Halfway There and Fully Committed
By Nikki Lewis
I’m halfway there and it definitely feels like it.
I’ve been tested mentally, physically and emotionally beyond what I had prepared myself for.
I’ve wanted to give up.
I’ve even had a couple binge eating episodes…they were not pretty.
This is what an average day on a competition diet looks like, I’ll give you a quick run through.
MEAL 1 includes DIVIDED LABS Previde pre workout (most days I try to workout in the morning to get it out of the way), a protein (eggs, chicken, etc.), carbs (oatmeal) and fats.
LIFT AND CARDIO I’m usually at the gym 1.5-2 hours a day. These last 8 weeks I have allowed time at the end of my training almost every day to practice my posing for at least 15 minutes.
MEAL 2 is usually around 10 a.m. for me, earlier or later depending on my schedule and when I started my day.
MEAL 3 is around 1:30 p.m. I usually eat this meal at my desk or in my car on the way to clients.
MEAL 4 is my favorite and I eat this immediately upon coming home from work between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. I love this meal because I get more food…and oatmeal. I am literally a non-talking, grumpy, emotional wreck until I get fed. After I am functional again, then I start to make dinner for everyone else. This was really hard in the beginning, as I love to cook, but now I can’t enjoy the food with the rest of the family.
MEAL 5 is sometimes a pre workout meal for me depending on the day. It is a smaller meal without oatmeal. I usually eat this around 7:30 p.m.
MEAL 6 is one of my favorites, too. It’s a smaller meal, but I like to not have a complete empty stomach before I go to bed because it is harder for me to fall asleep.
Nothing about this is locked in stone and sometimes I’ve had to stack meals or eat whenever I can, but I always try to be prepared ahead of time.
My coaches Cole Holmberg, Lifetime Natural, LLC and Stephanie Engevold, Engineered Fitness and Training questions and remind me that consistency is the key to pulling this all together. This schedule also doesn’t take into consideration all the times I’ve eaten in my car, while shopping, at sporting events and even in bed.
I take my food with me everywhere. Vacation, ball games, shopping, you name it, I have my food with me. It’s easier for me to turn down other food when I’m prepared with my own.
This journey to the stage has had a couple not so great falls from the competition diet, but for the most part, I have been rock-solid. I’m not proud of my last overeating episode, but when I look back, I have to laugh at how funny I must have looked shoving food in my mouth with one hand and scooping peanut butter out of the jar with the other hand….and then dipping my peanut butter in chocolate chips. I guess when I do something, I take it to a whole other level with everything.
With that set back behind me, I know I can’t keep beating myself up over it and I just need to push on and call someone the next time I feel that way.
My journey to the stage has helped me develop some pretty bad ass mental toughness, though. I have always been able to go off on my own, but during this training, I have really felt like a loner. I have tended to not join in on social events or go out to eat because it just sucks to have to face the temptation or feel like the odd one out all the time. If I had a dollar for every time a well-meaning person offered me something “healthy” at a BBQ or social event, I’d be rich.
On top of turning down food, making time to train at about 2 hours a day can be difficult. Especially on weekends and those days when you get home from work and just don’t want to do anything.
My trainer, Justin and I have a mantra,
“Nobody works harder than me”
I have to remind myself of that often when I don’t want to go to the gym or I’m in the middle of a tough lifting day and I want to give up. Trust me when I say, there have been many times when I want to quit but I have to keep pushing on through the tears and burning muscles.
I think this has really forced me to appreciate little changes. Whether that means in life or my body. Hard work doesn’t always exude great, noticeable changes right away, but over time, those little changes are what turns into the goal that I have been working so hard for. I think it is also great for my children to watch me work so hard for something that I don’t get instant results from.
Speaking of family, they have been pretty great. They help me turn down food that’s not in my plan, watch our littlest one for me so I can get to the gym, and are always excited to see my muscles when I flex for them…I mean, how could I ask for more?!
I’m sure these next few weeks will be a blur for me, but I will not give up and I look forward to sharing my stage experiences with you all!
P.S. anyone with cooking and baking skills can feel free to deliver desserts, pasta, and so forth to me on October 2nd!
Check out Nikki’s 1st Blog here to see where it all started!