I am writing today’s blog post more from recent personal experiences and fights I have been facing physically, psychologically, and mentally. As most of my patients, friends, family, and loved ones know; I recently competed in another bikini bodybuilding contest the weekend of April 16, 2016. I have spent years in the fitness and bodybuilding world; however, it had been almost 2 years since I had stepped on stage in my mini bikini prior to April 16. I LOVE FITNESS. I LOVE HEALTH. Consequently, bodybuilding always came natural to me since I have always been an athlete. So why did I stop competing for a while? Well, many of you know, I am in my first year of being the sole practitioner and owner at Optimal Chiropractic. Therefore; having and establishing my business has taken full priority in my life and tends to draw away from any focus I once had on getting that “perfect, stage ready body”. However, being almost 8 months in to the life of a business owner, I realized I was carrying a little more flab than what I used to. Not just a little bit more. In just 5-6 months time I had gained almost 20 pounds (most of it being fat) and was losing strength on my lifting which was full force proof that the muscle I worked years to acquire was being reduced to fatty deposits all over my body. While I was blind to these changes, A SCALE DOES NOT LIE! Therefore, I took it upon myself to compete again for the simple fact that I needed some structure & consistency to help me drop the weight. Believe me when I say that if you KNOW you are going to have to fit in a tiny bikini by a certain date, you will be sure to stick to your diet and training regimen!
I gave myself 7 extremely strict weeks to prep for the April 16 contest. For any fellow bodybuilders out there, you know that a 7 week prep is really short, and while that may have worked for me in the past since I used to walk around extremely lean and almost stage ready all the time, this was not the case for my current shape! So let’s just say this 7 week prep was THE MOST DIFFICULT PREP I have ever done, and my body suffered.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a workhorse when it comes to training. I make a priority to out-work anyone and everyone. I will train multiple times a day with high intensity, volume, and weight lifting and leave in a puddle of sweat each time. I am also a cardio queen. I love to run. I love to run distance. I love to run sprints. I love to do treadmill HIITs (high intensity interval training). Running is my bread and butter when it comes to leaning out and dropping body fat for contest.
So I started this prep on a ketogenic type diet (I will discuss this diet and reasoning in later blogs), knowing I had a lot more body fat to lose than normal. I also decided I was going to do morning fasted cardio 5 days a week as well as HIIT/Treadmill Sprints 3x/week; all on top of lifting heavy to build that muscle I had lost over the last few months. Sounds like a clear cut plan, right? WRONG!! Just two weeks in my prep I felt a dull aching pain in my right foot while running. I obviously ignored it. I have worked through pain many of times. That whole week I had the same pain in the heel of my foot, only when running, lifting heavy, or if my ankle shifted side to side. I remember the night that the pain took a turn for the worse. While running treadmill sprints, I cranked the treadmill up at a 12 speed and 30 seconds in I felt the aching, annoying pain crack in to a sharp knife-like pain freezing up my entire foot. I immediately jumped off the treadmill, gave my foot a minute to recover before trying to jump back on at full speed again. This time 5 seconds in, I could hardly hold myself up. No matter how positive I wanted to be saying to myself “tomorrow I am going to wake up with no pain and I will be able to run again.”, I knew it was fractured. I remember the sinking feeling. “How am I possibly going to lean out for this contest in 4 weeks without my strength and weapons? How am I going to heal this fracture when I am on such low caloric intake?”
I want to help people understand. Life is hard. It’s stressful every day. You have to be rational and logical when making goals. While contest prep may have been easier on my body before when in school, that is just not the case anymore. Truth is, I am no longer allowed to throw on sweat pants and rush to class for a couple hours a day, then have the rest of the day to spend countless (4-5 hours) at the gym or food prep or sleep! I have responsibilities now. I spend on average 12 hours a day running my office, working, and looking over 6 employees. They depend on me to be healthy and to be here daily. They depend on me being physically capable to do my job as a chiropractor well, but also mentally tough as a leader and a boss. It never ends as a business owner. If you aren’t working directly with patients, you are working with insurance companies, payments, technical issues, marketing, networking, or community events. And believe me, things always go wrong right when you don’t want them to. So going in to this contest prep thinking it was going to go just like the rest, was not logical thinking whatsoever. It was different. I was up at 4:30 am doing my morning cardio (walking slowly on the stepmill or elliptical—which I absolutely hate both, but they didn’t aggravate my foot so I was forced to do them), working 8 am-6 pm, then back to the gym to lift at 7 or 8 pm. All while injured and exhausted. It was different, but I pushed through all these set backs and made it on stage April 16. I looked different too. I wasn’t the super ripped chick I used to be on stage, and that was okay because I definitely conquered so many other battles along the way. Truth is, you have to keep your health as the first and foremost priority in life. I didn’t do that. I thought I was invincible, because in my mind I always have been invincible. I thought there was no pain that I couldn’t fight through. If your body is hurting, there is probably a reason why. First you have to accept the issue and pain, and then formulate ways to work around it and heal it. Everyone could use some help (even the doctor). I was getting electric stimulation, Kinesiotaping, nutritional supplementation specific to bone healing, and general chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation, It got me to the finish line, and guess what?! I WON MY CONTEST! Come get it checked before it gets worse. Call our office today at 219-661-8680 at our Crown Point location.
P.S. I am so happy to say that today marks the first day that I was able to run/jog without the bursting in half/breaking pain in my foot. Sure it was A LOT slower than I used to do, but it doesn’t change the fact that I did it and I am healing. Blessed for sure!