Post Show Blues to Balanced
It's a beautiful fall day in New England. It's about 75 degrees, the sun is still warm, and there is a crisp breeze. The leaves are starting to change on the trees and I'm starting to see signs advertising apple picking at the local farms. Restaurants have pumpkin and apple spice themes and an emphasis on hearty and healthy soups. There is a festival going on in town today celebrating its history with local businesses participating as vendors and there are even people dressed up in colonial attire. It's one of my favorite times of the year and it feels good to have the energy to enjoy it.
Prior to the show I was so exhausted I neglected spending time with my family because I just wanted to go to work, train, eat, and go to sleep. It was literally effort to put my arms above my head to scrub my hair in the shower. Going up stairs was dreadful. Those last few weeks are really hard, but they are only a few weeks out of the year so you just deal with them. The rest of the year is about balance and health.
It's been a few weeks since the show and this week was the first week that I actually felt "good." I'm feeling more like myself again - not sure how else to explain it except saying I feel "even." Small tasks are not a huge effort anymore and the stomach distention I felt post show has gone down. I miss my ripped to shreds body, but I constantly remind myself that the body was temporary and not healthy to sustain. I still have yet to get my period back and am hoping it returns soon because only then will I know my body is truly back to healthy. Last year I kept training hard right after the show -- actually I trained harder -- and that was such a mistake because it took six months for my period to return. This time around I've been cross training by alternating low/medium intensity cardio days with yoga days. Gradually I've been feeling the urge to do a little more and did both cardio and yoga on the same day both yesterday and today. It just feels good to move and work my total body differently than the high impact work I was doing for the months leading up to the show.
My post show goal right now is to stay active, continue to work my whole body so I don't lose my conditioning, and at the same time let some of these injuries heal. Yesterday I tried to do a little running (treadmill intervals) at the end of my cardio workout but my glute/ham connection is still very painful so I did only 5 minutes and didn't push it. I reallllllly want to get back to sprinting, but know I can't right now as the injury will only continue to get worse. Too soon. For now, lots of yoga and consistent low/medium intensity cardio is the plan. Trust me -- if you activate the mind body connection in yoga class you can still be in BEAST MODE. Yoga can really kick your *ss and at the same time give you an inner peace.
As for nutrition I could easily live on soups, salads, raw vegan food (like this amazing cashew pate...to die for), barbecue chicken, homemade cookies, and coffee, but I know from experience that I need to have adequate protein for my body to operate optimally. If there are events such as the one in town today, I'll have a taste of whatever specialty item is being cooked as long as it's real food and not something like cotton candy. I don't get it. Seriously... what the heck is cotton candy except chemicals and sugar? It's GOT to be toxic on some level. And....I might be in the minority but I don't "get" fried dough either. GROSS. Anyways, I'm not going crazy right now with a super strict contest diet but at the same time I'm not pounding down crap food either. It's good mentally to have this "break" because I know from experience that eventually those "got to have" treats become more of an "eh, whatever" rather than "eyes rolled back in head to inhale food" moment. No matter what -- as a competitor -- food is always going to considered fuel for workouts.
So this week I'm continuing to focus on what is best for my health, enjoying all that the Fall in New England has to offer, and spending time with family. Slowly my energy has returned and I'm beginning to push myself a little further with my exercise regime while at the same time focusing on letting my injuries heal. I'm hoping I will feel like adding a little more this week and might throw in a couple weight workouts, but if not, so be it. I'm not going to push myself right now after spending a year pushing myself beyond my limits. I'm allowing myself a slow progression and am enjoying every minute, every cardio session, and every yoga workout. It feels good to have some balance back in my life
I'm still on Facebook so check out my page for ongoing motivation, tips, and post show updates! I may be cross trainign right now..............but ...........I'M NOT DONE YET. Check me out and join me at http://www.facebook.com/FigureProMicheleWelcome