Hello everyone! I am super stoked to kick off this new series, and share my journey along the way with you all! If you have followed along for a while, then you know I have completed several challenge series over the years: some were in prep for the stage, while others were simply getting ready for the beach. What separates this go-around from those in the past is, the work I have put in over the last 25 weeks.
Three years ago, just after turning 35, I decided to embark upon a vegetarian journey. It wasn’t something that I just did overnight, but it was something I had been working towards for a while. Being a nutritionist and writing nutrition programs for other people, I felt it was important that I gain a complete understanding from a vegetarian’s perspective. My protein sources came from fish, eggs, and dairy. I continued this approach for 24 months, and when I was ready to transition back, I re-introduced white meat in the form of chicken and turkey, and within a couple of months, red meat occasionally. My takeaway from this experience was extremely positive. I felt amazing throughout the journey, and personally, I never felt deprived or nutrient deficient in any way. What I did notice though, was a change in my post-workout recovery. I felt that delayed onset muscle soreness was more prevalent, and recovery time was a bit longer. However, I do keep in mind that this was over a two year period and let’s be real, after the age 35, recovery would probably take a bit longer. Either way, I decided to see if reintroducing meat back into my diet, could in fact reintroduce some muscle progression as well. So, that became my focus. For 6 months, I followed a bulking program that included a caloric abundance coupled with powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and short high intensity interval training sessions.
This bulk was different in comparison to previous bulking periods in the sense that, I avoided the scale completely. I have been successful in the past with putting on muscle, but the scale would often dictate my path. One has to understand that when you are bulking you will indeed put on weight, that’s the point; however, we all know good and well that seeing that increase on the scale can completely do your head in. So this time, to avoid de-escalating my progress, I just chose to avoid it. I took the batteries out, and the first time I saw my weight throughout this process was yesterday morning. One hundred and fifty pounds! I could not believe it. I was literally in shock! I have never weighed this much in my life! Am I completely solid? Of course not, but I would have never looked at myself in the mirror and put a 150-LB stamp on my physique. I am honestly quite thrilled with my progress, and the fact that I have made such notable changes makes this series so much more enjoyable. I cannot wait to see what’s hiding under this layer of fluff!
Along with my weigh-in, I took measurements and some snapshots to document day no. 1.
While I am feeling like a thick chick, and I don’t hate it, I am more than ready to see some abs and booty definition.
Because I have worked so hard and put so much time into this bulk, I will allow myself just as much time to lose the excess body fat. Instances in the past of being overzealous and losing too much, too quickly resulted in not only muscle loss, but metabolic disturbances that took a great deal of time to come back from.
So, I invite you to continue to follow along as I share the ins-and-outs of this journey over the next 20 weeks.