Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bi-Weekly Check-in (5/20)

Since I announced last week that I am not going to compete this summer, I have really been back to focusing on gaining muscle mass and have upped my calories (mostly through carbs) this week.  I know it’s only been a week since the diet change, which is typically not long enough to see much difference, but I am actually down another ½ pound from my previous check-in…  That is very disappointing.

The thing with diet/training changes is you really have to be patient and trust the process – as long as you are not on a time constraint (like an upcoming competition), I typically have my clients follow a plan for 4 week before making any revisions.  The clients that are pressed for time, however, get changes every other week – and even every week depending on how far away their goal date is.

My diet changes have been minimal, adding too many calories to your diet at once can cause excess fat gain, which no one particularly wants… By slowly adding calories in over longer periods of time (similar to reverse dieting) you are able to ensure that most of the weight gain in lean body mass.

My training hasn’t changed, and most likely won’t.  I can achieve most of my goals by simply changing my diet and continuing to lift heavy weight for low to moderate reps.  I always have and probably always will train like a bodybuilder, although over the past 2 years my training has become more functional.  I want to look good, but I also want to be able to perform well.  When I was competing it was all about aesthetics, now it is more about balance.

I do plan to cut back on my cardio a bit – I currently only do 8 minutes 5-6 times a week but I will be dropping that back to 3 days a week.  Because I have a very high metabolism and am an avid lifter, I have to be very leery of the amount of cardio I do when trying to gain weight.  I am a true hard gainer, which is really nice at times, but incredibly frustrating when your goal is to increase muscle mass.

Most of my measurements this time around stayed the same, I did lose ½ an inch around my hips but otherwise I haven’t lost anymore size, which makes me happy!  Hopefully by my next check-in I am stable, at least, if not up a little – I have been consistently losing weight since February and enough is enough!

This week’s measurements:
Calf: 14.5 inches
Quad: 22 inches
Hips: 35 inches
Waist: 26 inches
Forearm: 11 inches
Bicep: 13 inches
Weight: 126.2

Last check-in (5/5):

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fabletics Review

Since I basically live in workout clothes, I am always on the hunt for new places to get cute, affordable, reliable stuff – and I really found a winner with Fabletics
In case you are unfamiliar with them, here is some info pulled straight from their website (and for the record, no one asked me to post this, nor was I compensated – I just love their products and wanted to share them with you!):

·   Up to 40% OFF retail prices
·   FREE SHIPPING on orders over $49.95
Browse your personalized picks ready on the 1st of the month. Complete outfits start at just $49.95
Make a purchase or log into your account to "Skip the Month" by the 5th and you will not be charged. If you do not shop or skip by the 5th, your credit card will be charged $49.95 (1 membership credit) on the 6th until you cancel. Skip as many months as you'd like – you may still shop after skipping the month. Each credit can be redeemed toward 1 outfit - use it to shop anytime.•
You may cancel your membership at any time. To cancel, call our Member Services team at 1-844-Fabletics (1-844-322-5384)
* New members who join the VIP Membership program this month do not have to shop or skip until the following month.
You can also earn points towards free stuff!  You get points simply by placing an order, but also by reviewing your products.  And, you can refer friends to get a $10 credit on your account (which I will get if anyone uses my referral link, so thank you for that!).

This is a great service, they have tons of super cute choices and everything is incredibly reasonably priced – I ordered 3 separate pieces (not an pre-designed outfit), and absolutely loved all 3 items!  I purchased the Aruba  Wrap Top II, Dili Shorts, and Vaasa Sports Bra, as shown below:

First of all the Dili shorts are great – they have a think waistband so they don’t cut in to your sides, although I do roll mine down in the front (it’s a habit I have).  They stay put on your legs and are super comfortable – I love the side cinch that you can use to shorten them a little – and the color is fantastic!

 The Vaasa Sports Bra is without a doubt my new favorite bra – it is also incredibly comfortable and the bask design is awesome!  I am a sucker for strappy back on sports bras and shirts, so as soon as I saw this on their website I knew I needed it.  It offers just the right amount of support for my training, without making me feel claustrophobic like some sports bras do..

And the Aruba Wrap Top II, OMG!  I am obsessed.  I have worn this thing constantly since I got it and it is becoming my new favorite top for just about any occasion.  I wore it to the NPC Eastern Seaboard last weekend which was the first time I wore it and I got so many compliments!
I remember eyeing this shirt the first time it came up for sale, but I waited too long and it sold out – as soon as I saw it was back I knew I had to jump on the opportunity ASAP.  The fabric is super soft and comfortable, and the fit is amazing.  I haven’t worked out in it yet, but I have basically lived in it everywhere else and love it!

I highly recommend Fabletics as a great source for workout clothes that are so much more – coming from the girl who lives in gym clothes, it’s nice to have cute options that work both in and outside the gym.  If you’re in the mood to do some shopping, be sure to check them out!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

You Can't Wait Until You Think You're Ready..

“How do you know you're ready? Let me tell you something... You don't. 
As I'm lying here in the dark, alone in the gym and thinking about the next 18 weeks, I know this... You won't find answers anywhere. It's not written in any book. There's no guide. Nobody's gonna tell you it's time. Only one person will know... You. You just got to want it bad enough. Maybe one day you'll wake up and you'll know today's the day and you start your own journey. Just remember this... Making the decision to venture into the unknown, into uncharted territory—that's the hard part. You get over that, and your future will open up. Destiny will be within your grasp. That doesn't mean things will get any easier. Fuck no, they won't. But just getting to the edge, being able to look over–that's why I'm here.
Listen, you can't wait until you think you're ready. I got news for you—you'll never be ready. You'll never be big enough. You'll never be lean enough. Your lagging parts will never catch up quick enough. So if you waited for that time when you thought you might be ready, you'd never step up. And if you don't step up, you're not in the game. I'm in the game. I'm gonna look and see what's on the other side...”

I love that quote – from Animal’s 'The Journey'.  It’s a good read for any competitor, but more than that it’s a good read for anyone at all.  It’s about hard work, dedication, motivation – about knowing what your priorities are and sticking to them.  About chasing your dreams and not letting anything stand in your way.

I used to read this over and over when I was competing – I had print-outs hanging on my wall, my fridge, basically everywhere.  But after my last show it fell to the back of my mind and I kind of forgot about it.  I’m not sure what reminded me today, but I’m glad it did.  I am not competing in July, due to a lot of really exciting and at the same time kind of scary life changes that are coming this summer – I’m not really at liberty to say much right now, but I will when I can.

That doesn’t matter though, I’m glad I read this as a non-competitor.  It made me think about a lot, made me remember my passion and my drive.  Life is too short not to chase your dreams – and I urge you all to do the same.

Competitor or not, if you have some free time (it’s not long, I promise) check out The Journey.  Let me know what you think.  What are your biggest, scariest dreams? And are you doing everything in your power to make them come true?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bi-Weekly Check-in (5/5) and Posing Practice!

I was really eager to do my bi-weekly check in this week, in hopes of finally gaining some weight back after our recent trip to the coast, but alas I am down 3 more pounds...  It's really making me think I should definitely get on stage in July - I am leaning out so effortlessly that I think I could get through a prep without too much stress.

That being said, I started posing again.  No decisions have been made just yet but since competing has been such a constant thought lately I figured I should go with it for now and just see what happens.. No promises, no commitments, just kinda-sorta prepping but not really? Does that even make sense?

This is my third posing session - I spared everyone the first (it was rough), and I posted a brief clip of the second on Instagram, but the third time was definitely the charm!  Please excuse the awful music choice - it was first time making a video and apparently this is the only song I had to choose from - I will fix that before the next one though I promise!
Ok, now that that's out of the way on to my bi-weekly..

As I said, I am down 3 pounds and lost a little bit of size around my calves, quads, and biceps.  Losing size around my quads is really upsetting to me, since I work so hard to try to gain size there.  I guess I really need to start looking at my training and figure out what I can change to hopefully see some results - but then again if I do decide to get on stage I guess the gains will have to wait!  Decisions, decisions...

This week's measurements:
Calf: 14.5 inches
Quad: 22 inches
Hips: 35.5 inches
Waist: 26 inches
Forearm: 11 inches
Bicep: 13 inches
Weight: 126.8

Last check-in (4/20):

Monday, May 4, 2015

What I ate... (Sunday 5/3)

I'm back for another round of WIAW!  Thanks, as always, for hosting, Jenn Laura!

Yesterday (Sunday) was a random day of eating for me, everything started off pretty normal with my usual egg white pizza and some peanut butter oatmeal...
Recycled picture, but you get the idea..
I've had a lot of people ask me what I do with my yolks since I only buy whole eggs - they go to the dogs!  Egg yolks are full of nutrients and are great for their coats - plus they are a cheap way to bump up the calorie count of their dry food, and they absolutely love them!  Lily is still on a diet so she only gets 2, but Miss Bella desperately needs to gain some weight so she gets the rest!
 I spent the next few hours doing my weekly meal prep and doing some chores around the house (my usual Sunday routine - super exciting!).  My next meal is where things got weird - in preparation for an epic leg day, I had some Ben & Jerry's PB Half Baked and 2 scoops of Cellucor whey protein. And by 'some' Ben & Jerry's I mean the whole pint, obviously...  This is a limited edition flavor and is my current favorite - I hope they keep it around!
Pre-workout meal of champions!
I drank some C4 about an hour after my pre-workout feast and headed to the gym for a 2 hour leg day!  I guess between the C4, ice cream, and it having been well over a week since I had a quality leg lift I was just ready to go in there and kill it!
I followed my lift with 2 more scoops of Cellucor Whey (unpictured) to try to keep my muscles fed and provide them with the protein necessary to recover properly.  I love Cellucor's products - they have been a favorite of mine for years! If you want to try some for yourself, you can use code NBLYFIT at checkout (only through Cellucor's website) for 25% off your entire order!  The code never expires, so feel free to use it as often as you'd like!  Plus, if you give them your email address you will also get free shipping - that's tough to beat!

I went home and had some work to do on the computer, and enjoyed an Isopure drink while I hammered out some inventories - these are pretty expensive so I don't drink them often, but after all that ice cream earlier my appetite wasn't quite back yet, and I knew I needed some more protein so this worked out perfectly!  This has no fat or carbs - and no weird stuff in it - just protein!  The flavor is really good too and it doesn't weigh you down like some protein shakes can.
A couple hours later I finally got hungry again - I made a dinner consisting of brown rice, peas, chicken, and goat cheese, eaten tupperware style.
Hi, Lil!
And thats it - thanks to proper planning and utilizing IIFYM, my daily total was only 3014 calories (98 fat, 241 carbs, 274 protein) - not too shabby considering almost 1200 of those calories came from ice cream!  Hopefully it will help me gain some weight (spoiler alert - it didn't).  Check back tomorrow for a bi-weekly update and a sneak peak of my most recent posing practice (it's been almost 2 years since I've had posing practice - it was... interesting.).