Gettin’ Fit……..and Almost There!

Week 1    Week 21

Week 1                         Week 21

Week 1   Week 21

Week 1                       Week 21

Week 21     Week 21

Week 21                   Week 21

Week 1    Week 21

Week 1                 Week 21

Week 1    Week 21

Week 1                    Week 21

Week 1      Week 21

Week 1                   Week 21

I have now completed 21 weeks of my 23 weeks of training for my bodybuilding competition.  I have ONLY 2 weeks left–woo hoo!  I am down almost 25 pounds to 119 pounds!  Oh my goodness, I haven’t weighed this since graduating from high school in 1982.  I can’t tell you how amazing I feel and how excited I am to have made this much progress so far–and I have 2 weeks left!!  When I decided to train for the competition, I never ever thought I would get this lean.  When I competed 5 years ago, I weighed in at 125 pounds.  One of the main reasons I think I’m leaner this time is because the program my trainer designed for me this time is different than my program 5 years ago.  Another reason for getting leaner is because I started my training this time with so much more muscle mass due to the fact that I continued to workout and lift weights throughout these past 5 years.

I am so glad I tracked my progress this time through my blog.  It has been so important and rewarding for me to see the photos of myself and the progress I have made throughout my training.  It wasn’t until I saw today’s photos that I realized just how lean I actually am.  So I feel that I definitely will be ready to compete at my best in 2 weeks!

Please come out to cheer me on Saturday, June 13, at The Carolina Supernatural in Spartanburg, SC, at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium at 6:00pm.  I will be competing in the Women’s Open Bodybuilding and the Women’s Masters 50 and Over Bodybuilding categories and will be posing and performing my posing routine that night to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson.

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Gettin’ Fit…….and Almost There!

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Week 1                          Week 21

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Week 1                          Week 21

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Week 21                    Week 21

Week 1    Week 21

Week 1                      Week 21

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Week 1                     Week 21

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Week 1                 Week 21

Week 1    Week 21

Week 1                                  Week 21

I have now completed 21 weeks of my 23 weeks of training for my bodybuilding competition.  I ONLY have 2 weeks left—woo hoo!!  I am down almost 25 pounds to 119 pounds!  Oh my goodness, I haven’t weighed this since graduating high school in 1982.  I can’t tell you how amazing I feel and how excited I am to have made this much progress so far—and I have 2 weeks left!  When I decided to train for the competition, I never ever thought I would get this lean.  When I competed 5 years ago, I weighed in at 125 pounds.  One of the main reasons I think I’m leaner this time is because the program my trainer designed for me this time is different than my program 5 years ago.  And, another reason I think I’ve gotten leaner is because I started my training this time with so much more muscle mass due to the fact that I continued to workout and lift weights throughout these past 5 years.

I am so glad I tracked my progress this time through my blog.  It has been so important for me to see the photos of myself and the progress I have made throughout my training.  It wasn’t until I saw today’s photos that I realized how lean I actually am.  So I feel that I definitely will be ready to compete at my best in 2 weeks!

Please come out to cheer me on Saturday, June 13, at The Carolina Supernatural n Spartanburg, SC at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium at 6:00pm.  I will be competing in the Women’s Open Bodybuilding and the Women’s Bodybuilding Masters Age 50 and Over categories and will be posing and performing my posing routine that night.

Gettin’ Fit with……Cardio!

Week 1      Week 16

Week 1                                   Week 16

Week 1     Week 16

Week 1                                    Week 16

I have now completed week 16 of my 23 weeks of training for my bodybuilding competition!  I have lost almost 19 pounds.  My trainer isn’t measuring my body fat anymore because once you get down to a very low level of body fat (around 9-10%), you just can’t measure it using the caliper method.  I am currently at 125 pounds which was my competition weight on the day I competed five years ago!  And, I have 7 weeks of training left–yikes!  I think I’m on my way to getting really, really lean!?  Don’t tell my husband, but I have been on one big shopping spree and buying clothes like crazy!  But, it is such a great feeling when you put on your current clothes and they all are too big.  So, it’s time to shop–not that I need a reason to shop!  For those that know me well, I think they definitely call me a shop-a-holic! And, yes, it’s true….but now I do have a legitimate reason to shop right!?  Sorry Tim—don’t look at our credit card bill this month!

And, so, now I can finally say that I am doing cardio!!  Yippee….NOT!  Cardio isn’t my favorite but it is necessary for me to achieve my goal.  So, I started cardio two weeks ago and it is kicking my butt!!  I am doing 40 minutes of intervals on the elliptical 5 days a week.  Whew–that’s a lot! This past week was much easier; I didn’t feel as “out of shape”.  Remember, I have not done any cardio exercise since early December before I started training for this in January.  So, I have been trying to get up early in the morning to get it in before my son gets up BUT after my first cup of coffee–I just can’t function or do anything without at least that first cup!  It’s so nice to have it completed before I leave my house and not have it hanging over my head all day.

I have struggled mentally with having to do cardio for 40 minutes.  Why does 40 minutes seem like such a long time when your doing cardio, and it never seems like very much time when your on the computer perusing Facebook, Instagram, E-mail, the Internet, etc.?  So, to help, I break it down into two 20 minute segments.  Then, once I complete the first 20 minutes, I take a short water break, stretch a little, and then get back at it.  I then break the last 20 minutes down into two 10 minute segments.  Many times, I take a really short break after the first 10 minutes of the last 20 minute segment.  I am just trying to trick my brain into thinking that it’s not a whole 40 minutes.  My philosophy may or may not work for others, but, for now, it seems to be working for me along with the results I’m getting.  Results definitely help a lot too!  Take a look below at some photos of my results…..

Gettin’ Fit…….By Setting Goals!

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Week 1                Week 12

Week 1                                          Week 12

Week 1                Week 12

Week 1                                   Week 12

I have just completed 12 weeks of training for my bodybuilding competition….only 11 more weeks to go!  I have lost 15 pounds with a weight of 128 pounds and a body fat of 11%, which is down from 23% on January 5th.  Hope you can see my progress from the photos I have posted.  And, of course, I will once again repeat myself—-I have done this without doing any cardio–just lifting weights 5 days a week and hitting my daily food macros (protein, carb, and fat grams).  I am still on 2 higher carb days and 5 lower carb days.   I am definitely getting adjusted to the lower carb days, but it really helps that I am not doing any cardio yet.

This past week, I was thinking about my next blog post and really wasn’t getting inspired at all.  So, on Friday I had a discussion with my trainer looking for some inspiration.  I originally discussed with him that I was thinking about posting a “day in the life” of my life right now by posting a typical food day and a typical workout.  He steered me away from this because he felt it really wasn’t the right data to post.  Macros are so individualized and so is my food.  What works for me and the foods I like to eat is going to be so different for everyone else, because we all have different tastes in food.  Also, he bases my macros on my progress with both my weight and how my muscles look.

During our discussion, he helped me realize that it really didn’t matter what foods I ate, which is what I was going to share with you on my blog.  What really matters is hitting my macros every single day and doing the workouts that my trainer provides.  I also realized that training for my bodybuilding competition is a really simple process–do what your trainer tells you to do.  You have to trust the process and just DO it!!  No excuses accepted!  By setting a goal, like competing in a bodybuilding competition, EVERYTHING you do day in and day out should support you in obtaining your goal.  I am not saying that it is easy, but it is simple.  For me, it is about the process and trusting in the process.  By viewing my training in this way, it makes the process much more enjoyable, less stressful, and keeps me focused—I don’t have to worry at all about my end result because I am confident that the process will get me to my goal!   If I do everything that my trainer tells me to do in preparation for competing in June, I expect to succeed.  And, for me, success doesn’t  necessarily mean winning the largest trophy—-it means that I have done MY very best!  At my competition in 2010,  I felt successful just by having the ability and opportunity to get on stage and compete—and I feel the same about this competition.  Although I won 4 trophies in 2010, I felt like I had already won before ever stepping on that stage.  For me, it’s about keeping your eyes focused on your goal and investing yourself in the process that will ultimately lead you to obtaining your goal.  Folks, it’s that simple—-you just have to DO it! And, you CAN!!

I leave you with this quote:  “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”

Gettin’ Fit With……Temptation!

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Week 1                                 Week 10

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Week 1                                  Week 10

I have now completed 10 weeks of training…….only 13 more to go!  I am down 11.8 pounds with a weight of 132 pounds and 13% body fat.  I am now starting to get fairly lean, as you can see from the photos—I hope!?  And, yes I will say it again, I have done this without doing any cardio!!  For whatever reason, it still amazes me that I have done this well losing weight and body fat without cardio.  I am lifting weights 5 days a week, but most of my workouts are around 45-55 minutes long.  Once again, it just shows how important your food intake is with any training or weight loss program.  This past week, my trainer changed my macros (Protein, Carb, and Fat grams) quite a bit.  I am now on 2 higher carb days (Mondays and Thursdays) and 5, yes 5, lower carb days.  Whew—it has definitely been a bit more challenging.  I found myself living for Monday and Thursday!

WIth that said, let’s move on to temptation….as in lots of food temptations.  And, boy, have there been a ton of temptations for me this past week!  My two older sons came home from college this past week for their Spring break.  One thing we really enjoy doing together as a family is dining out.  Asheville has so many wonderful restaurants, so the boys love hitting all of their favorites when they are in town.  We ate at Fig (American Bistro), Curate (Spanish Tapas), White Duck Taco (unique yummy tacos), Sol Y Luna (fresh Mexican), and Apollo Flame (great subs/salads/pastas) just to mention a few.  Oh, and did I mention Scully’s (pub fare)–we were there all of last weekend during the SoCon Basketball Tournament.  And guess what, I was able to eat with them at every one of these places.  I was able to find something that worked within my macros.  It took a little more planning my meals for the day, but it was definitely doable.  At the Mexican restaurant, I ordered the shrimp kabobs and had enough carbs and fat left for the day to enjoy some refried beans.  I know what you are thinking (especially my friend, Beverly), that’s not really my idea of Mexican food either, but I made it work!  Our waiter at Curate was very helpful in assisting me on what to order. I was able to order the sautéed shrimp and Iberico smoked grilled pork–both were delicious!  If you will nicely let the waitstaff know your situation, as in needing low carb high protein food choices, they are usually very accommodating and helpful–especially in Asheville!

My oldest son, Ben, is a senior Textiles Engineering Major at NC State and will be graduating in May.  He received a job offer this week to teach English in Spain. We are so excited for him!  So, at White Duck Taco, he ordered a margarita to celebrate his job offer—I toasted him with my glass of unsweet tea instead of a margarita!  But, oh, how tempting it was to drink one with him—but I didn’t!  Then, my middle son, Matt, requested I make chicken and dumplings for dinner one night.  So, I did, but I ate leftover Apollo Flame grilled chicken with their greek salad.  On the day Matt headed back to Raleigh, he requested I make brunch which included biscuits, bacon, eggs, cheese grits, and pancakes!  So, I did, but, as usual, I ate an egg white omelet with a little cheese.  Breakfast food is one of my favorites, and I just LOVE buttermilk biscuits.  And, once again, it was so tempting!

I am very proud of myself for not caving to any of this week’s temptations-both food and alcohol!  I have to admit, one thing that has really helped me stay focused and on track in achieving my goal is this blog and the photos I share with you every other week!  As with any endeavor no matter how big or small, setting a goal and having a plan ultimately leads to success!!  I leave you with this quote from Pinterest:  “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.

Gettin’……..Fed!!

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Week 1            Week 6

Week 1                                 Week 6

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Week 1                                Week 6

I have just completed week 6 of my training……only 17 more weeks to go!!  As I say to my trainer, only 17 more leg workouts! Does anyone enjoy leg workouts?  Well, I have to confess, they aren’t my favorite, especially split squats.  Anyway, I am down 6.4 pounds in weight and have about 15% body fat.  Not too bad considering that I haven’t done any cardio yet and just traveled to an all-inclusive resort in the Domincan Republic! On our trip, I was able to enjoy myself and did fairly well on my food.  I did allow myself some alcohol though—I can’t deny the fact that I love champagne! Cheers!

This week, I wanted to share some examples of the types of food I am eating on a daily basis.  Hopefully, it will give you a better idea of what types of foods and how often I am eating.  I definitely supplement with protein powder.  Some of my favorite protein powders are Beverly International UMP Whey in Chocolate and Cookies and Cream, Cellucor Whey in Cinnamon Swirl, and GNC Pro Performance Amp Whey in Delicious Strawberry and Vanilla Ice Cream.  The Beverly protein powder is the creamiest of all of these and I think is the yummiest!

Almost every single morning, so far, I eat Hodgson Mill oat bran for breakfast with one scoop of protein powder.  Most mornings I add the GNC Pro Performance Amp Whey Protein in Delicious Strawberry.  It gives me an additional 24 grams of protein while only 2 carbs.  Some mornings, depending on my macros, I add 2 Tbsp. of PB2 which is powdered peanut butter.  If you like peanut butter, it is a great lower fat alternative.  It is peanut butter with most of the fat removed–only 1.5 grams of fat.  PB2 can be found in most grocery stores on the peanut butter aisle.  On really low carb days, I will probably replace my oat bran with an egg white and cheese omelet with a side of whole wheat toast which I also enjoy.  I usually work out in the mornings, so around 10:00, after I have worked out, I eat a Clif Builder Protein bar—-I love the Vanilla Almond flavor.  With a whopping 30 grams of carbs, I will probably have to cut out this bar on low carb days and replace it with a scoop of protein powder and some sort of fruit or no fruit.

For lunch, let’s just say that I am a “lady that lunches”!  My good friend, Cathy, and I eat out lunch at least 3 times a week—it’s  just what we do.  We eat regularly, usually once a week, at a locally owned restaurant called Fig.  Their food is so flavorful and very well prepared, and they have quite a few healthy choices too.  I typically will order the roasted chicken breast (it’s so tender and juicy–not sure how they do this) with their Caesar salad or with lentils and Brussels sprouts.  They also have a wonderful salmon dish if you like salmon—I am learning to like salmon!  Sometimes, I order their lemon-lime shrimp risotto—it’s divine and one of my favorites!  Most other places we eat, I try to order grilled chicken or grilled shrimp on a Caesar salad or some kind of salad.  I almost always order roasted, sautéed, or steamed Brussels sprouts if they are available at any of the restaurants where I eat. They are my favorite veggie right now!

About 2:30 or 3:00, I have my afternoon snack and a shot of espresso.  I just don’t think I could function a whole day without coffee!  My snack usually consists of one or two scoops of protein powder, depending on how much more protein I need for the day, with a side of fruit.  For this protein powder, I usually have either the Beverly Cookies and Cream flavor or the Beverly Chocolate.  To me, it’s like eating cookie dough or chocolate pudding—sometimes you just have to tell your brain that that’s what it is!  My son, John, and I have been eating tons of fresh Florida strawberries and Cuties clementines.  They both are so good and sweet right now.  Another afternoon snack is a scoop of protein powder added to Dannon Light & Fit Greek No Fat Yogurt—–the banana cream is my fav, but all of them are really tasty!  Also, Turkey Perky Jerky is a great low carb high protein snack.

Then, there’s dinner.  My dinners really vary depending on how much of my macros I have left for the day.  So, some nights I eat a good amount, and some nights I don’t.  Lately, I have been eating a lot of egg white omelets with 2% Mexican Cheese Blend with an Arnold  Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins.  It is actually one of my favorite meals, believe it or not.  I am so glad that I love egg whites.  I use one cup of All Whites 100% Liquid Egg Whites with 1/4 cup of the 2% cheese and a little salt and pepper.  But, you could add whatever veggies you like—onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc.   For our Valentine’s dinner, we had filet mignon with roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts and stewed buttered potatoes.  Of course, I didn’t eat the potatoes—those were for my husband and son.  I was also able to have a glass of a really nice Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon wine!  Yummy!  There have been a few dinners that I didn’t have many carbs left so I ate cold boiled shrimp (0 Carbs) or a scoop or two of protein powder. I have actually found a lot of healthy dinner recipes on Pinterest—it’s a great resource for healthy eating recipes!  Believe it or not,  at the end of the day I usually feel very satisfied and not hungry!

Please remember these are just a few examples of what I eat and is definitely not the only things I eat and is by no means all inclusive—just a sampling.  You know as well as I do, our lives can be hectic at times, and no matter how much we prepare, sometimes you have to go with what your day gives you!

I leave you with this quote that I think is appropriate for this journey that I am on: “Dream big, work hard, stay focused, & surround yourself with good people.”

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Week 1                   Week 6

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Week 1                  Week 6

Gettin’ Fit While Traveling…..

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Week 1                           Week 4

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Week 1                            Week 4

I have now completed 4 weeks of my training.  As you can see from my photos, my body is changing!  I have lost almost 5 pounds (4.8 to be exact) and measured 16.3% body fat this past Monday which is down from 17.5% last week (down from 23.1% when I started my training).  And, interestingly enough, I haven’t done ANY cardio yet to have achieved these results!  Once again, it proves how important your food intake is in this process and in life in general.  Healthy food choices matter!

Last week, my husband, Tim, and I traveled to Orlando, Florida, for 4 days for a dental conference.  Although it can be challenging to travel when training, with some planning and organization, it CAN be done.  I packed several flavors of protein powder in ziploc bags, Clif Builder protein bars, and Turkey Perky Jerky in my carry on so I would have food on hand in the air.  On our trip down to Orlando, time allowed us to eat in the restaurant, Tequileria, in the Charlotte airport.  Although I was unable to locate their nutritional values online for their menu, I was able to find something that worked for me.  I ordered the shrimp tacos on corn tortillas with black beans as my side.  Using the app MyFitnessPal, I was able to look up and log what I ate.  Most chain restaurants do have the nutritional values listed online for their menus, so look it up before you order then you can be assured of the nutritional values and not have to guess or assume! In my suitcase, I packed more protein powder and my oat bran/oatmeal that I ate every morning.  We ordered coffee, hot water, and Tim’s breakfast every morning through room service.  Another good breakfast option is an egg white omelet or scrambled egg whites and wheat toast, and depending on your fat gram allowance, you can add some cheese to your omelet.  I actually had a piece of bacon a couple of mornings!  Most hotels and restaurants are happy to accommodate your special requests.  I did eat a lot of yummy grilled shrimp and fish dishes too for my other meals with a lot of steamed or sautéed veggies.

I was also able to get my workouts in while there.  Most hotels and resorts have fairly decent fitness centers.  Most have free weights and a majority of my strength training workouts only require free weights.  I had doubled up on my workouts one day before I left, so I didn’t workout on my travel day (Wednesday) to Orlando.  I was able to do my leg workout on Thursday and my tri’s/bi’s on Friday.

This coming week, I will be traveling again!  My husband is taking his staff to the Dominican Republic for some R&R.  So, I will let you know how it goes while training and eating in another country at an all-inclusive resort.  I am thinking that this trip might be a bit more challenging, especially since most all-inclusive resorts have unlimited food buffets and alcohol!  I have already verified that there is a fitness center.  Now I just need to get mentally prepared for all of the temptations that will be around me!! I think the resort will be making a lot more money on me than on those I will be traveling with……

I leave you with this quote: “Your body can stand almost anything.  It’s your mind that you have to convince”.

Week 1                Week 4

Week 1               Week 4

Gettin’ in a Groove…..

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01/05/15 and 01/18/15

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01/05/15 and 01/18/15

I now have 2 weeks of training behind me.  Above are my “before”( week 1) photos and my current photos (beginning of week 3).  I know there isn’t a huge visual change—it’s ever so slight.  On 01/05/15, as I stated in my first blog post, I had 23.1% body fat.  I am now down to 17.5% body fat, which is a HUGE difference!  My weight has only decreased slightly to 142.4 from 143.8, which is expected since my macros are still very high.  I think these first few weeks are considered the “bulking up” weeks.  My trainer only cut my carbs just a bit last week, but my fat and protein grams stayed the same.  And, believe it or not, I still haven’t done any cardio yet!  I am sure it’s coming soon though!

This week has been much easier for me to hit my daily macro numbers (Fat, Protein, & Carb grams)—hence, I’m getting used to what and when I need to eat—I’m “gettin’ in a groove”.  I have been viewing photos from my 2010 training and the 2010 competition, and I came across many cards of encouragement and congratulations.  One of the cards was from my trainer, Anthony, the day before the competition.  One sentence in his words of praise really struck me as I read it this morning:  “In the beginning I asked that you trust and believe in me and the process….and you absolutely did that!”  I really needed to read this today because I haven’t seen big changes in my body these first few weeks, which is what happened in 2010, and it is totally normal and expected.  Because I have done this before and I trust my trainer, I know and trust that the process works—-it really does!!  But, it was good for me to get this reminder—–have trust and patience in the system!  Also, please be sure to read the nice post on my Facebook wall from my trainer on Friday, January 16.  I leave you with this quote: “What you tell yourself every day will either lift you UP or tear you DOWN.”

Gettin’ Real……

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Well…..here they are…..my first “Before” photos taken by my husband, Tim, on January 5, 2015.   This is where I am starting this time…..in these photos I weigh 143 pounds and have 23% body fat (and my numbers were even higher when I started my training for my first show in 2010).   To give you another perspective, at my leanest, I weighed 125 pounds and had 9% body fat on the day of my first bodybuilding competition in June 2010 (see photos from my 2nd blog post and my gallery below), and I only trained for 4 months (16 weeks).  It is just amazing to me what you can train your body to do in such a short amount of time—isn’t it? This time, I will be training for a total of 20 weeks. I am hoping to get even leaner than I did in 2010….we’ll see if that actually happens!  Go Lean or Go Home! Right?! Or is it “Go Big or Go Home?!  Hopefully, by June 13th, I will be LEAN with BIG muscles—that’s my goal anyway!

I have now completed my first week of training…..and I survived….but not without muscle soreness and constantly planning my food intake!  Actually, as far as my eating, my daily macros (the number of protein grams, carb grams, & fat grams I have to consume each day) were so high that it was difficult at times to hit my numbers especially since I am trying eat clean…..it’s really hard to eat that much “clean” food!  I definitely had to supplement with protein powder (and some not so clean fat) and will continue supplementing with protein powder throughout my training mainly because you can get in a lot of protein grams without a lot fat and carbs.  I really tried to enjoy my high macros this week, though, because things are going to change really soon….as in this coming week!  My trainer is cutting my numbers starting tomorrow (Monday, January 12).  A big part being successful with meals is being prepared.  I didn’t do a great job this week but hope to do better as the weeks progress.  One tool that is very helpful to me in tracking my food is an app called My Fitness Pal.  It is a great app to help you keep track of the food you eat at each meal.  You can also track your exercise.  I use it throughout the day.  By entering my food intake each time I eat, I know exactly what my macro totals are at any given time during the day.  Earlier this week, I just didn’t get the bigger portion of my food eaten earlier in the day.  I typically ate about five times per day.  It’s helpful to get the majority in before dinner time—I like the philosophy of having my big meal at lunch.  Personally, I sleep better when I eat a lighter dinner.  And, I don’t usually eat anything after dinner.  One other part of my training is increasing my water intake.  For the entire 20 weeks I will be drinking a gallon (128 oz.) of water each day—-this wasn’t too hard for me since I was already drinking 64 ounces a day.  Within a week, I think your body gets used to drinking that much, so you aren’t having to go to the ladies room as often.

As as far as my strength training, I had a good week.  I worked a different muscle group each day, and my workouts didn’t take more than 40-45 minutes.  By the end of the week, there wasn’t one muscle in my body that wasn’t sore!!  In my opinion, sore is a good thing! And, my sorest muscles were my calves.  My Thursday leg day workout ended with 3 sets of 25 reps of single leg calf raises—-I haven’t done any calf raises in a few years, so they were very sore and are still a little sore today!  I didn’t do any cardio this week, but I bet that will also change this week!

Anyway, enough blogging for today…..onward and upward! Good win last night WCU Cats!  Go NC State!!!  Beat Duke and Carolina in the same week!