As most of you know I’m not a figure/fitness competitor. Although I do admire those who do what it takes to prepare for competition, I’ve never felt the lure of the stage myself. When people ask me if I compete I just tell them I’m allergic to lucite shoes so it’s impossible. If I was going to give a real answer I’d have to say I’m a little shy. I don’t enjoy being in the spotlight and I definitely don’t relish being in the spotlight while being looked up and down by a panel of strangers whose job is to discover what’s wrong with my physique. No thanks! I like to train because it makes me feel good. It keeps stress at bay and helps me move through the challenges of life in a calm way. Muscles are an added bonus. I like the way they look on my frame. I do what I do to please myself and not to meet someone else’s standard of “good, better, best.”
That being said, I know that an upcoming competition can be a motivating factor for gym rats like me. Over the years I’ve offered myself a variety of challenges to keep my interest peaked. I’ve run a couple of 5K’s ( I got a first and a third), I’ve done Zumba, kickboxing, pullup contests (against myself) and squat contests. All of them offered a little extra push to get me going on gym days. Five weeks ago I decided to try leaning out. I wanted to see if I could get very cut without losing too much muscle. That meant I had to approach my cut very judiciously. My body loves skinny and will take any opportunity to drop mass. For four weeks, I relied on heavy cardio (5-6 times a week of hour-long sessions…moderate intensity, no HIIT) and then for the last week I researched and found the following article which I used as a base for my final 5 days.
Now this article was only a guide. I just needed to know the basics and then as I do with most things I modified it to better fit myself. I manipulated my carb intake but on the high carb day at the end, I relied on fruit (as suggested by the article) as part of my first two meals then switched to white rice/potatoes as an accompaniment to my subsequent meals. Over the day I did not consume the rather large amount of carbs they suggested since I’m a 110lb woman and the article was written for much heavier men and I don’t like to create big spikes in my blood sugar…easy and gentle is more my style. I reasoned that the marked difference in the amount of carbs I was eating before that day and on that day was enough. I didn’t use the glycerol or drink soda as the article recommended either. I also avoided the Epsom salt bath. In terms of the water manipulation that week, I did increase my water intake for the first days of the week as the article suggested but I wasn’t drinking anywhere near 3 gallons (again, the article was written for larger men). When it came time to cut off water intake (which was only for a very safe 15 hours…most of those overnight) I allowed myself little sips which was more a psychological boost since I wasn’t a bit thirsty anyway, but again, easy and gentle is my style.
My experiment ended last Friday and I remembered to take some photos on Saturday afternoon (by then, after more than 24 hours of regular eating/drinking I was a little less cut but you could still see reasonable results).
Here I am looking to the right…
Ha! Jus’ a lil joke…
I really did get some results out of my experiment. It was nice to see some new striations and look a little harder for a while. I’m now back to my regular fall routine…..at least until I get bored and start looking for yet another challenge!