I did two figure competitions in 2006, one in 2007 and two in 2008. Each year I worked with a different trainer, and each used a different way to get results (in terms of nutrition, they were 'meal plans', carb cycling, and calorie counting).
Keith Klein, founder of the Institute of Eating Management, said 'Even if your intentions are to stay lean after a contest, when you start eating more normally, your brain is going to turn up your appetite. The body doesn’t know the difference between true starvation and the purposeful withholding of food.' (More here.) That was certainly the case for me, and even though I had exit strategies in place, I always found myself back where I started before my comp preps, wondering how I'd managed to do it to myself again.
The cumulative effect was that I found it hard to relax around food. I'd alternate between being strict about what I ate (and grouchy - poor Rob) and eating whatever I wanted (then being depressed about putting on weight - poor Rob).
In the years that followed my last comp, I spent a lot of time on the internet 'researching', and bought lots of books and e-books in an effort to find the 'best diet' to help me lose weight and keep it off. I can't say it was an entirely miserable time. I tried lots of new recipes and found some really yummy ones, and I enjoyed sharing my 'food adventures' through my blog. But I still didn't get the results I was after. It probably didn't help that I wasn't willing to calorie count, and I was reluctant to cut out a lot of fruit (as low-carb fans often do).
Earlier this year I read Sara's post L.O.V.E, about how she eats. In it, she linked to Terry Wahl's video Minding Your Mitochondria, saying it was well worth a watch. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and that was the start of my journey to where I am now. I'll discuss more in my next post. For now, I've embedded the video below.