I competed twice in 2012. Previous to this, I had been through several weight loss/gain cycles. Years ago I had lost weight by counting calories and doing a lot of cardio, calories in vs calories out right? And it had worked. But then I gained the weight back slowly. Then I repeated. And, same thing again gained it all back and more. I changed my diet and started “clean eating” and found a passion for weight training. I was in fantastic shape, and decided I wanted to compete, but then lost I my job. Everything got out of control and the 8kg I had lost, went straight back on over the course of 3 months, plus an extra 2kg. That 10kg gain shocked me, and I started another low calorie diet along with a high level of weight training and cardio. I lost it within 3-4 months, and competed. At the end of my comp prep I was down to very low calories, walking 3 hours a day AND doing 5 heavy weight sessions a week. I am glad I competed and got a taste for it, but losing the weight that quickly (my own fault for putting it all back on, too many beers!) did not do my metabolism any favours, especially considering my history with weight loss/gain. I had a very all or nothing attitude and I believe this contributed to the excessive weight gain after losing my job.
After competing I had a break from “dieting” and could finally eat something other than chicken, asparagus and egg whites. I ate mainly what I thought were “healthy foods” but found that after about 6 months I had gained weight again. I decided I would drop calories again, and do some extra cardio. It didn’t work. I dropped calories again. Nothing. Even more cardio. No change, and I was even starting to gain weight. Shit.
Fat burners!! I decided that I must need a little extra help, and went off to get some fat burners. Lucky I did. Instead of fat burners, I came out of the supplement shop (Nutrition Warehouse – they’re awesome!) with lean protein, vital greens, multi-vitamins and probably the best advice I have been given in regards to my health and well being. “Google Layne Norton and watch his video blogs” This was after an explanation on what happens after doing low calorie diets over and over again to lose weight. Thanks Elle you’re a legend! And we need to do another crazy leg session again soon!
For anyone wanting information on health, fitness and training seriously look up Layne Norton. His way of explaining things on his video blogs is simply fantastic. (www.biolayne.com)
His credentials are pretty damn good too with a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and a BS in Biochemistry along with pro natural bodybuilder and pro power lifter status (2 current power lifting titles) so you could say the guru of all things health and fitness.
Anyway I began to watch these video blogs, and they made a hell of a lot of sense. I had been through the exact things described (hours of steady state cardio, low calories etc) and from watching these videos straight away I saw the issues with what I had been doing. There was a better way. And it involved pop tarts!!
I emailed Layne to enquire about coaching, but as he was not taking on any new clients he referred me on to a close friend of his, Paul Revelia. Paul is also a pro natural body builder (IFPA and NGA) with over 20 years experience and an excellent reputation in the industry - another guru of all things health and fitness. (www.prophysique.com) I have been working with Paul since September 2013, and since then have gotten my metabolism back on track. I am no longer binging. I no longer get cravings. I am eating MORE than I ever have before (and a tonne of carbs!) I am not limited with the foods I eat. I have gained muscle and dropped body fat (see my dexa scan results in “Calories In vs Calories Out”). I have increased my cardiovascular fitness a ridiculous amount (sprints at 20kmph!) and increased in strength with my weight training. I can comfortably bust out 10 unassisted chin-ups (close grip) and I’m up to 7 for wide grip. Absolutely smashing it! Before, I couldn’t even do one!!
The training part has always been easy for me. I seem to be naturally strong, and also very competitive which helps. Diet is the thing I have struggled with. Since I started using IIFYM last year I have learnt more about how my body works. It has taught me how to eat in moderation, and how to eat for my goals. And having someone as knowledgeable as Paul to help me has guaranteed my success. I have a totally different mindset now towards diet and training and even competing. I compete to show off the hard work I am putting in to my training, and I compete with myself. I am enjoying the training and the journey so much more now that I actually get to have a life, and am not tied to a restrictive diet. I can actually go out and have pizza (and cake – I did that last night!) yet still get the results I want.
I only wish I had known about this sooner!!
At this stage I am on track to compete at the end of 2014 – IFBB Figure. I am keen to share my experiences along the way and what I have learnt so far to help others who have been in the same situations as I have.