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.
Well it’s over, my competition that is. It’s the morning after and I can’t sleep so why not walk on the treadmill and blog about it? (I did eat way to much chocolate yesterday and could use the cardio)
So yesterday I competed in The Michigan State Natural Bodybuilding Championship through the NANBF. My previous 4 competitions were through the NPC (separate organization). Since I’ve competed before and placed first in my division (Masters) I was only allowed to compete in the Open class for the competition and not Novice. 1st place in this class wins a pro-card in the natural league and is kind of a big deal. Honestly, going into the show I wasn’t confident with where my physique was at. I struggled with weight loss through this whole process and could not lose the extra weight around my midsection. When I found out that there were only six other competitors in my division I was a little worried that there would be strong competition but when I saw all the strong and beautiful women backstage I knew it was a great competition. All six of us looked fabulous and fought for that trophy. I ended up taking third overall and then won the best female posing award. I feel very comfortable with my placing based on the package I brought to the stage and know that 1st overall is just within reach. Winning overall poser shows how far I have came with my stage presence and confidence. Although after the show I found myself feeling slightly down and out I woke up with a much better outlook. Going into this show my only goal was to beat the girl I was last year on stage and nobody else. I crushed my goal! I brought a whole new confident woman to that stage and left last year’s Nicole in the dust. Will I compete again? I honestly don’t know. Today the competition is fresh and I’m hungry for the win but in reality, the stress of prep isn’t something my body or family can handle back to back. I was over impressed with this competition and might just plan to come back next year and go for gold. Now it’s time to hit the gym and putting all those calories to building up my glutes!
If you are curious about my coaching I did hire help. I am a personal trainer and confident in coaching others but you are your own worst critic. I’ve always had a coach and will never go at this alone. For this prep my coach was my friend and the man that helped me transform my lifestyle 6 years ago when I attended his boot camp class and almost died. He watched me go from not being able to run 400 yards without puffing on an inhaler to the strong woman I am today. He has his own gym here in the Grand Rapids area and promotes overall health and wellness. You can check him out on Facebook and Instagram@NugroWellness .
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.