By Tim Mount, CN, CCMH
I’m two months into the contest prep with 9 weeks to go. (Note: the picture below shows my full progress until up to the show. When I wrote this I was at the 8/21 picture date.)
This means I’ll be going up against many competitors that use substances I’m not comfortable putting in my body, so the pressure it on! I’ll be one of the smaller competitors, but hopefully I can make up for it with proportion and overall tone.
My goal is to be down to around 5% body fat by “depletion week” (the week leading up to the show). I’ll have to lose around 6 more pound of body fat and gain a few pounds of muscle weight, which means I’m about on schedule at my current progress averages.
Here are a few observations that I think are helpful for anyone attempting to lose fat and gain muscle:
- Keep taking NeoCell collagen! I’ve attempted to compete before, but had to abandon the idea because of a number of injuries like weight lifter’s shoulder, which developed because my connective tissue couldn’t keep up with my muscle gain. That’s not the case this time and the only difference is that I’m taking collagen now.
- After a few months rest days are very important! I tried to push through fatigue a few times because I didn’t have a scheduled rest day, but wound up regretting it. Listen to your body, if you’re exhausted let yourself sleep and recover.
- Stay even keel. On a daily basis I swing up and down between feeling like I’m making progress and that I’ll never be ready. Pictures and body fat charts with monthly check ins have kept me motivated by knowing that it’s a long term process, regardless of how I feel that day. Seeing the progress over time has allowed me to step back from the ups and downs and know I’m on the right path.
- Cheat meals are addictive, minimize them as much as possible. I’ve noticed that I’ll allow myself a cheat meal lunch, but have it turn into bingeing on snacks for the rest of the day. I find it easier to accept that my diet is what it is and I don’t let myself go down that slippery slope often anymore. Health is a long term lifestyle lived moment to moment, it isn’t a short term chore that I reluctantly force myself to do. By keeping that mindset I’m much less tempted.
Anyone can make the commitment to change, regardless of age or current health condition. Make a decision, set yourself a goal and see if you can attain results alongside me as I go through this journey!