A Lesson in Self Discipline
Before each training session I take a photo of my weight on the scale and send it to my trainer, Robin Johnson Jr. This is something we started last year when I first started training with him and was focused on losing the weight I had gained back after my mom was diagnosed with cancer.
Soon after that I sent in an application to compete in the Arnold Amateur, which is the biggest international bodybuilding competition next to The Olympia. By some miracle, they accepted me, even though I had only ever come in dead last in my previous competitions. (Some women are 25 and have award winning physiques; I was 41 and could write a good cover letter. Sometimes it all works out.) Anyway, I went from dead last to 20th out of 38, then won 3rd at The Shredder, 3rd at Fitness Universe and 2nd at Poseidon last month. Now I’m training for Texas State Naturals and fighting for that elusive first place.
When you’re doing a bodybuilding competition your weight is more important than during off season, so I’ve consistently sent him my numbers every few days. Based on that my meal plan gets easier or harder. His mantra is, “When you don’t cheat, you get more to eat.”
After Poseidon boy did I get to eat! Carbs, carbs and more carbs still.
Each week Robin gives me my target weight and my macros (percentage of proteins, carbs and fats) and gives me cart blanche to select my own foods, which coincidentally is just enough freedom to hang myself if I make poor food choices.
Well guess who didn’t make her target this morning?
In my defense: My husband totally sabotaged me. He bought chips, fig newton’s, tortillas, (which I did NOT eat) and old fashioned popcorn the other night (which I DID eat.) Plus my son, the Cub Scout, is selling popcorn as a fundraiser so I’m surrounded by this all day long.
Of course I took my weight first thing in the morning. (Everyone knows you have to take your weight first thing in the morning when you’re the lightest, after you go to the bathroom, and you must get completely naked to stand on the scale because clothing adds what, like 17 lbs. right?)
In an attempt to get rid of the sabotage popcorn my husband made, I ate three Quest Bars over the weekend because each bar has 17 g of fiber, and that would get rid of the intestinal evidence. Only I still hadn’t gone yet and I thought I was meeting Robin on Tuesday, but no, the schedule moved up to Monday, and it was time to stand on the scale and, oh crap. Figuratively. Literally. #ShesFullofIt. I hit the send button on my phone with the picture that would undoubtedly cause me problems. Ugh.
5 a.m. Conquer Fitness
I’d already been up since 3 a.m. Send the pic, did my cardio, ate meal 1, drove to the gym and completed my 730 squats as a warm up when Robin walked in.
“So I see you’re eating like you want to be 2nd place again.”
Oh God, here it comes. “Yeah, I know.”
“Three Quest Bars? That’s too much sugar and too many carbs. You know that.”
“I know. But it also has fiber…to get rid of the popcorn.”
“Yeah, I saw the pictures on your blog. You need to eat vegetables not protein bars right now. And what about water? Are you drinking your gallon and a half of water? Plain? Without flavoring?”
He’s set up secret cameras in my kitchen. “No…” I answered meekly.
“This is all about diet now, hon. I’m sorry to have to come down like a hammer, but if you want to win you can’t eat like that.”
“Your pancakes are gone. Just green vegetables for carbs until Thursday and you better make your weight otherwise we’re going to have a cardio workout on Friday.”
“I don’t want that.”
“No, you don’t.”
“I’ll make my weight.”
“Yes, you will.”
The workout that followed was a normal one, strenuous and heavy, but not punishing. I felt really good doing the hexbar deadlift. I got a personal record: 155 lbs! So I left feeling pretty good and determined to stick to my meal plan.
Then I headed back to Conquer Fitness. Why? Because I’m a trainer there now! I really love being a trainer, especially when my clients see results. I think they appreciate the fact that I’m training just as hard as they are.
9 a.m. Conquer Fitness
Robin is finishing up with his client and I put the box of Cub Scout popcorn that he ordered from my son on the front desk. My client arrives and she goes on the treadmill to warm up, while I stand next to her and chitchat.
Then, collectively, all heads in the gym turned towards the unmistakable aroma of…microwave popcorn.
“YOU’RE EATING POPCORN AT THE GYM? YOU’RE AN A**HOLE!” I shouted as everyone else around me, including my client, laughed in agreement.
Robin had a smug grin on his face as he chomped away. “But I’m supporting your son, the Cub Scouts, and getting my carbohydrates in. Does this bother you? Ohhhh, that’s right, you’re two weeks out from your competition. You can’t have popcorn. Or carbs. I’m giving you a lesson in self-discipline.”
I gave him the finger.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.
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