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July10-4For the first time since I started competing three years ago, I am taking a break.  It’s a much needed offseason.  Although I placed in the top five in my national shows this year, the feedback from the judges is that I needed to put on more muscle, especially in my upper body.  (They also completely hated my Lady Gaga routine, but that’s a whole different story).

So, for the first time in a long time – I get to eat a larger number of carbs. Carbs help with energy which also helps to lift heavier weights.  It should be an interesting, yet hopefully fun, process although I haven’t been successful thus far.  Last week was my first week in the offseason and I ate everything off my “temptations” list.  Maggiano’s lasagna and chocolate cake; waffles; Famous Dave’s Sausage, baked beans and apples; pretzels;  Qdoba breakfast burrito; Panera Bread muffin, Avalon lobster macaroni and grilled cheese;  Wild Eggs Creole Omelet; Red Lobster biscuits;  Zaytun’s gyro and cheese bread; Homemade Pie Kitchen Boston Cream Pie; Skyline cheese coneys; Dairy Queen Oreo blizzard ; Blue Dog Bakery muffin and bread; Southern Cravings catfish, macaroni and sweet potatoes; Red Lobster Chocolate cake; IHOP pancake breakfast and Domino’s pizza. Wow oh wow, yum uh huh!

Yes, it was all VERY good (in flavor).  Yes, I helped to support the local economy.  However, by the end of the week my stomach was poking out so far that people probably would have thought I was pregnant.  I even wore a t-shirt at the gym so people wouldn’t start spreading rumors about me.  Although it was okay for me to splurge for a week, I knew that I couldn’t maintain that eating forever.  So I’ve come up with a plan.  I will be eating more carbs, but there are healthier carbs that I should be eating.  I also must watch the portion of the carbs I eat and try to eat all of my carbs before the afternoon ends.

Most people don’t look forward to gaining weight, but I’m excited to get a slightly larger muscular frame. To put it in perspective, I generally compete at 110 lbs (which is about 10 pounds under my normal weight).  The goal is to be a solid 115 lbs on stage (which means in the offseason I’ll possibly be 10 pounds over that). Here’s the kicker – in order to gain muscle, you must gain weight – which also generally includes gaining fat.  So I may be “thicker” over the next couple of months.  If my jeans fit a little tighter or my face looks a little fuller, don’t assume something is wrong.  I may look a little more ‘phat’ than usual (for me).  Just know it’s part of the process!  Cheers to sweet potatoes, whole wheat pastas and fruits!

M.Y. July 2010

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