The Carbs are a Lie: Three Days Out Reflection

Three days out! Today was my last training day, well, technically. Today was the last day that I am actually following my lifting plan for the week. The next two days I will do short, full-body circuits with the primary goal of simply getting a pump and moving the glycogen around in my muscles, so I look nice and full on stage come Saturday.

 

FLAT- notice his muscles look lean, but not full and vascular
FULL- this is the same guy, in the same week, only properly holding water and glycogen from carbs inside of his muscles, making them appear larger, fuller, more vascular and striated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today was also scheduled, according to the notebook that has run my life for the past nine weeks, to be my large carb-up day. In fact, no fewer than THREE friends text me about it today, excited and wondering what I planned to consume, likely expecting doughnuts, a favorite of mine, what with the fancy hipster doughnut shop being walking distance away and all, and Oreos (they come in Reese’s peanut butter cup flavor now, guys!). I had no idea it was such a big deal. I can only assume I’ve been more of a raging asshat than I even realized, if so many people want me to take my carbs up! And here I thought I was beginning to adjust to my deficit. Sorry, friends.

 

Upon inspecting myself this morning, and taking stock of the physical situation I was presented with, however, I made the decision to put it off for one more day. Some of the criteria I used to make this call included my vascularity, particularly in my abdomen and legs, and visibility of my muscle below my skin, my mood, the fact that I was still able to get a somewhat reasonable upper body pump in the gym. Coupled with the knowledge of how my body receives high carb loads on multiple consecutive days, I feel confident that having kept today’s carb count fairly low- though not outrageously so (getting my fiber in was an important goal for me today! Gotta keep things regular so I don’t have to get on stage with full intestines and feel awful!)- and eating at a higher

I’m into avocados in a big way right now.

percentage of fats was the correct choice for the best results for my body. I’m pretty confident, actually, that the low fat content of my diet currently, because I only have to rest (high fat/low carb) days each week is what is most drastically altering my moods- my hormones are just a bit off. So another day of fats honestly sounded much more preferable to even a chai vanilla old fashioned, as was on the menu today.

 

I think I sort of accidentally annoyed more than one person today, in discussing the large bolus of carbs that all of us competing this weekend are looking forward to. My friends asking, and then random locker room chatter today, all made me realize, once again, that my prep is not at all the norm. The girls in the locker room were buzzing with excitement over half a cup of rice and an apple before the show, and massive binge episodes of carne asada, tacos, and pizza after the show. I probably should not have mentioned that my carb-up plans include pasta and doughnuts. I most definitely should not have said that my husband was at home preparing turkey for tacos at that exact moment. Stephanie. Keep your damn macros to yourself, honestly, at some point you’re just being a smug prick. Right?

 

The thing is, I’ve eaten those things throughout my prep. Well, not pizza. Pizza is hard, because it’s high in both carbs and fats, so when macros are tight, I typically lean towards food that are either high in fats or in carbs, so that they fit more nicely into either a rest or a training day. Pizza is difficult to fit in either when eating below maintenance level calories. But I do have a trick that satisfies the craving: eggplant pizzas! But that’s besides the point.

 

 

Point: I’m not at all busy thinking about what I’m going to eat after the show, because I haven’t restricted myself going into it. Yes, things have changed, and will change again. But cookies, peanut butter, and ice cream have been my sanity-savers. Have they made the bulk of my diet? No. I have two crisper drawers full of veggies and a freezer overflowing with chicken, turkey, and at least five varieties of fish (chicken was on sale this week and things might have gotten a little crazy, I’m a sucker for a good deal!). But my peanut butter collection, and my animal cookies, and my Cheerios are all in the cupboard, same as they have been. They’ll be there when I’m bulking, cutting, prepping, maintaining… they’ll be there. I don’t have to pine for them. They’re there. I can have them whenever I want them, they aren’t running away. So if I want them, I have them. Not all of them- just what fits my macros. Nothing is off limits, when you are well practiced in moderation.

 

After the show I plan to do a very structured reverse diet to try and bring my maintenance, hopefully, up higher than it was when I went into this prep, while keeping my body fat fairly low. Definitely not as low as it is not- right now I feel quite skinny, and I don’t like that one bit. This will take time, and it will take work, and it will take a lot of mental strength to stick to, but the payoff will be worth it. I do plan to continue the blog throughout the process, seeing as it is a part of the contest prep as a whole, I think. The… post-prep. Contest epilogue.

 

Anyhow the point was I accidentally pissed off my friends by not being more excited about carbs and then not even eating them anyhow, and I definitely pissed off the bikini competitors because I eat doughnuts and tacos. But on the bright side, my friend with the tilapia meal plan totally made my day when she told me about a very smart substitution she made based on the macros of a meal, which just goes to show- macros are for everyone! If you want tacos, make tacos that fit your macros. If you want Greek yogurt instead of eggs and veggies, good, figure out how much has about the same macros and eat it. If I had one wish, today, it would be to have the time and energy to teach everyone how they can have abs and also enjoy pizza.

Magical macro education for everyone!

Good. Now I can’t stop thinking about pizza. Good thing I’ve got eggplant in the fridge.

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