Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Bad" food?

I've had quite a few WTF? moments over recent months, when I've posted a recipe and have received a comment along the lines of: Yum! I'm definitely trying that after my comp. So I go back and look at the recipe and puzzle over which of the ingredients could possibly be considered "bad" for someone in the middle of prepping for a show.

And of course, there isn't anything bad there at all - after all I'm eating it, and I'm prepping for a show. Er.... Something isn't adding up here.

It seems that a lot of people consider the following foods as not being kosher in the bodybuilding world:

Whole eggs
Bread of any kind
Butter or oil
....and the list goes on.

One reason that I shied away from competing last year was that every bodybuilding coach or trainer I knew anything about seemed to prescribe punishing "diets". It appeared to me that there was no other way, and knowing that I've had a tendency in the past to binge, I was really reluctant to subject myself to ridiculous restrictions. Especially after having already done it pretty hard for 16 weeks in 2006, in my quest to improve my physique - and I wasn't even competing back then!

Then I had the good luck to "meet" Miss Lizzy. I read her blog and forum posts, we exchanged a few emails, spoke on the phone once or twice and I began to hope that it was possible to actually eat like a sane person and still achieve my goal of standing on stage in a teeny-weeny bikini.

Looking back, it really was a case of doubting what I already knew to be a proven method. I'd allowed myself to be influenced by what "most people" said, and overlooked the evidence of my own experience with Body-for-LIFE - which advocates the good old 40/40/20 macronutrient split. For Pete's sake! I transformed myself from flabulous to fabulous using that method! It was only when I began to mess with it that I had difficulties. D'oh!

So, I did what my head and heart told me was right and put myself in Liz's capable hands. And I've loved my nutrition plan - it gives me heaps of flexibility, it's something that I can follow forever and ever, Amen, AND I get to have raisin toast, juicy dates, potatoes, and even the odd caramel slice. Plus I can eat out without having a meltdown over what I'll order.

You know the best thing? I've barely even given a thought to how I'll cope after the comp. Because I don't expect to eat any differently to the way I'm eating now, except for increasing my calories over a period of weeks. I'm not fantasising about giant pizza pig-outs, or scoffing my own weight in cheesecake, or swimming in chocolate (well, OK, maybe that last one....but that's always been my fantasy! LOL). I look forward to my meals right now. Every. Single. Day.

I think where many people go wrong in the long term is that they know intellectually that they need to embrace a healthy eating plan FOR LIFE, but they don't actually accept it deep down. Every day is a constant struggle for them between what they think they should eat and what they want to eat. Lucky for me, those two things are identical most of the time. And when I want something that's not going to win the prize for world's healthiest food? I just eat it in moderation, enjoy it and then move on.

I'm sure I'll have a post-comp celebration, but then it will be back to my usual meals, like: Eggs with smoked trout and toast, linguine marinara, Arabic lamb salad, chicken curries, pancakes, sticky date muffins and so on. Most likely with some chocolate and wine thrown in once a week or so. We'll see; I may be completely wrong about this (I doubt it), but I'm having NO freakouts at all about nutrition. I have more important things to worry about right now - like learning my routine (Gah! Stupid, stupid un-co brain!).


Here's what I call a sane meal plan, 3-and-a-bit weeks out. This is today's lot:

Brekky: Porridge with banana, vanilla whey, yoghurt, honey
Snack: Buckwheat pancake stack
Lunch: Omelette with mushrooms, capsicum, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta
Snack: Cheesecake with strawberries (new recipe, go check it out!)
Dinner: Chicken sagwaala, basmati rice
Snack: Fruit salad of banana, grapes and passionfruit

1449 Calories, made up of unprocessed, wholesome ingredients, minimal sugar or artificial stuff, lots of veggies and fruit and enough starch that I won't morph into my psycho alter-ego, Mrs Bitchy-Pants or her twin, Mrs Can't Cope With Anything.


Charlotte Orr said...

Great post Kek.

Pip said...

Yummo Kek!

Those types of choices sure sound sustainable and yum!

You have the required 'balance' for you, - going great guns!

I honestly believe I will do the same this time for good, - the control thingie!

Awesome job!


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