By Kate Horney
So we are doing this competition thing! I’ve never done one. My husband hasn’t either. It’s a little bit about challenging ourselves with something new and a little bit about a fun shared interest (we tried doubles tennis and found out neither of us could play so we are kind of stuck with this 😉 ).
As a new mom (my boy is almost 8 months, can you believe it?!) I am embracing motherhood to the fullest and I’m loving every second. Am I tried? YES! Is my body in the exact same shape it was pre-baby? Nope. (And I don’t think I’ll EVER look at jumping jacks the same way again… hello bladder after baby!) But I have chosen to see my son as a REASON to make my health & fitness a priority. When it comes to training and nutrition, my motto is that a Baby is a REASON not an EXCUSE, so here we go!
The world of fitness competitions- whether it be bikini, figure, or physique is unfamiliar to most moms. Even moms who understand what the sport is about (no, we don’t take steroids or train to become a hulk) tend to shy away from what could be a fun, healthy goal full of accomplishment and personal satisfaction simply because of the industry’s norm.
And honestly, I don’t blame them!
I hate the fitness industry for what they have accepted as a “normal” way to train to be in the best shape of your life for a fitness competition or otherwise….
- Suffering through weeks of extreme dieting
- Hours (sometimes twice/day!) of cardio
- Sacrificing endless amounts of time with family & friends
For most women, and especially for busy moms- this is neither practical nor normal. The idea of getting your best body ever through the fitness industry’s “norm” is a physically, mentally and emotionally draining process that does much more harm than good.
So I’ve set out to do it a different way….
- Quick & efficient workouts done AT HOME!
- No dangerous dieting- eating all the foods I LOVE!
- Plenty of time for what truly matters most! (and no, it’s not my body)
Will it work? Well, I’m 4 weeks out from the stage (and only 2 weeks into my training) so I’ll tell you for sure soon!
But so far, YES! I am on track to be in the best shape of my life and I have not had to choke down chicken breasts or starve on some crazy no-carb crash diet. 🙂
I’ve had lots of questions about what I’m eating, so here’s the scoop:
What I eat/drink:
- High-quality protein at every meal. Protein satisfies hunger, balances cravings, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and is very beneficial for fat burning. Protein contains amino acids, which are crucial to our bodies’ ability to build and maintain muscle. Remember, increased muscle = increased metabolic potential. Getting a quality source of protein at every meal may sound basic, but it’s key to boosting your metabolism. In addition to building lean muscle mass, eating protein releases the fat burning hormone glucagon, which directly opposes the action of insulin and helps burn fat. Some of my favs this week: lean ground sirloin, turkey breast, and eggs (both yolks & whites).
- Fruit or veggies at every meal. Vegetables and low sugar fruits provide your body with the fiber it needs to feel full, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In addition, most fruits and veggies are low on the glycemic index, and they don’t spike blood sugar and put your body into storage mode like starchy carbs. Some of my favs this week: FRESH strawberries, blueberries, apples (SO yummy cut up in my oat bran) and plenty of green veggies.
- Starchy carbs for ENERGY! Cutting out carbs all together is a recipe for disaster. A common mistake when women begin dieting is to cut out carbs- even the good ones. Yes, limiting your carbohydrate intake is important if you looking for fat loss results. But some carbohydrates are needed for energy…. ESPECIALLY if you’re a busy mom! Some of my favs this week: oat bran, sweet potatoes, zucchini
- Healthy Fats in moderation! No, fat does not make you fat. Just like starchy carbs, fat is needed in our bodies (this time not just for energy, but for HORMONE production…. Super important for mommas like me who are still breastfeeding) and for other essential functions like helping to control hunger through the release of hunger hormones. The fitness industry’s “norm” of super low fat diets is a metabolic disaster that decreases testosterone and other important hormones that slow fat loss and delay muscle gain. I am eating (and enjoying!) my fats while simply being mindful of portions. My favs this week include: avocado, egg yolks, natural almond butter
- Water, water water! Hydration is key for fat loss. It’s basic, but it’s true. Dehydration takes away from your exercise performance and leads to fatigue and increased cortisol levels. In addition, if you don’t drink enough water, your body will hold on to water. Think of water as your fat flushing tool. I love the phrase, “pee white, pee right.” If your urine is clear, that means you’re drinking enough water. A good general rule of thumb is to drink ½ your body weight in ounces daily.
For the next 4 weeks I will chronicle my journey, share with you the ups and downs of going at this while taking care of a baby, running a business and still making time for what matters most. It may not be normal, but I believe it can be done…
Join me on this journey! Operation #beyondbikini is in full swing….
Here’s to embracing a healthy, happy and BALANCED life as a mom AND fitness competitor! Oxo! -Kate