Now that's a title huh? PCS and a Show....That's what I just experienced....moving a family of 5 with 4 pets from Okinawa Japan to Camp Pendleton (Southern California). An experience that was the hardest training session ever! Talk about really pushing my own determination and discipline to the limit.
Rewind to late February/early March...I am training and prepping for the Kadena Pacific Muscle Classic - the same show I competed in for the very first time last year. We are slated to stay in Okinawa for an additional 3 years and so I am focused on the show, attaining my personal trainers certificate and nutrition coach license....Andy calls me from Thailand and tells me that our IPCOT (In-Place Consecutive Overseas Tour) may not happen after all - we may just be extended for a year instead. OK that's still doable, we can still make it work and it still works with the kids for school. Andy returns from the exercise and when he goes to work two days later, Orders are in the system for us to move back to Camp Pendleton. What? Why? What happened? Turns out that he is needed back in Cali to fill a spot - he's the only one for the job. OK, breathe and get used to it. I had already been looking at the show in Sand Diego to compete at when we were travelling this summer (as part of the IPCOT you receive a trip 'home' as a bonus to staying the additional time) I can still do this right? So, I continue to train and start making preparations to move. For any of you in the military you know how 'easy' it is to move! NOT! Thankfully for us though, the military schools have in place a program that allows you to pull your children out early but be considered complete for the year (really beneficial when you have a high schooler!)
So, diet, exercise, move, pack up the house, prepare paperwork, sell cars, prep the kids for life in America again, find a house, set up utilities, the list keeps getting better and stress is building....NOT a good thing for a figure competitor! Stress does a number on your body, your mind and your emotions - we all know that. But, I don't have a choice in the matter. I must push through, it is in a way keeping me grounded too...having a goal still to attain and not let the pressure break me. Yea, easier said than done!
I have a great support system though, my friends are there beside me Stacy does not miss one gym session with me and she (and Janet and Ricky) even get up with me early Saturday morning that we are scheduled to leave and get in my last abs and cardio work out that will be done in Oki! Great friends and support indeed! But, I have to admit I was a little lax on my diet - I mean, I was only going to be able to get certain foods for a limited time....but, I didn't get out of control and my indulgences were only after I ensured that I was rock solid the rest of the week on diet and exercise. I worked the cheats in! Only once did I lose it and over indulge, but I added some extra cardio in and while I left the island not really where I should have been 3 weeks before a show, I wasn't in a horrible spot either.
OK, now for the flight, can't eat the food on the plane and what am I going to do when I get to the States? Food Prep!! You all know I am a champ at food prep ;) So I made up 5 meals of fish to take on the plane...again Stacy was a life saver for me, allowing me to stink up her house as I cooked my fish to leave in her freezer to have for the trip. Cooler, almonds to snack and a small package of Godiva Dark Chocolate Gems courtesy of my trainer and dear friend Shelly and I am set for the flight. I eat my breakfast and one meal before we get on the plane and then I pulled out the meals as needed for the trip, being as I had froze them prior I did not need to worry about ice or ice packs that would not clear security. I was able to get my food to last all the way through to San Francisco where I had to throw away my last meal at customs because you are not allowed to bring food in....we also had to throw away the food we had brought the pets on their carriers as well.
San Francisco airport, we have a bit of a layover and everyone is excited to be back in the Good 'Ol USA...they of course celebrate with hamburgers, french fries and milk shakes...a splurge for them as well...but I cannot eat that, I am three weeks from a show! So, I find a salad and grilled chicken, and cheat with the low fat dressing that they have :) We get into San Diego, get our rental and drive out to Fallbrook to our new home. Again I have to thank dear friends for helping me out! Stacie in Ca not only found us the house but set us up with some groceries...and had me chicken waiting :)
So, now to find a gym, get my food prepped and not break down to the convenience of fast food that is surrounding me! Empty house, culture shock, jet lag....again no need to feel any stress! UGH. I go look at the gym that is literally two blocks from my house and I don't like it....I go to the gym on main side (Camp Pendleton) and I don't like it...I go to the gym closer to the hospital and I like it a little better but still IT'S NOT MY GYM!! I am not happy but I can't lose focus, I am too close and I have done too much, invested money, time, sweat and I have been too grouchy to just stop now - even though I want to.
Andy buys me a home gym, I can do some stuff on it but I still need to go to a gym because I can't get all my exercises in. I'm slowly adjusting to the changes, missing my old support group, my gym partner and the familiarity that I was used to. Coming back to a duty station you've been to before does make it easier but harder too....I'm scared that I will fall back into the same old bad habits gain the weight back and it scares me....I see the actuality of it when we are invited to a BBQ, I take my food with me and I know that I will be tempted - I wasn't prepared though for the 'come on just one bite', 'just a small taste' I stayed strong though, ate only my food and tried not to be too much of a bitch with my old friends.
I saw the old gang, and I realized how easy it would be to fall back into those bad habits....I won't do it though! I can't do it! I will be miserable if I do it!! I know all this and now I have to overcome these hurdles...but I have the faith in myself to know that I can do it. But I also now realize (once again) that this is an ever continuing endeavor!
I am now two weeks out from the show and I feel that I am far from where I should be....I am still sending pics and weight to Shelly in Okinawa who has the confidence that I am still doing OK....she tweaks my diet, and work out and I forge ahead. We get our shipments of items (3 separate ones) and I am still trying to relax and not stress so that my body will lose the last pounds it needs to to compete and have me look good on stage. I still work on my posing, my walk and have my hair and make up gal booked. It's now the week of the show and I am instructed by Shelly not to get on the scale anymore (it's stressing me out too much) and just send her pictures each morning. I prep my food for the week, get up and get my early morning workouts in and my late evening weights and cardios done....those were hardest as I like to get my workouts done early and have the rest of day....plus, I was exhausted by that time as well! But, I got them done and rested as much as I could considering that we had our major shipment of goods that Thursday before the show...my first full rest day!
I get up Saturday morning and I weigh myself....128 pounds?!? 128? 128!!! OMG, take out the weight of my twins and I am the same weight as I was when I walked across the stage at Kadena the year before....add in that I have more muscle mass than last year and the means my body fat has definitely got to me less than what it was last year as well! I am STOKED!! 4 am and I get to have 4 oz of steak and 6 Reece's peanut butter cups (the small ones) Andy starts to tan me and my hair and make up gal Mitzi shows up at 5. We get started with the hair, Stacie comes in to take pics and support things are going great, I am super excited and then it hits me.....I am hot - turn on a fan. doesn't work. Now I can't hear, and I am covered in sweat! OH NO....I suddenly feel really ill and I bolt to the toilet (thank goodness my bathroom has the toilet separate since I've got 3 people in there assisting me this morning). I feel like I'm going to pass out, I down and (TMI sorry) I lose it. the sweats are still there but I am getting my hearing back, my stomach isn't clenched - as much - and I think I can feel my legs again. Oh Crap and holy nerves!!! This is new. Give me 10 minutes though and we start all over. Touch up the tanner, start back on the make up and get me my next meal.
We finish getting me ready, take a few pictures and race out the door...I have to be in San Diego for the competitor brief by 9 and it's 8:30!! Great starting this show day stressed just like last year, not what I was going for this time around. Oh well, we'll just make the best of it. Got my food, got my suit, shoes and I am happy with how I look....it's out of my control now, it is what it is.
Get to the Scottish Rite Center and run in...I get there in time to hear the last of the brief - but missed the whole what you need to do when you get on stage phase of it...AGH!! OK, just ask the gals back stage...need to find Jennifer who I met at at the registration the night before who was going to give me the fast hip pop initial move that is supposed to happen. Yea, I was stressing about that too - hip pop? The Bikini Move Hip Pop? I have no clue what the heck to do! I finally run into her back stage and she shows me what I should do....I think I have it down I watch on the video prompt each of the classes go up, most of the women in figure are doing the hip pop...OK, keep practicing back stage I can do this. It's my turn to line up for the Open class B 5'4 - 5'6....btw, I got my height card at the registration and while I have been 5'6 my entire life...they measure me in and give me my official card - 5'51/4 how in the heck have I lost 3/4 of inch?? So I am back stage getting ready for them to call our class out...again something different, they call the entire class out and we line up on one side of the stage...then each gal goes out on their own...I'm the last in the class so I can see everyone else with their quarter/model turns. It's my turn and I freak out....I can't do the hip pop, so I do my front pose that I have been practicing for months. I feel confident though so we'll just see what happens. I am the second person in the second call out...OK good...that should place me around 7 or 8...not bad for my first Stateside show! I go backstage again to wait for the next class I entered...the All Forces Figure division. There are 4 in my division and 2 of them I know look better than I do...they have been at this longer than I have ;) So I am confident again that I am 3rd or 4th :)
With Pre-judging over, I have a few hours before I have to be back and get ready for the night show....Shelly had on my meal plan for the day to eat a double cheeseburger after pre-judging YUMM!!! So, where do we go for lunch? We decide (Andy, Stacie and I) that we want to go somewhere to sit down, be served and hang out for a little while. So Islands it is. We order and they bring my burger out :D It is huge, there is no way I can eat the whole thing...I cut it in half and dig in. I am almost embarrassed to say that it was completely gone before Andy had even taken one bite of his chicken wrap! It was SO GOOD!!!
We head back and take a nap in the truck...well Andy and Stacie did, my nerves I guess are still a bit on hiatus so I just laid there and checked face book, called Shelly (I had downloaded Skype to my phone) and just rested with my feet up....had I realized how late I was going to go on stage, I would have worked harder at falling asleep!
I'm not called on stage till 9:30 for the first class - All Forces Figure.....I am awarded 3rd place!!! YAY ME!!!
I then have to wait for the last class....I know I'm not getting a trophy for it but have to hang out to go back on stage lest I want to blemish my name in NPC and being as I want to continue competing, I just can't do that ;) So, the class finally gets called back on stage after 11! I go out, do my pose, wait for them to call the top 5 and file off....hoping my peeps are waiting for me by the door when I grab my stuff and head out. I had some great support and am thankful for those who came out to see me. My husband, Andy, my life partner Stacy ;), and good friends Shana and Shannon and her hubby Jason - hope he didn't get into too much trouble ;) It was great running into an old friend Roz as well who competes herself and had just won the week before her first overall Figure as well as place first in two divisions...Masters and Open Figure. She looked beautiful and was in full prep mode to go to the Jr Nationals in Chicago the following week.
From the show even though we were all exhausted...being up at 4 will do that to you. Stacie, Andy and I headed to The Cheesecake Factory - where I indulged in their Buffalo Blasts (Wonton style buffalo wings...chopped buffalo chicken with cream cheese wrapped in a wonton and deep fried served with bleu cheese dressing) Oh yes...super yummy...and two cheesecake slices (one for me and one for Andy of course) and two more ordered to go....OMG even more super yummy and to top it all off, I think I downed almost a full gallon of water - I was so thirsty!!. Needless to say, I was beat by the time we got home after 1am...but I had to get in the shower to rinse off all that tanner...which still got on my new white sheets...that stuff sticks around ;)
Breakfast the next morning you ask? Why Cheesecake of course!! the rest of that day? Carne Asada Burrito for lunch, ice cream and cake for snack, and Carne Asada fries for dinner. Late night snack was a slice of pizza that the kids had left over from their dinner.
Needless to say I am now back on a more regular eating schedule and method....I was sick from all that grease and sugar but it was oh so worth it. Now, I am eating my normal diet and having 'little extras' here and there - yesterday's as a matter of fact was a hand dipped ice cream bar from the Costco snack bar...yup, just as good as I remembered them to be. But, in all truthfulness, the meal that has been most satisfying to have back...my Pistacchio protein waffles made with cottage cheese!
Right now, I am going to continue to enjoy my workouts, see what show I want to go forward with next (possibly in September but most likely not till March of next year) Seeing those other girls, I know I need to continue to work up my lats and my abs, add some more to my legs and keep my glutes going strong...that was the one thing that all the girls seemed to compliment me on was my glutes which made me feel great....I mean seriously tell me what woman doesn't want a great butt!! So till then, I will continue to try and get better about blogging, keeping you all updated on my progress, giving you some ideas and hopefully just continue to inspire the lifestyle change in you.
Today's Quote of the post:
"If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end."
– Julius Erving
You have to make the choice EVERY day, EVERY meal, EVERY temptation.....I know it's hard but don't let what you want right now take over the big picture - temptation is a way of life but so is fighting it and overcoming it. You will feel better for it, I promise.