For those of you that have only known me for a few years you may not know this, but I have not always been healthy and fit. I was actually the complete opposite. I ran my first mile (not a typo, my first 1 mile) when I was 30 years old. My weight has always been like a yo yo and I’ve only been thin when I was able to eat less. I never liked my body and had a unhealthy relationship with food.
So how did I change my life around?
Today’s blog is dedicated to my friend and coach Omar Henderson with NuGro Wellness. I met him six years ago when my cousin mentioned she almost puked at a boot camp class the night before but was planning on going back. The trainer was running a 21 day challenge for $50 that include attending unlimited classes and a 21 day meal plan. I dreamed of having a great body and being confident in a swim suit and was sick of being unhappy. I went to class the next night , almost died and signed up for the challenge. I will never forget my hands shaking from the workout while I wrote the check.
I was added to a Facebook team of women on the same journey, assigned a coach, given a 21 day clean eating meal plan and attacked the challenge. Holy shit! In just 1 week I saw changes and by the end of 3 weeks I was a new women. My jeans were large (even after my husband put them in the dryer), I had more energy and I was addicted to the results. 6 years later I am a personal trainer, Beachbody Coach and competitive bodybuilder. I love what I do and sharing my passion with others!
Omar’s gym has changed locations, I moved to the other side of town and I do most of my own training; however I always fall back to him for guidance. He was my coach for my very first competition and took me somewhere I thought only others could go. Three years later he guided me to the stage again and I couldn’t be more grateful. We worked together as a team on this prep and he gave sound recommendations when I was crazy and carb depleted. Although I hid it well on stage, I was scared and insecure. I stood backstage second guessing my physique and posing. He was there to build me up, provide me guidance and make the final tweaks to my posing. I hit the stage with confidence and sass and I crushed it.
Whatever your goal is, don’t go at it alone. Two is much stronger than one. Will I compete again? I’m not sure, but one thing I do know is that it won’t be on my own.
Today is my low carb day where I only eat complex carbs with one meal. Well, I already ate that for breakfast and now I am off to the gym to build up my hamstrings. I need an energy boost and some protein to feed my muscles. Today I created a yummy low carb pre-workout shake that was worth sharing.
What you need:
8 oz water or unsweetened almond or cashew milk ( I used water becasue I am out of milk)
8 oz unsweetened cold brewed coffee (or left over cold coffee)
3 tbsp powdered peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop Whey Isolate Protein powder (I used snickerdoodle but you could use vanilla or chocoalte)
1 cup baby spinach
1-3 packets of stevia
3-5 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to blender and mix well. Enjoy!
So I have only 17 days until the first of my two fall competitions (but who’s counting). I was feeling a little frustrated with the lack of weight loss and getting discouraged but today I finally saw the results I was looking for. My weight is still only down about 6 lbs from where I started but my body is much leaner. Today I put my competition suit on and practiced my posing. Posing is something I will practice daily from now until my show and is more important than people would think. The judges are looking for the whole package and poor stage presentation will prevent you from placing in top 5. Although I practiced a lot last year my nerves took over my first show and my stage presence lacked confidence. I rocked my second show and felt like a whole new woman on that stage. This one is going to be even better. My new coach tweaked my front pose a little and I’m ready to present my best package yet.
Although things are coming together physically, don’t be fooled by the title of this post. I still lose my shit a few times a day and don’t handle any stress well. My tank is running on empty and my % body fat is dropping below a healthy level for me. Basically my hormones are a little wacky and I’m acting f*cking nuts. My kids just stay out of my way after 7pm when my energy drops and mood swings kick in. I finding it easier now that they are back in school and I can get my work done during the day. I’m typing this blog while sitting at my middle son’s football scrimmage.
My diet is the same as my last blog with lots of lean protein and greens. I’ve been satisfying my sweet tooth with decaf coffee and stevia after almost every meal. Cucumbers have been my saving grace. I eat a whole one seasoned with Mrs. Dash and garlic powder twice daily. This keeps me full and prevents over eating at meals. They also help a ton with regularity.
This is a typical meal on my lower carb days. If I do add carbs it is tyipcally sweet potato or a plain rice cake.
Although there is less than a 10 lb difference in the scale I am pleased with the changes I can see
Here are my strippers shoes that are required for show day. Now you can see why I practice daily.
To stay full I eat most of my food over a huge bed of spinach.
Just another day in the kitchen prepping my greens and egg whites
I am officially 3 full weeks into my competition prep and finally seeing some physical changes. My total weight loss is 4lbs and I have have lost some inches in the waist and thighs. I do weekly check-ins with my coach and do not weigh myself daily. The goal is to lose body fat and not muscle so I only shoot to lose 1.5 – 3lbs per week. So far I am on track and loving the results. This prep is different from my last two because I switched coaches. The main difference is the diet and amount of cardio I am doing. I love, love, love food and prefer variety. This plan is slowly cutting all my variety out and I will eventually be eating the same thing every day. It also has me doing five 45 minute cardio sessions per week and I hate cardio. Good thing Beachbody just release Country Heat and I can get my cardio in by dancing! I am okay with the changes though because my goal is to beat the person I was before and come in leaner and stronger. To do that you have to step it up a notch and challenge yourself. You cannot spell CHALLENGE without CHANGE.
The past week has been a little bit challenging with the diet because we have been traveling. I spend 3 days in Indianapolis for my son’s AAU basketball tournament and had to watch my boys eat out each night. I packed most of my food and traveled with a huge cooler. We booked a hotel that had a gym and continental breakfast. I went with plain oatmeal and a scoop of protein powder each morning. Currently I am in Nashville for the annual Beachbody Summit. My friend that I am traveling with is also in competition prep so we packed a huge cooker of cut up veggies for the road trip and did short workouts at each rest stop along the way. (I will post links below!) Yesterday we hit up Whole Foods and stocked up on healthy groceries. I brought half of my meals with me and had my yummy pumpkin protein pancakes for breakfast the last two days. The condo has an amazing gym and this trip is going pretty well. We walked a lot, went shopping, had pool time, etc. No alcohol or partying on Broadway for us.
Here is my 3 week transformation photos and some links to all the quick workouts we did on the road trip!
3 weeks of prep and down 4lbs. Camera angle was a little off but I am liking the reduction in my waist and thighs.
It’s official, I am preparing for my third bikini competition. Monday was the official start day and I’m not going lie, I was kind of dreading it. We had a great 4th of July weekend on our new boat and I enjoyed the freedom of snacking and having a cocktail. I laid awake Sunday night thinking about all the things I had to give up. No more eating out with the family, no more red wine with dinner, no more cocktails on the river, no more snacks in between meals, no more variety, and the list goes on. I’m working with a new trainer for this show and the nutrition plan is a lot less flexible. I made this decision because I wanted to take my body to the next level and see how far I can go on stage. I was very excited to get started initially but as Monday got closer I kind of started feeling a heavy weight on my chest. I only focused on all the things I couldn’t have.
Well, Monday came and Monday went. I successfully killed my workout and stuck to my nutrition plan. Tuesday came and went. I exceeded my calorie intake by about 200 but my macros weren’t too far off so overall I’ll call it a win. I also killed a double workout. Wednesday morning came and I jumped up out of bed at 3:53 AM before my 4:10 AM alarm. I had energy and I was excited it to start my day with a 5 AM workout. At the gym I killed legs with a friend and they did an hour of spin. I was filled with energy and powered through the whole class dripping in sweat.
It only took three days for me to remember why I do this over and over. Removing all the crap from my diet and structuring the timing of my food around my workouts does wonderful things to me both physically and mentally. I have already noticed changes in my body on the outside but more importantly on the inside. My arms are more defined, my stomach is flatter, I have more energy, I am sleeping much better and not waking during the night, my digestion is more regular, and the list goes on.
My perspective has done 180 degree switch since Sunday. Instead of focusing on everything I have to give up I am start looking at all the things I have to gain. I’ve gained more energy, better sleep, leaner body, and more confidence. I am finishing date three of my 12 week plan and I am so excited to see what is to come. I close my eyes at night feeling strong and accomplished and I do not lay in bed worrying about things I have to lose. I look forward to each day in the new things I have to gain. I set a goal and I have every intention of completing it.
This is me in the off season. I continue to workout regularly just like competition prep but my diet is not as restrictive. I am 10-15lbs over stage weight. My current weight is 148 and I am 5’6″.
Some days I just want to have my cake and eat it to. Today was that day. I woke up and decided I wanted to eat cake for breakfast. Why not, it is FRIDAY! I am 15 weeks out from my 3rd NPC Bikini competition and starting to dial in my nutrition. Basically, I can’t eat real cake anymore so I improvised. I did some research online and found a few protein mug cake recipes. I have saved many of them on Pinterest, but to be honest, I never really made one. I thought it was too good to be true. A healthy cake that takes only a few minutes to make? Yeah, that probably can’t taste very good. Well, I was wrong, way wrong (just don’t tell my husband I admitted to being wrong).
So here is what you need to enjoy some cake on this beautiful June morning!
1 scoop chocolate Shakeology
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
2 packets of stevia
2-3 tbsp of unsweetened almond or cashew milk
1/4 cup blueberries (optional)
Mix shakeology, baking powder, salt and stevia in coffee mug.
Add egg and mix well (it now tastes like thick brownie batter).
Add milk and mix well.
Dump blueberries into mixer and press to bottom.
Microwave for 90 seconds
Hot and fresh out of microwave
1 whole cake is only 255 Calories, 7g fat, 22g carbs, and 23g protein!
This past Memorial day weekend we traveled to Cape Cod to watch my beautiful sister-in-law get married on the beach. For three nights we shared a seven bedroom house with family and friends and for one night we stayed at a hotel in Boston that had a gym. Although I did indulge on some delicious food and cocktails, overall I stayed on track with my workouts and healthy nutrition 60% of the time (breakfast and lunch). The house did not have a gym or any workout equipment so luckily I was able to stream my Beachbody on demand from my mobile device and listen with my wireless headphones. This allowed me to stay on track with most of my 22 hard-core program. I created a little extra 10 minute power burn circuit workout to top off a couple days . I got some additional cardio in by running on the beach. I’m not a huge fan of running but if you give me a beach I can run for miles.
Here are acouple video clips of some quick and effective workouts you can do from anywhere. If you want to know more about streaming hundreds of beachbody workouts from your mobile device just message me with your questions or post it in the comments.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Consult your physician before starting an exercise program.
Do you want to learn more about my monthly challenge groups I lead? Fill out the form below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org