Journey to the Stage 3

Make a Plan and Keep It

Today was the first test to see whether or not I can actually make it through the next 14 weeks. Today I started my nutrition plan, my new workout routine, AND I had a massive midterm in anatomy and physiology. However, as indicated by this blog being written, I made it. I made it through the exam (and I think quite successfully), I ate all of my meals on time, and I got in both of my workouts.

One of the biggest commonalities between people with eating or exercise disorders is the need to be in control. That is my greatest struggle– allowing someone else to help me and be in control of what I am eating. After receiving my meal plan from my coach, Kristi Tauti, I got a little anxious. For the last three months I have been eating around 1,600 calories, but with my new plan I am eating around 1,850 calories a day. That terrifies me. How I am supposed to lean out if I am eating MORE calories? In my head I know that I need to start with higher calories because I will be cutting calories throughout the next 14 weeks, but it doesn’t make it any easier, mentally. Part of this journey is changing my mentality, and part of this is being OK with not having 100 percent control over my food and eating habits. I have to trust that my coach knows what is right for me, and commit 100 percent. And that is what I have vowed to do; I am all in.

JOURNEY-TO-THE-STAGE-INSET3bIn order to begin this change, I am trying to look at this current nutrition plan in a positive matter. I have been telling myself that I need to take advantage of having more calories in my plan right now. I am eating steak, avocado and quinoa— all delicious and nutritious foods that may not be in my plan later down the road, so I need to enjoy them now. The nutritional aspect is vital to my success in the competition, and in my opinion the most important aspect of the contest prep, but in addition to reworking my nutrition plan, I have reworked my training routine as well.

For as long as I can remember, I have gotten up early and done my cardio and weight training in one early morning session. However, after doing some research and talking to members of the i-Physique team, I have decided to switch to working out twice a day. I am doing about an hour of cardio in the morning and my weights after class in the early evening. I love working out in the early morning because the gym is still somewhat deserted and I can set up lifting stations, use various pieces of equipment, or have my pick at the cardio equipment. Because of this I was loathing my workout this evening, my first rush hour lifting session. Luckily, to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. Yes, the weight room was a little crowded, but not terrible. I realized that most of the people were either on the cardio equipment or getting ready for a group class. Phew, what a relief. What I also realized is that because I was only lifting and not doing any cardio, I was able to push harder during my sets. I felt fatigued and so excited about the power I had when lifting. Additionally, the additional people lifting added more of a competitive spirit to my training session. Surrounded by men grunting and strutting their stuff only made me want to push harder and show them that this girl is just as tough, if not tougher, than them.

Here is a photo of my scale, can't do this without a scale!In order to maintain the balance that I so hope to obtain throughout my journey, I have decided to be as organized as possible. I taped my meal plans to the fridge. I don’t want to forget to add or subtract something from my meals. Also I hope that by publically displaying my plan, my housemates will be aware of my nutritional needs and help me stay on track. I added the times when I am supposed to be eating to my iPhone calendar to make sure that I get in my meals every two to three hours. I have my amino acid supplement for pre-cardio ready in the morning. I pack my Tupperware meals at night and make sure I have my supplements and protein powder ready for my lifting session. I am doing my best to take my vitamins each day, (a multi, fish oil, CLA, green tea extract, glucosamine and Vitamin D) because a blow to my immune system would critically hinder my ability to get into top shape. Starting at 12 weeks out, I will be keeping a daily log of all my meals, workouts and emotions. I hope by keep tabs on both my physical and mental challenges and success I will be able to maintain a level state of mind and positive attitude. Day one is down, and I feel pretty confident. I know there will be some many challenges to come, nutritionally and physically, but I think I am prepared.

Rachael Olkin

Rachael graduated from UCLA in December 2010 with a degree in International Development Studies. She is currently working towards admission to nursing school, where she hopes to obtain both a Bachelors of Science in Nursing as well as a Masters of Science in Nursing.

Rachael is also preparing for her first Figure competition and will share her journey along the way, including her goals, aspirations and struggles.

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