2013 CPF Nationals: Meet Write-Up (Plus Some Dietary Changes)

10 Jun
Two fiddy.

Two fiddy. Lookit dem hamstrings!

So, before I get into the other parts of this post, let me tell you a little bit about my meet this weekend.

It sucked.

Balls.

Srs.

I got my squat opener which was actually really easy (250) but bombed 275 twice. A weight that normally I would have been able to get.

I got my bench opener and second attempt (126) but bombed on 137.

My deadlift opener got misunderstood. Was supposed to open at 265 lbs. and instead accidentally pulled 285. Bombed 303 since it didn’t even move off the ground. Gave up my third attempt since I knew it wasn’t going anywhere.

Well, at least I hit depth, haha!!

Well, at least I hit depth, haha!!

So that means I totaled at 659…which is over 50 lbs. LESS than what I totaled in December.

Uh…brutal?!?!

But, as I’ve said before, no meet is really a “bad” meet so long as you learned something. To be honest, I really learned a LOT this time around through trial and error. These things namely:

  1. The Cube Method, while an amazing program, might not have worked as well for me as I would have liked. I generally respond the best to frequent high intensity training (near 1RM’s), and having the ultra volume and lower percentages kind of threw me off a little. (I will be writing a full review of The Cube later this week)
  2. Nutrition is king. As is hydration.
  3. I need to sleep more.
  4. I need to stretch a little less.
  5. I need to think LESS when I lift.
  6. I need to not try and change things close to a meet because it throws me off big time.

The main things I want to touch on are: changing things up, nutrition, and thinking less.

IMG_4504

CHANGE:

I had the brilliant (or not so brilliant) idea of squatting differently at the meet than I have been at the gym all these months. I brought my stance out and took the bar a bit lower on my delts. Needless to say, this was a stupid idea.

NEVER change things up so close to a meet! I tell people this ALL the time but sometimes fail to follow my own advice. Stick with whatever you have been doing. The off-season is the time to make changes…not the platform.

THINKING LESS

I have a hard time shutting off my brain sometimes. It tends to just keep buzzing, and I focus too much on technicalities and stressing over lifts instead of just doing them the way I know how to.  Funny that I still have problems with this, but I guess it takes awhile to get over.

I find that I just end up gassing myself out from over-thinking, and by the time I’m lifting I’m thinking “Oh god, oh god, oh god…oh fuck..”

So uh…time to re-learn how to get into my zone. This is something I really need to work on this off-season.

Think. Think. Think. I am not Pooh Bear.

Think. Think. Think. I am not Pooh Bear.

NUTRITION

This is going to be a bit weird. And long.

I know that I started this blog as a vegan. And many of you know that I have been vegan since around the beginning of the year, so almost a solid 6 months.

Initially, I felt fantastic. But I have slowly but surely started to notice some issues arising. A few of them are:

  1. Drops in energy
  2. Poor digestion
  3. Drops in strength (illustrated at this meet)
  4. Drops in appetite
  5. Mood swings
  6. Foot tendonitis (what the actual fuck?)
  7. Reappearing elbow tendonitis, and knee pain

Now, before the vegan police start attacking me for thinking these things were caused from my switch to veganism, I encourage you to hear me out.

I am a strength athlete. To me, lifting is one of the most important things in my life. It is my passion, my hobby, and my sport. Given that, I need to make sure I am doing what is absolutely best for my health and performance.

Of course, I was a vegan for ethical reasons. So I obviously want to do my best to cause the least amount of harm I can, while still keeping an eye on my health and strength.

My energy was great the first few months. But It started to plummet about two months ago. I have a very bad appetite as is, but I find myself never wanting to eat at all as a vegan. Not to mention, the amount of food I have to eat in a day to reach my protein goals is atrociously high for me, given that I get extremely full off of a bowl of rice and beans. Buying vegan protein powder was also expensive as hell since I went through a tub in under 2 weeks.

My mood swings have been nuts. My hair is more dry, my nails are brittle, I have tendonitis in places I’ve never had before, and my joints feel worse and stiffer than they ever have. I attribute this to me possibly not being able to properly absorb the omega 3’s I was getting from flax oil.

I mean, when I used to consume fish oil, my joint issues disappeared almost completely. My body responded much better to it.

Not to mention – my digestion is TERRIBLE. After the first two months of being vegan, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t gassy/bloated/stomach-pained.

(Maybe TMI?)

And most importantly – my drop in strength at this meet was quite a big indicator to me that perhaps I needed a change.

…which is why I have made the decision to start re-introducing fish and eggs into my diet again.

Eep!

The eggs I used to get in the past were from a friend. Her parents own a farm and all the animals are extremely well-cared-for. I have absolutely no desire to consume dairy, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, or any other kind of mammal/bird. So long as my eggs are well-sourced from happy chickens, I am rather sure they won’t be missing them too much.

Call me a speciesist if you will. I try not to be. I honestly do try my very best to do what I can to cause the least amount of harm. I love animals. But I only have one life, and one opportunity to achieve my dreams. And if that means that I have to sacrifice some integrity for some extra protein, then so be it.

It wasn’t easy to make the decision, but again, my health comes first and foremost.

I can’t express enough thanks to those who have been by my side through my transition from omnivore to vegan, and then again to omnivore. I know that they are true friends since they have supported me no matter which path I decide to take.

Thank you for your support, beautiful. Bestest friend. <3

Thank you for coming out to see me, hunny bunny! ❤

To me, what’s important is that I am doing my best to still limit the amount of damage I am doing on the animals and the environment, and that I still accept and support 150% those who still follow a strict vegan diet. I salute them, actually. They have found ways to make it work in ways that I could not.

I also understand that this is a travesty to some people, and for that I apologize. In some ways I feel like I am a failure, but in other ways I feel like I am a winner for choosing what is best for my body and performance as an athlete.

I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person. But it’s just the way it has to be.

Please, if you have something negative to say, keep it to yourself. I don’t actually give a shit. 

All in all, this was a very positive learning experience, and a great experiment. Thank you everyone, once again, for your endless support! This off-season I am going to be working with a good friend and guru of mine, Alyssa Smith (ya know, the beast that squatted 425!). She’s gonna help me get strong again. 😉

And for your daily dose of cuteness: My favouritest kid in the whole world (5 years old; left) deadlifting 5 lbs. OVER her bodyweight for the first time!

Mommy teaching.

Mommy teaching.

Way to go, Samara!!

Way to go, Samara!!

Her and her new friend decided to team up.

Her and her new friend decided to team up.

IMG_4430

Too flippin cute.

Derp.

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25 Responses to “2013 CPF Nationals: Meet Write-Up (Plus Some Dietary Changes)”

  1. Whitney Rains June 10, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    I salute you for making the hard decision to eat fish and eggs again, especially if you are vegan for moral reasons. I’m a powerlifter as well and every time I’ve attempted to go vegetarian I just can’t do it. My body just goes to shit. I had to just suck it up and do what was best for me, which was eating organic grass fed meat if I can find it.

    I hope your new diet will help you feel better and I hope you start to feel stronger again soon. We’ve all had meets that didn’t go as planned, but you’re right, as long as you learn something its never a bad meet.

  2. Anu June 10, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    Doesn’t matter who thinks/feels what. You are an athlete, and performance is your god. So that is what everything changes according to. Good going girl!

  3. Sin June 10, 2013 at 3:40 am #

    Hey Christine–

    I’m happy to see your write up. I’m sorry things didn’t go as well as you would have hoped, but you always make the best of everything. I used to have a lot of brain buzzing too. I started zoning the night before meets, headphones and just visualize everything down to how the loaded bar feels in my hand. Amazingly it got rid of brain buzzing. 🙂 Look forward to the next!

    • thecookiemonster June 11, 2013 at 12:34 am #

      Have to start doing more of this! It also doesn’t help when I miss lifts in the beginning. Kind of throws me off for the rest of the meet. But it’s a work in progress. 🙂

  4. Mimi June 10, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    Bah, you’ll just kick twice as much ass at your next meet 🙂

    I think it’s great that you’re listening to your body. You’re not a “failure” in any way regarding what you choose to eat. When you’re having problems, you change what you can and accept what you can’t.

    • thecookiemonster June 11, 2013 at 12:35 am #

      Thanks! It just sucks, y’know. Especially when you believe strongly in something that doesn’t coincide with your goals.

  5. Chery @ Lift. Love. Laugh June 10, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    It’s okay that this meet didn’t work out, just keep looking forward and moving forward! You’ve learnt a lot from this meet and that’s good.

    Also, I’m really looking forward to your review of the Cube! I’m doing it right now and prepping for my first powerlifting meet in July so I’m keen to hear your experience!

    • thecookiemonster June 11, 2013 at 12:36 am #

      You’re going to love it! It’s lots of volume. Definitely a fun program.

      • Lifterly June 12, 2013 at 1:46 am #

        Also looking forward to hearing what you have to say. I’ve been on it for 3 weeks now and love it. But I haven’t tested yet. SUPER FUN THOUGH!

  6. John June 10, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    Please, if you have something negative to say, keep it to yourself. I don’t actually give a shit. LOL, oh man this made me laugh sooo hard!!!
    Are there any successful vegan or vegetarian strength athletes that you know of? (just curious)
    Sorry your meet didn’t go as well as you hoped, but I’m thinking that it’s gonna motivate you to kill the next one!!!

    i really enjoy you blog, thanks…. 🙂

  7. Tara June 10, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    I’m sorry to hear that the meet didn’t go as well as you’d hoped. But, as always, you have proved your wisdom and maturity by already recognising your mistakes and learning from them.

    I will keep my thoughts on veganism to myself as I don’t want anyone to blast me, but I just don’t think it’s a realistic way of eating for any strength athlete. I was mostly vegetarian (only fish and eggs) for almost 20 years and when I started lifting I just had to introduce red meat and chicken. In hindsight, I could have continued with fish and eggs only but I get sick of foods really easily if I eat them all the time. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks – you just have to do what works for you.

    Working with Alyssa will be amazing! You two are my ultimate inspirations 🙂 For the record, I still want to get coaching from you, but after I’m done with my summer holidays when I know that I am 100% fully recovered from my time off.

    • babyeaterlifts June 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

      I agree with EVERYTHING said here. Particularly regarding veganism and vegetarianism as a strength athlete. I welcome attacks. I will not condemn anyone else for how they eat, and I will not stay silent instead of supporting another person for making a choice that is absolutely right for his or her own body.

  8. evelyn haapala June 10, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I think your diet change is a wise decision

  9. challenge125 June 10, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    In the end it’s about doing what is right for you and your health, who cares what other people think. I was on a vegetarian diet for 7 years and now eat more meat than a family of 4.
    I suffer from a lot of food intolerances and other health issues and for me, meat just seems to work – my body works well on it. I get organic whenever i can because i don’t believe non-organic is healthy at all (all the hormones and stress).

    I hope this dietary change will improve your health, i applaude you for making the right decision!

  10. F. Mohr June 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    You have a good attitude….all is good!
    Why stretch less? Do you mean in general or during your meets??

    • Missy June 11, 2013 at 3:55 am #

      I was going to ask the same thing 🙂

  11. Sarah E June 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I’m so glad I came yesterday, teeny. I witnessed you at a tough time yesterday that was ultimately a big learning experience. Seeing how you dealt with it, I could not be more proud of you. Needless to say, you always have my support and I’m excited to continue watching you grow!! Love you.

  12. Noriko June 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Awesome post and review of your meet. Excellent job at really pinpointing what is was that didn’t work for you. I also commend you on your decision to change your vegan diet to include eggs and fish. I love following your blog and your progress.
    Well done!

  13. Joy June 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Sorry your meet didn’t go as well as you would’ve liked:(. I know you always learn from things, but it is still a disappointment I’m sure.
    I’ve been watching to see what would happen with your diet and strength. I’ve heard several stories of athletes and people in general who struggle w/ health issues after going vegan long term. I think your decision is a wise one.
    Have you read Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth? http://www.lierrekeith.com/
    Might be worth a read… the conclusion that I’ve come to for myself is that for health, strength, and reproduction some animal products are needed in the diet. Fortunately, we have our own chickens and get our milk raw and some of our meat from a local source, so if you know where your animal products are coming from that of course is better. Hey you gotta do what you gotta do!
    I am doing my first meet in July and would love to see some articles on gaining weight/bulking. what is acceptable and what is overkill? I really don’t want to gain a lot of fat, but know I will gain some along with the muscle. ARgh! such a difficult issue in a culture where women are only encouraged to be small–gaining weight on purpose? You must be crazy!!
    Anyway Big Blessings to you! Keep up the good work–you’re an inspiration to me:)

  14. deb roby June 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Bravo on coming up with great point to concentrate on! I agree that it’s very hard to be strength athlete and a vegan at the same time.
    I would point out that the main reason to take Omega-3s is for the EPA and DHA neither of which is present in flax and neither of which can be metabolized from flax. These are Omegas that help significantly with healing.

    I’ve started practicing the “empty brain” lifting. Harder than it sounds. But I think it will helpful for my next meet.

  15. Anonymous Sockpuppet June 13, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    I’m glad you’re recognising when things aren’t working and I hope the change is right for you and you start to feel better soon.

  16. myron gheins June 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    I realize this is totally not the point of your post, but I was mirin your shoes in your photos. How do you like Oly shoes for lifting? Worth the investment $$? Thinking of getting a pair.

  17. theincredibleevolvingwoman June 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Great post! Looking forward to your review if the cube method. Kudos to you for staying In tune with yourself enough to see you needed a change! I know it can’t be easy to make that decision! You’re my inspiration.

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