(Gahhh! I spent 30 minutes or so typing up this post last night only to find that WordPress didn’t save the final copy. Fuckity-fuck!)
Anyway – Post Contest Reflections – Take 2.
Before I elaborate on my Thai experiences so far I thought I would describe how things are physique/psychology/training /diet wise.
It’s only natural that after a period of sustained, hard dieting, one’s appetite is going to be in a heightened state once the floodgates of ‘free-eating’ have been opened. To say the last week and a half has been a period of unrestrained eating is the understatement of the year. I’m putting my regular approach to I.F on on the back-burner at the moment, and basically eating whenever and whatever I feel like. Apart from a Peptopro + Leucine shake in the morning, I try to hold off until around midday before eating, and then the feeding-frenzy commences. Nothing is off-limits, and I eat more than my fill of carbs, fat, sugar and salt. I then eat continuously for about 6-8 hours having a nap in between and don’t stop until my stomach feels like it’s literally going to explode and I double over in pain. I particularly feel my feet swelling to the point that I have to remove my shoes due to discomfort. More than a few times, I’ve awoken at night to camp out by the toilet for a while awaiting the resurgence of food. Luckily, it hasn’t happened…yet.
I figure I have a two week limit to this way of eating before needing to tighten things up again. I remember an old article from the once brilliant but now defunct Muscle Media 200 magazine that outlined an approach called the ABCDE diet. This eating approach cycled 2 week alternating blocks of over and under-eating phases and while the results didn’t pan out for most people, I figure that two weeks of gluttony won’t induce excessive damage physique-wise. Once I’m back at work, I know that my daily routine will take care of the cravings. On top of that, I’m starting a new variation/experiment to my I.F routine that I want to try for 30 days giving me a new mental goal to focus on.
After the initial high of winning the comp and riding the wave of increased carbs and calories, I felt like I was going to come down hard emotionally. I didn’t want to be sitting around alone in the house when that happened, so on the spur of the moment, I booked a flight to Thailand for a change of scenery and routine. As opposed to when I was dieting, I no longer feel like hating/killing everyone/everything. Icecream is the new Prozac. My sex drive is still in the toilet, with everything dead as a doornail south of the border. Hopefully, this improves sooner rather than later, although I do appreciate the clarity of thought experienced when not having to think with your dick the majority of the time.
I’ve always heard of the post-dieting rebound that enables one to seriously smash things up in the gym. The flood of nutrients and calories so long deprived facilitates an amazing anabolic effect (in theory). In my case however, I’ve found the reverse to be the case so far. My strength took a massive dive in the first few days. Chins ups for example went from easy sets of 20 reps a few days before to struggling sets of 10. Niggles in my shoulder, arms and hamstrings started to appear mysteriously. I’ve taken a break for about 4 days to allow some total systemic recovery.
Naturally my muscles have filled out and I feel a nice pumped feeling all day long. Vascularity has also been insane most days. Despite an inevitable loss in some of my conditioning, there hasn’t been too much damage done in terms of fat gain as the pics below show.
Pics taken 5 days after the contest. Self-taken snaps using a timer on the camera. Appears my tan has faded more than my condition.
8 Days after the contest. Legs are looking crazy with vascularity still present along with more size. When I took these pics, I hadn’t trained in 4 days. Legs I haven’t trained in over 2 weeks.