Stupid Numbers = Decisions (or Why Ignorance Would Have Been Bliss)

I posted before about how I wanted to go into this show without checking body fat – just go by mirror. Seems like most competitors in my gym wouldn’t do that. But I know myself – my former “fat chick” brain is not dead. If she gets something to obsess on, she will go there in a hurry. I was comfortable and confident with that decision.

And then Coach wanted to check body fat with calipers.

So he did pinches and calculated it much, much higher than the mirror appears. And then he had to go out of town for a week. So there I was – the negative mental game in FULL SWING and no coach to help me process it. I didn’t believe the number at all, but it just hung in my head like a neon sign. So Fat Chick Brain took over. I continued to train and eat according to plan, but it felt pointless. I’ve been cutting for months, I’m about a month out from a show that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do anymore because I couldn’t fathom a way to be ready in the amount of time I had left. I tried for several days to get back to my “no numbers” perspective, but I couldn’t. So I took $75 out of my show savings and got another body fat scan. I’ve done six of these since 2011, so I knew if I had this test done, I’d have good numbers for comparison.

As I suspected, the number wasn’t as bad as the number calculated with pinches, but it’s not as good as it was 6 weeks out of my show last summer. But there are MORE numbers to chew on. This scan also breaks down the amount of lean mass tissue in different areas of the body. The last time I did it was at the beginning of last October. That was about a month after my show. Coincidentally, my weight for the October scan was exactly the same as for the scan I did this week, so the comparison is easy. I looked at the numbers a little closer. I lost lean tissue in my legs – that’s not a surprise considering the injuries. I’ve gained more in upper body. Overall, I’ve only had a net gain of about one pound (WTH?!?) of lean tissue since October. No idea how water effects that number. Bone mass is not included – it’s calculated separately.

To compare numbers from one month after my first show to one month before my second show…

  • body fat is the same
  • lean mass tissue is up one pound

So this morning I’m wondering if I should do a show this summer. It’s not about competing with anyone except me, and right now, I feel like I’ve made very little change. My division is Women’s Physique. That’s natural muscle. I was really hoping to present a physique with noticeable improvements. On paper, there are very small gains after a nine months of training. It’s possible that what I’m seeing is actually a good outcome for someone working around an injury. I just don’t know what to think about it. But I’m not a quitter and I do believe that finishing a thing is important, no matter the outcome. (I hope to get some new progress pictures this weekend. Maybe that will help me decide.) It’s expensive to do a show, too. It’s local, so that helps, but the rough estimate to do this show is over $600. If I decided to pick a different show a few weeks later, it really wouldn’t make a lot of difference in the amount of muscle I’d have, but it would add a bunch of travel expenses. If it weren’t for the expense, I’d tell myself to relax, go for it, and have fun. But money is an issue right now. Do I continue or do I wait another year?

The only decisions I have made for sure are that there won’t be two shows this year and changes will be made in this next off season.

I need to make this decision fairly quickly because I need to order the new posing suit soon.

AND…in the over scheme of things, this is trivial. Nothing life and death here.

UPDATE – In the hours that have passed since I posted this, I’ve realized that I can’t change my mind. It just runs counter to everything I believe and preach about setting goals and accomplishing them. I wrote about my thoughts and feelings because this blog is my documentation of my journey. I’m not an “informational” blogger or a “entertaining” blogger. This is my journal. I want to record some of the mental gymnastics that I go through. I really admire the competitors that never seem to have doubts. Maybe I’ll get there someday. Or not. I might just be a whiny princess. 😉


Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Competing, Life, My Lifting Log

9 responses to “Stupid Numbers = Decisions (or Why Ignorance Would Have Been Bliss)

  1. Were you confident and happy in the changes you saw in your progress pictures before you had the numbers? If your answer is yes, then I think you should compete.


  2. Melanie

    MHO, go for the June show….stay the course. U got this. Number is just a thing, and it IS better than last yr, go with it


  3. Stephb

    I have doubts all the time…it’s my first show ever, I haven’t had enough practice time, my routine isn’t done and I’m 3 weeks out, I want pita chips! Etc. 🙂 but, I want this for me… 95lbs gone, I am doing this for me to prove I can. It’s my little pat on the back in a weird sort of way. You can do it to! 🙂 smile,the sun is still shining on you.


  4. Colin DeWaay

    I’m glad you have come to your senses since you posted this so I don’t have to verbally bitch slap you. No offense. 🙂 Good job pulling out of it!


    • Hahahaha! Martha emailed me and said something similar – only in a nice way. I’ve been pretty angry, frustrated, and disillusioned for a while now. It’s going to be a challenge, but I need to box that all up and put it in a remote corner of my brain. Pretty grateful to have my blogger buddies keeping an eye on things – which is why I write this stuff. So I can get bitch slapped when necessary.


  5. Michelle

    I for one am very happy you’re not an “entertainment” blogger. I admire that you can put all your thoughts down out there in the public. I’m a bit reserved on that front in case I get negative comments and so ensues the mental mind games my mind loves to put me through. I’m 2 months out from comp having decided to compete again after 7 years and many life changes later! Can I do it is all I ask myself, why is it much harder than last time? Doubts is all I have but I get glimmer of hopes and my mentor is a god send. People don’t see what it takes and I love catching up with your shenanigans. Keep going x


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