Heh. Curveball.

So I finally muster up the strength to announce my secret master plan after a year, finally commit to a show date and go figure- something makes it all go wonky. Thanks life, you’re a fickle bitch.

I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that something was up with my hormones for quite some time. My mother’s thyroid gland basically died in her 40’s and I always wondered if I’d inherit her adrenal issues. Over the past year as I’ve been diligently putting in gym time, meticulously watching and logging my food, calculating my macros I’d see people doing the same and sailing past me in progress. I tried to ignore it, chalking it up to them being younger, maybe they had a genetic propensity to a leaner build, maybe they were thin when they were young. Over time as that continued and my efforts never waned, I started to internalize it. Are my workouts not good enough? Maybe my 60g of carbs a day is too much? Maybe I should do two low carb days and one high. Maybe my interval training isn’t intense enough. Maybe I should do cardio twice a day…. The negative self talk was kind of inevitable when I’d see everyone else succeeding and my efforts, while seemingly equal, were somehow not enough. I’d remind myself that consistency was key and it would pay off eventually. Plus, it wasn’t that I was seeing NO results- I look and feel better than I have my entire life.

I finally had advanced blood work beyond some high level tests I had gotten a few months before. The results were a fucking drag, man. Suspicions confirmed. My hormones are kind of a wreck.

Maybe I’ll make another post about the actual results and go into detail, but here’s the short story- my T3 is very low, I have virtually no bioavailable testosterone (women need some, just like men need some estrogen), I am significantly vitamin D deficient and my HGH levels are very low. All of these things unfortunately point to my body holding on to every extra ounce of fat, me not having much energy and my body refusing to build muscle. There were several other issues but these were the ones that were likely stunting my progress.

How I felt getting these results was very confusing. On one hand, I cried in my car feeling overwhelmed that something so critical in the picture of my health had deteriorated. It’s kind of scary. Part of me also felt a little wash of relief- it wasn’t for lack of effort on my part. It wasn’t just in my head that I should be seeing more results. There was a legitimate explanation. I also felt optimistic as the doctor explained the options for treatment. Most of these issues can be managed/corrected with medication.

So what now?

First off, my goal hasn’t changed
I WILL hit that stage. I’m not pushing for very long, either. I started treatment with the doctor right away, and my workouts are remaining intense and focused.

Second, I’m going off hormonal birth control. The doctor said that it is causing a whole host of problems so no reason not to nip that promptly. If it’s poisoning my body, I don’t need it.

I’m re-evaluating who I want bringing me to my goal. I know my gym produces winners- that’s not a question. The owner is coaching more IFBB pros than anyone in the state, and is one of the top coaches in the world. But I’m not trying to go pro. I’m trying to be my best, healthiest, fittest version of myself. After my most recent iteration of my diet costing me 4lbs of hard earned lean muscle and and increase of 2% body fat in just 3 weeks, I don’t think this is the direction I want to go. I can condition my body without drastic cuts and without hour long daily workouts while on 1200 calories. Don’t get me wrong, I get competition diets are rigorous and there is a point where I’ll probably need to shred down with some drastic measures, but wasting away for 16 weeks is kind of counter intuitive. When I saw those numbers it was a wake up call and it honestly made me a little angry. I worked really hard for those 4lbs of muscle. That’s not a small amount for a woman.

So I’m keeping my eye out for the right coach and team that will be sensitive to my health while still pushing me to get me on stage sooner rather than later. My eye is on the show in September, but I’m going to wait to truly commit until a little further into my treatment to see how things go. Also, until I find a coach and get their professional opinion as to what is realistic and achievable.

I won’t lie- it’s hard to keep my game face on right now. I had a little pity party and ordered desert last night. Not good to console myself with food, I know… but old habits die hard. I’m going to focus on my health and be kind to my body and am actually excited to re-embark on this journey with a fresh perspective.

This is barely a setback- if anything it’s a stepping stone. As Max put it, we found the hurdle and now we get to jump over it.