Very nearly two months since my last blog post and prep had been going pretty nicely. I had been making some great progress, dropping the excess fat suit that I had binged on over the end of last year and was very happy to see how much muscle I had gained, training was great and even my strength was shooting up, everything seemed to be nicely on track.
And then I had a moment of clarity… I’ve moved to another country to work less and spend more quality time with my family. Yet day in, day out I was miserable, exhausted and snappy, you could easily say that most of this can come with prep, and rightly so. But then I remembered that I have a choice, I could be miserable and too exhausted to spend time with my kids who are growing up so incredibly fast or I could stop right there, and start doing what I came over here dreaming of doing.
So you’ve guessed it… as of last week I am no longer on prep!
A couple of days with a few tears and guilty thoughts zooming round my head, a chat with the hubby and also my coach and then voila, I’m already feeling a whole lot better about the situation.
Why did I feel guilty for wanting to ‘give up’ on prep…again?
For the most part because Craig and I were supposed to be competing in the same show together for the first time. Plus the fact that Craig wasn’t even going to compete at all this year but then last minute decided to go for it as I would have been competing anyway… Ooops! But the good news is that he’s still on prep and will be competing in May, and is already much further ahead than this time last prep and in my eyes, looking seriously insane!
Another reason for feeling guilty is because I gave up on prep at the end of last year as well… which now makes two failed preps under my belt. All I could think was how I’ve gone and let my coach down again… that’ll be it, he’ll never want to coach me again as all I seem to do is quit. Fortunately for me my coach Paul, is not only a fantastic coach but also a great guy and doesn’t just take your health and nutrition into consideration but also your emotional well being. So needless to say, I haven’t upset him either, (at least I don’t think I have!)
Looking back, the 5 weeks I had actually managed of this prep seemed to be a constant emotional struggle. Last prep I was in the gym at 7am, done by 8am – give or take an extra few cardio sessions here and there I could safely say that my training day was done and dusted by the early morning. Now my training can’t even begin until 10am as this is the earliest time the gyms open, add to that a 25 minute drive to and from the gym and I’m not getting home until gone lunch, half the day gone. And when that’s the daily routine 5 days a week… well, it’s just not for me right now.
I decided to look back at my Record of Goals and realised that I had forgotten so many of the things I had been eager to do, one in particular; to write and illustrate a storybook for our kids. In the last few months, other than my freelance work I have totally lost all creativeness. I used to illustrate, make things with the kids, make cards, calendars, bespoke gifts and all sorts of other goodies, but I’ve done nothing…. not a sausage of inspiration has transpired! Other than training it would appear that all of my hobbies have been crammed into a little box and stuffed far out of reach, until now.
Yesterday was a holiday here in Portugal so Oscar was off school for the day, the sun was beaming and believe it or not it was shorts and t-shirt weather, in mid February! So I grabbed the monsters and we spent most of the day in the garden finding bits and bobs to build an activity station full of what-nots and thing-a-ma-bobs, and this is what we came up with;
Granted I did most of the actual building side of things but the kids loved whacking the bottles and making as much noise as they could with it all. Oscar has told me that this weekend we need to finish it off though by adding drain pipes to drop oranges down, and who am I to argue?
Just the simple fact of choosing to spend my day doing something that I wanted to do without having any restrictions other than what the kids wanted during the day was amazing and felt so freeing. It’s scary to think that I had lost this feeling and that strict routine (even though it was my choice to be in such a routine) had begun to change me into someone I didn’t want to be.
Training is still very important to me, but now that I don’t have a tight deadline on how I want my body to look I can take things a little slower and have the best of both worlds by enjoying life and training without having the gym side of things creeping in and taking over.
So when all is said and done, yes I’m a little gutted that I won’t be getting tanned and glammed up with a new posing suit on to be on stage with the hubby in a few months, but right now I’m gaining a million times more of a reward spending my days with my family becoming the happy, creative, relaxed person I used to be.