It's a dream until you write it down, and then its a goal. - Anonymous

Friday, June 4, 2010

Planning, planning and then more planning!

When I first started this journey I really thought the hardest part would be what I do in the gym. But it turns out, that is the easy part! Well perhaps "easy" is the wrong choice of words, hehe, but it only comes second to amount of planning that goes into a venture like this one. I would have to say that planning is probably the most crucial part of reaching my goal...and I mean that in relation to so many aspects.

First off, there is the meal planning. Sounds easy, but let me tell you it so isn't!!! (And I would like to consider myself a very organized and planned individual). Not only is my diet pretty restricted at the moment, but I also have to eat every 2.5/3 hours (not so easy with a full time job!). The one thing that helps me is the fact that I LOVE to cook. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't always that way (my family could tell you lol). In fact, it is only really over the past 2 years that I really started taking an interest in it. Before then it was just something that I did out of necessity. Though I love to cook, I will admit that it has been a bit of challenge adapting recipes to cater to my diet. I also try to take into consideration my boyfriend's likes as I am not only cooking for myself (it does help that he is also on a gym push right now and is eating clean). Every night after dinner I sit down and plan my next days meals. The plan that my nutrition coach (Nadine Dumas) set out for me has certain targets for proteins, carbs and fats. I need to make sure that at the end of the day I have met those targets or stayed under. With the plan set out my next step is to prepare my lunch (as well as my boyfriend's) for the following day. Everything is carefully measured out, packed in my lunch bag and put in my fridge (where it is waiting for me the next morning). Buying a lunch bag and tupperware was by far one of the best purchases I have made. Sometimes the hard part is remembering to take it with you to work, lol!

Next comes grocery shopping! Whether you are dieting or simply eating clean, it is imperative to have a well stocked fridge. Gone are the days where I could pick up some "fast food" when I didn't feel like cooking or shopping for groceries. Prior to starting this journey my boyfriend and I were in the bad habit of going grocery shopping at least 3 times a week! Instead of planning out our meals for the week we would plan them out everyday after work. Of course, more than half of the time we would not have all of the ingredients and so we would hop in the car and go grocery shopping. As most people are probably already aware, shopping this way is definitely not cost effective! This past three weeks we have made huge strides in changing how we shop. We plan our meals out for the week and only hit the grocery store once on the weekend. Instead of running over to Safeway or Co-op we go to Superstore and Costco (and the savings are unbelievable!). We have also visited Crossroads Market (in particular Regina's Meat Shop) and that is where I am planning to buy all of my meat from during the 3 months prior to my competition. This is going to sound strange but Regina carries the biggest chicken breasts I have ever seen! My boyfriend and I even took pictures...if I can find them I will post them for you because this is definitely one of those, "you have to see it to believe it" things.

It will come as no surprise that the other half of my planning is spent on all that I do at the gym. My first step was to roughly plan out the entire year. I needed to know the dates of when I would be finishing a phase and when I would be starting a new one (thank God my roommate was there to help!). He also helped me hash out a plan for my first 8 weeks at the gym (including warm-up, exercises, sets, reps, rests..etc). After that time, we will work together for a week to test my progress and plan out the upcoming couple of months. Another important part of the process was planning out the times that I would be at the gym. I currently work 8-4:30 so it seemed appropriate that I would head to gym for 5:00pm. Of course it is unrealistic to think that I will always be able to make it during that happens and there will be other important engagements that arise. Therefore, I needed to make out a plan for the days that I would either have to change my start time...or the days that I would miss out on all together.

The funny thing is is that this is going to be easiest part of my journey when it comes to the topic of planning. During the last three months is when it is going to get really hectic (diet, gym twice a day, tanning, posing workshops, waxing, nails, photoshoot,swimsuit fittings, work, family, life....the list goes on!). It is crazy to think of the amount of planning and preparation that goes into 10 minutes of stage time!

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