Week 4 (countdown of 3 weeks to show)

Week 4 (countdown of 3 weeks to show)

I survived! I didn’t want to leave anyone in suspense so I pushed through… you're welcome!

I’m going talk to all the parents out there for a moment. Do you remember every time you got used to the current phase of your baby and then bam! The next day prompted a developmental leap and you were back to square one? Yeah, that’s how it feels every week of prep. As you become adjusted, it changes and is hard again.
It is gratifying to see the subtle changes though and visualizing being on stage helps keep me motivated.
I decided to journal a little each day to provide the most accurate summary. Here is a daily recap of the week:
Weight: 129.4 lbs
Activity: Rest Day
Macros: Enjoyed shrimp and salmon for protein. Craved carbs but overall I am used to the macro breakdown.
Notes: Low energy but got a nice boost of energy from each carb consumption.
Weight: 129.6 lbs
Activity: Cardio + abs + posing
Macros: Last day of current breakdown
Notes: I was super hungry and had to nap in the afternoon. I was more exhausted than usual.
Weight: 129.4 lbs
Activity: Lift + abs + cardio
Macros: First day of new macros (reduced carbs by 25g and -20g fat). I failed to plan out my day of meals and had my usual breakfast of an English muffin and snack of peanuts on my flight to AZ. This was a mistake as both were too high in their respective macros. It made the rest of my day very difficult. I was incredibly hungry and felt overwhelmed. I could have avoided these negative emotions by planning my meals in advance. Learn from my mistake and preemptively log meals and snacks as you change macros. Removing the unknown reduces the fear and anxiety.
Notes: In-person training with Austin for leg day. It was a good lift and strength would be rated at a medium level. He made some tweaks to a few movements that pushed my abilities.

I met with Nic and Austin in the evening for posing and bikini check-in. They had only seen my suit in pictures so I did full hair, makeup and accessories.
I did my full and short routines. Nic confirmed that I was flat and instructed me to leave and eat a cheeseburger. It was the best news ever! I was overjoyed. I ate 125g carbs that night plus additional fats. It was about 700 calories more than I was planning for the day (50% increase).
It was a huge relief to learn that I was flat. Please remember that this is all new to me so I don’t understand a lot of things yet. I knew that my energy was low and that my cravings were insanely intense. I noticed that my abs disappeared during my workout but didn’t understand the “why” behind it.
For perspective, a few months ago, the saying “a good pump” meant nothing to me. I thought you just flexed to show off your muscles! I didn’t understand that most photos are of physiques “pumped up.” I failed to recognize how different you look after exercising specific muscle groups. I'm slowly catching on though.
We all start somewhere! I admit all of this so if you’re just starting out and are just as lost as me, you can relax. You’ll figure it out; it just takes time. In the beginning I focused less on learning and more on doing. The why didn’t matter; my only focus was doing what coach said. Now that I’m in better shape, I ask questions to understand form, the reasoning behind variations and corrections.
Back to being flat, folks. It was on this day that I started to have an understanding of how this affected my muscles. Spoiler alert, I woke up Tuesday with pronounced abs and everything was rounder and fuller post-workout. This realization prompted me to look at ab photos from the week prior. It was then confirmed that Thursday’s abs were most defined and popped out. Why? Because I carb loaded on Wednesday. Science or sorcery? Mind blown!
Weight: Traveling and no scale
Activity: Lift + abs + cardio + posing
Macros: First actual day of new reduced macros. Because I had almost completed a full day I will admit that today was easier for a few reasons. I was 'carbed up' from a heavy calorie intake the night before. I would also consider Monday as the practice run on what would need to be removed to stay within my new macros. Monday also made it very evident that I must log all food in advance.
Notes: I woke up with carved up abs and felt better. I had a great back + biceps lift with Austin. My strength was there and my mental state had also improved.

Weight: Traveling and no scale
Activity: Lift + abs + posing
Macros: I was really hungry by evening but out of macros. I pushed a lot of water to help fight the hunger.
Notes:My lift was shoulders and triceps. I felt strong. I flew back to Cali to pose with Tamara. It is always empowering to spend time with her. I did a full dress rehearsal with accessories and hair extensions. We adjusted my back pose and did comparisons next to each other to help me get exposure to other competitors being on stage with me.
Weight: 132.0
Activity: Cardio + abs + posing
Macros: I woke up super hungry. I didn’t feel up so I was surprised on the weight. Full disclosure, it is suspected that my gain is period and GI related. Unfortunately, I’ve slowed down again and while I was supposed to start my cycle, I only have symptoms. I guess we’ll see if I’ve gotten “lean enough” to skip it.
Notes: First time removing a lift. We added a second rest day to the week and cut legs down to 2 days. I've lifted 5 days per week since last July so threw my day off completely.
Weight: 131.0
Activity: Lift + abs + cardio + posing
Macros: After check-in videos, Nic adjusted my macros back up for the weekend. I was flat and my abs were gone (increased back up 25g carbs and 10g fat).
Notes: The extra day of rest was felt! I had a great glute and quad workout. I typically don’t sweat that much but cardio brought it out today.
Here are the biggest changes to my diet:
English muffins  I lost one serving on the last macro change and this week’s
change took out the second serving. Insert tears. I have swapped this for oats with 10g of peanut butter and a dash of cinnamon. I also have 3 egg whites plus my protein shake for breakfast. 
Peanuts  I have enjoyed a serving of roasted, no salt, peanuts or cashews for a snack (30g) however this takes up too much fat so I will have to pass for the next few weeks.
Peanut butter  It is too high fat for this macro breakdown. I still eat it but I cannot have my 2 daily tablespoons.
Apples  Too high in carbs and not mentally filling. I miss this snack!
Protein bar  I loved RX Bars but removed these 2 weeks ago due to the high fat and my love of peanuts (it was one or the other).
It’s no surprise that I’ve lost some of my favorite staples but I am grateful that I went this far eating some things that brought me joy. Again, it is fully recognized that my prep diet likely looks different than yours. It's also highly probable that my diet will only be like this for my first show and continue to evolve into a purer prep. I am doing the best that I can and that is all that matters to me.
Posing with Tamara on 3/30/2022

Up next: Two weeks to go!
Bicep Blonde

Trainer / Coach: Austin Meason
Nutrition Coach: Nic Durso
Posing CoachTamara Jordan
Shoes + Bracelets: The Shoe Fairy
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