Friday, February 22, 2008

part II

Six pack and Food Jail

In late February 2003 I went back to training with Nunzio, about 10 weeks after I fell ill. I was still on medication but I was determined that I wasn’t going to let the illness stop me from my goal. I had lost weight and muscle, so we had to go forward with what we had if I was to make it on stage in 8 months. I trained weights 4 days a week and many hours of cardio over the next months, getting gradually leaner at each weigh in. I had a single minded obsession and not once did I stray from the diet or not complete my training. My social life disappeared as I was always training or tired from training, and in October 2003 I stepped on stage for the first time at 48kgs and about 8% body fat.

I was still on medication from my illness and in hindsight it would have been better for my long term health to wait for 12 months before attempting to compete, but I wanted those abs more than anything in the whole world. I was lean, really lean and I finally had control over how I looked. Or so I thought.

After the euphoria of my first competition I started to eat “normally” again. In the first 3 days I put on 3 kgs and can I clearly recall looking at myself in the mirror and felt disgusted at how fat I had become. Within 6 weeks I was back to 55kgs and a new struggle with food and body image emerged. The feedback from the judges was that I was in great condition but I was too small and needed more muscle, so Nunzio and I worked on a plan that would see me sit out a year and then go back with more muscle. However I changed this plan and got back on stage 9 months later and then 15 months after that again. In this period of bodybuilding my weight ranged about 10 kgs each off season and the only way I could control the way I looked was to be in “competition preparation mode”. I convinced myself that I was carb intolerant and had a slow metabolism and felt I put on weight when I reintroduced carbs and other regular food to my diet. The reality is that my body was simply doing what normal a body does after a heavily restricted diet over a long period of time. This caused other eating disorder type behaviours; I was unhappy and in food jail.

In my third year of bodybuilding I realised that I was competing to keep those abs, and not because I was interested in sculpting a muscular physique. I needed to stop for my health, and my sanity. I didn’t get into great condition in that final year, and as I sat despondent back stage after my final competition a guy I knew from my gym sat next to me and asked me what was wrong. We then had a conversation that would change my life.

to be continued....



LizN said...

Lisa, I'm loving your blog right now and it is so interesting to read about way back when because you've just come so far and are totally kicking butt.

I'm so privileged to have been part of your journey.


Anonymous said...

Ive always wondered how bodybuilders deal with the psychology associated with the off season gain. It must be really difficult. How about how you feel in yourself physically? Is there more energy and get up and go at the on season body fat or off season?

Loving your posts, cant wait for the next installment.

Magda said...

Yep can TOTALLY relate (albeit just after 1 year prepping and now in "off season").

An excellent post again Lisa.



Lisa said...

Hi Liz,I sometimes ask whether or not that was really me back then. It has been my priviledge to have you with me as well.

Cat, the off season was a killer for me, but I did feel a lot better physically - and everyone though I looked a lot better too (except me)

Magda, one of the reasons I have shared this journey is that I read the blogs of so many figure girls going through this right now and their pain is still very close to me. I am hoping to provide hope that balance and calm is possible.

Anonymous said...

God Lisa, feel like you taken the words right outta my mouth!!! Cmon what was the conversation???!!!!!! I am predicting it was about PL!!!!! Like Liz, I'm totally digging your blog, i know i've said it before, but i SO wanna be you!!!

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