Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Let the Cookie Win!

I’m back! It’s been three weeks since competition, but it feels like forever. And it feels that long since I’ve been in the gym (oops!)

I gave myself the first post-competition week off from the gym. I had hurt my hip and shoulder pretty bad the week before comp, so I figured I’d give my body some rest. I also began a really hard class, and I wanted to get focused while not feeling guilty for missing the gym.

But my brother-in-law is in town for a month, and last week his fiancĂ© was in town for the week. It was nice to finally have family around and people to socialize with, but between that and school, it left no gym time (I did hit up my Jillian Michaels’ videos, so I could at least get some activity).

I have decided to compete in March back in my hometown. I joined a training program down here in Florida. The program is similar, where as my trainer is long-distance, except this time the program is based out of Daytona, and I will go to one of their weekend training camps in December (they have them every month, so if I need a little boost I could go to another one pretty easily).

I thought about waiting until then to begin the program, but I am thinking November is better. I WANT TO PLACE in my hometown! So the paperwork will go in this week.

Plus I don’t want to revert back to this:

Yes, that was me at the beginning of June.

Believe it or not, I worked out almost everyday for at least an hour to an hour and a half. So, why do I look soft and pudgy?

My diet! Only a small few of people can actually eat whatever they want and stay skinny … and that doesn’t mean they are healthy. Eating crappy food wrecks havoc on your insides (including your brain functioning).

I love this:

It’s so true. And really, going to the gym isn’t always that fun. Some days there are a million other things I rather be doing. Sometimes my gym time is a real sacrifice; I’m taking time away from my husband, my friends and family, my dog, my school work, other activities I really enjoy.

So why would I want to make that sacrifice in vain? For what? A cookie?

Sometimes the cookie does win, but overtime the cookie will lose and I won’t feel deprived by not having one.

Moral of the story, don’t let the cookie win!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Show Time!


The competition was this weekend! I cannot believe it’s over!

It started on Friday. After (hopefully) not failing my exam, my parents arrived. We caught up a bit, before I had to leave for check-in and a posing class by Jaime Baird. She is such a sweet (and beautiful) woman.

Mrs. Baird

She's so sweet

Nicole Nagrani was there too, which was a special treat.

Homegirl is 19! She's is pocket-sized too!

It was really great to get a detailed perspective on posing, the dos and don’ts and other tips. They talked a lot about how important personality is during posing, and can give a competitor an edge. They also stressed how important it is to have fun. Flatter abs isn’t going to fulfill you, and if it does, you won’t have a long, happy career in competition.

Jaime had us to do our walk and front pose for her. It cleared some nerves, and she also she gave us a little critique. Being in front of an audience isn’t too new for me, but I am use to making eye contact with the audience or, for a play, looking up, over the audience. In this competition, you look down, and only down, at the judges. So that was new. And she said that I reminded her of Ali Rosen:

I take that as a compliment.

Friday night ended with three Jan Tana-tanning sessions by my wonderful husband. (I think for next time, I will be making an appointment with the show tanners.)

I woke up at 5am for another tanning session and to get ready. There was a competitor meeting at 8am, and I wanted to make sure I was at the venue in plenty of time.

One prep secret: I wore a wig! I had bought the wig for my wedding, but I opted for another hairstyle (also with faux-hair though … it’s genius.), so the wig had been sitting in my closet for a year. After going through competitor photos, I realized everyone has long hair. I was just about to purchase clip-in extensions, when I remembered the rug. I know I would fuss about my hair all day, and with pre-judging and the night show, I knew my fine hair would not hold up. The wig work perfectly and literally saved hours off prep and worry!

My coach told me to go to the venue hair and make up ready, but when I got to the venue, there was a room full of tables and mirrors. I felt a little awkward just sitting there while everyone else was getting ready. Two women, who happened to be figure competitors, noticed my awkwardness (and shyness) and be-friended me, looking after me the whole day.

I was granted number 93, and after a morning of practicing posing, it was finally time for me to get judged. I was trying to remember what Jaime had said the night before, and what my coach had told me, but when it came time to step on stage I blanked on everything. The next thing I knew I was walking off stage.

While my family wanted to go to out to eat, I opted for going home to rest. I was exhausted and food and water deprived. I barely made it home before passing out for an hour and a half.

The afternoon brought one more tan touch-up and back to the venue. The hubs, my brother, my pops and a good friend, John, joined my mom for the night show. I was a lot more relaxed, and even joined my family to watch the fitness girls perform (those girls are crazy amazing!). I was supposed to go on after intermission, but the show was running so quickly that they skipped it, and it was my turn to go up again.

Sadly, I did not place. I was not first call-out during pre-judging (the judges usually call out who they think the top five are in a class, and therefore compare them even more side-by-side to determine top order), so it was no surprise I didn’t win.

There were a lot of novice competitors. My height class alone had 10 girls, and the other class had atleast 15. In fact, the woman who won the overall novice bikini class was from my class, so it was very competitive.

But it was such a great experience. I am looking forward to my next show, which I think I will be in March (and in my hometown back up north). Even though it’s five months away, I can’t relax too much. I will probably hit the gym hardcore by the weekend. I asked for a judges' crit to be sent to me, but I already know I have to tighten up ... a lot!

I want to write a blog about the days after and eating. So that will probably come in a few days, but for now I will leave you with a photo and my presentation video from the night show (I stumbled a bit on the turn, but practice makes perfect and I know I will get better and more comfortable the more I practice and perform).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Posin' and Strutin'

Happy Hump Day! I CANNOT believe that around about 72 hours I will be in some form participating in my first NPC bikini competition.

I want to throw up. I am as excited as I would be on my birthday. I am so scared because prancing around in a teeny-weeny ‘kini is NOT ME.

I am really digging this last week workout. Sunday was my last legs day. Then Monday through today I had AM cardio sessions and afternoon lifting, but lighter than usual. However, Tuesday I was gone from 7:45a until 9p, so I woke up for my morning cardio, but I didn’t have energy to lift at 9:30-10p, so I am doing one last lifting session on Thursday morning. Then I am done!

Some of my “homework” is practicing my posing. (My dogs think I am crazy, they usually sit on the couch watching me walk back and forth between the wall and the table to set and re-set my camera timer every 10 seconds.)

Ma, you iz crazy!

Usually there is a front pose and a back pose. But I’ve been watching YouTube videos of NPC bikini competitions, and it occurred to me that most of these women walk out, one-by-one, pose, both front and back with a sassy little turn. I don’t why I didn’t realize it until yesterday but I might possibly have to do this, especially when the competition Web site says that since this is a woman’s only show, each women gets to “feel like a princess” and will have plenty of time on stage.

I have been on stage before: dance recitals, speaking, auditions, performing in plays and even a few professional productions. But there is something about trying to strut your stuff in a piece of Spandex that waivers any sense of confidence. So I will be practicing this for the next day or so.

Watching the girls, trying to learn

I have been trying to cut sodium from my diet too. I have to take potassium pills, and after tomorrow, there is no sodium extra allowed. But seriously, if I eat another piece of fish, I might throw up. So I am trying to find an alternative for Thursday and Friday. I might just have to stick with a protein shakes and peanut butter. I'll have to get a bit creative ... I'll let you know how that goes.

I'd rather be fishing ... not eat it

In the meantime I will be finishing my last workout, practicing my posing, prepping my day-of bag, cleaning for my parents’ arrival and studying for my final on Friday morning.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pain and Pancake Love

Holy hell, I’ve been trying to get this post posted for two days now, but things keep interrupting it. Which is exactly how I feel about the competition.

I am nine days out. I can count it on my hands. And I am so not mentally present as I have a lot on my mind before Oct. 8 … including an exam next Friday.

I haven’t been as focused as I should be when I am working out. My diet is a fading bit as things are taking the place of regular eating times. I’ve also had a few things to be stressed about and sometimes when that happens I tend not to be hungry and therefore tend not to eat or I tend to crave.

I also am just plain tired. Last week I hurt my left shoulder. And yesterday midway through my workout, I got up from my first rep of laying triceps extensions and I felt a pull in my upper back. I figured I’d just stretch really well after the work out, but when I finished the pulling was constant and so painful I could barely move my upper body. When the hubs got home I made asked him to massage it and perform cupping on it. It was THE most painful thing I have felt in a long time.

In the past, I couldn’t understand why athletes couldn’t play a game or compete due to a pulled muscle. They get paid enough, stop whining and get out there. But as of last night, I totally get it. Until my morning dose of Aleve, I couldn’t turn my head to the right with out excruciating pain.

I just got my last week prep from my trainer. Lots involved. I’ll have to write a new post about that in a few days. For now I will leave you with my pups.

Morgan and Martini

Every morning I share some of my pancake with my pups. They both sit patiently watching me eat, Morgan usually drooling. I don’t know why, but the pancake is up there with sausage in the pup-pup eyes/tummy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No pain, no gain

I posted about my last week. What I didn’t post was how much I did not want to be in the gym, nor be on a diet.

I was exhausted, always one step behind and had so much school to focus on there was nothing left for the gym. I knew I needed to go, but mentally I was not present.

So much so, I actually ended up hurting my shoulder last week. I picked up ten pound dumbbells for rear delt raises, being lazy as I really didn’t want to be there, and ZAP! a shock of electricity-like pain engulfed my left shoulder.

I stopped, reset and tried again. Same pain. I dropped weight, to seven pounds. Same pain. Again to five pounds, but the pain was there. Stupidly, I struggled through it, stopping every few reps to stretch it, hoping it was just a pinch and the pain would stop.

Luckily that was my last exercise for the day, and after cardio I hit the shower and relaxed the rest of the night. Since there was no pain when I wasn’t exercising, I forgot about it, until I pulled up the sheets on my bed. And the pain struck again on Friday’s workout, attempting preacher curls.

Luckily, being an acupuncture student, I get free treatments. I have been getting treatments to help my digestive issues. So yesterday during clinic, I begged for a treatment, figuring I’d lie face down and get a few needles inserted into my upper back and maybe a massage.

A supervising doctor came in as my colleagues were going through their assesment, and the doc deduced that the pain I had followed the large intestine channel and it was actually my digestive issues that caused the pain in my shoulder (Yes, it was the movement with resistance that caused it, but the weakness that allowed it to happen was in part due to my digestive issues.). I did get a little massage too, but it felt like a knife stabbing me in the scapula.

Anyway, on to better news. This came this weekend:

The swimsuit! And it came in this:

Yes, a flat rate envelope … that’s how tiny this thing is.

Of course I immediately put it on, with the stripper heels … and realized my tan lines are terrible (yes that’s how small this suit it). But I have been practicing almost everyday (well, since Sunday), posing and taking photos. Putting on the suit and the heels still makes me want to throw up, as I am super nervous. Luckily I feel a bit more confident after looking at the photos. I've come a long way (final photos will be posted after the competition ... maybe. I might have to have a few Bellinis before I am able to click "publish post.")

Surprisingly, what I am most nervous about is the tanning. As former tan-orexia and tanning salon employee, I should be confident. But I haven’t tanned since September of last year (not including poolside, since I do wear sunscreen). And most competitors may get a slight base tan, but self-tanner is the usual. So, my test run with Jan Tana will come tonight night since I don’t have class on Thursday, and I won’t mind looking like Bob Barker:

I forgot to order glaze to put over it, so I will have to improvise until the glaze comes in.

And my NPC card came in the mail yesterday as well. I’m “legal” to participate. Just a few more weeks! (Literally, just days!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Your Workout is Worth Squat

Last Thursday, after I sent my latest set of progress photos to my coach, I received an email in reply stating, “I am absolutely dumbfounded at the progress you have made.” I was felt I was allowed to be proud of myself (especially after comparing Day One photos to now … a later post to come).

This weekend I headed home for one of my closest friend’s baby shower (and if the baby is on time I might get to meet her in a few weeks!!!!). It was so great seeing my friends, as I miss them dearly.

But traveling literally wreaks havoc on a strict diet and exercise program. Especially short weekend jaunts (so much to do, so little time and no routine).

Not only did all my good feelings shoot out the window this weekend, my flight back to FLL was a complete disaster. We landed two hours after the time we were supposed too, meaning my second and third meals were missed, and with a Monday night class, there was no time for my workout. All of which makes for one VERY unhappy bikini competitor.

To add to my negativity, my first wedding anniversary is this weekend, and I can’t even celebrate the way I would like too (top layer of our cake or a piece of the fresh cake our bakery made us, and a glass of champagne). I feel like a big bummer.

So I am going to take this blog post to continue to rant about a gym pet peeve.

There is this girl that I share MY morning gym time with. She looks like she’s in good shape, though she has a bit of a pooch (I know how that feels!) and she’s always buzzing around the gym doing combinations and circuits.

Here’s the thing. She’s bicep curling with 5 lbs. dumbbells. And then she had the audacity to place two 5 lb. weights on the barbell of the Smith machine and promptly do three sets of squats. She’s squatting as much as she’s lifting! Oh lord.

I know she is trying to lose weight because I see her doing major cardio intervals with Burpees and pushups in between (and one day she had a torn-out workout routine from a fitness magazine with the title “Drop the last 5 pounds!”)

And while a big portion of weight loss takes place in the kitchen, BUILDING muscle is essential to maintaining a hard working metabolism.

I want to shake her. She’s in my way and wasting her time.

Think about how many times a day you use your own body weight as resistance. Dropping down to find that black heel under your bed? Oh, you found it. Pushing yourself up again. Squatting down to pick up that folder you dropped at work? Standing up from a sitting down. Um, walking?

And let’s not forget everyday objects we pick up that are relatively heavy: grocery bags, your purse, your dog, your kids!

We are stronger than we think.

If you are lifting the small VW Bug that you call a purse with one hand, you need to put down the 5 pound dumbbell, step away from your pre-conceived notions of lifting heavier will bulk you up, and start kicking your own ass (or arms). Just try the 10 pound dumbbell … Get a little crazy and see what you might be able to do with the 12 pound.

And while your biceps are tiny muscles, think of your biggest muscle groups: the quads and glutes. Your legs take you everywhere. They hold you up all day, and sometimes all night, for hours … in 5 inch heels. They are strong. Show them some respect. DO NOT shame them by giving them the same weight you are giving your arms.

Don’t be afraid to start at a higher weight, realize you safely can’t lift it and start backing down until you can. Can you only do eight of the 12 reps in a set with the heavier-than-usual-weight? Go down a dumbbell size (or five pounds on a barbell), and finish the set. Next week, try again. I promise you will eventually be able to master that heavier weight. And your arms and legs will look kick-ass. (… And once your arms and legs start to lean out, the belly will usually follow.)

How will you know how strong you are if you don’t push yourself?

Friday, September 2, 2011

A little nutty

This week has been rather uneventful. It was actually plain rotten. Even the hubs coming home for a few days couldn’t get me out of my physical funk.

I have been grouchy and whiney about my meals (which I need to stop, because no body is making me do this). After I read that blood type Os should avoid eggs, and knowing eggs do make me a bit bloated, I decided to give up on the egg whites for a bit and focus on fish and veggies.

And fish is just plain boring. And I was feeling really bloated and distended, egg whites or no eggs whites (and this was just a few days after I took photos of my finally-visible abs ::sigh::).

Eating out is a big part of my relationship with my husband. Some people play golf or go running. We like to eat. We had (… still have) a long-distance relationship, so every other weekend we’d be in a different town, having a mini-getaway, complete with meals out. Since Mark still flies in and out, and I often don’t have his food (i.e., meat) at the house we often eat out one or twice while he’s in town. It’s our time to sit, talk, enjoy and experience.

Being so close to the competition, I told him no eating out this trip back. Luckily my husband is very INCREDIBLY understanding and proactive. He took my whiney-butt to the grocery store, and came up with new veggies to add to my list.

Spaghetti Squash ... oh, you and Acorn are good with butter and salt and butter and brown sugar too?!
Nom Nom Nom!

Since we were at Publix, I like to peruse the healthier food aisle, praying that there is some dessert thing I can eat (there never is).

But I did find almond meal. It’s like $12 for a bag, so before buying it, I thought I should research some recipes first … like a pizza recipe.

Which is exactly what my hubs did, and made me the following day. It was exactly what I needed.

I’m not supposed to have carbs, but the almond meal is low-carb substitute to regular dough. And I think I was in a place were I needed a “cheat” meal without making it a full-out cheat meal (my morale was hitting rock bottom). Some low-carb pizza sauce, veggies and some low-fat cheese (I don’t really like cheese, so I didn’t put that much on), and I was in heaven! I should have taken a photo, but inhaled it, and it was so good! Almond meal is actually a bit sweet (like almonds), so next time I want to bake I’m definitely using almond meal rather than flour (a great gluten-free substitute too).

Benefits of almonds:

1. High in monounsaturated fats – the good kind that have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease

2. Rich source of Vitamin E (for your complexion and skin!) and dietary fiber

3. They appear to decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, and provide antioxidants to take care of any free radicals that can result (free radicals damage cells)

I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking at a healthier pizza option. Another great substitute: use a homemade pesto or hummus as a base rather than tomato sauce. It can add higher protein value. And make sure there are lots and lots of veggies!

Also, I was feeling totally bloated. After a little bit of acupuncture (yes, it can help relieve bloat, distension, digestive issues … as well as just about anything. Go see an acupuncturist!) I felt better within a few hours. But I also like to drink this little concoction:

~ One pitcher of water

~ One lemon (sliced as rounds)

~ A few spearmint leaves

~ Half a cucumber (sliced as rounds)

~ 1 tsp. of grated fresh ginger (I like to put a few tsp. in, but I like ginger)

It lasts two days, then I would replace the items with new ones.

Ginger

The Flat Belly Diet uses this drink in their detox phase. It tastes delicious and is good boost to just plain water (minus any aspartame that is in some drink enhancers). Plus ginger not only aids in digestion, it has thermogenic properties, so it can help with weight loss.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes! Happy healthy eating!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stressing Out and Breaking Down

The weeks are FLYING by.

Some updates:

First, my teeny bikinis arrived Sunday. I ordered two to try on. They both showed up together in a box smaller than a VHS tape (remember those). I nearly died trying on the suits. How am I supposed to be on stage in one of these?

Teeny-tiny packages!

I took photos in them, and luckily I didn’t look half bad.

I returned the suits and purchased a custom ordered one (another panic moment … you mean I can’t return something?!) I’m excited to get it.

I also had my first bikini competition dream. I forgot to tan and I forgot hair and makeup and I ate bread right before I was supposed to go on stage! I woke up in a panic.

Luckily it was just a dream, and I am determined to get a lot of things I will need for the competition in the next week or so. Especially since I found out I have a final the morning before the competition. So rather than relaxing on Thursday and Friday, I will be a bit stressed (not good for the belly!)

In other news: my weigh number hasn’t changed (though I like to believe the fat has turned to muscle), and my numbers are barely changing, though I lost an inch from my waist, a bit from my hips and from my chest (… that isn’t so happy).

However …. I fit into my white jeans! I bought these jeans last year when I moved to Miami (what is living in MIA without white jeans?!). They were a bit tight, but on sale and I figured I’d drop the weight, especially since I was planning on working out really hard before my wedding last year.

But the weeks (and months) leading to the wedding were stressful and no weight was lost. My mom was visiting during that time and I put them on and she gave me the once over. She politely told me they were too tight, which she is never critical of my weight, so I knew it was bad.

I was inspired by Jordan and decided to try them on. And they fit! With some room! I was going to wear them to clinic, but we have the edge of Hurricane Irene slamming us with rain, so they will have to wait for another day.

Okay, back to training. My coach wants me to still build muscle.

You go girl, lifting that 2 lb weight.

While the last four weeks involved a lot of plyo-metrics, these next four she has me lifting with drop sets (or breakdown sets)… which are my favorite because it just makes sense.

If you don’t know what it is, you lift high and after the first two sets, you drop a weight. Then the last set a drop another. For example, say I do bicep curls with 20 lb. dumbbells. I do two sets with the 20 lbs. Set three I drop down to 15 lb. and set four I drop to 12 lbs.

Because of this, my workouts are actually shorter, but that gives me the opportunity to really push. Drop sets are great for building muscle. It makes the muscles wake up and say, “Holy crap!”

Food-wise, my coach cut all carbs minus my protein pancake in the morning. I immediately dropped bloat. … So maybe I have a intolerance.

Interestingly, I am blood type O, which tend to be the meat eaters. As a vegetarian (minus the fish, eggs and limited dairy), any carbs I eat tend to be starchy veggies. But O types should avoid grains and rather emphasize high protein foods, especially deep ocean fish. So maybe this eating for your blood type thing is on to something …

Saturday is six weeks out!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Gallon and a Suit


It’s crazy to think in a few weeks I will be bearing it all (well, not ALL) on stage! Last Saturday was 8 weeks out.

I have completely cut out my sugar-free coffee creamer (which I probably wasn’t allowed in the first place, but with my 5:30a workouts and hour + commute, I needed to make sure I got caffeine in me).

I also attempted to drink a gallon of water a few days ago. I drink a lot of water daily (at the very least half a gallon), but I wanted to measure exactly how much I was drinking.

And holy hell, I don’t know how people do it.

When we first moved into our apartment a year ago, my husband ended up putting a large flat screen in our bedroom. My little flat screen no longer had a home, so my husband wanted to put it on the cabinet that sits across from the toilet in the bathroom. I vetoed that idea. However, attempting to drink an entire gallon combined with the efficiency of my kidneys, the TV in the bathroom seems like a great idea now.

Anyways ….

It is time to order suits!!!! Even with my body looking better, it is still a daunting task.

Especially when the suits my trainer sent me to look at are upwards of $150. So I found a cheaper site that has in stock suits. Unfortunately the tops are measured for a “rounded B cup” which fortunately I am not. But I figure it would give me an idea of how they fit (I ordered two different cuts) and then I can send them back and order a customized suit (which is non-returnable).

And my dirty pirate-hooker shoes will come in a few days.

At least they don't have dollar slots ...

This weekend I plan on looking for some clip-in hair extensions and self-tanner to start my testing, so day of I can relax a bit (yeah right).

Too much?

I also have to register, which makes it 100% seriously real.

But I haven’t decided whether to register in only the novice category (which you can only do if it’s your first show, so of course) or the open bikini class as well.

My trainer says to do both, but I looked at last year’s novice winner and she was incredible, and while the bikini overall winner was slimmer I still don’t believe I have a snowball’s chance in hell to win the open category, so what’s the point?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Early Bird

Believe or not, this sleepy-Sally has been getting up the past few days to work out at 5:45 a.m.

My commute is a 3 minutes walk to the condo gym … I still believe people that get up, get dressed, and drive to the gym to make their 5:45 a.m. spin class are INSANE. You will NEVER find me doing that.

Even more interesting: this 5:30 a.m. wake up call has come out of laziness.

My school program usually gives August off. But I wanted to take a class a year early (so, this September), so I have to make up the class I would have had this September this month (… are you following?).

The class runs until 2 p.m., but with my hour return-commute and a usual errand or two on the way home, I know I will not want to start a work out around 4 or 5 p.m., the time when my work out usually ends (I’m about my routine, and I don’t do well with interruptions or changes).

So, I decided to try the early morning thing, and I actually really enjoy it. I don’t have to compete for the machines, I can turn on my CMT music vids or the news or anything not ESPN and I can jump around doing my plyos without crazy stares (and if I’m lifting really heavy, have the occasional grunt or loud sigh ... yes, I turned into a gym-douche.)

While I feel good this week, I’m really bummed that my numbers haven’t changed. Physically, my body is visually changing.

I lost a little off my hips and waist and my Roo-pouch is sloooooooowly shrinking, but being 8-weeks out, I’m nervous I won’t be ready.

Thankfully, the class I have to take this summer is Asian Bodyworks, so after my morning workouts, I get to do some serious stretching and Tai Chi (a little core work as I maintain some balance) as well as get massaged three days a week.

Hopefully my coach is more positive about my progress than I am. And since I haven’t done this before, I’m assuming my diet will change come the last few weeks, and make me more lean (currently, she wanted to me put on muscles … they are little, but they are there) … and possibly banish that pouch for good?

On a side note, early morning I start the day with a protein pancake. It's my favorite meal of the day (I've always been a breakfast person).

Many of you fitness comps have tried this before, but for those of you who haven't or don't eat breakfast, first, shame on you, and second, this is super easy, super quick and a great way to get enough protein in your diet ... especially for you lettuce-munching dieters.

Research has shown that those who eat a protein-heavy breakfast maintain a greater sensation of fullness throughout the day than when protein in eaten later in the day. Protein energy outlasts that of carbs, and it eating a protein breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism. Protein in the morning has been shown to benefit attention span and retention, too. And watch the "protein" shakes and bars ... it's frustrating but a lot of them are no better than a Snickers bar or a milkshake (read the labels!!!!)

YUM YUM!

Here is the recipe:

1/2 c. Old Fashioned Oats (uncooked)

4 egg whites

1 scoop protein powder of your choice (I really like it with chocolate)

Mix together and pour into skillet, and cooked like a skillet.

You could probably add a fruit to it too (some berries and apple?!)

I use a sugar-free syrup. I don't like artificial anything in my non-competition life, so choose whatever syrup you want, but measure out ONE serving (read the label).

Enjoy!!!!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nap time?

This past week was a bad week. I wrote in my other blog about my funk, and that translated into my diet last week.

Snaps first: I am proud of myself for not eating ALL my feelings. In the past, I would have driven straight to the nearest drive-thru and order myself a large serving of fries or pop open a carton of Ben and Jerry’s, and not stop until I saw the bottom.

Rather, I ate an extra serving of sugar-free, fat free Jell-O, and I partook in the bread basket at the restaurant my husband took me too.

For shame I know, especially since there are really no excuses while in competition-mode. But I was on the verge of insanity and exhausted.

That’s another thing. I have been utterly exhausted. The exhaustion began three weeks before I started training. By the time I began training, I was feeling a lot more energenetic. And up until last week, I was good.

After my husband’s birthday a few weeks back, I HAD to take a long nap. I had to get up to study for a quiz, otherwise I probably would have slept all until Monday morning. A couple days later, I was napping again. I ended up getting it together, but this past weekend, I couldn’t get off the couch, or ground, or bed … depending on where I ended up.

It was nap, get up and walk a few feet, lay down and nap again. I wasn’t dizzy or sick; just exhausted.

I was so frustrated that I spent a majority of the short weekend I was able to have with my husband asleep. Finally, on Sunday night, I propped myself up at the kitchen table, knowing that as long as I was sitting in the hard wooden chair, I would not fall sleep.

I don’t know if I was fighting something, or it’s a symptom of the “funk.”

Regardless, I didn’t miss a workout and I’m right back at the week, complete with three clinical make-up days and a final. Let’s just hope my energy can make me a bit more peppy and less stressed since I’m only 9 weeks out!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week Four Update

Whew! This last week has flown by, and between prepping for my husband’s green card interview and school, I have no time to write something non-school related.

I am in the midst of my fourth week of prep, and I feel a lot better than I did the last post.

I can actually see HUGE changes in my body, e.g. my roo pouch is slowly disappearing. I haven’t taken my four week photos yet, but I am hoping I actually see the change that I feel.

I don’t have cravings anymore. … Okay, well, the cravings are there, but it’s for chocolate if I am a good girl and work out, I get my chocolate caesin shake every night and it’s super yummy.

My trainer whiched up my workout a bit, which is awesome since my 3.5 second attention span was quickly getting bored with the typical lift and cardio. Cardio now sprinkles my plan of lifting and/or plyometrics circuits.

Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays are my days off. While I have class and clinic on Thursdays, not working out at least once during the weekend feels strange. So I’m thinking about attending a Bar Method class. I figured it would be good to help my non-existant flexibility, strengthen my core as well as not leave me completely exhausted.

Barre Class

And as far as my diet is concern:

I am so sick of fish.

Fish use to be something that was a treat for me. I would order only at restuarants since I’m to lazy to actually prep and cook it myself (plus a veggie burger cooks WAY faster). But since I am a vegetarian, I have a limited supply of appropriate protein to chose from: Fish or eggs.

Luckily I like eggs.

Scrambled, as an omelette (which usually end up scrambled), hard-boiled and placed in a salad.

Nom nom nom

I haven't perfected the peeling yet

My wonderful, supportive husband even bought me this:

(… And I’ve been burning all the skillets).

I’m a total salad girl. There is nothing better than a huge cupcake, pieces of cheesecake, fro-yo with chocolate syrup and sprinkles salad. Though most of the salad contains eggs. But it beats the fish and green beans.

I’m also not a huge sweet potato fan, but I found a recipe for homemade sweet potato chips. I attempted to make them last night, and I would include photos, but all but 10 ended up charred and the entire apartment reeked.

Mark consolded me by saying, “Hey, at least your using the kitchen.”

I’m also super stoked because the Web site for the competition I’m aiming for has been updated. Registeration form, schedule of events … it’s so real. Not only that, but they have a seminar on the Friday night before the competition, and Miss Jaime Baird is speaking (Yeah!!!!!).

She is one of the first girls I that really inspired me to start looking into the sport. (And I might be choosing a little green number like hers … though I love Amanda’s blue bikini.)

... And those quads please!

Happy week!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not Caving to the Crave

Wednesday marked the beginning of week three of my training. Unfortunately I haven’t been so positive about training.

Since training began, grocery shopping has become more deliberate and workouts have beomce priority, so meandering around Target for hours and walking out with at least $100 worth of goodies “just to look” has taken a back seat.

But Monday I had to make a Target run. Target is the WORST place for someone on a strict meal plan. First, I was bombarded by the smell of stale, but buttery popcorn and greasy, but oh-so-satisfying pizza. I think only once did I actually purchase food at Target’s concessions. But I wanted it.

Instead, I ran the opposite way to pick up frozen fruit (for my hubby’s smoothies) and frozen veggies (for me). My Target’s frozen section has motion-sensored case lighting, so as you walk by, the cases light up. And wouldn’t you know it, the last case to light up as I turned out of the aisle: Ben and Jerry’s.

Damn.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the checkout counter is lined with Swedish Fish and Reese’s Pieces and other delicious treats I’ve avoided for 2 weeks!

I’ve also had the worst cravings.

Back in my real-life (pre-competition), I ate fairly healthy and worked out regularly, so when I craved a food I ate it, knowing that I rather just satisfy the craving than eat something else and still crave. Usually once whatever I was craving was eaten, my crave was satisfied and life could move on.

Not having the ablility to give into to cravings has been hard.

Seriously? How can you not want a Triple Chocoholic Blizzard from DQ? (Not that I ever even go to DQ. I think it’s just the fact I can’t have it.)

Are you serious?!

To make things worse, I had to take my two-week photos. My arms have toned up quite a bit, and a I’m starting to notice I have hamstrings. But overall I still look the same. Even my little belly pooch, more fondly refered to as the “Roo Pouch,” though bit smaller, is still very present. Which makes it hard not to give into cravings … I look the same, good diet or bad.

Kanga and Roo

My wonderful coach has encouraged me, saying she wasn’t expecting a huge body change yet and she wants me to continue to lift as heavy as I can and stay on diet. I finally received my fat transporting supplement in the mail, so I hope that helps lean me down a bit.

On a positive, my will-power has been tested, and I have not floundered. I have stuck to my diet, as completing this goal is way more important than the measly 2 to 20 minutes of joy caving into a craving will bring.

On an even more positive: My husband’s birthday is this weekend, and I get my cheat meal Saturday night. (I am sooooo looking forward to something not fish and not a lot of veggies).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whoever said, "Pain is weakness leaving the body," is full of $#!&!!!!

I am a week into my first week of training, and today is officially 90 days out from my competition.

The holiday weekend was spent here:

Family's Lake House

It was so nice to return to my family’s lake house. However, it wasn’t too nice for my diet. While I didn’t cheat except for my allowed cheat meal (I even passed up cheesecake!), it was hard to remember to eat. With boating and kayaking and just hanging out, I really didn’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen.

Waking up at 4am to catch my flight back to Florida on Wednesday, I skipped my night class (I’m getting my Master’s in Oriental Medicine) and spent the evening prepping meals for the rest of the week.

It’s a good thing I like fish!

I will be back on the diet-track in a matter of no time, and I will have a pretty strict day-in, day-out routine up until competition day. (Whew! Don’t you hate when your routine gets messed up?! It’s throws me completely off!)

As far as the exercise goes …

It’s really not that difficult. ... Well, the exercises aren’t complicated. However, I am trying to build muscle, so I am lifting pretty heavy, not a lot of reps, with 30 second rest periods. So it’s exhausting. The workouts are a lot shorter than what I was previously doing, but it just goes show hours in the gym doesn’t always mean you are working harder.

As for cardio, four times a week I am doing a 20-minute cardio interval on the Elliptical. I’m sure runners are well acquainted with cardio intervals, but I’ve never done them. I would spend 45 minutes busting away at the Elliptical, when I should have kicked ass in intervals, and in half the time!!!! And my cardio is done at the end (#sadface). So right when I think I am through and exhausted my little muscles …

But once a week, I have to do a 300 workout. It’s a series of timed exercises and they kicked my ass. Here is the gig:

~ 25 assisted pull ups

~ 50 deadlifts (65 lbs. ... yeah right. I tried 40 and hurt my back, so I settled for 35 lbs.)

~ 50 pushups

~ 50 box jumps (Surprisingly, I LOVE these!)

~ 50 laying leg raises while holding 20 lb. dumbbells

~ 25 single arm clean and presses with 15 lbs. dumbbells on each arm (another fave)

~ 25 assisted pull ups

Even Simon says "Thumbs Down!" on the 300 workout

I suck at it. I’ve only done it once, but I am not looking forward to it (I thought I would like it since I HATE cardio! I much prefer this “hidden” cardio type of routines … thank you Jillian Michaels).

Though my measurements haven’t changed in the first week, I think I look a bit more toned. I just picked up some of my supplements, so hopefully those will help with a noticed progression.

Bikini Time in 90 Days!

What else have I learned this first week:

~ I need to find new fish recipes.

~ I need to look like a gym-pro and buy me some gloves … Calluses = PAIN!!!!

~ I really need to hire a chef. I’m tired of cooking already.

~ Preacher curls are the Devil’s work.

~ AmiN.O Energy Grape Concord is amazing!!!!

(Everyone should have some for the afternoon pick me up. It tastes like grape soda, and probably better for you than Red Bull)