My “Real” Body Revealed

This is what I really look like. This is me today. This is me after a weekend of enjoying food, family, sun and some wine. This is me after working out a minimum of six days per week. This is me after eating clean 85% of the time. This is me. 
I am not a fitness model. I am a wife, mother and a healthy woman. Today is day one of a three week Beachbody challenge group I am hosting online and this is my before picture. After sharing with my group I thought why not share with everybody. I have nothing to hide. I do not act fake on social media and the person you see is the person that I am. When I am competing I share my pictures so why not share every other day of the year? The Nicole you see in my profile picture is the body that I worked my ass off for 16 weeks straight. I was hangry every day, exhausted, yelled at my kids regularly for no reason, lost my shit at least once a day on the first person that pissed me off and I pushed myself beyond my limits. It took 16 weeks of strict dieting, daily exercise and zero alcohol to achieve that. That body is not something most women can achieve without extreme measures and it is a look that is not maintainable throughout the year.  Do I regret competing, hell no. Will I compete again, maybe. Do I want to lose a few pounds before spring break, yes. Will I lose a few pounds and be more confident on spring break, hell yes!  You are only constrained by the limits you have set for yourself.  Today I vow to love my body, thick or thin and work towards being the best version of me. 

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. 

And so it begins

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″.