“You want me to do what???”

I replied when he told me what he wanted me to do for 30 days.

Coach took me out to dinner a a few days after the show to celebrate. Full-on cheat meal at an Italian place. It was glorious. I’ve been pretty vocal about my plans to do a reverse diet out of this show. So when the conversation topic switched to what to do next as we go into a long off-season, he told me he wanted me to deal with my food a lot differently. For 30 days, starting today, July 1, I’m not going to use macros, weigh, or measure my food. I’m going to eat what I feel like I need to eat and log it. Log it by hand. In a notebook. No computer programs. No amounts. Along with the simple food list, I’m supposed to make a note about my hydration levels and how I feel.

This is going to be weird. I’ve been doing everything with precision for 4 years. I welcome this challenge for a couple reasons…

1) After weighing, measuring, logging, and following macros for so long, I’ve gotten a little OCD about eating. And it’s a drag, honestly. The same reason people don’t want to start monitoring their food intake with precision is exactly the reason I need to take a break. Right now, the first month of a year long off season, is the perfect time to do it.

2) As a coach/trainer myself, it’s good to get knocked out of my comfort zone and do something new. Establishing the habit of logging is hard no matter how you do it.

I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve tried for a few days before today and failed. One meal got logged. I think I’ll have to switch to using an app on my phone with Siri taking dictation. I’m still doing the reverse diet – sort of. I’ve added back my favorite clean foods that were removed from the plan for show prep. Sure enough – something is bloating me. That’s why they were removed. I’ll eliminate each one for a day to see if I can narrow it down. Since I’m supposed to be logging how I feel, should be able to figure this out. My suspects are almonds or fruit. It doesn’t really matter right now, I’m going to keep these things in, but I just want to know.


Post show weight shot up – as expected. My stage weight was 132 lbs. Four days later, it was 145 lbs. I was holding a TON of water. My face was a little swollen. I added the apple cider vinegar and asparagus back into my day to drop a little water. Weight has dropped to 140 and has maintained there for a couple of days. That’s where it should be right now – 132 lbs of me plus 8 lbs of water back inside me = 140 lbs. I don’t think Coach wants me to worry about the scale weight, but I’m going to keep an eye on it.  I expect that I might eat too little with this plan, so I’m just as concerned about weight drop as weight gain.  I want to gain weight in the off season, but my body will store fat. I’m retraining it. I need to try to stay as lean as possible as I gain. A bit of a tightrope walk, I know. But I know I gained muscle during the cut for this last show, so I’m fairly confident I can do this – even by instinct.

DISCLAIMER: What I’m doing probably won’t work for you. Every body is different. The variables are different. Everyone’s experience with food and exercise is different. I have a coach I’ve worked with for over a year, through two shows. I don’t follow a ‘plan’. We try things, observe the results, and adjust.


Filed under Competing, Nutrition

11 responses to ““You want me to do what???”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Tammy! I can imagine how difficult it will be to get out of the mindset that has been so structured for so long!
    I like the concept of measuring and prepping and planning; things just run a lot smoother and you can tell exactly how things affect your body when you become accustomed to doing things a certain way.
    Should make for an interesting month!

    What is one food that you are looking forward to eating again that you may have missed?


    • Hard to pick – I missed sweet potatoes and eggs the most. But I’ve been craving tomatoes. Eating them everyday. Maybe it’s my chocolate frozen whey shake. Yeah, that might be it.


  2. Colin DeWaay

    Love the disclaimer, seriously.


  3. Erika

    Thanks for sharing! May I ask how tall you are? I am a 41, 5’4″year old mom of two getting ready for my first competition in Nov. and was told I need to weigh between 115-120 in order to compete. That seems really low to me and was wondering your thoughts. I weigh 176 pounds and am currently 26% BF.


    • I am 5’6″. I really can’t comment. Body composition numbers are variables to consider, but mirror and pictures are better. My coach had a weight in mind, but I didn’t have any pressure from him to hit it. We just watched how I looked and he knew how I would dry out from the last show.

      And his guess for my stage weight a couple weeks out was 130-132. He’s good.


    • But I will tell you that 50 lbs in 4 months is going to cost you muscle and you will have loose skin.


    • Erika – just checked the math. At 26% fat, you are 74% everything else. If you lost every ounce of fat you have, which is impossible, you would weigh around 135. Not sure where all your numbers are coming from, but that’s what I calculated using them.


      • Erika

        I had my BF tested using Futrex BF Testing. I have been an avid lifter for almost 2 years. I lift heavy and have eaten high protein, around 150 grams-180 grams per day during that time.I am very muscular, though I have to say 135 pounds of non fat body tissue sounds very high as I think DLB has about 120 pounds. I guess my personal goal for the stage would be about 130-135. I am obviously not doing this to “win” the contest, but to get the win of doing the contest, if you get what I am saying. I had toyed with doing a contest in my 20’s when I worked at Gold’s Gym, I never did it even though I got down to 14% BF and looked amazing. I was too afraid. I thought I was fat back then. You know all the head issues women have. I look back and think I was crazy to have had issues about my body but I did. Since that time I have had 2 children and moved 10 times including to Japan and have also sent my husband on more deployments then I can count. I gianed lot of weight, up to 225 pounds in 2010. Since 2010 I have lost 50 pounds through slowly dieting and excercising. I guess I am ready to take the next step and compete. I have admired you since I read your story the first time and really thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions and listen to my story. You are an amazing lady keep up the good work!


        • I’m learning to hate bodyfat numbers. Follow your instincts. I totally get it. This is all about personal challenges and staring down fears. But I found stage to be a rush. So much fun!


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