Sometimes things don’t go as planned

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.

https://www.facebook.com/Seemomlift/videos/1248359161941108/

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. 

Less Than 3 Weeks Out and Things are Finally Coming Together 

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.

This is a typical meal on my lower carb days.  If I do add carbs it is tyipcally sweet potato or a plain rice cake.

Although there is less than a 10 lb difference in the scale I am pleased with the changes I can see

Here are my strippers shoes that are required for show day. Now you can see why I practice daily.

To stay full I eat most of my food over a huge bed of spinach.

Just another day in the kitchen prepping my greens and egg whites

 

Six weeks down and six more to go!

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.

So I raise my glass of BCAAs and cheers to another 6 weeks!

Today I decided to use the marker board in kitchen to track my carbs each day.  My weight loss plateau is pissing me off. 

My low carb lunch consisted of cold grilled chicken topped with spicy guac and fresh green beans from my garden. (This meal gave me gas) 

I am happy with the size decrease in my waist and thighs.  My face looks a bit thinner also.  I typically lose it from by cheeks first.  Oh, and my boobs.  They go bye, bye really quick. 

My son kept snapping photos after I was done posing.  This is me relaxed and real.  No sucking in, twisting, etc. 


I have to bring my own food everywhere I go so I always have a cooler packed and ready.  This was two chicken salads I made for a day volunteering at my son’s senior class retreat.  

I took my youngest out to breakfast for his 10th birthday.  He ordered some fluffy pancakes and I asked for a western omelet with egg whites and no cheese. I also asked that the make it without butter and had a side of plain oatmeal as my carb.  

My go to breakfast is egg white veggie scramble (because I cannot make omelets), plain rice cakes and some organic salsa.  

I make my egg white scramble in bulk so it lasts a few days.  One this day I switched things up by having steal cut oats instead of plain rice cakes.  Yeah, I know, crazy! 

2 weeks of 22 Hard Corp complete! 

Just finished my second full week of Beachbody’s 22 Hard Corps program and I’m loving it still!  The workouts are quick, hard and over before you quit.  I missed yesterday so I had to do a double this morning. The best part was that I still finished in less than an hour. One of the workouts in Cardio 2 is called a water bug. The final set is 25 reps! When working out at home I have the tendency to stop before the workout is actually done. To give myself an extra push I recorded the 25 rep set and finished! I gues I’m stronger than I thought. Push yourself further everyday and you will be amazed at how far you will go! 

Why I Chose to Compete

One week from today I will be stepping on the stage for my second time.  I am exhausted and have many emotions going through me right now; however, this time around the biggest emotion is excitement.  I am excited to go out there and beat the girl I was back in September.  She was nervous,scared, uncomfortable, timid, anxious and extremely frightened.  Today I am confident and excited to show that girl what a champion is made of.  I am competing against myself and pushing myself to be a better version of me.

So why on earth do I even want to compete?  Well, it all started 4 years ago when I started working out with a fierce group a ladies and an amazing trainer.  I gained strength and confidence and felt empowered to be who I wanted to be.  A few girls at the gym did bodybuilding competitions and I always imagined it was something I could never achieve.  After thinking about it for a couple years I just decided to go for it, why the hell not?    I wanted to show my kids that if you want something bad enough, and you work you ass off, you can achieve it.  Although not everyone wants to stand on stage in an itsy bitsy bikini and flex their glutes, the concept of determining your goals and staying commited to them is the same.   Don’t sit around thinking about your goals, get up and start working on them!  We can not change who we were yesterday but we can work on today and live for tomorrow.

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This is my 12 week transformation for my first NPC Bikini Competition. I placed 3rd in Open and qualified for Nationals.

My 21 Day Fix Transformation

I was first fully introduced to the Beachbody programs this time last year when a few coworkers and I decided to do the 21 Day Fix Extreme program together. Although my journey to being fit and healthy started about 5 years ago, I am human and there have been many ups and downs along the way.  Last summer we bought a new house that needed many renovations.  I put my workouts off and focused on my house. Then, in the fall, I got a new job and that became my focus (in addition to family of course).  My weight slowly started to climb and I was definitely no longer “fit”.  Spring break was just around the corner and the thought of wearing my bikini made me nervous and uncomfortable.

I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into but the idea of only working out 30 minutes a day and using color coded food containers to meal prep intrigued me.  The 21 Day Fix program and the 21 Day Fix Extreme provides 7 fun and effective workouts and a simple way to figure out your diet with the use of 7 color coded food containers. The eating plan has color coded squares that correspond with the food container.  There was no weighing of my food, counting macros, measuring, etc.  If your food fits into the container you can eat it!  The workouts were awesome and offered tons of variety. There was a different discs for each day of the week.  At the end of the 21 days we only did each disc three times.  It never got boring and my body always felt challenged. My coworkers and I created an excel spreadsheet to make the food tracking a little bit easier and worked out together on lunch when we could.  If we didn’t fit in the workouts during the day we held each other accountable and finished on our own at home.  We created are own mini challenge group and motivated each other. I noticed changes in my energy and body after the first week and that provided extra motivation.  After the 21 days I was 10lbs lighter, dropped 2 pants sized and rocked my bikini at spring break.  This by far has been my best Beachbody program experience and I would recommend this program to anyone (male or female) looking for a balanced plan that involves strength training, cardio, Pilates and yoga.

I am so excited about this program and how it can help others reach their goals that I will be starting a 21 Day Fix challenge group March 14th 2016.  The best part about doing the 21 Day Fix program right now is that it is currently $70 off through the end of February.  I can offer this great program to others for a really low price (much less than I paid).  I will be posting additional information about the challenge group and requirements on my See Mom Lift facebook page.  If you are positive you want to join I highly recommend buying your challenge pack this month, February 2016 while it is on sale. Contact me for more information or use the link at the bottom of this page.

Below is a video that describes the program in greater detail.