When it comes to body image and my emotional state I’m pretty much like a roller coaster. Before the holidays I was going strong and feeling good about where I was physically. We took an extended 12 day vacation to Florida where I still exercised (mostly cardio and body weight stuff) but I allowed myself a break in my diet. Unfortunately because my body is not used to drinking alcohol continuous days in a row or skipping weight training workouts, all those extra calories immediately went to my back and waist. Nothing puts you in a bad mood like back fat hanging over you Lulu tights! Thank God for high waisted tights to hold in my pouch. So here I am 10 days after returning from vacation and I woke up feeling f*cking awesome finally! Because I noticed the weight gain while I was on vacation I immediately decided I would give up alcohol New Year’s Day and I did. New Year’s eve was the last time I had a glass of wine. I cleaned up my diet for the most part but still indulged in a few sweet treats here and there. When I returned home from Florida I came down with a horrible cold which kept me out of the gym for a few days and made getting back into my routine a bitch. My cold has lifted for the most part, I stayed within my macros the past 4 days and I trained with weights consistently. Guess what happened?!?! My belly fat has decreased and I’m slowly reducing the amount of hangover on my tight ass pants! Do I look amazing? No. Does the fact that I see progress in the right direction make me feel amazing? Hell yes! Sometimes you just need to celebrate small progress recognizing that small progress is still progress. Never quit because of small progress. Keep pushing and the results will come slow and steady. It will be worth it!!
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.
All right, I am five weeks out from my competition and the scale finally started moving. Last time I blogged I was frustrated because I just wasn’t seeing results and the fat was not leaving my body. I’m not saying things are going great but I did finally drop some weight and I’m seeing much more definition. The weight I am at now is still much higher than my previous competitions but that could have to do with the change in my body composition and all of the weightlifting I’ve done in the off-season.
The struggles I’ve had the past week have been pretty real. We lowered my complex carbs to only 75 g per day with one refeed and one lower carb day when I rest. I feel great in the morning and have tons of energy and my mood is positive. At about 4 PM I lose my shit. This is no joke, I literally lose it on anyone that walks near me. If you don’t want to bitchy response don’t call or text me after 4 PM. I’ve been rude to my father-in-law, my kids and husband (daily), and even my husband’s friend who was being nice and offering us a treadmill for sale. Hopefully they read my blog because I was too bitchy to even apologize. Carbs are in essential nutrient that provide your body with fuel and affect your brain function. When you deplete them you don’t just have low-energy it affects your mood, your focus and much much more. I do not recommend low-carb diet for any of my clients unless they’re looking to compete in we are in the final stretch and in need to really tap into fat storage. Your body can burn fat while you eat carbs, I’m just in a very tight timeline.
My overall calorie consumption is on average less than 1300 cal a day. I’m lifting daily with weights and then doing about 45 minutes of a steady state cardio. I don’t have much energy to do high-intensity training and I burn out quickly. Some days I have fun at the gym other days it feels like a total chore and I hate every minute. I found that it’s best if I work out before 1 PM otherwise I have zero energy and my mood sucks.
Although my mood isn’t very enjoyable my kids fully support me and watch every damn thing I put my mouth. I took a bite of an apple the other day and Bryson asked “um, are you allowed to eat fruit?” My oldest came home from college and even went to the gym with me to train back. I think he got a little irritated with all of my instructions I was giving on the proper way to lift so I will try to bite my tongue next time. (Heaven forbid his mom who is a personal trainer gives instruction on proper form).
My goal this week is to order my new suit and lose another 1 to 2 pounds. I’ve consistently lost at least a pound over the last three weeks and want to keep that going in the right direction. When you’re trying to maintain muscle while losing fat it’s healthy to lose 1 to 3 pounds a week but nothing more. I’m consistently losing 1 to 1 1/2 pounds a week. For my suit I am switching colors this year and debating between a deep emerald green or a black with colored crystals. It takes about 3 1/2 weeks to get your custom suit so I need to order it this week. I’ve also started tanning so that my butt isn’t super pale. Even with the spray tan if you have white butt cheeks it shows through.
I am not a competitor that stays show lean all year and I still have a lot of work to do over the next 5 weeks.
So I am less than eight weeks out from my next competition and I am not feeling ready at all. I went into this prep with confidence and excitement and after four weeks of dieting I am not seeing the results I had expected. The scale hasn’t really moved at all and I’ve only lost a few inches. I’ve compared my eight week out photos this year to the ones I took last year and I am noticeably larger. I know that I put on muscle this past 12 months but I’m still not as lean as I feel I need to be eight weeks out from the show. The first time I ever prepped for a physique competition was over two years ago, and to be honest, the weight-loss part seemed almost too easy. I followed the macro plan, executed my workouts and the pounds seemed to shed off. They actually came off so quickly that my trainer had me do a show earlier then we originally planned for. My second show was a 12 week prep, it went smoothly, I took first in my class and felt amazing on stage. For my third and fourth shows I switched to a different trainer to learn another approach and experience a new challenge and came in even leaner yet. We cut my carbs a lot sooner than previous preps and added more cardio, which brought my lower body to the leanest it has ever been and gave me a more balanced look. My plan for this show was to take all that I’ve learned from the last four shows and formulate a perfect plan for me. The problem is, I have grown older, my body has adjusted to this lifestyle and things just simply don’t always go as planned. There was about 24 hours where I contemplated calling it quits. I realized that this was not something I was willing to do because when I set off to accomplish a goal, and go public about that goal, I am the last person to back down. I also want to set an example for my children and show them even when things don’t go as planned you never quit, you adjust the plan, but never the goal. Quitting is not an option.
For those of you interested in what my plan consist of I am lifting weights six days a week, doing 45 minutes of steady state cardio five days per week on either a stairmaster or incline treadmill at 8.0 or higher, eating 120 g of protein, 34 g of fat and now carb cycling between 125g carbs, 100 carbs and 75 carbs on my rest day. My total calories started around 1600 but currently are below 1300. This is my fifth competition prep and all five have been different. Do not read my macros and set yours to be the same. Everyone’s body is different, everyone’s metabolism is different and no two competitors should follow the exact same plan.
Another thing I did this competition prep that is probably made me dislike my progress pics more is that I have put on a competition suit for my progress pics ever since day one. These swimsuits are extremely small and should never be worn in public unless you are doing a bodybuilding show with a crazy orange spray tan and huge spotlight. I normally wear my normal bikini all the way till about four weeks out and then I am brave enough to put on the itsy-bitsy sparkly bikini. To have true progress pics I decided to wear it from day one and obviously I do not look good in it. For modesty’s sake, and the fact that I have three kids, I will only show my front pose and keep the back pose to myself. I do not consider myself overweight at all and I am not posting this so that people can tell me I look good. I am simply sharing my progress pic to be out in the open about competition prep. I hope to be about 10 pounds lighter when I walk on stage and obviously way more defined. I have 7 1/2 weeks to go and there is no holding back.
So it’s official, I am six weeks out from my NPC Bikini competition. This prep hasn’t exactly been as easy as some of the other ones. I switched trainers and my diet is much more restrictive with less flexibility. I eat 5 to 6 meals per day depending on how early I wake up. For the first five weeks each meal consisted of 25 g of carbs, 25 g of protein and very low fat. Approved carbs are such things as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, plain rice cakes and brown rice. My protein sources are lean and I pretty much eat mostly chicken and egg whites. I eat green vegetables with almost every meal and my go to veggies are broccoli or spinach. When I’m craving chips or a snack I eat cut up bell peppers dipped in salsa. I eat an insane amount of raw veggies when we are at parties or potlucks just to keep me satisfied. This has caused an uncomfortable amount of bloating and gas. My kids don’t even want to be in the same room as me after I eat. Last night on our walk home I looked six months pregnant and it was all gas. I’ve tried beano, Gas ex, digestive enzymes and probiotics. I can either go hungry because I’m out of food or eat some more veggies and deal with my pregnant belly. Because I’m not supposed to snack between meals I have an abundant supply of chewing gum in my purse and drink an excessive amount of coffee. I need to replace every 8 ounces of coffee with an additional 8 ounces of water on top of the gallon I’m already drinking each day so I pee every 20 minutes. This makes traveling in a car with me difficult or even going to the grocery store. So not only am I bloated like I’m pregnant, I also pee constantly like a pregnant lady. I get hangry after about 7 PM and everyone in the house just stays away from me. I’m either yelling or farting.
This past week has been extremely difficult because I am now carb cycling and I’m having a hard time keeping track of how many meals I get carbs in, etc. My weight hasn’t really moved in two weeks and that is getting frustrating. I was consistently losing 2 pounds a week and this past two weeks I’ve lost only 1 pound. Competition prep is really a mental mindfuck. If you’re not strong mentally this is not the thing for you. Food becomes an obsession and skipping the workout is not an option.
Although everything I’m saying sounds kind of negative, the overall experience is pretty wonderful. You push yourself to extremes you never knew you could. I also feel amazing physically. I don’t have any junk in my body besides the bloating and I wake up with tons of energy. My skin is great, my nails are growing, my hair is growing and I just feel amazing. Looking in the mirror and seeing a six pack after having three kids and being 35 feels pretty damn good too. My boys all know what a glute is and complement me on how big mine are getting. This mamas got back!
So with all of that said, below are some of my progress photos and food pictures. I’m overall happy with the changes I’m seeing but would like to be a little bit leaner in the lower body. Cardio absolutely sucks and I swear while I do it every single time.
Summer is in full swing and my garden is bursting with fresh veggies. One vegetable I can’t get enough of is fresh zucchini. There are so many things you can do with this vegetable! Today I had a sweet tooth (just like every other day of my life) so I made a healthy, and bikini competition prep approved, recipe for breakfast. These muffins are not only delicious, they are high in fiber, packed with protein and contain lots of healthy vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin A, Manganese and Vitamin C (just to name a few). To ensure I am getting enough healthy fat in my diet I threw in some Chia Seeds which are packed with Omega 3-fatty acids and tons of micro-nutrients.
So yes ladies and gents, you can eat zucchini bread for breakfast and still lose weight.
What you need:
- 2 medium zucchinis, pealed and shredded
- 1 whole egg
- 5 egg whites or 5 servings of liquid egg whites
- 1 tsp pure almond extract
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesause
- 2 cups rolled oats blended into flour (160g)
- 3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
- 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 6-8 packets of Stevia
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dash of salt
- Crushed Walnuts (optional)
- Mix shredded zucchini with all wet ingredients and set aside
- Mix all dry ingredients
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well
- Divide batter into 20 lined baking cups and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 25 minutes or until done in center. (I use parchment paper baking cups. All others seem to stick)
Makes 20 Muffins
Nutrition Facts per Muffin (to get these I create a recipe in myfitnesspal and manually upload ingredients while making them)
73 Calories, 8.5 g Carbs, 7.1 g Protein, 1.5 g Fat
I love an ice cold Pina Colada on a hot summer day but I am not a fan of belly fat. The average Pina Colada has over 300 calories and more than 30g of sugar. Yikes, that is a lot and only one drink! I would prefer to have more than one and don’t like sporting a muffin top with my jeans.
I got creative in the kitchen again and made a modified skinny colada recipe that satisfies my sweet tooth without the extra calories and sugar.
- 1 cup ice
- 1.5 oz white rum
- 3/4 bottle Sparkling Ice beverage in coconut pineapple flavor
- 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk
- blend and enjoy🔹🔹
🍹🍍🍹🍍Rum is good with pineapple coconut beverage alone over ice also. 🍹🍍🍹🍍