From skinny shredded monk to muscular, happier woman

Last June, when I competed in Figure and got ready for my first real shredded photo shoot in September, I worked very hard to reach a certain look and shape. I restricted severely my caloric intake, increased drastically my cardio and lifted as heavy as I could. It took me approx 6 months of 6 days a week, almost always twice a day workouts. I lost weight as in fat - and muscle too. I went down from 15% to 7% body fat. My knowledge and experience during those months improved a lot, I learned better to understand my body and how it works to get really lean. If I have to thank someone during this transformation that is Pauline Nordin, which I followed on Facebook for the last year and took as inspiration. I thought I wanted to keep this look forever, I liked myself. Problem was, I never really could do much to "enjoy" that look. The energy I had was concentrated for my workouts and cooking my food. There was nothing really that interested me beside cooking and training, which are my biggest passions, but still... Couldn't go more than 3 hrs without food or I'd start shaking and feel very weak- not to mention hysterical. Luckily was summer and I wasn't that busy with university or work. I worked harder than ever, but I have NO memories of that 6 months beside step mills, treadmills, disks, sweat, mood swings, counting calories, desire to see none... It wasn't the first time for me to get shredded- if you count anorexia as a "shredded phase"? Well that was a different trend- bones and fat LOL. My first preparation for a competition happened in May 2007, then again in 2008, 2009. Each year I competed in Figure and got very lean. Last summer though I thought I was done competing and wanted to keep my competition look for good. Food was not the real issue, because I liked my wheat bran, always loved vegetables and never been a junk food eater. It FELT good knowing I had a killer shredded body, BUT, I wasn't satisfied. I felt my life was missing a HUGE part, which I was sacrificing for the sake of extreme leanness. It's not that I wanted to PARTY and be LAZY ok? No. I was tired of seeing my life as a constant "MISSION". Cardio am mission, cooking mission, grocery mission, training mission. I LOVED my lifestyle, just after almost a year of it I wondered if there was anything else I wanted to do in my life. I traveled rarely- didn't really enjoyed to break my lifestyle. Going out with friends felt totally useless and all I was thinking was "now I'll have less hrs to sleep and my cardio will be messed up". That felt wrong. I couldn't focus much on my future either, because I was so deep inside my lifestyle, which was set in a strict order and sequence of actions which couldn't be altered. Plus my attention was limited. From February I felt the urge to move on, look out for more in my life. I wanted to work as fitness model more than trainer, I wanted to perform my pole dance at shows, I wanted to write more, travel more, stay with people like me and meet new ones. I'm glad I could reevaluate my situation and make changes. I renounced to my 7% and measurements, got back to more weight training which I love way more than cardio, and introduced more calories, rotating my macro nutrients ratio as well. Im still lean...and if I ever want, I know the drill to get back at it. But will I want? What about 10, 12% body fat? Is that FAT? ;)

See, my personality is easily one that get addicted or stuck in a "compulsion mode". I know me, I know my behavior tends to be obsessive compulsive and I gotta always watch out not to get lost in something that stop me to grow, be better and most of all FREE. There is nothing worst than be a prisoner of yourself.

Cheers from Italy for now... Will post soon new pics ;)