Megan: Tell us about yourself:
Becca: Hello! I’m Becca, an almost 27 year old east coast Canadian living in Montreal with my beast of a cat Snicklefritz… Aka, the Fritz. I moved to the city 7 ½ years ago because I needed a change, I was stuck in a rut with school, life, health. I was in a vicious cycle and needed out… Yes, I felt like that at only 19. Once I was on my own and creating MY life I was able to shift my focus from weight loss to a healthy lifestyle. I’m now a second year figure competitor working on getting up there in the ranks until the fun runs out.... and then I will quit my job, move to the mountains and be a full time snowboard bum.
Becca: I don’t think there really IS a story. I just always was overweight/obese/whatever you want to call it. I don’t remember a time growing up when I wasn’t “the fat kid”. Harsh, but true. In high school I began rowing competitively and thus began a bad lose/gain cycle that lasted for years and included dabbling in excessive exercise, restricted eating and binge eating while I struggled to make my weight class and train.
Becca: When I initially lost weight I loved the attention I got. I think deep down I always grew up thinking “once you get skinny you get it all”, that once I was a size 2 I’d be happy, healthy, in love, perfect job, perfect life. Um. No, not so much. After losing a very large chunk of weight I then proceeding to binge my way right back up to where I started and got stuck in a lose/gain relationship with weight for years.
Finally I decided I wanted to compete… but did I have what it takes? I hired several coaches, each one leaving me going straight back to the restrict/binge cycle I knew all too well with my self esteem in the garbage. After one particular plan had me eating next to nothing, over exercising and just plain miserable, I said enough was enough, I needed to do this for my HEALTH, not for vanity or popularity. Being “skinny” did not equal fit and healthy and I don’t know how or why, but when that clicked it really *clicked* and I began my current path to being a figure competitor, but on my terms.
Becca: I stop viewing foods as “good” or “bad”. While I do count macros (protein/carbs/fat) for my competing, I don’t believe one food is better than the other. Even during prep if I want a cookie, I will work that cookie into my macros and enjoy every single bite. I don’t eliminate foods like dairy, fruit, or nut butters, I eat everything in moderation. Being able to enjoy foods normally off limits to me allowed me to avoid binging and feel satisfied with food for the first time in a very long time.
Megan: What was the hardest part about your weight loss journey?
Becca: To me the hardest part was the negative comments I got, that I’m “too skinny” now and because I do weigh/measure my food it’s restrictive and unhealthy. While I know that these comments are unfounded, it’s still hard to hear and a bit of a kick in the gut (or lack thereof… ). Letting go of the usual dieting rules is also a challenge, growing up being exposed to every diet under the sun means I know them all inside and out and there is always that nagging part of my brain that thinks that there is a “quick fix” and I need to find it… NOW.
Megan: What was the best part of your weight loss journey?
Becca: There is two answers to this question… the serious one, and the Becca one.Serious answer: I love feeling good physically and mentally. I love being able to run up the stairs and not get out of breath, to be able to get out of bed and run 5miles without thinking I’m going to keel over and die on the spot is crazy, I don’t constantly obsess over food anymore, I feel relaxed and at ease with myself and the lifestyle I’ve created for myself. Seeing myself as strong, fit and healthy and not a blob is a big perk, but I think the biggest thing is that I love ME now, and it has nothing to do with the number on the scale or the amount of plates on the side of a squat bar. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle allowed me to choose to love me and be more than a body, I’m a personality (sometimes a bit TOO much of one) and not half bad!
The Becca Answer: I love going home and people not recognizing me and when they do they realize I’m not the girl “with the pretty face” anymore. I love fitting into skinny jeans and wearing a bikini (on the beach AND on stage). I love getting a pedicure and actually looking down and seeing my toes, not my stomach… Yeah… I know, I went there. I love running races and beating the people who used to call me fat even though I didn’t even “train” for it.
Becca: Like I mentioned no foods are off limits to me, but I do tend to eat a lot of veggies, crock pot chicken, lean beef, greek yogurt and carbs like sweet potatoes and oats just because that’s what I love and actually crave now. I eat 6-7 times a day depending on my schedule with my two biggest meals being my pre and post workout meals to maximize my time in the gym. During the offseason I do have one cheat meal a week and enjoy it 100% guilt free.
I prefer a more traditional bodybuilding style workout plan, I lift weights 5-6 days a week, usually training my weaker body parts (shoulders and legs) twice. During the offseason my cardio is fairly easy, three 40 minute sessions per week and during prep it varies, but usually is 6 days a week with the max time I’ve ever done being 60 minutes per day.
Becca: Figure out what you love and do it. If you love to lift weights, do it, if you love to run, do that. Make it work for YOU. Before I settled on entering my first competition I decided to run a half marathon “because I should”, well I hated it and was miserable. I quit after three weeks of training, but when I decided to compete I was doing something I loved to do, I never miss a workout, I do the kind of cardio I enjoy and it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Also, try new foods! I was the worlds pickiest eater (I think I have a trophy in my closet somewhere) which made life hard, I thought I hated everything. It wasn’t until a friend basically forced me to start eating new foods did I realize I LOVE to eat, I love to try new foods and experiment in the kitchen. I do still hate olives, but hey, at least I tried them instead of just assuming I hated them. Adding variety and experimenting keeps things changing and exciting, which for me made a big difference in how I felt towards my food.
Becca, Thanks SO much for sharing your inspiring story. What a great reminder that true happiness comes when we make lifestyle changes and really seek to find the active things we love to do, and stop crash dieting! I know she is headed back into competition season...so we wish you the best of luck competing this year!!