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It’s Not All About Our Weight

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Bodybuilding has taught me lots of new rules with regard to my appearance, body weight and my relationship with food. The media will have us believe that Body Mass Index (BMI) is the one and only rule. As an athlete, this is not the case. Of course, scale weight is an important indicator, but it's not the only indicator that we should monitor.

Years ago I would be jumping on the scales a couple of times a day. If I hadn't lost weight I would simply stop eating, resulting in a weight loss, sure, but not fat loss – hence the term 'skinny fat.' I would focus, week on week, on getting lighter all the time but because I wasn't toned or training properly (I didn't have the energy to train in most cases) I was still unhappy with my body.

The fundamental thing to remember is FOOD IS FUEL. And without it our bodies cannot function. You see, I eat more now than I ever have done, even in the later stages of prep. I have never eaten so much. My online coach altered my calorie intake and expenditure for each of the shows – in essence, ramping up my intake as my condition has been improving.

The picture I have put together for this blog shows me at different weights prior to successive shows. I weighed 50kg for my first show. A result of lots of cardio and definitely a calorie deficit.My second show, at 48 kg, was a week later. This was too light and even though I had a great result (because of a reduction in fluids), my skin tone was very dry and my muscles were flat. Then my team got together and we all felt that I could happily have more calories yet hold my condition. So, in total contradiction to the rule book, my online coach hatched a plan that got me in the best shape of my life in my last show, at an amazing 53 kg.

She decided to take out all my cardio. And she kept my calories unbelievably high. I was pushed through a pretty intense workout the whole week prior to the show, including the day before.

Backstage, when the other athletes are talking about their own prep and doing two hits of cardio a day and on a sub 1000 calorie intake, I felt really lucky. My mood was better, my energy levels were high and my muscles were pumped and full. I actually entered 5 classes in that final show at 53 kg and yes I was tired afterwards, but I definitely could not have done that at 48kg.

So the upshot is I am no longer frightened of fuelling my body. I now use much more than scales alone – the guidance from my team, how I feel and how I really look. The quality of that fuel does make a difference too, but I am now in a place where I have an effective relationship with food quantity, rather than being controlled by the incorrect idea that minimising calories is a good idea. It's not.

Don't be frightened to get in touch if you would like me to help you with your relationship with food.

Love Pearly xx

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