Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Pledge to Menu Plan

I have been bored most of the day but that's a good thing. Mother nature dumped snow on us over night and most of today but it's really pretty. The problem with all the snow is that as it collects on the power lines, they become weighted and eventually snap. Luckily, we have electricity but a few neighbors down don't. However, we don't have water. I don't know which is worse. What do you think: Would you rather have water supply or electricity? I think having electricity is more beneficial. We have light to see, heat, the food can be kept cold in the fridge, we can still cook. We made a quick trip to the store for water jugs and are making due with that. I feel icky since I've only had a bird bath and can't wash my hair.

I didn't work today so I took advantage of the time and got some things accomplished. We are horrible with our spending and rarely keep track so I have devised a plan and budget to put into place. I hope we can both stick to it. It's pretty simple and only takes minor adjustments so I think we'll be able to make it habit. So as I attempt to get our finances on track I have decided to try menu planning in hopes that it helps to save us a little money. My typical visit to the store costs us more than what it should mainly because I am unprepared, in planning meals that is. I always have a list but get more food than we need for an entire week. I like shopping so much I continue to make weekly visits regardless of whether or not we really need to stock up. So this is my pledge to menu plan and stop going overboard with unnecessary food items. I have found a few good sites that help with menu planning or meal plans you can purchase at an affordable price.

The founders of this site offer regular meal plans, low fat, low carb meal plans, plans for a family, someone single and a household of two for just $5 a month. Includes shopping list and prices to help you stay within budget.

This weight loss site has lots of awesome stuff and set up free meal plans based on your health goals for free. Includes grocery list.

My meal plan for the week:
Mini-Turkey meatloaf with carrots and green beans
Turkey breast cutlet with sweet potato
Spaghetti and meatballs with spaghetti squash pasta
Old Bay Shrimp with pasta salad and steamed veggies
Chicken stir-fry with brown rice

All these things I already have here and I will not have to make a visit to the grocery store. Woohoo! I'm saving money already! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Help for the Moody Blues

Does anyone know what foods or supplements are helpful mood boosters. I have felt so lazy, unmotivated and just down right blah these past few weeks. I never have liked this time of year with the cold, gloomy weather that comes with it. I'm a beach girl and you can't get that here in Kentucky. Any suggestions? I've gained five pounds this past month and keep eating things that are crappy. I have good days and really bad days because some days food just doesn't satisfy me. Has anyone else experienced this?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Share Your Christmas Traditions

The hubbie and I spent Saturday night putting up the Christmas tree. After a broken piece of fine china, a short spat, and some furniture rearranging we finally managed to end up with a beautiful tree.

Here is Matthew giving some love to our two chihuahuas, Rylie and Harley.
Holding a bag of pinecones (bringing a little bit of naure indoors).

Decorating the Tree! (My exercise bike behind him).

Me, hanging Christmas balls.

Our bright and cheery Christmas tree!

We decided this year to have Twelve Days of Christmas gifts. Very small, inexpensive gifts under $5 that would fit in our stockings we hung on the floating shelf this year. Our Twelve Days of Christmas will give us an opportunity to learn how much we know about each other and to give each other a few minutes of our thoughts during such busy times in our lives. Just some time to refocus after five years of marriage on what is important. It's easy to get caught up in life and forget those you love. What will you do for your special ones this Christmas? What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Weekly Goals

OMG! Talk about piggin out this Thanksgiving. My husband and I headed to Nashville to visit my sister and her husband. We had an awesome time. Ate turkey and sweet potato. Yuuummmm! Went shopping Black Friday...first time ever. It wasn't too bad at Opry Mills mall. There were wall to wall people but the flow kept going. Didn't wait too long in lines. Friday night went to Cinco's for some chicken enchiladas and later went to Zanies comedy club. We had a blast and a few margaritas on the rocs!

I'm back at home now, on this quiet Monday night. Started my day with some cardio: 30 minutes on recumbent bike and headed off to my last day of class for the semester. Hell Ya! A month long break to work on new training goals.

  1. Specialize v-taper and calves twice a week.
  2. Rep range 1-5 this week. I have never worked out in this range. Tried it today 3 sets of 4-5 back exercises. If not sore tomorrow increase to 4 or 5 sets.
  3. Cardio, cardio, cardio.
  4. Track carbohydrate intake daily. Still trying to adjust where I need to be. My cardio has been sporadic and diet not so good.
  5. Control those cravings...think before eating.
Me and Sister preparing the Thanks giving Feast!

Keithy all bundled up!

My plate of wholesome goodness!

My Happy Hubby!

Hangin at Zanies!

Late night Ho Down!

Tonights dinner...Quick Chili to get the chill out! It was gooood. I added a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese for creaminess.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nutrition and Training Plan

I like options! There are so many resources available to help with dieting and training. This week I have come across some really good ones. Remember back when I first started this blog and I wrote about ordering a posing video from Julie Lohre, who lives here in KY, which helped me with quarter turns and technique? I met Mrs. Lohre at the competition and she was very nice and down to earth. She is so cute too! Taller than I expected. As I've been figuring out what works for me in off season dieting, trying to balance macros and searching the Internet for tips, clues and options, I thought of Julie and visited her site. It's funny how things work, when you need things the most, they always fall into place. I still feel a little overwhelmed sometimes trying to find an off season diet with a variety of foods that will work for me. I am told it becomes easier as time moves on. I love food so variety is important to me but maintaining my weight is important too. I feel like I've gained an inch around my waist already but that's where I store my fat. Anyway, I might have to adjust my foods a little and eat fewer carbs on certain days-a carb cycle diet might work best. I"ll figure it out. So, I was on Julie's website and she was running a good deal on a nutrition and training plan so I ordered it. Early Christmas present! I hope it's something I can use and learn by. This lady knows what she's doing. She's a pro and what works for her might work for me too! If I could look like her I'd be living a dream. Here's the link:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Breakfast

It's good to be back. I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks. Been tied down to school work (busy work, really). The semesters almost over and I'm looking forward to Christmas break. I made a goal to get back in the gym this week. I woke up at 6:30 and ran 2 miles, about 30 minutes of good cardio. I dread doing it but love how I feel when I'm finished. It's puts some pep in my step and I feel energized all day long.

Since post-comp, I've been trying all kinds of recipes and experimenting with food. The other day I made two loafs of zucchini bread but I didn't have enough Splenda to make it sweet enough. It ended up kinda bitter but if I spread a little healthy butter on it and throw it on the skillet, it's not so bad. This morning's breakfast was a success though. I had Low fat Ricotta Cheese Pancakes with blueberries. My camera battery went dead so I couldn't take a picture of mine. I added some small chicken tenderloins on the side for added protein. They tasted really good but they didn't cook up very well. I think it was too much ricotta, not sure. I can screw up the easiest recipe. Ha!

Later, I'll head back to the gym to weight train. I have been looking for new workouts, your suggestions would be great. I'm bored doing the same routine, hmmmm. How to switch it up? Probably do some legs or back today.

Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Got My Vitatops!

I was at work the day I was expecting them. Lo and behold the delivery driver making stops at businesses near the restaurant, also makes stops in my neighborhood. Yes, I know my UPS man very well. I ran outside to catch him just before leaving the parking lot and asked if he had a package for me. He said, "Yup, I thought I saw one in there for you. Let me go check. Then he handed me my Vitatop order." WooHoo!

I didn't open them immediately, work got too busy, had customers to take care of. But as soon as it died down, I went for them. I couldn't believe how many were in my sampler box and all the different varieties. I love muffins and used to get one for breakfast every morning, blueberry or apple bran with a jumbo unsweet tea. So, it was treat to find these on Eat Oxygen and Hungry girl. I am really glad I know I can have my cake (or Vitatop) and eat it too! LOL! I crave sweets all the time since post competition dieting. I can make healthier choices by going low fat and all natural ingredients thanks to Vitalicious (and not feel guilty). What a load off!

Here's my sampler:
4 Low Fat VitaBrownies
2 Low Fat Chocolate Fig VitaTops
2 Low Fat Banana Nut VitaTops
2 Low Fat Double Chocolate Dream VitaTops
2 Low Fat Deep Chocolate VitaTops
2 Low Fat Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip VitaTops
2 Low Fat Golden Corn VitaTops
2 Low Fat CranBran VitaTops
2 Low Fat AppleBerry VitaTops
2 Low Fat MultiBran VitaTops
2 Low Fat BlueBran VitaTops

I had a Double Chocolate Dream with decaf coffee while relaxing for a few minutes at work yesterday. Today, I enjoyed a Banana Nut with butterscotch greek yogurt. DELISH!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Food: Friend or Foe

I am slowly getting back on track with eating healthier and making better food choices. Gosh, I indulged in so much sweet and white foods I've been experiencing sugar comas. Not good. My energy level is not what is was before I was eating tons of protein and veggies. I now realize how certain foods affect my mind and body. I really never paid attention to it before but I did without any variety of foods for so long. Since eating whatever I want I can tell a difference in how I feel. When I eat white foods, like bread or pasta, I get sluggish almost immediately afterwards. My eyelids literally shut themselves. Oh, and dairy has really done a number on my stomach and digestive system. I completely eliminated all dairy from my diet for my twelve weeks of precontest dieting. I regret doing so. We should never eliminate things our bodies need. I didn't have a glass of milk, bite of cheese, cup of yogurt and now I'm suffering from symptoms of irritable bowel. I would not recommend doing away with dairy completely. Drink a small glass of milk daily, eat a small piece of cheese or a little yogurt. Dairy helps good bacteria thrive in our intestines. After returning to normal eating and adding dairy back in my stomach isn't used to digesting these foods. After a while the digestive system stops producing lactase, which breaks down dairy. I did without for so long I think my body quit making it. After reading about my symptoms on the Internet, I spoke with a pharmacist who recommended adding Acidophilus to my diet to help build up the probiotic bacterias in my stomach needed to balance a healthy digestive tract. I've only been taking it for two days but I hope I see some relief in my discomfort. I've been bloated for weeks and my heartburn, which I had under control, is flaring up again.

As for my eating habits, I realized a few things too. I have to have a plan and stick to it and I have to hold myself accountable for my food choices. I no longer have Deke to answer to when I make bad choices. I'm used to a routine and schedule when it comes to food so I'm sticking with it. If I give myself too many food choices I begin making bad decisions and picking the wrong things to eat. I have to set limits, boundaries and have structure to be successful at eating clean on a daily basis. That's what works for me otherwise I go overboard and binge. I found a great eating plan in FitnessRx magazine I think I can live by. I like the food options and the recipes are low carb, high in protein and allows cheat meals on the weekends, both Saturday and Sunday; one meal to eat whatever I want. Weekend days are good cheat days since my husband and I are usually home together. So, I feel good that I found something that will work. I don't have a nutritionist and I'm not to the point where I want to pay someone to plan meals for me so I have to stick to this. I have to regain focus and realize eating clean is a lifestyle and not just for pre-contest dieting. I made adjustments to my diet and started eating clean at the beginning of this year because I wanted to make sure I built adequate muscle. I can't continue to plummet and I have to be consistent with healthy food choices if I want to add muscle mass for my next competition. I just want to enjoy life and food too but in a healthy way. It must be a lifelong habit.

Tips for sustaining the clean eating way:
  1. Be responsible
  2. Hold yourself accountable for food choices
  3. Find support
  4. Keep a food journal
  5. Cope with stress positively
  6. Set limits and stick to them
  7. Make it a habit
  8. Be prepared
  9. Plan meals
  10. Weight train and do cardio

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fighting Cravings:(

It has not been easy fighting my post-competition cravings. I have given in most of the time. I guess you can say I have fallen off of the wagon. I've eaten clean throughout this entire year and began strict dieting at twelve outs from the competition. I guess I feel like I have thrown in the towel. I have overwhelming cravings for bread and sweets, after meals it is the worst and late night too, which is the worst time to eat unhealthy. It's been three weeks now and I was hoping I would have the cravings kicked by the end of the second week of post-competition. I told myself to get control and pull myself together. I can't continue to throw junk in my mouth and expect not to gain weight or inches. I am trying to find recipes of healthier versions of my favorite sweets, especially muffins and bread. I love Kristin's blog Eat Oxygen. She has really good recipes in single serving sizes. I tried new recipes almost everyday, her blog is full of great ones. I am sick and tired of binging and feeling like a glutton. I stay bloated because I over eat and eat things my body is not used to. I am beginning to think my body is rejecting the carbs I am feeding it. I feel like crap, my stomach hurts alot and I stay bloated and gassy. Sorry, just sharing. I am beginning to wonder if I have developed irritable bowel syndrome. Hhhhmmmm?? Don't know what else it could be. Anyway, I start the day off right but usually end up giving in to temptations around me. I've got to get my head back in a new frame of mind. I have worked too hard and I am damaging myself with my poor choices and unhealthy eating habits. Someone please kick me in the rear! I know putting on a little weight is okay considering I am trying to build muscle but I want it to be good weight not bad, fat weight. Well, tomorrow is a new day. I can start fresh and begin making better food choices. I know what I should and shouldn't be eating. I also know that for my size and height it takes 42 minutes to burn 300 calories...

On a lighter note, I am excited. I have won my first giveaway of diet soda made with stevia. Can't wait for them to arrive. I never win anything.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Night One of the Big Weekend

I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed the competition. It has now been exactly a week ago today and it feels like ages. I want to be back up there on stage again soon. It was amazing! The night we arrived at the hotel was kinda nerve racking. I wasn't sure where to go or what to do. My husband and I went all over the building trying to find our room. The way the hotel building was laid out was a bit confusing but we finally found our room and made our way to where the check-in was. The line was short, no waiting. I stepped in and in front of me was Sandy, the owner of Beverly International, my most favorite supplement company. I didn't know what to say. I purchased my National Physique Committee Registration card (had to have it to compete) and Sandy's husband, Roger, measured me for my height class. I told him how much I loved his products. The smell of McDonald's in the room was soooo good! There had to have been fifty bags laying around and all I could smell was the french fries.

We ran out for a little while to grab some plastic bowls and eating utensils for my carb load meal and my husband got Subway. We returned to the room to eat. I didn't have much time because my spray tan appointment was in an hour. I went to look for Deke, who was getting his spray tan, and found his family waiting out in the hallway. I chatted with them while I quickly ate my sweet potato, then ran back to the room to grab my oatmeal.

Luckily, the girls from Liquid SunRayz, called to tell me they would take me early. I only had to go up to the next floor of the hotel. They had spray tents set up and fans to dry you. The appointment didn't last long, 20 minutes maybe and I didn't feel uncomfortable even though I was in my bare essentials. Sharon, the owner, was very nice and did an excellent job. This is what I looked like when I got back to our room.

Crazy Jamaican! I would have fit right in if I was in the Caribbean. The color was awesome, very dark and even. I had to sleep in long pants and long sleeves to keep the paint from rubbing off.

It had been a busy hectic day and I was ready to settle down. I stretched out on the bed, turned on the television, pulled the covers up and I soon fell asleep. I was anxious for show day to arrive. I slept really good that night. The bed was really comfortable, like sleeping on a cloud. Then the lights went out...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sugar and Spice Sure is Nice!

I've been really busy this week planning my diet, printing and collecting recipes, stocking my pantry and fridge. I am so excited to be able to add variety to my diet now after eating the same food items week after week, month after month. I've been tasting all kinds of good treats this week. I still have lots to talk about the show and post competition and I have new plans to start another blog about my diet and nutrition. I won't compete again for several months. I think I have decided on a show in August. I want to give my self plenty of time to build more muscle and bulk up my quads and round out my calves. I am happy with my upper body, bigger biceps would be nice too. I have put together a new muscle building workout plan and am starting fresh this coming week. My training split will be 2 days on, 1 day off, working all body parts twice per week. I'll catch up later and keep an eye out for my new blog. I'm thinking about posting weekly meal plans and shopping lists to go along. We'll might be more work than I can handle right now. If not now definitely in the near future. Happy blogging!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Results Are In!

Well, I had an absolute blast as I ventured my way through my first figure competition. I have lots to share but no time right now. I promise to catch up later though with all the details including everything I pigged out on post-show. By the way, I placed 2nd in class B! Here are a couple of pics and I plan on sharing more.

Posing practice before the final evening show:

Holding my 2nd place trophy while watching the show (husband beside me)!

More posing...

Evening finals, doing my presentation poses:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Freakin Awesome Friday!!

The day I have been waiting for is finally here. I started my day by waking up at 6:35, very anxious to get things in motion. First thing I did was take my supplements and get ingredients together for the Sweet Potato Muffins. Have a peak.

Ingredients: 8 0z. mashed sweet potato, 2 cups oats, 6 egg whites (1 cup), 1/2 cup splenda, 1 tbsp. vanilla, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp. pumpkin spice. Gosh, they smell good and I'm sure they taste good too. Can't wait!

I washed up the dishes and started breakfast: 3 egg whites, 4 oz chicken, 1/2 grapefruit while watching some television news. I have packed a few things but still have to pick out clothing, shoes, get a shower so I can pack toiletries, etc. I ran out to grab stuff for my sugar body scurb I'll need before getting my spray tan tonight. The company sells the product but I thought it would be cheaper to make it myself. I found some recipes and made my own Citrus Brown Sugar Scrub. I'll use it twice today to exfoliate and then a baking soda paste to pH balance my skin. This will help the tanner absorb better and quicker.

Ingredients: 1 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp. vitamin E oil, 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice.

Lunch today is a turkey patty with zucchini squash, later I'll have a protein shake and for dinner I'll be carbing down by cutting my normal carb load meal in half. I also am slowing sipping on the half gallon of water today to be finished by 6 o'clock. Should be no problem at all.

It's 3:31 nearly finished packing and fixing my carb meal to take with me on the road. I'll heat it up and eat it later this evening. Not much water left, have to save the last 12oz for my protein shake, which I'll probably drink while traveling.

Now 4:00, wrapping things up. I'll be leaving real soon! Wish me luck and all the best. Thanks to everyone who has followed my progress, encouraging me when I was having a bad day, and helped keep me motivated. I am focused and ready! It's crunch time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two More Days...

Okay, I finally have a chance to sit down and blog for a few. The cottage looks so much better after a good cleaning even though I'm still not finished, a few minor things to touch up. Laundry's caught up and mostly put away to make packing easier, which I was going to start tonight but now I just might wait until morning since I'll be well rested. I got my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein granola bars finished and can't wait to make sweet potato muffins tomorrow before heading out around 3 or 4. Oh well, never enough time.

Ingredients: 4 egg whites, 2 cups of oats, 1/2 cup baking splenda, 1/4 cup natural peanut butter, 3 scoops chocolate protein powder. Baked in oven at 350 degrees.

Gosh, I can't believe we have only one day to go. It just doesn't seem real and I feel like I'm cheating or doing something wrong by not training or doing cardio today, but I was told to rest, carb up tonight (which I just finished and it was good), and water deplete. I have only a few sips left of my gallon water and lower that to a half gallon tomorrow. I have to finish the half-gallon by 6 o'clock. Then nothing to drink until Saturday morning and only to sip on a small bottle. I didn't get everything done I had planned, like tanning, posing practice and pictures. This leaves plenty to do tomorrow, it's gonna be a busy hectic day. My mind is whirling!

Seven Days Out

I'm swamped with things to do but I'm anxious and excited too. Planning on making protein bars and pumpkin muffins for post show munchies. Yuuuuummmm! I can't wait. Thanks for all your support. It means the world to me! P.S. This suit makes my rear look wide:(

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hump Day! I'm Over the Top!

Washing dishes, getting ready to cook dinner, mopping floors, cleaning house, much to do and never enough time. I get a break tomorrow though, from cardio and working out. Finally, some rest. Ha! Not really. The house needs a major face lift since all this competition prep so tomorrow before packing up and heading out of town my little cottage is going to get some well deserved attention. First thing in the morning I get a pedicure and manicure, then I'll do some errand running, continue housework and finish laundry so that it's easier to pack for the weekend.

I've been drinking water all day and using the bathroom every fifteen minutes. Two gallons is alot to drink. I planned on drinking the first gallon by 2, no later than 3 but I was at work during this time of the day and I was too busy to remember to drink every few minutes. I managed to finish the first one around 4. Now I have alot of gulping to do while I work around the house. My belly is bloated:(

Dinner is grilled chicken, roasted asparagus and steamed broccoli. For lunch I had grouper with a romaine salad and red wine vinegar dressing. It was good while eating on the run waiting tables. I like to sit and enjoy my meals but I was running the show by myself while co-workers took breaks.

I am really excited about this weekend. Several people who work out at the gym are expected to be there. Everyone has been really supportive of the progress Deke and I have made. It's awesome. People keep complimenting on my shoulders and how they pop out, they say I'm going to do really well, that I'll be competitive. Some seen to think I'll win but my head is planted firmly on the ground and I'm in this to win. The way I look at it I am competing against myself and I am happy with all that I have accomplished. I just want to have fun these last few days and enjoy the weekend preparations. I hate to see this journey come to an end but the ending is only the beginning of newly established goals and habitual clean eating. I am excited to try new foods I have read about and new recipes. When I have time I am going to write out a new diet plan to follow (with cheat meals, of course) and collect a variety of recipes and clean eating cookbooks. Eating and staying healthy is a priority, as well as maintaining muscle and staying lean. Maintenance is key to staying happy! I don't want to get off course and take steps backwards. I've worked too hard to get this far.

I've got many things to do! Keep striving to reach your best physique!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Clock Is Ticking

Yet another Monday gone by. It didn't feel like a Monday, more like mid-week, like a Wednesday. Today was a pretty decent day. I was mello throughout the day, sipped on my water and didn't struggle too much with hunger. It seems though that everywhere I am the smell of food is overwhelming. I am really sensitive to food smells and my senses are heightened at the sight of a cheeseburger or something sweet. I was in the grocery store and found myself gawking over everything. I kept thinking, "that ciabatta roll looks good" or "yum, chocolate cake with vanilla icing." All of it was catching my eye. I was driving past Burger King and the charbroiled smell of the grill hit me like a tidal wave.

I ate a good dinner though, it satisfied me anyway. I grilled turkey breast and asparagus and heated some collard greens because you know I'm a southern gal! My husband enjoyed his with baked beans hot out of the oven. I worked shoulders and abs at the gym today and did 35 minutes of cardio this morning. Only two days left of training and I'm stoked to be getting a break especially since I'm running on low food fuel. Thursday, I'll be carbing up and Friday carbing down. During show day Saturday I'll munch on rice cakes and organic, sodium free peanut butter. I love peanut butter and can't wait.

Today I am excited. This evening I tried on my suit and it still fits perfectly. Actually I have toned down my tush and it looks firm. I was really worried about it being jiggly. I tried on my jewelry and lipstick (the color really brings out the green in my eyes). It is a shade of a dark red, wine. I worried that it would be too dark but I think it'll work. I spent about 30 minutes practicing my poses. I think I'm getting more comfortable at it but it is still hard to hold the poses when your weak and tired by the end of the night.

It's after midnight, gotta catch some zzzzz's.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day One of Peak Week

I worked a double shift again today. I hate doubles because I feel like the world outside is nonexistence and like my day is wasted. Today certainly was, business was slow and tips were not good. It wasn't worth working all day for, that's certain. I started my water manipulation today by drinking one gallon. I sipped it slowly early in the day and tried to estimate how much I needed to drink every hour for a twelve hour day, about 1 and one-third cups. That really didn't work because from 9 to 12 I really didn't have much time to remember to take sips during the lunch rush. By 3:00 I had about half the gallon left. I drank most of what was left of the gallon during evening shift and saved some for home. It's 11:40 and I have about a cup left to drink. It's harder rationing than I imagined. Before, I could drink as much as I wanted to stay full and curb my appetite but today hunger set in a few times. I am on a low calorie, low carb diet and not having sufficient amounts of water to fill me up is making me think more about food. Especially now since I know my water intake is almost gone for the night. Dry mouth is setting in and I can't look forward to quenching my thirst. Gum is a life savor though, it has helped keep my mouth moist and my stomach less hungry.

I am going to try to make a post each day as peak week progresses and post some new pictures of where I am with my physique. Today, I had to hit the gym when I had my break in between shifts at work. It was imperative to work legs today so that the water I tend to hold will have time to draw out. I did what I could in an hour, went home to relax for a few minutes before heading back to work and finished my leg exercises at home. I have to work the rest of my body parts each before Thursday because Wednesday is my last training day. I am training with weights a little lighter than my current weight to avoid fatigue because I am functioning on such a small amount of calories.

Breakfast went quickly, 3 egg whites, 4 oz. of chicken breast, and 1/2 grapefruit. I hardly remember eating it. For lunch I baked a chicken breast and ate it on top of a fresh romaine salad with red wine vinegar dressing. My late afternoon snack was 2 scoops of chocolate protein shake and for dinner I roasted some tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and green peppers while still at work. When I got at home I ate a small lemon pepper boneless pork chop.
I will stay on this diet until Thursday evening, then I have my carb load meal.

It's getting late. I have several more things to do before going to bed. Good night!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We all possess the thunder of pure fury and the calm breeze of tranquility. If it wasn't for tomorrow, how much would we get done today? Whatever your purpose... embrace it completely. Get lost in the clouds every now and then so you never lose sight of God's wonder. ~Paul Vitale

I am really wigging out today and feeling overwhelmed. I feel like I have sooooo much to do over the weekend and all of this coming week with peak week. Right now I just finished some of my homework for an education class I'm taking this semester. Not done though. I have to write and type up a lesson plan to teach Tuesday. I have to continue shopping for things for the weekend. I feel like I'll have to start packing the first of the week so as I think of things I may need I can run out and get them. I am all about being prepared and I want to have everything I need to carry with me for the weekend. I am going to an unfamiliar town and don't want to be left in a bind when I get there.

I weighed in yesterday evening at 112lbs. I have dropped two pounds and didn't even know it. I have been weighing each morning before cardio but usually have on 2-3 pounds of clothing so I thought I was still around 114lb, where I plateaued for about three weeks. I finally hammered away that rock. I knew if I didn't worry about losing the last few pounds I might eventually breakthrough. I decided not to worry if I lost anymore because I am fairly lean. I am happy though that I have broken through to the lowest weight I have ever been. I plan on getting my body fat measured this week. I'm curious where I am at now. Two weeks ago I was about 11%.

I'm printing out a log right now to help me organize my things to do and keep me on track with day to day training, diet, water manipulation, etc. I think this will help calm my nerves, getting all my thoughts down on paper. Organization is key this week! Wish me luck.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Peak Week!

Okay, so finally Deke and I had our meeting about peak week preparation and readiness. The meeting lasted about an hour so we were thorough in our discussion. I asked lots of questions and Deke had lots of answers. He REALLY knows what the sport is all about and he continues to impress me with his depth of knowledge about the figure/bodybuilding world. I told him if he didn't have such a positive attitude and such a willingness to help I don't know if I would have even remotely considered stepping into this kind of lifestyle. He is definitely an inspiration to me.

For the next seven days I will be doing several things to get me stage ready. Sunday and Monday I'll do normal weight training, no HITT, just my typical weight for three sets; 30-40 minutes of cardio. My diet will be low calorie and low carbohydrates and I will sip all day only taking in one gallon of water both days. Tuesday and Wednesday, training normal, cardio the same, diet low calorie/low carb and sipping down two gallons on both days. Thursday I will not lift or do cardio, drink one gallon of water and have my carb load meal. Friday, no training or cardio, drink one-half gallon of water by 6:00 and eat half the portion of my carb load meal. Show day I will sip on tiny bits of water and snack on rice cakes and peanut butter before pre-judging. OMG!! I can't believe it's almost showtime. Reality hasn't really sunk in but I'm excited. I am ready and know I have put my whole heart into preparing for this monumental moment. The most important thing now is to focus and take things one day at a time not forgetting to have fun and enjoy the thrill ride. It's like a roller coaster ride, baby!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hold Your Head High!

This is my "depressed stance." When you're depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you'll start to feel better. If you're going to get any joy out of being depressed, you've got to stand like this. ~Charlie Brown

Home from a long day at work. Pulled a double shift today which I was dreading because it's hard working around the food and trying not to be hungry. I ate most of my calories early in the day because my appetite was pretty big and I couldn't eat enough to satisfy myself. I finally got a lunch break around 2 o'clock and chilled out at home for a little while. Thankfully the evening was busy and I didn't have time to think about being hungry. Staying busy is key at this point because I like to eat out of boredom. I sometimes find myself going to the fridge or pantry for a snack but retreat when I realize now's not the time to cheat. I have to stay focused which seems to be getting hard as time grows closer. I am trying to be excited but I am really moody and right now I feel kinda down. What frustrates me is that I can't explain why. Look at how far I've come, look at what I have accomplished. But I am my own worst critique and always see the flaws. Right now, thinking about being up on a stage with girls who could look tens times better than me scares me because I don't want people to think I am vain or that I may think I look stage ready while others are thinking what in the world is she doing up there with that jiggly butt. For some reason I can't get past the point that maybe I don't deserve to be up there with the others. Why am I beating myself up? Why am I thinking that I am less of an individual. Self-esteem is a real joy killer, a downer, a sly worm that crawls in right at the moment when we need the most encouragement and lack motivation to seek it out. Something needs to change, my attitude I suppose....

Hopefully, tomorrow Deke will call and we'll talk about what I'll be doing for peak week. I don't know too much about the plan yet just that whatever we do will be done moderately. He mentioned bits and pieces but I don't really understand the process until I know exactly what I'll be doing. I trust Deke, he knows what he's doing and I know he doesn't want to cause any harm or danger to my physique the way it is now. I don't know if I'll sodium deplete, how low my water intake will go, what my diet will be. I have to wait for him to tell me what to do. I am looking forward to getting ready and doing what I need to do to look my best. I can honestly say I have given it my best effort. I have given 100% of all that I can give. It's up to the judges now to determine if I have worked hard enough. It's funny how I now am focusing on this journey as coming down to being judged. I don't like the thought of it because now I'm not feeling good about where I am at. I need to regroup change gears, change my thinking and get back on course with being happy with my progress. Get behind thee!!

Switching the subject I was shopping the other day and found a cookbook I think I'll go back and purchase. I am excited about trying new foods and recipes when life and diet return to normal. Yet another worry:(

Shopping always makes me happy! Maybe I'll do some tomorrow. Good Night.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday!

Doing the lunch while blogging thing...sauteed chicken strips with zucchini squash. Not bad, but a big 'ol cheeseburger and seasoned french fries sounds really good right now. I am really feeling the food blues but I keep telling my self twelve more days. Hang in there, it's almost here. Just trying to stay busy to keep my mind off of eating bad things and feeling hungry. I'm surviving for now. I had an awesome cardio session this morning, ate breakfast, got ready for class and a big interview today then after lunch it's off to the gym for a shoulder/back and ab workout. I love working shoulders probably my most favorite exercises. One more week of typical training then next week I begin getting peaked for the show. I can't believe it's almost here. I hate to see all the excitement end but I'm ready for life to be somewhat normal again. I long as I keep my training and diet consistent post competition. I worrying about crashing hard...

I really need to do a lot more posing practice. Hopefully, everyday from here on. I haven't assessed my physique in about a week. I don't even know how much I weigh. I think I'm probably still at 114lbs and I don't really know if I've leaned out much more since I haven't been posing this past few days. I've been really busy working this weekend, haven't had time for much of anything. Plus it just made me really cranky working around all that awesome smelling Italian food for three days straight. I'm glad to be off for the next couple of days.

I need to focus on next week and start following up with appointments I've made and need to set other things up too like highlights and nails. I've picked up things I'll need here and there for the weekend of the show. I wanted to get a new carry bag but haven't found anything I like. I would love a Vera Bradley duffle bag but that's too expensive right now. I've already spent a fortune! I'll put that on my wish list for Christmas.

Bye, for now!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Sitting down to lunch-spinach, romaine salad with 93% lean ground turkey and Newman's Own Oil and Vinegar dressing. Yuuuummmm! It is really good. The one thing I'm looking forward to post-competition is being able to try all those new healthy, clean recipes I've been reading on my favorite blogs. One I follow uses natural peanut butter for everything. I love peanut butter! Finally got some new music downloaded onto my Ipod. My playlist: Alice In Chains, Chevelle, Three Days Grace, Cavo, Halestorm, Adelitas Way, all very great rock music. I also had to put some good grooves on for cardio like Beyonce, new Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, and Shakira, for when I need to pick up the pace. Holla, all you ladies!!!

This week has gone by much quicker than I thought it would. At the beginning of the week it felt like it was going to creep by. I stay so busy time doesn't really have time to slow down. Ha!

After lunch, it's gym time. I'm working legs today using the new HITT lifting program. I've been using it all week and I really like it because my energy level doesn't suffer and I lift heavier so I really hit the muscles. It's quick and effective.

It's gym time! Bye.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Motivation is Key!!

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes. ~Author Unknown

Busy today with cleaning house! I hate cleaning but I love it when the house looks neat and tidy. It's much more comfortable that way and our house is cute when it's all cleaned up. I did 30 minutes of cardio on the stationary bike this morning. Slept in a little later than usual but need my sleep. I'm feeling fatigued and could already take a nap but I have lots of things to do today. Go tanning, grocery shop, pick up a gift item and card, call my hairdresser, pick up things I'll need for show day. Busy Bee, I am! Seems I stay that way but it helps keep my mind off of food and thinking about how hungry I am. Later, I'll go to the gym for a quick chest workout and may do some abs.

I've got to get some new music on my ipod for my cardio sessions, everything is getting old. Time to spark some new interest in new music. I'll search itunes store and limewire for new downloads. Music makes me happy and makes cardio go by alot faster. I listen to different types of music, except country. I am definitely a rocker girl, alternative, classic, southern, pop rock. I like it all. Some new tunes will give me something to look forward to when I get on the elliptical or treadmill. Just some new motivation.

Here's a video of part of my back workout. Probably one of my favorite body parts to work. Front Lateral Pulldowns are great for building and defining the back muscles. I also started out doing assisted chin-ups which really helped make a big difference in my side lats.

Remember find that which motivates you. You'll need it before, during, throughout, and after the long journey. Have an awesome day!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Update... Two and Half Weeks Out!

I was down at the gym working bi's and tri's. Brad took this quick shot of me in the sunlight, because the gym has no windows. I think I need food, don't you?

Tweaking Side Poses

Alarm clock went off at 6:15 am this morning. I was not ready to get out of bed. Last night I took a natural sleep aid because I have been feeling a little anxiety and nervousness. I wanted to get a good nights sleep. I finally woke up about an hour later, fixed a little bit of coffee to kickstart me, changed into workout clothes to get a good sweat during cardio (sweat pants, t-shirt, hoodie). I headed to the gym and weighed, just slightly under 114lbs. I may break my plateau by the end of the week. We'll see! Not going to let it get me down if I don't lose a couple more pounds, pictures show how lean I am. At the gym I climbed on the elliptical with intentions of staying on for 20 minutes but I just didn't have the energy for it. So I warmed up on it for about 5 minutes and jumped on the treadmill. Set incline really high and speed around 45. After 10-15 minutes at incline, I dropped it down and ran intervals. On days when I'm feeling fatigued, intervals seem to give the best results. I spent about 15 more minutes doing them. Took more photos last night in really good lighting. I am happy with the way I am besides losing 1 or 2 more pounds won't make a lot of difference. Deke changed my training style and I am now using HITT because my strength suffers by the end of my weight lifting routine. I tried it for the first time yesterday on legs. I think it will be very effective as I try to maintain muscle mass the next couple of weeks. I am in maintenance mode now, not worried about gaining muscle size right now due to lack of food and calories. It takes fuel to grow muscles and right now I'm not taking in very much.

The picture above is the new Ms. Olympia 2009 Nicole Wilkins. I think she looks great, very natural, not too put together and looks very relaxed.

I've been on the computer checking out You Tube footage of competitions and posing. I have printed out several pictures of side poses because this is the one that seems to be giving me the most trouble. This I think is my weakest pose so I am going to work hard on correcting it. Wish me luck! Posing is really important. I want the judges to see that I know what I am doing, that I've done my research.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hanging Out and Hanging On

The follies which a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. ~Helen Rowland

Today has been a pretty good day. My mood has been pretty positive and compliments given to me throughout the day really makes all my hard work and effort worth it. Classmates commented I was "getting ripped", guys at the gym said my arms were getting cut and someone at the grocery store when I was buying my sweet potatoes for carb meal night said, "I don't know how you do it." Opportunities pass us by everyday as we flow through our circles of life. This just happened to be a great time in mine to take hold and achieve a great goal. I haven't very many, finish college, get my education degree, earn my masters, start a family, compete in another show (maybe). Just the typical things everyone does. But this one opportunity to show I can achieve the best physique I have ever had will be one of the ones I am most proud of. It has taken many hours at the gym (when there were days that I really wanted to avoid it) and tons of sacrafice when it comes to food and going out to dinner for social time. It's best to eat at home on the diets we live off of. Too many restaurants don't have healthy menus.

As these next couple of weeks pass by I will be focusing alot on the future, my dieting habits, my workouts. I haven't come up with a plan yet for post-competition, a little too soon for that. I don't want to rush all the excitement I prepared so long for.

Tonight I had my carb load meal. I love eating everything fresh so I make a trip to the grocery store to get sweet potato, asparagus or zucchini and a fresh banana. I douse everything with cinnamon and splenda. It's so good. I look forward to carb load nights on Monday and Thursday. I am really bloated right now though. Feel like my bellies gonna burst.

So, tonight I'm just hanging out. Probably read some other blogs or visit some fitness/figure websites to see what more I can learn. Seriously, there is always something new happening in the figure world and I've found some new websites. Reading helps keep me motivated. I have pictures on my fridge too of figure girls. Gosh, their gorgeous!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Fall! Three Weeks to Go!

There is no question that I am getting excited about the competition being 20 days away! I will be posting some new pictures too in a few days. I've been so busy with work, school, home life, making arrangements for the weekend of the show and all that fun stuff. I made a flyer to hang in the gym with information about tickets and location so our supporters can come. I ordered my track suit and having it embroidered with my name and logo. This will make it easier to meet people while hanging out backstage. I think people are more willing to approach you if they know your name. I reserved the rooms in the hotel we will be staying in and my finished suit came in the mail. It's is totally awesome. I thought it was gorgeous before the stone work was applied but now Holy Cow, it's fantastic! I haven't even had time to try it on yet. And I got my stage lipstick, a dark reddish, purple called Hydrocurrant, a Merle Norman product. Love Merle Norman! Hi, Crystal!

I had a good leg workout at home today. Had to make up for yesterday. I went to the gym with good intentions to work legs but my energy was way down and strength sucked. I felt like I would be wasting my time if I tried so I grabbed my shoes and practiced posing. The gym mirrors and lighting are so much better than homes. My advice is to practice where the lighting makes you look good. It'll make a world of difference. Trust me. I still need to remember to relax and smile. I'm focusing to hard on hitting the poses right. The next three weeks I'm going to really concentrate on enjoying these last moments and smile and relax and hope for the best. I'm getting used to the new diet which changed a couple of weeks ago.

The scale hasn't dropped from 114lbs. but I am still leaning out. Deke says you can only lose so much weight. At least I'm keeping muscle. I added a new supplement to my diet liver tabs, a rich source of protein that comes from beef. It also contains B vitamins and iron which is great for low calories dieting while working out. I seem to like it so far. Today I'm feeling pretty good although I didn't sleep very well last night. Nightmares!

I meet with Deke tomorrow evening to find out if we need to make any changes to diet, training or workout. If anything, probably a little more cardio to burn off the last bit of fat. I nearly skin and water right now. I'm carrying most of the fat in my bottom. Hoping it will go bye, bye!

I have been regularly getting massages about once a week. The benefits are great for muscle recovery and stress. It helps relieve muscle pain, stretches weak muscles, helps recover from workouts, increases joint flexibility, relaxes over used muscles and helps relieve cramps. I love getting them but sometimes working those neck, hip, and back knots out really hurts. The most important thing-take care of your body!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~Newt Gingrich

Today I had a quick shoulder workout but they still burn after one hour and a half. I get weak as my workout flows from each exercise but I have to keep telling myself to push hard. Sometimes I wish I had a personal trainer to yell in my ear or to tell me I'm wimping out. I desperately need to regroup and find some new motivation to get me through the last couple of weeks. At this point, I want to be done with cardio and training and watching what I eat. The hype just isn't there today but had some things happen that really pissed me off with work and scheduling. So I'm not in a very good mood. This not being in a very good mood situation seems to be happening more frequently. I almost feel like I have PMS. I could bite someones head off at the snap of a finger and I have to tackle the grocery store and checkout line later too. Ummmph!! I haven't lost a pound in two weeks, still at 114 but really I am pretty lean and if I didn't lose anymore weight I will probably still be lean enough for the competition. My body fat two weeks ago was about 12% which is normal for stage readiness. I continue to do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach which is easier now than my weight training. My goal weight was 110 but I'm not sure if I'll make it there. My body is really fighting to lose anymore. I figured this would happen around 114 because several years ago when I was dieting and training that's as low as I got and I didn't stay there long. I would teeter between 116-118. That's one reason it's hard to stay motivated. I feel like doing all this cardio is just a waste of time because I'm not seeing the scale fall. I have to remember though, appearance not just numbers is the most important. I do think, though, that my tush is getting smaller and lifting a little more. That is one noticeable difference. I am all about having to see differences and changes but the changes are becoming less visible. For me, it's the big changes that keep me motivated and now that I'm almost near my peak they are becoming less visible. At the beginning and throughout the year I could keep track of my progress with pictures, seeing my muscles grow and the pounds dropping, finding my clothes fit bigger, that I could wear things I hadn't been able to wear for years. Those were exciting times. Now all those things are past and the improvements are now more subtle. I'm already thinking about body parts I need to improve if I am to compete again. Right now, I think I'll leave you with that and take it one day at a time!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Month Away!

It's really hard to imagine my competition is one month away from today. We all know how a month can fly by and I'm feeling nervous today. I had another hard workout, though not as bad as yesterday. Today was arm day and I failed to complete my total number of reps with some exercises. I usually try to meet or beat the numbers from the week before. Tried increasing weight on tricep extensions but I couldn't handle it so I backed down to my current weight and tried not to feel defeated. The lack of calories this week sucks. I haven't really felt tired or hungry just a little fatigued by the end of my weight training. My morning cardio workout is going pretty well. I have the stamina and strength to do my 35 minutes and sometimes do a few minutes more. I'm keeping track of how I feel after every workout so that adequate adjustments can be made next week if needed. I will probably add an extra weight training session on the weekends if I don't get good workouts through the week. I'm scared about losing muscle mass. I don't have a whole lot of size on me but you don't have to be big for figure but I do want the slight degree of muscularity and definition the judges are looking for. I don't care about winning but I'd rather not end up at the bottom either. I don't want to set my expectations too high. I like to stay grounded and enjoy the experience. I need to stay focused and not worry so much at this point. Still four weeks to go and alot of work ahead of me. It's raining outside, kind of matches my gloomy mood. I need a rainbow and clear, sunny skies or maybe a vacation to the Caribbean. Ha!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dieting and Workout Struggles

Today's workout was really disappointing. My new diet, high in protein and veggies and a very low carb intake definitely affected my endurance and strength today. Deke said that was to be expected and normal due to the type of diet. I don't mind functioning on so little food but when it affects my weight training, it really affects my mood. I work and train hard, do as much weight as possible, always try beat my number of reps and always finish my sets. Today, I had to have help finishing the last two reps on set two and three of my chest routine. Mrs. Independent that I am, took an ego hit because I lacked the strength to get a good pump on those last two reps. If the diet continues affecting my workout I'll have to change my routine somewhat. Volume of training will decrease but not weight. Lifting heavy is what helps muscle break down and grow. I am working on posing tonight too. I don't like posing at home, the lighting is awful and it doesn't make me look very well. The lighting makes me look pale and my muscles look flat but that could also be because I am carb depleted to night too. Nonetheless, I am giving it my best shot at posing practice. I'm finally getting used to the 5" heels.

My new diet which I started Saturday is a rotational diet. Monday and Thursday are the low carb/ moderate calories/ carb meal days. Tuesday and Friday are low carb and low calorie. Wednesday-Saturday-Sunday are moderate carbs/ moderate calorie days. My supplementation has not changed since about seven weeks ago accept that I will start taking amino acids before cardio first thing in the morning. I have about three more hard weeks of training left before the competition weekend because the final week we won't be doing much as far as weight training. The main focus will be dieting, water and sodium depletion. I have no idea how any of that works. It will be more of those learn it as you go moments with Deke instructing me on what to do. I'll let you know more about that phase later.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Suit Preview

My suit arrived by mail for a fitting on Friday and I was totally excited. It was like the energy we all have on Christmas morning anxious to open our presents. I was nervous about putting it on, I asked, "Is my physique in good enough form?" Despite my doubts, I managed to get the teeny-tiny suit on and loved how it looked. I wanted to share a picture so here it is. The suit is unfinished with safety pins holding it together and the stones haven't been put on it yet but I can't wait to see it finished. Let me know what you think!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All About Change! 5 Weeks Out!

Here's Deke and me at the gym! Lots to talk about today! I am so excited and stoked after such a horrible week last week things are looking brighter and progress continues. Saturday weigh-in went really well. After one entire week of dealing with bloatedness and three pounds of water weight, the scale is back down and I managed to lose an extra pound by doing a little more intense cardio and added five minutes each day for an extra 35 minutes. I am now at 114 lbs. Woooohooooo!!!! I was so disappointed at the weight gain last week but had to wake up and realize my body was working naturally as women go through certain phases during the month. I had to keep encouraging myself and listening when people told me that I would get back down to normal weight in about a week. Thank goodness that all passed and now I can see physical proof of my weight loss. Not only is the scale down but I am beginning to lean out and becoming vascular (veins are popping out when I work out). My hard work is really paying off and seeing my body transform after all these weeks is amazing.

Ready to suit up? After the weigh in went well, I decided to try on my posing suit. Yeah!! My designer sent it to me for a fitting trial and I must say it's fantastic. The material is high quality, the color is awesome, the seam work is flawless and the fit is perfect. My designer was right on and she won't have to make any further alterations to my suit. I highly recommend ordering a suit from vandella costumes. I suited up and practiced some posing. I am beginning to look more natural now with my posing positions. Other than diet, it's been the hardest part to master. Start practicing early and don't forget the heels make it a little more challenging. I bought earrings the other day made of Austrian crystal. I chose them rather than rhinestone because my suit will be embellished with them and I didn't want to go overboard with stones. The ensemble looks great, my suit, shoes, earrings and bracelet. It's all falling into place and I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of training hard and getting leaner to get to the final results.

Deke made changes to my diet and cardio plans this meeting. I will be switching to an advanced rotation diet and adding an extra cardio session for 6 days of cardio for 30 minutes. I'm kind of nervous about the change because what I've been doing so far has worked but because my body is adapting to the diet I am on now I must change to continue losing the last few pounds, five more to go for a goal weight of 110 lbs. My energy level has been up this week which I think is a sign my body is used to this current diet. Remember, it's important to notice any changes these last few weeks in case changes need to be made. I will post my new diet soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thoughts for Today...

This week I have been focused on pretty important things to do. I've made a list and I am slowly checking them off as the week progresses. So far I have mailed out my entry form and fee for the show and I have made my final payment on my posing suit. Which by the way, should be arriving this week for a fitting. I am excited and nervous to wear something so small and revealing. I still feel like I need to lean out the tush area more. I've always been self concious about this area though. I'll just have to work really hard these next few weeks to try to shape up my bum.
I have also made my appointment for hair and makeup. Since the show is out of town I thought it would be easier to set up one with the stylist/artist who will provide her services right at the hotel we'll be staying in. I have also decided to get spray tanned the night before the show as well. It will save alot of time and hassle trying to apply the brush on tan the week of the show. Letting someone experienced do the tan takes a ton of stress off of me because I have never used the brush on tan before and would hate to look streaky on stage. I'm really glad these people are there to provide these services for the athletes. It makes life much easier. I bought a bracelet but still need earrings and a dark shade of lipstick. I've been told MAC makeup is really good so I'll soon make a trip to the cosmetic counter. Slowly, but surely, things are coming to together and the reality of it all is sinking in a little. OMG! These next few weeks are going to be really busy. I don't want time to fly by but I have a feeling it might!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

OXYGEN Mag! Lifting My Spirits!

I can't believe it! My new Oxygen Magazine arrived today and only an hour before my "Weak Week" post, I open it, start turning the pages and BAM!! The October issue contains an article titled "Stay Strong During Your Period." I felt so much better after reading it and explored more of the topic on the internet and realized my body is doing what it naturally does, so I really can't do much about my water retention before my cycle. This is a normal, natural process many of us experience and it will go away after menstruating. It also will not affect weight loss. Health professionals say it's okay to reduce your weight training load or cardio exercise, just make up for it the following week, for those of us who are hard core fitness junkies. I have to realize I can't let this get me down. I'm emotional enough as is. Girls, I highly recommend you get a subscription!

What a Weak Week!

The day to end my seventh week out and the scale let me down. I weighed in at 118lb. and I'm hoping, really hoping that it's just tons of water weight. I have been bloated this week and for a good reason. Our bodies surprise us at certain times of the month, if you know what I mean? I wasn't expecting three pounds extra though. One or two pounds, I can deal with but three has hit me pretty hard. Nothing changed with my diet or training I did everything the same and absolutely have not cheated. I've worked too hard thus far but times like this make me wonder if I'll be show worthy. I'm far from the perfect physique but my expectations are pretty high. I definitely need to be much leaner than I am now before I even think about strutting across a stage. I'm not sure what to do about not stressing over it. Deke told me not to worry, to avoid the scales until next Wednesday. My husband says I'll probably go right back down to where I was in a week. I'm supposed to avoid stress which so far I've done a pretty good job at. I have been really weak and unmotivated this entire week. I have taken several naps which is not typical. I hope the next few days are better and hope that I regain more energy. It's hard to describe the emotions I'm feeling right now. It's almost overwhelming but Deke says its just part of the mental battle. Nonetheless, I am ready to get ripped and shed these last few pounds. Wow! I can't believe I have six weeks to go!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Look At Me Pose!

Check this out! Finally, a posing video. Ummmmph!! I still need practice and I'm tweaking movements here and there. It feels awkward but I've been told that it will begin to feel natural. The heels definitely make it more difficult so get them as early as possible and practice. Especially if you're not used to walking in heels, like me. Let me know what you think.

Monday, September 7, 2009

7 Weeks to Go!

Happy Labor Day! Hope you get to take advantage of the holiday and have the day off. The first day of my seventh week out is almost over. Here I have some time before bed to blog though I am pretty tired. Just returned from the grocery store and packed everything away. Oh Yeah! My usual Saturday weigh in went well again. Down yet another pound...115! So I didn't have to make changes to my workout or cardio routine. Thank goodness. Still doing 5, 30 minute sessions per week. I am one pound from being the lightest I've ever been in a very long time, at least since before high school. Deke keeps reminding me, "Everything looks good for this week." "For this week." He keeps saying. Why? Because any day or week now I could plateau and have to keep a very close watch on my weight loss. If I am down half a pound by Wednesday of each week usually I stay in a good mood but that could quickly go the other way. If I see the scale come to a halt I will not be looking forward to finding out how much more cardio I'll have to do. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I'm right on course with my diet which hasn't changed in four weeks and doing pretty good with resisting to cheat although today has been extremely hard. I have been so hungry and frustrated! I guess that's to be expected and I am definitely looking forward to breakfast in the morning. For now I'm sipping on green tea and hope I sleep well tonight despite my raging hunger.

Good night!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Think I Can! I think I Can?

My husband and I are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary and have plans to go out tomorrow for lunch or dinner. Going out to dinner is something I have definitely missed since stepping into this journey and knowing dieting would be the hardest part. It's habit now and I don't miss most food so much anymore. The smells at work while waiting tables sure does make it hard but I know I have the power of my own success or failure. And I won't be defeated! Although the garlic bread is awesome and one of my weaknesses, some how I have the strength to resist temptation.
Our drive to succeed is amazing. I have discovered a new sense about myself. That the will to be our best in this phase can lead us through our hunger and desires. It is somewhat a spiritual journey as we sacrifice daily norms for new, stricter habits. What I am having trouble grasping is the fact that all this hard work and preparation will come to an end and once competition is over what habits will return? I am thinking now about my eating habits when this show is over. What will happen next? What old habits might return? Will I be as dedicated to training hard and building a better physique? I love working out but being in the gym five days a week sometimes twice in one day seems unrealistic to continue when competition is over. But it's what is required of me now and I love it. I probably won't be as rigid with my program. I'm sure I will loosen the reigns a little but I will maintain the physique I gain. I will have cheat meals and I will probably miss some days of working out in the gym but my days of keeping of lean, hard physique are here to stay! Can self-reliance always get us through? We have to remember the ones supporting us and encouraging us. The ones who listen to our moans and groans and tiny complaints. The ones who help lift us up when we are down. Our achievements need to exist without vanity or selfishness and we need to appreciate the ones who stay by our sides through it all. I know I can count on my husband to always be there! I know I can rely on him when self-reliance loses its steam and I need to be tugged along.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who's In The Spotlight?

Girls, we will be!!!
Not only do I have to practice the mandatory poses but I also have to kind of choreograph my walk for the night show presentation. This is our moment on stage to shine and we can add bends, bows, waves and a little flare to show off some personality for the judges and audience.

Here is my plan, since I don't have much help with this part. I am watching You Tube figure walk videos, printing out pictures from the computer, looking in magazines and practicing what I like in the mirror. I'm planning on taking them to the gym since there is plenty of room to walk and use the pictures to experiment with what works best
with the way my body moves. This is where modeling experience would come in handy. I have no clue what I'll end up putting together but I want to make sure my movements are fluid and I'm smiling the whole way through.
The diet, the cardio, the supplements-I have all these figured out-the posing is causing me anxiety now. I have to remember I still have eight weeks to practice. Plenty of time right? I read that at six to eight weeks out posing practice should be done at least 4 to 6 times a week. I'd better get busy. Ha! When am I not?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Coasting Along

Saturday weight went well...LOST ANOTHER 116 now. Since the diet and cardio are working I won't have to change anything for the upcoming week. Woohoo!! No extra cardio right now and I will continue to follow the same diet.

I decided to get a second pair of shoes. The company I originally ordered my shoes from has been very slow in processing my return/exchange for a different size. I ordered the shoes three weeks ago, sent them back the day after I received them and they still haven't sent me any shoes. There is no 800 number to call. You can only contact them through email and they don't respond for several days. I sent them an ugly email letting them know I was very unsatisfied and that they need to cancel my order and refund my money. I'm not one to complain but I am very unhappy with their way of doing business. I am excited about my new shoes. Bought them at a bridal shop today and practiced in them most of the evening. Even wore them while making dinner.
Have you ever done plyometrics? I just started incorporating them into my workouts. I need more development in my quads and hamstrings and a trainer suggested I do a plyo workout to increase muscle growth. I do squat jumps, knee lifts to the front and side, and exercises to work my thigh muscles. I hope to see improvement as I do these. Doing plyometrics is fun and is good cardio to because you don't rest very long in between each exercise. You can read more about the workout here:

I do five exercises for 10 reps and 3 sets. The first time I did these I got pretty tired and sweaty. It is high intensity and great for muscle growth.
A friend of mine asked me for a turkey meatloaf recipe I use. This is for you Whitney. Stay motivated and eat clean. You'll reach your goal!
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 egg whites
1/2 cup oatmeal
chopped onion and green pepper
no salt added tomato sauce
parsley, oregano, basil, garlic, black pepper-how ever much you like
Form into loaf and place in coated pan, topped with tomato sauce and bake at 425 degrees until fully cooked.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Almost Another Week Gone By!

My diet is going well. I'm still staying on track with the Keto diet with carb load meals on Monday and Thursday. By the end of the no carb cycle my energy begins to lag so I look forward to carbing up and restoring my energy level. My training is going really good. I continue to get stronger and always make it a goal in the gym to increase number of reps or increase my weight. Today I worked shoulders and back. Here is my workout:

  • Barbell shoulder presses 3x10x55lbs

  • Side lateral raises 3x15x15lb dumbbell

  • Front EZ bar raises 3x8x35lb

  • Bent cable lateral raises 3x 15x10lb

  • Straight arm pulldowns 3x15x70lb

  • Front lat pulldowns 3x15x80lb

  • Seated cable rows 3x15x90lb

I continue to practice posing in front of a mirror at home in those 5 inch heels. Gosh, I really don't like them. I'm not used to walking in heels so its very difficult for me. I cleaned the house in them today. I wore them for about an hour. I guess eventually my arch will get used to them. Every Saturday I meet with my consultant to discuss my progress and we make changes where necessary. We didn't have to do anything different this week but if I don't lose another pound I'll have to up my cardio. I don't mind cardio so much anymore. I'm used to getting up, having my cup of coffee, and hitting the stationary bike or elliptical for 30 minutes. We probably only have to increase the amount of time by about 10 minutes for a total of 40 mins, then see what changes happen.

I found this really cute warm-up suit I want to order to wear for the day of the show. My plan is to have my name and a logo embroidered on the front and back. Check out this suit, its CUTE!

I'm still trying to decide what kind of logo. I'm not very artistic or creative when it comes to design. I'm sure there is a graphic somewhere out there that represents me.

Overall, this has been a pretty good week. It has flown by and that just means more work ahead for contest prep. This week I haven't felt ready but I'm getting used to this mental game of ups and downs. Trust me, one day you'll feel in tip top shape, ready to hit the stage and then the next day you feel like OMG! I won't be ready! You'll get past those feelings and remember as long as you are giving 100% and your best effort everyday to achieve an awesome physique...You'll come out a winner because you've pushed the limits! Good luck!

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