Oh my goodness I made it. In the last two weeks, I’ve faced death multiple times, and yet here I sit with the kitty, studying the doughnut menu for the day and making decisions over delicious coffee. I’ve made it. I mastered my masters, I had an awesome photo shoot, I slept on a forest floor with no pants, I took a road trip without killing my husband, and I took almost a solid week off of counting macros AND the gym during vacation… and I lived to tell about all of it.
I’M A MASTER. Obviously that’s why I was able to pull off all the rest of the things. Zero chance any of it would have occurred if I’d fucked up my presentation and they were like, “No, you get NO DEGREE.”
So, to celebrate, I went on vacation. Specifically, a music festival. My favorite music festival- TomorrowWorld, in Atlanta, GA. You can either camp there on site, or take a shuttle bus to a hotel in the city each day, which takes about 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic. Because I’m now an old lady, and I need my sleep between dance parties if I’m to last the whole weekend, we choose the hotel- there’s a bed, and a shower, and a continental breakfast where I can load up on calories for the day, and a little gym to get a pump… should you so choose to use it, that is. Anyhow, I packed up all my rave gear- booty shorts and pasties and kandi bracelets and crop tops, and off we went, like moths to a laser.
It was raining. I did not pack for rain. So we took an Uber to Target and bought some leggings and ponchos and carried on with our raving on Friday, and it was pretty awesome, and Benny Benassi, Andrew Rayel, Tiesto, and Ookay threw the fuck down, and I danced and danced. Saturday… more rain. Fuck it, star spangled booty shorts and a poncho is hella sexy. Shuttle busses were stopped for a bit, but we had a reservation for a dinner at the festival, so we hopped in an Uber to make it… spoiler, we did not make it on time. We spent 2 hours in traffic and then walked another 30 minutes to get to the festival grounds. But we made it! So me and Yves V, Adventure Club, Seven Lions and ohmigod Bassnectar, partied our faces off. And then I walked. And walked. And walked. It seems there was a transportation issue brought on by all the rain. The shuttle busses had stopped running, leaving thousands of ravers stranded miles from civilization, with no cell service, but nobody told us- there were no instructions, no anything… we walked for a little over 3 hours in promise of transportation being “half a mile up the road,” before giving up and having a nap in the forest under our ponchos in the rain until the sun came up and we could flag down some help. People were sleeping on the sides of the street, people down the road were apparently nearing riot status over the few remaining shuttle busses, zombie people and crying girls everywhere. This article seems hyperbolic, but I assure you, it is not. Relieved as I was to finally be on my way to a bed, I almost couldn’t contain myself when our taxi- who decided it would be $90 to get us back to the hotel, when I know damn well an Uber had brought us there for $40- began wobbling and making loud noises as the fucking wheel started to come off! I can’t even make this up. He had to flag down a second taxi. And then he charged us the full $90, fucking scum.
We arrived back at our hotel, muddy, exhausted, and perhaps a bit shell-shocked, at 8am. Bassnectar had finished at 1am, and I gave up in favor of napping at 4am. But I showered, and planned to hit it hard for Porter Robinson and Martin Garrix when I woke back up. Only I woke up to an email that non-camping festival attendees were not allowed to attend on Sunday. C’mon. That’s a joke. I walked like 5 miles last night and now I can’t finish my festival? These memes, though, pretty well nailed it, to make light of the situation.
So we bought tickets to see Zedd in New Orleans, because nobody tells me when it’s time to turn down except for me, we rented a car, and started driving.
Because I’m the luckiest girl in the world, we got a call as we passed through Mobile, Alabama. Due to forecasted rain, Zedd had cancelled. Now here’s the thing. I hate road trips, but had kept on a happy face because of Zedd. I was now armed with bitchface and a road trip to a place I didn’t care about for no reason.
Long story short- it didn’t rain. We stopped and took selfies with a bunch of weird shit on our drive. New Orleans was incredible. It’s all what you make it. And Nola is FOOOOOOOOOD.
Usually during a festival, I put my intermittent fasting tendencies to good use, and load up on one meal a day. Continental/buffet breakfasts are great for this. Load up on eggs (I prefer hard boiled over powdered scrambled, which make my belly feel a bit squicky), bacon, oats, fruit, whatever fits your macros- and get them all in in one meal. Yes. I am neither proud nor ashamed to admit that I can put away 1200-1600 calories in a single meal if I put my mind to it. Anyhow, I didn’t do that this time. There was just so much insanity happening with the festival and everything this time, I didn’t plan properly, but, I also didn’t let it bother me. I had cut for four weeks going into the festival and my body… well, things weren’t going so well. So I gave myself a bit of freedom, booty shorts and crop tops be damned. I expanded my fat and carb macros a bit to accommodate for hours and hours of dancing each day, even though I didn’t lift. And I felt good. I ignored my typical eating hours, simply because it was too much screwing around with everything else.
When we got to New Orleans, I decided I had to continue relaxing in order to make the best of it. Having accidentally watched an Anthony Bourdain show (omg I lovvvveeeee him- and this show, The Layover, is so good!) about New Orleans just a few days prior, I knew that I was going to have to eat my way through Nola. And so I set out to do just that. I wanted to try EVERYTHING.
And I did. Not only did my husband and I wander the French Quarter for hours, aimlessly and a bit drunkenly our first night, but we ate chargrilled oysters and deep fried crawfish and seafood etoufee and fish. And then we woke up and did a little shopping at the vintage stores we had encountered in the middle of the night walking, before embarking on a three hour bike tour (we’ve discovered that a bike tour is the best way to see any town when traveling, so we always book one, and then often rent the bicycles for a day or two after to go exploring, too!) followed by beignets (duh, doughnuts!),
and a sampler platter at a restaurant recommended by locals (not tourists!), consisting of blackened redfish, a smoked duck quesadilla, sausage jambalaya, fried chicken, shrimp creole, the most amazing red beans and rice, and rabbit and sausage gumbo… topped off, of course, with an Abita Turbodog. When in Rome… you drink what the Roman’s make. Which of course, meant that as we waddled back to the hotel, we stopped at Crescent City Brewing to have a flight.
Damn, it’s been too long since I allowed myself to enjoy beer. I truly, truly love beer. And we split a praline too. In all, EVERYTHING I ate on Saturday was brand new to me. Success!
Sunday, our flight wasn’t until 4, so we checked out of the hotel and had them hold our bags, and we walked and walked and walked… we went out in search of a local coffee roaster, and ended up drinking coffee, then walking even further to get to a slider and doughnut shop that exceeded expectations, even for my doughnut standards. I happened to be wearing my Doughnuts and Deadlifts tank, which was noted by more than one person in the shop- ha!
I woke up the next morning terrified of what the scale would have in store for me. Having attempted, out of curiosity, to log my last few days of eating into my LoseIt app on the plane, I knew that I’d easily consumed 2500-3500 calories each day for the last few. Having been at a pretty steep deficit, hovering around 1200 for a few weeks, I could only imagine what the numbers would scream at me…
That’s… a pound LESS than I weighed leaving for vacation. I mean… I know I danced and biked and walked a lot, but…
WAKE THE FUCK UP STEPHANIE.
That’s what that was.
Anybody else find themselves in the Sisterhood of Perpetual Deficit Eating? Yeah, that’ll make your body mad. Every once in a while I get the realization that I’ve done it again, reverted to “Oh, I’ll just do like three weeks going into [event], then back up to maintenance.” But then I do it over, and over, and over… and I plateau, and I’m mad, and I cut again, forever. I rarely make it back up to maintenance. And after all that work I had put into a proper reverse earlier in the year, I’d gone and messed things up trying to have abs for a music festival. In doing so, I may have taken away the opportunity to compete once more this year- my calories have nowhere to go, to cut for a show, and I’m not willing to take them down to dangerous levels or add in two-a-day cardio. I did this to myself.
So here’s what’s up with me, what I learned on vacation: EAT MORE. My body clearly wanted that food. NEEDED that food. Since returning home, I’ve increased my calories drastically, and have planned out a continued reverse, potentially into a bulk. I’ve eaten out at restaurants twice, because omg it fits! Life feels really nice, when having dinner with my husband doesn’t feel stressful because my macros are so little. And you know what? The scale is down, even more than when I first arrived home. Silly me, this is deja-vu. This happened last winter too, when I embarked on my first bulk, and found that my body was slow to put on weight when that was my goal. Proper fueling… who knew.
I have a show date on the calendar, marked, and each week leading up to it marked as well. The point at which my calendar alerts me that the show is 6 weeks away, I am going to assess my calories and my body, and see if it’s feasible to prep for it while maintaining a reasonable calorie level. If not, well, that’s that. I’ll focus on growing for a few months, get my lifts up, and readdress early next year. If so, then I’d like to get back on stage. But I will absolutely not be forcing it this time. If my body isn’t ready to cut, I’m not ready to ask it.
How many times do I have to go back and read my own blog posts about listening to your body? Just enough, it seems. If you find yourself being a member of the Sisterhood of Perpetual Deficit Eating, take a moment to look at your recent progress. Have you stalled? Backtracked? Are your calories low to a point where you’re hungry all the time, or your life is being made difficult as a result of it? Unless you’re on contest prep, this isn’t how life should be lived- and even then, there’s no reason to be miserable, just looking back at my previous prep logs, it’s apparent that misery doesn’t have to be a part of the equation! Take a step back. Even if you’re not as lean as you’d like, even if you haven’t met your goals yet, perhaps it’s time to change things up. Let your body reset, refuel a bit. It seems counterintuitive to eat more, especially if you’ve been dieting, if you’ve been losing for a while, but it’s been my experience that after lengthy dieting phases, it’s just the kickstart a body needs sometimes. If you’re stuck, change things up, even just a little. Sometimes the answer isn’t “restrict more, eat less, run more,” it’s “be nice to your body.”
I’ve chosen my doughnut for the day, I think.
Go ahead. See if you can guess… damn, this is a stacked lineup today.
Nomad, you kill me.
If you’re ever in San Diego, hit me up though, and I will take you here, for doughnuts. And we will flip tires and deadlift things together. For real. I’ll even help you fit it into your macros.