It’s been almost two years now since I’ve been eating clean and bodybuilding and never once have I lost that fear in the back of my head that I’m going to gain all the weight back plus 10 pounds more. I think that comes with remembering your own personal history with the yo-yo dieting.
After my first show my trainer and I plotted a plan: I would take a year to train hard, build muscle and enter the figure division, which was better suited for my body type, but I would need to get more muscular. Game On. Until he told me I would need to be at around 120-125 lbs. for the bulk of the year before cutting down to my show weight. Game Over. I had just lost 50 lbs., why on earth would I want to gain 25 lbs of that back? And if I gain 25 lbs., won’t that turn into 50 lbs. and then 100 lbs., and then I’d become a qualifier for The Biggest Loser?
So I threw that plan out the window, did another competition four months later staying in the bikini division and felt pretty good. Until the holidays. My trainer moved back to Houston and I wouldn’t be starting up with my new trainer until January. Left over Halloween candy + Thanksgiving turkey + Christmas cookies + wanting to stay thin + no one holding me accountable but me = mindfuck. I kept weighing myself in a panic.
In January I told my then new trainer, Mel, about my fitness goals and she told me I would need to gain weight in a healthy way to put on lean muscle mass and I totally freaked out again in a saying-ok-while-nodding-my-head-no-and-crossing-my-hands-protectively-across-my-body sort of way. Having been heavy herself once she understood where I was coming from and told me to throw the 120-125 lb. number out of my head; we could do this without me gaining much weight. Just eat clean and lift.
By the show I was stronger than I’ve ever been in my life but, while muscular for me, the other women dwarfed me by comparison. I came in dead last and was disappointed to do so poorly.
“Are you ready to really do this now? Are you ready to reshape your body?” she asked me. “You’re going to have to put on weight.”
Yes. No. Yes?
I’m carb loading now and it’s freaking me out. I used to eat 1/2 cup (or less) rice for four meals out of six. Now I eat a full cup with each meal. I get two cheat meals per week and it’s freaking me out. What if I go overboard? I don’t weigh myself because I don’t want to know what I weigh, but my jeans are two sizes bigger than what I wore for my last show. And the results?
I lifted the heaviest I’ve ever lifted yesterday and my friends all tell me I look the healthiest they’ve ever seen me.
I didn’t realize this would be so difficult for me, embracing the mantra “Strong is the New Skinny”. My hope is that through bodybuilding my mind-body-food balance will level out to the point where I’m just living naturally and not living in fear of a number on the scale. Even if I don’t put on a ton of muscle mass this off season, at least I feel like I’m headed towards a healthier relationship with food.
How about you? Do you have fears about your weight?
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