Wednesday, September 25, 2013

12 Weeks Out: The Secret to Great Abs- Better Lighting

Here I the "12 Weeks Out" point. I can't believe it!

Luckily, my coach has not changed my food yet. I do, however, have a lot more work in the gym.
I'm finding that my days seem to be going by a lot faster...probably because my time in the gym has increased so much. I feel like I'm always on the go.
This is a good thing, because I seriously cannot wait to get on that stage...and then get off that stage for a glass of wine!

So, let's talk about my progress photos.
I work hard all week long and I actually get excited to wake up on Sunday morning to take my progress photos.
I usually wake up around 7 and start the coffee. I give A.B. a chance to wake up...which doesn't happen. So usually, I end up bursting into our room yelling, "Ready to take some pics??"
He loves it....probably.

So, in an effort to try to give me more consistent photos, A.B. pinned up some fabric on the wall of our guest bedroom and set up a tripod. I was very excited about this...until I saw this week's photos:

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate my photos.
It's just that I was SURE that I had more progress this week. I looked at these photos and I felt like I had accomplished nothing over the past 3 weeks.
So yeah, I was frustrated. I didn't even want to post them.

Then a funny thing happened. 

On Monday morning, I woke up for work, took my shower and when I looked in the mirror, I noticed something different.

Umm.... ABS???? Where did these come from???

I felt so much better! It's these little moments that make all of this worth it. It's the best reward and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next!

All in all, not a bad week. I learned a couple of things:

1. I need better lighting in my guest bedroom.

2. My body changes on a daily basis. I need to not get hung up on one photo.

So, that's it for now. I'm currently suffering from a bad cold and it's keeping me from my training. Not good. So, I'm going to pop some Nyquil and call it a night!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

13 Weeks Out: This Calls For a Season Change

This last week seemed to fly by for once, which was nice! The temperature dropped a touch and it seemed like Southern California was flirting with the idea of Fall. 
Alas, that was short lived and we were back in the 90's by the weekend. Boooo... :(
I have found that the busier I am with activities that I love, the less of a chance I have to feel sad about missing out on food-filled summer activities. So, I thought about it and came up with a couple things that I love just as much as food and wine.
First- I love crafts and decorating.
Second- I LOVE Fall and I can't wait for it to get  here! 
Since Fall is the gateway to all sorts of fun holidays, these two loves of mine go hand in hand.
It's only September and we have at least another month of this warm weather nonsense; therefore, I did what any normal bikini competition girl who hasn't had bread/cheese/wine in over a month would do. 
I cranked up my A/C and spent my weekend decorating for Halloween. 
I even completed a Pinterest craft!
Check out my Halloween wreath that took FOREVER and made a huge mess. 

It's so cute though. The mess was totally worth it! I didn't think about yummy food once! If anyone is interested, here's the link to the Paper Plates Wreath Tutorial

I didn't stop there. I worked on our kitchen, dining room and living room as well. I had so much fun! Here's a peak at our dining room table.

As far as competition prep goes, my workouts have increased a bit more, but it hasn't been too bad. I'm getting used to it and I feel really good. 
Of course, next week starts the dreaded "12 Weeks Out" point and apparently that's when it gets REALLY hard. My calories will start being cut and my workload will increase. What a combo!
All I can do is stay focused and take one week at a time, right?

Here are this week's photos. Not much of a change, but that's ok. One thing I've learned is that it's not easy to see change from week to week. I'm thinking in two weeks, I'll post comparison photos to see my progress.

So, that's it for now! I'm hoping that I can find more Halloween projects to keep me busy over the next few weeks. If not, Christmas will be at my house in no time! :)

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

14 Weeks Out

I survived yet another week thanks to Katy Perry's song "Roar" and my love of peanut butter!

If I think about the fact that I'm not competing until winter, while it's currently 100 degrees outside, it seems far too daunting. So, taking it one week at a time and setting small goals makes it feel much more attainable. 

This week I was assigned more work in the gym.....working on shoulders and biceps in addition to all of my normal stuff. Now that my workload has started to change/increase, I'm definitely feeling more focused. 
My coach reviewed my food this week...which made me NERVOUS. The news is that I don't have to cut out my peanut butter!!! Typically when you love a food so much, it's usually bad for you. Luckily, my natural peanut butter (carefully measured out and within my plan) is healthy AND amazing!

The only thing he wanted me to change is to cut all dairy, which for me is just yogurt. No biggie. I only use it in my protein shake and I can easily swap it for unsweetened almond milk.

The other change I made this week is that I have finally surrendered to the idea that I will be working out 7 days a week for the next few months. 
It's okay though. I was cramming too much into my 4 lifting days and I feel like it was probably working against me. Now that I'm doing my extra cardio on my non lifting days, I feel much more energized!

On a non-gym related note, my curling wand AND microwave mysteriously broke this week. Both items decided to just stop heating up. Crazy, right? It's like they were conspiring against me. As if training for a competition isn't hard enough, I now have to deal with cold food and bad hair??
Well, the joke's on them because we had another microwave stored in our garage and I just had a new curling wand delivered via Amazon. Take that, universe!

So, as promised, here is another progress photo. I don't see a drastic change this week, but I also didn't cut dairy until Thursday. I'm hoping to see that pay off a little more over the next couple of weeks.

On that note, I'd better get changed to go for my 30 minute run! Then A.B. and I have a Disneyland date tonight! Yay! 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

15 Weeks Out

I am 15 weeks out from my first ever bikini competition.
At this point, it's all very surreal to me. I don't think it has REALLY hit me that in a few months I am going to put on a tiny bikini and clear heels and parade across a stage. 
That. Sounds. TERRIFYING.
So, in the meantime, I have put it out of my head and I have just tried to focus on one day at a time. 

So, how has it been going? Well, at first it wasn't bad at all. Normal meal plan, normal workouts with a little bit of extra rowing (on a row machine) after my workouts. Nothing too difficult. 
The last couple weeks have been a bit tougher. We were told we could no longer have processed food (with the exception of limited protein powder post workout) and we could no longer have carbonated beverages. (I've never been a soda drinker, but when I took on this bikini challenge, I suddenly discovered Cherry Coke Zero and kinda fell in love with the poisonous substance.) So really, my days consist of ground turkey, egg whites, oatmeal, spinach, green get the idea.We have also had to do 3 x 30 min cardio sessions each week on top of our normal workouts and our rowing. It's been a bazillion degrees outside and I have been running in it. Not fun.

I had one particularly difficult day. I ran 3.5 miles in 90+ degree heat, followed by lifting, followed by our metcon which, among other things, included 1.5 miles of running, followed by my 5 min rowing. When I finished my rowing, I put my head down and started crying. I couldn't explain WHY I was crying. I just felt defeated. It was such a difficult day and all I could think was, "This is my life for the next 4 months and it's only going to get harder." 
I overdid it. 
That was my low point. After a much needed pep talk from one of my girls at the gym, I felt better. 

Overall, this has been a good experience so far. I have my moments of sadness when I think about all of the things I have to miss out on over the next few months. But, aside from that, I feel really good. I'm starting to see slight changes in my body and I know that it's only going to get more and more noticeable over the next few weeks. I'm excited to see what my body can do!

Oh, also, I've learned a couple of things during this process. 

1. Bikini Comp Prep makes you VERY creative with food. I have ground up my oats and mixed it with 1T of natural peanut butter and 1T of honey to trick myself into thinking I'm eating cookie dough for breakfast.
2. Bikini Comp Prep makes you VERY stingy with food. I looked at A.B. like he was completely crazy when he asked me for a bite of my protein pancakes. "I'm sorry, you want a bite of what? YOU can have REGULAR pancakes!!!!" A.B.'s defense, he has been eating clean along with me and has been my biggest supporter. 
I could not do this without him!!!

It's a learning experience and I'm trying to keep myself as sane as possible. I am going to do everything I can to not become an angry, carb-obsessed fitness nut. I will remind myself every day that this is my choice and this is something I want for myself. I have a goal and an end in sight and I just have to take it one day at a time. 

This post is longer than I anticipated.

Ok, let's wrap this up....

Starting this week, I'm going to start posting progress photos. Due to poor lighting and lack of equipment, I'm limited to Iphone shots in my bedroom mirror. So, let's not judge me on presentation. The point of this is to keep me accountable. If I know that at the end of each week I have to post a picture of my stomach on the internet, I'm probably going to stay pretty motivated. That's the idea anyway. 

So here I am in my fancy sports bra and even fancier pajama shorts. This is a far cry from my tanned "after" photos for my gym, but whatever. This is just makeup or great lighting or spray tan. 
I have nowhere to go but up! :)

I can't believe I just posted those. But, I'm doing a lot of things I can't believe, so I'm going with it. 

Have a great Labor Day weekend!!!