Saturday, December 27, 2014

Go Time - Honesty

It is time.  Time to start cutting down while also trying to continue building muscle mass.  My competition is just 19 weeks away, 19 WEEKS!!!!  That may sound like a while yet but as I've learned along the way those 19 weeks will fly by and I have quite a bit I would like to accomplish in that short amount of time.

I am happy though to be able to take that much time versus 12 weeks for cutting.  12 weeks is just too short for me, I plan on coming in my leanest yet and doing it the right way.  Slowly decreasing calories without having to do loads of cardio.  Kyle and I will begin my planning out my mini goals and the big plan of attack today.  I will again be training for the Dam to Dam half marathon during this time, that will help with getting me lean but my legs still weren't lean enough for the judges.  I'll be adding in one session, no excuses, of the step mill per week and also a good plyo workout.

Over the holidays I have been a normal human being and I am not ashamed of that.  I indulged in goodies, I was worn down from so much excitement and having too much on my plate.  I didn't make all of my workouts, sickness hit our household.  Knock on wood I've only had hints of feeling ill and kicked it to the curb with Emergen-C and Airborne.

Today was the first day that I really felt well rested and READY for a killer workout in a couple of weeks.  It really is ok to feel like this, I know that and I want anyone who reads this to know that.  Sure some "hardcore" people would look at me as weak and not a true competitor.  To each their own.  I am ME.  I continue to enjoy this journey without putting loads of pressure on myself.  I did have a day of self doubt, it happens to the best of us, but I had Kyle to talk it through with and know in the end that I am truly doing the best I can.

Currently I weigh 150 pounds, a bit more than I would like, but only five pounds and that could honestly be from the past week of goodies.  Those first five pounds should come off quickly and after that I'm not really watching the scale.  I am 15 pounds off from my competition goal weight and that isn't too bad.

We had a killer shoulder workout this morning and then my plan was a 30 minute step mill workout.  Of course when we got done lifting someone was on the one step mill we have at our gym.  So I chose to get on a stair stepper, thankfully I only had to be on it for 5 minutes and the step mill was open.  I jumped on that and got 25 minutes of intense cardio in.  I love, love, love the damn step mill, it kills me but that is why I love it so much :)

I have a couple photos to share, one of my lovely sweaty face after my workout.  Sporting my new wireless headphones Kyle got me for Christmas, yay for no longer getting caught up on equipment from the stupid wires :)

This other photo is just me, where I'm at currently.  I don't always have six pack abs, I'm not always looking perfect and I'm not afraid to share that.  I've been trying to put on muscle by eating higher calories, I haven't been eating the cleanest in the past month and it shows.  Our bodies are so sensitive to what we eat.  For myself I get my little lower belly pooch, something that comes and goes based on my diet ever since I gave birth to Bella.  That was the biggest body change for me.  My hips are somehow a little smaller but that darn pooch always comes back.  I'm not ashamed of it, it will shrink up and disappear as I continue to eat "cleaner" and begin consistent cardio routines.

Weight is just a number, always remember that.  If people ask how much I weigh I am not afraid to share and when I say 150 pounds right now they think I am joking.  I am definitely not joking.

I look forward to the next 19 weeks of hard work and watching my body change.  I truly love this part, even the toughest weeks at the end because they test me mind, body and soul.  I teach myself what I am truly made of and what I can accomplish while being the best mother, wife, daughter, friend and employee as possible.

I've said it before but I can never say it enough.  The constant support from my family, friends and co-workers helps me along immensely.  I am not only proud of myself but each and every one of them is incredibly proud of me and they let me know that constantly.  Without all of you the journey would be so insanely difficult, not that it is easy but knowing I have so many supporting me makes such a difference.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Enjoy the Holidays!

I've been a little quiet lately, sickness hit our household and back cramps hit me hard.  We've gotten some workouts in but they haven't been the greatest.  I was feeling a little down about it but there is nothing I can do, so happy face back on :)

I can't believe Christmas is nearly here, my favorite time of the year.  This last weekend Bella and I baked almond thumbprint cookies at home, then at my parent's house we baked sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, peanut butter blossoms and made chocolate covered pretzels.  Tonight we are making peanut butter and chocolate fudge.  I do use Delecta instead of regular sugar, it did change the cookies up a little bit but believe me they are still good :)

Christmas Eve is always celebrated at my parent's house.  There are usually 21 of us there and it is a big celebration with lots of good food, drinks, presents and so much love.

I'm posting about this on here because I want you all to know I will not be beating myself up for enjoying all of the yummy treats.  Unless you have a photo shoot or competition super close please enjoy yourself and don't beat yourself up over it!

I will get my workout in that morning and will truly enjoy myself.  Eating the foods I have always loved as a child and look forward to every year surrounded by my amazing family :)

Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kosama Nutrition Seminar

Last night was my first Complete Nutrition event.  Kyle and I met with members at Kosama to discuss nutrition.  I wasn't sure what to expect, there were about 17 women there and it was awesome :)  The owner, Heidi, is a complete sweet heart, she is excited to be working with us so we can help her members better understand nutrition, from how to make better food choices to nutritional timing.

First of all I must fully explain just how awesome Heidi is, she has been the owner but just took on the job of operations manager.  She is pumped and excited, ready to grow the business and help anyone and everyone live a healthier lifestyle.  When Kyle first met with her he told her about me, told her how one of my favorite post workout meals is a protein shake and a Pop Tart.  I know Pop Tarts are not the healthiest food in the world but they are a quick digesting and high glycemic carb source.  There are many other options out there, I do not do this every day, most days I have a rice cake with peanut butter and some jelly, but I do love my Pop Tarts.  Heidi was happy to hear a Pop Tart would be an ok choice for post workout, she like so many people out there feel that "dieting" limits you a lot in your food choices.

I am rambling now, the point of the Pop Tart discussion is that Kyle shared with her how I LOVE the pumpkin pie Pop Tarts that were a limited item.  I was sad when I couldn't find them a couple of weeks ago.  Kyle had gone in to meet with Heidi and she handed him a box of them, she found some at Target and got them for me :)  How sweet is she?!?

Those Pop Tarts are now long gone, Bella loved that kind as much as me, I think I got to have one from that box ;)

I do not know how to express how PROUD I was sitting in front of a room of women and listening to my husband speak with such passion and knowledge.  He blew me away, I just sat and started at him in awe.  What he is doing now is his calling, simple as that.  He is so kind, so knowledgeable and genuinely wants to help anyone and everyone learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.  There is no diet talk, it is a LIFESTYLE.  Now we have different thoughts on carb sources and some other things, those were the moments I would pipe in.  Kyle loves to eat a lot and for me at the moment I am ingesting higher calories and am choosing grains along with veggies for my carb sources, he is sticking mostly to veggies.  Some of the women wanted to make sure brown rice, oatmeal, rice cakes, etc were all good carbs to have.  It was nice to share with them what I do personally and reassuring them that those are all good choices.  Each body is different, certain carbs will affect everyone in a different way and the only way you can figure out what works for you is to try out different variations.  Just know the calorie for each item you choose and incorporate them into your plan.

As I begin cutting I will start eating more veggies because I will get to have a higher volume of them since they are a lower calorie carb source than brown rice or other grains.

Kyle gave them a lot of information, everyone was taking notes and asking questions.  It was a great session and we will be going back in January.  He also let them all know that they can stop in at Complete Nutrition any time to get advice and help from him.  They were all so thankful afterwards and seemed excited to be going home with some new information, viewing food differently and ready to try out some new ideas.

I continue pinching myself, I am beyond grateful for the life we are living.  Work for your dreams, they really will come true if you are willing to work hard and never give up.  I am so happy for my little family and know that every day is truly a blessing.

FlapJacked Protein Pancakes

I was super excited when Kyle came home with some samples of FlapJacked Protein Pancakes.  I do enjoy making my own protein pancakes but sometimes it is nice to have the convenience of something like these instead.

We had all three flavors, Buttermilk, Cinnamon Apple and Banana Hazelnut.

  First I made the Banana Hazelnut, the mix says to add one cup of water, it was a bit runny for my taste even after letting it sit to thicken up.  I heated up my pan and did not pay attention to the fact that the package said to heat the pan on LOW.  That was an important part, my pancakes were a little burnt and very thin.  I will say though that the flavor was still amazing, I can't imagine how good the banana hazelnut pancakes would taste cooked properly :)

Kyle made the buttermilk pancakes and ate them all without me, how dare he!  He told me they were very good and he loved them.  Sorry I am no help with the buttermilk flavor, Kyle did get a talking to for not at least saving one pancake for me :)

When I made the Cinnamon Apple flavor I used a 1/2 cup of water, after letting it sit for a little bit it was fairly thick so I added a tiny bit more water and it was perfect.  This time I had my pan on low, these pancakes turned out perfectly!  They were fluffy and DELICIOUS!!!!  Nothing beats opening a package of a product with great ingredients, adding some water and ending up with super yummy high protein, low carb and no sugar pancakes.

I highly recommend these for those days when you need a healthy and quick breakfast, Bella loved them too.  I also used some Walden Farms syrup on them, that is a staple for me.  You do have to keep it refrigerated but I just put some in a little cup and microwave for a few seconds and it is perfect.

Enjoy some pancakes!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday's Deep Thoughts

I know I talk about a certain subject often on here, BALANCE.  I don't share much on this subject on Facebook.  Maybe I am not brave enough and in all honesty I feel I haven't been in this world of figure competing long enough to talk about it as much on my personal Facebook page.  This is my place to be fully open and honest, I've gained more followers and am thankful that I still feel this is my "safe" place to give my opinions without being judged, yet.

I have wondered lately if the fact that I started this journey at an "older" age after getting married, after having Bella, after years of considering taking it on has had a large effect on how I am handling things.  

Personally I do not fear taking a vacation because I would freak out about having the right gym to get my workouts in.  I am happy to get my workouts in however I can, I don't need the perfect gym.  I am going to Florida to visit David in January, I will have a gym to go to but I'm not worried about what type of equipment they will have.  I do not fear going to birthday parties or events, even when I am in final weeks of prep mode.  I have no issue with eating what I need to before such an event and passing up a piece of cake.  I will not lose out on memories because of my desire to be a figure competitor.

There are so many, just so many competitors out there that talk about this.  Competitors that had competed for years and finally chose to stop competing because they could not find balance.  I feel for them and hurt for them, some of them may have had bad coaching or their desire to be on top overtook them in such a way that they lost site of everything else.

I post about this because I never want to be in that spot.  January will be my two year mark on this journey and I am still very happy and enjoying every step.  I enjoy my workouts with my husband, it has become routine again to be up at 4:30 during the week and ready for the gym.  We encourage each other with our food choices, we take recipes we love and tweak them to fit our macros and Bella enjoys the same foods.

I know as I get into the final couple months of my prep I will become stricter and my calories will be lower but I will still make choices I enjoy and I will not dread that part of my prep.

I've said it many times but it still holds true, having my entire family and my friends supporting me 100% makes this even more enjoyable and easier.  Their pride in me pushes me harder than I could ever push myself, knowing the only person I am in competition with is myself helps immensely.  The changes I keep seeing, the growth in certain areas while maintaining a smaller shape in other areas blows my mind.

In two years I have made amazing progress but I know I won't hit my peak for years to come.  This is truly a lifestyle and my goals in this are not something that can happen overnight.  I will continue to enjoy my workouts with my husband and helping my family to live a healthy lifestyle so we can enjoy our active lifestyle for many, many years.  I am proud of where I am at this moment!

I am grateful that I truly have balance and I see it every day.  I still work my full-time job and enjoy it every day, I'm a mother who takes her daughter to dance and has nights free to spend time with her, going to movies and dinner, playing games, reading books, a wife who enjoys dates with her husband, a daughter who enjoys special times with her parents, a sister who indulges in game nights, going to the theater, an auntie who loves making cookies with my nieces and nephews and a friend who enjoys some nights out.  I never want to lose site of these things and I never will.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The BEST Chocolate Protein!

I have officially found my FAVORITE chocolate protein!!!!!!

We had a stock pile of protein and just started getting low, I decided to get the V-Core Vantage Milk Chocolate protein.  I had tried their vanilla flavor and really like it, I always get vanilla because I like to bake with it too but I caved and got the milk chocolate.

O.M.G.  It seriously tastes like you are drinking a milk chocolate bar, I am not even kidding!  With water it has a creamy consistency, I haven't tried it with milk yet but I imagine it will be heavenly :)  Can't wait to make some protein brownies with it too!

I love, love, love the V-Core Vantage protein, check it out!  You can call my sponsor, the Cedar Rapids location at 319-550-8499 and they will ship anywhere free, use code #215 to let them know I sent you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Return of the Turkey Trot

This past Saturday I ran The Return of the Turkey Trot race, my sister and I ran the 8k.  We happened to run into our cousin Rae Ann and her son Kyle who also ran the race, it was so much fun :)

It was pretty dang cold, thankfully snow didn't hit our area until later that night and the BITTER cold didn't set in until Monday.  Although with the windchill right before the race started it was -4.  BRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

For the first two miles I really couldn't feel my feet, it was like running on ice blocks and my hands were frozen.  At about 2.5 miles my feet came back to life and my hands started tingling, I finally warmed up.  It really was a great race, at the very end there was a very steep but thankfully short uphill.  As I ran towards the finish and saw the time on the clock I managed to kick it in and finish right before 44 minutes.  It was a good race for me and I'm proud of how I did :)

Now to continue with the running, it is so freezing cold here I will have to give in and do some treadmill running.  I really do want to become a faster runner, slowly but surely it will happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Taking A Sick Day

Yesterday was kind of rough.  We got up for the gym at 4:30 and I just wasn't feeling right.  Kyle's chipper morning happiness was doing anything but making me smile and laugh.  Rather I felt like punching him and taking that chippery attitude right out of him.  Sometimes I can be mean, not gonna lie, that man puts up with quite a bit from me but after nearly 13 years together he knows what he is dealing with.

At the gym I wandered about in a haze, my pre-workout was kicking in but not in a good way.  The 3plenish was too sweet for me, that NEVER happens it is not a super sweet drink.  Instead I would head for the water fountain between sets.  Somehow I managed to go up in a weight on a few sets, we did chest and back.  I LOVE training back so that does help me tell myself I can push it harder and add more weight.  Simple chatter with fellow gym members was not happening and finally I told Kyle we just needed to go home because I was either going to faint or vomit at the gym.

We headed home, I got sick and crawled into bed.  Kyle took my temp and we expected it to be high, instead it was 96.2 and he couldn't believe how cold my body felt.  I put on sweat pants, a long sleeved shirt, another long sleeved shirt, fuzzy socks, four blankets and we could not get my temperature up.  Kyle googled some things, seriously don't do that, but it did make some sense and could have been in relation to my training and the fact that I ran in very cold weather the day before.  But man I have a race on Saturday so I HAD to run!  I couldn't not document my sick day, so here I was, sicky mcsickerson in bed ALL day long.

I have to give a shout out to the company that made the shirt I am wearing.  The slogan made me feel a little better because it is so true.  Even though I was clearly sick and needing some rest I will NEVER GIVE UP, but I will rest when my body is telling me to.  Check out Thick 2 Thin I love all they stand for, Andrea's posts, their clothing, just such an awesome and honest company!

My day consisted of sleeping, drinking LOTS of water, taking vitamins and drinking tea.  Kyle took such great care of me, making me soup, checking my temperature every hour.  It took almost the entire day but my temperature finally got back up to normal.  Imagine poor Kyle having to wake me up each hour and have "the monster" very angry and NOT wanting her temperature taken, I just wanted to SLEEP.  Props to you babe, I apologize for how I can be at times, thank you a thousand times for putting up with me!

We decided I would need another rest day today, I've had some good oatmeal with protein, shredded chicken and plan on soup and protein shakes along with tea and water the rest of the day.  Hopefully tomorrow morning I can lift shoulders, if not, oh well, shoulder day will come again :)

I do have the Turkey Trot on Saturday morning and I will be running it with my sister Jenn.  Very excited for it, already knowing I may not hit a best time or anything like that but I'm ok with it.  Hopefully tomorrow I wake up feeling like me again :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Am A Sponsored Athlete!!!!

I am so proud and happy to announce that I am officially a Complete Nutrition sponsored athlete!!!!  I still can't believe it and keep pinching myself :)  I have worked so hard and I am so excited for this new part of my journey!

Complete Nutrition is a company I truly believe in, they have amazing products for everyone, no matter what your goals are.  Competing, weight loss, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and they will ship their products to you for free!  Anyone interested in ordering products from the location sponsoring me can call 319-550-8499 and just let them know that Stephanie Griffin sent you their way :)  Get great advice, set up on a program and enjoy products that work and are safe for you to take.

My goals have shifted a little bit, there is no limit to what I can do.  2015 is going to be a big year, I've picked three competitions, one half-marathon (and planning on finding another one), many other shorter road races and of course year round volleyball.

I am so excited for all of my goals and it makes me even more excited having such a great company backing me.  Thank you for believe in me Complete Nutrition, the future is bright!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nutrition - The Neverending Search for "Perfection"

Nutrition plays such a huge part in my goals.  When I first started my journey I went into it completely blind.  We did not have the money for me to hire a nutritionist and I am one who likes to do her own research and figure out what works for me.

Man I did not know the ride I was in for.  My views on food and the "ideal" nutrition plan have completely changed in a matter of nearly two years.  There is so much information out there it can be completely overwhelming.  Which plan do you follow, which coaches are giving out the best advice, which competitors are following plans that keep them healthy and are not starving themselves?

I also had my own personal disadvantages in regard to my health.  I had been dealing with heart conditions since I was 18, my body metabolizes everything so much faster than the "normal" person.  My cardiologist was a HUGE help in the entire process, very encouraging and making sure I was making the right choices to reach my goals and keep my heart healthy.  The only concern he ever voiced to me was the final week of competition prep, he flat out asked me to please not cut sodium and water because that could cause huge issues for my heart.

Kyle was a huge help in the sense of how many calories I should consume each day for my goals and giving me a breakdown of how many grams of protein, carbs and fat I would need.  My first go round I went the ridiculous route of eating the same thing all the time, egg whites, tilapia, chicken breast, broccoli.  Oats were really the only truly filling carb I allowed myself.  I was not happy with my prep, I did not enjoy my food because I wouldn't season anything or use condiments.  I was so terrified I it would be detrimental to my prep and make it more difficult to lose body fat.

My workouts and cardio were amazing the entire time.  Kyle never had  me doing more than 40 minutes of steady state cardio and that was just once a week, other than that it was HIIT workouts and runs because I was also training for races.  My downfall that first prep was 100% my nutrition and my lack of knowledge.

When I began prepping for my second competition I chose to "follow" the Fighter Diet plan.  I did not follow it 100% because I also believe in the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) plan.  Pauline Nordin (Fighter Diet) and Layne Norton (IIFYM) are both amazing people who know their stuff.  I did so much research, read their blogs watched Layne's video logs and learned so much.  At times I was completely overwhelmed but I just kept writing out information I felt would help me the most in my notebooks.

I did realize during that first prep that carbs do not affect my body like the "normal" person.  Cutting carbs during peak week did the opposite of what it was supposed to do, I was flat and didn't look as lean as I did the weekend before the competition.  I was disappointed because I had worked so hard and my food plan was my undoing.

Before my second competition I met with Dawn Zaruba for some posing practice.  She was so gracious, honest and kind.  She let me know that not everyone is the same, there is nothing wrong with doing something different for peak week.  Carbs affect everyone differently and it is up to me to track them and know what amounts work best for my body, I could be that lucky competitor that actually does not need to cut carbs during the final week and she was right!

The second competition was better than the first, we still played with the carbs a bit which did affect me not in the best way.  I brought a better overall package to the stage but a light went off in my head, STOP trying to do my final prep like the majority of competitors, that does not work for me!

After all of this I am extremely happy with my nutrition, I love my food.  I do track my macros but I am not freaking out over it.  I have my calorie goals for each day and my main goal is to get in all the protein I need to help my muscles recover from my intense workouts.  I choose carbs that I truly enjoy such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, Quest bars, greek yogurt, rice and even bread (ahhhh, I know bread, how can I!) ;)  I love my chicken breast but I also eat steak, lean ground beef, ground turkey and pork.  My meals make me happy, I look forward to eating them, I find little ways to change things up.

My heart is healthy, I no longer have annual appointments with my cardiologist.  Just as important as that my mind is healthy, I am mentally in a very good place.  I do not compete to earn a trophy, I compete because I love to train, I love how strong and confident I feel.  It has helped me improve in two of my favorite sports volleyball and running.

This is a LIFESTYLE.  My family enjoys the meals I make for dinner, tweaking some of our favorites with healthier ingredients makes everyone happy.  Bella is a very healthy, happy little girl who enjoys making yummy foods with her mommy and makes good choices for herself.  Not because I am forcing her to but because she is learning just as I am what makes her feel good.  Kyle is proud of me, I think anyway ;)  He also enjoys the dinners I am making so that all of us can be healthy and enjoy our lives doing what we love, together.

There is no such thing as perfection when it comes to nutrition.  It takes a lot of work, research and trying out new things.  Don't ever give up, each of us will find our way and learn to live our lives so that we are healthy and able to enjoy our time that we have.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Speed Racer

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a run, 57 degrees, slightly sunny and a bit windy.  I wore a pair of leggings a dry fit t-shirt and a light windbreaker, PERFECT!

I felt good and suddenly realized that my 8k race is just a week and a half away, that snuck up on me!

My pace felt faster than normal and for once I decided not to check my miles, I just ran 2.5 and was anxious to finish.  My mile splits were 8:37, over a minute faster than my last run!  I was very pleasantly surprised :)

My runs are going to get more difficult as the colder weather sets in.  My plan is to continue on no matter what, well except for those negative temps, my body just can't handle it.  On those days I will be forcing myself to get runs in on the treadmill.  I can't stand treadmill running but you gotta do what you gotta do!

I am currently on the hunt for some good gloves, I hate when my hands get sweaty and my gloves feel wet, can you say GROSS?  I also need a good hat that will cover my mouth or a dry fit cowl, better get on that before the Iowa winter really sets in.

I am proud of my run yesterday, no run today but I will be hitting the gym tonight with my trainer aka hubby for some chest and back.  I was reminded today again by a family member of how very lucky I am to have my husband as my trainer, believe me ladies and gents I truly know how very LUCKY I am.  We found each other so long ago and our love for fitness is part of what holds us together.

I am thankful every day to have that man in my life!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Keep Yourself On Track

Staying on track can be difficult at times, I am certain that is true for many people other than myself.  Yes I have many long term goals, even my next competition seems so far away.  I've got just over six months to go before I step on stage again.  Plenty of time to continue building a better physique while giving myself enough time to cut.  It just seems so FAR AWAY.

I've been going through many peaks and valleys in the month of October, mostly valleys.  So many times I say to myself, why are you the way you are?  Snap out of the sadness and sometimes slight anger over changes, life changes constantly and I still struggle at the age of 33 to accept it.  I can be so selfish, I am not afraid to admit that.  I depend on those around me, especially those who affect me in such a way that they are a part of who I am.  This month with a big move and now another friend having difficulties that will pull him away from me for quite some time, it is HARD.

These are times when I need to learn to reach out to other amazing friends and family I am blessed to have.  I do worry I will bother some people but then I'm reminded of how silly those thoughts are when they reach out to me themselves just to check on me.

My emotions have been in complete control, ruling my every day life lately.  I've gotten in workouts but they haven't been what I want them to be.  My body is angry with me, the stress I've allowed on myself has taken a huge toll.  Last night Kyle and I had a long talk, he is the one that knows me like no other.  He sees the changes in me, he gives me time to try to deal with situations on my own but he always knows when he needs to step in and bring me back to reality.  Life changes, life can be challenging, I can't control everything around me but I can control my own destiny.  Those who have gone far away are still here for me, our connection is still strong the physicality of being with them may not be possible but that only changes things slightly.

Running again has made me feel so happy.  I decided to check out races in the area and found The Return of the Turkey Trot.  My sister Jenn and I will be running the 8k.  It makes me excited and very happy to have this goal that is very close, it will help keep me on track and motivate me in a way that I've been searching for.

November will be a different month, digging deep to grow within myself.  Getting the plan set out for May 2015, readying myself for the awesomeness I will bring to the stage because I have the DRIVE, DESIRE and DISCIPLINE to be the best ME I can be.

December may bring on a fun deadlift challenge I've talked about before, 400 deadlifts.  I think Kyle will be on board with that :)

Set up little goals for yourself, stay on track.  Have your moments where you feel off and know there is nothing wrong with that as long as you find yourself again and continue to work hard for all of your goals!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Volleyball, Running, More Protein!

Last night was an awesome night of volleyball, we finally played really well together and won all of our games!!!  I still can't believe how I can jump indoor, I honestly can't say that I prefer sand over indoor or vice versa.  Having the ability to jump and get above the net is empowering.  I so wish I could do that in the sand!  Then again I don't dive indoor like I do outdoor, there are positives for both :)

I had multiple hits but the best one was when I was playing setter.  The other team hit the ball center net and I couldn't resist, I jumped up and slammed that ball!  My team was surprised, I was surprised, my confidence is growing indoor and I am almost anxious for Sunday nights :)

Today I ran 2.5 miles, it was very warm out, 77 degrees.  With the sun beating down on me I was drenched in sweat about a mile in, I didn't feel the greatest.  Kyle and I had a really good chest and back workout on Saturday, I'm still extremely sore today.  The run loosened me up but I could feel the soreness throughout the entire run, I was so happy when I got done.  9:32 for my mile splits, it will be nice the entire week and I look forward to getting in a couple more runs.

For my afternoon protein shake I had the V-Core Vantage orange creamsicle, O.M.G.  Ever had Orange Julius?  Well it tastes pretty much exactly like that, no joke.  This is definitely becoming a favorite protein for me, blends well, no chunks at all and the flavors are so amazing.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

2.25 Mile Run & Product Review

Today I ran 2.25 miles.  How is it that your first run always feel awesome and a run the next day feels so crappy?  That's how it works for me anyway.

I really wanted to walk, but I wouldn't let myself.  My lungs were good it was my legs that wanted to give out.  After the first mile the run did get a little easier and I kept it at the same pace as my previous run.

I wish the weather would always be this amazing, it truly is perfect running weather!

I tried out another different protein, V-Core Vantage, I had the s'mores flavor.  It was AH-MAZING!!!!  Truly tasted like a s'mores, there was a hint of chocolate, a hint of graham cracker and a hint of marshmallow flavor.  Super yummy and it did not upset my tummy at all.  This is one I will definitely need to have stocked in our house.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2 Mile Run

It has been over a month since my last run.  I would tell myself to go for a run and instead I would jump rope or go to the gym for cardio on the step mill.  I am so hot and cold when it comes to running, unless I have a race in the near future.  I had picked out a fun race to do in November but then realized it was the same weekend as The Nutcracker, so I scratched that.

The weather has been so amazing, today I told myself that I just HAD to get out and run two miles.  I didn't have high expectations, my goal was to run under 10 minute miles.

I did it!  I ran 9:42 minute miles and I felt awesome.  Luckily running comes fairly easy to me, I may not be the fastest but I can run without walking even after somewhat of a break from running.

Running makes me feel strong and healthy.  Glad I got it in today and plan on running 2.5 tomorrow, getting back in running shape just in time for winter ;)

Have Your Cheesecake And Eat It!

Well I haven't actually made a protein cheesecake quite yet, that would be a good treat to try this weekend though!

Sugar free Jello pudding mixes have changed so much in my world.  Cheesecake is my FAVORITE dessert, I could eat it everyday.  Well now I can :)

Today for one of my snacks I had a cup of plain Greek yogurt and added just one tablespoon of sugar free cheesecake Jello mix.  O.M.G.!!!  Why have I not done this before???

I ended up with a delicious bowl of what I swear was cheesecake filling.  The mix thickened up the yogurt even more and it tasted exactly like cheesecake.


Now to buy every flavor of sugar free Jello pudding mixes and put them to good use.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Athlete Resume - I Actually Have One!

I am on the journey of trying to get sponsored by Complete Nutrition.  I filled out the sponsorship form and Kyle thought it would be a good idea to have an athlete resume to send with it.

I was at a loss as to what I could do for that.  I have never had a resume, ever.  I have worked for the Teamsters Union since I was 20, I didn't have to use a resume then and I don't plan on leaving this job.  I really have never had a need for a resume.

Thankfully my best friend Shalae makes awesome resumes so I reached out to her for help.  All I had to do was give her my information and some photos.  When she sent me the resume I was blown away, I just love, love, love it and never would have thought to do it up like she did!!!!  Thank you Shalae so very much for such an awesome resume :)  Shalae just started a blog at Jock Mom Blog, check it out!

I am a little nervous taking this next step, it is such a big one and will mean so much for my competition journey.  Lets hope Complete Nutrition sees that I am a hard working athlete deserving of a sponsorship!

Fingers crossed :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Indoor Season Begins & Shoulder Day

Indoor volleyball started on Sunday.  It is the first time I've played indoor in YEARS.  I was a little nervous, just not sure if my timing would be off, how my serves would be, diving on the gym floor instead of sand.

I really didn't need to be nervous, it was awesome!  My timing was spot on, I can jump so damn high and get pretty far above the net.  My hits were great, no missed serves, it was a BLAST!!!!

I am so, so happy that I was asked to be on a team and that I said yes.  Year round volleyball is like a dream for me, I wish I would have tried to get on an indoor team before this year.  We didn't win any games but at least they were close, we are a team that hasn't played together before, we just need to figure out our groove :)

Yesterday was my favorite lifting day, shoulders!  I was not able to lift as heavy as I would have liked, lost some strength from not being consistent.  It will come back quickly though.  Kyle is changing things up and man can I feel it today!

I was happy to see the awesome pump I got in my shoulders, really, really loving the new pre-workout I'm using, Rhino and the NX6!

Early mornings for lifts, the darkness is making it tough to get up, but I'm getting it done and it really helps having Kyle making sure I do get up and going with me :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Seasons Change - Life Changes

It seems like with the change of seasons there also come life changes.  This fall has been full of big changes for me, one major change.  My best friend, soul brother, workout partner and so much more has moved to Florida.  Before the move he was very sick and we weren't able to go to the gym together at all the entire month before his move.  I went and tried my best to stay on course.

The past week has not been a good week for my workouts or my nutrition.  I've let myself slip up, a LOT.  I am not angry with myself, I am not beating myself up over it.  I knew I needed some time to really absorb everything that was happening around me.  David leaving, my own health scare, the end of another sand volleyball season, work stresses (which are so rare for me), I let it all consume me.

I apologized to Kyle last night for how I've been lately, seemingly unmotivated, crying all the time and not very positive.  Rather than him telling me what I've been doing wrong he simply said, "it's ok, I know you will snap out of it, I love you".  

Everyone deals with changes differently, I hate change, well not changes in my body as I continue to workout of course!  When I am comfortable with my life and something changes and makes me uncomfortable I just can't stand it.  Sometimes I wish I handled things differently but I am who I am.  I need those few days to really let the reality set in before I can move forward.

It is time for me to move forward, dig deep and get back on track.  Kyle has his regular schedule so we are able to go to the gym together every morning.  Indoor volleyball begins on Sunday, I know that I am healthy, Bella turns 8 in a few days, so much to be happy for.

This journey is so intense sometimes.  There are days when I get too tired and too emotional for the gym and there is nothing wrong with that.  Take the time you need to adjust to changes and know that the gym is always there, waiting for you.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Love Yourself, Little Ears Hear EVERYTHING

This spoke volumes to me.  I know many women who are unhappy with their bodies, who talk about their flaws, who sadly do not see the completely obvious beauty within themselves.

To those women please know how amazing and beautiful you are!  Rather than speaking ill of yourself speak proudly about yourself.  This is so incredibly important for all the moms out there.  It truly does not matter what size you are, what your nose looks like, any little thing you see as a flaw is not a flaw, it is YOU.  Our children hear us and listen to every word we say, our reflection of ourselves becomes their reflection of themselves.  

You may think you have so much to work on with yourself but then you probably have a child who looks at you and thinks you are the most amazing, perfect person on the planet!  We are their heroes, their role models, their mothers, their best friends and they adore us more than we can know, just as we adore them.

I am not perfect, I know this.  I have my own flaws and yes there was a time in my life where I let them consume me and found myself trying to find perfection.  Let me tell you there is no such thing as perfection and it is not something anyone should expect.

When I had Bella my thoughts about myself changed.  As she grows up I see so much of myself in her and I can say that she is a much more confident version of me, even at the tender age of 7 3/4 (8 in just 11 days!) I see it.  I did not have her incredible courage or confidence.  I hope and pray that we continue to raise her to be this confidant young lady and that she always knows that no matter what she is truly an amazing, beautiful, strong girl.

I've learned more about myself over the past 20 months on my journey with competing than I ever thought I could.  I do not see my flaws, I see my strength, I see my confidence higher than ever, I know MYSELF.  What has that done for my relationship with Bella?

Well to hear her say things like my mommy is strong, my mommy is beautiful, my mommy is happy.  That is what she sees in me and I hope and pray that is also what she will always see in herself.  We have a very strong connection, she cheers me on for competitions, races and volleyball just as I cheer her on for dance, swimming, soccer, running, school concerts and more.  We are each others biggest supporters and that will never change.

I am a beautiful woman and I am blessed with a sweet, beautiful daughter.  Being a mother is the most precious gift, let us raise confident children who grow into confident, kind adults.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Product Reviews!

Currently I am able to try some samples of some amazing product, lucky me!!!!  Seriously, I'm like a kid at Christmas right now trying this stuff out.  Makes me more excited for each workout, although I am excited for them anyway with the new schedule but the new products make it that much more exciting :)

So first up is a pre-workout called Rhino Revolution, I tried the fruit frenzy flavor.  I enjoyed the flavor a lot, not too tart and easy to down quickly.  It was very easy on my tummy and very different from any other pre-workout I've tried.  Different in that it gave me a slight tingle feeling, nothing too crazy and I could honestly feel the boost of energy.  I didn't feel like I was going to hulk out it was just a nice energy boost and I felt it through my entire workout.  One thing I really love about this product is the ingredient list, it isn't insanely long and there is no sugar, no sugar!  I think I've just found a new pre-workout that I am going to have to keep stocked in our supplement cupboard.

With the pre-workout I also tried NX6, this combined with the Rhino gave me a phenomenal pump and the vascularity was AH-MAZING!  When my veins are popping that is when I know I am really getting a good pump, my blood is flowing and my muscles are working hard!  My energy level and strength were at a whole different level, love, love, love this combo of supplements!

I don't normally take anything during the day for energy, I'm a coffee person.  I have come to realize though that coffee in the morning is fantastic, I just need to have that delicious smell, the warm drink with my stevia and a little bit of creamer, it makes me happy.  During the day however it is just a bit much for me to continue drinking coffee throughout the day, you won't find me drinking soda either.  At least not every day, I do like to have a Diet Coke here and there we all know I am not one to completely cut things out if I truly enjoy them.

I did try out Prime Drive and loved it.  I had the strawberry melon flavor, delish, I highly recommend it.  I decided to try it out yesterday before volleyball as I was sitting at my sisters house at a birthday party watching some football.  I was feeling tired, I ate some yummy food and needed a boost.  There is no sugar in it, again a HUGE plus for me and it did give me a nice little energy boost.  With coffee in the afternoon I will get a boost of energy but then I crash, there was no crash with this product.

I really can't wait to continue trying out new products, flavors of protein and sharing my experience with everything.  Head to your nearest Complete Nutrition store, they always have samples ready for you to try in the store.  So much better to try something out before buying it, especially if you aren't sure if you will like a flavor.  If you do buy a product there and it doesn't work for you, you can return it and try something else, another huge plus :) 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Know Your Body - Take Care of It

There are so many factors in life that affect your body from what you eat to how much you exercise to outside factors like stress that you have no control over.  All of it affects you so, so much!  We all need to know our bodies, how they react to certain foods, exercise, stress, your environment, it is so SO very important.

I for one let stress get to me way too much.  I've gotten a lot better, little things I can finally brush off and move forward, bigger things still hit me hard no matter what I try to do.  At times my workouts are affected, my body definitely is and so is my mind.  I will get a bit bloated, sore, achy joints and more acne than normal.

This past week has been a bit stressful.  For anyone reading this that may not know cancer runs rampant in my family.  My mom's side AND my dad's side.  I've watched family members fight for their lives and sadly others who have passed away from it.  The most common one though is breast cancer.  My Grandma had it, aunts on both sides have had it and even my little sister Missy.

In July of 2007, the day before our sister Mindy's wedding (Mindy happens to be Missy's twin sister) Missy was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 23.  We were SHOCKED, completely and utterly shocked.  She had felt a lump and was told that it most likely was NOT cancer to get the news that is was, well we were literally floored.  We all rallied around her and went with her for her first appointments to find out exactly what type she had, the prognosis and what steps needed to be taken.  

Thankfully Missy kicked cancers ass, she is happily married and has two beautiful children.  Myself and Mindy started getting annual mammograms after Missy's diagnosis.  Early detection is key we've all learned so much in the past seven years.

About two months ago I was doing my self exam and noticed a little "something" in my left breast.  To me it wasn't like a hard lump, I figured it was probably my muscle a little swollen and kept an eye on it.  This past weekend I noticed it had doubled in size, still not a hard round lump that I could grab, it really is more like a mass.  Kyle could feel it as well and of course my orders from Kyle were to call our family doctor immediately on Monday to get in to see her.

Now you might be thinking, why did she wait to call her doctor?  I honestly thought it was something that would just go away.  Ever since Missy's diagnosis I have pretty much had it in my head that I will get breast cancer in my lifetime, same with Mindy.  I was more baffled than anything.  I am fortunate in that I have very smooth breasts, no cysts or anything unlike my mom and sisters.  The location of the mass really had me thinking it was muscular and that icing it would help.  I know it might sound silly but basically I was in denial.

When I saw my doctor she was amazing, I adore her, I really do.  She could see the mass when I was laying back and scheduled a mammogram right away.  I had to go during the morning so I would be able to have the radiologist in the room with me so I would know immediately if there was anything to be concerned about.  At this point I had it in my head that it is a cyst or some other thing that is not cancer.  It was Monday when I saw my doctor and the mammogram was scheduled for Thursday morning.

Now even though I had it in my head that I do NOT have cancer I was still emotional about it.  How could I not be?  Maybe it would be cancer and I am more than ready to fight it, but it still made me cry for just a moment to think that it really could be that.  I thought about Bella, I will always be strong for her no matter what.  What if her mom has cancer?  What if I do have to go through treatments and have times when I'm feeling sick from it?  Will I still be able to show her how strong and tough her mommy is?

Yes I was getting ahead of myself with some of these thoughts, but still they happened.  Tuesday morning I was getting ready to head out the door to take Bella to school and go to work.  My back completely spasmed and I dropped to the floor.  Of course it freaked out Bella but I was able to finally get back up and get going.  My back was KILLING me.  I had just gone to the chiropractor last week for my regular adjustment.  When I went in it was crazy how much he adjusted me and then I had some stim therapy.  My chiro asked if I had changed up my workouts but I hadn't, then he asked if I have had extra stress.  Well yes, I had extra stress, he told me to try to relax for the next couple of days and go back in if my back wasn't feeling better.

All that stress over just a couple of days took such a toll on me, unbelievable.  I have let it affect my workouts this week, by feeling exhausted and not even going to the gym.

At my mammogram today they could not see anything due to my dense breasts, so then it was an ultrasound where again they had problems with seeing exactly what the lump is.  We know at this time is it not a cyst, the radiologist does not know what it is.  The next step is an MRI, I am awaiting the scheduling for that.

I am certain that I do not have breast cancer, I am turning my mind set around starting NOW.  Tomorrow morning I will be back in the gym starting my new workouts, YAY!!!!!  Project build up Steph's shoulders, back and get those damn legs leaner is kicking into high gear!  I'll be trying out some new supplements and can't wait to share with everyone how they are.

My point of this lengthy, drawn out post is this.  KNOW YOUR BODY.  Life is too short and we all need to take good care of our bodies, we only get one.  No matter what happens with me I will continue to work toward my goals, understand a couple days of mentally dealing with things is allowed and then it is time to move forward.  I have NO control over what the outcome will be, that is hard for me, time to focus on what I do have control over :) 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Love This - Your Partner Supporting You is the BOMB!!!!

These two make me smile, laugh, cry and inspire me so much.  They have worked their asses off for what they have, created an awesome brand and Dana is killing it in the physique world.  They keep it real, I love the videos they post and this one just got to me, they made me cry!

To have the complete support and understanding from your spouse or partner in this intense world of competing, it is indescribable sometimes.  I am so, so beyond blessed to have Kyle behind me 110%, pushing me, supporting me, encouraging me, inspiring me.  He believes in me so much and lets me know that all the time.

I will say that I could not continue on this journey without his support.  I started this journey as an "older" woman, it is not something I was doing when Kyle and I met.  This is something that has become such a large part of our life.  Kyle has never asked me to take a break, slow down, poked at me for food choices or made me feel like I was being selfish with my choice to become a competitor.  Rather he makes me feel empowered and like I can take on the world, my dreams aren't small but that doesn't mean they are unattainable.

I truly cannot imagine being with someone who did not support my choice to compete, but I see it all the time.  I just can't imagine doing it while feeling like the person you are spending your life with doesn't support you.

It makes me smile thinking about two of my favorite people in the world knowing they are in the same boat.  My nephew Zach and his wife Carley are on the same journey, with Zach joining in on the competition life.  I am so proud of the two of them and can't wait to see where this journey takes them!  Love you both to the moon and back, so proud of Zach for being such an amazing young man and Carley for being such an amazing young woman.  You two were meant to be together, there is no limit to what you can do together!

So thank you Kyle, for being exactly the person I need on this journey.  Thank you for understanding my earlier bed times, very early morning workouts, the desire to always improve myself.  Thank you for never making me feel like this lifestyle is anything other than a positive influence on our beautiful daughter, that is the most important thing of all.

Together we are unstoppable, the sky is truly the limit and I DO believe in myself because you believe in me so much.  I love you, I love you, I love you!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

He's BAAAACK!!!!

I am so, so very happy to have Kyle back!  Yesterday morning he was with me for leg day.  No slacking off (not that I do anyway ;)), form corrections, minimal breaks between sets, I loved it!

I am super, super excited that he will be changing up my lifts starting next week, YAY!!!!  Funny how you can change, I used to love circuit training, hitting all of the muscle groups.  Now I prefer to hit just a couple each session, I think I just enjoy the variety of exercises by lifting 5-6 days a week rather than four.

Tonight I have a hot date with the step mill :)  It has been a little while since I've done that for cardio, hopefully I can make it!  Just 35 minutes steady state, I am actually looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9 days from the stage | OLYMPIA 2014 | Dana Linn Bailey

No words really, she is a freaking BEAST!!!!!!  Go DLB, can't wait to watch the Olympia and cheer her on!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

903 Jumps

Today was a jump rope day and I got more jumps than last time.  Sure I felt like I was going to throw up and had to take a little break, but it was a great workout.  I've decided that jumping rope is at intense as running but harder on your feet.

Speaking of running, I HAVE to get back at it.  Took way too long of a break and there is a fun race in November that I really want to do.  Time to get after it ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back To the Heavy

This week I went up to four sets and 8-10 reps, back to the heavy weight!  I didn't mind lifting lighter weights with more reps for a few weeks but I'm not gonna lie, I really prefer lifting heavy :)

Today I felt so STRONG and really pushed myself.  I want to see some real growth over the next few months!  I've been lifting alone, I can't wait for when Kyle is able to start going with me again and pushing me even harder.  I find myself constantly correcting my form and really thinking about each muscle I'm working as I lift.  I do miss my trainer though, just anxious for schedules to get set and get into more of a normal routine again.

My nutrition has been pretty good, still need to eat more though.  I hadn't had sweet potato in quite a while and added that in again this week.  I forgot how much I love sweet potato :)  I cooked them in a crock pot on Sunday, I will never cook them another way again!  Just wash them, poke some holes in em and thrown them in the crock pot for 6-8 hours on low.  SO easy and I was able to use the oven during that time for other yummy stuff like chicken breast and roasted veggies.

I've gotten used to the early morning workouts and man am I glad, I really do love getting it done in the morning and having the evenings completely free.  As a mom, there really is no other way, unless I could get in my workouts during the day while Bella is at school but there is that little thing called work that needs me during the day :)

There are only three weeks left of sand volleyball :(  I am anxious for the indoor season, hopefully I do alright, looking forward to having more of a vertical at least :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Balance IS Possible

Currently my Facebook feed and Instagram is full of pictures and posts of competitors readying themselves to hit the stage soon or competing on stage.  Posts about the final weeks of prep and hard work being put in.  I LOVE it and it makes me that much more excited for my next competition, which is still eight months away.

The majority of the women I am friends with and follow are posting with excitement.  Their preps are going well, they aren't starving themselves or doing countless hours of cardio, they are enjoying their families while putting in the hard work in the early hours before everyone else is awake or late at night while everyone else sleeps.  

Then there have been other posts popping up of women who had competed and no longer choose to do so.  That is completely fine if someone decides that competing isn't for them, it is difficult to find balance, I completely understand that.  What I don't understand are the other comments put into these posts.  Multiple women have posted that their families are more important than a trophy or standing on stage, stressing over macros isn't worth it, teaching their kids about balance is more important.

As a competing mother, what they say sometimes hits me the wrong way.  I'm sure none of these women intend to come across as better mothers for choosing to step away from the stage.  Clearly their personal journeys to the stage were not good ones and maybe they personally just can't find that balance to be able to participate in such a tough sport as a competitor while teaching their children about balance in life and working hard for your dreams.

We all have dreams and they can change at any time.  I am so happy that I have found balance so that I can compete, work a full time job that is not within the fitness industry, be a wonderful mother, wife, and friend all while achieving things I have always dreamed of.

It IS possible.  With the right trainer, coach, support system and plan you can truly achieve anything.  For me that means getting up at 4:30am to train at the gym, doing cardio on my lunch hour or going for a run in the evening, meal prepping on Sundays and having Bella help me.  Another big help is obviously having my husband for my trainer/coach and he supports me 110%, without him this journey would be much more difficult, without a doubt.  I can't imagine not having that kind of support at home, Bella sees that support and she loves it, she chooses to be just as supportive and proud.

It isn't all about trophies and placings, if it truly was only about that I would not compete.  I have not earned a first place or even a second place, I have competed in categories where I didn't even place.  This journey is fun for me and this sport speaks to my competitive nature.  I will always be active in the gym and becoming a figure competitor is just the icing on the cake.

So to all those mothers out there that choose to compete in a healthy way and maintain balance in their lives for their families and themselves, kudos to you!  It is HARD, like a lot of other sports, the mothers out there doing what they love and teaching their kids about living a healthy balanced life while achieving their dreams, you all amaze me!  I am proud to be part of that group of women!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jump Rope

While trying to find other fun things to do for cardio I decided to start jump roping.  How in the heck did we do it so much as kids and just for fun???

Believe me it is fun but holy crap I need to build up my stamina for it.  Today was a day to just see how I would do.  I only lasted about 15 minutes and had to take breaks but I got in 563 jumps.  It really was fun and tiring, I was sweating my butt off!

Time to find some jump rope workouts and keep them in rotation for my cardio workouts.  Go out and buy a jump rope and have some fun while burning those calories :)

I didn't get anything special, just a Champion jump rope from Target and downloaded the app Jump Rope Workout.  I just put my phone in my armband and wore it on my forearm and started jumping away, it worked wonderfully.

Here's to jump roping and getting a LOT more jumps!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE | Dana Linn Bailey

This spoke volumes for me, I adore Dana Linn Bailey.  She has to be one of THE most hard working, disciplined and honest women on the face of the planet.  To know she has gone through such body image struggles, well she is like the rest of us.

To see what she deals with on a daily basis through social media is heartbreaking.  People can be so incredibly cruel, attacking someone through the internet, I don't get it.  We are all different shapes and sizes, support one another and stop the attacks.

I am still a newbie in the fitness industry, I don't necessarily know when I won't feel like a newbie but believe that I still am.  I have already had thoughts of breast implants.  It is hard when I lose my breasts, good because my body fat is lower but still hard to lose them and see others with these perfect breast to go along with their amazing bodies.  Do I need those to do well and succeed???

NO.  I don't need them, my husband doesn't want me to have them, my family and friends would tell me I do not need them in order to succeed.  This fitness world is a tough one, but if you find the right people and work hard believe me you do not need breast implants to succeed and Dana Linn Bailey is living proof of that.

People have approached me about buying products from them to get rid of stretch marks.  I politely decline the offer, first of all I am lucky and my stretch marks are very light and they fade as I lean out.  Secondly I would much rather spend my money on new workout clothes or supplements or headphones!  Will they ever be completely gone?  Nope.  I am perfectly fine with that.  I have stretch marks on my hips and thighs from the leg growth I had in high school, all across my lower abs from being pregnant with our beautiful daughter, on my breasts from the growth they had when I breast fed our daughter.  Believe me I had thoughts before about trying to get rid of them, but WHY?

All my life I have strived for "perfection" in myself.  How strange that once I began my journey in this world, I have learned the most about myself and that there is no such thing as "perfection".  The women I look up to all have something in common, they are honest, they talk about the ups but more about the downs of this industry just to keep people informed.

Occasionally I still have thoughts about wishing I would have started this journey when I was younger, but then again I am so thankful I didn't.  The younger me would have given into some of the hype about what others are doing and how they are making themselves look so "perfect".  My hard work and discipline give me the confidence I need, no surgery or wrap is going to do that for me personally.  There is nothing wrong with any woman who does choose to get implants or take measures to get rid of her stretch marks, we are each our own person.  Just for myself, I don't need all that.

I believe that all the good coming my way right now is due to the strong drive I have, the hard work I have put in and will continue to put in and the fact that I will never give up.  Someday people may make remarks on my social media accounts about my body and they may be mean and uncalled for.  I hope that if it ever does happen I can have the same poise and "f*ck it attitude" that Dana has.

Love yourself, be proud of who you are and always, always be respectful even if someone doesn't look the way you think they should or make the choices you would make.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A "New" Beginning

Today I got up at 4:30 and went to the gym for leg day!  It wasn't too bad getting up, although it helps when you have a "golden carrot" dangling in front of you ;)  I am so ready for the opportunities being presented to me, I feel like at this moment I am starting anew :)

It was a tough leg day, not gonna lie.  The only thing I'm not thrilled about with working out so early is that I don't really eat beforehand, I need to start having a little something in my tummy other than pre-workout!

Today I used Top Secret Nutrition "Pump Igniter", I was a hot mess, literally.  It got my blood pumping and this leg workout keeps me moving, I had my headphones on and was dripping sweat everywhere.  Gross I know, but I did also drink a LOT of water yesterday from getting so dehydrated on Sunday at volleyball.  It was nice to see one of the early morning regulars and chat for a moment before my workout began.

Kyle has me doing some higher volume training right now, I won't explain exactly how this will work to help me grow, he is much better at that.  Thinking I should have my trainer do some "guest" posts on here sometimes to explain his method of madness :)  I am alternating my lift days and cardio days with one rest day per week.

I only did two sets of everything and will increase to three sets next week, four sets the following week and stick with four sets from there on out, I think anyway.

Here was today's leg workout:

Deadlifts - 95lbs - 15 reps
Calf Raises on plate - 60 seconds
Back Squats - 95 lbs - 15 reps
Step Ups - 60 seconds
Front Squats - 75lbs - 13 reps
Seated Calf Raises - 90lbs - 15 reps
Leg Press - 140lbs - 15 reps
Lunges - 60 seconds

It was a good workout, my legs were toast and I have sand volleyball tonight.  Still working on getting all of my calories in, my appetite will increase hopefully and it won't be quite so tough :)

With Kyle being in South Dakota I took a nice photo after my workout and sent it to him.  Proof of how insanely sweaty I got and damn do I look tired, but it felt good to start off the day with a great workout!