Elixir of life
You'd imagine that the two main ingredients for a comp-ready body would be food and fitness, right?
Turns out there's a third factor that phenomenally influences "gains" (or losses, depending on your health goal): TOXINS.
This can explain why some of us may train hard and eat super well but not get the results we feel we deserve.
When my coach spoke to me about this recently it came as no surprise. Seeing as I'd been systematically cleansing out toxins from my body on a weekly basis since early 2016, I was already well aware of this highly bleak global conundrum.
While we can control our food intake and exercise regime, we CANNOT 100% control the toxic environment around us - the pesticides on our vegetables, the plastics that seep into our food and drink from tupperware and takeaway cups, xenoestrogens, car pollution, the depressing list goes on.
When this all became apparent to me a year ago I could have gone three ways, thinking either:
- We're fucked anyway - mays well go all out on the junk food.
- QUICK! I've got to convert to all-ORGANIC, drink only raindrops and escape to the fresh-aired countryside FOREVER; or
- I'm going to live life to the fullest and not waste time overthinking what I put into my body.
Living in fear would be ridiculous. I decided that the best solution would be to tackle toxins to the best of my ability.
And it's not just about flooding the body with the right nutrients (i.e. eating organic yet living in a polluted city) – the toxins must be flushed out first before the nutrients can be properly absorbed and utilised.
Before training for these sports modelling competitions, I was living my ideal lifestyle that allowed me to enjoy brunch, dessert and multiple servings of dinner without compromising my health and nutrition. Finally, after years of being sick and obsessed (in a counter productive way) with achieving perfect health, I found what worked best for me. I naturally became less:
- Foggy headed
- Self-concious, the list goes on.
We all know that in order to be a fully functional, fit and health human being we must consume a good balance of macros (proteins, carbs, fats) and micros (vitamins and minerals), right? Well, unfortunately for the next two weeks of my life my goal is a little bit different. For the next two weeks I have to abandon my usual vibrancy and energy to shape a body that looks partially-starved with near-to-none fat, as if my muscles have been vacuum sealed by my soon-to-be-ridiculously-tanned skin.
Alas, this means I have to also abandon my morning smoothie (packed with all the necessary nutrients for everyday functioning, like carbs) that has kept me happy and healthy the past year.
This "cutting" phase (reducing carb intake) is when competitors infamously experience mood swings, fatigue and extreme hangriness - which I have not yet suffered thanks to good nutrition. Exciting times ahead, eh.
SO, I take this moment to appreciate this elixir of life before I voyage without it into rocky waters that is, for me, the very FASCINATING world of the unknown.