It’s Not Just Your Mouth!!

Today is so gorgeous!! I am thankful for my family and my health…..and I am smiling!! It’s never a bad day to smile!! I want to touch on competition prep dieting when your family is involved!!

It’s Not Just Your Mouth!

As a mommy, wife, and competitor in the fitness industry, I am frequently asked questions relating to diet and nutrition.  A friend of mine recently decided to take the next step and prepare for her first figure competition. She too reached out to me in regards to this subject.  Like many before, she asked, “What do you cook for your family when you are prepping for a show?” This is a common question and one that I love to address.

My friend is married with two growing teenage boys. Now, if we know anything about teenagers, (especially boys) we know that Costco better have their shelves stocked when this family comes rolling in. I asked her what she fed her family before starting her new journey. She told me, she loved cooking for her boys and there was a new meal every night! “Wow! Good on you,” I told her! Then I asked, “What changes have your boys or husband made since you decided to compete?” She thought for a moment, and replied, “None!”  I smiled and told her the decision was her own to take the journey to stage, not that of her husband or boys. So why make them change their lives because of a decision that was your own? Your family still needs you as their wife and momma! Just because you took this step, does not mean you’ve given up your primary responsibilities, you’ve simply taken on more! Now, you will be prepping not only for yourself, but the family meals you enjoyed cooking in the past. She shook her head in total agreement then asked me how I find the time to prepare meals and cook for the family with a two (Abigayle) and four year old (Landon), school, teaching, and training?” Little did she know, she answered her own question! You prepare, I told her! You must be proactive in proper planning.  You cannot regularly expect to meet your family’s meal expectations and stick to your own without preparing. Preparing for the week is one of the biggest components that I encourage every family to take?  Plan a day to spend at least 4 hours in the kitchen preparing proteins, certain carbohydrates and even vegetables.

Another element to this is communication, especially when you have a family to tend to. Competitors with families do not run solo anymore, there are others to consider and care for. You are part of a team! Many of us understand the struggles with schedules, work, school, training, and other things life throws at us. This is why it’s crucial to find the time as a family to share plans for the week; communicate. Have each member express some of their favorite meal ideas and make a plan to incorporate family dinners around their choices. Don’t ever make your family feel like they are left out, serving them chicken, sweet potatoes, and asparagus every night, may make them resent the journey you’ve chosen for yourself. Make them as much a part of the process as you are. Share with them the importance of your decision to compete so they understand why your meals look different from theirs. Start a grocery list and schedule family dinner dates. This way when Wednesday rolls around and the boys are helplessly wandering through the fridge and pantry only to find turkey patties, spinach, rice cakes and peanut butter, they don’t complain that there is “nothing” to eat!

Of course with more knowledge about nutrition, you’re cooking style may tend to differ a bit. The same meals you’ve placed on your table before may now take on the appearance of a healthier one.

Don’t expect those around you to adapt to your need or desire for a change, it is you who must adapt to your own change.  Your family will see your journey and learn to understand that your meals may look different than theirs most of the time. Make sure your family feels included in the process! Plan, prepare, communicate, and succeed!