Well, it’s been a minute, hasn’t it? Suffice to say, I’ve been completely swamped lately with work, personal life engagements and of course, prep life.
But it’s high time I gave you guys another entry to sink your teeth into and now we’ve traveled forwards to a mere two weeks out from my competition, so let’s dissect what’s been happening in the run-up to the present day.
I’ll begin with this photo;
This depicts me in the best shape of my life (at that point) and in a condition that I dreamt about for years.
Fast forward a few weeks to the current week and we have this;
Again, further improvement. The simple fact is this; I’ve pushed my body further than it’s ever gone before and the results are incredible. Transformation has been steady, slow and at times, rough. Diet, training and sleep are all variables that get affected by prep and it’s been a roller coaster at times, with temptation at every turn.
There have been times, especially recently, where I’ve faltered and almost completely caved in. Eyeing up packets of biscuits, knowing full well I could demolish them in a second. Being one click away from an enormous order from a Chinese takeaway, or simply buying a few “share” packets of Doritos and ploughing through them. It’s taken huge amounts of willpower to pull myself away. There have been times where I’ve been in the kitchen staring at my oats and thinking “I don’t want this.”
But then reality kicks in and I realise, I do want this. I do want to present myself in the best possible way on stage, with a body and presence that I can look back on in years to come and feel proud of my achievements. It’s a constant battle to keep myself on the right track however and there have been more difficult days than not. But it’s dawned on me, particularly recently, that it’s not you against the world.
For those competing, we are all in the same position. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by competitors who have been there and done this before and friends that are also joining me on stage in a few short weeks. It’s here where you can lean on people and simply get things off your chest. The carrot dangling is not simply the day and the possibility of placing, but the aftermath; celebrating the hard work with a glorious cheat meal and a bit of a blow out! That’s what keeps me going for now.
There are plenty of people who don’t fully grasp what it’s like to push yourself in this way and can become irritated at your lack of responses, or mood, or simply not being yourself. So to put things simply, what is happening right now is that I am expending the maximum amount of energy with a minimum amount of intake. My calories are as low as they’ve been and yet my work (inside and out of the gym) is beyond anything I’ve done before.
I’m training 5 or 6 times a week, with cardio. I’m working full time and trying to juggle other priorities in my life and stay current with friends and the like. Put simply, it’s hard. I’m constantly fatigued, yet there’s no giving up. There’s no chance of taking a breather for more than a day or two, because otherwise, for me, it’s easy to step off the gas and throw the towel in. Not everyone will be like this, but I personally need to stay in the right frame of mind in order to maximise my results. If I take my eye off the ball for a moment, I’ll be in trouble. It’ll be all too easy for me to stay in bed and miss the 5:30am training session, skip the cardio and stick on some trash TV.
It’s my dream to place in at least one of my categories, but lately, I’ve taken stock and realised that no matter what happens, I’ll be damn proud of myself and it’s been one hell of a journey. More importantly for me, I can say that I achieved what I set out to; from a declaration in 2016 that competing in 2018 was my goal, to actually following through with it and making it happen with a plan of action. It proves that if you set your mind to a task, you can and you will, make a stride forward.
Now it’s time to knuckle down and make these last few days count. Work isn’t over.