Recap

PhotoGrid_1450923392303A humbling discovery best sums up last year.  I dove into new areas of my faith, explored multiple fitness genres, overhauled what I knew about nutrition & strived to examine myself to the very core.  Each discovery was made outside of my comfort zone but it’s true what they say, that’s where all the good stuff happens.  Continue reading

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A Nearly Missed Message

Tonight’s usual routine of me moving nonstop to get my “to do” list done wasn’t any different except… Continue reading

Let It Go

Holding on to the past, that’s where I was up until a few weeks ago.  After surgery I found myself on a constant hunt to find the pre-surgery me. I had settled into a daily ritual of comparing everything from where I was beforehand to the present.  In every aspect from body to mind I felt behind. Continue reading

Injuries. To Train or Not To Train.

This morning I met with a group of ladies to embark on a monthly ritual of stadiums known as the “Sunday Stairdown”. Mother Nature decided to add a little zest to our morning by dumping a steady chilled rain. Continue reading

Work Out Partners

For years I exercised by myself & for reasons that were downright ill: 1. my view on workout partners 2. I didn’t think I had anybody to workout with.

I remember my husband asking me if I want to train together but it didn’t appeal to me. I thought a partner would slow me down (false). I didn’t want to duplicate a man’s workout (delusional). I knew how to workout I didn’t need him to give me constructive lifting tips (ego fail). Continue reading

Yes You Can

The top two excuses that drive me nuts are no money or time to be healthy.   There are endless exercises that are free & whole foods cost less than processed alternatives/takeout (especially if you add in your medical expenses).  Until you crave change more than your excuses you’ll continue in the same direction.  A stagnate routine creates a stagnate life no matter what reason you use as a filler.  Time has become a comfortable crutch that most believe are valid.  It doesn’t help that as a culture we pamper each other’s excuses confirming it’s just too hard.  When the truth is the only thing holding you back is you.  Maybe you’re okay with not challenging yourself but I’m guessing if you’re reading this blog there’s a curiosity inside you that wants more.

Examine where you’re at & what you’re doing.  Does it make you happy, proud & do you overall feel good?  Yes, carry on & please spread your wealth through encouraging positive actions.  No, suit up it’s time to battle this.

Begin with pinpointing the triggers that are sabotaging you, starting with your belief.  Do you believe it’s too hard, too late, overwhelming?  Is your environment promoting emotional eating luring you into sugared frenzies?  Take steps this very moment to start improving.  Your mindset will dictate the quality of your results.  React now & make a commitment to yourself.   You have the power to control what you believe & how you treat your body.

Next get informed.  Reaching out for guidance is NOT weakness!  Pursue what you want.  If Google is your sidekick process the info realistically.  If it doesn’t seem legit keep researching & ask reputable sources.  If you enlist help from a trainer/food specialist then listen & do the work.  If you turn to your spouse then let your guard down.  Ladies, it doesn’t make you less independent to have a great workout partner be someone you’re in a relationship with.  Drop the “I’m a woman, I don’t need you” a few levels & men be open minded as well.  Take advantage of this time together & grow from each other.

Don’t forget to be comfortable in your skin.  Embrace your highs & lows it’s what make you an individual.  No one knows the details to your story better than you.  Look back at a moment you conquered even though the thought seemed impossible.   The proof you have it in you.  Where did you dig deep from?  Find it again because the excuses won’t carry any longer.  It’s all you.

Meet my inspirational friend Liz Kampschroeder, Mom of 3, owner of DaisyChickDesigns, personal trainer, IFPA Pro & writer (contact info under local services https://theshortsideofit.wordpress.com/local-services/) .  She shared these words with me this morning & it really home that I feel compeled to pass it forward…

“Having supportive people in my life, regardless of distance has been huge for me but I really have had to just believe I could accomplish what I set out to do. Ride the bumps that come along, celebrate the goals reached but most importantly try & be present in the journey. As its all the little things, both positive & challenging along the way that make up my story. I think regardless of the goals we set we have to believe we can get there. The path may not always be what we expect or planned but determination & a little flexibility can go a long way!” Liz Kampschroeder

Helpful Tips (reminder these are just my suggestions on what I’ve learned through experience.  I am not a trainer of any sorts):

Eating

Before you take that next bite rate how hungry you are on a scale 1-10.  This might help you deter emotional eating & ask yourself why you are eating.  Are you tired, thirsty, bored, habit or someone else is eating so you should too type of mentality.

Plan, plan, plan!  Put your food together ahead of time.  Examples: Remove the shell from hard boiled eggs ahead of time (quick & cheap snack).  Carry low sodium tuna packets, no draining , no heating or refrigeration needed.  Apple & nuts in your bag, car, desk drawer.  Protein shakes, it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Eat healthy foods several times a day.  Stop starving your body!

You can live a healthy life with moderation of “bonus” foods not elimination.

Exercises

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The Feeling

Finishing a great workout on my way home I started to reflect on my workouts from last week’s vacation & decided to share…

Last week we flew to Vegas for the Mr. Olympia (the super bowl of IFBB bodybuilding) & drove to Ft. Irwin to visit family.  This gave me the opportunity to experience two different gyms during our travels; one with top of the line equipment at an Army base & the other a hotel fitness room that supplied the mere basics. Both produced some of the most exhilarating workouts I’ve had to date.

The Orleans Hotel & Casino was the host of the Mr. Olympia thus generating an establishment overrun with world status athletes & health enthusiast alike. The clientele consisted of people wearing assorted t-shirts attesting to workout ethic, carrying oversized jugs of water & coolers of food in tow beside them. The fitness center was minimal impelling users to be creative with what was available. When you are surrounded by professional athletes & diehard gym junkies pushing it to the max it’s an in your face call out, that nothing worth working for comes easy. It’s a process that involves hard work, discipline, flexibility, planning & most vital to the mix, a no excuse perspective. These top athletes didn’t arrive & maintain this level by opting to not workout out due to lack of equipment or overcrowded space. Hallways, counter space & body weight were being used to accommodate daily routines.

It’s interesting that not once did it feel like a burden squeezing through everyone to do a set. It’s as though we were all feeding off one another’s energy taking advantage of what our minds & bodies have to offer. The take home is no matter where you are or what your status is focus on what you do have.  Fancy this or that doesn’t make the workout.  The drive to get it done does.  Make it work & you’ll be pleased with the time invested.  The makeshift workout achieved its purpose & my body welcomed the shock.

Before Vegas there was the workout out at Ft. Irwin… the best way I can sum it up is euphoric. This was a workout I left the ear buds out to be sure to fully absorb my surrounding. Ft. Irwin is the national training center. Without a doubt the men & women of armed services are real life heroes. With much admiration it’s evident that dedication & resilience are common characters instilled in this group of selfless beings. Frankly the gym could have been stocked with resistance bands & milk crates. No equipment could measure up to the strength emitted from the presence of these men & women. As I moved along the weights I was swarmed with the reoccurring thought of how I wouldn’t have any of this if it weren’t for these soldiers. We tend to think top of the line athletes are “bad ass” but it is the service men/women that are the true owner of the title. So when I saw the soldier putting up crazy heavy dumbbells like Tic-Tacs you bet I pushed harder, longer & for damn certain without any hesitation.  Again it was an energy that is hard to put into words but what a feeling.  I will forever remember my workout amongst America’s heroes.

The Unknown

6 days out from what will be my 3rd competition & I still feel like a bit of a rookie.  I believe even on the 25th competition there will still be the unknown factor.  This might be the very craze that lures us competitors to return time & time again.  It involves understanding you will push through grueling workouts, spend hours prepping food & practice posing till every muscle screams… without a guarantee of how the finished product will turn out. Yes, it is indeed that thrill of taking the adventure towards being your best & never checking out regardless of an unforeseen outcome.

I’m feeling extra amped tonight.  This afternoon I went to a team meeting discussing the backstage come show day.  This team, N-ER-G & Laser Sharp Fitness, have been phenomenal at eliminating several of the unknowns that come along with competing.   Behind the curtains can be just as nerve racking as the actual stage so it is extremely comforting knowing I have amazing people who I admire ready to help me.  I’m feeling very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of a team that cultivates such positivity & enriches the sport.

To also alleviate some of the anxiety that accompanies the unknown I meticulously log my contest prep.  Aware I cannot predict how my body will respond to upcoming preps it still creates a useful blue print to refer to (Actually I just finished looking over my last prep log & am reminded of some great insight going into this final week).  If I could only offer 1 piece of health/fit advice it is to log it.  Whether you are cutting body fat, race training, muscle building or wanting to feel good (<–my favorite) log your food, workouts & outcomes.  Perhaps not for the rest of your life but long enough to see what does & does not work for your body.  Even when I’m not in the midst of contest prep I log my food & I record personal victories & short comings via lifting, run times, new exercises.  Why torture yourself by repeating errors?  I’ve been there, done it & it was a waste of my valuable time.  Now knowing how my body previously reacted to different types of fuel & training I put in it allows me to continue to grow.  If you think it’s too time consuming or labor intensive then you don’t want to achieve your goal bad enough.  It’s up to you & it’s only a chore if you believe it is.

What unknowns are you going to conquer?

Picture by: Joey Lyday