Archive for November, 2013

Month End Check In…How Did You Do With Your Goals?

Goodness this month went by fast! Heck this year is flying by!!!! Time to check in with my monthly goals and see how I tallied up…..

My first goal was to stick to my healthy lifestyle, but enjoy my Thanksgiving in moderation. I did enjoy my Thanksgiving this year! It was just the 3 of us, so we did not prepare a crazy huge meal. It was enough goodies for us to feast on for a couple of days. I ate my favorites and felt great! I hit the gym Friday and truly felt strong as ever! I never felt guilty and that made this holiday so much better!!!

Next, I have been concerned with our money management. Our family’s needs come before my dreams and aspirations of becoming a figure competitor. We have a long list of bills that we have been behind on and are slowly getting paid back up/off. It hasn’t left much funding for the things I need or will need. I am trying to ease the burden of my competition costs by starting a Go Fund Me account. I have been blessed so far with it. It has allowed me to purchase my suit and my shoes! www.vizioncouture.com was also a huge blessing since they had such a phenomenal Black Friday sale! 50% off made my suit SO much more affordable!!!

I again have been a bad blogger. I had another slammed month, which I am sure December will be the same. Seems with Zoe getting older I have my hands full and am constantly running or have something going on. Her homeschooling is much more in depth which has taken up a lot of my morning time. I need to figure a way to better balance my time. I am trying hard to not allow my blog to sit on the back burner. Hoping after this next move I can be better about that!

My last goal is teaching Zoe to be more thankful ALL the time. With our proposed move coming up, this will be a great way to expand on that lesson! We usually clean house before we move, meaning we go through everything we own and decide what needs to be sold, donated, and trashed. In the past few years Zoe has been too young to understand where her old clothes and toys were going. This year she is going to help me choose which toys need to go and we will explain to her why we give them to other children and why it is important to help people in need. She is already a pretty gracious child, but we do not want her to take the things she has for granted.

 

Giving Thanks….

With being sick yesterday, I had a lot of time to think about what I am grateful for.

I have been teaching Zoe to be thankful for all of our blessings everyday rather than once a year. We sit down every night to pray and tell the Lord thank you for our blessings.

I am thankful for my husband and my daughter. For they have taught me what unconditional love is. What I previously thought I knew about love and relationships was all proven false to me. These two have changed my world and my out look on life.

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I am thankful for all of the opportunities my husband has had with his job! They have opened doors that were not available in other industries. He also enjoys his job very much! 😉

I am thankful for always being able to find a lovely home at last min when we move every year. It was difficult to find homes in our price range that met our criteria when we had Beardog, so it is a blessing that we always seemed to make it work.

We thought we had a plan for a better home for Beardog. We move a lot and the stress seemed to be affecting him. When we took him in we found out there were circumstances beyond our control and Bear wasn’t able to be adopted. The circumstances left us to make a decision we were not ready to do. Sadly he was put down.We love Bear more than anything, but know that it was best for him. He was no longer healthy. I am thankful that we were able to provide him with a loving family. I am thankful we had the chance to say goodbye. I am also thankful that he cared for my baby and loved her so much. He was and always will be her guardian angel. One that will always be in our hearts xoxo

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I am thankful that we were blessed with Charlie. We found him at just the right time and he has been detrimental to all of us healing with the loss of Bear

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I am thankful for our Parents who always love and support us

I am thankful for all of the friends I have old and new! I have met some amazing people in this lifetime! Many over the past couple of years, some only online and I feel so blessed to know each and every one of you!

I am thankful for the continued journey I am on and the phenomenal support I have had from some in the fitness community! I have some amazing mentors who have been guiding and teaching me so much! Some who are in the NPC some are IFBB. Pro or not they have showed me love and support and I am forever in their debt!

I am thankful to have my daddy for another year. He is still sick, but he is a strong champion and continues to fight and love life!

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I am thankful for all of you who take the time to read my ramblings and follow my journey. Your love and support means more than you can ever fathom!!!!

I am thankful for my sponsor Saturn Supplements for also believing in me and continuing to help me reach my goals and dreams!

Saturn Supplements - Vitamins & Supplements  I am thankful to those who have generously been donating to cover the odds and ends of my journey to the stage. It truly means so much!

The proceeds I have made so far actually went to cover my suit and shoes. They were both ordered last night. If you are looking, Lester at Vizon Wear is having a Black Friday sale it will be going on till midnight on Friday! He is the best in the business and has phenomenal suits at remarkable prices and hands down the best customer service out there! http://www.vizioncouture.com

Last but not least I thank God for every blessing good and bad that has led me to where I am today! I hope you all give thanks where it is due and have a fabulously fit day and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

 

 

 

Thank Goodness It’s Monday!!!!

I so look forward to Mondays! Especially after the weekend I have had :-/ Most hate Monday, so here……

Josh was sick Friday and Saturday. I spent Saturday and yesterday sick with a rambunctious toddler who had no intention of allowing me to rest.

Today is a new day and I am still a little under the weather, but ready to hit the gym!!! As always, let’s kick it off with Lady Swole Monday. 

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Hope you all have a fabulously fit day xoxox
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Post Birth Control Update

So you may remember back in January of this year I quit taking my birth control, because I was concerned how it was affecting my progress. You can CLICK HERE to read more.

I wanted to update how my body has changed since then.

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These are my progress pics from January around the time I quit my birth control.

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Although I still have some body fat to burn off, I feel I have made huge strides in this past year!

You can see I have put on quite a bit more mass, granted I have bulked since then. I still feel like my body is trying to get adjusted and back to normal. The before pictures were at the end of my last cut and I actually weigh the same now as I did then. My headaches have subsided, acne is SO much better, dizzy spells have stopped, and my weight is no longer a struggle. My emotional issues are still something I am working on. They have improved, but I am still not like I was pre BC. I can remember  time when PMS wasn’t even a word in my vocabulary, but now is something I struggle with.

   

I hate snapping on Josh and even worse Zoe not to mention crying over the dumbest things, so this is something I am still working hard on getting back under control. I do NOT want Zoe learning these behaviors, nor feeling like she or Josh have to walk on egg shells around me. I hate how being on “The Pill” has affected my body so much. My doctor said it would take a year or two to feel like myself again. It is amazing how these things truly take a toll on your body! Hopefully I will be back to normal sooner than later 😉 I do still feel that they had a negative impact on not only my progress, but my overall health.

Do you take Birth control? What are your thoughts on them? Do you make you feel different? Do you have hormonal moments that you wish you could take back?

 

Can’t We All Just Get Along???

I have been noticing a trend on social media lately. Seems as if there is more hating than support going on in the fitness world. I have so many friends who have different means of staying in shape, but it seems that each group is it’s own little clique. Be it Crossfit, Bodybuilding, Power lifting, etc….. for some reason there is a mentality of “I’m better than you because I _____”

I personally feel that every means of fitness is great! I love weight training and bodybuilding. What I enjoy and what works for me, may not be what makes someone else happy. I feel that everyone should find the fitness plan they enjoy, so they can stick to it.

If you enjoy Crossfit, that is awesome! If you prefer powelifting, great! There is no reason that we can’t all be supportive of each other. We are all on a journey and all have goals. Belittling someone because they choose a different fitness route than you is immature and ridiculous. Most need to choose their words wisely, because you might be crushing someone else’s self esteem or worse their dreams….

My passion for fitness stemmed from the positivity in the community. Seeing a lot of the hateful comments and even memes lately just has me disgusted with how ugly people can be. I see many comments on photos of some of my female bodybuilder and power lifting friends, telling them they look disgusting or look like men. I see bodybuilders posting memes knocking Crossfit as if it is beneath them. I just think that we should all band together in support of one another. We have chosen a healthier lifestyle and that is most important! Social media makes it so easy for bullying to happen and we need to put a stop to the hate! I found this a few days ago and LOVE it!!!!

I think we need to start being more supportive of each other and continue to grow our fitness family xoxox Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!

 

Happy Monday!!!

Been a long weekend for me, so I am ready for Monday!!!!

I spent the past two days fighting a cold off. Zoe likes to kiss all the kiddos she meets in the gym daycare, so she is always bringing home something ha ha ha. We need to work on that 😉 We are feeling much better and ready to train hard! Let’s get motivated!!!!

Lady Swole Monday is always a great way to start the week 😉

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I am 37% to my goal and still in need of help. If you or someone you know can spare a dollar or two and would love to help me out, it would be greatly appreciated!!!! xoxo

Thank you all for the love and support xoxo

 

Goal, Research, Work…The Journey Is YOURS & YOURS alone

I get a TON of emails/Facebook messages. I love getting them, even when some are nasty ha ha ha. I have asked for advice, so I don’t mind paying it forward, when someone asks me.

However, I am NOT a trainer NOR nutritionist. I can give advice, but I will not make a training program nor a diet plan for anyone. What I do for myself, is what I have researched through books, online and asking professionals in the industry. None of which makes me a professional in any sense of the word. I always highly recommend doing your OWN research and finding out what works for you.

It is easy to ask people how to do something, but if you do not understand the fundamentals of WHY you are doing those things, then you will always have to depend on someone else for guidance. I am the type of person who loves to learn and understand why I need to eat certain macros, what combination of exercises will maximize my training, what balance of food works best for my body, etc…. I never understood why you would not want to know forwards, backwards, inside, and out, what and why you are doing the things you do. Especially when it is all being done to your body!!!!

I am a stickler when it comes to understanding my diet and training. Balance is important as far as your foods go. I personally do not agree with a low carb, low fat, or low protein diet. Each of those macros are very important for the proper function of your body. I also believe that proper form is always important when weight training. Leave your ego at the door and quit worrying about HOW MUCH or little you are lifting and more about the quality of your lifts. If you have a desire to change your body, I think that is AWESOME!!!! Always do your research with everything. If you have gotten the advice from someone in the industry, research their answer too! Knowledge is power in everything!!!!! If you truly want to change, then stop being lazy and do the work. Meaning, have a goal, research your plan, do the work  not only in the gym, but in the kitchen. To be successful in any venture this is what has to be done! You can’t depend on someone else’s knowledge to guide you through life. They will end up on top and you will still be climbing the mountain. Take charge of your journey!!!!

I hope to see you at the top! 😉 Have a fabulously fit day!!!!

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The Importance Of Micro-Nutrients. Are You Getting What You Need?

My sponsor, Saturn Supplements, was gracious enough to send me out their daily vitamin/mineral packs called One -Source.

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Getting your micro-nutrients is just as important as getting in your macro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients are your carbs/fiber, protein, and fat. Your micro-nutrients are your vitamins and minerals. Minerals as fluoride, selenium, sodium, iodine, copper and zinc. Vitamins such as vitamin C, A, D, E and K, as well as the B-complex vitamins.

Macros fuel your body and give you energy. They are called macros because you need them in large quantities. Micros are needed in smaller quantities, hence they are called micros, are needed to fight free radicals in our bodies and to keep our organs like our brain functioning properly. A deficiency in them can cause a negative impact on your health. Hair loss, acne, bruising, anemia, and chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.

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I eat healthy, but I also know that I am not getting the proper amounts of Micro-nutrients from my diet alone. With the One- Source packs I am getting exactly what I need. There are 35 vita/mineral nutrients per pack. I love the fact that they are pre-packaged, it makes them easy to take on the go.

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I have taken many vitamins in the past, these have surpassed them all in quality. You get pharma grade sound nutrition from a trusted company that has been in the business for over 20 years. I am proud and honored to be a member of Team Saturn Muscle and thankful for the opportunity to share my opinion on their phenomenal line of supplements!

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Salute To Our Veterans & Motivation Monday

Thank you to those who have protected our country and our freedoms

It is Motivation Monday and I am ready to get strong!

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Be sure to check out NPC Competitor Hope Trask’s Facebook page to get motivated from Lady Swole Monday 

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day xoxo

 

Detour Smart Bar Review & GIVEAWAY!!!!

A few weeks ago Detour Bars contacted me to try out their newest product! I jumped on the opportunity!!! We LOVE Detour Bars!!! I have been fortunate to have tried a few of their bars now. The Lean Muscle bars and Low Sugar last November CLICK HERE and you may remember when I posted about their scrumptious Low Sugar Neapolitan bars in February.  CLICK HERE This time again, have shown that they know exactly what they are doing! I was shipped two boxes of their Smart Bars Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry

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They are an awesome go to snack and on the go meal addition. Low in fat, not bad in carbs, you get some protein, fiber, organic, has natural sugar, and for those looking for gluten free options, these are perfect for you!

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I love these as a snack option for Zoe. I rarely give her things with artificial colors or flavors. These are sweet enough that she thinks she is getting a treat without me feeling like I am the bad mama ha ha or her acting out later from sugar and additives. It is a huge bonus for both of us. She just LOVES them!!!

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DSC_5968I think they are a much better option to breakfast on the go than pop tarts 😉 They look like treats too! They are drizzled with a greek yogurt frosting. Makes them more enticing for Zoe for sure lol

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They come Zoe approved, so you know they are delicious! Sports Bras and Sippy Cups approved, so you know they are good for you! 😉

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Detour wants one of my lucky readers to try both these flavors out for themselves!!!! CLICK HERE to get entered to win!!! I am still in need of help to fund my way to the stage, so if you or someone you know can spare a dollar or two just click my GoFundMe banner on my sidebar. Thank you all for always being so awesome and I hope you have a fabulously fit day!!!! xoxo

 

Enjoying Busy Life

Whew! Been a super busy couple of days, but I have enjoyed every second of it!!!

Thursday I took a rest day and we had family fun day. Zoe and I had a little fun while getting ready. I think it is important to show your kids that you can be silly no matter what age and that we need to be comfortable in our own skin.

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Zoe loves making silly faces and thought these pictures were hilarious! I am definitely going to have to get them framed and hang them up!

We headed downtown to explore the area as well as some lofts. We weren’t happy at first with what we found. Springfield is a college town. We found out that a lot of the lofts that we were originally interested in are party havens. Not exactly the type of environment we were looking to raise our daughter in.

We also checked out the gym we thought we were going to join, but they only have childcare from 5pm-7pm ie. their busiest time and that just doesn’t work for us. I like to train on MY time not theirs. Luckily there is a huge YMCA downtown too, so we will be checking them out next week.

After more exploring and a few more calls we also found some lofts that are just lovely and perfect for a young family!

The leasing agent was booked so we had to schedule our appointment to see them as well next week. We continued to explore the area around these lofts and Zoe just loved walking the city streets. She is such a people watcher and loved scoping out all the sights!  I was happy that she seemed comfortable in the city.

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We even stopped so she and her daddy could enjoy cupcakes from the local cup-cakery lol Yes I took a bite of hers 😉 It was AMAZING!!!!

DSC_6015Yesterday I super cleaned my house then a hardcore back training. I love back day and have been seeing huge strides in my back. Today finishing laundry, chest training, and getting some lesson time in with Zoe.

What do you do on family fun days? I take two rest days a week and have recently started splitting them up one on Thursday and one on Sunday. How often are your rest days? What is your favorite training day?

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day xoxo

 

You Drink Protein,Thought You Were Natty? Wait… WHAT!?!?!

So I was talking with a few people online as well as at the gym and realize there is a huge confusion as to what supplements really are. I had someone comment on one of my instagram pics a while back asking why I don’t build muscle naturally?This confused me. Then a conversation at the gym had me chuckling to myself.  The young guys I told you about the other day, you know the ones who lift REALLY heavy for the sake of impressing each other lol I was talking with someone about my protein, Nitrox Pro and how much I liked it. One of the kids turned to me with his eyes opened wide and said ” I thought you were all Natty” Ha ha ha this floored me. He thinks protein has something to do with steroids!!!

I did my best to explain to these guys what protein is lol, but they all seemed to think that if you take supplements you are no longer a natural bodybuilder. Needless to say, I was pretty amused by the conversation. It made me think of the comment that was on that old instagram pic. I messaged the person to see what they thought those supplements actually were and sure enough, she thinks the same thing. She better understands supplements now lol, but it certainly made me realize how many people make assumptions without researching. For the record, supplements are taken when you can’t or aren’t getting enough of something. For example to reach my protein macro goal, I do drink a protein shake from time to time.

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This is a healthy protein alternative if I do not have time to sit down and eat, or if I am lacking in protein for the day. By no means is taking supplements equal to taking steroids 😉 Although building muscle is hard, it can be done by eating properly and weight training!

Do you take supplements? Have you ever had someone think they were a bad thing? What supplements do you take? Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!! xoxo

Saturn Supplements - Vitamins & Supplements

 

I Have Come To Bump In The Road, But I Am Not Gonna Let It Stop Me!!!!

So after a long talk with my husband about finances, we realize it is going to be really tight financially for me to compete in March. We are planning a move, he has school loans that we are behind on, I have outstanding debt from my previous marriage, etc… Life just gets in the way sometimes. Although I am a sponsored athlete, not all of my expenses are covered. There are many things that a competitor has to pay for and it is getting quite overwhelming. Hotels, gas, food, supplements, gym, suit, shoes, make up, tan, etc…. We have been trying to figure out the best way to stretch our money, so I can continue towards my dreams and goals.

Between my phenomenal sponsor Saturn Supplements and my most awesome husband I have been blessed and a lot IS covered, but I do have some expenses that we are still trying to squeeze in the budget. After talking with several other competitors. They suggested I try out GoFundMe.com to see if any friends, family, or readers would like to help me on my journey. I have never been the type of person who asks for help. It is actually quite awkward for me ha ha ha. However, this is a dream I have been working towards for a long time and I have come so far. To give up because of funding would be crushing, so I figured it doesn’t hurt to try! Obviously not a requirement, but if you want to help, it is greatly appreciated!

Just click below or on my sidebar there is also a link there. If not, that is awesome too! I WILL compete and continue on the road to my dreams!!! I always appreciate you all for your support and your kind words!

I hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!! xoxo

 

I Love Mondays! Lady Swole & Motivation Monday

Happy Monday!

Excited to get this week started!!! You know I like to kick things off with Lady Swole Monday with NPC Competitor Hope Trask To check it out CLICK HERE 

Today I train Delts! It is one of my favorite training days 😉 Time to build them boulder shoulders!

Hope you all get out there and smash your goals! Happy Monday and have a fabulously fit day xoxo

 

Proper Form Is Important! Are You Lifting Too Heavy?

Oh goodness am I sore! This past week of training was AWESOME!

With cutting weight I tend to go through my training faster, but not sacrifice my form. I had thought that the weight I was able to lift would go down, but it really hasn’t that much. In fact, in some exercises it has gone up! I, like anyone, get excited to see that I can lift heavier weights. It makes me feel like I am progressing, as well as feel like a bad ass ha ha. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see people try to go heavier without proper form.

I won’t lie, I was totally guilty of this when I started out. I wanted to be the super strong girl going as heavy as I could. What I didn’t realize is that I was not only putting myself at risk for injury, but looking like a fool and hindering progress. Proper form ensures correct muscle targeting and growth.  I train at a community center, so there are a lot of teens there. I cringe because I watch them go very heavy. To the point that they will say things like they are sore for weeks rather than days, but have convinced themselves that it is muscle growth and not an injury, or blame not being able to pick up the barbell on wearing the wrong shoes lol. Arching backs during deadlifts, barbells awkwardly sideways or slamming chests during bench press, falling while doing squats, 1/4 reps, and swinging arms while doing dumbbell curls. It pains me to watch.

God forbid I try to correct anyone lol Most take offense. Especially if they are corrected by a lady 😉 I try not to pay attention much, but sometimes it is like a train wreck and you can’t help but stare. What’s worse is there are now websites dedicated to showing these awkward gym goers. Although some of the videos are amusing, I think it scares more away from wanting to better themselves for fear of someone secretly recording them in the gym making mistakes. My advice to anyone wanting to start lifting is just research your training. You can pull up photos as well as videos that show how to correctly do the movements. If you can’t keep proper form, then you have gone too heavy. Lighten the load and start over.

I can curl 25-30lbs on my 4th set, but if on just one rep I am swinging the weight to bring it up, that set is done. If you have to swing your arm and it is not a smooth and fluid movement, you are NOT working your bicep properly. Take the time to do each rep properly and concentrate on your contractions.

I focus on how I want my muscles to look and grow. Breathing is important too. If you are holding your breath for each rep, your muscles nor brain are getting enough blood flow. It can cause you to pass out or worse have blood pressure issues. Concentrate on your exhale to be when you are exerting your energy lifting or pushing the weight. Proper breathing will also boost your results!

I started seeing better results when I kicked my ego out of the picture and lifted appropriately. You may think the weight you are lifting isn’t enough, but if your form is on point, you will feel and see the difference. Take care of yourself while building your dream body and build with the power of the Universe 😉 Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!

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