Today my log in streak on MyFitnessPal hit 2,000 days. Another 1,000 days later I’m a bodybuilder and 2 time marathoner. 🙂
If you’re interested, here is the link to my first 1,000 Days of MyFitnessPal.
The previous blog left off with a hopeful and excited Bethany looking forward to training for her first marathon. That initial excitement triggered one of the most rewarding and frustrating projects of my life. It took me almost 2 years of training to complete my first marathon. I had my sights set to run the Twin Cities marathon in 2015 and wound up not running it due to an injury. That injury was detailed both on this site and also on my YouTube channel so I will just leave that there for what it is. I learned to listen to my body, as cliche as that sounds. I learned when to pull back. I learned how to really treat recovery like it’s own sport.
I rallied and instead focused on another race as my first marathon, the Delaware Marathon in May of 2016. I ran it, I finished it. But… I was about a minute over the official cutoff time. I was still awarded a medal. I still ran the distance. But it just left me feeling unsatisfied. I registered for the Twin Cities race again to try to improve my time from my first race.
Through my training for the Delaware Marathon I had also put on a bit of weight (20 mile long run = 2 million extra calories right?). I felt heavy and sluggish. Through some research, and knowing what I already did about training I knew I needed to put some strength training back in my life. I was terrible at doing it on my own though. My best friend recommended Fuse Fitness Coaching. I started strength training regularly at Fuse and really enjoyed it.
For the first time in a long while I started looking forward to working out instead of dreading the next run. I realized I was not very good at balancing cardio and strength and the running and training became less of a priority.
I started running only when I felt like it which was a few times a week and no long runs. By this point I had planned to skip the Twin Cities race (again) up until a few weeks before the race. I wondered…what if I showed up and just did my best? More on this on my YouTube but spoiler alert: I was able to run and finish the Twin Cities marathon. I PR’d my Delaware Marathon time and finished under the TC cutoff.
This leads us to October 2016. I wanted a new goal, something strength focused as that was where I was having the most fun. I still had some weight to lose and decided to just focus on fat loss. Aforementioned best friend and I had a girl’s trip to Costa Rica planned and we just really buckled down, tracked our macros, hit the strength training hard together at Fuse. We both hit our fat loss goals for the trip!
This was incredibly rewarding and I wanted more.
I decided to see how much fat I could lose for a photo shoot. At the time it felt like a pretty vain goal but I wanted to see if I could achieve that toned fitness model look you see in magazines. I worked with my amazing coach at Fuse for nutrition advice and daily workouts. I tracked everything in MyFitnessPal. I was able to cut a significant amount of weight and fat. I had so much fun at the shoot and was in the best shape of my life. I got my proofs back and was so proud of how they turned out. But I still thought I could push myself more. I wanted a bigger, badder goal. At this point I’ve learned that what makes fitness fun for me is having a giant goal with an end date to work toward.
I decided to register for my first bodybuilding show (bikini division). I had been researching and following competitions for years as I trained for other things… always with this wistful thought of “those girls are amazing, I could never do that”. I never thought my body could actually look like one of those ripped girls on stage. But through my other fat loss challenges and the photo shoot I had a taste of what training hard and losing fat for a goal looked and felt like. I knew this challenge would test my limits more than ever before. I knew it would be expensive. I knew it would be time consuming. I knew it would be as emotionally and mentally challenging as it would be physically. And I wanted it. I wanted all of it.
I registered. I trained and dieted relentlessly all with the help and guidance of my coach at Fuse in a safe environment. I learned how important it is to balance both weight training and cardio. I weighed and tracked every gram in MyFitnessPal. My prep lasted a total of about 20 weeks. (If you’re interested, I documented this journey on Instagram @b.chan.fit.) I stepped on stage at an all time low weight and body fat. I was extremely proud of this accomplishment.
I’m currently registered and training for my 2nd bodybuilding show this May and could not be happier and more excited to get on that stage again. You’d better believe I’ll be logging into MyFitnessPal…every…single…day.