Here I sit, 4 months after my Fitness Atlantic debut and 6 weeks after my WBFF NYC prep exit. Currently somewhere around 14 to 17 lbs (depending on the day) up from my stage weight. The heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.
Not only did I screw up my first reverse diet, but I screwed up my second reverse diet. After Fitness Atlantic I ate fun size candy bar after fun size candy bar almost everyday for 4 weeks straight (there was a woman at work with a chocolate drawer – how could I resist??), putting back on 7lbs from my stage weight. I didn’t really think much of it at the time because, after all, I was going back into a prep anyway, wouldn’t I just lose it again?? …. NOPE.
After being so upset that I couldn’t complete this last prep I told myself I would exit it the right way – with the correct reverse diet – so not to screw my body up even more. And guess what – I’m human – and I screwed up again. Not as bad as the first time, but nonetheless, not exactly as I had planned. I’ll be the first to admit, I had some good days.. but I also had some bad days.
In the two weeks following, there were engagement parties, birthday parties, concerts, family dinners – basically everything you could think of to knock me off track and any excuse to not count macros and say “To hell with it! I’m not on prep! Let’s party!” I was blowing it big time and I was feeling it, both mentally and physically. And nothing made that feeling worse than stepping on the scale to see that I again had put on another 7lbs. UGHHHHH It was just two weeks!!! I was good for half of those days!!! That’s like a pound per day that I ate like crap!!! How did I get back to where I started?!? After all this time spent in the gym???? How I lose all the “progress” I had made?!?
(Problem #1: I was measuring my progress based on the scale.)
And down that spiral I went.. I cried to my boyfriend.. I bawled my eyes out to him for nearly two hours.. I called myself awful names.. I became really really insecure.. I made up all these things that I thought people were probably going to say about me.. Afterall, I didn’t want people to look at me and God forbid say “Hey, didn’t she compete? Man she got fat!!” The little, itty bitty, digital, LED number on the scale began to affect my self esteem – BIG TIME.
(Problem #2: I let my weight dictate my self-esteem.)
Forget the fact that I still looked pretty good and had the best body I have ever had in my entire life. Forget the fact I was no longer “skinny fat.” Forget the fact you have to “eat to grow” and can’t put on muscle in a caloric deficit. Forget the fact that a “stage weight” is not a livable weight. Forget the fact that maybe, just maybe, I had actually put on some more muscle because I was still comparing myself to a number from years ago. Forget the fact that I was still the healthiest I have ever been – regardless. Forget how strong I was getting – setting PRs every other week. Forget the fact that my muscles were growing inch over inch since I first started going to the gym (11-inch flexed biceps to be exact – #HumbleBrag – I’m looking at you Steve Weatherford!). I immediately fixated on the fact that my *WEIGHT* was back to a number I had seen before I started going to the gym. Forget about the muscle, forget about the fat, forget about my body composition, and how i actually *LOOKED* in the mirror. THAT STUPID LITTLE NUMBER!!! WHAT THE HELL!!! IT’S HUGE!!!! WHO AM I?!?!
I immediately wanted to plunge myself into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and all the Hershey bars in sight. “Well what’s the difference now.. The damage is done.” But I didn’t. And after a talk with my coach I got right back on the horse again – on a Wednesday no less? Who would have thought?? I guess not all ‘diets’ have to start on Monday morning??
.. I ate well on Wednesday and well on Thursday. And I continued to eat well every day after that.
..I’ve been on my macros ever since and I’ve even become an IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) wizard fitting in treats here and there so I don’t drive myself crazy.
Has the scale gone back down? No… Not really. At least I don’t think so.. Like I said, I haven’t really checked in a while. But based on how I look – probably not. Am I a happy, healthy person? Without a doubt – Yes. Do I still walk into the gym every day and accomplish everything I set out to do? Oh Yeah! Do I go out with friends and enjoy a drink or two (or three)? Of Course! Do I have the occasional little yummy treat (without guilt)? You betcha! Am I still stronger than I ever was before? Ab-so-effing-lutely! Does that number I see when I look down at the scale affect my life, my confidence, and my self-esteem? Not anymore!
That stupid little number on the scale does not determine my health and fitness and frankly I don’t even care to know what it is anymore. Not because I’m in denial, but because it is not who I am. And let’s be honest, no one else knows that number EXCEPT me – so why should I let it affect how I feel around other people who DON’T know it (and if they did – they definitely wouldn’t even care!). That number does not determine my strength nor does it determine my self worth or the progress I’m making in my life – both in and out of the gym. I’m friggin’ happy! My life is balanced! I’m setting goals and I’m reaching (dare I say even exceeding?) them! So screw that scale!!!
… That scale is now moving safely into my closet.