There are a few funny and not so funny things that happen post competition, especially between competitions. Some things I can laugh at and other things I just have to get through.
A funny side effect of posting my competition pictures is that I got a lot more attention from them. One of the neighbor guys that Charley has been teaching a few mechanical-type things over the last couple of months came over the Sunday after my competition to ask a few more questions. He told Charley that he saw my pictures on Facebook and didn’t know I did that stuff. Well, I already mentioned my stomach problems after my treat meal a few weeks ago and it just so happened that as they were having that conversation out in the garage, I was curled up in the fetal position in pain in the living room. Charley told me about their conversation later and joked that he should have said, “If you think that’s hot, you should see her now.” We had a good laugh at that.
Another thing that happens is that the tan fades. The stage tan is very thick and doesn’t wear off evenly, it gets quite blotchy in fact. I have been exfoliating my skin and even applying my regular sunless tanning lotion to try to cover up the blotchiness, but I’ve still gotten quite a bit paler, pretty quickly. I’m pretty pale normally, but I had gotten used to seeing the base tan and then the show tan, instead of my normal skin tone. In fact, one morning I woke up and looked in the mirror and thought, “I don’t look like I feel well. I hope I’m not getting sick.” I felt fine and couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then it hit me that the face I was looking at in the mirror was paler than it had been in weeks. I laughed at myself for that too.
But I laughed harder a few days later when Charley approached me cautiously. He asked me if I felt okay. Then he started backtracking when I gave him a confused look…”I mean…you’re beautiful and everything…but…are you sure you feel okay?” Then I realized that he had noticed I was paler too. I did have to give him a hard time about telling me I looked sick though.
Since my next competition is in Vegas, I thought it would be appropriate to add more stones to my suit to glam it up a bit. I listened to a podcast from one of my fellow competitors to learn how to do it and then selected stones in varying complementary colors and two different sizes- most were in the 3mm size and a few were in the 5mm size to match some of the bigger ones on my suit. I didn’t really think about how small 3mm is and how long it would take to put just under 600 additional stones on my suit and shoes. As Charley joked, “It’s 6 square inches of material,” how long could it take? Well, it took just over 4 hours of picking each little stone up one by one with a tweezer, putting a dot of glue on it and sticking it to my suit. Here’s my pictures that I sent in for my check-in with my coach.
Can you tell? I could just barely, but I’m hoping that the bright lights of the stage really make the stones pop, like they say they’re supposed to. Oh, and in reference to the “pale” comments I made above, this picture is actually of me with one coat of base tan. Yes, I’m that pale.
Another side effect of having a lower body fat than is natural is that I am always cold. When you’ve worked this hard to get this lean, you want to be able to walk around in tank tops and shorts, but I find myself running for sweat pants and sweat shirts and drinking warm herbal tea on a regular basis. Not fun. Of course, being cold all the time is also a sign of imbalance so it could also be that my body is telling me I’m supposed to have a little more fat. Which, while as a society we’ve been shamed by the media into believing we’re supposed to look like Victoria’s Secret models, I’ve known for a long time that I can’t sustain this little body fat for any extended period of time. But it’d still be nice to enjoy it while it lasts.
I’ve already mentioned a few times how I’m learning to listen more to my body by trying to do this the healthy way. And I’ve learned more of the same in the past few weeks. Too many carbs from the wrong sources makes me bloated. Too little good carbs makes me, um, cranky. Too much animal protein, in conjunction with the lack of carbs makes me angry and easily irritated. Everything has a balance and the game that I’ve had to play the last few weeks has wreaked havoc on my balance. It’s okay to do to accomplish a goal every now and then, as long as I can remind myself why I’m feeling the way I do and remember it for the future.
Either way, I have one week left until it’s all over. One more week of having food in its basest form- fuel for minimum activity. Then I get to go back to finding my normal balance. Hopefully it’ll be somewhere between where I am now and where I was in August when I started my prep. Until then I’m going to keep practicing my posing and look forward to meeting all of my teammates that are also competing. We may not be able to go crazy in Vegas (not like I would anyway), but we’re still going to have fun.
Questions? Comments? Please let me know.