6 WEEKS POST PREP UPDATE
I haven’t posted an update for this week. I try to do this weekly for you guys on my IG and FB athlete page as I feel going a bit more in depth with my mental state while coming out of a prep can be helpful to some of you. As I have explained many times I have never had an easy time coming out of preps in the past. Mostly due to the extreme dieting techniques I utilized through my competition career (which is also why I do not compete any longer) but also due to the fact that I didn’t know or utilize flexible dieting until the last few years. But regardless of flexible dieting, reverse dieting is NEVER easy. Some people kill their reverse diets and seem to maintain their physiques easier than others. Even some of my own clients have surprised me with the way they have been able to come out of an aggressive deficit. But as someone who has dealt with extremes and also dealt with BED (binge eating disorder) I still have a hard time with it- although I will say every year it has gotten better and better.
(My mom and I on the coast in Bandon,Or)
Most of you know I went back to Oregon for a week to visit family. I promised myself going into the trip that I would strive for balance in every sense of the word. Meaning I would enjoy moments with my friends and family, I wouldn’t stress too much over eating foods that I normally dont eat if the opportunity presented itself. Life is about making memories and spending QUALITY time with the ones you love.
(My baby nephew Caden turned 6 months while I was home)
Overall I feel the trip was a pretty big success. I enjoyed a little too much carrot cake with my mom (carrot cake is my ultimate weakness and homemade from my moms garden was just impossible to resist).
(My moms AMAZING homemade carrot cake)
But I also worked out everyday, even if that meant working out at my moms home gym which just had an elliptical and dumbbells one day. I got some epic lifts in at my bros gym as well (I always have good workouts there for some reason- maybe it brings me back to when I worked there or was in prep killing my workouts there.. not sure).
(Post leg-day shot where I was pleasantly surprised to see my abs! LOL)
I didn’t kill myself with cardio but did a lot of HIIT (sprints and intervals on the rolling stairs) and did some MISS (moderate intensity cardio) when I felt like it in the form of high incline walking and jogging. But what I did notice as I was driving to the gym one day is my motivation and drive to workout has increased the last few weeks which is abnormal for me post prep. I usually feel a bit burnt out or just overall “tired” and feel I need time off after a prep. My mindset is completely opposite this time and my excitement and drive to workout was very much if not even more so there than when I was in prep. I think this comes from the fact that I didn’t burn myself out like I have in the past with preps and I am grateful for the sustainability I am feeling in my own fitness and health regime.
I didn’t weigh myself one single time the entire trip as I didn’t have access to a scale and honestly I feel like it was good for me. I judged my bodies response off the way I looked and felt and it was a nice break from stressing over weather or not a number would be up or down. I actually got to thinking one day that I probably weighed more than I looked like I did due to the excess sugar and intake but not knowing the number allowed me to judge myself more objectively and find more happiness in my overall thoughts about where I was at. Its crazy how powerful our brains are. When we see a number on the scale that we may not necessarily like, we can literally manipulate our thoughts to see something completely different in the mirror. This is why I mentioned at the beginning of coming out of this prep that I would eventually stop weighing myself but I do feel post restriction it is important to utilize the scale as an accountability mechanism to keep yourself in check a bit as things can easily spiral downward fast- I know (I have put on 20 lbs in less than a month post show before #guiltyAF ).
I was able to enjoy some of my old favorite restaurants that I missed which I was happy about. There are so many good places to eat in Oregon – one of the biggest things I miss about living there. I also posted this already but I went to a cupcake shop with my brother and sister in law one night that I had been to twice prior with them but never once tried the cupcakes myself because I was always dieting for one thing or another when I was in town. They have been raving about these cupcakes for years so I knew I needed to give it a try this time. I had the snicker doodle in the smaller size and honestly it was probably one of the best cupcakes I have ever eaten and I am sure glad I did finally try it! But what I was even happier about is the fact that I didn’t feel like I needed 10 more after eating the one and even when my brother offered another to me- I honestly felt content and like I already had a huge insulin spike from the one lol. Its amazing what happens when you become in tune with your body and you can actually FEEL the way sugar starts to affect you. I stopped at one and didn’t go home and say “well screw it I already ate a cupcake might as well eat everything…” which has been my mentality many times in the past. These little triumphs are huge for me. And every time I am able to experience these moments and feel BALANCED I am SO grateful because I know it will eventually become easier and something I no longer need to put thought into.
(Cafe Yumm- One of my old staples in Eugene!)
(Toadstool cupcakes- amazing!)
I also went out to lunch with my dad and brother the day before leaving and my brother wanted Thai food. I was a little nervous when I heard that because I thought their may not be many clean options on the menu. But thats what he wanted so I sucked it up and said I would figure something out one way or another. I ended up ordering steamed veggies and shrimp with no sauce and brown rice and then got some chili garlic hot sauce and soy sauce on the side. It actually was REALLY good. The funny part about the whole experience is my brother (who is a bodybuilder and was my first trainer) looked at me and asked what I was dieting for? I laughed and responded “nothing”. He then proceeded to ask me why I was ordering so clean? My response was “I genuinely like to eat this way” and he laughed and said “Amber, nobody likes to eat like that”. This had me kind of laughing at the irony of the situation as he was the one who started me on this whole clean eating thing 5 years ago. But the truth of the matter is, I honestly genuinely like to eat clean foods majority of the time and I thought the meal was delicious. In that moment though I realized how much of my actions over the last five years have become habit and how much more sustainable my lifestyle will get due to the balance I have created. Of course I like carrot cake and cupcakes- but I genuinely LOVE vegetables and clean foods. I crave them more than ever before and its not a struggle to order clean when I go out. Its not even honestly a debate in my head. I was being honest when I responded to my brother and I am so grateful for how far I have come with my mentality around food.
The meal I ordered when we went out for Thai food and genuinely enjoyed 😉