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.
Well it’s over, my competition that is. It’s the morning after and I can’t sleep so why not walk on the treadmill and blog about it? (I did eat way to much chocolate yesterday and could use the cardio)
So yesterday I competed in The Michigan State Natural Bodybuilding Championship through the NANBF. My previous 4 competitions were through the NPC (separate organization). Since I’ve competed before and placed first in my division (Masters) I was only allowed to compete in the Open class for the competition and not Novice. 1st place in this class wins a pro-card in the natural league and is kind of a big deal. Honestly, going into the show I wasn’t confident with where my physique was at. I struggled with weight loss through this whole process and could not lose the extra weight around my midsection. When I found out that there were only six other competitors in my division I was a little worried that there would be strong competition but when I saw all the strong and beautiful women backstage I knew it was a great competition. All six of us looked fabulous and fought for that trophy. I ended up taking third overall and then won the best female posing award. I feel very comfortable with my placing based on the package I brought to the stage and know that 1st overall is just within reach. Winning overall poser shows how far I have came with my stage presence and confidence. Although after the show I found myself feeling slightly down and out I woke up with a much better outlook. Going into this show my only goal was to beat the girl I was last year on stage and nobody else. I crushed my goal! I brought a whole new confident woman to that stage and left last year’s Nicole in the dust. Will I compete again? I honestly don’t know. Today the competition is fresh and I’m hungry for the win but in reality, the stress of prep isn’t something my body or family can handle back to back. I was over impressed with this competition and might just plan to come back next year and go for gold. Now it’s time to hit the gym and putting all those calories to building up my glutes!
If you are curious about my coaching I did hire help. I am a personal trainer and confident in coaching others but you are your own worst critic. I’ve always had a coach and will never go at this alone. For this prep my coach was my friend and the man that helped me transform my lifestyle 6 years ago when I attended his boot camp class and almost died. He watched me go from not being able to run 400 yards without puffing on an inhaler to the strong woman I am today. He has his own gym here in the Grand Rapids area and promotes overall health and wellness. You can check him out on Facebook and Instagram@NugroWellness .
If you would’ve asked me how I felt about my upcoming competition 4 weeks ago I would’ve had a negative response. I was feeling discouraged and I was not happy with my progress. Instead of quitting I decided to change the plan but not the goal. We made some pretty drastic changes to my macro nutrient intake and I brought the focus every day to my strength workouts and cardio. Four weeks later I couldn’t be happier with my progress pics and I am beyond excited to push myself even harder the next four weeks. I have three more full weeks of working out in the gym until peak week. There’s only one month between these photos. I cannot wait to see what one more month will do before I hit the stage. Happy Monday friends! Today I am feeling good and I am working one day at a time toward my goal.
Alright fellow competitors and friends looking for a quick and easy macro friendly breakfast bake, here you go! As my competition approaches my macros decrease and I need to be very strategic with each meal. If I don’t balance my macros between 5 meals I run out at about 2pm and that creates a hangry monster (just ask my kids).
I normally make protein muffins but last night I didn’t feel like creating a recipe in myfitnesspal or cleaning the damn muffin tins so I made a breakfast bake that spits evenly into 4 servings.
Here is what you need:
Round baking dish
1 cup muscleegg in Chocolate Carmel (you can use liquid egg whites but I can’t guarantee it will taste as good)
3 scoops GNC Amplified chocolate Whey
1 can pure pumpkin
1 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp cocoa
Stevia to taste
1 tsp backing soda
Macros: I used myfitnesspal to enter the ingredients and put 1/4 as serving. 25g protein, 25g carbs and less than 2 g fat!!
Mix all ingredients together, pour in baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray, bake at 350 until done in middle. (About 40 min)
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?
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.
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.
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″.