Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Still Alive!!


Long time no blogging!  Sorry, friends!  Life has been a blur since the competition and I have severely neglected the blog.  I apologize!  I know some of you have kept up with my via Facebook but I wanted to update here as well and continue blogging as I figure out the next steps in my fitness life.

First of all, the competition was a BLAST!  I had so much more fun than I had anticipated.  The other competitors were so friendly and once I relaxed a little I really did have a good time.  I measured (height-wise) in the medium category (5'2"-5'5").  I did the first round in my 2-piece suit (which arrived TWO days before the competition dontevengetmestartedabouthatone!).  I was so nervous but kept my composure the best I could.  I then came out and did my walk in my 1-piece suit.  That was better than the first round just because I was less nervous.  Then, we had a break for a little bit of the afternoon and then did our walk routine again in the evening.  Strutting around to Miley Cyrus all bedazzled and tanned was all that I expected and more :)

I ended up winning my class, which earned me a trophy and a medal :).  I then had to come back out on stage and compete against the winners of the other classes (short and tall).  The woman from the tall category won the whole thing (they didn't do 2nd and 3rd place).  I was so happy to have won my class--it really made the hard work feel worth it.  Winning my class qualified me to compete at a pro show within the NPA organization.  However, if I accept my pro card and compete in a pro show, I cannot compete in an amatuer show in that organization again.  I'm not sure I want to close that possibility out and my pro card (earned from this competition) is good for 3 years (I think).  I spoke to a judge afterwards who said I should definitely do the pro show (which was in October) but I was just not in the mindset to continue this journey...I was too hungry to even think about it!  Here are some pictures from the day:

Before I update you on what I've been up to the last 1.5 months and tell you my plan for the future (which is still very unclear, don't get too excited ;)), I have to first say thank you to many, many people.  I know this is a little cheesy, but without these people, this would not have happened.  Thank you to:
-My family for always supporting me!  My mom, dad, preggo sister, her husband, and my baby niece all came to the competition!
-Greg-- thank you doesn't even begin to express how grateful I am for all that you have helped me do...
-Mike Davies, my coach who sent me workouts and diets and helped me "bring my booty down."
-Stacy Wig, my posing coach, who took me from a complete novice to a competitor with some confidence :)
-Lisa Lutz for doing my spray tans, hair, and make-up and being SO flexible and accommodating!
-April Hickory for taking some AMAZING professional pictures of me that I will cherish forever!  I will post some of those in my next post.  Take a look at her website!
-Shea, my training buddy back when the thought of this competition was really just a reason to motivate myself to get to the gym.  Thanks for being there from the very beginning!
-Shea, Kat O., Mikey, Sarah, Tanno, Caly, Kat K., Lolo, Cijlvere, Justine, and Mara (my coach who helped me prep backstage) for making the trek down to Richmond, giving up part of your weekend to support me...thank you!  Your support has meant so much to me, you have no idea.
I know these thank-yous are LONG overdue and I apologize for that!  Thank you times a million plus infinity!

So...the big question...now what??  The short answer is, I have no idea!  Honestly, I'm struggling right now to figure out some kind of balance in my life, both in the gym and with the diet.  Since the competition, I have put on about 15 pounds, which is fine, but it's still so weird to see my body change.  I'm still trying to motivate to get to the gym, but it's so much easier to miss a gym session when a competition is not looming in the near future.  I'm trying to eat clean and healthy during the week and giving myself a little leeway on the weekends.  I have a whole post about balance coming up soon :)

I have toyed with the idea of doing a competition in the spring and that is still a realistic possibility.  Right now though, I'm taking a break from the super intensity of it all.  I'm so busy teaching 5th grade, tutoring, trying to see my family, getting settled in our new place...I am just not in the mindset that I know I need to be in to tackle the physical, emotional, and monetary needs that go with training for a competition.  So, basically, I'm trying to figure out how to be a normal eater/worker-outer with possible competitions in the future.  :)  That's my plan right now.

One thing that has not changed is my early bedtime :)  And if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know that since it's 8:30, that means it's almost my bedtime :)  Stay in touch!  I will do the same and keep you posted on thoughts I have swirling in my head about all of this fitness/nutrition stuff :)  I also have some more pictures to share!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, September 24, 2010


24 hours from now, this whole journey will be coming to an end!  I can't believe it!  I mean, in a way I can because this has been an emotional, up and down, crazy, awesome, unbelievable 6+ months.  I have learned so much more about fitness, nutrition, my will power, my frustrations, my cravings...myself...in these past few months.  And tomorrow, all of the hard work and sacrifice culminates!  I'm so excited!  I'm not really nervous yet, I'm just anxious to hit the stage all tanned and bedazzled and stripper-esque :)

For fun, I documented my competition prep day/beautifying day for you all :) Now, I don't look exactly "beautiful" in these pictures but getting beautiful was the goal for the day :)

First, I got up (at 3:00am because apparently I am now an insomniac who wakes up with a racing brain...) and made all of my meals for competition day.  I have a bag of dry foods (most of which are going to be consumed after the competition, like peanutbuttercuptrailmixomnomnomnom, cereal, granola etc.).  Then, I will have a bag of refrigerated food--some of this is for the competition and some of it is healthy, clean food for me to eat after that my mommy made me (thanks mama xoxoxo).  Here's a little view for you of what our dining room and fridge currently look like:

Table with our dry foods

We should own stock in Tupperware/Ziploc

Greg is a master fridge organizer...no space is ever wasted!

Then, my mom and I headed to the sauna.  My coach said to go in for 7 minutes, then come out for 3 and repeat that cycle 3 times.  It wasn't so bad, just, you know, hot.

Then,we headed to Target where I bought a pretty sweet nightgown that I could put on after my spray tan.  I also got an oversize hoodie so I could wear that to the competition tomorrow morning.  I heart Target, it's my happy place.

Then, off to the nail salon we went!  Of course there was an entire bridal party there, but there were lots of people working there so it didn't take too long.

Please notice that: a) I am in one of the most amazing massage chairs EVER and b) I am getting a manicure WHILE still soaking my feet from my pedicure...HEAVEN!  I felt like a princess (although unshowered and wearing my PJs).
Then, I had to snap back to reality for a second and I remembered Greg and I were moving out of our house in ONE week!  So, my mom and I went over to the new condo and took some measurements of the place.  We couldn't stay long because I had to get back to the house and eat, shower, and shave (E.S.S) before going tanning.  Here's a little sneak peak of our new living room!

The lovely bathroom wallpaper :)  At least there are his and her sinks!!

Then, back to competition world it was!  After a quick meal, I showered (my final shower until after the evening session tomorrow), shaved my...everything...and then quickly left to get my first coat of spray tan.
Here I am after my first coat of spray in my schweeeeet nightgown:
Yes, that's 6oz of fish I'm holding :)

My mom and I packed up some things at my house and then headed back to the tanner for my second and final coat of spray tan.  You'll have to wait for competition pictures to see just how freakishly dark I am right now ;)  But don't worry, I'm still wearing my nightgown!

Tomorrow morning, at 5am, I will get my hair and make up done and then we will head to Richmond.  Check in is at 10, athletes meeting is at noon, and the party gets started at 1:00.  Finals begin at 6:00 and then I get to eat and relax and breathe and feel a final, wonderful feeling of completion. 

All of you have been the best support group I could have ever asked for.  I feel as though I have truly done everything I possibly could to be successful tomorrow.  I know that without your constant encouragement I'm not sure I could've kept going.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your messages, cards, emails, texts, calls, words of encouragement, hugs, and understanding.  I will definitely put pictures and a new blog post up as soon as possible.  I won't be back in town until Sunday evening, but I will try to update Facebook if at all possible.

Thanks again!  Talk to you after I strut my tan, bedazzled, stripper heel self across that stage!  Here we go!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 139: Beautifying and life in the FINAL stretch!

In some ways, I cannot believe that in ONE week, from this moment, I will be in the Henrico Theater, tanned and bedazzled, getting ready to strut my stuff on stage.  ONE week?!  Holy Moly!  This final week comes with some final tweakings--most of which to make me presentable on stage.  I had my hair cut and highlighted this past week.  Today, I'm having my make-up professionally done and then I'm going to have professional pictures taken in Charlottesville!!  I'm excited to document this process that I've been through.  The make-up artist is also going to teach me how to put on my make-up for the competition day.  This week I'll be whitening my teeth, waxing...certain places..., tanning a couple more times in the bed and then spray tanning twice on Friday.  I'll also get my nails done, not sure if I'm going to do both mani/pedi or just a pedi at the salon.

In between all of this beautifying, I also have this little thing called a JOB.  I have to go to a class one afternoon this week after I teach and Thursday is Back-to-School Night where we meet all the families, so I'll be at school until almost 9:00pm that night...Like I said before, things like this remind me that there is so much more than just this competition and life has to go on!

My workouts and diet will change this week, not exactly sure how yet, but I think I'll be "drying" out/carb depleting for at least some of the days this week.  One of my loyal readers (Hi Emily!) suggested I give you all a sample of what I'm currently eating and I thought that was a great idea!  Here is what I have eaten for the past 2 weeks: 
3 egg whites before I lift (if I lift in the morning)
meal 1: about 24g protein shake with 2 Tbs. cream of rice
meal 2: 2 oz. chicken, 2 oz. steak and 8 asparagus
meal 3: 2 cups of yellow/green/white veggies
meal 4: 3 oz. tuna with 8 asparagus and 1 Tbs. onions
meal 5: 1/3 cup quinoa (like rice), 4 oz. tilapia (or cod or flounder) and 40g red peppers
meal 6: 3 oz. tuna with 1 cup broccoli
**go back to gym after this meal**
meal 7: 1/2 cup brown rice, 4 oz. fish, and 1.5 oz (or 1/4 cup) pineapple
meal 8: 4 or 5 egg whites with 1 cup yellow/green/white veggies
-I can have 4 oz chicken later if I'm hungry, which I almost always am :)  So, what do you think??

I sent my coach some pictures today so he can give me my final week's diet (including the day of the show) so here they are.  My hair is wet because I had just taken a shower AND I'm in my bathing suit because the altered suit and my 2-piece suit STILL aren't here...argh!!  Current weight: 114.0, have officially lost 30 pounds!  Here are the pics, hopefully I can show you all the professional pics soon :) xoxo

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 135: Priorities and Control

I have realized that one thing I do love about this whole process is that I have control over so many aspects of it.  I can control what I put in my mouth.  I can control how hard I work at the gym.  I can control my schedule (most of the time) to make sure I'm eating and working out at the most opportune times.  I never really realized how much I like being in control...maybe that's why I became a teacher :)  I think as I worry about what will come after the competition, I become more controlling in other areas of my life.  For example, I have become obsessed with keeping my car and room clean lately...because it's something I have complete control over.  I have a box of books in my backseat and it's driving me BANANAS!  I had never really been like that before.  I like to know that there are certain, predicatable things that I can control.  Some of this new controlling-ness, I think, comes from my fear that I will lose control after the competition.  Right now everything is so specific, timed, and laid out.  Eat, sleep, workout, eat, eat, eat, eat, workout, prepare food, sleep.  I know the exact foods I'm supposed to eat, at the exact times, in the exact portions.  It will be so odd to not have that routine and exactness that I have to follow each day and that scares me a little.  I'm going to do a whole post on the question I get asked the most, "What are your plans for after the competition..."  Will write that soon.

I have also realized, in the past 2-3 weeks, that this competition seemed like the end-all-be-all of my life for the whole summer.  Not much else was as important and it always took priority.  And then...my 20 fifth graders walked into my life :)  And I remembered I have one of the most exhausting professions that there ever was.  And my students deserve a teacher who is fully committed to them.  I have quickly realized that, while I'm SO close to finishing this competition prep process, it unfortunately cannot be my only priority like it was all summer.  Other things have to take priority as well.  This realization has actually been a good thing for me because it has made me realize that regardless of what happens at the competition, life will, indeed, go on.  While I've put in more than a ton of effort to get where I am now, and this is extremely important to me, I know that I will be OK no matter what--and other things in life will continue to go 'round :)

Those are my grand thoughts for the night :)  Will update on plans for after the competition, my beautifying process for the competition :), my photo shoot on Saturday!!  And will post pics as soon as my tailored suits arrive!!  11 DAYS LEFT!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 129: Is it over yet?!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it's been so long since I've written!  Life has been more than crazy lately!  Greg and I are moving out of our current house in 2-3 weeks because our lease is up the weekend after the competition, so we're home hunting!  I started back to teaching last week, today was my second day with my 5th graders, so that's another huge change!  And, I am just, overall exhausted from life! 

My current schedule is to get up between 4:45 and 5:15 (depending on the cardio program), go to the gym, get ready for school (food is prepared the night before), teach from 8:30-3:10, work at school until about 4:00ish, back to the gym to lift and do more cardio, eat, prepare food for the next day, rinse, and repeat.  In between there, I'm trying to find time to tan, go to the grocery store numerous times a week, go see apartments, and maybe get some school work in there...oh and try to hang out with my friends and Greg :)  The only possible way that I am keeping up with this schedule is because I know there are only 2 weeks and 3 days left...the countdown has officially begun (OK, so it began a looooong time ago, but now it's serious business :) )

People keep asking me how I'm doing or how I'm feeling and really my answer depends on the A) the time of day or B) whether or not I've eaten recently.  Most of the time I feel alright.  Exhausted and lethargic some, but overall pretty good.  A lot of my troubles/negative moments are mental...I think that I think about the whole process too much and it starts to make me get negative about things.  I think things like, "Why am I doing this?  I can't wait to eat like a normal person.  I'm so hungry.  I don't want to go back to the gym..."  Once I get to the gym, I'm fine.  Once I realize I made it through another day doing the best I possibly could, I'm fine.  I would not say that I am currently enjoying this whole thing, but I really want to reach this goal that I set out to achieve.  What comes after this?  I have no idea.  What happens the day after?  I eat, that's all I know :)

I have to say, honestly, I am really excited to be done with this intense process.  I have learned a lot and I want to maintain certain aspects of all of this, but this intensity is not something I can sustain, and I wouldn't want to even if I could.  I can honestly say I don't think I'm as happy doing this as when I wasn't.  Maybe it's because I've done this for 20 weeks, which is longer than a lot of people.  Maybe it's because I have a lot going on in my life at the moment and it's just too much.  Maybe it's because I've attended a lot of events/gone out to restaurants a lot to watch people eat.  I don't know.  But I'm taking it day by day and I will reach this goal.  There's no turning back now!

So, I met with my posing coach on Saturday and it was the best session we ever had.  She helped me so much, gave me such great pointers, and gave me some more confidence that I definitely needed.  She did tell me I would probably be docked judging points for my lack of muscularity (we all knew that though, huh? :) ), but we both know I'm doing the best I can with this body and this diet!  That is the last time I will see my posing coach before the competition, which is scary, but she has helped me so much, I really do feel confident that I can handle this now.

Lastly...before the pictures :)...tanning...dun dun dun (I will have to do a whole post on this soon...lots of details to share).  So, I stopped by the air brush spray tanner and she sprayed me (I think about 2 weeks ago).  She was probably one of the nicest people I've ever met.  So sweet!  During and after the spray, we both quickly realized that a spray was not going to cover up my tan lines and something else needed to be done...I know, I know...I always said I would never get in a tanning bed, but it is really the only option.  I decided that after 6 months of hard work, I really don't want to let something as silly as tan lines prevent me from doing well in the competition.  I figure if I tan in moderation, all will be OK.  I've gone a couple times and it seems to be working slowly, so hopefully it will help blend my lines enough before I get my final competition color spray tan the Friday before the show.

It's approaching 9pm, which, you know what that means...MY BED!!!!  Ohhh how I love my bed :)  Here are my most recent pictures taken in the 1-piece suit I will be wearing in the competition (after it gets altered a little).  I should be receiving my altered 1-piece AND my 2-piece by early next week, so I will definitely put up some pictures then!  Thanks for the many kind words of encouragement and I hope you enjoy the pics :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 119: Love/Hate in the Homestretch

3 weeks and 6 days to go...can you believe it?!  Some days that seems so far, and some days I can't believe it's so close.

I've been busy the last week or so trying to get my life in order before the school year starts.  My parents, who are officially the best people on the planet (heyyyy mama!), came up to DC for a few days and helped me get my life together.  My mom and I set up my classroom, went through all my old clothes (got rid of 7 bags of clothes!!!), shopped for some new replacement clothes :), got my oil changed, etc., etc...just the little things in life that add up!  And yes, I'm almost 27 (in 8 days!) and I still very much need my parents :).  Greg and I also went to a beautiful wedding this weekend for his best friend.  It was a nice, final summer week.

All of these activities got me thinking (more) about this whole competition prep and how I truly have a love/hate relationship with the whole situation. 

I love the way my body looks, I love that my cardio endurance is the best its ever been, I love that people notice how hard I've worked, I love that I feel strong and confident, I love that I set a goal and am reaching it, I love that I have more discipline and dedication than even I realized.

I hate that I haven't felt full in about 5 months, I hate that I feel lame at social events because all I want to do is sit down and rest my legs, I hate that I haven't gotten my period in 3 months and my body just knows that something is off, I hate that the diet and fatigue alter my moods so easily, I hate that sometimes I just don't feel like myself but more like a robot on auto-pilot.

I guess in a dream world, I would be able to prepare for this competition and keep up my "normal," exciting social life where my every thought wasn't about when I eat next, or how hungry I am, or how my head hurts because I'm hungry, or doubting that I'll be ready, or feeling as though I can't really be in the moment of what's happening because I'm just so overwhelemed by this whole process.

Here is a little sample of what our hotel room looked like during our 48-hour stay for the wedding this weekend:
3 of our 4 coolers/lunch bags needed to carry our food
Our hotel mini-fridge packed with a FRACTION of our food
Our food scale, supplements, etc.

Some of the Tupperware I washed in our bathroom sink after our first day away from home.
The lids...and the $1 soap I got at the Dollar General :)

Let me just add that it took Greg 3 hours to prepare his meals and me about an hour for a TWO day trip...just a glimpse :)

To say that Greg and I have made sacrifices during this whole process is the understatement of 2010. 
But to say that this will be one of my greatest accomplishments thus far in my life will also be a huge understatement.  Some days I hate that it takes so many sacrifices, but other days I am just so freaking proud of everything we've accomplished that I have to realize that those sacrifices (at least at this point in life) are so worth it.  Some days I hate it--hate it all.  Some days I love it.  And some days I hate that I love it because it would be so much easier to just quit and go get some mint chocolate chip ice cream :)

I got my first spray tan today...will update about that tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 108: 25 Things

25 Fitness/Food Things You May Not Know About Me (or care to know):
(This is inspired by US Weekly's celebrity column they do where the celebrity tells 25 things about themselves that others may not know...I like to pretend I'm a celebrity :) )

1.  My all-time favorite food in this world is Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream.
2.  I have owned Nike, Brooks, Mizuno, Saucony, Asic, and Puma tennis shoes and I still really have no idea which brand I like the best.
3.  I wear my workout pants an average of 3-4 times before washing them...kinda gross, I know, but otherwise I'd be doing laundry every darn day.
4.  I like all fruits except for blackberries and raspberries because of the seeds that get stuck in my teeth.
5.  I like to read magazines while stepping, walking on the treadmill, or biking, but I can't read while I do the elliptical or while I run.
6.  I cannot do cardio without my ipod.  I just physically can't.
7.  My favorite food combination is peanut butter with chocolate...looooove sweet and salty mix!
8.  My favorite lift each week is usually back or shoulders.
9.  My least favorite lift each week is usually legs and I really don't like doing abs.
10.  My favorite fitness/health magazine is Oyxgen Magazine.  I read it cover to cover when it comes in the mail.
11.  My ideal cardio situation is when I can watch and listen to the Today show while reading either People Magazine or US Weekly.  This makes cardio much easier.
12.  I still can't decide what I should eat right after my show...but I'm leaning towards some or all of the following: peanut butter and jelly on a gluten-free roll, baked Lays, trail mix, gluten-free pizza, fruit salad...any other suggestions?
13.  I very rarely wear underwear when I work out.  I hate swamp ass in my underwear.
14.  When I need to push through a cardio/lifting workout, I turn my ipod to: Eminem, T.I., Miley Cyrus (hehe), or Rocky songs.
15.  While some people think it's gross, I would like to have a visible vein showing in my arm (bicep/shoulder region) by the end of my training :)
16.  I have not had a sip of alcohol or a dessert since April 25th.  Honestly, I'm a little scared to put both back into my life since it's been so long.
17.  After I complete the competition, regardless of the results, I would like to treat myself to a pair of designer jeans.  AndbytreatmyselfImeanGregcanbuythemforme.
18.  I eventually want to cut fake sugar out of my diet but I have a hard time with that.  Right now I have it in my Crystal Light drinks, my flavored water drinks, and my gum/mints.  It's hard to get rid of it!
19.  I would like to complete an olympic distance triathlon in the near future.
20.  The 2 things I'm the most worried about with my competition are the tanning and walking/tripping/falling in my heels.
21.  I pee at least 1 time an hour.  Sometimes I hold it so long that by the time I get to the toilet, I start peeing before my butt lands on the seat hahaha.
22.  I would love to write a fitness/nutrition column for a magazine on the side.  I would also love to become a dietitian or nutritionist but that's a lot more schooling!
23.  One of my other life dreams is to own a training studio/small gym with Greg.
24.  I think the most important thing I've learned about food through all of this is to weigh and/or measure everything you eat!  Digital food scales are my best friends!!
25.  Greg and I just bought...wait for it...22.5 DOZEN eggs at Costco and that will last us for 12 days.  I usually spend about $700/month (at the VERY least) on groceries...fresh produce and meat ain't cheap!

Now you know way too much about me :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 107: Bootylicious Cardio

After I sent my diet/workout creator my most recent pictures, including this one,:
I got a few funny/motivating emails from him.  I had asked him what he thought of my progress based on my most recent pictures and this was his reply, and I quote:

"Thx for the pics,  upper body looks like it will be no problem.  Legs and booty will need to come down hard to give you a balanced look.  You have time and the plan is in place.  Work hard and it will happen."

This left me with a few thoughts:
1)  I was SO glad to finally hear some kind of update on my progress- both positive and negative.  It was nice to hear that I was moving in the right direction and get a clearer picture of what needed work.  My upper body has always been stronger and leaner than my lower body, but it was nice for someone to get my ass (no pun intended) in gear.
2)  Is my ass really that big?!  And if so, why did nobody tell me?!  Thanks friends! ;)
3)  I think the tan lines and the cut of the suit make my ass look larger than usual, no?  I mean, daaaamn, it looks like I've got some junk in the trunk, and that pic makes my ass look even bigger than I thought!

I had to ask this same diet/workout creator a question about my workouts that he sent and after he answered my question, he ended with, and I quote:
"As long as that booty come down, all will be well."

Um.  I think I got the message loud and clear that my booty is...err...bootylicious?  I know that he just wants my body to look proportionate (meaning my legs and butt aren't significantly bigger than my upper body) and I got that message for sure!

I had to laugh at these comments because I love this man's honesty.  It is so refreshing.  I would rather him tell me things like that every day rather than just telling me I look alright.  And I have to say, those 2 comments have motivated me so much.  On Sunday, I didn't want to do a double, and I thought about his comments, and got my ass (again, no pun intended) into my workout pants and to the gym.  Today when I was doing my cardio I was able to push myself harder knowing that I was working to improve a specific part of my body.  Small goals really help me keep going in tough moments.

My cardio for the next few weeks definitely reflects my need to "bring my booty down."  The cardio programs are lots of stepping, running, incline walking, lunging...essentially anything that makes my hamstrings, quads, and glutes burn like they are EN FUEGO!  And I love it.  I've wanted to improve the look of my legs for a long time and I know that these cardio sessions will work over time.  I'm excited to make my butt more bootylicious for those judges in FIVE AND A HALF WEEKS!!!!

PS - I have officially lost 23.5 pounds!  Current weight is 120.5!  So close!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 103: GTP: Gym, Tanning, Posing

Tomorrow marks SIX weeks until my first ever figure competition.  In some ways that seems so far, but in most other ways it seems so, so close!  I have spent this week lifting, doing cardio, eating, posing, practicing walking in stripper shoes, napping, peeing, and trying to control my thoughts that often run wild.

I'm down to 122.5 lbs now.  I have lost a total of 21.5 lbs so far.  My moods and thoughts have been all over the place.  My brain usually sounds something like this at any given time (no joke): "OMG I'm so tired, I don't know if I can get up this morning.  Maybe I can lift later in the day.  When's my next meal?  Do I need to go to the grocery store again today?  Shit, I gotta pee AGAIN.  Is this really worth it?  Am I going to make a complete fool of myself at this competition?  Did I take all my supplments today?  Mmmm what should I eat right after the competition?  I should practice my posing.  Shit, I gotta pee AGAIN.  Come on, 15 more minutes of carido, you can do it, then it's dinner time.  OMG I get 1 tablespoon of peanut butter today.  How am I going to work full time and still keep this up for the last 4 weeks?  Was this a bad idea?.....you get the idea.

Sometimes, I feel great, motivated, energetic, positive.  And within minutes, I can be on the verge of tears, doubting myself, criticizing everything, exhausted.  It's usually the little things that get to me and I spin into negative town...It can be hunger, knee pain, dizziness when I stand up because I'm hungry, can't sleep because of knee pain or constant peeing, can't get warm EVER...but usually once I get food and a nap, I'm back on track.  Just like a baby, except in stipper heels.

Speaking of heels.  I know you all have been eagerly awaiting a picture of my new sparkly, bedazzled 4 and 3/4 inch babies.  So without further adieu, here they are:
Just take a minute to admire the sparkles :)

Oh hello bedazzled pedicure IN the bedazzled heels!
I met with my posing coach this week and she let me try on one of her old 1-piece suits.  It fit, except for the chest (my babies are long gone...) but I can get inserts to puff them right back up :)  The posing session went well, I think.  We worked on my turns and my walk and we discussed tanning....  This seems to be the biggest issue right now because I have some of the WORST tan lines one has ever seen.  DON'T  judge when you see me in this suit....it's bad!  My coach told me to run, not walk, to the nearest tanning bed to even it out but I am TERRIFIED of the tanning bed.  I just don't feel right about doing something so dangerous when I've worked so hard to be healthy in this whole process.  So, I'm in the process of working on fixing the tan lines...will update with progress.

Here are a few pictures in the 1-piece suit and my bikini.  I'm also putting up 2 links to videos that my coach took of me posing and walking...here goes nothin'

And now the videos:

So...I think I'm making progress (except for getting rid of the tan lines).  I just need to stay in it mentally, stay positive, and keep working hard!  If anyone wants the ordering info. for these awesome, bedazzled shoes, just let me know ;)
Thanks again for all your support!  SIX MORE WEEKS!!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 99: Traveling

Sorry I've been a little MIA lately...I have been busy traveling. First, I went to Charlottesville to meet up with my family and my Mara...who rocked out my leg and cardio workout oh heyyyyy (Hi May Ray!). Then, I went to Richmond to visit my sister and her family. And I just got back from an Outer Banks girls trip! Phew! That's a lot of driving...and Tupperware...and random gyms.

All of this traveling has allowed me to do a lot of thinking and discussing and pondering all that has happened in the past 14 or so weeks. As you all know, I don't really like change, so having to go to various gyms in various cities is not really my favorite thing in the world. Once I get used to the gym, though, it's fine. It's just always an adjustment period and then I get back in my routine.

The topic of thought and discussion often revolved around...is this all worth it? Am I happy with my progress? How am I feeling about everything? Well, the quick answer would be yes, yes, and overwhelmed at times. It's really amazing how quickly my moods and outlook on the whole thing change. One minute I'll be on the verge of tears and not really sure that everything is worth all the sacrifices, and then the next minute I'm ready to go back to the gym and bang out another workout. Thankfully, all the people I visited helped me through my weak moments and praised and encouraged me other times.

I think the "is this all worth it" is the most prominent question I have in my mind. And while I think the answer is yes, I'm not really sure I'll know for absolute sure until the whole competition is over. I mean, I know parts of it are definitely worth it, and I know I'm in the best shape of my life, but some days, especially on vacation, just really made me question everything. While most people could pack their beach bag, throw on their suit and go, I was in the kitchen preparing numerous meals in numerous Tupperware containers that would be put in an insulated bag and lugged to the beach (thanks for the bag, Mama!). Then, I have to watch the clock continuously not only to know when to eat but also to plan everything out so that I can make it back to the gym for my 2nd cardio session and time it all right with my meals. I ate a bunch of meals out of Tupperware AT restaurants...luckily the staff didn't care or seem to mind. I ate a bunch of meals (you guessed it, out of Tupperware) both on the way to and from the beach. I cooked a bunch of food while we were there...guess where I stored it all?! :)

The bottom line that I came to was this: Yes, this has been worth it and will continue to be. I made a goal and I am going to reach it. Does it royally suck sometimes? Is it royally inconvenient a lot of the time? Is it mentally exhausting? YES YES YES. But I am doing it. I'm actually doing it. I'm happy with the way things are coming along. What I have also realized, however, is that I started my strict dieting way too early. Most competitors diet for 12 weeks and when I finish I will have dieted (VERY strictly with NO cheats) for 22 weeks (I'll do the math for you, that's almost 6 months). I don't think this can really be healthy and my body is showing signs of that. I'm mentally and physically exhausted. I don't sleep well at night and I hardly ever feel truly rested. I haven't gotten my period in 2 months. I keep getting bruises really easily (maybe need more iron?). I have to ice my knees at least once a day. I have to take 5 fiber pills in order to stay regular (meaning going every OTHER day) because I'm just not consuming that much food...my body is just starting to really feel the effects of everything I am putting it through. But like I said, I'm doing this. I'm reaching my goal, come hell or high water, and then I'll take some time to re-evaluate what I want to do. I hope that all made sense. I guess it is worth it in the end but some days it's just hard to keep motivated and not be sad about the things I'm missing out on. There are ups and downs, but overall it's a worthwhile haul...but I don't think I'll be taking anymore big trips between now and the competition (my Tupperware is getting tired, they told me so).

A few number updates:
6 - number of out-of-town gyms I've worked out in (Dewey, Ocean City, Richmond, Charlottesville, Columbus OH, and Nags Head)
6.5 - number of weeks left
20 - number of pounds lost
124.0 - current weight
10 - number of times I'm in the gym a week
12 - number of egg whites I eat a DAY
3 - number of eggs I dropped on the floor today :(
18 - ounces of MEAT I eat a day...yummmmmy!! Carnivore all the way, baby!
2 gallons - amount of water I *try* to drink each day
2 - current pant/skirt/dress size
1 - pair of clear, bedazzled 4 and 3/4 inch heels sitting next me (whole post on them coming soon!)

Thanks to everyone I visited for all of your support and help and patience and flexibility. I know my schedule, both eating and working out, is not easy but I appreciate you all more than you know.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 87: Posing Part 2: I Know I Need More Muscle...Hurumph

While I was at the posing session (a week ago), a discussion came up about whether I would be better in a bikini competition or a figure competition at this point in my "career."  She (the posing coach) explained bikini to me as "the cover of Shape magazine" whereas a figure competitor would be "the cover of Oxygen or Muscle and Fitness."  She said I would probably be ready for a bikini competition in August and was not sure I'd be ready for a figure competition in September....... this began sounding allllll too familiar.  This is essentially what happened to me back in the early spring when I was basically told (my someone else) I needed more muscle before I began cutting weight.  In the spring, this led me to give up my figure competition training and I headed straight to the Cheesecake Factory.
So, I was encouraged that she thought I would be ready for bikini, but discouraged that I still didn't have enough freakin' muscle for figure!  At this point, it was kind of a catch because I can't really gain muscle while cutting weight...right now, I'm basically cutting weight to bring out the definition in the muscle that I already have.  So, I was left with 5 options:
1) Just go ahead with the September 25th figure competition as planned and see how it goes.
2) Just do the bikini competition in August.
3) Do both.
4) Bulk and gain muscle for a few months and then try for a competition in the spring of 2011
5) Run, not walk, to the Cheesecake Factory

The posing coach, who I really liked, told me to take some pictures, send them to Mike (the guy who does my workouts and diet), and see what his thoughts were.  Then, I would figure out a plan and get back in touch with the posing coach to go from there.  I sent this email on Wednesday and while I waited for a reply, I did some soul-searching, if you will, about what I wanted to do, regardless of what anyone else thought I should or shouldn't do.  I'm not going to lie, I did consider option #5 for a hot second.  Then I scratched that.  Then, I started doing some research on bikini competitions and what I found I was not very impressed with.  It just wasn't me.  For a lot of reasons.  But mainly because I am just set on doing figure--I like that physique and that has been my goal now for about 8 months.  So, that left me with option #1 or option #4.  I talked to Greg, my mom, and friends about the pros and cons of both and then I went to bed.  In the end, I had to decide what I wanted to do.  I'm quickly learning that there are so many people in this sport who give you advice and opinions and ideas, but in the end, you have to sort through it all and figure out what is right for you.

So.... I woke up the next morning and knew that option number ONE was my choice.  I hadn't heard back from Mike.  I hadn't talked to my posing coach again.  I just knew that I had worked my ass off for a long time, I had this September 25th goal in my mind, and I could always be waiting for my body to be more ready than it is now (or will be in 9 weeks).  I also know that this show is through a much smaller organization and, I think, a little less competitive than the big, major organizations, so it will be a perfect show to get "my feet wet" and learn all the ins and outs of this sport.  Everybody has to start somewhere, so why not in Henrico County, Virginia on Septemeber 25th?  I have to reach this goal.  I just have to do it and see how it goes.  I think I will forever regret it if I don't. (I did eventually hear back from Mike and he said that I have more of a figure body and if I did bikini the judges would probably say I had too much muscle.  I was glad I had made my decision before he said this, but the affimation was nice too).

While it is challenging to have not really had one person in the figure world say, "Wow, you have great potentional for figure" or "Your body will get there," I know that my body is getting better and better everyday and I know that all of YOU support me so diligently!  I cannot explain how much everyone's kind words have helped me push through and stay motivated.  You all are absolutely, amazingly wonderful to be so supportive every day and I honestly think I would have given up if it weren't for you all. 

I will continue to work to stay in the figure world.  I enjoy lifting.  I enjoy the sport.  And I will get more muscle, damnit! :)

Oh, and I have another posing session tomorrow!  I really like the posing coach, she is a HUGE help!!  Greg can't come so I don't know if I will get any more pics in my sweet, black heels, but I'll let you know how it goes!!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 84: Posing Part 1: Holy Uncomfortable Poses, Batman!

Everyone I've talked to who has competed in a figure/bodybuilding shows has said that it doesn't matter how physically ready you are prior to the show if you have not practiced your poses multiple, multiple times.  I've even heard that some competitors with a better physique may place lower than someone with a worse physique because their posing was not as good.  It seems like this would be untrue, but after having my first, 1-on-1 posing session with a professional figure competitor, I can believe how crucial every, single movement and placement of your body is when it comes down to the judging.

At first, I was a little embarrassed to be standing in a yoga/pilates room (filled with mirrors), in my Target bikini and some cheap, black heels that were not even close to what I would have to wear.  But my posing coach, who I liked, really helped me relax and just started taking me through everything I needed to know.  It was all very overwhelming because there are different poses for different organizations, so what you practice really depends on the exact show that you're competing in.  It was a lot to take in, but it was a very beneficial introductory session.

What I found most surprising was a) like I said, how much information you have to remember about every move and pose, and b) how FREAKING uncomfortable holding those poses really is!  At the shows I've watched, the women look so relaxed and make their poses seem so easy.  Let me just tell you, my back was sore for FOUR days after posing!  By the end of the session my face was beat red and I was sweating...from posing!!  It was incredible to me how I had to think about how every part of my body was engaged in each pose, and then just when I kind of got the pose, I was being taught how to transition to the next pose.  The whole thing was a whirlwind experience but it really got me on the right track so that I can practice these poses for the next 9 weeks.

Here are some pictures that Greg took of me at the session and then some more pictures I took when I got home so I could send them to Mike (my diet/workout coach).  I obviously still need some work on my posing, but it's much better than before!

PLEASE check out my black heels circa 2000...just look, don't judge :)

Just for fun, let's see a comparison:

Oh boy!  Well, here's to more posing and more improvements!  I have a whole 'nother post about posing/what came from my posing session, so stay tuned!!!!

Thanks for all your love and support!!  xoxoxo