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 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.
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.
Short on time but need to fit in some cardio? Well, I have the perfect 20 minute high intensity workout for you that will have you sweating in no time! My favorite piece of cardio equipment at my gym is the stepmill. If your gym does not have one then I suggest cranking that treadmill up to an incline of 10 or more and work those hamstrings and glutes!
Last weekend I competed in my second NPC Bikini Competition. I went into it with much more confidence and determination. I turned 35 since my first competition so I was excited to compete in the Master’s division (35 and up). The goal I set for myself was to take first in Masters and top 3 in Open. Well, I concurred that goal! I placed 1st in Master’s and 3rd in Open.
Because I had competed before the fear of being on stage and being judged was completely gone. At my first competition I spend a lot of time looking around and comparing myself to others. I counted how many girls were in my height class and let their appearance bring my confidence down. After the show I looked at the pictures and videos and realized that I had nothing to feel insecure about and that the only person on stage I should have been focused on was myself. This show was completely different. I didn’t even look at the line up or know how many girls I was competing against. When my friends arrived and asked how many girls were in my class I simple said “I don’t know, I didn’t even look. Who cares, I am going to go out there and rock the stage.” I was competing against the girl I was last time around and no one else.
It has been a week since the competition and I kind of feel a little lost without that goal. I didn’t go crazy with food after the competition but I can say that I have overindulged on red wine. Tomorrow I am starting the 22 Minute Hard Corp challenge with my husband and a challenge group I am leading. The program is 8 weeks log, comes with a balanced nutrition plan and 22 minute workouts. This will allow me to focus on my fitness and nutrition again without completely consuming my time and energy. I will be blogging about this challenge so others can see what it is like.
Here are some photos from my competition:
Lately a lot of people have been commenting to me I don’t know how you find all that extra time.
In this video I give a brief summary of my strategies and techniques for staying fit and living a healthy life. Oh, and if you don’t like people that tell you how it is you’re probably not gonna love my video blog.