Monday, August 8, 2011

Life as I know it...

Has Come to an END. LOL. Enter Week 3 pre-competition. From here out, my world narrows even more. The diet gets tougher, the workouts harder, the cardio - more, the energy lower... everything changes. So, why am I doing the happy dance?


This is what I've been training for, dieting for, striving toward. That I've made it here is a triumph for me. And now we find out just what I'm made of. Am I a champion? I'm not talking about trophy-winning, I'm talking about heart, mind & soul. So am I? YES. And over the next 3 weeks, I'm going to prove it. I'm going to prove to the people closest to me that the journey has not been in vain, that their efforts & sacrifices were not for nothing.

Here are a few highlights of what's NOW...

  • 7 days a week cardio, twice a day. No rest days. Right now, we're keeping it all steady-state, for which I am grateful as the HIIT has become increasingly difficult to manage energy-wise. But, if I'm told to do HIIT, I will, because that's what it takes.  
  • Weight Lifting - heavy lifting 4x/week (been doing moderate lifting with higher reps 4-5x/week).
  • Absolute removal of all "optionals" - no more glutamine/BCAA's, stevia, capella drops, etc.
  • Diet remains the same, though I might lose one or both my carb meals after this week, we'll see.
  • All cardio must be done sans-shirt. Yes. It's the sports-bra phase. 
Guess which one of those highlights is my lowlight. LOL. Yeah, the no-shirt deal. I knew it was coming, and I knew why - Tab's done a fantastic job of explaining to me what happens and the reasons behind it. I will do my cardio in pants/shorts & a sports bra to mentally condition myself for crossing the stage in my bikini. However. Knowing that and "doing" that are two very different things. When Tab told me that this week began the shirtless-sessions, we agreed I needed new workout pants & sports bras. My pants are all too big now (before you hate me, remember this is temporary - I'm leaning & cutting for the show, not real life, this weight isn't sustainable - oh, and I've worked and dieted - literally - my ass off), and my sports bras are all ... um, serviceable (and best hidden under a shirt). Over the weekend I found 2 pairs of pants (don't want to buy more than that, because a- they're expensive, and b- again, temporary size), and a few bras (thank you Kohl's clearance rack!). 

Being me, I decided not to wait until I was ordered to do it, and last night I just jumped in. OMG. I believe my heart rate was a result of my clothing situation, rather than my exercise. It was so much harder than I thought it would be. Not only my self-disgust over the tummy area (loose skin, scarring, stretch marks), but just simply being "unclothed" in public - it was brutal. 30 minutes of pure hell for me. I refused to give up though, I refused to shrug my shoulders forward and "hide", and I refused to cry, I simply kept putting one foot in front of the other. I got it done, and I got the hell out. 

This morning, I had my chest & abs workout. The new format of the workout was great, and I felt pretty good until she told me to suddenly switch and do bench pushups. I got in position, began to descend and went "OH UH-UH!" Every fast & slow twitch fiber in my chest & arms screamed, "MUTINY!!!!"  Tab laughed because she knew exactly what was happening, then spotted me to make sure I didn't faceplant. I don't know how many I did, it wasn't many, and they were brutal, but it was cool to get them done when I didn't think I could, lol. 

After, I headed to the gym for my 40 minute cardio session. I plugged in my ear buds, took off my tank top and stepped onto the stairmill. Same experience as last night. Mentally/emotionally, each step was like rolling naked in glass shards. I got looks - from other women. Looks I've given other women. "C'mon, it's not a bedroom, put on a freakin' shirt" looks. I wanted to post a sign, "I'm NOT an exhibitionist, a whore, or a hoe. I am under orders by my coach to do this."  How ridiculous is that? Then this morning someone mentioned in a post that they didn't "get" competing, that they had no desire to strut their stuff on stage. I realize I'm carb-deprived, and everything seems worse than it really is, but that crushed me and it felt (stupid, I know) like a personal jab (I know, I know... it's not, but this is how I no-carb-felt). I'm not strutting. I don't know how to strut. And really, I'm not competing, I'm growing. And then I thought about having to go back again tonight and take off my shirt again... And then I cried. Damnit. 

However. This is the next phase. I will meet this challenge, as I have met the ones before. I will become comfortable without my shirt - and not because I'm an exhibitionist. I am going to conquer this, too. I will, I will, I will. 

Lol. Seriously though... I will. 


  1. I have to say, I've been considering doing it. I've read your journey every step of the way and although it sounds terrifying, if you can do I'm sure I can! And I felt the same way about that comment this's the one snarky person in all our ladies and I just take her with a grain of salt...wait, too much sodium :) Anyway you are tops in my book and I wish we could come watch you rock that stage, but it's hubby's B-day and we're already booked elsewhere :( But I'll be cheering for you!!

  2. Good for you, Chelle!! I have been wearing a bikini at the cottage and dread wearing one at the gym. Good to know that someone else with stretch marks has to do it too. Keep plugging!

  3. Go GIT IT! You are awesome Chelle! I can totally relate to this post.

  4. Hey Chelle,

    You so have this! Sounds corny, but Rock On!!


  5. Chelle, those women looking at you were very likely thinking"Damn I wish I had her discipline" (and body)). keep at it girl. we are all cheering for you!!(And living thru you a little bit,haha)

  6. I get it. Totally understand and I'd be the exact same way as you. Even at my tiniest (pre comp) I still wouldn't wear the spandex shorts because I was too self concious. Let alone a sports bra only! Good for you, I say do it, do it proud, and hold your head high. F anyone who has anything to say about it! =)

  7. P.s. Reading your blog makes me want to try it more & more. I just don't think I'm mentally prepared for it!
    It seems like such a challenge to one's self. But you inspire by laying it all out there for us to read!


  8. I love how encouraging you are for everyone reading this (obviously myself included). I think it's amazing!

    I get that your lack of carbs is a bit crazy-making, and I can see how you would take a comment about competing personally, but the important thing to remember is that the comment doesn't even apply to you.

    I'm sure there really are people out there who compete just to "strut," and to be honest, I don't really understand competing either (no judgment, just a lack of understanding, sort of like I don't get golf). But I do understand that you are on a journey and that your fitness has opened up a new world to you that you're excited and eager to explore. (Not to mention the fact that if a person has worked that hard on their body, they should be able to show it off, and not be condemned for it.)

    I also understand that if a person never pushes themselves or leaves their comfort-zone, they stop growing. And what's that old cliche, if it's not growing, it's dead? Yeah, that sounds about right.

    I'm finding myself with a lot more courage to try things I would never have tried before because I'm finally learning that lesson--and, okay, because my therapist is making me, whatever ;)--and one of the things that helps me realize I can do it is reading, every day, how you're doing it.

    Now, I'm fighting the urge to gush about how proud I am of you so I will take that as my cue to click Post already!

    Love you!

  9. Thank you!!! The support and encouragement you guys give me are amazing and so very appreciated!!! Thank you for "getting" it - you folks are awesome!

  10. Something Similar happened to me about to weeks from getting on stage a friend actually sent me an email saying she couldnt support what I was doing and there would not be coming to the competition. I bawled. I called my parents from my office and my cubicle and I bawled. and you want to know what? Yeah People don't GET competing but the people that do understand the hard work, the dedication the blood sweat and tears - literally that goes into competing. You are a force Chelle! I am so happy to have you in my circle. And as a side note. I was an emotional roller coaster during competition prep which makes everything seem 50 times worse i kid you not.

    Love you tons!

  11. AFineBalance, thank you so much! :-D