05 Mar What Enabled Me to Compete Again
Competing in the fitness industry was something I wanted to do for a long time. After years of doubting myself, I finally took the leap and signed up with TwinFitness in 2012. I knew achieving my dream of competing was going to entail a lot of hard work. I knew I would need to dedicate significant time to make my goal a reality. Looking back, it was hard work, but VERY worth it! I competed in November of 2012 and June of 2013! The feeling of achieving a dream and accomplishing a goal is amazing! It makes all the hard work worth it, however; looking back on those first two competitions I did, I wish I would have known then what I know now! For those two shows I prepped like most athletes do, in a carb adapted state (my body relied on carbohydrates for its main energy source). My macronutrient breakdown was approximately 60% protein/25% carbohydrates/15% fat. I was working out at least 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. As a wife, mom of 3, and busy business owner in my mid-thirties, my ratio of energy to time was not equating a positive outcome. The problem wasn’t the time I needed to dedicate to the goal of competing, as much as it was what the nutrition and workouts were doing to my energy level. The energy I had left after working out was not allowing me to be the best me I had to offer to my family and other responsibilities. In order to maximize show prep efforts I knew I had to devote my highest levels of energy to workouts. By the time I got to my family and work responsibilities, I was extremely worn out! After my second competition, I was done! I did well at the competitions; they were so worth all the effort! I looked better than I had ever looked in my life (in my mid-thirties), however; I didn’t feel like I could continue competing as frustrated as I was with my energy. I loved competing, but it wasn’t worth it if it meant giving my family the version of me they were getting: tired, hungry and grouchy. I canceled my membership with TwinFitness and decided to use the information I had gained during my time with them to maintain my fitness on my own.
After a year of trying to maintain on my own, I was thoroughly frustrated. I had gained weight, lost muscle, and my energy levels were getting worse! I started noticing posts on social media from TwinFitness about their new fat adapted nutrition approach. I did a little research on it myself after seeing several posts. The science behind it all seemed to make sense, but the thought of going without carbs made me say, “No way”! I remembered trying a very low carb nutrition approach before and being hungry, and talk about no energy! I never, ever wanted to try something like that again!
I guess it was because I kept seeing more posts from TwinFitness that my interest wouldn’t stop. It was also probably the fact that I kept looking in the mirror in defeat and then looking at the posts of the girls, some in their 40’s and 50’s, and they looked great. I was living without energy and these girls were talking about having lots of energy! Finally, I called my previous trainer with TwinFitness, IFBB Pro Kristie Trasey. I told her about my old experience with low carb eating and my fears with trying a fat adapted nutrition plan. She educated me by explaining that my problem with my old approach to low carb nutrition was that I wasn’t feeding myself with enough good, healthy fats. She explained that I wasn’t giving my body the essential sodium it needed. She gave me several other tips and tricks that she said would make a fat adapted lifestyle life changing for me. She shared with me her personal hormonal lab reports before she was fat adapted, and then again after she was. Her reports were so much better after becoming fat adapted! I was in shock! She told me I needed to give fat adapted nutrition a try. So, with much apprehension, I went for it! I figured I had nothing to lose! I had no plans of competing again. I just wanted to look better and feel better!
I went through a month of transition. I wasn’t hungry during this transition like I was scared I would be, and I didn’t even miss the carbohydrates like I thought I would (which pleasantly surprised me)! Then came the second month, this was when I really started seeing results in the mirror – that was exciting! My body fat started going down, and I was gaining muscle! I was actually getting results without doing tons of cardio! The best thing was I had energy! It’s really hard to explain the transition in how I felt – the best way to put it is – I had drive again, and I just felt good! I started this new plan in September of 2014 and at the first of 2015 Kristie reached out to me about competing again. Remember how I wasn’t interested in competing again because of the toll it took on me, and how I felt it wasn’t allowing me to be my best for my family and other responsibilities? Well, with this new fat adapted nutrition, I knew I could compete and still have energy for the things in my life that were most important to me! So -I did it! I have competed twice now being fat adapted. I did well both times! My macronutrient content was 70%fat/ 20% protein/ 10% carbohydrates this time around. I looked great, but most importantly, I felt great! I never thought it could be possible to compete and not be starving during peak week! It’s possible, believe me! Fat adapted nutrition is the only way to go, in my opinion, especially if you are a fitness competitor! I can’t imagine why anyone would train any other way now that I have done both! The food taste so much better in fat adapted nutrition, my energy is great, it’s easier to maintain the look I want (without endless cardio – which equals less inflammation in my body), I build muscle easier, and probably the most important factor of all is that my own personal labs are the healthiest they have ever been! Would it be crazy to say that fat adapted nutrition changed my life? You might think so until you try it for yourself! Get your body adapted to the fat and you’ll never go back!
By: Tanya Burk