I have this great sponsor, Bob Williams, who is a well sought after photographer in Oregon. He’s always a complete doll (and flatterer) and helps me stay focused by giving me free photo shoots so I can track my progress. Wow, I’ve impressed myself. It’s such a great feeling, visibly seeing a change in your body. Take progress photos. It doesn’t have to be a professional photographer, with their fancy lights and camera. Use your phone or a point-and-shoot camera. Front, back and side shots. Then in two weeks, do it again. You’ll wow yourself. Sometimes, it’s easy to get a little discouraged when the scale doesn’t budge. A picture says a thousand words, and some compliments too. Since I started training in January 2011, I never dreamed in a million years that I would be so content with the way I have sculpted my body. Never stop trying, always make your goals, exceed them and make some new ones. For now, I leave you with this: Train hard, Eat Clean, Sleep, Love, and always smile.
When it comes to your health, playing ignorant can me deadly.
If you want to get healthy, regain some energy, and have an overall better physique, you should adopt a crawl-walk-run method.
Crawl Phase -Research your nutrition. Many adults (and children) are plagued with poor eating habits and an even worse nutrition plan. A typical diet is loaded with simple carbs, high in unhealthy fat, sugars, and sodium. The best way to essentially fix your diet is to pick natural and minimally process foods. Also known as, clean eating. It’s a serious fundemental to health that will change your life.
What does clean eating mean to you? Cut the crap, literally. Pick the outside aisles at the grocery store. Pick nutrient dense foods, fresh instead of from a box. If you have to question whether or not you should be eating it, then don’t.
Eating clean is a safe way to lose weight, keep the weight off, and live a healthy energized life. However, you must eat in moderation but remember that we are not perfect. Adopting a 90/10 rule has helped many people become successful in their goals. If you are going to indulge in a candy bar once in a great moon, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself over it. Let the 10% slide a bit.
Things to think about cutting out: Table Salt, Sugar, Foods high in Fat.
Again: Do your research. One of my favorite places to look for new meal plans, or to gain more knowledge is bodybuilding.com
Happy Training all!
I am typing this from my Droid, so I apologize in advance for any typos or grammatical errors.
I’m one of those gals where my brain is constantly buzzing. It’s like my mind is creating spider graphs or a lego building blocks to my future. When something changes, I don’t always adapt very fast. It can take a long time for me to process and rebuild my path. I’m always for change, I usually am a control freak though. If the change wasn’t my own doing, all heck breaks loose and I’m back to square one. Which is extremely frustrating. It’s as if all those little paths fall of a cliff or my building blocks fall down from an earthquake. Now, obviously not everyone works that way. It’s also a good thing, (I think so anyways) to recognize your faults. Last prep in September, when I was three weeks out of a figure competition, I had a complete and utter mental breakdown. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with depression. This break down was due to me not being able to lock my prep down. I had just switched 5 weeks out from bikini to figure. Physically, I may have accomplished something but my depression got the best of me. I was a total blubbering mess!
From there, I signed off mentally and emotionally. If you turned on my computer screen, you would see a black screen with a blinking green line. Old school matrix style. When I think back on it, boy, did I need it. It’s important to recognize who you are and not let anyone divert from a healthy living. I wasnt healthy. Now, three months later I am back on track. Happy as ever and ready to tackle this buffalo of a prep. I’m excited to wake up each morning and lift heavy. I’m excited to do figure. Granted, I have a looming deployment on the horizon but I won’t let that damper my spirits in being successful.
This Monday, I am excited for my future. Planned or not. Stay healthy ya’ll!
We all get the bug of uninspired, unmotivated, and just plain lifeless. You get that feeling that every step you take is weighed down with the world and you have no idea how to get the chain of your ankle. The winter months tend to make people a bit more of a homebody as the cold sets in. Holidays crop up, the thought of family, hot cocoa, feasts, and watching movies as the sun sets before 7 p.m. every day.
You are doing one thing right, you’ve taken the RIGHT step in the RIGHT direction for getting a little umph back into your life by reading this. You have motivated yourself enough, to click the link to find out HOW you can do it. Now, the following steps aren’t strict and are left a bit to your imagination and not completely in order except the first one and the last one.
This will be fitness related, since, I am such a fitness gal. My biggest problem is getting the strength to exercise…SHOCKING! Right? It happens to best of us, even the ones that pride themselves in their figure.
First, set a goal. Any goal, it could be as simple as setting your alarm back five minutes so you have those five extra minutes to yourself in the morning. Or it could be, packing your gym clothes the night before. One small goal, is the second step into the right path of motivated.
My small goal: To run a 5k race once a month.
Second, research a little. Find out what you can do, when you can do it, how it will help you, where it will get you.
My research: Races in the area, what I should train for, how I should train for them. End result – running 2-3 times a week of 3 miles or more will improve my 2 mile time for my Army Physical Fitness Test. I can max out my run by January. January is when the NCO of the Year verbal board is.
Third, get yourself AMPED. Think of something that used to get your adrenaline pumping. That just made you want to yell and grin, so it made you look like this little devil. Get that excitement and push yourself forward.
My AMPED: I always think back to when I played rugby, the rush I would get when I would pick the ball on the weak side of the scrum, pass to my wing, take the lateral and rush up the field. Dodge, juke, stiff arm players as I flew by them. I would lengthen my stride just a bit more, so I could get that extra push forward to take a glance back behind me to see who I left in my dust. That grin I would get, knowing they couldn’t catch me.
Fourth, do less. There are times that you will plan too much. Simply, you have put too much food on your plate and now you have the nearly impossible task of eating it. Remember the days, when you were a kid, and you wanted to eat just as much as your parents? Yet, your eyes were simply just too big for your stomach. Take your goals into account and do what is reasonable. Don’t tell yourself that you will be an Olympic ice skater if you’ve never even set foot in an ice rink. Make things doable for yourself.
My do less: Take one day at a time. I try not to plan too far ahead because I don’t want to give myself unreasonable expectations.
Fifth, talk about your project. Tell people what you are doing, how you are going to do it, and what you want to get out of it. The more you talk about it, the more you hold yourself accountable to your actions.
My talk about project: I tell everyone and their mother, I ask for advice, stories, and concerns. I make sure what I’m doing is the right way.
Sixth, accept failure. Know that you aren’t always going to meet your goal on time, and that some days won’t always be the best. Accept it, and move forward. Just because one day doesn’t work out for you doesn’t mean you can’t change your attitude tomorrow.
My failure: I get injured, I get off track, and my nutrition sometimes sucks. That’s okay; Currently, I have a shoulder injury. Ice, compression, and rest. Tomorrow will be a better day.
Seventh, enlist help. Believe it or not, there is someone out there who knows more than you and who can help you. There are also people out there who may have the same goals as you and want to do it with you.
My help: My boss runs ultras. Trail runs of anywhere from 30 to 100 miles. I’m trying to improve my 5k run time so that every 5k I do each month, I do better. He helps me run once a week. I have friends who run a 5k with me as support.
Eight, fix your attitude. Your attitude determines your experience. If you are feeling down, you’re going to do things “down”. If you go in with a positive outlook, then you will succeed.
My attitude: I know I’m not the best, but I will do the best for myself.
Ninth, define your awards. What will happen if you complete your goals? Will you get ice cream as a treat? Are you looking for better overall body composition? Are you trying to meet something for a sport?
My award: Doing a 5k a month, keeps my cardio on track so I may max out my 2 mile run for the Army. If I max out my run, I max out my PT test making me a top contender for the NCO of the Year award.
Tenth, do it. Guess what, I’ve run three races since September. September I did the Fall Celebration 5k in Eugene, Ore. I ran it in 27:08. In October, I ran the Zombie Apocalypse trail 5k, I ran it in a terrible time that I just so happen to forget. November, I ran in a 3.6 mile 17 obstacle course run in 46:03. Pretty sure, this Thanksgiving, I will be running in the turkey trot.
GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND DO STEP ONE.
This past Sunday, I worked with Bob Williams. Probably my favorite photographer. He always shows me great professionalism and produces excellent photos, pre and post edit.
I brought along my “crew”, my friend Ian Allensworth, who is an aspiring photographer and personally I think, with practice, a future model. The second, my boyfriend, Levi Toebe – a natural athlete and a future sports model. Ian scored a sweet old school camera (in the print days) that he wanted to show off to Bob and Levi wanted to squeeze in a few headshots for a casting call. The three of us waltz in to his studio, with of course a six-pack of Inversion IPA, with big grins and better greetings.
I started to prep Levi for his head shots, a bit of MAC foundation to hide the circles under his eyes from us staying up super late from a birthday bash the night before, some light powder to even out his overall skin tone and put some chapstick on his lips to fill them out. He did a couple of push-ups, with a slight smirk and got ready for the camera.
It dawned on me how having your picture taken by anyone (professional that is), is such a confidence boost. I started putting on some bare mineral foundation on and peeked at what they were doing through the mirror. Bob gave him a few directions, Levi obeyed and pictures were created.
I decided not to put any mascara on that usually popped out my long eyelashes. Fluffed my cheeks with a bit of bronzer to even out my usually red skin tone.
As they finished, I stepped in front of the camera, and moved like I knew how to move. Bob always gave minimal instruction, as we both have worked several times together. He always made me feel more feminine and complimented me at the right times. A you should with models since we are all insecure girls trying to make some vain standard for ourselves.
After all was said and done, we encouraged Ian to get in front of the camera.
We drank a few beers over the next 90 minutes and shoot the “shit”. Talking about possibilities, the business and what we all wanted to get out of it.
I have to say, it was probably one of the best shoots I’ve attended, maybe not the best pictures but I left feeling more alive.
Connecting with people is such a beautiful thing.
Smoothie #1 – 1/2 cup of blueberries, 3 Strawberries, half a banana, pinch of parsley and 1 cup of 50/50 spring mix, 1/2 cup of tillamook vanilla yogurt and 1 cup water.
Not going to lie, I was super wimpy on this one when it came to it being a “green” smoothie. I was worried that it was going to taste gross so I piled in the blueberries. It was actually pretty delicious and felt a bit relieved that you couldn’t taste the parsley…since they smelt so strong before going in! I basically sipped on it for an hour until it was gone. It’s a lot of “food”.
I chose to start doing green smoothies since they are known for their detoxing values.
Parsley is often ignored and unrealized for its anti-oxidant nutrients and vitamin providant.Here is a great article about Parsley if you want to know the nitty gritty: WHFoods: Parsley
You basically can’t go wrong with Romaine Lettuce – with crazy amounts of vitamins and fiber.
Spinach – We all have seen Popeye and how it gave him super strength biceps, the cartoon creator was on to something. Spinach is rich in anti-inflammatories and anti-cancer nutrients. For more on the nitty gritty: WHFoods: Spinach
As you can see, smoothie #2 is a lot greener!
1/2 cup mango, 1/4 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup banana, 1/4 cup tillamook vanilla yogurt, 1 cup water, then I added a bunch more parsley and 2 cups of Spring Mix(romaine lettuce and baby spinach).
Life really is all about balance. When negatives are thrown your way, you try to rebound with something positive. There are times in your life, you are having a phewy kind of day and you take a break with a kit kat bar to make yourself feel better about what unfolded that day. If you are dieting and trying to lead a healthier notion than that delicious decadent chocolate bar … the guilt might be setting in for you. However, do NOT “woe is me”!
Something that really has caught my attention is the perverse need and feeling for a cheat that some people have. I have had the cravings and still do when I’m on a strict nutrition plan, where I literally dream of nachos or ghirardelli chocolate. A lot of personal trainers
(not to generalize) will say again and again how cheat meals are for the weak, but sometimes those hunger pains are something much more!
Low Leptin levels. “Leptin (Greek leptos meaning thin) is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism.”
(I know I shouldn’t be referencing wikipedia but sometimes they have the most COMPACT way to explain something so complex!) What it all means is, when your leptin levels are low, you have some SERIOUS cravings and also a slowed metabolism in the process. Your body is literally telling you to refeed. However, we need to “cheat” with constructive healthy foods.
One of my friends, Rachel, used to laugh at me as I would be horrified that I cheated with a wheat tortilla, a tiny dollop of sour cream and less than an 1/8th cup of cheese in some of my food!
In saying, I haven’t been perfect, but I did what my body was craving and avoided anything a bit ridiculous
(there was a time or two the boyfriend had to yank the nutella jar and peanut butter jar out of my reach as I tried dipped my spoon in them for the tenth time).
The question is, how do you cheat and but stay in your means of a good healthy, soul satisfying way? How often should you refeed?
It completely depends on how much body fat you have, and how intense and long you have been on your strict nutrition plan? People with lower body fat, have to refeed more often.
So, instead of going into the science of metabolism, energy expended, calories and the down dirty of your nutrition …
Cheat, once a week. Try to eat healthy, but eat foods you do crave to satisfy the psychological restraints that you have put on yourself. Know, that every day you are perfect with your nutrition, puts you one day closer to the food you desire.
Still feeling guilty? Read the below blog!!!
Do not fear for Rachel Mac is here! Rachel is a litigator in Chicago and always improving her physique for a healthy life. She leads a VERY busy life at work and tries her hardest to squeeze in work outs. I honestly believe, if she can be diligent than so can anyone else! I love her blog about “forgiving yourself” after a weekend binge. Read as follows from her questbar blog. Read the rest of this entry »
When things change, it’s always good to stop and reflect on the moments. To understand why things are happening and how to best go about each situation to make yourself better.
I received a phone call from my trainer last Thursday. As I listened patiently for three minutes as he explained some “news” that quite literally felt like a lifetime, I received information that in that moment made me feel…devastated. My body just wasn’t going to cut it for the bikini division. At first, I was pretty angry. I was angry that for trying to cut tissue and lean out wasn’t going to get me the body I desired. Then I was frustrated that I just didn’t have the swag some girls do, and I knew I would suffer in stage presence points. Finally, I succumbed to what had been the inevitable from the beginning, switching to figure division.
As I looked in the mirror, following the lines of my body from my head to toes… I knew it was true. I just have too much muscle. I have too many lines and too much definition. Why would I not want that? I have to accept the fact, in the must humble way I can, that I have an elite body and it was ass-backwards thinking to change what I’ve been genetically given. Maybe it’s been all those “people” who have judged me for having a “man’s” six-pack, thick legs and broad shoulders.
That’s when I stopped the negative thinking.
I saw something in the mirror and I saw a blessing.
I’ve been blessed with an oppurtunity and I will take it. I will strive to be the best that I can be and hope that it motivates others. I aspire to inspire. I want to know my own limitations so I can help others hurdle theirs. I will hold my fists up in triumph, open my palms and lend a helping hand.
And it’s true, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.
How do you look in the mirror today?
As training goes, I’m an emotional roller coaster. However, no stress. Which is good when trying to lose body fat (and wittle down muscle tissue on my part). Really looking forward to some posing sessions and getting the nitty gritty over with. No more cheat meals, sad. Let’s all keep hoping that I get a tiara!
1. What is your favorite vacation spots? – David Sullivan
I’m not a huge “going places” kind of person. I’ve made roadtrips and day dreamed about exotic places…what really get’s my blood moving…is getting my blood pumping. I love to go anywhere that I can hike, backpack and scenic sight-seeing. There is something so much more satisfying about being in the outdoors and really taking nature in! In the future, I would like to trek around Thailand and backpack in South America.
2. What is a typical day in your diet? – Connie Rankins
First off, I would like to say, I don’t believe in the word “diet”. It comes with so much negative connotation in American society. “A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons”. People think “dieting” is difficult, that they can’t eat certain foods. Or they “diet” to lose that extra fluff, lose it, then start eating bad all over again.
I like the word “nutrition”. “The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth”. Doesn’t that sound so much more pleasant.
I love healthy foods. Even as a little girl, I would eat my veggies any day of the week over french fries. My nutrition usually consists of veggies, clean one item protien and complex carbs. A typical day would be as follows:
One whole egg, and one egg white, with a cup of spinach, omlette style. I usually put sriracha sauce all over it. Half a cup of steal cut oats with cinnimon, mmm mmm mmm.
My first snack of the day would always consist of some kind of healthy fat and veggie. I love hummus and carrots(or broccoli) or half an avacado. If I’m allowed dairy (depends if I’m in season or not), I might put a dollap of sour cream and in the middle of my avacado!
Lunch for me is usually chicken, sweet potatoe and asparagus(or broccoli). I cook almost all my food in olive oil and season it however I want. I love spicy food! In off season, I usually pile in the brown rice, wheat tortilla and all the fixings(minus the gobs of cheese).
My second snack of the day – usually cottage cheese or a protien shake or even walnuts mmmm walnuts.
My dinner is usually fish. I love salmon but try to stick to white fishes. I usually pan cook it with squash. Which helps keep it juicy and nearly steamed cooked.
It’s hard to realize how much motivation tasks take, until complacency sets in. The lazidasical way of life can hit anyone at anytime … that’s if you let it. The greatest power anyone has, is to say two simple words, that can make or break your day. ”Yes” or “no”.
That’s when the realization set’s in, your life is your
time to be lazy choice! (Unless of course you have some underlying medical condition that prevents you from being the best YOU, physically).
So I will say, “Yes! I will work out! Yes, I will be a better me! Yes, I can be whatever I dream, because my dreams are my goals! Yes, I will be fit. Yes, I will eat healthy. Yes, I will get up in the morning and be happy for a new day!”.
And that my friends, is my motivation.