June 29. 2016

Staying on Track

Good morning everyone! It's another beautiful day outside and I for one intend on enjoying it!

I thought I'd talk a bit about a struggle most people have, including myself. That struggle is staying the course and pushing forward no matter what. I recently competed in a bodybuilding show. Now if you've read about or done a bodybuilding show, you most likely know how hard that some of us have to diet down in order to step out on that stage. I'd say that diet wise, this competition was much harder than my last. Mentally I felt ok about the whole process, but I was always hungry. That's normal though and that's how you know you're doing things right. It's all part of the suffering and pain that we go through, but enjoy on some level.

So I got on stage, did the best I could, and was done. It all happened so fast I couldn't believe it. Afterwards I was hungry. I was hungry all the time. So I ate, and ate and ate. I didn't always eat junk food, but I did eat too much. This is something that happens to a lot of competitors and athletes. After you prepare for so long then finally are done, you've mind and body are screaming at you for some kind of satiety. The foods I was eating during my show prep were enough for losing weight, but I wanted to feel full again. 

So I ate for two weeks, jumped up in weight, and felt terrible for the most part. Why? Well, my metabolism was screaming at me. It was angry for the constant shock I was giving it. After having some free time, lifting heavier again and eating when I wanted or how I wanted, I decided it was time to bring it back in. I cleaned my diet up and have lost 10 pounds in this week alone and yes it's only Wednesday. 

Now why did I take a two week break and kind of just relax? I truly feel like I needed it. I needed it mentally and physically. My body needed extra nutrients and just more energy in general and I believe in the end it will have been a great benefit to me. 

The issue with what I did however is not what I did, it's how I did it. I ate too much too fast and my body didn't know what to do. So I got what's called a spillover effect. It's happened to me a few times now, and I believe unless I reverse diet very hard, I may not be able to prevent it. Other than being less than aesthetically pleasing, there is no danger in a spillover UNLESS it's internal. Thankfully for me, my preps are done right and that is not a huge concern. Spilling over internally means fluid on your organs. Externally is fluid (water) on top of muscle. The body doesn't know how to absorb it right because of going through dietary restrictions and just generally being tired. 

So post show, I learn. Each time, I learn about myself about my limits and about what's healthy for me. I now know for a fact that I can't go carb crazy. I can can increase my healthy fats, proteins and a bit of carbs (clean carbs or complex) and be just fine.

Now carbs are not the enemy. In fact it's the opposite. Carbs are very important. It's only when I've been hard dieting that I have any kind of issue. It's because my body has adapted to not having as many carbs and it does not want them like my mind wants them. 

So staying on some kind of plan is key to success. Regardless of if you compete or not, I truly believe it's important. The accountability alone makes it a great thing to follow. I need that accountability and so do most people I've met. When left to our own devices, most of us won't know what to do. So we seek out help and it changes our mindset and allows us to grow. 

Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for the path I've chosen. I love eating right and being fit and healthy. It's a fantastic feeling and one I wouldn't trade for anything.

So try your best to stay on track. If you set a goal, accomplish it. If you fall off during that goal period, don't fret, just get up and dust yourself off. You will be ok as long as you continue to fight for what you want. That's key. Not giving up and pushing no matter what. Everyone has roadblocks, but you eventually learn how to go around them. 

I hope everyone out there has a fantastic day! Enjoy your family and friends and get in that gym!!!


Thanks so much,


Adam Hartley

Co-Owner/Coach Custom Fitness Consulting 

ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com 

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