Monday, April 3 marks six days before my first Figure competition and the first day of lean out plan.   I am still taking in six small  meals a day.  Some of the biggest differences are that when I’m hungry I am not allowed to drink protein powder, if I need a caffeine fix I can only sip black coffee, and I have to drink a lot of water.    The purpose of leaning out is to flush the body and to deplete it of excess water making the body appear lean and the muscles more cut.

Below is the meal plan that Emily crafted for me.   There is a science behind the meal plan and I am not recommending this or suggesting this for anyone as a weight loss plan.  This meal plan is restrictive eating and if not done with proper supervision of an expert, in my case Emily, and without the proper supplements, it can be harmful to one’s body .

Upon waking up, drink 160z of water and take regular vitamins.  I take a multivitamin, milk thistle, and a thermogenic (fat loss).

Meal One:  2/3 cup oats and 1 Tablsespoon flax seed oil with 4oz chicken and glutamine.

Meal Two:  60z tilapia and 1o thin cucumber slices

Snack:  4 grapefruit wedges

Meal Three:  3oz tuna rinsed with 1/2 cup diced avocado and 2/3 cup brown and glutamine.   The reason for rinsing the tuna is to eliminate or reduce the amount of salt in the tuna through the canning process.

Meal Four:  4oz flank steak with 10 asparagus spears

Meal Five:  4oz tilapia with 1 cup chopped kale and 10 almonds with balsamic vinegar

Meal Six:  3oz tuna with 1/2 cup diced avocado and 1/4 cup roasted red pepper

Water intake is also critical to the show week meal plan.   The strategy is to maximize water intake early in the week and minimize water as it gets closer to the show depleting water, bloat, and leaning out the physique.

Monday & Tuesday:  Drink 1.5 gallons or 192 ounces of water.  As a point of reference for how much additional water this is, on a regular day I consume 120 oz of water.  It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but I literally had two 30 ounce water bottles filled ready for consumption.

Preparing for the show is intense.  There’s a lot to remember and know.  Having a coach and pro like Emily helps me, as a novice competitor, navigate these uncharted waters.

Hair– It was recommended that I straighten my curly hair because curly hair looks frizzy under the lights.  While I have a flat iron and can straighten my hair myself, I plan on going to a blow dry salon to get my hair professionally straightened.  I will touch up on Saturday morning before the show.

Nails– While I usually wear neutral colors on my nails, Emily directed me to get a french manicure on both my fingers and my toes.  Lately, I have been trying no chip manicures.  While I have experimented with no chip before with less than impressive results, I thought it would be different this time.  I find that it just doesn’t have the staying power.   I decided to try gel nails for my french manicure.  It’s such a clean look and the gel is supposed to last 2-3 weeks before it needs a fill.  I will get a french pedicure on Thursday in advance of tanning (which is Friday).

Makeup–  I have been coached to have my makeup done professionally.  Some shows will have a makeup artist associated with the show.  Since the OCB show on April 8th did not have a makeup artist associated with the show, I went onto Thumbtack, a site that has a network of service providers for any type of service you can imagine.  I used Thumbtack in the past to find a chef for John’s retirement out of P&G party and through Thumbtack we found Chef, Tammy, who we have used several times since.   Once again I had success with Thumbtack and found a makeup artist who was willing to do my makeup for the show.

Waxing–  Again, Emily cautioned getting waxed less than 5 days in advance of spray tanning to avoid two tone look.  In lieu of waxing, I will be shaving.

Tanning– Shows offer spray tanning services at an additional charge although there are competition tanning products that you can apply yourself including Jantana, Protan, and Dreamtan.  As I am a first time competitor, I felt more comfortable with using the tanning service the show offers.   To get the most optimal color and quality tan, it’s all about skin preparation.

Tanning Prep– Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.  It is recommended to use exfoliating gloves and an exfoliating scrub every time you shower for five days leading up to your spray tanning day paying special attention to the sides of the torso, elbows, armpit, knees, ankle and back.  The day of your tanning appointment which is the day before the show, this will be the last shower and it was suggested to use Dial soap.  The most important thing to getting the optimal tan color is to have dry skin.  The drier your skin, the more absorbent the color.

Shaving– Five days before you tanning appointment you will shave your whole body with a fresh razor and shave gel.   Using shave gel as opposed to shaving cream so that you can see the hairs.  After shaving, you will shave your whole body again to insure all hairs have been removed.  After shaving, moisturize. The night before spray tanning you will shave your entire body twice again.   I shaved three times the night before to really insure that I got all hairs and moisturized after.

One can use a depilatory such as Nair, Neet or Sally Hansen.  However, it is strongly recommended to only use these types of hair removal if you already use them.   One is not advised to use these products for the first time before tanning because they can cause skin irritation and show uneven color with tanning.