fat. And losing muscle mass is the LAST thing I want to happen. The whole point of competing is to show off the muscle I’ve worked so hard to put on.

Regardless, I stayed positive.

We took my measurements, and as we expected in light of my weight change, just about everything dropped; except my shoulders…Which I managed to put size on!

This is SO exciting because it’s a good indication that I wasn’t losing muscle mass at all, and was actually gaining muscle while losing fat.

We went to Craig’s house to do my caliper body fat measurement and my body fat dropped a percentage point. As I said, it was a fantastic weekend!

Now, even though my progress was looking pretty promising at this point, I’m always in intense anticipation before and during my meeting with my coach.

This time, however, I felt more confident because I just felt so much better. I didn’t feel as embarrassed to be standing in my sports bra with my short shorts pulled up so he and Scott could look at my ham/glute progress.

I felt proud.

After going over poses and looking me over, we went over my diet. My coach said something along the lines of me making great progress and looking pretty lean for still being 6 weeks out from my competition. Six weeks doesn’t seem like a long time, but it is when you’re cutting for a show. You don’t want to get too lean too fast and lose too much muscle.

After he said that, I jokingly said, “Looks like I get a cheat meal?” Much to my surprise, he said, “Well, let’s talk about your food.”

I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear anything he said after that for a good 2 minutes because all I was thinking about was devouring some bread or any other carb within reaching distance!

After discussing (and drooling over) what my cheat meal would consist of, and coming to my senses enough to focus on what my coach was saying, he also mentioned that we would be adding some carbs to my weekly diet! He said I need to maintain right now. I don’t want to get on stage being too skinny and continuing on my extremely low carb diet would have been too much.

I mean, could this Saturday get any better?!? A CHEAT MEAL, MORE CARBS, and SHOULDER GAINZ?!!

Coach even commented on how much better my hamstrings and glutes looked compared to our last meeting. This made me particularly happy becuase it is a crucial area during the judging process. I also feel like it’s also the hardest spot for me to hit while working out.

My Epic Cheat Meal

After leaving the meeting with my coach, Scott and I headed to the gym to train arms before going to Pantera’s Pizza for my dad’s Birthday. I chose to skip ordering pizza because I wanted my cheat meal to be big and I was saving indulging in pizza until after my competition.

I did take one bite of my daughter’s pizza. Surprisingly, I didn’t eat any more. Pantera’s is my FAVORITE pizza!

It was more than worth skipping out on, though. We went to Texas Roadhouse and I indulged, baby!!

In case you’re wondering what I ordered, I went with an 8oz sirloin, mashed potatoes with cheese, and a side salad with ranch. I can’t forget to mention what I was most excited about eating there: the delicious, fresh-baked, all-you-can-eat rolls! I ate at least four… Then I lost count.

I tore them carbs up. But I wasn’t done…

After dinner, we went for ice cream. I got vanilla ice cream with oreos and marshmallow topping. I have to say, though, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would and didn’t even finish it.

Here’s a montage of me cheat mealin’ it up:

cheatmeal     cheatmeals   cheatmealicecream

It was an amazing Saturday! I can honestly say that all the difficult times of craving, giving in, feeling disappointed, the bloating, and so many other things, have definitely been worth it up to this point.

I have never been more proud of my progress as I was during my check in with my coach this weekend. It is hard sometimes, but I have to trust the process.

I was reminded yet again that results will come if you put in the work. And not to forget to reward your successes.

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