My Current Training

Happy Friday!!  I haven’t posted much about my current workout schedule and wanted to provide a quick update as to what I’ve been doing.  Especially with my decision to not compete in a fitness competition anymore, I still want to set goals, stay motivated, and have a fit physique.

 

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This has been my split for the majority of January and February:

Back/Bis

Chest/Tris

Kickboxing

Legs

Shoulders/Abs or Plyos

I am currently lifting 4 days per week and I really like this split as it allows me to be flexible with my weekends (if I want to lift, attend a workout class, attend an outdoor bootcamp or do a trail run) and I can always schedule in 1 rest day per week.

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This past week I switched it up (due to boredom mostly and wanting a new split) and did this split:

Bis/Tris

Legs

Kickboxing

Chest/Shoulders

Back/Abs and/or Plyos

I hope this gives you a good idea about how I split up my workouts.  My main goal is to lift weights 4 times per week!  This is what’s working for me currently.  Prepping for my show I was lifting weights 6 times per week and worked variations of my legs 3 times per week (!) but I have just tapered this down to what I want to focus on right now.  My main goals have been to progress with my lifts (lifting heavier) and not do too much at any workout in order to be consistent instead of “all or nothing”.  Realizing that there is always TOMORROW to hit that other body part you want to train.  I always pick at least 3 exercises for each body part and start with a compound (multijoint) movement and then move to accessory work.

What is your current split?

 

 

My decision to never do a fitness competition again

Honestly, this post has been a long time coming.  I competed in my first and only NPC Bikini show in June of 2014.  Since then the majority of people in my life have asked:  ‘When is your next competition?’ or ‘Do you plan on competing again this year?’  For a while, my answer was “Not right now, I am busy with my career or other things in my life” or “No current show set, I am enjoying life and not having to stick to a show preparation schedule with workouts and meals.”   On my other social media sites (hello Instagram), I finally voiced that I don’t plan on competing again anytime soon.  Well, after a short debate, I decided I don’t plan on competing in a bikini or fitness competition ever again.  I wanted to fill you in on how I came to this decision and why.  I wanted to finally discuss my real reasoning behind it so that if you plan to compete in the future or you are struggling with the same decision, it can help inspire and educate you.  I am adding pictures from the day before and day of my NPC bikini competition but in no way mean to glamorize this post.

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1. I want to focus my energy on other aspects of my life outside of my body. Competing and bodybuilding in general is all about sculpting your body.  When you walk into a gym, you are surrounded by wall-to-wall mirrors.  I love lifting and have become addicted to the way feeling “strong” makes me feel but don’t feel the need to constantly be worrying about my body.  Wondering if I am lean enough for the judges, or if my glutes are big enough, shoulders round enough, or hamstrings popping enough.  My body is a representation of my lifestyle but not the END-ALL BE-ALL of my existence.  It is not worth the energy to me anymore.  I have so much else in my life I want to accomplish outside of competing, earning a pro card, getting lean, and looking good on stage.

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2. I saw some dark sides of the fitness industry. The saddest part?  All of the hundreds and thousands of ‘coaches’ out there who have been in the industry for awhile and take advantage of girls and guys who are looking to compete.  There are SO many coaches who have no qualifications and charge people thousands of dollars for a 12 week competition preparation diet and training.  And what is the diet and training?  Usually very low calorie, low carbohydrate, with lots of cardio.  ANYBODY can tell you to eat that little and do that amount of exercise and help you get shredded.  It’s like people lose their minds when they are in competition prep and think that their coach knows EVERYTHING about their own body.  When in reality, they don’t know your body.  Only you know your body.  There are other dark sides-the supplements people feel they have to take, being part of a certain team just to place well, etc.  This is just the tip of some of what can go on (drug use, etc) and I don’t even know it all.

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Personal Cell Phone 4163. Body dysmorphia. The feeling that you are just never lean enough.  Even the week before the show, I was uncertain to whether I was lean enough.  Then, you look back several months later and think, WAS I CRAZY?!  I was SO lean.  How could I not see it?  And I think almost anyone who diets down for a show, photo shoot, vacation, etc can go through this.  Especially the feeling afterwards that you are just never good enough because you don’t look like you did on competition day or week.  I did NOT do ANY extremes that many people go through (fasted cardio, water/sodium manipulation, 2-a-day workouts, consuming unnecessary supplements) but still was at an extremely low body fat and weight.  I was under what is considered a healthy BMI and was at 10% body fat.  To be a healthy functioning woman, you must have at least 12% body fat.  I see most girls still trying to chase this leanness.  So many girls say “Can’t wait to shred again” or “I feel so flully” in the off season.  This is just SO sad.  Why can’t these girls realize they are in shape, exceptional athletes, smart, and still probably leaner than 95% of the population?  Body dysmorphia.  Even when I got that lean, I knew it wouldn’t be sustainable yet somehow it is still hard to gain back the weight and be OK with it.  You have to realize that that lean body was not you-only a symbol of the extreme time and effort you put into it.  Even if you have the time and effort to maintain it, you will need to get over the fact that it is NOT healthy to look like that.  Even if you can maintain it doing 10 minutes of cardio like I had been able to, your body still craves homeostasis.  It is OK to put on some weight-that is what reverse dieting is for!  I am not saying you need to gain 10-20 lbs after the competition like many girls do because they went to such extremes, but you need to at least be HEALTHY!  And because of body dysmorphia, I don’t want to get myself that lean again only to know I will have to put back on a little weight. Because I am beautiful the way I am now, and don’t need that mentality anymore.

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Please email me or comment below with your thoughts.  Thank you for reading!

WIAW: Reverse Dieting Plan

Welcome to another week of Wednesday eats for me over here on the blog!  Even though the link-up party is not going on, I still want to share my eats with you!  These are actually my eats on Monday as I had the day off work for President’s Day and I could take pretty food pictures with natural lighting!!  The small things in life…

I also wanted to do a quick picture recap of my Valentine’s Day weekend since it was SO refreshing and perfect weather here in Texas.

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A dozen roses delivered to my work, outdoor bootcamps with my Valentine, Nutella and Cookies and Cream frozen yogurt topped with cookie dough, Oreo crumbles, brownie bits, Heath Bar, and 1 frosted animal cookie, hiking in 80 degree weather, and lots of tacos from a new taco place in town (the roasted cauliflower, mexican street corn, avocado, and cilantro one in the front was the BEST)!

Now my eats from Monday…

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breakfast//1/2 cup oats, 1/2 scoop ProZero whipped vanilla plant protein, organic raspberries, a mix of coconut butter and peanut butter (2 tbsp total) and a little fat-free Reddiwhip to make it pretty

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lunch//meal-prepped wild-caught snapper (3 oz) with 1 heaping cup steamed broccoli, olive sea salt and basil plus (unpictured) sweet potato chunk dipped in peanut butter

Have you checked out seafoodwatch.org?  I love it to look up seafood varieties when I’m at the store and ensure I am buying sustainable, safe fish varieties.

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preworkout//2 servings Puffed Kamut, 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 scoop ProZero whipped vanilla plant protein mixed in, plus an apple and 1 tablespoon peanut butter (unpictured)

I wish I had tried this cereal sooner!  This combination was heavenly.

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dinner//spinach, feta, tomato and basil omelet made with 1 egg, 1/2 cup egg whites and 1 oz fat free feta, steamed broccoli, and a big pile of leftover organic edamame and mung bean noodles (you can see the package a few posts back on my Instagram feed-I made this on Friday for a date night and it was on it’s last leg)

Added some variety to my meals. I am not a big cheese fan in general but I love Mediterranean and Greek food and this was really, really good!

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dessert//3 slices Silver Hills “Little Big Bread” (19 grams of carbs for 2 slices so these are on the smaller side but love the sprouted grain taste!) with 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/2 T Trader Joe’s low sugar raspberry preserves, 1/2 large banana, and a Cinnamon Bun protein shake made with MTS vanilla whey, water, ice, xantham gum, cinnamon, Walden Farms maple syrup and topped with PB2, more pancake syrup and fat-free Reddiwhip!

Hope my meals give you some great new meal planning ideas.

My reverse dieting plan for the next week: add 10 grams more carbs to get to a total of 220 grams of carbs daily!  Current macros are 210 carbs, 140 protein, and 85 fat (about 2165 calories I believe).  I don’t track macros currently but use it as a guide to ensure I am eating enough at each meal.  I usually don’t have too much of a problem with protein sources or with my fats but like to add up carbohydrate macros about once a week as I have a problem with eating too little of them overall!

 

 

Reverse Dieting Progress

Happy Friday!  I wanted to give a quick update on my reverse dieting progress.  Reverse dieting is when you increase your calories slowly over a period of time in order to increase your metabolism and keep fat gain to a minimum.  After my NPC competition in June 2014, I knew I was going to commit myself to increasing calories and macros slowly to build my metabolism, gain minimal fat, but gain a healthy amount of weight to where my hormones were more balanced and I had enough energy to train hard and feel good.  When I was show ready, I was too lean.  This is not sustainable.  I knew I had to gain some weight back but wanted to do it in a slow and controlled manner.  Honestly, this part was even harder than ‘show prep’ since I had no end date in sight, I had no specific day where I had to stand on stage in a bikini in front of thousands of people.  Willpower and believing in myself and the help from my coach was what gave me the strength to do it.

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Left: May 2014 Right: February 2015

 

As you can see above, I feel I have been pretty successful with my reverse diet.  On the left, I was about 1 month out from my NPC bikini competition and slowly leaning out and reducing calories every week or 2.  On the right, this is me currently.  I am about 5 lbs over my stage weight and very similar weight to the picture on the left.  The difference?  My waist is smaller, my arms are more toned, and my legs are finally “fit” instead of skinny.  I am now eating 2200 calories each day.  On the left, I was dieting down and probably eating 1600 calories a day.  I don’t log my intake in MyFitnessPal.  I don’t obsess over every single little gram of macronutrients I am consuming.  Sure, I may have at first because I wanted to reverse diet properly.  I knew my body was craving more food but didn’t want to just say “to heck with it” like many competitors do and eat anything and everything and gain fat and be out of control with food-on a “clean eating” and binging cycle.  I have set macronutrient goals for each meal (I eat 5 meals each day) and aim to have similar macronutrients at each meal.  Breakfast is usually oatmeal and I know the set macronutrients for any toppings/fruit/nut butter I want to include and just adjust the amount of the fruit or extras to be the amount of carbs and fats I need.  Lunch is usually pretty similar most days because I have a full-time job and need to meal prep this in order to take with me to work.  For my meals 3-5, I pretty much adjust to what I am craving for the day.  For meal 3, some days it is Quest bars with a banana and peanut butter, other days it may be greek yogurt with cereal and almonds, another day it may be rice cakes with protein powder frosting and apples.  I usually have a pretty good grasp on the carb amounts in cereals, fruit, FiberOne bars, PopTarts, etc that I want and then switch up my proteins and fats.  My postworkout meal (meal 4) I completely change around and try new things (this is ‘dinner’ for me).  I know how many carbs I want and just adjust accordingly to what I buy that week at the grocery store (sweet potatoes, corn tortillas, Ezekiel english muffins, brown rice, barley and lentils, etc).  My last meal (meal 6) varies as well.  I followed a flexible eating plan (will dive into this more in the future) because I wanted to be able to be free from the restriction that “clean eating” had made me feel in the past.  This meant, I could eat 40 grams of carbohydrates from sweet potato or 40 grams of carbohydrates in sugary cereal!

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LEFT: May 2014 RIGHT: February 2015

 

 

During my reverse diet, I usually made increases in my calories every 2-4 weeks.  Some weeks I didn’t push it.  If I traveled the weekend before and felt like I splurged, I may not have increased my calories at all because I felt like my body was still adjusting.  Also, if I cut down on cardio, I did not make any changes to my food as this is another part of reverse dieting, cutting down on cardio.  After my show, I was doing 4 HIIT sessions a week for 15 minutes and 20 minutes of steady state cardio most days. Currently, I am doing 3-4 HIIT sessions a week for 10 minutes MAX.  With my reverse diet, I would usually add 7-10 grams of carbs or  add 4-8 grams of fat.  My protein intake naturally rose over the months due to more food overall.  I did not increase weekly but more so bi-weekly or whenever I felt my body was ready.

I finally feel like I am at a place where I am now trying to practice intuitive eating and not rely so much on macronutrients.  This was always my end goal but I wanted to make sure this was a lifestyle and I didn’t go back to restricting my intake.  This was a large step for me as I was used to calculating the macronutrient amounts in my head.  Obviously, this is quick and easy for me now and honestly, I have been doing it for almost a year now and can eyeball most portions within a gram or so.  The issue that intuitive eating has been causing for me currently is that I eat too little naturally.  So, I am still focused on macronutrients right now to make sure I eat enough for my training and to ensure my hormones are balanced.

I hope that helps some of you along the way.  Don’t hesitate to comment down below with questions as I know it may seem daunting at first.

Oh and reverse dieting means you get to eat Oreo’s, in moderation :)

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XOXO

 

WIAW: Instagram and Fitspo Accounts

I had an epiphany earlier this week during a conversation with my boyfriend.  He saw a friend from high school at the gym over the weekend that he hadn’t seen in years.  Let’s call him Jim.  Jim was now into bodybuilding, lifting weights, and fitness.  He was into clean eating-egg whites, oatmeal, chicken and broccoli-but would let himself “go” over the holidays and gain weight.  Then, come January, we would go on a strict diet and restrict his calories so that he could “shred” for the summer.  My boyfriend was blown away by Jim sacrificing his diet and energy levels just to have 6-pack abs come summer.  For some reason, I wasn’t that blown away by this.  Isn’t this “normal”?  Or is this only normal in the ‘fitness industry’.  Am I that blinded by what “normal” is because of fitness?

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breakfast//1/2 cup cream of wheat cooked in the microwave with water and 1/2 scoop ProZero (hpnsupplements.com) vegan protein topped with frozen bananas, strawberries, and bloobs, tsp of chia seeds and 2 Tbsp WildFriends chocolate coconut peanut butter. This peanut butter is SERIOUSLY THE BEST.

Why does it seem like every single Instagram fitsp accounts is shredding or ‘getting back on track’ or starting preparation for a show?   Why can’t we all just be OURSELVES and eat healthy and workout and enjoy bodybuilding, lifting weights, and fitness.  Why do we have to be ‘shredded’?  Maybe it is because we don’t have a road race to run or an event to compete in.  What we do (lifting weights) really shapes our body so we enjoy manipulating what we look at in the mirror.  But maybe it is more than that.  Maybe we all need to take a step back and focus on our OVERALL health and not just how lean we are.  What are your thoughts on this topic?  Is leaning out and shredding for the summer a normal thing?  Or is it worth the sacrifice?

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The roasted veggies I made on Monday for my lunches this week! Roasted broccoli, orange bell pepper, and red onion in coconut oil at 400F for 30-40 minutes.

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lunch//what those beautiful roasted veggies look like in tupperware with 3 oz of cod. Not so pretty anymore!

 

 

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lunch part 2//Finished lunch with a Nutella stuffed sea salt brown butter cookie made by my coworker and a rice cake with some organic peanut butter.  I was really full after all of this!

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Didn’t stop me from eating my preworkout snack//a serving of Chocolate Toast crunch cereal, Fage greek yogurt with cinnamon, and a drizzle of organic PB

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dinner//Fried egg, half of a baked sweet potato, green beans and shaved brussel sprouts with onion powder and nutritional yeast//snack plate of Silver Hills tiny bread sprouted grain bread, half with PB2 and raw honey and half with PB2 and organic low sugar raspberry preserves (Trader Joe’s) and yes, more Chocolate Toast Crunch…

I also had a protein smoothie and a banana with peanut butter before bed! Forgot to capture that on camera.

Should I feel alone in my quest to just live a healthy life?  I know people really do like “Progress Updates” and following someone’s journey to a competition or an event where they need to be in great shape.  Currently though, I am just not sure I want to occupy that amount of energy and time into what my body looks like.  I enjoy going to the gym and eating healthy.  Isn’t that enough?  Do I need to be shredding for people to want to follow my journey?

My most recent progress:

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And if you happened to watch the SuperBowl and love the Food Network…

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As always, leave your thoughts below because this was such a baffling idea to me.  And thank you Jenn!

Last week’s WIAW.

Love you all!