Question and answer time! I received a few questions on Instagram a while back so now it is time to share my answers. Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@baileylifts) so you do not miss the next Q&A or feel free to comment some questions below.
What is one trip you’d like to take in the next year and with whom?
To date, my favorite vacation has been to Alberta, Canada to visit Banff National Park, and I would love to go back some day and hike the long trails and admire the beautiful scenery with my family. I also would love to study abroad in Austria, Germany since I think the culture is so unique and full of history. An entire semester in a different country is a bit intimidating for me, but it is definitely a place I would love to visit.
What caused you to gain an interest in weightlifting?
One of my gymnastics coaches implemented a unique conditioning style which, to sum things up, made me love conditioning more than gymnastics itself. I loved feeling stronger and stronger every day. I remember when we first started the new conditioning I could not do one pull up without swinging and now I can rep them out like it is nobody’s business. My interest in gymnastics continued to fade and I looked into crossfit. I tried a few boxes, but I never felt really welcomed. I trained on my own for a few months and eventually found a weightlifting gym and have been there ever since.
Do you do hypertrophy work or other training outside of lifting?
In weightlifting, I go through different training cycles to prepare for competitions. At the beginning of a cycle, my training is focused on muscular endurance meaning the volume is high and the weight is lighter. Progressing through the cycle, the weight slowly gets heavier and the volume decreases until it is competition week and I only train singles. I do not train outside of my weightlifting program since it occupies most of my time.
How long were you a gymnast and what level did you quit at?
I did gymnastics for as long as I can remember. I began competitive gymnastics when I was eight as a level 5. Freshmen year and junior year of high school I competed with my high school gymnastics team and retired after my junior year. I competed as a level 8 for a LONGTIME. I competed at that level in 7th grade, 8th grade, and sophomore year. By the time I was a sophomore I had become a rock star and won state and placed second at regionals. When I retired junior year, I competed on the varsity team and my skill level was either a level 8 or level 9 depending on the event.
Who is your biggest fitness inspiration?
I am inspired by so many people in so many different ways, but my biggest inspiration is @balancingkatie. Her mental toughness and determination never fails to brighten my day and I love following her journey to becoming a registered dietitian.
What is your favorite snack?
I am always one for volume so I am going to have to say rice cakes. I love them with cottage cheese or a protein pumpkin dip.
Do you have any major ED triggers? How do you cope with them?
I have worked endlessly with my therapist and nutritionist during my recovery to recognize my triggers and have completely transformed my response to these pressures. A big trigger for me was putting too much pressure on myself and punishing myself for not meeting my expectations. I still find that I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I no longer associate my performance or accomplishments with food. Aside from working with my support team, I think journaling is an excellent way to cope. It helped me take a second to breath and put things into perspective.
What is your favorite protein bar?
Hmmm….arguably one of the toughest questions. It is a pretty even split between Quest bars and RX bars at the moment. My favorite Quest flavor is s’mores and my favorite RX flavor is the chocolate sea salt.
What is your favorite meal?
Another tough question. In general I love mac and cheese. My mom makes an amazing butternut squash mac and cheese that is to die for. I also really love zoats.
How did you deal with not being able to exercise?
When I began eating disorder recovery, I was out of gymnastics for three months since I had three stress fractures in my back. However, after the doctors said I could go back to training, I still was not able to exercise for another three months while I worked on gaining weight and mending my relationship with food. My best advice for making the most of this exercise-restricted period is to put full focus in your recovery. Do not try and sneak in exercise because it will only prolong your exercise restriction. For me, I devoted a lot of my time to journaling and scrap booking to take my mind off wanting to exercise.