Posted by Summer Bernard on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

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After over 8 years of intense training, nutrition and competing I have finally decided to have some time out whilst still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One thing that I can not stress to my clients, customers or any passionate fitness enthusiast that cross my path is that health is always your number one priority. You need to become in tune with your body and recognize when you are tired, worn out and understand that competitive stress on your body without proper nutrition and rest can be detrimental to your health. Everyone has a different tolerance to stress mentally and physically, so I hope sharing my experience will help you all to realize the importance of taking time out.

 

My followers may have noticed that I have recently been playing around with a variety of dietary concepts. The reason being that my body was not digesting or breaking down foods correctly. For as long as I can remember my digestion has not been the best, however I found the routine lifestyle of competing made it better. But, I do want it 100% all the time, so now I listen to my body and have found and am still finding things that have improved my digestion. I have now been eating Paleo for the past three months. The higher fats have been a great help to balance my hormones. Cutting out all grains is working wonders for my digestive health as well as following FODMAPS, which I would highly recommend for anyone with digestive issues. I have discovered how well my body runs on high amounts of fats and a balance of carbs and proteins. I now count my calories, which is a new concept for me but has given me so much more control and is not painful like I initially thought it would be. It is great to see what macro nutrients you eat in a day and how different it can make you feel when you play around with your ratios and times that you do eat more carbs or fats. This works well for my lifestyle as an IFBB Pro as everything that I do all year round is for preparation for stage.

 

As much as I love the gym and as hard as it has been I have now been training at a minimum weekly. My sessions are focused predominately on weight training with minimal cardio still 4 days per week. My fitness has plummeted whilst laying of intense cardio session but my body is having a well deserved rest. As always I am still very focused on growing me some booty and shaping my bosy, very excited for this new bikini package!

 

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Physically my body is thanking me for the benefits however it did take a while to switch my mind off from the hectic hussle and bussle everyday of training, eating, working, training, eating. My body thrives of it, I love it and I wouldn't be where I am today or in the industry I am in for over 10 years if it wasn't the case. Sometimes we do need to step back and reassess where we are and where we want to be by ensuring your body is ready to take on the next challenge. Also it is very important to point out that I don't stay in competition shape all year round. I do like to maintain relatively lean and do not like to put on more than 5kg from stage to improvement season. Maintaining a low body fat all year is not healthy for myself but you need to look at what is healthy for you. Everything that I do in my improvement season is a direct reflection on what condition my body will be in when I am stage ready, this is and always will be my focus.

 

So remember ladies, health first and we all learn from trial and error. I myself am still learning but wouldn't change any of my experiences as it has shaped me to the person I am today and gives me the chance to share it with others. You can listen to all the experts in the world but you need to figure out what works best for you.

 

If you are experiencing any difficulties or have any questions on this subject please contact me via my social media pages.

 

Much Love
Summer xoxox

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