Comp prep was something that I feared initially. The hunger, cardio, fatigue and restriction was all I ever saw and whilst I knew I could do it, it was still frightening. When I envisioned what it was going to be like I was worried about how I could keep working, studying and training whilst staying sane! But after 13 weeks of prep I can honestly say it’s not as bad as some may portray.
I have to be honest here and say that my comp prep hasn’t been difficult. Yes, I have had shit days, I don’t always want to train and man do I want a pile of donuts, but my life hasn’t been flipped upside-down. Whilst the calories have gone down, I am still eating the foods that I love and plenty of it. My training program has slightly changed and I’m obviously doing more cardio, however I am making sure that I am enjoying it as much as I can and listening to my body, always! I expected it to all change but overall it has been a pretty smooth prep so far.
When it comes to nutrition, I am making sure that I continue to experiment with recipes that fit within my macros. This is so important because it keeps me interested and satisfied with my meals and allows me to fit foods in that I love regardless of whether they are ‘healthy’ or not. So having an occasional chocolatey treat has not fallen by the wayside. Some people who have gone through a comp prep before would probably look at some of the foods that I eat and shake their heads, however, for me it’s about having a positive relationship with food and focusing on what works for me.
It has been a bit tricky trying to get around social events such as going out to dinner or coffee, but I’ve always found a way around it. One thing that I promised to myself at the start of this prep was that I didn’t want it to impact my relationships around me. So there has been the occasional time that I have had to bring my own meal to a lunch out, and whilst it wasn’t ideal, it got me through. I just honestly tried not to make a big deal out of it and everything was fine. Also trying to arrange catch-ups with friends that don’t revolve around having a meal is also an easy way to get around it.
At the end of the day these fitness competitions are all about men and women being at their optimal health, so why not strive for that. There are so many people that get to comp day and have been starved, dehydrated or whatever else they do to look ‘comp lean’ and that completely goes against the concept of a fitness competition. I feel as though I have gone through the majority of this prep feeling strong and healthy, and I think that is a reflection of my dedication to this process. I want to get up on stage knowing that I put my all in and I am the healthiest I can be in this physique.