Week one was tough. I got all the workouts done, and actually Monday through Wednesday were great. I even lost a pound in those 3 days, and hidden ab muscles were beginning to make a reappearance.
The hard part is that I am planning my food a little differently this year since I don't have to be at an "office" for eight to nine hours a day, so it's not necessary to pack my food for the day. I can prepare it with a little more flexibility and creativity. However, as a result, I haven't gotten into a groove for when to eat my food, when to have a snack versus a regular meal. I'm basically all over the place as a mom who works from home now scheduling my day around the kids and the hubby.
That's where having a set routine, where you do work and have to be somewhere from a certain time to a certain time helps if you are meal prepping or trying to stay on an eating schedule. It gives you that routine and stability of knowing where you are going to be at some hour of the day. Even if you travel in a car for your workday, at least you know where you will be and how to plan your food.
My calories are down to 1883 for a few days a week and 1663 for the rest of the time. So I have been logging my food meticulously and looking at the grams of protein, carbs, and fats that I am eating.
My biggest challenge has actually been getting all my protein in and sometimes the carbs, too. What happens is by 8:30 or 9 I am still supposed to eat more, but I just can't handle eating anymore chicken, beef or fish! I haven't wanted a protein shake, either. I am going to have to change my routine somehow. I bought some bone broth recently. Maybe I'll have to force myself to drink my protein in a broth that's not so heavy for late in the evening. I need to try a few recipes with it. I might just add some lo carb toast to it or add the broth to another dish. One cup has 50 calories and 10 grams of protein. (<-insert creativity here)
So where am I starting in this competition prep process ? I managed to keep my body fat between 12-15% during marathon training, but in the last 4 weeks of training and in the 2 weeks post-marathon, I popped up to 19% body fat. Not good. But that's what's been happening during the longest portions of my endurance training. (That's why I got into bodybuilding!) I think my body goes into "reserve" mode or "safety" mode and starts hoarding calories because it thinks I'm going to die running all those miles! Lol But, seriously, I think that's what's happening. It's like a self preservation mechanism. But the good news is I didn't get up to 23% body fat which is what happened last year. And I attribute that to following a macros plan all year.
One documented theory for why this happens to endurance athletes is explained in an article by Gale Bernhardt, an Olympic triathlete and cycling coach, on TrainingPeaks.com, According to the piece, nearly 25% of American adults have Metabolic Syndrome, a disorder that "causes calories to be stored instead of burned. If you have Metabolic Syndrome you’re not good at using calories from sugar for energy....You can’t get sugar into the muscle. Sugar gets moved to the liver and converted to stored fat." So how the body uses sugar, or carbs, is affected. Your body is processing the carbs you eat for energy and instead is just hoarding them on your body. You can read more about this here www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/metabolic-syndrome-gaining-weight-during-endurance-sports-training/
But now for the positives of the week! I recently discovered a new breakfast item/snack I love thanks to my coach! Mashed sweet potatoes and a scoop of any favorite protein powder. I like to add fruit on top! I keep the sweet potatoes to 100-120 grams. So it comes out to about 270-280 calories per serving and at least 20 grams of that is protein. Win!!
Seventeen more weeks to get this new round of prep done right! The Texas Shredder is September 8th! Not letting one set back knock me off track. Just gotta focus on starting the week fresh and doing the best I can. That's what I hope my Get Lean Challengers take from this, too! One bad day or week isn't the end of the world.