Living The Prep Life - Chris Harrison
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Out of a 16-week prep, I can’t believe we’ve already created the 6-week mark. This must be one of the fastest preps that I’ve ever been through, but I can’t say that it hasn’t had its challenges.

In the previous article, I, unfortunately, had to return my sleep apnea machine which dramatically affected the quality of my sleep and recovery. I was waking up multiple times a night leaving me feeling hungover in the morning. I was becoming moody, impatient, and the smallest things were getting under my skin.

I was getting worried that it was going to affect my prep. In the long term, it most certainly would have, however, I was only without the machine for a week as I was able to source another machine. We’re back getting high-quality sleep and my recovery has improved dramatically. Problem Solved.

The first week without a cheat meal is always the most difficult but once that’s conquered, the cravings tend to calm down significantly or until you drive by a McDonalds and smell the french fries in the air.

We’ve dropped some calories from the diet and now I can really start to feel the depletion of prep. Energy is becoming low, memory is becoming affected. I’m needing more and more motivation to complete even the smallest of tasks like putting the dishes away or even showering.

All my cheat meals have been pulled and we are now only refeeding when absolutely necessary. The first week without a cheat meal is always the most difficult but once that’s conquered, the cravings tend to calm down significantly or until you drive by a McDonalds and smell the french fries in the air.

A few interesting things are starting to happen. First, I’m finding myself licking the tablespoon of peanut butter that I get before bed more and more hoping the peanut butter will magically reappear. Also, the other day I went to pour myself a glass of water but instead of pouring the water into a glass, I poured it into my bowl of food. This is what’s called “Prep Brain”. It usually doesn’t hit me until 2-3 weeks out of the contest but apparently, Christmas came early this year.

My wife is competing at the same show I am. When two people in a relationship are prepping together, things can get a little dicey. Mostly because everyone is hungry, tired, depleted, and grumpy and any little thing can throw someone into a fit. However, we’re good so far, so let’s keep this up.

I’m noticing that I’m starting to separate myself from the world. I get up, train, come home, work and sleep. I don’t want to do anything else. I’m cancelling or denying plans with friends and family just because I want to stay focused. Also, I don’t want to see or smell food that’s not on my plan. That makes prep life so much more difficult. I find it easier to tell everyone that I’m not available for a couple of months until prep is over and then safely re-introduce myself into society again.

We ran into a major issue now. Of course, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Canada just announced that no citizen is allowed to travel via air, rail, or boat without being fully vaccinated. We’re also not allowed to attend large events without the vaccinations.

This means that as a healthy male with a strong immune system, who’s recovered from covid twice, that has strong natural anti-bodies, in an age group that’s a very low risk, I must make a major decision. Choose between losing the career that I’ve spent 31 years building or taking an experimental vaccine that I don’t need.

The stress in this decision is unbearable. This is a decision that I never thought I would need to make. I don’t mention this to cause debate or ruffle feathers. I only mention it because it’s the truth and it’s what I’m currently facing along with millions of others.

So time to decide. Do I stick to my beliefs and sacrifice my career, or do I get the vaccination and risk my health?


Photo By: Sean Davidoff

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I’m the eldest of 3 sons. I’m a father, husband, coach, athlete, and a published author. I eat, sleep and daydream about fitness and bodybuilding. I’m used to be a chef and I’m a certified firefighter. I’ve worn many hats but bodybuilding and fitness is my suit.

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