Trish Marma, Health & Wellness Coach
Trish Marma, Health & Wellness Coach

My Journey to 50–Week 4:  The chronicle of one middle-aged woman’s pursuit of the impossible:  A Bikini Fitness Competition!

 

So you may be wondering, “What on earth possesses a middle-aged mother of five to train for a Bikini Fitness Competition? Some days I wonder that too!

 

 

Last week was crazy-busy, but it’s the first week since I started this “journey” that I’ve been able to get four workouts in in one week.  Training 4x per week (and by training, I mean “lifting” only) definitely has some advantages and disadvantages:

 

Advantages:

  • Improved sleep
  • Feeling of accomplishment
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased menstrual cramping
  • Decreased bloating

 

Disadvantages:

  • More laundry
  • Increased hunger/cravings
  • Increased need to keep healthy foods on hand = more grocery shopping = more cooking
  • Hair-washing dilemma (Do I wash my hair every 3 days?  Every-other-day)?

 

 

Granted none of the disadvantages are deal breakers.  In fact, there’s definitely a HUGE benefit with being almost 50 and that is, it’s easier to see where your priorities are.  If you can’t compete in the spring and have to compete in the summer instead, It’s really all okay.  The world isn’t going to end. Four years ago, when I trained for my first bikini competition, this was all new to me.  I bought into the belief that in order to compete, everything had to happen in 12-16 weeks.

 

If you can’t compete in the spring and have to compete in the summer instead, It’s really okay.  The world isn’t going to end. Four years ago, when I trained for my first bikini competition, this was all new to me.  I bought into the belief that in order to compete, everything had to happen in 12-16 weeks.

 

Four years ago, when I trained for my first bikini competition, this was all new to me.  I bought into the belief that in order to compete, everything had to happen in 12-16 weeks.

 

It is incredibly taxing on the body to accomplish a complete change in your physique in such a short period of time but is more so the older we get.  While you can make amazing things happen in 12-16 weeks, it’s not life or death.  I have a goal yes.  Whether I get there in sixteen weeks or thirty-two weeks doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

 

There’s no secret sauce in preparing for a competition in a shorter period of time. Either way it takes dedication and focus.

 

My body has gone through a lot in the past 6 years.  Just in one year alone, I lost 15 pounds in twelve weeks (but not in a healthy way).  I gained it all back in less than half that time (but not in a healthy way). Then I lost 24 pounds in about 12 weeks (yeah, depression will do that to you) and I stayed down around 103-106 lbs. for about another 12 weeks (because yeah, TIA’s don’t exactly give you an appetite) and when I finally stepped foot in the gym after healing my body and mostly healing my mind (that took a little bit longer), I was right back up to 132-135 lbs.

 

When I’m not competing, my body hangs out around 120-125 lbs. these days.  I celebrate when the scale inches up because I know if I’m eating healthfully, good food + lifting weights= healthy muscle growth and I celebrate when the scale inches down because I also know that healthy food + lifting weights + cardio = healthy fat loss.

 

My goals are to be more than just “competition ready” I want to be strong and healthy when I’m done.  Fitness Competitions do encourage disordered eating practices by default, so it’s important to me that I go into this not just physically prepared, but mentally prepared as well.

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