Bodybuilding competition with an Ostomy

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I woke up at 6:30am completely buzzing, shaking Conor to wake up whilst I was bouncing around the room full of excitement this was the day I had been working for.

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(Morning shape for the competition) 

My peak week was pretty tough, full of tears especially during my depleted workouts at the start of the week luckily Conor was there to push me through!

We didn’t do any crazy water loading during peak week, what was the point? I drank 4 litres of water a day anyway! Plus why fix something that isn’t broken? We aimed to get me stage ready 2/3 weeks out and then to just cruise… and that’s exactly what we did, no stress, no last minute ‘miracle methods’

To say I was feeling tired on peak week is an understatement, if I wasn’t training, eating or posing I was In my bed sleeping.

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(My competition number & my hair which was done by Nikki and her talented team)

But the morning of show I forgot all about the struggles of my prep and just focused on how much work I had put into it, I couldn’t of been any happier with the shape I brought to that stage. I do however have areas I want to improve. Like every bodybuilder there Is always room for improvement. So this offseason with the help of Conor I’ll be changing up my training to achieve theses improvements and I’m already excited to compare Septembers comp pictures to future comp pictures.

My diet on show day was pretty fun I started off with salmon and oat, but then as soon as I got to the venue all I ate was sweets, reeses peanut butter, muffins and cakes all this was for the fast acting sugar to boost my Glycogen levels and flood the muscles with blood, the pumps I were getting before stepping on stage were insane! (I did however get sugar sweats after the show……felt so sick lol) I remember stepping on stage for my Figure category and pulling a tricep pose and thinking my tricep was going to explode!

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(Pumping up before hitting the stage)

On the subject of stepping on stage, I really cannot describe the feeling It was just pure adrenaline all the bright lights, the music the crowd… it truly was a breathtaking experience I couldn’t stop smiling at the judges and the crowd, I’m normally a very nervous person but during the whole day leading up to my stage time I was so calm it wasn’t possible to be any calmer….. and I didn’t even drink any alcohol which some competitors do to calm their nerves.
I may have only had 3 supporters in the crowd, by my god they were the loudest there… especially Conor! My biggest fan.

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(me and my Mum)

And the ostomy fears & anxiety leading up to the comp well… what even were they!? I totally forgot I even had one on that stage! I even had someone come up to me after my figure routine and ask If I was even wearing it on stage (If I wasn’t can you just image it haha) she didn’t even notice! That comment made me feel on top of the world. I think that’s what made me so emotional (yes I cried like a baby) when my name was called out for 1st place both times, all of my emotion’s I battled leading up to the competition just faded away. Not only did I have to step on stage with a tiny bikini on, but I had to go on with my ostomy in front of 100’s of people, something I never thought would happen after having such a life changing surgery.
I remember having a panic attack a couple days post surgery about what life would hold for me in the future, feeling sorry for myself for weeks before finally kicking my self up the ass and just taking back control.
And even though I’m unable to make the World Championships due to my recent surgery (another blog to follow) I’m still so proud of myself. I didn’t just win 1st place trophies I won the battles I had going on inside my head.

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So close now… I must stay focused!

I’m not going to sugar coat it, preparing for a bodybuilding competition Is tough for any normal person.. but when you live with a chronic Illness aswell it’s a nightmare!

It’s been even tougher as I rushed completely into it and decided at 15 weeks out I would enter… most people start preparing 20 weeks out and really I should of done this as its my 1st ever competition ! So for my partner Conor (my coach) Its been a stressful time, especially with my diet plans because of my ileostomy we’ve had to be very picky with food choices… my stoma loves to block! So thank you Conor, and I’m sorry for being a big pain in the butt 😉

But I’m now 25 days out and I’m feeling confident I’ve done my absolute best to achieve the best shape I’ve ever been in!

Post surgery I worked so hard to bulk back up after surgery, I was consuming around 3,000 calories a day it was a struggle to get all my meals in… I don’t know why I was complaining, what I would do for that amount of calories right now Is no ones business !

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April (left) Now (right)

Seeing progress pictures really does make my inner pain for dieting happy. Sticking to a strict diet has got to be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do…. I LOVE MY FOOD! But I have to keep telling myself that the food will still be there after prep  !!

I haven’t done ridiculous amounts of cardio… I’ve only just increased it to 45-60 minutes a day! And that may even be decreased next week as I don’t want to lose my muscle mass I worked hard for on my bulk. I’m also dead against losing piles of weight, for the last 7 weeks I’ve been the same weight… which is GREAT! If you’re knowledgeable when creating nutrition and training plans It Is possible to lose bodyfat % without muscle mass… Its slow and steady but the results are worth it!

Fatigue wise at the moment..struggling, I’m a bag of emotions half the day and even after buckets of black coffee I’m still falling asleep and to add to this my skin from my ostomy bag Is red raw and I just want to itch the bloody thing off!

But I need to keep focused… only 25 days to go! Can’t let anything hold me back now! Its time to show the world that having a chronic illness doesn’t have to stop you from achieving!

I’m so happy to have recently created a Facebook page ‘Zoey Wright- Bodybuilding with IBD’ for fellow suffers/people to follow my journey with bodybuilding. I’m so humbled and grateful from each and everyone’s lovely comments… You have all played a massive part In my motivation & determination to better myself every single day… I really hope I’m doing the same for you 🙂

“Believe and you’ll achieve” ❤

Contest Prep with an Ostomy: 9 weeks out

9 weeks…. 9 weeks until this girl Is on stage in front of 100’s of people…

Am I nervous? YES

Am I going to bring my best package to stage? YES

Am I going to eat a massive burger after? HELL YES

Alot of mixed emotions, and to be quite honest alot of them are caused by my ostomy.
I’m absolutely petrified to go in front of a theatre full of people with my bag fully exposed, I know that on IG/TWITTER/FACEBOOK I’m very open about my ostomy but going out in front of the world Is a completely different matter.
A couple of months ago I plucked up the courage to wear a bikini over a one piece at a local swimming pool.. and I tell you this now, some people are so god damn rude.. I mean yeah take a glance Its not something you see everyday .. but seriously did you need to elbow your friend to get their attention to stare aswell? The general public can be disrespectful and I’m almost preparing myself for some rude comments and questions. I’ve already had to block some IG users from making some comments I have found very abrupt.

Some day’s I really do question whether I can do this, and other days I’m so fired up no one can stop me in my tracks.

Its draining to say the least… If I’m not worried about wearing my bag fully exposed I’m having visions of leaking or ballooning which would probably be the worse scenario I can think of.
I’ve recently being trialling my ‘stage bag’ It’s a ‘Coloplast Sensura Mio’ as shown below:

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Out of the 6 times wearing it I’ve had 1 leak so far and the rest of the times after around 8 hours wear I’ve had the starting sights of a leak… this is making me frustrated and my skin so sore!!!
I have heard rumours Coloplast Is however releasing some convex types (I normally wear a Salts Convex) … but when I do not know.. so until then I’m using countless products to make me feel secure and worry free… so far not feeling 100% happy.

My prep diet with an ostomy Is challenging, ask my partner. He’s definitely losing hair trying to make it ‘stoma friendly’ and I really do thank him for all the effort he’s putting into this for me! Alot of food’s don’t agree with me.. so when we make changes to the diet we have to keep an eye on how my stoma reacts.. normally it’s fine but I’ve had some problems with watery output & blockages. But I will not moan because If it wasn’t for my ostomy I wouldn’t be doing this right now!

Besides all my fears with the Ostomy and going onto stage, Im proud of ‘Me’ for even doing this… A year ago I would of never had seen myself even living with an Ostomy let alone competing in my 1st bodybuilding show with it ! 🙂

I will try and keep you all updated as much as possible!! But until then carry on following my journey on IG 🙂 xx

Update on my Health and current Training Progress

So, firstly Ill like to apology for not blogging in well over 2 months.

I’ve not being having the greatest of times, but after a few changes in my personal life Im feeling so much more happier and less stressed.. which has had a massive impact on my recent health issues. For those who follow me on IG will have seen recently I’ve been having a problematic skin, rectal stump along with uclers on my stoma.

So I firstly had my uclers checked out and the nurse was very happy to say that they won’t be a problem unless they become painful and the cause was probably from stress and or my weightbelt causing friction … but then I mentioned the pain/spasms I’ve been having in my stump (the last little bit I have left from surgery)… this is a problem, not only have I been suffering from the pain but also I’m passing a lot of blood, this is a known sign of a colitis flare and without treating it can cause a whole world of problems…

I mean, nothing Isn’t even suppose to be coming out of my backside ! haha

All jokes aside, Its been a nightmare and without saying to much I felt like some people didn’t have the respect that I’m still sick. I mean, yes… technically you can say I’m cured, but am I really? when I’m still having theses problems plus serve tiredness.. my moaning list goes on!

Ive been booked in for a flex sigmoidoscopy with my GI on the 24th of June which I can cancel IF the medication I’ve been given settles the flare . 3 weeks or so in and so far so good, since coming away from the stressful situations I found myself In I’ve never been better the medication Is working and I’m hopeful that the week prior to the examination I can cancel ! As much as I love seeing my GI because he Is a great man I really want to go a whole year without seeing him … it will be a massive achievement for me .. maybe a sad one lol but to me it would mean Ive really beat colitis !

Now skin issues, this has really dragged me down. There Is nothing worse than having sore, bleeding, dry, itchy skin especially whilst wearing a support belt plus a weight belt. Its calmed down a lot since WORLD IBD DAY (my IG post showing it) and that’s from receiving emails and messages from all you lovely people giving me little hints and tips … so thank you! I really appreciate the messages I receive from all of my IG and Twitter followers and the reposts ! You are all the reason why I do this, and why I’m so open with my struggles. I love bodybuilding and to think it helps fellow suffers believe in themselves its  simply heart-warming, and makes me emotional.. but In a good way! 🙂

Talking on the subject of bodybuilding, right now I’m currently doing a cut almost like a mini practice  consent prep. This Isn’t helping my tiredness but I’m demanded to smash it and see what sort of results I get! My diet has completely changed and I almost feel starved haha I’ve gone from around 2,600/3,000 calories a day to dropping to a tiny 16,00 calories which my partner managed to spread between 5 meals and 2 shakes!!  I’ve also added in daily cardio, and I’ve upped my training back to 6 days a week !

I’m really excited to see how my body will change, I’m already seeing a differences! I’m definitely weak as hell in the gym  but on the diet I’m currently on I’m surprised I can still lift myself outta bed and work 25+ hours a week too!

Sorry for the messy blog, but I thought it was about time I gave you all a more in-depth update! keep fighting, and I promise I will start to blog more again!!

Everything became REAL.

Digging deep into the past is something Ive always avoided. This illness has taken me on such a journey I sometimes find it hard to express how I feel about it all..

Ever since my 1st ever hospital admission Ive always focused on bodybuilding. Being the best I can, it never occured to me how ‘strong’ Ive managed to be whilst dealing with everything.. I always find myself relfecting back onto things. I find myself wiping away tears of a thousand emotions, tears of devastation, pain, weakness and tears of happiness. I find motivation from this, I find focus it makes me so determined, to better myself.

I never forget the 1st time I was admitted in, being wheeled into a ward full of women.. everything in the room just stopped I started to panic, I couldn’t breathe …. everything become REAL. I was begging my mum not to leave me. The feeling of not knowing is always something someone with a chronic illness has to deal with, I mean I was terrified and was yet to find out that colitis in fact was a life long illness with no cure.
I had many panic attacks during this admission and I really felt after that hospital stay i was strong, especially after counselling. All my other admissions I hadn’t been faced with a panic attack… until my latest hospital stay with my ileostomy surgery.
I had the biggest panic attack, it came on so quick I didn’t know what was happening to me.
My stoma nurse suggested it was time for me to change my bag on my own.. with a mixture of sickness, nerves and pain which wasn’t controlled.. bang a panic attack happened and wow it was very hard to clam me down.

After curling into a ball with all my curtains closed i remember thinking how has this happened? IM STRONG, im emotional strong.. clearly I wasn’t. That night I just broke down uncontrollably my body image was destoryed, my feminine body had been cut into and a bag had been slapped onto my stomach I spent the night feeling very down, even though my partner was telling me how beautiful I was, I didn’t feel it. 

I woke up the next day and just faced my fears, i peeled away my bag and looked down at my swollen stoma with stitches all around it and felt sick.. like how is my small intestine now outside of my body? i took time cleaning it.. worried sick Ill never be ‘myself’ again. I thought Ill never bodybuild again how could I with this? I was regretting agreeing to the surgery….

I looked up, around at the 4 closed Curtains, the hospital bed, my hospital bag and my portable dvd player and it just clicked no matter what the future holds ill never be in fear of being admitted into hospital with a crippling flare, and putting my health and life at risk.

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(Heres little Dory now ! 5 months on!) 1st ever selfie … Never thought I would post this!!

My dieased bowel was gone.
I smiled, I felt a overwhelming feeling of happiness, tears rolled down my face. I looked back down to my stoma and whispered ‘thank you’ I may not have my back right now but in time ill be healthy, happy and hopefully achieving everything I want to do in life. Im close to 5 months post surgery and Im healthy, happy and achieving so much more than I could even before my surgery. 20150326_153337

(Im now a fitness ambassador for a http://www.protimefitness.co.uk … yes with a bag toooooo! )

No regrets, my bag has given me my life back and im proud to wear it.

Ive come to the realisation that I now know why I only had panic attacks on my 1st and recent hospital stay, and it was the unknown, the vulnerability, the fear of what will happen next?

Accepting your stoma can take time, adjusting with it can take time. Don’t rush it.
It will come, never let this illness stop you in your path.. knock that wall down and smash them goals!

The Importances of a support belt & weight belt whilst training with a stoma!

🔝( A Photo before surgery ! )

Before my surgery I always wore a weightlifting belt on heavy lifts, but now its even more vital that I wear one, even for a weight I never normally ‘use’ to not wear one for. Due to the major surgery that is involved with removing the bowel your abdominal muscles take a beating, they pull your small intestine through your stomach muscles to the surface of your skin! So no matter how much core work you do… there will always be weakness around the stoma!

If you strain to much during anysort of exercise it could cause a hernia, which Is not an ideal situation you want to find yourself in.

Now, I have a support belt I wear every single gym session, it gives me a firm support but isn’t too tight that its uncomfortable, it also hides my ileostomy very well 🙂
(here it is below)
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but for compound lifts such as deadlifts/bend over rows (see pic below)

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I wear a weightlifting belt which is very tight so I don’t advice wearing it for a long period of time with your stoma but whilst doing a set I find it perfect, all the strain is forced into the belt and my core Isn’t exerted.
As well as wearing a weightlifting belt before doing any sort of heavy compound movement I would advice you to practice your form and technique because this is where an injury could be caused.

Im 16 weeks post surgery so Im avoiding real heavy lifts, and Ill probably still stick to this, the risk of a hernia Is just to high and I wouldn’t want anymore set backs In my training.

Also! I quick update on my weight…. on the 22/01/15 I was 60.9kg I am now 63.6kg! And its not prednisone weight… feeling very healthy and happy 🙂

X

Video updates & new diet plan

So before I start it pains me to say … My laptop is broke! So until it is replaced or fixed I will not be able to post any videos! Sorry guys I know a lot of you were waiting for the home exercises video too! Also… Thank you all so much for your great reviews on my 1st bodybuilding progress video 🙂 many more (hopefully) too come ❤

On a better note … I now have a new diet plan I’m really happy with, thanks to my partner Conor for helping me out massively 🙂 we have made it specifically to my goals…

1. Putting on weight

2. Getting stronger

3. Getting leaner

Number 3. Is something I’ve never really aimed for due to weightlifting before my operation, but now I’m aiming to compete next year, I need to become a lot tighter! It’s going to be hard, this is the 1st time I’ll actually be sticking to a diet plan…

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I’ll be eating 5 meals a day, plus 2 protein shakes.. Bringing me to a total of around 2,400 calories a day! I’ll be hitting 30g of protein, 14g of fat and 60g of carbs each meal! Now that I’m back in full swing of training (so to speak) I’m sure it will go hand in hand with my structured diet!

Let the gains begin!!!  ❤

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The start of my Bodybuilding journey with an ileostomy

So Im now just over 3 months post total colectomy.. So Ive decided to document my bodybuilding progress along the way! Not only to see myself become stronger but to also show others with Ileostomys that nothing is impossible after surgery. Whatever you put your mind too.. you can do it! 

My goal before surgery was to compete in weightlifting competitions as I mentioned in my last blog, Im not saying I couldn’t do it.. but I just wouldn’t want to take the risk to cause myself a hernia… So Ive decided now to do a bodybuilding competition in 2016! So theses videos will show my development, struggles and workouts along the way!

Im currently around 60-62kg (its always changing due to water intake etc) my aim is to gain atleast 3/4kg by May!

Im struggling to put back on the weight. Im not going to lie, its tough… I use to live on prednisolone which gave me an appetite of a horse… now Im meditation free Ive lost my appetite. Im finding myself forcing it in and just chewing…. not what Im use too!

Anyways heres  my first bodybuilding progress video!  Enjoy! ❤