Friday, December 27, 2019

Goal Digger


Goals are something I truly love and take to heart.  I set very specific goals for myself and work hard to achieve every single one in all aspects of life.

As we all know I am currently cutting for my next figure competition but I also have another big goal set for 2019.  That goal is to hex bar deadlift 300 pounds.  I've wanted to do it for a long time and we spent quite a bit of time this year working on strength.  I love lifting heavy it just makes me feel like I am superwoman and gives me so much confidence.  Feeling strong is such an incredible feeling.

Last weekend I had issues lifting with my left arm during an upper body workout and that made me finally schedule a massage.  It had been about three months since my last massage and that is a long time for me, especially with all the hard training I have been doing!

I love our masseuse, he is truly an incredible human being and so knowledgeable.  My body is so much more mobile and happy when I get regular massages and when I keep up on it my body quickly reacts and releases tension easily.  If you live in the area and need some body work check out Denny and Kat McFadden at Mc² Bodywork they are simply the best and I cannot recommend them enough!!!

My body was so badly in need of the massage, I knew it would be pretty bad but man.  My left lat was like rolled around into my rib cage, no wonder I had issues lifting upper body and I knew it was hindering my really heavy deadlifts.  I felt like a new woman after my massage and my lats were finally free, which gave me huge wings!  I can't believe how wide my lats have gotten, my quads as well it feels awesome.  Now I will be getting regular massages, I know how badly my body will need them as I progress through the cut.

Tonight I decided I wanted to go for 300, I was feeling pretty good.  My first pulls were smooth and easy, I even pulled 275# for two reps that felt really good.  Then it was time for 300 and my mind started going nuts.  It is such a mental game for me and tonight I couldn't beat that mental game.  I got the weight off the ground but just couldn't push through to lift it all the way up.

The frustration I felt was so strong, I  just can't understand why I couldn't pick up that 300#!  I tried multiple times and Kyle was so supportive as were the awesome people who were at the gym working out.  Part of me felt a little embarrassed that I totally failed like that.  I always strive to be transparent and will be honest about these feelings, we all have them.  I was happy with the other pulls I achieved but damn it that 300# feels just out of my reach.  My body was completely taxed after this deadlifting session, I gave it my all and will need to recover a little bit before I try again.

I need to trust myself and believe in myself that I can lift that weight.  Really, I do know that I am strong enough and I know I am putting way too much pressure on myself.  The mental aspect is just as important as the strength aspect.  Getting myself into a better place mentally with this goal is so important and I plan to really work on that.

I am off work for the next nine days and plan to relax, do some work I enjoy from home, have lots of time with Bella and in the gym with Kyle.  A time to rejuvenate and reset.  It's been a crazy year for me at my job with the Teamsters with lots of challenges, some job changes and big steps for me.  Finding balance has been difficult and I know the upcoming competition will add to that but I am determined to make everything work.

The competition prep is going well, I am down about 6 pounds and feeling good.  I can tell my body is leaning out and measurements are also going down.  We haven't had to do anything too crazy so far but starting in a week we are going for a big change.  I love the way my nutrition coach, Chris, thinks and how she challenges me.  We are going to plan on a 20% caloric reduction for three weeks and see how my body responds.  I know my strength will go down it will certainly affect my energy but I am up for the challenge and am excited to see how my body reacts.

I have 19 weeks and it is going to go by so fast.  My faith and trust are in the process and the plan laid out before me.  The guidance and support from Kyle and Chris is essential and I am so blessed to have them with me on this journey.

Now to relax, reset my mind and look to the next day when I go for that big 300 pound goal again.  Even if I don't get it this year it will be ok.  That's the great thing about goals, you have the power to change and adjust them just keep working at it.  You will get there and so will I!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

So It Begins Again

I'm back and ready to share about my journey back to the figure competition stage! My goal is post once a week about the entire process for my friends, gym members and anyone else who is interested to follow along.

I am beginning my cut a bit earlier than previously planned. Kyle and I decided I would use Chris Goodman of GPS Coaching for my nutrition again. Chris sponsored me for my last competition and it was such a great experience, I am pumped to be working with her again. It's not that we aren't capable of handling the nutrition part of the cut but this way Kyle can focus 100% on the training part and being a supportive husband through the process :) One thing to always remember, it is always in your best interest to have a coach or mentor even if you are a coach! You can learn so much from other knowledgeable people and should be constantly learning about your craft.

When I reached out to Chris she wanted me to get started fairly quickly so I began on Monday. The start of this cut is so much different than any other cut because I am starting off at such high calories. During my building season I got myself up to 2700 calories a day which is so much higher than my previous cut starting point, I was only at 1680, that is crazy!!!! Starting at such a high calorie level will allow so much wiggle room for adjustments and make the process more enjoyable.

This also goes to show that with a properly functioning metabolism you are able to truly eat more food, give more fuel to your body and not have a lot of weight gain. I am eating 1,000 calories more per day and am only 3 pounds heavier than my starting weight of my previous cut. Eat your food, listen to your coaches, listen to your body and you will THRIVE.

As with the start to all cuts I had to send my photos to Chris. My current weight in the photos was 154, three pounds more than the start of my last cut. Kyle and Chris both see growth in the comparison photos, I do as well but I can be a little harsh on myself.

The biggest change I see is in my glutes and legs. They are definitely thicker and my wings are bigger too! Chris noticed growth in my shoulders as well, I do see it through my lats and traps for sure.

My calories were adjusted by 10% and I now have four "high" days and three "low" days. On the "high" days my carbs are 271g and on "low" days 239g. Last year was the first time I had done carb cycling, I loved how Chris had me do it and am looking forward to using this method again.

Chris strongly advised me to take the break I did in order to build more muscle. I really wanted to compete May 2019 but took her advice and decided to give my body the time it needed to recover from the previous cut and focus solely on building muscle mass, which also meant cutting out cardio. Cutting out the cardio was tough, I LOVE kickboxing and have continued teaching but not taking the actual classes. I did play sand volleyball over the summer on Sundays but other than that there really wasn't any structured cardio. We are now adding in 3 sessions of 15 minutes of LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) keeping my heart rate around 135 bpm and also 6 rounds of HIIT post workout.

I feel really good about the plan and am just so damn excited for this cut. I know I have grown and I know I am starting off in the best place possible. There are some health issues that I am dealing with but I am taking the steps I need to in order to stay healthy.

Ladies, our bodies change so much as we get older. I have been in denial of that for quite a while. My energy levels have been low which I kept associating with POTS but during training I would be exhausted after like two lifts, which was not normal for me at all. My period has become a monster and it is because I have fibroids in my uterus and my only option at this point is for a full hysterectomy which will then put me into menopause. Due to my family history of breast cancer I had my blood work done on Monday and found out that I am anemic. So I am taking iron supplements and will have my blood work done again in one month. I will have the surgery at some point next year and will do everything I can to keep myself healthy through this process.

So here we go, Stephanie of 2018 I am coming for you!!!!