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!

Monday, August 25, 2014

ON Gold Standard 100% Casein Review - Strawberry Cream

I already know that I really like this protein, but this is a flavor I hadn't tried yet.

OMG, it is so, so YUMMY!!!!  I only used 8 oz of almond milk, mixed it up and thought my shaker felt funny.  Not much liquid moving around in there and it felt heavy.  So I go to take a drink and holy thickness!

I read the package and you should use 10-12 oz of liquid, oops.  I will say it was like enjoying a super yummy strawberry milkshake.  Love, love, love this flavor!!!!

Now I need donations so I can afford to buy all these flavors of protein I'm trying out ;)

Holy Hot Volleyball & So Much More

Summer in Iowa has been strange this year, not that I'm complaining.  The heat hasn't been too horrible until about a week ago.  Sunday night volleyball has been awesome with the weather, last night was not so awesome.

It was damn HOT!!!!!  105 with the heat index.  I knew it would be a rough night and took along 32 oz of Muscle Pharm Amino One, 32 oz. Powerade and had water along with it.  After the first game of doubles, for the first time in a LONG time I was having issues.  I could not stay hydrated, I was covered in goosebumps and my heart rate was ridiculous.  I made it through and we won all three of our doubles games and then went on to win all three of our four's games!  It was good, hot, sweaty night :)

I've also started playing on Tuesday nights with another team and got asked to play in an indoor league this winter!  I was so pumped, I really can't wait.  It has been years since I've played indoor, I'm sure it will take a little getting used to but finally no break in volleyball I get to be a year round player :)

During volleyball Kyle was wonderful and cooked up five pounds of chicken for me.  I weighed it all out in separate containers and have it ready to go for the week.  My meal plan has been made, my workouts are set, now to GET MY BUTT UP at 4:30 tomorrow morning!!!

Kyle is gone this week training so our schedule is changed.  My plan is to hit the gym at 4:30, get Bella up when I get home so we can both get ready for our days, get her to school for the before school program and get my butt to work.  That way I'm free in the evenings and I am so happy that she loves going to Volley's and "watching" me play, rather she loves playing on their play equipment or just building sand castles :)  In my head it will all work out perfectly, we'll see how it really goes ;)

My reward, well really our reward, for truly getting back on track with all of my workouts so early in the morning by myself will be a new pair of headphones.  I had gotten some wireless ones before and well, we all know I am THE sweatiest girl around and they are having some issues that I can only blame on them getting wet from sweat.  Gross I know, but I have to be honest, larger headphones that are wireless do NOT do well with lots of sweat!

There is something in it for Kyle too though, he will also get a new pair of headphones.  Kohl's happens to have some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain America ones, so he wants one of those of course.  I have my sites set on some purple iHome headphones.

So much is happening in our lives, I'm a tad bit overwhelmed with all of the good, so very thankful for it and still having to pinch myself to make sure it is real.  My personal goals have become so much more, I have a lot to work extremely hard for and prove myself worthy of a great opportunity.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Things Happen For A Reason...

Throughout our lives we are told that things happen for a reason.  I have had instances in my life where that has been very true.  Until this moment though there hasn't been a time where that has happened and it truly makes perfect sense.  Like the stars in the universe finally aligned perfectly for an ideal circumstance to happen for my family.

Why am I writing about this on my figure competition blog?  Well who knew that a big change and opportunity for Kyle could in turn become a very big opportunity for me and my future in competing!

Kyle started a new job and the funny thing is he wasn't necessarily searching super hard for something but this one caught his eye.  After weeks of interviewing, background check he got an offer to be the new manager at a nutrition store in Cedar Rapids.  Once his training is completed and he takes over the store I will happily share which company he works for.

We were over the moon excited, things have been rough and taken their toll on all of us.  For me, as I've discussed before, I have just been really "off" and have been needing some sort of kick in the ass to get back on track.  Stress has been at very high levels and I can admit that I let it take me over.

Last night Kyle let me know he had some news for me other than the fact that he got the job, he hadn't wanted to tell me and get my hopes up until he had the job for sure.  When Kyle interviewed he told them about training me and showed them some of my competition photos.

This led to discussion of their company sponsoring me!!!!  Not set up yet, but the possibility is high!!!!  Talk about a kick in the ass to get me back on track and showing them the kind of athlete I really am :)  How insane, I really have a chance at becoming a sponsored athlete, EEECK!!!!!!!!

I guess we really needed to go through our struggles, learn that we really can get through anything together and that things really do happen for a reason :)

Here's to working hard, making gains and having an incredible competition season in 2015!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Getting Back In The Groove

Last night I was planning on possibly going to the gym with David.  He did cardio during the day though and ended up not going.  It was my perfect excuse to say I wouldn't go, I was tired, it was a rough day, I would be going alone.  Excuses kept running through my mind and I said them to Kyle and he told me to just go because it would be good for me.

It worked out because David lifted legs on Monday and we were going to do arms last night, but I did want to get back to lifting legs on Tuesdays.  So last night I lifted legs!

I felt good as I listened to Rob Zombie blaring in my ears while I did deadlifts, standing calf raises, back squats, step ups, front squats and seated calf raises.  I had two more exercises to do but my legs were shot, the squats really killed me.  I had to go down in weight, gotta work my way back up to the heavier weights.

As I was sweating my ass off and pushing through my reps I felt better and better.  It did me a lot of good to be there by myself with my music and my thoughts.  I have so much work to do and I truly finally feel ready for it.

So many factors in life that we have zero control over affect us.  I have to keep reminding myself that it is up to me how I handle each situation.  Lately I've been horrible about handling anything and kind of lost myself through it all.

Time to take things one day at a time and to make sure in each day that I give some time to myself.  Today I plan on going for a run in the rainy 70 degree weather, perfect day for it.  Then possibly lifting arms tonight with David :)