Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eating Clean vs Competition Diet

So after some blog reading over the last few weeks, I thought I'd share a few of the similarities and differences between my Clean Eating lifestyle and my Figure Competition Diet.

Not this kind of purse-chicken, LOL!
SAME: Purse Chicken. Oh yeah, I carry baggies with 4 ounces of grilled chicken in my purse. And I'm not afraid to eat Purse Chicken in public... in the mall, the grocery store, the bookstore, the high school office, on the road... anywhere. This is to the great dismay of my children. Along that vein... apples, almonds, and other fruit/snacks also make their way into my purse. When it's time to eat, it's time to eat. It's a little ironic though, that the same girls who are humiliated by my Purse Chicken, know exactly where to look for a snack when they're hungry and we're away from home. Hmmmm.

DIFFERENT: Back to the Purse Chicken. When on Competition Diet, my choices are drastically limited... no almonds or granola in my purse with that chicken. Now it's (maybe) an apple, (more likely) sliced raw peppers, along with my Beverly LeanOut and my Apple Cider Vinegar pills. Oh, and my packets of instant coffee (real & decaf). When my competition is over, my girls will once again find "the good stuff" in my bag. They can't wait.

SAME:  Packing a Daily Cooler. My cooler is my friend. It goes with me everywhere, and has for a few years now. Fast food is no longer a part of my life (and I don't miss it at all!). From breakfast through my 4th meal (snack 2) and sometimes 5th (dinner) - all my food is in my cooler. Whether I'm eating for a contest, or eating for "real-life", that cooler is what keeps me on track.

DIFFERENT:  Back to the Daily Cooler. The variety of food has changed. When I'm eating for "real-life", my  food is diverse... different fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, proteins... I go for a rainbow of color on my plate. On Competition Diet, I have to be very aware of glycemic impact, so sweeter fruits are out - tart is in, I also have to be uber-careful of my carbs - hence I only get fruit once a day, and a starchy carb twice (oatmeal at breakfast and beans or lentils or brown rice or quinoa at lunch). Dairy is also temporarily cut until after the show, which means none of my favorite snack: greek yogurt with granola & berries. So while I still carry my cooler (everywhere), the contents have changed. But they'll change again after the show to a more well-rounded diet (btw, that's why I'm taking so many vitamins/minerals - to make up for what I've lost in my diet).  

SAME:  NO SUGAR. White refined sugar is nasty poisonous stuff. Blek! It's not welcome in my lifestyle, nor my competition diet. Apart from very-rare treats (aka Tammie Coe sugar cookies, lol), I don't use white sugar. What I do use, when I need a sweetener, is Honey (local), Raw Honey (local), Agave Nectar, Sucanat (sugar cane natural, it's less processed), Pure Maple Syrup.  I do NOT use Splenda, Stevia, Truvia or any of those. I don't use any artificial sweeteners. 

DIFFERENT:  Back to the Sugar deal...  My protein powder has a tiny bit of Splenda in it (but due to the high quality & flavor of the protein powder, I choose to ignore the splenda), and one of my rare treats is Diet Pepsi - those are the only sources of "fake" in my lifestyle. In my competition diet, Zero is pushed... meaning zero calories, zero carbs... I have a list of "acceptable foods"... splenda is on it, diet soda, sugar-free gum, sugar free jello, and a gazillion other sugar free (meaning sweetened with chemicals) things. My food is so limited that the "free" foods become a focus, to a certain extent. So far I'm holding out. I am drinking more Diet Pepsi than I have in the last year, lol, and I go through a whole lot more protein powder than in my "real life", but I'm holding to my position on the no fake stuff other than those two things. It's hard, though. And it's difficult to be in a position where I'm forced to consider compromising my lifestyle, for my goal pursuit. In the meantime, I'm eating a lot of cucumbers :-D  he he he.

SAME:  Ordering in a restaurant. It's not quite "When Harry Met Sally", but it's close. Whether I'm eating clean for my lifestyle or my competition diet, the meal ordering process is identical. Sauces either held or on the side. No cheese. Extra steamed veggies. No butter, oil, etc. No bread or pasta. No creamy anything. 

DIFFERENT:  Treat meals - in my regular life, I can enjoy a treat meal. For me, that typically means mexican food - chips & bean dip and salsa, a mojito or margarita or beer or a glass of wine, and a meal that might include some cheese, lol. On competition diet, there are no treats (hence the Diet Pepsi). 

How about something outside of my food....
SAME:  Body Dysmorphia. It took me nearly two years after hitting goal weight to stop seeing the fat-me in the mirror, but there are still times I struggle to see what's really there. It's one of the things that isn't talked about often enough - you can lose the weight, but you are still the same person, and if you had body issues before, you'll still have those issues after. I've come a long way in my journey, but I am still traveling. 

Competing has brought this issue back into the light for me. I'm discovering that more often than not, my dysmorphia isn't allowing me to see what's really there. I have to rely on those around me to be my mirror.  It's a bit like being color-blind, I guess. It's not that I want to see a distorted image, it's simply that I do. But I am determined to win this battle. I don't know how, but I will. In the meantime, I continue to trust the process, and trust those I've chosen to be my mirror - Bill and Tab, in particular. I'm so grateful for them!

Here's a few more things that are the same whether I'm competing or not...
  • I'm neurotic :-) I have lists of lists, and yes - I have a competition book that I update several times a day. 
  • I might be scared to step out on a stage, but I am not afraid to do my seated "happy dance" in the middle of Hard Rock Cafe. Correction... I am not afraid, the people with me become very afraid. 
  • I still love to bake! I actually can't wait to bake up the cupcakes for Ariel's birthday dinner because even though I cannot eat the cupcakes, I enjoy the process. 
  • I am still music-obsessed. Not only do I have playlists for everything, but now I also have an ever-evolving playlist for my competition posing, for my competition prep (weights and cardio - separate lists), and even another just for driving around. LOL. 

Bottom line... I'm putting in more effort in the gym, I'm on a stricter diet, but I'm still me... still growing, still learning, still moving forward. Can't wait to find out what I'm going to be when I grow up :-)

Ya know, the more I look at that picture (top), the more I think I'm going to have to find me one of those chicken purses. LOL! :-) And I'm suddenly in the mood to watch When Harry Met Sally... Hmmmm.


  1. I enjoyed every single bit of this post. I loved reading about all your differences and sames. heehee

    I for one, can't wait to see you in competition, especially sporting that new sexy hair! Rawwrrrr!!!


  2. I loved this post. I have to tell you that I hold you up in front of everyone and say "she did this, so can I". Have I mentioned you're my hero?

  3. HA! I love the chicken purse! Good post, I too have the body dismorphia thing. Wonder when it will change...