As many of you know, I have been on prep since around February 2017 when my body fat was around 17%. I had a normal menstruation cycle and no concerns of estrogen levels or ovulation. I did not have a cycle in March and after three NOT PREGNANT home tests, in May I went to the doctor. My body fat at this time was close to 12% and my OBGYN tested my hormone levels and said I was not producing enough estrogen – he prescribed progesterone and although I was on prep, I took all ten days worth. Still no cycle…..as I was getting close to my first show, I decided to wait until mid -August to go back to see my doctor again for my scheduled paps smear, which I now know is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. I have had regular paps smears for the last 15 years with no issues – this time was different, my paps smear was abnormal, so I went in for a colposcopy – a visual examination of the cervix using a microscope to find and biopsy abnormal areas of your cervix.
A few days later, I received a call from my doctor, yes my doctor not my nurse. As soon as heard his voice, I knew it was not good. They found Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia grade 3 (1 – Low, 2-Moderate, 3- Severe) pre-cancerous cells on my cervix along with a large cyst.
Since the cells covered the full lining covering of the cervix with abnormal cells, I had two options, cryothepary (freezing) of abnormal cells or a cone biopsy, where the doctor removes a cone shaped wedge of tissue from the cervix under general anesthetic. This removes the whole area where the cells can become abnormal – the transformation zone. Given the aggressiveness from nothing one year prior to CIN 3, I opted for the complete removal of any area of abnormal tissues.
When I received the results and finally made a decision, I was about 6 weeks out from my first National competition in Pittsburgh – North Americans. I had already started my 9 week prep, paid for my flight (and my dad’s), booked hotels, and paid my entry fees for the show. My doctor agreed to do the show and immediately following the show I would have the surgery. Mentally the pressure of this new condition really weighed on me. For 3 weeks, I was extremely stressed out, would have moments of binge eating (usually peanut butter) and an overall feeling of giving up. This was not my nature and my support group of friends in Alabama, the girls who work out with me at the Planet Fitness, my co-workers, my husband and my parents all encouraged me to stick with it. It was hard, no doubt, but I was not a quitter.
Once you get to three weeks out, the daily grind becomes pure adrenaline! The prep becomes exciting again! Before I knew it, it was showtime. I was not thinking of my surgery – I was focused. This is the fun part, playing with clean fish, salt intake, water intake and posing practice. I got to have two different posing coaches for Nationals, Michelle Slyvia (#6 Mrs. Olympia 2017) and Justine Munro, a five time Olympian! I also had my posing coach from Greater Gulf (Jennifer Dawn) checking in on me and encouraging me with my nutrition coach Kim Oddo. Hair and makeup were booked, tanning was paid for and I was ready to go.
It was worth the wait! a fantastic show – I learned soooo much! I will write another post about the show at a later date. My dad came with me and was my rock through the whole competition. I did not get much rest and I depleted water a little too much! I know what I would do different though! It is amazing what you learn from your own body!
Immediately following the show, I had the surgery. It only took about 25 minutes and I was back home to watch “Price is Right” at 10am with my husband by my side. After breakfast, I slept until about 2pm, had some light bleeding and cramping for about a week. The 800mg IB Profin did the trick for me.
I am now trying to naturally gain fat back! I am on a reverse diet with about 60/40 (fat/carb) macros. I have a beach trip with the girls from Alabama and mom’s from the gym this weekend and I will measure my fat content after the trip. My goal is to have a cycle naturally before the doctor has to take additional steps to force ovulation! My next goal is children, so I hope to be back to normal by the end of the year, have two children and then come back and compete at the Master’s level when I am 35!!! I hope that my story can inspire other moms out there to GET UP and GET MOVING!
Hopefully I will see everyone at our Saturday meetups – starting September 30th!
I’m not done yet!