Vlog #15 - Coming Full Circle | Confessional | My Figure Competitor Menu Protocol
All my life I have been one to switch things up, try new things and explore new territory. I’ve gotten over 20 piercings, I’ve shaved my head, I’ve tried many diet protocols, I’ve explored different exercise regimens, I’ve lost 50 pounds twice and I’ve moved 13 times. Looking back, I wouldn’t change anything for the world. In fact, many things are coming full circle and I want to dive deeper into that right now.
I believe everything happens for a reason, even if it feels very unfair or uncomfortable. Some things I am proud of, some things not so much, but what I have learned over my 37 years has been invaluable and imperative for what was/is to come. Looking ahead, I believe that my figure bodybuilding career will teach me everything I need to know for many years to come, but I’m going to talk about what is coming back around right now.
Everything comes Full Circle
Competitive Swimming from ages 5-12: I built a wider back and kicked my calves into full development which was crucial for my competitive figure division, bodybuilding career.
Gaining and losing 50 pounds TWICE: I know a thing or two about weight gain and weight loss which will help me to coach myself through my improvement and prep seasons moving forward.
Moving 13 times: I have traveled A LOT and I am a professional packer, organizer and meal plan traveler. This is SO important for my career in bodybuilding.
Experimenting with many diets: I am narrowing it down to what works for me and what doesn’t. I know exactly what foods I love, what foods I need and what foods to keep in moderation. I am on the brink of mastering macros and portions which I feel is the final step at building my official protocol for my Trophy Figure Bodybuilding Career (and future Vlog Series).
Cycle Syncing: Something I had NEVER done in my life was to acknowledge my period and ease up on exercise around that time of the month. I also wasn’t aware of total calorie need fluctuations, nor was I aware of my personal macro fluctuation preferences. Lastly, I didn’t know there was a strategy with eating certain foods (or practicing certain ways of eating) during different phases of my cycle. Studying this and putting it into practice has created a smarter, and more strategic structure for keeping my hormones happy/healthy and keeping my mental/physical health in check.
Eating a Fruit Based Diet: This experience was equally as fun for me as it was regretful, BUT it is officially coming full circle. I recognize the strategy in eating a very hydrating, cleansing, low protein/fat diet, and with many years of experience with it, I can now see where it will come in very handy during my career as a bodybuilder.
Transformation Series Bulk & Cut Phase: Wrapping my mind around a bulking focus and a cutting focus has completely changed my mindset with EVERYTHING. I now have a REAL reason to train smarter versus harder, and EAT smarter versus harder. I am coming out of this transformation series an entirely new person, and for that, it’s all been worth it.
Meal Prepping: Meal Prepping forced me to explore macros which was crucial in becoming a professional bodybuilder. My hormones talk to me, and when I started listening and translating its signals better, I've grown closer and closer to my optimal protocol, better health and homeostasis.
Implementing Progressive Overload: This was something I had to really make happen along my recent fitness journey, and what I have discovered has made my bodybuilding career possible and foreseeable.
Meat Days over Cheat Days: Having been plant based since early 2013, the decision to include meat into my diet has given me more overall freedom and less stress in my life. I don’t think much about it, I just allow it and enjoy it when I want. I still believe that having meat days over cheat days is SMART and keeps my diet PLANT focused. When I go out for a post show meal, for a date night or a holiday, I have no worries or stress about eating meat. It’s ALL good and it always will be.
Calorie Counting: If it wasn’t for counting my calories and taking breaks from calorie counting, I would never have determined my maintenance calories and my fluctuating macro needs. My maintenance calorie number fluctuates too, which was very important for me to understand as I move into a physique focused career.
Nose Breathing: Nose breathing manages my stress levels and helps me to understand how hard I can push it. Keeping my hormones healthy requires stress management which I am very happy to practice and master. One day at a time, I’ve really only just begun.
Confessional (Below is Physique Inspiration @amyleighquine)
Now let’s talk about calories. During this prep or ‘cut phase’, I’ve explored what it will take to drop weight fast. Dropping calories is one way to go about it, but I confess that I struggle to limit calories when I know my body needs more energy/food. Something that Sally and I are brainstorming is the possibility of embarking on a fruit based diet during future preps which sounds smart and strategic. Will it work? We are going to experiment. Will we/I reduce fats below 10% or even down to 5%? My body will answer that. Will we add sugar? Well that just might be too good to be true. Bottom line is that I have made great changes in my physique over the past few months and I will see through this ‘cut’ phase, but my calorie needs will reveal themselves as they go. Lastly, one more confession about my macros. Since coming full circle with many things in my life, I’ve discovered that there are consistencies with my past menus that I feel will stick with me into my future bodybuilding career. The main consistency being how many meals I eat each day. Five meals a day feels perfect to me, and as I build a figure competitor, lower fiber meal plan, my macros are now looking slightly different than what I claimed last week: 60% Carbs (all month), 15-20% Protein & 20-25% Fats. I said in my last vlog that my macros wouldn’t change again, but they did. Will they change again? I sure hope not. I want to discover my perfect protocol once and for all. In hindsight, spending a few months/years discovering my this protocol doesn’t seem like a long time, so I am embracing this journey and know that I will come out with the Trophy.
My Draft Figure Competitor Menu Protocol:
Morning Hot Drinks/Chocolate:
Lemon Water w/ stevia
Option 1: (Coffee Replacement) 1 TB Cocoa Powder with 11g Cocoa Butter in Hot Water (the Cocoa Butter is an experiment)
Option 2: Serving of Unsweetened Chocolate (110 calories)
Option 3: Molasses in Hot Water (optional with a splash of plant milk)
Snack #1: (Before or after I train)
Option 1: Rice Cakes w/ PB2
Option 2: Cereal w/ Almond Milk (currently trying Premier Protein Cereal)
Option 3: Fruit
Cream of Wheat or Cream of Corn, 16g Pea Protein, 7-10g Molasses, 100g Fruit & 80g Soy Yogurt (Quantities will vary)
4 White Corn Tortillas (or any Tortilla/Starch), Protein such as Tempeh, Tofu, TVP, Beans or Meat, Lower fiber Veggies and Sauce (Quantities will vary)
Option 1: Same as Breakfast, but I’ll possibly switch up the Starch and/or Fruit
Option 2: Rice Cakes with PB2 or any topping I crave
Option 3: Fruit
Option 4: Cereal w/ Plant Milk
*Starch such as Brown Rice, White Rice, Potatoes or Pasta (or any)
*Protein such as TVP, tempeh, tofu, beans, fake meat or real meat
*Lower fiber veggies
*Fat such as Avocado or Olives
(Quantities will vary)
Mindset Focus: When training, I'm going to dial into the Figure Physique Ideal:
*Lats (Width & Depth with V Taper)
*Quads (Quad Sweep)
*Hamstrings (Separation from Glutes)
*Hip Flexors (Sucked In)
*Glutes (Tight & Full)
*Core (Small & Tight)