Blonde vs Bulking

I’ve been rattling my brain about how to write this for a few weeks now. I guess I’m not good at writing about things I’m not happy about, that I feel I have failed. Then again I believe we need failures in our lives to learn and progress… this is a bit of a long post compared to my usual, I thought before I go into my bulking experience, if your new to reading my blog I’ll give you the full down low on my journey so far.

January 2014 – after no longer being able to fit in my size 12 jeans I made the usual New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I would stick to it. I’m straight on the old Instagram, followed a huge bunch of inspirational women, body builders, fitness models, clean eating goddess’. After 5 months I’ve lost half a stone through dieting, hit a plateau before finding the confidence to drag my wobbly butt to the gym, spent endless hours doing thy cardio. After 12 months, I’ve lost 2 stone, and my bum.

January 2015 – I’m down to a size 8 and I’ve mastered the clean eating and what to eat to maintain this weight.  I’m almost obsessed with remaining this weight … I stuck to my 5 nights of cardio a week, treadmill, crosstrainer, whatever it takes to stay slim.

May 2015 – I’m feeling pretty good about life, the new skinnier me, I start Blonde Ambitionz to share my current progress and keep me motivated at the same time.

September 2015 – It’s time for a change! I trial DW Fitness one Saturday morning and it’s love at first sight. The next Saturday I signed up for good and haven’t looked back. This gym is different to the last, I’m surrounded by bodybuilders and women in incredible shape. I watch from the treadmill as I see these women lifting, their muscles flexing under the lights and I’m amazed by the shape of their booty’s… New inspiration. I want that booty! I want my booty back! So I hire a personal trainer to show me the ropes & so operation booty begins.  Gradually over the next few months I start to see progress, I start understanding what I’m doing what moves are going to work on what area and I start getting more confident… but only confident enough to weight train in the big boys section on my own when the gym was empty.

January 2016 – after 6 months of following each other, collaborating on our blogs I finally meet up to train with Victoria. For those who don’t know V, she’s this incredible ball of fearless, infectious energy. First thing she does is carelessly waltz across to big boys section and to the squat racks. Entirely unfazed by the fact it was surrounded with muscle dudes. I followed her lead..  After practising my squats with the bar on my back, we moved onto the smithy machine and started working on our leg press. So I’m led on the floor, legs in the air pushing this weighted bar and the bar keeps turning and the clips are trying to rehook to the side so V has to stand over me to ‘spot’ the bar and stop the clashing of the clips. Randomly as the bar comes down, V starts squatting in synchronisation, crotch right in my face. That was it. Our bonding moment. I had literally never laughed so much in the gym in all my life.
Victoria and I train a couple of Saturday’s a month at DW the remaining of the week she trains at a gym local to where she works and I train mostly alone. But that’s all I needed, to properly get over the fear, was to take some of her infectious ‘I don’t give a **** what anyone thinks, I’m as good a lifter as any of you guys attitude’.

Feb 2016 – unless I’m warming up, cardio is a thing of the past.  I’m starting to get stronger, the booty is starting to take shape but it’s not ‘growing’ at the rate I want it to. So I figure it’s time to revisit the diet. I’m training 6 days a week, I need to be eating more. So I started my first ‘Bulk’. Thinking it was going to be simple, I upped my calories with an additional 500 a day, mainly adding more carbs to begin with. At first my body literally just rejected everything additional I ate, it was so used to me surviving on a set amount of calories a day it was like ‘Umm what is this? No thanks love!’ it took a good 3 weeks before it started getting used to all of the extra foods. I started noticing I had more energy and could lift heavier with more ease. I started to see my curves coming back.
Then… I screwed it. I was in the middle of a house move and I didn’t make the time to food prep properly, yet at this point my body is used to allll the foods, so I’m hungry all the time. So I end up picking fast, convenient and processed foods, my cheat meals go from one a week to one a day and bam I was up 10lbs of unhealthy weight in 2 months. I had my bum back, but the abs were hiding under burgers, donuts, pizza. My skin was awful, I felt heavy around my hips, I had zero energy. I had buggered the bulk.

Current situation; I’ve bailed on the bulk. For now. I’m working on shredding some of the unhealthy body fat I’ve gained, to do this I’ve lowered my calorie intake back to my ‘maintain’ amount, cut down my carbs and upped my proteins. I’ve incorporated a little more cardio into my workouts, so I still do my 10 minutes of cardio warm ups before weights but I’ll also do one session a week of just cardio, 40 minutes on the treadmill and a further 20 rowing. The decrease in cals + the extra cardio calorie burn and I should see that body fat drop.
My mental challenges at the moment:    
1) To stop caring what the scales say in regards to weight, I’m only supposed to be monitoring the body fat. I’m still playing with weights; I don’t want to lose my muscle mass so what the scales say in regards to how many lbs I am should be irrelevant to me. Sometimes, despite knowing this, and understanding how it works, my mind reverts back to being this chubby girl obsessed with the scales. I’m not that chubby girl, I’m not overweight, so I need to train my mind out of thinking like that.
2)   I’m still always hungry. & I ALWAYS want to reach for the sugar treats and greasy burgers. Then I give into those cravings and feel awful afterwards when my skin comes out in spots from excessive eating of bad crap. I’m learning how to beat my fast food cravings and replace them – I’m actually going to do a separate blog post on that because I think it’s really interesting how your mind deceives you into thinking your craving one thing, when your body is craving another.

So there you have it. Progress, challenges, fails, and new challenges. It’s all part of this never ending journey of learning, adapting and moving. I love it though, the good, the bad, the ugly I still love it. In a few months, I will do the bulk again, only this time I’ll make sure it’s at a point I’m totally settled in my personal life so I can take the time mentally to prepare, do my research and next time, I won’t fail. Until then..... xo

Victoria & I 

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