Oatmeal and egg whites is the traditional breakfast for a competitive bodybuilder but I am far from traditional. My breakfast is typically eaten at the gym between my morning clients so I don’t have much time and need something that travels well. These muffins topped with a thin layer of peanut butter hit the spot every time!
What you need:
1 can all natural pumpkin
6 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps. of walden farms pancake syrup (for taste)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 – 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Stevia to taste (I use at least 6 packets)
48 g of PB Fit Powdered peanut butter
2 scoops (66g) GNC Sustained Protein blend in Peanut Butter Puffs
120 g quick oats
.5 – 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (for consistency)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 Parchment paper muffin cups
Pre-heat oven to 350, mix all wet ingredients first and then add the rest.
Fill 12 muffin cups evening and bake at 350 for 20-30 mins (check to see if cooked through. They will be dry if you overcook and too moist if undercooked)
So I’m officially going into a mini-cut to lose 5lbs. I have not purposefully tried losing weight since October. My metabolism and hormones were out of whack due to extreme dieting. In the span of 2 years I competed in 5 bodybuilding competitions. Losing fat for each competition became more and more difficult and the amount of cardio I was doing toward the end was ridiculous. The same drama happens a few months after each show where I start hating my body and can’t stand the way my clothes fit. Typically I go right back into a cut to shed some fat and then the cycle happens again. I’m no longer able to maintain a lean physique (this references my personal standards of “lean”) with just eating healthy and exercising daily. This kind of sucks and I’m ready to get my body and metabolism where I want it. First thing I did when I decided I wanted to shed some fat was not cut calories or add much cardio. Instead I kept calories up, continued to exercise regularly (~ 1 hour per day of strength and stability) and maintained my weight. This allowed my metabolism to adjust to the higher calories and gave my body a break. I try to track my macros each day using myfitnesspal and I’ve been consistently weighing myself and checking my percent body fat bi-weekly for the last few months. Things have been pretty stable and I’m ready to lose a little fat. I will be doing a mini cut that will be 3 to 5 weeks depending on the rate of my fat loss. Once I hit my goal of 5 pounds and maintain it for a couple weeks I will increase my calories up a little bit and come out of a calorie deficit. My ultimate goal is to have my abs back for summer (Vegas trip in early June to be more specific) without being on a crazy restrictive diet. I have zero plans of competing again in the next year and would like to get to a comfortable bodyweight that I can still enjoy red wine with. If it takes me 6 months to achieve I am okay with that.
I’ll post regular updates of my progress via Facebook and Instagram.
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.
As I look back at this competition and analyze what I could have done differently to have brought a better package I realized I’m being too hard on myself and need to tell these thoughts to shut the f*ck up. Do you have this problem? Like nothing you do is good enough? I’m my own worse critic.
This was my fifth competition and 3rd year competing. In the past if I followed the plan the weight seemed to magically fall off. Well not this time. After 4 weeks of prep (8 weeks out from my competition) I found myself discouraged and blogged about it. Instead of changing my goal we just changed our approach. We got more aggressive with my diet and lowered both my carbs and protein. I also increased the amount of cardio I did. On show day I felt pretty confident with the package I brought to the stage but would have liked to have been about 5lbs less. I was still holding on to fat in my mid-section and thighs. Today I pulled up that 8 weeks out photo from my blog and said “damn, you killed this prep!” Yeah, I complimented myself and it felt good. Go ahead, try it! Look in the mirror and see how beautiful you are. Does your hair look good today? Go ahead, tell yourself that. How about your smile? Whatever it is,remember that you are beautiful and you should be proud of your accomplishments no matter the size. Stop cutting yourself down and build yourself up. When that crazy bitch in your head starts telling you that you shouldn’t have had that cookie or that you are fat just say “shut the f*ck up bitch” and move on. Unless you violated one of the 10 commandments you didn’t sin and you can give yourself a break, just move on and smile.
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.
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.
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.
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