The past few days have been hard– sick baby, sick baby waking me up multiple times every night, (as a result) sleeping past my alarm and almost being late to work on multiple occasions, feeling off, fights with my husband over our company, flat tire. I am in week 3 of my competition prep with about 6 weeks to go and this time I have had a lot more difficulty sticking to the diet.
When I started thinking about why I wasn’t being as consistent with my diet I realized it came down to lack of organization. I would wake up, rush to get ready, not have the foresight to pack all my meals for the day and end up eating what I had on hand.
Admittedly I have a lot on my plate. I teach about 20 hours of fitness classes a week, I spend another approx. 20 hours helping my husband with our company and when I am not working. I am taking care of Cyrus or working out. That said I have managed to cram everything in and I thought I would share a couple of tips that have helped me keep it together during contest prep.
1. Meal prep-less meal prep – Okay it sounds like an oxymoron but really, I don’t have much time to cook. I try to buy as much as I can pre-made with as little processing as possible. For me, this means getting grilled chicken from Wholefoods instead of spending my Sunday afternoons baking it. Frozen veggies are another life saver since they are already cut and just need to be cooked. I also usually end up just microwaving my potatoes and sweet potatoes to save time. Microwaving my eggs in a mug is another time saving trick that also cuts clean-up time.
2. Carry a cooler – This has been what has gotten me into trouble lately. If I am just going somewhere for a few hours I won’t bother to pack the cooler, thinking that I will be able to get home for my meal. But what actually happens is that I get so desperately hungry when I am out, that I end up grabbing whatever I see. The cooler is a must. Carry your food with you to avoid temptation and stay on schedule. The best way to do it is to have everything prepped and ready to go at night so you don’t have to waist time trying to get organized when you need to get out the door. This takes DISCIPLINE!
3. Stick to a schedule – Even though things can be unpredictable for me sometimes, it definitely helps to have structure. I make a weekly plan based on what I have going on including my work schedule, meal schedule and workout schedule. That way ,I know when I will get my meals and exercise in around my other obligations. Most humans crave structure and having to constantly adapt to change can be stressful. Chances are, if you don’t schedule your workout in, you won’t make it happen.
4. Have a back up plan – Today my son was sick and I could not take him to the gym daycare. I had to juggle some things around but I was able to fit in an hour long midday workout when my son was still with the nanny. I have also found ways to work out at home. For example, my trainer gives me plyometrics on Saturdays, but if I need to skip a day of training during the week, I usually do the plyometrics at home since I don’t need any special equipment. Although it is not ideal, at least I can fit everything in that way.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself – Contest prep is hard whether you have a lot going on or not. If you mess up one day and don’t get all your workout in or slip on your diet, move on and try to do better the next day. After all, you can’t take back what is done, all you can do is try to improve and learn from your shortfalls. Remember, this is a competition, it is about the experience and having fun, if you turn it into torture and constantly berate yourself, you take the enjoyment out of it.
Hope these tips helped. Please let me know if you have any tips that have really worked for you!