The photo on left is from my last fitness modelling competition taken in 2011 and probably the leanest I have ever been. The photo on right was taken in my last photo shoot that I did with Dallas Olsen and probably the most balanced, healthiest and strongest that I have ever been!
The comp prep that I did leading into my last show was very restrictive, I was told to cut all carbs apart from veggies all week and I was allowed one re-feed meal every Sunday! Back then ‘no carbs’ was all the rage and a lot of female competitors would have been on super low carb, high fat diets. I was training around 7-10 times a week so doing double sessions on 2-3 days a week. I had no social life what so ever and really felt very isolated from reality! Comp prep ruled my life, I had no balance and even though I loved my competing years, they were very taxing on me mentally and physically. This was my last show that I was ever going to do so I wanted to give it my all. This comp was in New Zealand so my family were able to come and watch me which motivated me to push myself as I wanted to make them super proud of me. I was so happy that they were finally able see me in action for the last time before I hung up my heels and comp bikini for good.
I can’t even begin to explain how different my outlook is now in regards to my training and nutrition. I train less, I eat more, I don’t cut out ANY food groups and I actually feel like I have a life outside of the gym. It is pretty amazing to compare the 2 bodies above, you can tell that the one on the right has more lean muscle, looks healthier and I now have a lot more shape to my body!
I in NO way stopped living during the photo shoot prep and had nights out with friends and still had the odd red wine at home. Eating more complex carbs was the key to me gaining 2kgs of lean muscle and because I added in more carbs, I reduced the fats that I was eating. I also cut out all processed sugars (not that I eat a lot of them anyway). My training was a mixture of strength training with RPM, I didn’t add in anymore training to what I was already doing. The results that happened were due to the change in my diet, hormones and my mindset.
Today my training is much more structured and I always schedule in at least 2 full rest days a week. I am feeling the fittest, strongest and healthiest I have ever felt.
Back in my competing days I couldn’t get a training session done without using a pre workout. I haven’t touched pre workouts since before I was pregnant and I don’t intend on using them again, I get my energy from the foods that I eat and the rest that I give my body.
Our bodies truly are amazing machines and you honestly get out what you put in. If you are stressed, tired, over training and under eating, can you imagine all of the stress that puts your body under?
Choosing to compete is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly and it takes TIME to get ready for the stage. Jumping on stage isn’t going to solve any body image issues that you may already have, if anything it will escalate them. Disordered and emotional eating are the roll on effects of not doing the nutrition part of a prep properly and it is so sad that after the bikini is off is when the issues set in and escalate. I do worry these days that the amount of girls competing has escalated to a ridiculous amount and the pressures on them to get super lean and then stay that way are huge.
No matter what your goal is you want your body to run like a well oiled Lamborghini, not some beat up old car that has nothing left in the tank! Believe me, I have been there and I get it! I hope that by me learning the hard way that I can now help to educate you on how you can lose body fat safely without losing your mind or messing up your hormones and/or your metabolism! These days I eat with a much more balanced mindset, I am very intuitive when it comes to what my body needs. I understand the importance of nutrient timing and eat to fuel my body rather than try to eat at a deficit to drop body fat. If I am tired, I rest. If I am hungry, I eat. I know from the thousands of women that I have worked with that most women struggle to have a healthy relationship with food and are constantly second guessing themselves or live in a constant state of yoyo dieting.
FOOD IS NOT THE ENEMY, as long as you are eating whole foods and not over eating or eating too much processed foods, your body will be able to lose body fat. Cutting calories or food groups will only work against you and your body in the long run!
If you feel like any of this resonates with you and you need help to get your eating on track and eat to drop body fat while remaining sane then please get in touch. Let me show you what works so that you can finally move forwards with your body goals and live a healthy, happy balanced life like I now do!
I have a range of online programs available so I know that I will have one that will suit you.
Click here, fill out the form and get in touch with me
As always you can also email me for help Justine@justineswitalla.com
Yours in health!!
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