Archive for February, 2015

February Goal Recap #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

February went by WAY too fast!!!

Goodbye February Timeline

Going into this month I had big plans and big goals. I feel I rocked it this month! Here are my February’s goals and how I fared ….

Goal 1~ Get lovey dovey. Even though Josh worked a ton in February (huge retail month) We had plenty of chances for family outings and were all able to show each other plenty of love. I really enjoyed this goal. It was a way for all of us to show in different ways how much we truly adore each other. Lots of little love notes and treats left around. Hugs, kisses, massages, shopping, game nights and just family togetherness.

Goal 2~ Make it count. Going into February I had 12 weeks left to this bulk, so I wanted to make sure that I was pushing myself as hard as possible to make each and every training day count! I definitely feel I did just that! My body is sore and tired, but I do see some improvements and I am growing, not just physically, but mentally as well!!!

Goal 3~ Maximize the Weights. Some of my lifts have stayed pretty steady at what they were at the beginning of the month. I haven’t been confident in my form when moving up in weight. I won’t compromise form for ego. With that being said, I have gone up quite a bit in weight on some other lifts. It’s been a process. I have also been switching up some of my workouts. mainly out of boredom ha ha. I do feel that I am maximizing what my body will allow.

Goal 4~ Pose Perfect. This goal is one that is always there. I pose before my training and after. Sometimes if i am just bored, I pose some more. It looks really easy and you may be asking yourself why anyone would need to practice so much? Well, it’s much more difficult and technical than it looks. Figuring out how to flex and hold posing. Remembering what position your body looks best in without a mirror. Being able to flex several parts of your body at once. It all can be mind boggling, so practice, practice, practice! It was my weak areas last year, so I will be damned if I don’t have my posing spot on this year! 

Nicole Wilkins has a way of making it look so fluid and effortless. My goal is to be able to pose as well as she does!

Goal 5~ Start my suit. I knew what color fabric I wanted. I had considered ordering it online, but decided I really wanted to find it in person, so I could make sure everything was perfect for me. We actually spent a lot of time going from store to store to find the right fabric. Josh was a Godsend. He not only was patient with me in my finickiness, but was almost as picky. he takes my competing as serious as I do and I find that just amazing! To have that kind of support is hard to find!!! We do have everything now to get the suit started. Once the suit is made I will purchase the Swarovski Crystals to make it that much more gorgeous!!! 

Goal 6~ Makeup and Hair. This was another weak area for me last year. I am usually just a ponytail and go kind of gal ha ha. Figuring out how to look a little softer from the neck up was a struggle for me. So definitely want to be more prepared this year. Like I said at the beginning of the month, I won’t be paying for my makeup to be done again. I will do it myself. I know what I want and I have every intention of nailing it!!! 

Goal 7~ Zoe’s Lessons. Basically Just staying consistent and keeping it interesting and fun. This is a challenge every month, but one that I love. I adore the time we are blessed to have together, and equally love the ability to educate her and know where she is in her progress. We are excited to start homeschooling, although Josh and I haven’t decided if we will do it this year or next.

Goal 8~ Business/Fundraising Planning. Although I am not ready to share the details with this endeavor, know that something is in the works! 😉 As I stated at the beginning of the month, I would like to be able to fund my own way into my competitions without having to rely on my hubs so much. Plus, I want to start a foundation that Zoe can help me with, so she can learn to give to others. It is something that I am hopeful will be able to start in the next couple of months. I am really excited about the whole plan!!!! 

Hope you all reached the goals you had set for yourself! I already have next month’s goals lined up and ready to go!!!

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Why You Need A Better MultiVitamin #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

I’m sure you have all seen the headlines about several major retailers misleading their customers when it comes to their supplement lines.

Personally, I wasn’t that surprised. Although one is a popular supplement store, I don’t consider any of them supplement experts, nor have I or will I buy supplements there. With as much money as people in the fitness industry spend on their daily supplement stacks, it is imperative to know what you are buying is in fact quality!

My go to for ALL my supplement needs has been and is Saturn Supplements. A trusted source in the fitness and supplement industry for over 25 years! They are available in 20 countries and growing. They offer a unique line of products specifically designed for athletes and health-minded individuals demanding high level performance from themselves and the products they take.

Saturn Certified

I think one of the most over looked supplements, is your multivitamin. Almost half of adults take a multivitamin. I have seen so many who take opt for the lower quality big names, instead of doing their research and finding what is best! Here are several reasons that the big name popular brand multivitamins are not worth the bottle they are filled in….

~ Strange Ingredients ~ Many of the cheaper multivitamins are filled with artificial colors and fillers. You will always see an “Other Ingredients” list on your multi bottle. If it is a mile long, then put it back! The vitamin list should ALWAYS be the long one 😉

~ Single Small Pill ~ To fit all the nutrition into a small pill, manufacturers will use synthetic ingredients that are A. cheaper and B. take up less room. To make the pills so small, they compress them. To do that they use synthetic fillers and binders. To top it off, most get what is called a”pharmaceutical glaze”, you know to make it pretty and shiny. It is a shellac of sorts. It actually can prevent your body from absorbing the nutrients. A great example is if the ingredients list Vitamin D, it may list D2 which is a synthetic vs D3 which is the same natural Vitamin D your body produces when you are out in the sun.

~ Don’t Always Have The Nutrients You Need ~ There are key micronutrients that you should always look for. Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Iron. These play important roles in preventing chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

You may be asking yourself if taking a multivitamin is actually necessary? It has been reported that 10% or more of the U.S. population is deficient in these five nutrients: Zinc (12%), Vitamin B6 (14%) Vitamin C (31%), Vitamin A (44%), Magnesium (56%) and Vitamin E, where 93% of the U.S. population simply does not get enough Vitamin E from their diets.

I know I personally do not always eat plenty of veggies and fruit. And with my macro counting, I do have a fiber amount that I have to hit daily, but sometimes I figure out other ways to hit it outside of the healthier options. Therefore, I know that I lack in certain micronutrients on certain days. I also know how important it is to make sure I am covering them. You can look at it as an insurance of sorts. We all know that these micronutrients are important for our bodies to function properly. My multivitamin of choice is Saturn Supplements One-Source

One-Source

It is the absolute strongest Vitamin & Mineral Pack on the market. Saturn’s One-Source delivers! We have established that you cannot always be sure of getting all the nutrients you need from food, and Saturn’s One-Source Pack is designed to enrich your body with a complete dietary supplement-perfect for everyday taking. Each Freshness-Assured packet provides the best that natural vitamins and minerals have to offer. I love these, because it has everything you need in a convenient ready to go packet. There is no pill sorting, no extra pill case, or thinking required. Just grab and go! No yeast, no preservatives, and no artificial colors. What it does have is everything you need to ensure you are a well being, healthy, powerhouse!

Do not forget your mini’s! You definitely want to make sure they are getting all of their micronutrients as well. As a parent, I always want to make sure Zoe is as healthy, if not healthier than me. That’s where Saturn Supplements Children’s Yummy Vites come in 😉

Children's Yummy-Vites

Saturn’s Children’s Yummy-Vites formula is designed to provide children with a natural source of daily multivitamin nutrition. Each serving is packed full of the most important daily nutrients including Vitamins & Minerals A, C, D, E and Zinc. Saturn’s Children’s Yummy Vites are naturally sourced in both color and flavor and are the most delicious tasting gummy bears available! There are 5 delicious flavors, grape, lemon, orange, strawberry, and cherry.

I always have the peace of mind that no matter how our diet is for the day, we are covered. I love knowing that every morning we are putting our health first as a family.

Do you take a multivitamin? What benefits can you see in having your family take a quality multi?

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*References ~  http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/f-w03/multi.html ~  http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/making-the-most-out-of-multivitamins ~ http://www.cncahealth.com/explore/learn/nutrition-supplements/how-to-choose-the-right-multivitamin-5-key-steps ~ https://www.saturnsupplements.com/
 

Start The Week Strong #MotivationMonday @SaturnMuscle

Happy Monday!

Monday’s for many are a day they dread. It is a negative mindset that has been pre-programed into our minds. I have changed my mindset. I look at Monday as a new start or beginning. It is what sets the pace for the week. I just don’t see the point in starting the week off in a negative tone. Let’s change YOUR mindset 😉

As always, let’s kick the week off with a little Lady Swole Monday….

Let’s start and finish the week strong!

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Getting Beyond That Negative Bulking Mentality #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

I’m over half way into the 28th week of my bulk. I have just over 10 weeks left. I am actually really looking forward to starting my contest prep. The further into my bulk I have gotten, the more mental struggles I have had. I don’t really stress so much about the scale. I was mentally ready for that to change. I struggle most with the way my clothes fit, or don’t fit I should say ha ha. Clothes are tight, some because of muscles, most because of fat.

Most days I do great! I feel positive about myself and my progress, but other days I catch myself falling into that negative mindset about my body. It doesn’t help that there is a show here in 3 weeks, so EVERYONE is in prep and training at my gym. Training next to someone who is ripped while you are bulking is an ego blocker to say the least ha ha ha ha. I do my best to steer clear of the bad thoughts, but we all know that is really hard when you don’t like what you see in the mirror. This part of the process has definitely been more difficult than I had anticipated. One thing I am always aware of is that Zoe’s ears are always listening and her eyes always watching. I WILL NOT allow her to see or hear any negative body issues. I personally belive that is a learned behavior. I learned it when I was young. Those thoughts and behaviors are not something I want her to learn. She is always near when I am sizing myself up in the mirror, so I always make it a point to compliment myself and her xoxo

I will continue to push myself and keep building what I can. This bulk has also been the longest one I have done. It will be 8 weeks of reverse dieting with 38 weeks of bulking, so just over 10 1/2 months of pretty steady gaining. Now with all that being said, I also have to mention the things that have made me very happy in this bulk 😉 My strength has gone up 10 fold. When I started gaining, my max deadlifts were at 205lbs for 1 rep. At this point, I am doing 5 working sets of 5 at 200lbs and I have been raising it 5lbs every week, so I will be hitting my previous max next Wednesday. My squats and bench have also improved greatly! Squats were at 195lbs max (1-2 reps)and I am currently doing 5 sets of 5 at 170lbs. Bench was 95lbs max (1 rep) and I am currently at 105lbs for 5 sets of 5 and When I do photo comparisons, I can see the muscle gains I have made.

PicsArt_1424400047552

Keeping a positive mindset during your bulk is imperative. A negative mind can make you lack in motivation, or worse make you stop bulking too soon. Do I miss being lean? Yes. I would be lying if I said no. Have I wanted to start my cut sooner? Absolutely! However, I know I will be there again, but this time with more muscle, so I have to keep pushing myself. The whole process has been yet another learning experience. I am sure that my next bulk will go a bit different. I had made some mistakes in this one, but again I am always learning. I am curious as to how much more weight I will be able to lift in the following weeks, but even more curious to see what is under all this extra fluff I have added! These next 10 weeks will be the most difficult, but I am ready to fight for whatever gains I can possibly get at this point. My body is sore, tired, and full ha ha ha, but I am NOT giving up!

One thing I always keep in mind, I lost a ton of weight before, so not only do I know I can cut the extra weight, this time I know exactly how to do it! I am ready!!!!

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Fresh Start Monday #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Happy Monday!!!

I have 11 weeks left of growing. I am motivated and driven to build, build, build!!! Let’s keep the momentum up! 😉 As always, I kick the week off with Lady Swole Monday…

Today is the start to a new week. A chance to step closer to your goals. I choose me, I choose to push myself harder, I choose to put in the work, I choose to never settle…

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Bulking Week 27 Check In #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Bulking Week 27 Check In

weekly check in

This post will be a bit different than my other check in’s. I haven’t had the chance to take measurements this week, just my weigh in. My weight has stayed pretty steady at 154.6 lbs. I am estimating that I will probably go up to 160 lbs. My gains this bulk have been great! I have had mixed emotions throughout the whole thing ha ha. I knew going into it that I would have up’s and down’s. It’s like I have said a million times, gaining weight plays with your mind. Sometimes I see myself in a negative light. Josh has been my saving grace xoxo He sees my gains and my improvements and has been a Godsend during my off season. He is always pointing out what should be obvious to me. 😉 I believe I have brought up everything I have wanted to. My delts, back, glutes, and legs have all improved dramatically.

PicsArt_1423870859302

My posing, like my physique, is still a work in progress. I am very excited to get through the next 11 weeks of building and begin the process of uncovering my new muscle. This year I plan on taking the stage with a complete new and improved look!!!!

Do you have goals this year? Have you ever wanted to compete?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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Thigh Gaps, Squeems, & Bikini Bridges…Let’s Stop The Madness #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

In 2013 I wrote an article about the “Thigh Gap” craze. I was pretty shocked that young ladies were concerned with and strived to attain this. Obviously, I am not saying that ladies that are naturally slim or hard gainers are unhealthy or look bad in any way shape or form. I am speaking of the ladies who starve themselves to the point of being sick to attain unrealistic goals.

2014 I saw less of ladies wanting the slimmer look and leaning more towards curves. I saw more strong is sexy and women really working hard for a more healthy lifestyle rather than starving. Last year seemed to be the year of good health and realistic goals. Well almost. Towards the end of the year I started seeing more about squeems. If you are unfamiliar, a squeem is a lot like a corset. Womene are wearing them to attain that tiny waist. This was actually a very popular practice in the 16th and 17th centuries. Women desired the elongated bodice with the extreme tiny waist.

Women actually started training their waists around the age of 10 or 11. They strived for what is now called the Victorian wasp waist. The practice stopped being so extreme because it was obviously dangerous. These women had very small appetites, so they could stay restricted throughout the day. Some had issues walking and stayed short of breath, fainting was common place among women. Ribs were broken and organs were displaced.

‘DEATH FROM TIGHT-LACING’

           ‘On Saturday afternoon Dr. Lankester held an inquest at the Cherry tree, Bowling Green, Clerkenwell, touching the death of Jemima Hall, aged 21.  The deceased was in service at 71 Myddleton Square, and was taken ill on the Wednesday, and put to bed complaining of pains in her inside: a doctor was called, saw her that day and the next, but was wholly unable to discover the nature of her malady, and on calling the third time she was dead.  A post mortem examination was then made by the Coroner’s order, when it was found that the whole of the organs in the body were contracted and out of their place, and her stomach was smaller than that of an ordinary infant. Death arose from congestion of the lungs and brain, the result of tight-lacing, which the young woman, who was of prepossessing appearance, had long persevered in. The jury returned a verdict of Death from the congestion of the lungs and brain, produced by tight-lacing.  The body was fearfully emaciated, and the medical gentlemen stated it was the most remarkable case of the kind that had ever come under his notice.  The Coroner said that he never remembered in his experience a case in which lacing had been carried on to such an extent.’ ~ Staylace.com

For years I have only seen corsets used as sexy lingerie for the bedroom 😉 but over the past 6 months, have seen many women turn to squeems, which is now common practice to see. Women “training” their waist all day and night for that same Victorian look. I think I see more competitors wearing them than anything, but they post themselves wearing them on their social media accounts, which in turn has women from every walk of life thinking it is a short cut to their dream body. Even men have jumped on the bandwagon.

So there’s that. Then yesterday I saw this….

Screenshot_2015-01-29-23-30-26-1

Soooooo…. the big thing for 2015 is a Bikini Bridge??? I seriously have no clue why this is considered attractive or why this is desired??? To be so skinny that your hip bones protrude from your body and people can see down your bikini when you lay flat. This is mind boggling to me. We have enough body image issues, but seem to start creating more and more. I honestly want Zoe to stay small forever, so I don’t have to have discussions with her about such nonsense. It is in no way healthy to try to lose so much weight that your hip bones are protruding. Let’s stop the madness with all of these unrealistic body fad and just strive to love the body we are in.

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Power Through This Week @SaturnMuscle #MotivationMonday #PoweredBySaturnSupplements

Happy Monday!!!

I don’t know about you, but I am ready to run not just the day, but the whole week! let’s kick it off right with some Lady Swole Monday…

The Countdown is on 😉

Let’s build a better body starting today 😉

Build With The Power Of The Universe
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Weight Loss And Alcohol #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Like many people, I like to have an occasional drink, but question is, will it hinder my results???

We all know, carbs and proteins contain 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, and is processed differently from the other macronutrients.

Per Bodybuilding.com

“Alcohol has a negative reputation in the fitness community. Part of it stems from the fact that alcohol severely lowers the body’s fat oxidation rate. A study published in the American Journal of College of Nutrition1 found that, when men were given two drinks of vodka and sugar-free lemonade, their lipid oxidation dropped by 73 percent!

Lipid oxidation is a measure of how much fat your body is burning. So, even though the cocktails in question were only 90 calories each, they had a huge impact on the drinkers’fat-burning power.”

Does this mean alcohol can not be mixed with weight loss or muscle building? NO! Fact is, that alcohol slows the fat burning process, but does not store as fat. Like many indulgences, in moderation alcohol is just fine.

With that being said, how do you figure in the alcohol when counting your macros? When I started IIFYM I made the mistake of going by the calories/macros on the alcohol labels, or what I found online….

In a perfect world, the carb/fat grams you see on these labels would work awesome. I should have known, it was too good to be true 😉 In order to log it correctly, so you are counting every calorie towards your macro counts, you will want to figure the calories ALL towards either your carb counts or your fat counts.

Screenshot_2015-01-16-12-35-16-1

If you are using MyFitnessPal, you can log just carbs or just fats. I do this whenever I decide to have a drink. Right now, with being in my offseason, it is easy for me to have a drink in the evenings. Once my contest prep starts and my numbers get lower, I will probably opt for food over drinks. Especially since alcohol causes the drunchies 😉 (Drunk munchies) If you know your goals and track your numbers, it is easy to add indulgences. This is why flexible dieting is so much more realistic as a sustainable lifestyle. Am I saying go out and get drunk all the time? Absolutely not. Definitely drink responsibly and know your limits. If you are tracking macros, you will realize you are actually quite limited, even in the offseason 😉 But if you want to have a glass of wine with your Valentine, by all means indulge without worry xoxo

Happy Friday xoxo

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It’s Monday! Let’s Do This!!!! @SaturnMuscle #PoweredBySaturnSupplements

Happy Monday!!!

I know many were out late last night enjoying the Super Bowl festivities 😉 We stayed home and enjoyed the game. Today is Monday and I for one am more than excited to start this week strong! I want to hit new PR’s and grow grow grow!!!!

 

Let’s kick the week off right with a little Lady Swole Monday…

Hope you all have a happy Monday and kick this week’s ass!!!!

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Love & Goals It’s February!!! @SaturnMuscle #PoweredBySaturnSupplements

Happy February!

I am excited as always to set new goals for myself. As I have said in the past, to reach those big goals, it is almost imperative to set small goals. The smaller goals keep you motivated and aid in making that large goal more achievable. You take small steps to those big dreams. I can do this, YOU can do this, so let’s get these goals set!!! 

Goal 1  Get lovey dovey xoxo It’s funny, in the past I always looked at February as just another month. Valentine’s Day didn’t mean much to me. In fact in my first marriage, we never celebrated it. Now that I spend my days with two people who shower me with love daily, the month of February makes more sense. It is an extra month to adore those who adore you and vice versa 😉 Why wouldn’t you want a month of showing someone you love extra attention. Doesn’t have to be gifts you spend a ton of money on, just small sentiments like love notes on their windshield, breakfast in bed, a good massage, etc.  and it doesn’t just have to be between spouses either 😉 get the kiddos involved. I encourage everyone to spoil those you love for the whole month! Have fun and be creative! 

Goal 2 Make it count! Going into February I know that I have 3 full months left of bulking. 12 weeks can go by really fast!!! I want to take full advantage of that time and make sure I am putting my best into every training. No lax days on diet or training. This means making sure I am eating every macro I am given and pushing myself as hard as possible. I need to grow as much as possible!!! 

Goal 3 Maximize the weights. Basically I need to strive to continue to build strength and add 5-10 lbs weekly to my lifts. Heavier weight = working harder = bigger physique. No excuses. Once form is perfected and I can push the weight, it’s time to move up! 

Goal 4 Pose Perfect. I feel I have finally come into my own, when it comes to my posing. Last year I thought I had it and I believed I knew what I was doing. I realize now, how much of an amateur I was/am. This whole sport is constant learning and evolving. Although posing looks simple, it is actually very difficult to learn. Even with friends helping me last year, after seeing photos I can see that I was quite lost. This year I do have a better idea of what is going to happen on stage as well as being much more knowledgeable in how the poses need to look/feel. Continued practice is necessary to not only perfect the look, but to know the feel of each and every pose, and move through them effortlessly and more graceful.

Goal 5 Start my Suit. I will be buying all the materials I need to make my suit and will start the sewing process. I have a good idea of what I will be doing. I am sure there will be hiccups along the way ha ah, but I am prepared for them! And thanks to the blog SwoleSister, I found a very useful YouTube Channel, Jodi Lane has many tutorials on how to sew a figure suit. She also sells patterns. I am excited to get this process started and done!

The suit SwoleSister made herself!

Goal 6 Makeup and Hair. This was something I struggled with last year. I waited till a few weeks out to really start messing with it. I hated the air brush makeup that was done to match my tan. My face looked dry and horrible. I will do it myself this year vs paying someone else to do it for me. Looking into styles of hair and make up now will save me stress for later. Hair and makeup are an integral part of my stage presence and they need to be as spot on as my posing 😉 

Goal 7 Zoe’s Lessons. I want to stay consistent with her lessons and keeping her focused on her goals for the month as well. It is important to me that she has structure and balance every month. Keeping learning fun and interesting is always my main goal! 

Goal 8 Business/Fundraising planning. My hubs and I have decided to start a small business on this website to fund not only my competitions, but also a program for sick children. I am not going to share any major info right now, because it is still in the drafting phase 😉 But know that I am working on something and it will be a big step for Sports Bras And Sippy Cups! 

Goal 9 Continue to support my sponsor by sharing their phenomenal products! Always, always, always grateful for their support!!!!
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