Concluding Video: Pre-contest Diet Without a Contest

The Power of Choice!
Pre-contest dieting -vs- Lifestyle Dieting

I guess it is true that all good things must come to an end. I have enjoyed the discipline and dedication that doing a pre-contest diet has offered me. I really do miss competing. I had to transition into lifestyle, and I will speak a little bit about that in my concluding video.

Lifestyle eating is the phase that I have transitioned to now. I tell my clients that this is a good phase to be in when your focus shifts to other areas. I like to be cognizant of what I am doing, whether it is pre-contest dieting, lifestyle dieting, or the all-out eat what I want plan. (Yes, I have done this). My point being, making a conscious decision about your eating plan really puts you at choice. It gives you the power and clarity of what you have decided to do. This philosophy has kept me relatively free from drama as it relates to food. I always know what phase I am in at any given moment and that makes eating easy to plan and easy to think about.
Here is my concluding video of my pre-contest diet without a contest:

Week 7: Pre-contest diet without a contest

How Can We Treat Our Bodies with Integrity and Respect?

I am 7 weeks in to my pre-contest diet without a contest. I didn’t do a week 5 or week 6 video, and I explain why in the week 7 video.

This week the focus is on being in our bodies with integrity and respect. We are more than just an outer shell to be working toward sculpting external perfection. Respecting our bodies in every way is on my mind this week.

Also, I know I sent an invitation out there a few weeks ago to explore emotions, and this week I talk about the window of tolerance and how to have a healthy experience with exploring emotions.

Here is week 7:

I love your feedback. Please let me know what comes up for you after watching week 7. Also, I am committed for 12 weeks, so please feel free to message me what you would like for me to talk about next week.


Week 4: Pre-contest diet without a contest

Are We Healing Emotional Wounds by Achieving Physical Transformations?

This week I talk about the importance of emotional transformation. I put out the question: Are we healing emotional wounds by achieving physical transformations? The answer: We can be, if that is what we are interested in. The emotional transformation is equally as valid as the physical one. Just because you are working on your exterior does not mean you are ignoring the interior. Also find out if I think bodybuilding is a selfish sport.

Here is week 4:

Week 2: Pre-contest diet without a contest. Am I really vulnerable?

Two weeks in to my new plan to feel all of my emotions, I begin to ponder if I am really vulnerable. What is the difference between being authentic and being vulnerable? Also, for those of you existentialists who appreciate considering the meaning of life and what it is all for, I discuss what it has been like for me this past week to honor the conflict and to accept my full range of emotions, both positive and negative. Here is week 2.

PS- I have no set plan for how long I will do this. I really did not have an intention of doing a week by week video, so maybe I will have one next week, maybe I won’t. It depends on how I feel and how nice you are with your comments. (Just kidding)… sort of.

Week 1: Pre-contest diet without a contest. Is Dieting Really Easy?

Hello, it’s me again. I decided to do a mid-month newsletter this month. I have something that feels important that I want to share with you today. You may know that I stopped competing in 2009 due to a back injury. I have not been 100 percent since. But this update is not about my recovery, rather it is about me moving forward in spite of not having recovery. It is about embracing where I am and being ok with it, even if it feels not ok, and moving forward.

I started a pre-contest diet a week ago today. No, I am not competing. But, I am doing this for several reasons, the first is obvious, let’s face it, I can stand to lose a few pounds. But the second and more important reason is to feel my emotions. Before I was in chronic pain, I never considered doing anything to numb myself to life. After six years of pain, trust me, I have found a multitude of ways to numb myself to pain.

Recently, I have been in less physical pain, and I have decided to feel my emotions in all their glory… Well, let me say, they are not all that glorious. I wanted to do a video so you can see the raw emotional tone of my week as I launch into week one of my pre-contest (without a contest) diet. My diet this past week consisted of 1800 calories, no just-a-bites, no alcohol and no sugar. I cut out most of my fruit as well. I had a small amount of fruit on Friday due to a splitting headache from cutting sugar. As of now my energy is good, and my workouts are strong.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s video newsletter. I know I am not as elegant on video as I am in writing. Hopefully it brings some light on the important subject of being who we really are, while we strive for increased excellence in our lives.


March 2015: Intrinsic Motivation – How To Be Your Best Self

Last week was a challenging week. It was Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and I scheduled a webinar for coaches and athletes to have the hard discussion of the warning signs of eating disorders. I was informed by some coaches of some disturbing behaviors of some athletes that clearly steps outside the line of acceptable and appropriate athletic behavior. We then discussed what would we do as coaches if we know that we were working with someone with an eating disorder. Other than stop the process entirely of counting calories and working toward a fitness goal, and seeking professional help, none of us knew what to do.

In fact, I have been suspicious for some time that many people with eating disorders hide out in the fitness industry because it is an acceptable place to count calories and be in “beast mode.” I don’t know what beast mode is really. I never had to announce to my social media that I was in beast mode because I was probably too busy being in beast mode to focus on what others think of me.

Which brings me to my point. Our industry is full of quick fixes of extrinsic motivation. If we are feeling unmotivated, our favorite fitness chick is only one click away and presto, we are now magically in her world. But what is the downside of continually looking outside of ourselves for motivation? It is helpful to have role models and aspirations, but when we continually look outside of ourselves for sources of motivation, it does not set us up to be the best version of us we can be.

Those of us who exercise and eat healthy for appearance reasons, as opposed to those who exercise for health reasons, are at greater risk for decreased self-esteem, poor body image, and eating disorders (Cash et al. 1994). It does not help us to be our best self if we are continually looking to others for our motivation. I don’t coach people to be a carbon copy of me or to teach people the way that I do things. The way that I do things for me will be very different from the way that I will coach you, in order to help you get what you want.

There is value in having role models. We look to people who emulate character traits that we want, but in the end, what is important is that you are striving toward a goal that has value and meaning to you. Think about your intrinsic values. Ask:

  1. What is important to me in life?
  2. What do I value?
  3. What is important to me to about getting in great shape?
  4. What do I want the experience of getting in great shape to be like?

The answers to the questions above are based on your value system and your set of rules that are intrinsically motivated. Intrinsic motivation is the key to sustainable power in your health and fitness endeavor, and any other endeavor for that matter. Look at the role models for ideas, but don’t feel the need to be a carbon copy of that person. Rather, look inside and create your best self from the ground up, based on your values in life. In the end, you will have a much healthier and successful fitness journey, which lines up with your core values and truest self.

Cash, T. F., Novy. P.L. & Grant, J.R. (1994). Why do women exercise? Factor analysis and further validation of the Reasons for Exercise Inventory. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 539-544.

Eating Disorders in the Fitness Industry Webinar

sadEating Disorders in the Fitness Industry webinar info is now live. Registration is now open.

Please spread the word about this important event. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. In honor of this important subject matter, I will have a webinar to tackle the tough issues such as causes, triggers and treatments of eating disorders. A special consideration will be given to competitive athletes. It is a fine line between discipline and delusion. Let’s have the discussion here, in our fitness community.

No-one outside of our community quite understands the hard work and dedication we have to our sport. However, many of us have crossed the line into dark territory all in the name of being an athlete. Let’s make sure our competitive efforts are healthy.

Early detection and prevention are paramount. There are warning signs in the fitness industry for competitive athletes that we need to look for, within ourselves and our fellow athletes, clients and team members. Treating an eating disorder is not a one person show, it takes an entire team to come to the aid of the person afflicted with this disease.

I am looking forward to you joining me to talk about this important issue and how it affects the fitness community.

Nancy Georges
IFBB Figure Pro

March 2012 Newsletter: Pressure to be Perfect

Contest season is in full swing. At least if you live out here in California, where we have a show every month. If you are not ready for April, no worries, there is another one in May. I love the idea of creating the best time table that works for competition. There is no reason to stress or freak out about any particular show, since there are so many to choose from. Why not get ready on your own terms.

There are many things that we can do to stress ourselves out, and trying to force our bodies to respond to a particular time table that is not flowing is not good for our bodies or our minds. Which reminds me of this idea of perfection; since we are on sort of a quest for perfection sometimes we can let it get the best of us.

I have recently found some inspiration in a story outside of the word of physique competition but I think we can relate to it quite well and I wanted to share it with you, in case you have not heard about it already. I will share how I feel about the story and at the end you will find a link to view her story in its entirety.

Pressure To Be Perfect

Physique competition is a sport that requires us to look for our imperfections and even to some extent focus on them. We can let it get out of control if we become obsessed about only the things that are not perfect, while forgetting to look at the big picture of overall how much we are improving.

I was watching a video of the singer Demi Lovato, who has been through some tough times. As I was watching and listening to her story, I was thinking how young, vibrant and beautiful she is. She was on the TV show Camp Rock at the age of 14 and later went on tour with The Jonas Brothers and that evolved into a tour of her own. Yet in her mind she was struggling, she was not good enough. The limelight created in her mind a self-destructive path and she was purging and “self-harming” as she called it. I can only think that means cutting, but I am not certain. I wondered why would someone so young, talented and beautiful, deprive herself of nutrients and harm herself on purpose? In her head she was not good enough, not perfect, not where she needed to be. Being famous required her to look and behave in a certain way and in some instances I think maybe it felt to her like she was not able to be herself, like she always had to be “on”, maybe even like she was a phony or a fraud.

I think many of us that compete can relate to this story. For most of us, we don’t have an eating disorder, nor are we self-harming physically, but I think sometimes we harm ourselves emotionally by feeling that we are not good enough if we are not perfect. So I thought I would share Demi’s story, she has been an inspiration to many women to tell the truth of who they are, their struggles and imperfections and for it to be ok that we are not perfect on our way to self-improvement.

My wish for us all is to use athletics as a way to improve ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally to become more of who we desire to become; for us to grow into ourselves, in an ongoing way, never feeling the need to be perfect, but to find joy in the process.

Demi Lovato: Stay Strong

September 2011 Newsletter #1: Transforming The Inner Critic

It is hard enough to hush the voices of our well-meaning friends and family members as it relates to our contest journey. I know many in our tribe are concerned about our health and well-being. In addition to that, when we are getting ready for a show we don’t go out to dinner with them, stay up late, and over all maintain a way to regimented daily program that must be “unhealthy”. But what about our own inner critic, how do we quiet it? Although there is nothing within reason we can do to “change” our friends and family there is something we can do about ourselves to create a more peaceful mental state of mind as we get ready for a show.

Transforming The Inner Critic

Let’s see if you can relate to this: It is two weeks out, I am not ready, I have cellulite, wrinkles, sagging skin, big ears, big butt, need more definition, depressed because I don’t look like Nicole Wilkins for my first show, tired, hungry, not really sure if this is worth all the effort, and I can’t seem to get that last little bit of body fat to come off.

Sound familiar? We know we are doing it, and even if someone tells us not to worry about being perfect, let’s face it, the nature of this sport is to look for flaws and then fix them. This sport in and of itself is not about health, it is about beauty and appearance. That is one reason why our well-meaning friends are concerned about us when we drag our tired bodies to work with greasy hair, because, why should we bother washing it when we are just going to go to the gym again in a few hours?

So rather than say STOP doing that. Because, I know that won’t work. I want to first say that you are not alone in this seemingly psychotic obsession with perfection. It makes me feel better when I know that I am not the only one looking at every detail of my body and micro managing the process every millisecond of the day. But how can we go from knowing what we are doing, to creating new patterns that are more beneficial to our mental health and well-being.

The competition journey is about physical achievements, weight loss, increased definition, the ability to stick to a program and to finish what we start. But the competition journey is also about feeling better about who we are on the inside. In fact that is why we started in the first place. We thought that by having a better body we would feel better about ourselves, for whatever reason.

So do you feel better about yourself right before a show? Are you creating the mental nurturing environment where you say to yourself: “Good job” or “I am proud of you” or “Way to go” or “You are on the right track”? These little pick me ups help to remind us to take care of our mind in addition to our body. To go easy on the goal of perfection and be ok with ourselves as we are.

I like to make lists of things that I can appreciate about myself. I start with easy things, and once I get going it is actually hard to stop myself from ranting on about how wonderful I am.

If you are feeling like you need a little support, try this exercise. Make a list of all of the positive things about yourself. Keep going until you get to 100. Appreciate your dedication, commitment and passion for excellence. But more importantly, make yourself consciously aware that you appreciate you.

Mentally and physically, NOW you are ready to step on stage, feeling great about who you are on the inside in addition to what you have sculpted on the outside.