My offseason/improvement/bulking/puffy/bloated season is coming to end on February 1. I have learned a lot of things and gained more than just weight (which I am embracing to it's fullest) during the past 5 months.
1- Hands down, the most important thing I learned this off season was to GIVE UP the notion of being stage lean all year round. Oh yea, a shredded stomach is neat but it's not realistic. Your body will more than likely shut down before you spend an entire calendar year stage lean. So the BEST advice i can give someone coming off a competition season is to have a plan in place for off season, get in the right mindset, and buy a bigger pair of pants.
2- This brings me to my next point, I learned that my legs need a size 4 and my waist needs a size 0 and can someone for the love of god please invent jeggings with these measurements. Thank you. So, I have been a size 0 my whole entire life outside of wearing Limited Too pants. A size 0. For a long time, especially in college, that number defined me and my reason for living. Stupid- right? Yea, it is stupid. I was a silly cardio bunny going to the gym to watch the college boys curl and to flip my hair around. Now?? Now you ask??? Now i am ok with buying a size 2- which i did for the first time in my life in December and i nearly had a panic attach but I DID IT. yes, i am very fortunate, genetically. i also work my ass off to so don't sit there and tell me i would be fit if i just played candy crush all day- FALSE. i am thin by DNA, i am fit by determination. anyways, rant over, my waist luckily stayed the same pant size this whole time but the legs grewwwwww!!!!
3- I am a strong person. Mentally strong- yes but I am talking physically strong- let me put it into perspective. September 14 was my last show last year. At that time, i was STRUGGLING, STRUGGLING i say, to do a set of 30 walking lunges with a 40 lb straight bar on my back. Now- I can do 100lbs for 30. I have increased my weights and reps on every single lift and have been incredible size gains.
4- food food food. I have learned this offseason that I have incredible self control when it comes to good. I ate to hit my macros and that was about 90/10. 90% of the time was healthy food. the other 10% was off season food- yes I ate at least one donut every single day post workout. Will this work for everyone? Nope. (PS- for post-workout carb information- reference my post a few weeks ago titled: Eat A Poptart).
5- never in my wildest dreams would i ever have imagined to be sponsored by 3 amazing companies in my first year of competing- House of Pain, Isolator Fitness, and USPlabs. Talk about an incredible off season to sign with Isolator and USPlabs at the tail end of 2013. There is no luck involved- it's called a partnership and you must WORK to make yourself stand out from the crowd. A thousand people compete so set yourself apart in some way.
6- lastly, i learned this off season that people want to see you do well but they never want to see you do better than them. unfortunately, i learned this the hard way when i lost my training partner/best friend from last year due to jealousy. many things were said about me, to me, and behind my back from someone who i truly trusted. it was a blessing in disguise because now my life is extremely toxic free and so much more positive. circle got smaller- vision got clearer.
So in conclusion, I will be starting this season toxic free and at 135 lbs with 20.8% body fat. My first show is May 10 in columbus, oh and I can NOT wait.