competitions/races · rants

The toxic side of training…

Why I fired my coach one month out from my first bikini show and consulted a nutritionist.

Had to try on the suit :)
Had to try on the suit 🙂

Holy moly! I can’t believe I am one month out from my first show!! I jumped ahead quite a bit from the original plan of an August show date, but I am already down to show size, and it is difficult to maintain.

So if you’re wondering what the heck the title of this post is referring to, I want to shed some light on some scary things I have discovered over the past few months of show prep. Whether I win my show or come in dead last, I am much more concerned about my health and how I feel than winning any type of trophy.

Tips for first time, or any, competitors:

  • When it comes to supplements, do your research. There are far too many “miracle” products on the market that are not regulated by the FDA, nor are they safe for human consumption. I do not take any supplements anymore, not even whey protein, as it upsets my stomach.
  • Listen to your body. If something makes you feel like crap, you probably should stop eating it. I know that dairy/whey protein/brussels sprouts make me gassy, so… I eat them only when I know I wont be around anyone for a while 😉
  • Be careful when choosing a coach, they should be there to guide you through every step of the process, and care about YOU, not your money.
  • Ask questions!! Don’t blindly follow a coach’s recommendation if you are unsure or something. A good coach will gladly explain why they are telling you to do something.
  • Do some reading on the preparation process before diving right in. (Posing, diet, exercises, carb cycling, what is “peak week”, etc) There are tons of online resources, Bodybuilding.com is a great place to start.

So after weeks of complaining and expressing my frustration to others, I was introduced to a fabulous nutritionist/former bikini-turned-figure competitor, Brianna Max Diorio, who I had the pleasure of interrogating about all things competition prep. I received more information and answers to my questions in one hour over coffee than I have received from my coach in 2 months. Real answers, backed up by science about what my body was going through and more importantly, why.

Example: I had issues with low energy levels by the end of the work day and had been struggling to get motivated to go to the gym. Instead of revamping my meal plan, my former “coach” decided that the solution was his $40 preworkout powder. I blindly bought into it and got myself a tub. At first, I loved it. I had so much energy and I was killing my workouts. Then I’d go home, and eat dinner and try to fall asleep. Hours went by and I still could not sleep. The next day I’d be dragging at work and would resort to chugging tea (or taking pre-workout, eek!) in the morning to get through the work day. Not healthy, folks. I have since removed all of that crap from my diet and I am feeling much better 🙂 Needless to say, I went home, advised him that his services were no longer desired/needed, and I moved on.

I have a friend who has competed in multiple bikini shows, who was recently hospitalized with a ruptured appendix and thyroid problems. I am not a doctor, so I can’t factually state that they are related, but I have a feeling the “stack” of pre-workout, Agmatine, beta-alanine, and Phytoform supplements that she was taking might have something to do with it. We were supposed to do a show together later this summer, but unfortunately, she is out of commission for the rest of the year. So PLEASE do your research!

I am currently testing out carb cycling and seeing what works best for my body because the low carb/low calorie diet I have been maintaining for the past two months has been draining. Hopefully, this will give me more energy for better workouts and less stress! I am also going to start working with a new posing coach this week so I am excited to see how it goes 🙂

Welcome back carbs!! Oh how I've missed you!
Welcome back carbs!! Oh how I’ve missed you!

Ok enough ranting! To all my friends and supporters, thank you for listening, and tolerating me when I was hangry. My fellow competitors, PLEASE be safe! You only get one body to live in, treat it with love and respect!!

Yours in health,

Nicole

 

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One thought on “The toxic side of training…

  1. Thank you for sharing this. It’s too often that we are not told about all the things to consider that may be harmful to our health. I’m always tempted to try the latest powder/pill/drink to help achieve my fitness goals, but then I tell myself that natural and slow and steady will (eventually) win the race.

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