Today I am 36

So at what age do birthdays no longer really matter?  Was it 31?  Yeah, 31 was the age when we stopped celebrating and started wishing we could turn back the clock.  We will celebrate again at 40 and 50, but really you just have a huge party to dull the pain of getting old.  #truth

To be honest, I kind of feel like I have always been in my 30s and never really lived out my younger years.  I don’t mind saying I am 36 but I would like my skin and metabolism to start acting like it was 26 again.  I leaped from teenager to adult my senior year in high school when I gave birth to my first son.  Now at 36 I am a mother of an 18 year old, 12 year old and 10 year old.  I am searching for colleges and planning a high school graduation while the rest of my friends are still changing diapers and stepping on Legos.

Overall I am pretty satisfied with where I am at in my life right now.  As I look back I guess I kind of took the express path to adulthood: At 17 I became a mother, at 21 I bought my first house, at 22 I met my husband, at 23 I had my second son, at 24 I was married and at age 25 I graduated from college and gave birth to my 3rd son.   The past 10 years have been a struggle with balancing career and family.  I worked full time in the pharmaceutical field in Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Technical Operations.  A year ago I started to feel hopeless and unsatisfied with my career and yearned to be home more with my family.  I followed my passion and became a personal trainer and Beachbody health coach.  I now work part time doing what I love and have much more time to get involved with my kids day to day activities.

So what is this birthday girl going to do today to celebrate?  Well, the usual.  Cook my boys breakfast, workout, work and then end the night with a steak dinner at our favorite local restaurant called The Chophouse.  I hope to get the new fitbit blaze for my birthday but that is just a wish.  My husband isn’t the best with following instructions, lol.

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Off Season Struggles

Well, it is official, I am in the off season and it has been over a month since my last competition.  My abs disappeared, cellulite is creeping back on my ass and I have a love/hate relationship with my body.  On a positive note, I am not “hangry” all the time and I have been able kill my workouts because I am not in a calorie deficit.  For those of you that don’t compete or are not familiar with the world of competitive body building this may all sound crazy to you.  For my fellow competitors, I am probably speaking your language.  My plan for the off season is to focus on building muscle, specifically in my back and legs, while maintaining my weight at about 10 lbs over stage weight.  I would like to come in even leaner next year so I do not want to put on more than 10 lbs.  I have a difficult time dropping 1-2 lbs per week during prep and hate, hate, hate cardio.

This off season is different than my other ones.  Before I didn’t really know what I wanted and I chose to compete again because I started to put on too much weight and missed the structure and control that I felt during prep.  This year I have goals, big goals.  I want to win a first overall and not just first in Master’s Division (35 and over).  I also really would like to compete in a larger show and in my home town of Grand Rapids.  Memorial Day weekend of 2017 is my plan.  That is the Grand Rapids show and it is big.  That gives me 6 months to start building and shaping my body to bring my best package to the stage.

Anyone want to join me?

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This is my front pose at the 2016 Great Lakes Iron Man.  I took 1st in Master’s Division and 3rd in Open at this show. 

Bikini Competitor Chocolate Fudge

Yes, you read the title correctly.  Chocolate fudge that is bikini competitor approved (well, when I am more than 8 weeks from a show).  I found this recipe on teambeachbody.com and modified it a little.  They called it brownies but they came out more like fudge.  Ooeey, gooey and delicious!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 extra ripe banana
  • 6 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 2 scoops chocolate shakeology

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Instructions:

  1. Mash banana until creamy
  2. Mix in peanut butter, cocoa and shakeology and mix until dough-like consistency
  3. Spread in a 9X9 pan lined with wax paper
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more
  5. Cut into 12 pieces of fudge and enjoy!

 

Nutritional Facts (per piece of fudge):

90 Calories, 5g Fat, 8g Carbs, 5g Protein

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Diary of a Bikini Competitor

For those of you that follow me on Facebook at See Mom Lift  you are more than aware that I recently competed in two NPC competitions.  The first was the Great Lakes Iron Man in Flint MI on September 24th and the second was the Central States Championships on October 8th.  I am now officially in my off season and do not plan to compete again until the spring of 2017.

Now that it has been a couple weeks since my final show, and all of the stress of competing and starting a new job the Monday after my show has worn off, I thought it was a good time to blog a bit and catch everyone up.

Let’s first talk about the prep.  How long does it take to get “stage ready”?  I get asked this a lot and my total prep is approximately 12 weeks.  I lost a total of 10 lbs in this time and maintained my muscle mass.  If you have a large amount of weight to lose and you are not already weightlifting regularly then 12 weeks really would not be enough.  This was not a weight loss competition, it was a fitness competition. Skinny girls don’t place well.  (They don’t look that good either)

On that note, let’s talk about the workouts.  Many people assume I spend hours in the gym each day to achieve the lean physique when actually most of my time is spent in the kitchen prepping my meals.  The workouts consisted of weight training 5 days per week and cardio 5 days per week.  Total time in the gym ranged from 1- 1.5 hours with cardio included.  The weight training was not small 3 lb dumbbells that most of us have on our bedroom floor or cheap resistance bands.  I used barbells and squat racks.  I trained legs 2-3 times per week and squat more than my body weight.  Sorry ladies, if you want a tight ass you are going to have to squat.

The nutrition is the most difficult part and the most important.  This is where most people fail.  I cut out all processed foods, protein bars, etc and at whole, natural foods.  My main sources of protein were chicken, white fish, turkey and whey protein powder.  My complex carbs consisted of oatmeal, plain rice cakes, brown rice and sweet potatoes.  I took fish oil to get in my fat and at green veggies with 5 of my 6 meals each day.  Spinach was on my plate for almost every meal.  The last four weeks I cut out all fruit, tomatoes, corn and carrots.  This was to eliminate sugar from my diet and shred the last bit of fat from the back of my legs.

A typically day was 5- 6 meals and looked like this (insert coffee between each meal):

Meal 1: Plain Oatmeal with 4 egg whites sweetened with stevia and cinnamon

Meal 2: 4 oz grilled chicken, 1 cup broccoli and 125g sweet potato

Meal 3: 4 oz grilled chicken, 1 cup broccoli and 125g sweet potato

Meal 4: 4 oz ground turkey over 2 cups mixed greens

Meal 5: 4 oz ground turkey, 1 cup asparagus over mixed greens

Meal 6: 1 scoop casien protein powder, 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter, stevia, cinnamon, mixed with water until dough like consistency.

I seasoned my meat and veggies with onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and a lot of Mrs. Dash.  I used Sea Salt until the last week of prep.  I used balsamic vinegar as my dressing and avoided oils and fats.  No dairy, no bread, no variety. (yes, it sucks.  If it were easy we all would be fit and healthy and not overweight).

Overall I was very happy with the total package I brought to the stage.  I have competed 4 times now and my goal is to simple improve on the girl I was in the previous show.  My upper body tends to get shredded before my lower body and I the feedback I received from my very first show was to lean out my lower body to match my upper body.  I have slowly been working on balancing my overall physique.  I received great feedback from the judges this time around and will be working on building up some more muscle this off season and hopefully bring my best package ever in the spring.  I placed very well in both shows and have qualified for nationals if I choose to compete at that level.  My overall goal is to win a 1st overall.  I don’t think I will stop until that is achieved.

Here are some photos from the shows.  Most of the comparison and judging occurs during the day show called pre-judging.  The awards are given at night.  Thank you to stagetimephoto.com for the great photos!  If you want to follow any of the Michigan competitions go to http://michigannpcnews.com/.   If you need competition prep help or want to attend a posing workshop check out Elite Fit Center.   Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as See Mom Lift.

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This line-up is Open Class B (all ages and levels). I placed 3rd in this class and qualified for nationals. 

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Open Class B back pose.  I placed 3rd in this class. 

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This is the Master’s Division (35 and up) and I placed 1st

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Master’s Division Back Pose at pre-judging.  I placed 1st. 

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This is from the second show in October. 

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This is the Master’s Division (35 and over) and it was a tough competition.  So many strong, beautiful and confident women on stage.  I made tons of new friends. 

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Master’s Division pre-judging.  I placed 2nd in this division.  

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Open class B.  I was absolutely thrilled to be in the top 5 with these young beautiful ladies.  I placed 5th in this class. 

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Top 5 from Open (all ages and levels) class B

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Master’s Top 5, I placed 2nd. 

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Open Class B top 5, I placed 5th. 

Diary of Figure Competitor – Great Blog

There are a lot of questions regarding what it takes to be a figure or bikini competitor. This blogger did a wonderful job summerizing the diary of a successful figure competitor. Jackie is a friend of mine and someone I strongly admire. She is hardworking, strong, dedicated to health and fitness and shares her passion with others by being an amazing personal trainer.

Check out this great blog post!

 

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http://www.mvpsportsclubs.com/blog/2016/03/15/diary-of-a-figure-competitor/

One Week Out! 

It’s go time!  I am officially one week from my first of two fall shows. This one is special to me because this time last year I competed for the very first time. I was scared, uncomfortable and so very overwhelmed. I placed well but was a nervous freak on stage who lacked confidence. I came back and competed again in the spring and brought home a 1st place in the Master’s Division (35 and up).  I took 3rd overall and decided I wasn’t satisfied with that.  I recharged, refocused and set my goals higher.

In 7 days I will step out on the same stage that scared the shit out of me 1 year prior with confidence and poise. I will beat her and that girl is myself. 


Low Carb Pre-Workout Shake

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!

 

Nutrition Facts: 

226 Calories, 35g Protein, 5g Fat and 11g Carbs