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!