Monday, March 31, 2014

6 Weeks - Peak Week Trial Run

Here we are just six weeks out, the week Kyle has chosen for me to do a trial run of my peak week nutrition.  Of course I have a cold and my right ear is totally plugged, I couldn't sleep all weekend, grrrrrr.  Not sure if it was just nerves knowing this was happening this week, the weather is constantly changing so I will thank mother nature for my cold.  I just don't want to end up really sick like I did after the actual competition, Emergen C is being added in.  I am going to be worn down this week, low calories, low carbs and regular workouts, I gotta put on my superwoman cape this week!

Our course of action has me at low carbs Sunday - Wednesday, NO carbs on Thursday and Friday I will be celebrating as I eat a double cheeseburger, a small piece of cheesecake and enjoy a glass of wine.

I know, it sounds messed up to me too, no matter how many times Kyle explains to me how this works, I just don't get it.  As long as it does work I don't care ;)  My water intake has been increased a large amount, I'm working on getting in 2 gallons and then Wednesday we'll take it down to 1.5 gallons, Thursday 1 gallon and Friday half gallon.  In regard to sodium I'm salting most of my food and on Thursday I probably won't salt as much, but I will be keeping sodium in my diet.

My weight has been fluctuating over the past few days, we are blaming that on mother nature as well.  Although I did only get in two cardio sessions last week, one more would have been beneficial.  I need to not be weighing myself this week like I did this morning with the increase in water.  By the end of the week that water weight will be gone, I just hope I am lean enough to be able to tell the differences we need to see this week.  Kyle thinks I definitely am, you can see my abs at least :)

I have my back workout tonight and abs, I was debating doing cardio but instead I will get up tomorrow morning for a run and then lift legs after work with David.  Needing my peeps this week, emotions are running high, energy is low.  I've said it before and I will say it again, I am so damn lucky to have so many supporters around me.  

I am beyond happy that Carley will be here with us for her first experience of a real peak week.  The many feelings you go through during that final week, it helps so much to be with your biggest supporters and the more you have the better :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Legs AND Shoulders...In the AM!

Last night I relaxed, well tried to anyway, there are always things that need done around the house :)

I cooked up my dinner, 8 egg whites and some toast, yep I said toast.  I ate loads of veggies yesterday and really wanted toast, it fit in with my macros so I did it!  Eventually I would love to find a happy medium between the Fighter Diet concept and the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) concept.  Someday, lots of things to figure out with that, a ton more research needs to be done on my part that's for sure! (Don't worry Carley I will help you along with this too and get some good plans going for us :))

It was funny after I separated my eggs and had the yolks and shells in one bowl for the garbage my father-in-law saw it and said, you didn't eat all those eggs did you?  Yes, yes I did, but just the egg whites :)  He has become so accustomed to my eating and training habits :)  

So I went to bed early, at 8:00pm.  I was going to write out my workout in the morning and decided I better do it before I went to sleep so it was just ready to go.  I just had to incorporate my leg workout into my shoulder workout, I like to have it all written out with my previous weights, makes it super easy.

My alarm went off at 4am, I hit the snooze once and then got my butt up, woo hoo!!!  It wasn't too bad once I got the lights on and some NO Xplode in me, I was ready to go.

The nice thing about working out so early is that there aren't very many people at the gym and the ones that are there are regulars, super friendly and very encouraging to everyone.

I got in my squat rack and warmed up.  Had the nice guy from Monday morning stop over to ask if I was going to show off again ;)  Yep, bring on the heavy weights!

It was an intense workout, I didn't feel as tired as I expected myself to.  I went up in weight on almost everything, not a lot, but hey a 10 pound gain is a 10 pound gain, I'm gonna take it!  I lifted a total of 54,325 pounds this morning, woo hoo!!!

When I was all done and walking out I got stopped by a guy that is there every morning.  We've never really talked before, he is very quiet, super nice just keeps to himself.  He said he heard I was getting ready for a competition and I told him he heard right.  He just wanted to let me know that he remembers seeing me in there in the mornings before my October competition and he wanted to tell me that he can tell I've gained quite a bit of muscle since then.  Such a nice compliment, made me feel so good :)

Here I am after this mornings workout.  I'm already more vascular than last time, my damn bicep veins WILL be popped out by May dang it.  I WILL get lean enough!!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Honestly Tired - Woman Issues Suck

Total honesty and a little complaining to follow!

Before I continue on with how craptastic I am feeling today I had thought to myself, do I want to share this on my blog??  Well of course I do, why would I only share the feel good stuff most of the time.  That is not me being completely honest and I want to be totally honest on this journey, not only with those who take the time to read what I write but to also look back on someday.

So it just happens to be my time of the month, you know that time where we as women have no control over the up and down emotions, lack of energy, bloating.  Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.  Seriously I WISH men had to go through it a couple of times in their lifetime and child birth, feel like throwing that out there today too!

For myself after I had my IUD removed it seemed like somehow things weren't too bad for me.  I as terrified, I was not going back on birth control, before the IUD I had major cramping issues and expected to go right back to how I was before.  Shocking but I had no bloating (thankfully still don't) which was a normal thing for me, no cramps, minimal flow, I was so ok with that!  It has been almost a year since I had the IUD removed.

This month is different.  On Friday I wanted to cry the entire day, I really did, for no reason.  Friday nights lift was hard but I pushed through and was glad I did.  We all know how tough my weekend of workouts was and then my early morning workout yesterday, ay, yay, yay!!!!  Well now you all know the true reason why.  The flow hadn't started yet, that waited until last night.

I could barely get out of bed this morning, seriously.  It was one of those, ok check the hair, do I really need to wash it???  Nope.  GOOD.  Quick sprinkle shower, keeping the hair dry, giving myself about 15 minutes to get ready pack up my food and gym bag and head to work.

Today the flow is really bad, I had hoped my body fat was low enough that this month would be an easy month, nope.  Just to be clear I am in no way saying anyone should keep their body fat low to keep away their menstrual cycle or make it less.  It was though an honest thought in my mind, a hopeful one for myself.  My strength is completely depleted, I have zero energy, two mugs of coffee and still feeling so ick.

Thankfully for me I only feel this bad one day out of about five.  I'm hoping that stays true this week.  I am going to do the tabata elliptical workout on my lunch hour and not go to the gym tonight.  GASP!!!!!!!

I know, I know, I should just push through it, right?  Wrong.  Today is HEAVY leg day.  My body is screaming at me today, I can hear her and she is so very loud.  Letting me know that if I plan to squat and deadlift heavy this week, it is NOT going to happen tonight.  No matter how much pre workout I take, or BCAA's I drink up or carbs I eat today beforehand, it won't matter.

I am listening to my body, checked with my trainer and got the ok to "only" do the elliptical workout and add in legs tomorrow with shoulders or add back squats and deadlifts to my 2nd more "plyo" style leg day on Friday.

If I attempted the gym tonight I would be lowering my weights, not a huge issue, but for me personally not something I want to do.  I would feel disappointed, angry, emotional and even with David there with me it would be a sad, anger inducing evening.   

There you have it, not every day is happy lifting and feeling strong.  There are days where I feel like the weakest person, but I will admit that and be open about it because that is how I am.

So fitting for today, Love Your Body Challenge happens to be this:

I strive to be myself ever day, really focusing on that.  Trying very hard not to compare myself to others, I mean come on that is HARD, it really is.  Also sharing those days with you when I'm not my normal positive self.

Happy to be ME, to know myself well enough when I NEED a rest day, when my body needs that momentary break, yes even during competition prep.  I'm sure a lot of competitors wouldn't take a break, but I am me, right? :)

Here's to a rest day, after work I truly can see myself making up a quick dinner of egg whites and going to bed.  We need sleep for our muscles to recover and grow, so my plan for the day is a good one for ME.

Stay true to yourself, your goals and follow your own path.

Monday, March 24, 2014

7 Weeks...

Just seven weeks left to go, unbelievable!!!!

I was very happy Saturday, I am down one pound and one more percent body fat.  That puts me at 142 lbs and 13.2% body fat, woo hoo!!  The diet and added cardio are doing their job perfectly.

The weekend workouts were awesome, Kyle was with me Saturday and put me through quite the arm workout.  He had me doing all tricep exercises with drop sets to muscle failure, including half reps, it was INTENSE.

Sunday was abs and chest, Kyle again put me through an intense workout along with David.  We got our butts kicked!!!!  After that workout, a protein shake, a poptart and about 45 minutes of rest I did a four mile run outside.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed it!  It was nice to go for a relaxing run, even though it was cold and windy but thankfully for these temps I have the right gear so it wasn't bad at all, I was just proud of myself for doing it and not feeling like walking at all.

This week Kyle is figuring out exactly what he wants me to do for my trial run peak week starting Saturday.  I'm nervous and excited, it will be a tough week because I will be on lower carbs until Friday but still doing my normal workouts along with cardio.

This morning we were at the gym at 4:45, that was tough.  After the lifts Saturday and Sunday along with the run yesterday I was TIRED.  But I did well through the workout, went up in weight in some things, and Kyle was proud of me for pushing through like I did :)

It also helped towards the end when a guy came over to let us know that I was making all of the guys lifting look bad ;)  It really is insane how much the individual muscles become more visible the lower the body fat gets.  I know it all makes sense, but to actually see it while I am lifting is pretty awesome.

Here's to week seven, ready to blast through it!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Good Run & Love Your Body!

I realize I haven't been talking about my runs on here, I mean I do have a half marathon I am training for that will be three weeks after my competition, gotta train for that too!

Last weekend my long run was 3 miles, I did well, it was cold and windy, the trail I chose to run on was gravel.  With our weather lately it was frozen in some spots, there were bike tracks all over it for me to trip over, lots of muddy puddles, it was rough terrain!  I was proud of myself for doing it and not walking :)

Yesterday was a 2.5 mile run and I cut 52 seconds off of my mile splits!  I just felt really good and I think of my shorter runs differently than I do my long runs.  My long runs on the weekend are my "steady state cardio" days and my shorter runs are the days to kick it into high gear to burn more body fat.  I wanted to slow down at one point yesterday but I didn't, I told myself to keep going, the run wasn't very long and I knew I could do it!  I am by no means a fast distance runner, yesterday my mile pace was 9'18" per mile.  I would love to someday be running at an 8 minute per mile pace, it will happen :)

This weekend I have a four mile run on either Saturday or Sunday, at this point I plan them around the weather.  Which right now the high is 37 on Saturday and 32 on Sunday so I'll probably be trucking along sometime Saturday afternoon after weight training and posing in the morning.

Today for the "Love Your Body Challenge" it just hits home with me and I love it!

“My body is the perfect blend of masculine and feminine for me, and that feels good.”

We all know that I went through high school being embarrassed by my large, muscular legs.  I really WANTED a body like the ones I saw in the magazines.  The thin legs, small waist, perfect proportions, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get my body to look like that.  Well at the age of 32 I've finally realized that I am a well built woman, the "ideal" that is portrayed to young women everywhere is rarely attainable.  We do not walk around with our arms, legs, tummies, butts airbrushed to look smaller!  

I am so proud to be at a point in my life where I love my muscles but I also love to be very feminine.  Wearing a fun dress or leggings and a cute tank top are some of my favorite outfits.  So funny that in my life before now I would have never worn leggings, I just thought I couldn't pull them off.  My legs are one of the biggest things on me and I am finally, finally PROUD to show them off!  I have to admit at one point in my own personal journey I thought, what if I get too muscular?  Now I see how far I've come and I am the perfect blend of masculine and feminine in my opinion, which is the opinion that counts the most!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Funny Times At The Gym

There are so many different types of people that go to the gym I go to.  You have your group of older guys that have been lifting for years, they stick together and are very nice.  You have your usual gym barbies with their hair down, full make up on and loads of perfume, they prefer to make fun of gals like me.  The newbies who look a little scared and intimidated, or the newbies that have worked out somewhere else and act they are better than everyone else.  The younger kids who lift in groups of five to six, I could go on and on.

Last night I had a first time experience.  I've had Kyle and David both tell me about times that they have been lifting and had someone else come over to lift next to them doing the same exercise but with a heavier weight.  Kind of like a little competition and it always makes them laugh.

So Saturday when David and I were at the gym this big guy was getting a tour and they were over in the free weight area where we happened to be lifting.  The big guy was telling the owner of the gym that he needed at least 110 lb dumbbells.  David and I couldn't help but giggle, I mean maybe he would use them but I've never seen any of the big, ripped guys who can truly lift some SERIOUS weight using those.  He was just kind of a show off during the gym tour, it was funny and weird.  I knew he would be one of the newbies that worked out somewhere else and would act like he is better than everyone.

Back to last night.  I'm not huge by any means, I am 5' 6" and 143 pounds (although I think when I weigh in Saturday it will be lower).  I always joke about how small I am when I lift with David because he is so freaking tall, I feel like a tiny little thing next to him.

I was doing shoulder shrugs with a barbell and shrugging 135 pounds, 10 reps for 5 sets.  I LOVE shoulder shrugs, I just feel strong when I do them and I'm not gonna lie I like seeing the definition throughout my upper body when I do them.  I was by myself last night so I had my headphones in and music blasting, just in my own little world.

I realized that the big guy who had toured the gym on Saturday had gone to the rack close to the one I was in and he loaded up at least double the weight I was lifting and started doing shoulder shrugs.  I about died, it was so funny, even some of the other guys in that area noticed.  I kept my focus and continued doing my shrugs properly, fully lifting my shoulders and letting them down ALL THE WAY, nice and slow.  The big guy was barely moving his shoulders at an insanely fast pace and slamming the bar back on the rack.

Glad I could make him feel good about himself, that he can shrug more than me.  He better be able to lift more than me if he needs 110 lb dumbbells, I don't think I would even be able to pick one of those up!  It was a funny story to share with Kyle, now I know how silly it is when someone tries to show off by lifting heavier than you and improperly.

I got a nice compliment last night too.  I've gotten to know some of these daily lifters, I have to say most of the regular guys at our gym are super nice.  Some of them know I am starting to cut for the competition.  When I got done doing some drop sets of split handle pull downs one of them came over to tell me that he can see a big difference just from last week, that my back muscles are really popping out.  That was so nice to hear :)

Now just wait until I am under 10% body fat and you can see all of my muscles!  Seriously it is so much fun watching my body go through these changes and seeing what I can accomplish :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Posing With A Pro!

I am so, so excited right now!!!!!  I will be having posing practices with a pro!!!

At the after party after the Best of the Midwest competition we got to talk to the judges.  I talked with Dawn Zaruba quite a bit, got a lot of good feedback on what I really needed to focus on.  Growth, being more lean and posing.  I told her my plan was to compete in the Natural Iowa competition in May.  She let me know that I could reach out to her in March to talk about posing.

I'm horrible, just horrible about reaching out to people.  I don't know why, it is just the way I am.  For some reason I was a nervous wreck over it, but I finally decided to send her a message.  Well I know it is partly because I am a newbie in this industry, an "older" newbie.  No single person has made me feel like I have to prove anything to them, but with more than a year under my belt training and another competition coming up I AM a figure competitor.  I really am!  I guess years of talking about doing it and never following through, I had to prove to myself that I truly can do this.  My dream has come true with loads of hard work, LOTS of sweating, tears and changing my eating habits!

Kinda rambled there, anyway, she responded letting me know she will have some Saturday afternoons available that we can get together, yay!!!!

I am excited, nervous, but more excited than anything.  I can't wait to learn from her, especially on my back pose, that one is so difficult for me.  It is easy to flex up top but to flex all the way down the spine is so, so hard for me, I guess my leg flexing will need some work too.

I know I've grown tremendously and am leaning out more than I did before, I am looking forward to working with Dawn.

I am ready to start NOW! :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

8 Weeks & Fun Comparisons

Kyle was with us today and we did some posing, he took some photos. It is crazy the difference I can see in myself.  These photos are from 3 weeks pre competition in 2013 and 8 weeks pre competition in 2014.

I am blown away by the difference, no wonder my confidence is naturally higher. Makes me smile, seeing proof of all my hard work. Anxious to see the changes each week from here on out!

I wish in the last photo there weren't dark chairs and a poster behind me.  You can't see my very round butt!!!

Kyle is very thrilled with the results, I'm really looking forward to cutting over these next eight weeks.  I think the added runs are making a big difference.  My tummy area is the biggest difference, before I kind of had a soft spot over my lower abs even right at the competition.  This time I am pretty solid all over my ab area and plan on keeping that way :)

I had a great back workout this morning, I did not want to get up but I'm glad I did and thank you to Kyle for making me do it :)  I feel more energized and now I have tonight free, woo hoo!!!!

We're making a corned beef brisket, sauerkraut, cabbage and potatoes for dinner.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Good Trainer Vs. Bad Trainer

All right, its time to get REAL.

Anyone out there looking to get in shape with the help of a trainer, please, PLEASE do your research!!!!  I'm not just talking about competition training, anyone wanting to lose some weight and needing some guidance too, everyone must do their research.  Said trainer should be able to tell you what they are certified in to train, how long they have been training, testimonial from clients, heck even a college degree in exercise science or a related field (although that is just a HUGE bonus) most trainers simply go through an online program and are on their way.

I am not saying anything negative about trainers that get their certifications online, many of them are phenomenal trainers, they take it seriously and get all they can out of it.

I happen to be fortunate enough to have Kyle with his degree, he truly understands the human body.  I am living proof of that, oh man I can't wait for May to share the changes from October!!!

Here is an exchange with someone I know who happens to be a trainer.  I was disgusted by his initial post on FB and thought, how in the hell can any trainer possibly have this thought and post it on his training page???  How can any trainer possibly look down on a physique that is the epitome of perfection in the world of figure competing.  Her muscularity is out of this world, her leanness and shape, oh man I could go on and on!  The ridiculously fit woman he is referring to is Nicole Wilkins, three time Olympia figure champion.

Here is his post:
Dedication. ..or addiction? Sorry but she'll die early. Addict 

‪#‎throwbackthursday‬ Nearly 10yrs between these pics. It's cool to look back on all the work that was put in and to see how consistent dedication paid off.
Like ·  ·  · 15 hours ago · 
  • Nancy Hartwig-Hankemeier The first pic. looks much better.
    14 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Billie Meyer wow..second pic looks sick.
  • Stephanie Koch Griffin Personally I think she looks phenomenal. 10 years of hard work and dedication, she will love much longer than many that choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Also she doesn't always look like those photos, these are both from competitions and she does not maintain that look year round.
  • Trainer BIll Why is it that a large percentage of body builders die in their 50s? Not as healthy as one thinks
  • Stephanie Koch Griffin Nicole is a figure competitor, how many figure competitors have died in their 50's? I agree there are some competitors out there that are not the true definition of healthy when it comes to their bulking and competition prep. Eating a diet full of veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats is far from unhealthy. The ones eating under 1000 calories and doing two a days of cardio are usually the ones with really bad coaches and haven't done enough research themselves to know how to compete in the most healthy way possible.
  • Trainer BIll Well said Stephanie Griffin. There's such a fine line between healthy and addiction, when it comes to fitness competitors. I agree it's definitely very hard work and takes a very strong mind to do what you and Nicole do. You look amazing by the way!

Of course I notice a typo I made, should be live longer not love longer, LOL. But I guess if she lives longer then she will love longer too :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Haters - Still Loving Myself Regardless

There will always be people out there that don't understand what you are doing, they may not know what your goals are but they sure are fine with letting you know in their mind you shouldn't be doing what you are.

It surprises me, some of the looks I get at the gym from women, the comments I can hear them trying to whisper to each other so I won't hear.  Even more shocking is someone actually saying something to me.

Last night Kyle was able to go with me again and before I left work he sent me a message saying, "get ready for an as whooping!"  I knew it was going to be an intense workout, for the next 8 weeks all of my workouts will be intense.  I am trying to make my body lose most of its body fat, NO body wants that.  Our bodies want to stay fat and happy, they like having the fat to feed off of, therefore it is extremely hard to get that body fat percentage below 10%.

We started with abs, I'm not talking crunches, those are no more.  It was a series of burpees, planks, pikes, side stepping planks, hanging leg raises and hanging oblique raises.  I was sweating my ass off after just doing abs.  Then we began the shoulder workout, sadly I tweaked my left shoulder a little, so it wasn't quite as intense as we wanted.  I had a fire cupping massage on Tuesday night and I think my muscles were just blown away by complete relaxation and last night threw them for a loop ;)  We ended with drop sets of split handle pull downs and drop sets of single arm machine seated lateral raises.  My shoulders were on FIRE when we were done!  After that it was 30 minutes on the step mill for me, my stupid headphones died 10 minutes in.  I get so mad at myself, how hard is it to remember to charge them???  So I finished with no crazy Die Antwoord to keep me going, boo.

I got done, wiped down the machine, poor machine was covered in the sweat that was dripping off of me.  When I went into the locker room there was a woman in there that I have seen at the gym ever since I started working out there.  She is older, has her make up all done, her hair styled and covers herself with loads of perfume.  She says to me "Oh you poor thing, you look like they dumped a bucket of water on your head!"  I told her I sweat a lot, especially after I just killed an intense workout.  Her response was, "you shouldn't look like that after a workout."  I was nice and just turned my back to get my stuff out of my locker and she went out to the gym.

I was irritated to say the least.  How is that I get these mean mugging looks, hear the occasional whispers and now actually have someone say something like that to me.  If I was doing half ass workouts and keeping myself in the cardio area like most of the women at my gym, I'm sure they wouldn't say anything to me and maybe not even give me the looks.  

What is the problem with a very fit, muscular woman in the gym that knows what she is doing??  I get loads of "good job" from the guys, they are interested in the journey I am on and make me feel comfortable lifting the heavy weights right along with them.

As women we need to empower each other, support each other no matter what journey we are on.  I let that woman get me down for a moment, called Kyle afterwards and he of course made me feel better and reminded me that her opinion doesn't matter.  She is in the very small percentage of people that not only don't understand what I am working for but will openly show it along with showing a "disapproval" of it.

Today the Love Your Body Challenge mantra is "My body is strong, so am I, and I will no longer apologize for either of those truths."

How ironic for that to be today's challenge :)  I will continue on this amazing journey, continue finding out just how strong my body is and be PROUD of that.  I am strong enough to ignore those that don't understand, especially those that have no desire to try to understand.  Judge from afar as I conquer my goals and achieve my dreams, because they are MINE.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Killer Back Night

I lifted back on Monday and got to have Kyle there with me :) He pushed me to my limits and then past them. I was able to do three unassisted close grip pull ups, woo hoo!!  I had to do the rest assisted, but still I'm making progress.

I actually remembered the lifting straps, so proud of myself for that ;)  It felt amazing to do shoulder shrugs with 135 pounds and not lose my grip on the bar!  As I was doing them a guy came over to tell Kyle that I look like I could kick his ass :) Such a nice compliment, Kyle agreed ;)  

We really enjoyed the journey before the first competition but we are enjoying it even more now. I've learned so much from him and will continue to do so. Makes me feel proud when I can tell him to put more weight on the bar, progress, progress!

He took a little video of me doing low dumbbell rows for Carley.  You can see the muscles in my back, it makes me so excited for when I finish up cutting body fat and will be able to see the muscle growth I've worked so hard for!


Monday, March 10, 2014

9 Weeks!

I swear my "so many weeks" to go posts are coming up quicker and quicker!

I was a bit surprised when I weighed myself Saturday, I gained a pound, which isn't necessarily a bad thing especially when your body fat goes down, which mine did :)  It just means that pound I gained was a pound of muscle!

My parents got back last week from their long trip away to Arizona, they had been gone since mid January.  They said they can tell that I've grown since they left :)

I had a KILLER leg workout on Friday, Kyle went with me and whooped my butt.  He hasn't been having me do leg presses, well he added them in.  I started off light with high reps and was up to 375 at the heaviest weight at 8 reps.  Not too bad for my first time on the leg press in years :)

Yesterday my stupid tennis elbow really affected chest day.  I can't press higher than 35 pound dumbbells :(  I tried to do 40 pounds but my right arm gave out, so higher reps with the lower weight for chest press.  It is so, so frustrating, but at least it doesn't affect me quite as much on the chest fly.

The weather is finally much warmer this week and I'm looking forward to running OUTSIDE, woo hoo!!!!!!!!

Can't believe I only have nine weeks to go, no more big "cheats", I did enjoy some pizza yesterday.  Gotta keep the fat intake low from here on out and only get it from healthy sources, it's crunch time!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Love Your Body Challenge

Please check out this amazing blog by Molly Galbraith!  I stumbled upon it by chance and am ADDICTED!!!!  Right now she has this amazing 28 day challenge, it is phenomenal.

The outpouring of women who are participating and their honesty just blows me away.  There are so many great stories so far and I look forward to catching up on it every day.

This challenge really gets your mind working and I am excited to learn more about myself, my goals, even this journey I'm currently on throughout the next 28 days.

Today is about our existence being a miracle and what our own purpose and meaning in life is.  This is an answer that could change over time depending on life changes and challenges.  For me there was one answer, it will remain my answer for a long time because it is so, so very important to me.

"My life has purpose and meaning and that purpose is to teach my daughter to love herself, know her worth, know she can do anything she puts her mind to. Teach her that no matter what size or shape she is, that she is BEAUTIFUL. Growing up myself I was so hard on my body, my muscles were too big, the guys would tease me because I had “man” legs. I never want her to feel like there is something “wrong” with her, but to know that she is her own version of a beautiful human being. I am teaching her how to be strong and healthy, she loves it. I will fulfill my purpose and there will be another young woman in this world who is proud of who she is, always."

The changes in myself over the past year have been huge, I'm not talking about the changes to my body necessarily but mentally.  I've proven to myself how strong I am, that I can handle so, so much more than I gave myself credit for.  To follow my dream and still be a good mommy, wife, daughter, sister, friend, I CAN DO IT.  I really can :)

Bella still gets teased sometimes for her small size.  Two days ago she came home from school with and had to show us a big band-aid on her knee because a Kindergartner came up behind her, grabbed her and shoved her to the ground at recess.  As Bella is telling me this, I'm getting angry and having to remind myself to not say something like "did you push him back?".  This mom stuff is HARD, especially in this type of situation.

Bella was proud of herself because she didn't cry, she wouldn't cry.  Her friends ran and got a teacher.  Bella was taken to the nurse to get a band-aid for her knee and ice pack for her face.  The other child was taken to the Principal's office.  

When I asked Bella how she was, really, she said, "I'm fine mommy, I'm a strong girl and it hurt when I scraped my knee but it was barely bleeding."

She knows she is small but more importantly she knows that she is strong and in a situation like this she just moves forward like its nothing.  I pray that she continues to be this strong, confident little girl, I will do all I can to make sure that she does.

Life is about so much more when you have a child, yes we have our own individual goals, but in the end our goals reflect who we are and who we hope to help our children grow to be.  This world needs strong, independent, confident young women, Bella is one of them and always will be.

Tonight I'll get my usual send off before I head to the gym, "have a great workout mommy, I'm proud of you."  I am one lucky mommy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Leg Day, A Run, Ouchie

Last night was legs and a two mile run.

I am happy to say that I finally am able to squat my body weight!  145 pounds for a total of 30 reps, woo hoo!!!  I did my deadlifts with 125 pounds, I'm getting there :)  360 pounds for 90 reps on my calf raises on the leg press machine, felt like a beast ;)  Kyle had me drop down to 6-8 reps for everything so adding some weight is feeling GOOD!

After all that heavy lifting I ran two miles on the treadmill.  My legs were so TIRED, lungs felt good, but man my legs.  I ran slowly, 10:11 per mile, felt pretty good until I stopped to walk.  I felt that irritating pain on the back of your heel when your shoe rubs.  When I checked it out it was all bloody, skin was gone, stupid shoes.  So odd because the shoes I wear are ones I've worn to run before, getting some moleskin for my run tomorrow.

Showering was not fun, I even tried to hold my leg up so the soap wouldn't sting.  Sadly my leg was too damn tired for that and I just had to cringe through that sharp pain of soap stinging my "wound".  Bella was very helpful afterwards and gave me one of her Hello Kitty band-aids :)

Feeling pretty damn sore today, looking forward to my body getting used to the runs.  Don't get me wrong it is a good sore, like everything is tightening up all over, but I really need to add in some good stretching every day.  Should have added that to my calendar, at least some time for the foam roller!  Added now :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Buckle Down

I always do better when I am busy by writing down the important stuff on a calendar at work.  Not in my phone, I don't look at the calendar enough in there, sure I could set reminders but something about having it where I see it pretty much every day makes a difference for me.

With just under 10 weeks to go and adding the half marathon training I felt a huge need to write out my workouts on my March calendar.  Now I feel like the reality of how busy I will be is setting in.  Meaning no more excuses for early morning workouts, because two a days will require an early morning workout and an evening workout.

I have hopes that this damn weather will drastically improve quickly.  I want to be outside for my runs, lift in the morning and run or other cardio in the evening during the week.  We will see how my body fat does with the runs and other cardio, I may cut out HIIT training when I have sprints during the week instead of "easy" runs.

Nutrition is going well, changing it up a bit, there is no way I can eat just 2.2 pounds of green beans for dinner with my chicken, I'll be adding in sweet potato for the higher calories so I can eat less green beans and a lower volume of food.  That's right I said I need to eat LESS during contest prep, getting your calories from veggies means eating a large quantity of food!  I'm adding in rice cakes now for my post workout treat, gotta get my belly used to some rice again so there is no bloating if I choose to have that on contest day.

Now everything is much more real since it is written out on a calendar ;)  BRING IT.

Monday, March 3, 2014

10 Weeks

How are we at the 10 week mark already?!?

I thoroughly enjoyed my last "free" weekend.  I say "free" because I allowed myself to drink alcohol (Kinky and sparkling water), then I ate a cheeseburger and fries to absorb some of that alcohol.  No worries, my trainer was with me the entire time and he knows what I did ;)  The funny thing was when I woke up Sunday morning I was extremely lean!  Kyle was like, well maybe you should just get drunk the night before the competition and eat a cheeseburger.....he was kidding of course, mostly.  My peak week will be completely different this time around and probably will involve at least a glass of red wine and one cheeseburger the night before the competition.

I had so much fun celebrating Missy and Mindy's 30th birthday.  Sadly Missy couldn't be there, her husband has back issues and he injured himself last week, went to the hospital Friday, is still there and will be having back surgery tomorrow.  Please say a prayer for him for a safe surgery and speedy recovery!!!  Then it got snowy and the drive from Des Moines with Lyla would have been too much for Missy.

I had a great workout Saturday morning with David, then we went and got the location set up for the party.  I did wear my prom dress from my senior year :)  I have pictures but need to get them uploaded from my camera.  There may or may not have been drunk posing and t-walk practice when Mindy played "Applause", she even did my t-walk with me :)  

Obviously I know my body has changed with all of my hard work, I do see it and notice it, but when complete strangers are asking about you because they want to know who you are and what you do to be in such great shape, it is humbling, makes me feel awesome and have so much pride in myself.

Multiple people at the party that didn't know me had questions about how I am in such great shape.  I explained that I've been lifting six days a week for months and my current shape is thanks to over a year of heavy lifting, strict nutrition and cardio, all for a great purpose :)  I think some of them wanted to hear I took an easier route to be built like I am but there is honestly no "easy" route.

There are easier ways to lose weight obviously, but to get built up like I am right now, to have the definition I have, it takes so much work!  I enjoyed talking to people about my journey and even got asked to go to a different gym for cycling classes :)  I will be staying at the gym I'm at but it is nice to know I have free passes if I want to go somewhere else for a change.

I am feeling really good 10 weeks out.  I've mentioned before how hard it can be not to compare yourself to others you now who are competitors and where they are at with their conditioning.  I know a gal who said she is lean enough already for the May competition.  I thought, oh man, I have like 6%-7% body fat to lose.  I had to remind myself to NOT compare myself to her, we are built differently, we gain differently.  I'm giving myself my own advice I give Carley, we are each on our own journey and will come along at our own pace.

No more big cheats until the night after finals!  I've GOT this!!!!  Especially with delicious Quest bars, seriously they are the BEST protein bars I have ever had!!!!