Tuesday, July 26th…and the dial-in is done! Two shows in the bag, and I’m taking this week to relax, get my metabolism and carb efficiency back up, and get a handle on my new training program that will take me into the WBFF Worlds August 27th. That final week in Pune before my SAF show was a little bit hectic, and I was at about 40% with my competition diet, and unable to continue with my pre-show diet, but I ended up bringing a pretty solid physique to the stage at the SAF show, and I learned that my body was pretty resilient! Even the 24-hours of travel didn’t snow-plow me under. I really think that my training program and carb-cycling, (and lack of cardio) kept my metabolism in top order, and my hormones on the level, so that I was able to adjust to the stress and the change in routine without any wild swings in metabolism. I ended up winning that show, and went on to win the IDFA Pro Fitness Model Championships the following weekend. I wish I had done a better job documenting these last two weeks, but I will more than make up for it in the weeks leading up to the WBFF show, so stay tuned. I will be blogging every day peeps! xoxo
Tuesday, July 12th…well, here I am stuck in Pune, dealing with the red-tape necessary to leave India. Apparently the company I work for failed to fill out some forms, so I was denied permission to leave at the airport last Friday, and now, 4 days later, I’m still unable to leave, but hopefully today will be more promising. I am currently in the mountains, in Pune. The only thing available for me to do for exercise is Bikram yoga, and the studio is cold, so I can’t work up a sweat, which makes flushing water very difficult. It’s also my cycle, which means I am also holding water. And the flight on Thursday, (if I make it!) will also cause heaps of water retention. I talked it over with my coach, Jean-Jacques, and we are still going to do the SAF show, even though things are stacked against me, but at least I can have fun backstage with everybody and get some valuable stage time under my belt for the season…It’s been very hard to deal with food the past few days. I’m staying at another condo here in Pune, and don’t have any groceries, but luckily one of the girls here, Shirlyn Tan, has offered me her eggs and ghee, so I’m going to stick to a salt free egg-ghee diet today and drink 4 liters of water and try to control my coffee habit…the point right now is to water load to stimulate my body to flush-flush-flush. I’ll head to the natural grocers as well and see if I can find some tumeric pills and dandelion tea. I’ll be taking loads of pictures as I think this is going to be a valuable learning experience for all of us!
Saturday, July 9th… Well, I was supposed to have spent the last 17 hours flying from Mumbai to Toronto, but because of a missing document, I wasn’t able to leave the country! Egads! They are tougher here in India than in the U.S. if you can believe it. So here I am back in the city, cooking up a new chick pea dish, writing an article on Ghee for a magazine, and plotting my meal strategy for the next week…Only 7 sleeps left and one loooong plane ride home before I step on stage, and I honestly can’t wait! I’m excited to see how the diet finishes, I’m excited to see the new bikini Berns made for me, and I can’t wait to work with the amazing Lori Fabrizio. I’ve never had a stylist backstage before, and I’m hoping to learn some tips from her. She’s part of the Buceta team, along with Valeria Nova….Ex-C-I-TeD!!! I’m also really looking forward to seeing some familiar faces at the SAF show. I’ve been following along as many of the girls as I can on facebook, and it should be a lot of fun backstage. For most of the girls this will be their first show and I will always remember how cool some of the pros like Marissa Mitton, Laurie Dickson and Meni Moskowski were in my first show, the IDFA July Championships last year. Laurie even lent her shoes to another girl who was in dire need. How sweet is that?
So, I took my photos as per usual for JJ, and everything seems to still be on track. I did my carb load a day early because of the flight, and went out for a consolation burger, (no bun, no fries) at Cafe Indigo late last night. It’s a monsoon in Mumbai lately and we had to paddle up to the cafe, seriously…argh! I woke up feeling a little bloated, but I was still really vascular, so who knows what that is about, but after class it was gone. I had an amazing yoga session in any event. Every day on this diet I just keep getting increasingly flexible, stronger and less sore. It obviously is the way I am wired to eat…too bad I like salt and vegetables so much! I’ll post more pictures before I board the plane on Tuesday, and again when I land before taking a back-to-back yoga class, and then after class, just to show you how powerful Bikram yoga is as a tool for conditioning. Night!!!
Tuesday, July 5th…Only 12 days left til I step on stage!!!!! So excited, and still going strong on my dial-in…it is truly amazing me how I can continue to see clear results on almost a daily basis while eating so much saturated fat and meat. I’m also being fairly flexible with my meal plans. Though I contiue to write out the first 3 and 4 meals of the day ahead of time, and usually hit the mark every day, I am still able to have a morning Ferraro Chocolate with my coffee, and the odd little cookie with my afternoon espresso at the gym. I’ve been craving watermelon and jackfruit as well with my daily roast Tandoori chicken…and since I seem to be able to handle it, and progress, I’ve been having maybe a cup of watermelon and a cup of jackfruit a day, plus 2 oe 3 coconut waters…I am still on a low carb diet though, don’t get me wrong. I am craving only meat and fat right now, and have to schedule in a “power salad” mid-day to make sure I’m consuming at least some vegetables. Starting today I’m taking photo logs of my diet so you can follow along…
Friday, July 1st…Wow, almost finished week 3, and the first week of my new program, (only one shoulder/core/quad and one back/hamstring/calves workout left). I had a bout of insomnia on Wednesday, which was the end of 5 straight days of low-calorie-density-carbs, (LCDCs), and last night I had an emergency call to my trainer, that my butt was disappearing, with 3 weeks left to go! We’re put in 3 high carb meals today, to see how my body would react, and I took more photos for him to look at. Otherwise, everything is still going great. My face is staying full, my chest and upper body are still holding, but my legs and abs and lower back are dialing in nicely. This has never happened before. Usually my arms and shoulders get lean early on and my legs are sluggish. I’m pretty excited! Just as long as I don’t lose to much in my glutes. I asked him if I should add more glute work into my program to stimulate my body to hold on to them, but he advised me that already have plenty of glute work in the program, and also in my everyday warm-up, but we’ll look at the photos over the next week and go from there. When in doubt, refer to your trainer….that’s why we hire them! Never trust your own judgement when you’re dieting! 😉
What did I eat? I had one ferraro chocolate with my morning coffee, I added a slice of rye toast to my pre-yoga fried eggs, (2 whole eggs), I had a Purifier (celery juice, fresh pineapple, honey, ginger, yogurt) and 2 tiny ginger cookies before advanced class, and I had a whole wheat roti with my chicken tikka, (basically grilled kabobs).
I also have to say that I had one of the best advanced classes ever today. I was practicing on my own, and my lower back really opened up: guillotene, full-tortoise series, these really came out for me, and full cobra series as well. And I had the best full spine twist and leg-breaking pose ever in my life. Joints and fascia doing well on this dial-in, yippee!!! Staying in shape for yoga is just as important to me as conditioning for fitness model competition. Whole body health…!
Sunday, June 26th…
Week two has flown by, and not only am I deeper into this dial-in, but I’m also closer to leaving my new home in India, Mumbai,which makes me more than a little bit sad. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, and wish I could have had a couple more months to explore, but SAF and IDFA are happening now, so I have to leave. The irony is that now that I’m in the final stages of my dial-in, and really restricting my meals outside of the plan, all my students are wanting to take me out to eat!!! What to do??? I will have to figure out a strategy, because missing out on the culture of India and time with these special people just isn’t an option for me. This will be a tremendous exercise of self-control, that is for sure!!
I woke up this morning starving as usual. I am now having a 3 egg omelette for breakfast instead of 2 eggs, since 3 days ago. I now have 2 only protein meals out of my 6 meals. I am auto-regulating my diet, going with my intuition, and this just feels right to me. Usually meal 1 and meal 3 I will have about 3 – 5 oz protein with a small bit of fat like ghee or pesto. I am keeping my portions of entire meals under 2 cups. Again, this is just a natural inclination, I’ve noticed that I am wanting to eat less and less, and have to monitor that. I always feel like I could eat more, like I’m still a bit hungry, after every meal except for the carb-ups. Bishnu Ghosh always said, only eat until you’re 3/4 full!! The beauty of the 2 cup tupper-wear containers is that you can easily eye-ball your portion sizes. You have to eat enough to keep you metabolism high and get the fat loss you are striving for. Undereating is a bad idea. You will kill your metabolism, your workouts will suffer, your moods will suffer, and you risk looking guant and stringy up on stage instead of healthy and ‘full’. Note to self: keep eating!!!
This was also my last week on this training protocol. I just received my new program this morning, and can’t wait to dig into it. The last two programs we’ve really been nailing my trapezius, terrus, and hamstrings, and I have been happily surprised to see my legs coming in before my shoulders!!! This has never, ever happened before, and all doing no cardio, just a daily Bikram class on top of my weights. My femoral vein has been showing for the last several days, and my VMO/VL have been popping out as well. I posted my leg workout on facebook, but I will repost here. In the case of hamstring, volume works guys!
Only 3 weeks left…my new 5″ shoes from Fitness Pro have arrived in the mail, my PassionFruit bikini is on the way, and Joan MacDonald, (not my mother!) of DayDreamsFitnessWear is working hard on m theme-wear costume…Let’s get this fresh week DONE!
Sunday, June 19th…The first week is out of the way, and I’m excited for the rest of the dial-in. The hardest part was the first day, breaking my habit of reaching for a latte between meals when I started to feel hungry. The previous week, (June 5 – 11) I had already begun controlling my meals, the portions and timing, more than previously, so I took that habit, subtracted the milk, and just continued to tighten up on miscellaneous snacking in general, and the results were pretty good. My legs actually improved faster than my abs and shoulders, which is a first for me, and I’m happy about this change as I’ve already been told by a judge to make sure my shoulders/upper back don’t come in too hard. Talking it over with my trainer, Jean-Jacques, we think it is probably due to the high volume work load on my legs the past two months, and we’re going to continue with a similar protocol leading up to my show date. This coming week, I’ll be taking out yogurt, limiting paneer to my very-low carb days, (I cycle in higher protein and fat on these days), and limiting beans to my high carb days. I’m also cutting back on added fat in general, (oils and ghee) and becoming more conscious of cuts of meat, fish, yolks, nuts and paneer…I’m really hoping to continue cutting the legs without getting to lean and vascular up front, and to keep my energy levels high and sleep cycle steady. The next 6 days will tell!
Sunday, June 12th…
As many of you know, I’ve been given a leave of absence by Bikram Yoga here in Mumbai to go back to Canada to compete in a few shows this summer. I did my first fitness model competition last year at the IDFA International Championships as a Novice, and one my class, and went on in October of last year to win my pro card. So this July 23rd I am heading back to Toronto to compete as a Pro, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I’m getting. Don’t get me wrong, I love to stay fit and eat well as a way of life, but having these big events on the horizon, chatting with the other athletes who are also preparing, checking in with team-mates in other shows, well, it’s all pretty fun when you’re spending a lot of time in the gym and in the yoga studio. I don’t think I would have pushed myself so hard, and for so long, especially nutritionally, if I didn’t have these benchmarks to train for. Healthy competition is good for us. It puts some spark into our schedules, it takes us waaaay out of our comfort zone, (getting judged by a panel up there under the hot lights in a tiny bikini and high heels, yikes!) and gives you a chance to measure yourself against others so that you can keep improving your game and share in building your community.