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!