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? 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'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 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 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 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.