Body fat: 12.5%
Body fat: 6.1%
A new month, new beginnings and a new focus.
And with a new focus comes increased drive, motivation and determination.
With both my husband and I at 4 weeks out of our upcoming competition (Enercup) it is time to really step up our game, focus on our goals for this contest and bring the best physique and “package” that we possibly can.
We are both blessed to share a love of bodybuilding and compete together. 5 years ago, when Maarten started developing an interest in bodybuilding, I really wasn’t that into working out, fitness or food. I would go to the gym, but that was about it. I was physically at the gym and doing something, but it wasn’t training in the slightest, it was basically just moving and having the feeling that I ‘did something’. He, on the other hand, would push himself. It was his drive and motivation that really inspired me – seeing how he trained and how he was extremely conscious of what he ate. He was strict and I could see the progress he was making… that’s when the switch changed in my head – ‘If he can change his body through weight trainings and food, then I wonder what I could do’.
The rest is history as they say.
Back to the here and now.
A learning for me these past few weeks has been that I really thrive on having a ‘focus’. I’ve found “maintenance mode” quite difficult in the sense that I don’t just like to drift. I want to work, and I want to work hard. I want to push myself as much as I see my husband push himself. And maintenance mode, as nice and easy as that sounds, can take a toll on you emotionally.
After my weekly check in with The Boss / Coach, Jerry Koolhoven, last week, we set new goals and this gave me a clear focus. I was ready to put in the hard work. At 4/5 weeks out it was time to push further and really give it that extra.
My goal is to stand on that stage and know that I have done ALL that I can – whether that means sticking to my food, or putting in the time at the gym (every single minute of cardio, every single bead of sweat, every single rep with weights), or making sure I get enough rest.
No one can do the work for you – all you can do is make your own decisions, do it yourself and do your best. As much as I am accountable to my coach, I am accountable to myself, and I don’t want to let either down.
This week has been one of my favourites so far. The stage is clearly in sight, things are getting real, I know what I have to do and had more motivation and determination this week than any others over the past months.
It may sound weird, but I love the ‘struggle’ you sometimes have to go through – especially when it comes to nutrition and food. Staying on point and having that wonderful fulfilled feeling of going to bed at the end of the day knowing that you stuck to the plan.
The struggle shows you just how much strength, self control and willpower you can have if you set your mind to it, which leads me to something that has come across my path a few times this past week – the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment.
This study, conducted in the 1960s, gave nursery school kids a treat (marshmallow, pretzel or cookie) and offered them the following deal – 1) eat it straight away or 2) wait 15 mins and get an extra treat. The conclusion from this experiment was that the kids who had shown the ability to wait got better grades, were healthier, enjoyed greater professional success, and proved better at relationships.
I find it so interesting that this characteristic can be found in early childhood, but I do believe self control (and making the conscious decision to be self controlled) can take place at any age. Believe me, I wasn’t always that disciplined to only snack on 6 walnuts, and not eat half the packet HAHA.
It’s definitely this willpower, self control and discipline that you learn through bodybuilding and the magical thing is that you can take this into all other areas of your life, and that learning, and experience, is invaluable.
So, onto the next week of prep – small and big goals are set, the focus is clear and the only thing to do is Do It.