So as of yesterday I am officially in prep! I’m 14 weeks out from the Ontario Provincial championships and could not be more ready, yet so scared at the same time. When it comes to competing offseason is the fun time. More carbs, less cardio, heavier weights. Bulking is freedom. prep however, while it does not have to be stressful if you’ve put in the work, and heave great support, which I do, is still a huge mental game. It can be frustrating cause change can be slow, and we aren’t always objective. You’ll look amazing but be constantly tired. You often feel flat and depleted. Weights feel heavier, cardio sucks, you drink all the water, and your life becomes a countdown, to your next meal, your next nap, your next workout, your show date. So why do we do it? People often look at people who are state ready as being in peak physical condition. And yes, you’re “dialled in”, but the average woman can not sit at 6% body fat all year round, it’s highly stressful for your body. I do it for the challenge. Nothing in life has ever given me the same sense of accomplishment that bodybuilding has. Unlike school, other sports, career changes, this is sometime that is 100% me. Only you can put in the work, dedicate yourself to the diet, the cardio protocol, swallow a seas worth of water. Only you can stand up there with courage and conviction to say, “this is it, this is my masterpiece”. It’s also the only challenge I’ve ever come across that gives you immediately and direct feedback. You learn about your body in the most intimate of ways. You change one little thing and within days, weeks, and over months you see your body response. Weather it’s watching the weights go up, or the scale you appreciate your body so much more. It’s also changed my relationship with food. Once upon a time I looked at food as a punishment or reward. If I was on a “diet” I was sad because I wasn’t “allowed food”. If I ate a forbidden food I felt as if I should be punished, I hated myself. It made me moody, sad, and recluse. Now I look at food in a whole new manner. How does it serve my goals? It’s not purely unemotional. I still through ally enjoy eating. But instead of thinking “I can’t have ice cream, I’m dieting” I think what will this do for my body? Do I need it? How am I going to feel after? How will this impact my insulin? What will this do to my glycogen stores? I also no longer have negative feelings after a refuel, because I know that if I stick to my plan this will only have positive effects on my metabolism, and not “destroy” my diet. Because it’s not a diet it’s a plan with a specific goal. When you think in terms of goals you’re focusing on positives instead of negatives. Hopefully this helps some of you who struggles with some of my previous issues. Im sure over the 14 Weeks I’ll be re reading this very post to remind myself, when I’d sell my soul for a salted caramel donut. I promise to keep my hangry rants to a minimum, if you can bare with my carb deprived haze. Let the games begin!