I have always been honest with my struggles while competing with the difference in my off season/on season body type… as well as the rebounds I suffered from early on. A big part of me thought that when I retired I would just coast right along into “normal person” territory and be fine. The fact of the matter is… no.
I think a large part of this stems from the fact I was not happy with my last showing. I was not lean enough and was frustrated and tired as my body (and mind) fought me hard the entire time last prep. After quitting back in May of last year I really just needed to get on stage, to 100% follow through even though I knew my body… and my heart… was saying enough already.
After provincials in November I knew I was done, and knew I needed to rest and recovery myself. I cut way back on cardio, only doing what I wanted to here and there for mental sanity/overall health, I increased my calories immediately to what should be my maintenance level and then slowly began increasing them.
In theory this really seemed like the perfect plan… but it wasn’t me. I was trying to force myself to be “normal”, to not track my food, to not follow a strict plan, to enjoy life so to speak… only the more I relaxed my eating and branched out, the less relaxed I felt. I was out of my comfort zone, I was eating foods I had pushed away for so long in some vague attempt to not be “that girl on a diet”. Over time I gravitated right back to where I was before… eggs, steak, turkey, fresh veggies, sweet potatoes…. Old habits, and taste buds, die hard so they say.
I’ll be honest in saying that I cry over the state of my body very little now. In the beginning it was hard, knowing this was not an “off season” and there was not going to be a golden prep at the end of the cycle to lean out and feel good about myself again. I needed to work on feeling good as is, a little bit fluffy, a little bit average… and a whole lot of no longer a size 0.
Last week I got an email from Old Navy saying they had khakis on sale for 15$. Thanks to Pinterest I’ve been planning outfits and such for my trip to Korea and black skinny pants are a frequent pin… so I decided to suck it up and go try on real people clothes (full disclosure…. I wear yoga pants 99% of the time). Surprisingly I actually needed to get a size two down from what I thought I would need, and was told I should probably have even gone one smaller. That little boost of confidence made me feel like myself again, like I CAN look good in real clothes without being super lean and in prep.
Yesterday I talked about my running goals… today I talk about my lifestyle goals. I’m going back to basics. Yes, I went through my old emails and picked out an offseason set of macros from my days with Dr. Joe. I have a tracking sheet, my meals planned on myfitnesspal and a need to fuel my body for both my running goals and my mental state. There is no number on a scale I’m chasing, no sparkly bikini or photoshoot…. Just a regular person who wants to feel comfortable in her own skin… for real.