Category Archives: Fitness Posts

The honest truth about being a competitor.

This post may not get me any fans.  Its just my honest truth about what I have learned being in the fitness industry for the past 3 years.

 

1.  Competing is hard!

I’m not talking about getting on stage, though getting up the nerve to step on stage in 6 inch clear stripper heels and an itsy bitsy bikini is certainly not an easy thing to do.  I’m talking about weeks and months of eating chicken out of tupperwear, not going out with friends, and dealing with people who think that you are starving yourself (You’re not, and most of those people are only projecting their own issues with food onto the lifestyle you chose) You give up relationships, you give up time out with friends, you give up sleep, you give up time with your family, you give up alot.  You also invest alot and gain alot personally.  Most people have issues with your life style because its not something they can do, not because its something you do.

You know you are a bodybuilding competitor when….

2. You are not going to become famous

People like dana linn bailey, kai green and phil heath are the exception!  The chances of making a living to support yourself with this sport are slim to none.  I am an active member of the fitness community, however I am not a sponsored athlete.  I would love to become sponsored by one of the many companies I love however I also do not and will not ever become a sponsored athlete of a company I cannot support or believe in.  That being said, competitions and organizations prefer sponsored athletes (uh oh…. there’s one of the truths the industry won’t like).  Showing up at a show and competing with a slew of sponsors will definitely get you noticed and make sure you  place better than non-sponsored athletes.  I have been at shows where I am positive the best physique for the category did not win…. for a few reasons.  Either its their turn for having put in their time, they may even be a brand new competitor with no following and the least physique but they have a list of sponsors on their bio.  I have a question: How is this your first fitness competition and you are already sponsored by a list of companies… not only that but you have no social media, and no following but you are sponsored by some of the biggest companies in the industry (yep, people lie)  However if you are “sponsored” by a company that the organization wants weather real or supposed you will get noticed. … that does’nt mean that you will continue to win, you’re just good for the organization.  The best does’nt always win.  And most competitors work full time jobs with kids and make major sacrifices for their sport.  A few of the pro’s in my organizations national competition coming up are begging for donations right now in order to compete….

 

 

3.  Competing is Expensive

That being said I have seen people win in victoria secret $70  swim suits. But registration for a show generally runs into a couple hundred dollars, with tanning, make up, hair, suits and costumes you are looking at a minimum of a 500 investment per show… and that does’nt touch on training, or photography or any of the extras that many see as a requirement.  There are many ways to save on competing but you also need to know that not using the sponsored “teams”, official “makeup and tanning” etc  may work against you.   People in organizations talk.  If you’re doing it to prove something to yourself then make sure you check out my post on ways to cut costs HERE.

 

4.  Its an industry… deal with it

Like any money making industry the fitness industry is there to make money.  Every organization is trying to get the most competitors (registration fees and sponsored companies) and the most sponsors, magazine exposure and recognized athletes as the next.  Some are more focused on the competitors then others.  Some are more objective then others.  Except it is still an industry based on money.  If you do not fit their version of a pro athlete or do not have enough push and clout behind you it does not matter if you are the best physically… if you are not marketable then you are not going to get it.  its just the truth.  This is a subjective sport.  Subjective to the industry professionals and the organization you choose to compete in.

 

4.  Drugs are prevalent.

When I first decided to compete I cannot count the number of people that asked me or my mom whether I was on drugs!  I compete with the UFE.  Its a drug tested drug free association… sorta.  Anybody that knows anything about bodybuilding knows that even the pro’s in a drug tested organization are not necessarily drug free.  It only means that the steroid using athletes have learned when to cycle off their chosen poison in order not to get caught.   That being said if you decide to compete in a drug free association without drugs know that you will have to work twice as hard.. and twice as long.   Does’nt mean its not possible, just means that 12 weeks of working out and dieting will not make you win against 6 months of roids…

 

5.  Know why you are doing it.

If you are competing in order to prove yourself to yourself, as a goal, or just to feel good about yourself DO IT!.  But just know its addictive.  That how I started.  It was a goal.  Now I want to win, and ya, I am working my arse off to get it.  But the chances of stepping on stage and winning your first competition are slim to none.  The chances of becoming a professional fitness model or bodybuilder with sponsors enough to never have a real job again… probably less than 1%.  The sport is amazing.  It is an amazing industry with fabulous motivated individuals striving to be their best.  But it is not a means to an end.  It is promoting a lifestyle, one that can be healthy and one that can also mess with your head.  If you do not know where you want to be, what you are and why you are doing it.  Dont.

 

 

Flu Season Gym Etiquette

Its that time of year again.  I just got over a bought of the flu that lasted almost 2 weeks and lead to all kinds of yuck.   While I know how I got the bug (thanks honey)  it got me thinking about the gym when you are sick, slightly sick or down right ill.

Hygiene All the Time

I am always very conscious of hygiene at the gym.  Doubly so lately considering all of the news coverage of the Ebola Virus suddenly having me becoming a hypochondriac.  I don’t think you need to walk around with a mask or in a bubble.  However some basics things definitely help with keeping the bugs at bay.  The biggest one for me is hand washing.  I wash my hands before every workout and right after every workout.  I also make a very concerted effort to not touch my face at all during a workout.  If I have to cough, its into my arm.  If I need to wipe at a stray hair on my forehead, same thing.  Be smart.  Wiping down machines is more than just courtesy and if you or somebody in your house may be ill or at risk, wipe down the handles, pins etc as well.

 

When to workout.

If you have a mild cold or bug.  I’m talking a little bit of the sniffles or a slight cough, by all means sweat it out.  But remember that if you’re body is already fighting a bug, lifting heavy weights means it will also be trying to repair itself, which could worsen your symptoms or prolong you’re illness.  If you’re sick and germy it may be best to just stay home.

If you have a fever – DO NOT GO TO THE GYM

You’re not only putting yourself at risk but you are risking the health of everybody else in the gym.  Stay home, sleep, heal and return to you’re lifting when you’re healthy.

 

Supplements.

I have done lots of research on vitamins and most studies show that increased Vitamin D during the colder months along with vitamin B are incredibly successful in fighting off those pesky germs.

 

 

Kaizen Cleanse Review – Do Not Waste Your Money

No Longer a Daily Review

So I started the Kaizen cleanse on Friday.  You can see my first post here.

 

Friday

You drink these two green sludge “cleanse” drinks.  Take my advice if you try this out yourself, do not mix with water.  They still taste awful but are definitely better when taken as a shot.  Close your eyes and drink it down.  First night I took 5 of the pills that they say to take every other day unless they are not working in which case you can take them every night for up to 7 nights in a row.

Saturday

The next morning I woke with incredibly dry mouth, very bad gas and that’s about it.  After sticking to my clean eating diet all day and drinking down two more of the foul tasting “cleanse” shots I took another dose of the pills before bedtime.

Sunday morning I felt absolutely awful.  Dry mouth is an understatement, no matter how much water I drank I was thirsty.  Tried to go to the gym as usual and felt dizzy.  I still had awful bloating and gas.  Though this time I finally was able to “go”.  In fact a few times.

AND I’m DONE

Did not last the full 7 days on this.  Granted if I ever need a laxative I guess they are in the cupboard if I’m, stuck.

Final Opinion

The ingredients of this cleanse are essentially natural diuretics and laxatives.  Which is actually why I chose it.  However I would not suggest this.  Water loading to get rid of bloat which I am doing this week anyways in order to get ready for a photo-shoot, along with low fat, high fibre food and you’ll get much the same results in a much healthier way and without having to feel awful.

 

Science Behind Eat, Train, Rest, Repeat!

If you go to the gym chances are that you are not only trying to lose weight but gain muscle.  Or perhaps you are one of those people who are “looking to get toned” but are worried about getting too bulky.

If you are a long time reader you will already know my pet peave of having women stop to ask me what I do at the gym to look like I do, my response alwas being  “I lift weights”.  There next response is 9 out of 10 times, “Oh but I don’t want to get bulky”.  Seeing as I am anything but I find this hilarious.  My quick response is generall the quick quip “its not easy to get big, and muscles burn more calories while at rest”  then I walk away.

While the easy answer is the easy answer I thought I would explore the science behind why muscles grow from hypertrophy, cell activation, and hormones used.  Although that would definitely be too long of an explanation

Muscle growth takes place after your workout when your body repairs and replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process which fuses muscle fibers together to form new muscle protein strands or myofibrils. The repaired muscles increase in thickness and number to create muscle hypertrophy (GROWTH).  All of this happens however after your workouts and while you rest.    To gain or grow muscles you need to activate satellite cells.  Activating satellite cells may be the difference between what allows some to grow massive muscles and what makes others “hard gainers”.

Lift Heavier

Underlying all progression of natural muscle growth is the ability to continually put more stress on the muscles. This stress is a major component involved in the growth of a muscle and disrupts homeostasis within your body. The stress and subsequent disruption in homeostasis causes three main mechanisms that spur on muscle growth.

In order to produce muscle growth, you have to apply a load of stress greater than what your body or muscles had previously adapted too. How do you do this? The main way is to lift progressively heavier weights. The additional tension on the muscle helps to cause changes in the chemistry of the muscle, allowing for growth factors that include satellite cell activation.  Muscular tension also most dramatically effects the connection of the motor units with the muscle cells. Two other factors help to explain why some people can be stronger, but not as big as other people.

 

If you’ve ever felt sore after a workout, you have experienced the localized muscle damage from working out. This local muscle damage causes a release of inflammatory molecules and immune system cells that activate satellite cells to jump into action. This doesn’t mean that you have to feel sore in order for this to happen, but instead that the damage from the workout has to be present in your muscle cells. Typically soreness is attenuated over time by other mechanisms.  This is also the reason why those who go to the gym for long lengths of time but never increase their weights often see great results during the first few weeks and then plateau.

Metabolic stress causes cell swelling around the muscle, which helps to contribute to muscle growth without necessarily increasing the size of the muscle cells. This is from the addition of muscle glycogen, which helps to swell the muscle along with connective tissue growth. This type of growth is known as sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and is one of the ways that people can get the appearance of larger muscles without increases in strength.

So, what about hormones and Testosterone?

Hormones are another component largely responsible for muscle growth and repair because of their role in regulating satellite cell activity. Insulin Growth Factor (IGF), in particular Mecho-Growth Factor (MGF) and testosterone are the two most vital mechanisms that promote muscle growth.

Testosterone is the main hormone that most people think about when working out with weights, and there seems to be some validity to the thought that testosterone increases protein synthesis, inhibits protein breakdown, activates satellite cells, and stimulates other anabolic hormones. Although most testosterone is bound in the body and therefore not available to use, strength training seems to help not only release more testosterone, but also make the receptors of your muscle cells more sensitive to your free testosterone. Testosterone can also stimulate growth hormone responses by increasing the presence of neurotransmitters at the damaged fiber site, which can help to activate tissue growth.  The IGF regulates the amount of muscle mass growth by enhancing protein synthesis, facilitating glucose uptake, repartitioning the uptake of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) into skeletal muscles and once again, activates satellite cells to increase muscle growth. There is the big reason why women especially have a harder time gaining muscle.  In order for Figure and Physique competitors in a natural competition to gain size their training and diet is highly specialized in order to allow the largest amount of protein synthesis as well as trainer accordingly to gain muscle.  This is not the type of thing a first timer or even experienced lifter is liable to stumble upon while working out.   It is a science.

 

Where is my “Rest” muscle and how do I train it?

I personally dislike rest days, for me it’s harder to stick to my diet when I do not go to the gym, that doesn’t mean they are not important though.  If you do not provide your body with adequate rest or nutrition, you can actually reverse the anabolic process and put your body into a catabolic or destructive state. The response of muscle protein metabolism to a resistance exercise bout lasts for 24-48 hours; thus, the interaction between protein metabolism and any meals consumed in this period will determine the impact of the diet on muscle hypertrophy.

 

So as you can see “EAT, TRAIN, REST, REPEAT!”  Really is a valid mantra.  If you eat the right foods, train hard and rest enough to allow for repair you will grow your muscles.  And yes, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn while doing nothing.

 

 

The Long and the Short of Having a Stiff One

The general rule of thumb while in prep for a bodybuilding competition is that booze is bad and you should consume none.  Over the course of the last few years I have heard a lot of people (mostly non-bodybuilders) explain that vodka is better for you then wine, that wine is better than beer and why just one or two drinks will not affect your weight loss or your health.  So I did my research and here’s what I found.

The Short

If you’re interested in tracking macros, calories etc the top portion is probably all you need.  The reality is that for every gram of alcohol you consume is works out to 7 calories and no nutritional value in mineral or nutrients to your body whatsoever, it also makes your body work overtime in order to metabolize it.

General Rules for Caloric Breakdown of Foods

You’re body gets calories from the food you eat, in order for our bodies to function we need carbohydrates, protein, fat and water.  Along with essential vitamins and minerals.  Without these things our bodies do not function as they should.   Vitamin, mineral and water content add nutritional value to food but do not provide any calories.  The key is to spend the calories on foods that provide a variety of vitamins and minerals without a lot of calories and that provide the most energy in return.

1 gram Calories
Carbohydrates 4
Protein 4
Fat 9
Alcohol 7

 

Alcohol Breakdown

Alcoholic drink Calories
Beer, lite, 12 oz. 100
Beer, regular, 12 oz. 150
Frozen daiquiri, 4 oz. 216
Gin, 1.5 oz. 110
Mai tai, 4 oz. 310
Margarita, 4 oz. 270
Rum, 1.5 oz. 96
Vodka, 1.5 oz. 96
Whiskey, 1.5 oz. 105
Wine spritzer, 4 oz. 49
Wine, dessert, sweet, 4 oz. 180

 

In summary, having a drink depending on your goals, is acceptable.  If your goal is to get on stage and you are stressing it to the max, why load up on empty calories that make losing weight more difficult and give you none of the added benefits of energy, strength, recovery.  Contest prep no-no.  Occasionally during weight loss, meh.  Boozing it up on a daily basis?  Read on….

The Long (er)

Most of us like to have a cocktail or two from time to time and there is really nothing wrong with that, this post is not about binge drinking or issues with alcoholism, alcohol can be classified as a drug and the reality is it’s the most widely used drug in the world.  According to the national institute of Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism, in the US 17.6 million (1 in 12) adults are alcohol dependent.  If you are in this boat I would advise you to seek intervention.

The majority of the rest of us drink socially and / or moderately, yes it effects how we act almost immediately but it also effects your body in a myriad of ways that you are not aware of.  (Or at least I wasn’t until I started researching).  I prefer to make informed decisions and I will continue to have the occasionally bevie.

Alcohol provides a lot of calories with no nutritional value, and it also interferes with how your body processes and stores nutrients so that healthy foods that you do eat aren’t actually doing their job.

Once you have a drink, your body begins trying to metabolize it immediately.  So, it stops metabolizing anything else you have consumed in order to make the booze the priority.  The reason for this is that unlike the good stuff (protein, carbohydrates and fat) there is nowhere for it to be stored so it must be processed.  Once that drink enters your stomach, up to 20% of it can be absorbed there and go directly into your blood stream.  Within minutes it reaches your brain and gives the feeling of being a stimulant (buzzed).  The remaining alcohol content goes into your intestines and is absorbed there with the rest of the nutrients and very small amount gets pumped out through sweat, saliva, urine and your breath (why breathalysers work).

The sugar in our blood is called glucose and is used for growth and energy (hmm… bodybuilding buzzwords if ever I saw them).  Blood glucose comes from the foods that we eat and the breakdown of the glucose stored in our muscles (glycogen).  The primary hormones involved in maintaining a healthy blood glucose level are insulin and glucagon.   Generally when your blood sugar drops your body will respond by making more or burning stored sugar.  When you’re blood sugar rises it secrets insulin to keep it within a healthy range.  Drinking can deplete your glycogen stores in a matter of hours.  Long term studies of heavy drinkers showed that 50 – 65 % of people with alcoholic liver disease had either glucose intolerance or suffered from diabetes.

The reality of all of this means, that drinking in moderation and socially is acceptable depending on your goals, however the explanation of how it actually effects your body in “growth” (muscle gains) and in energy (Strength) cannot be ignored overall.  I for one still love my red wine and will continue to have it occasionally.  However depending on your goals and your health you may not want to imbibe. I completely believe in moderation on an everyday level and while many fitness buffs may preach that “food is fuel” mentality I live my life to enjoy it and one of the things I enjoy is good food, good wine and great company.  I also believe in understanding how things work and why my body does what it does.    Cheers!

 

References:
American Counsel for Drug Education
Sizer, F., and E. Whitney. Nutrition Concepts and Controversies. Toronto, Canada: Thomson Wadsworth, 2003.
FDA News Release. Nov. 17, 2010.
American Diabetes Association

Squat Evaluation and Other Glute Building Exercises

ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN GLUTES ARE MADE FROM SQUATS

The general consensus for bodybuilders and weight lifters is that FROM (Full Range of Motion Squats) are the better than PROM (Partial range of motion) squats.  A study conducted by *The Journal of Strength and Conditioning researched the two and found the following:

PROM

Partial range of motion squats found that force and power were greater.  PROM Squats can be beneficial to athletes that do not require full range of motion for their sport in other words you can move more weight by using partial movement (no big surprise there).

FROM

Full range of motion squats are defined as squats where you’re hips become parallel with your knees or lower.  The study found that speed and total work performed was greater in FROM squats.  Concluding that Full range of motion may require an athlete to use lighter weights then with Partial Range of Motion squats but that these squats were better for overall conditioning as well as body composition.

My personal experience is that there are times that both are useful.  Since my injury a couple of months ago READ HERE I have found back loaded squats near impossible, I still do them.  I have been doing partial movements though while lifting heavy, and so far can only do FROM squats with about 20lbs loaded, working slowly towards my body weight (again).  Going as deep as I can.  I have also put an emphasis on front loaded squats which while much lighter I can achieve FROM.  I have also been experimenting with other exercises to throw into my Bum Building repertoire and have a few absolute favorites.  (This does not extinguish the need to keep up with the big booty building moves of squats, deadlifts and lunges.  But switching things up and adding things in makes working out far more fun)

TUSH BUILDING EXERCISES TO TRY

Sumo Squats
Target: Inner Thighs and Glutes

Place a dumbbell on end between you’re feet.  Stand with feet pointing out and knees slightly further then shoulder width apart.  Squat down keeping you’re back as straight as you can and pick up the dumbbell by one end and stand.  Lower the dumbbell back until it just touches the floor before standing again.
sumo

Kickbacks (Also called “Donkey Kicks”)
Target: Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, Glutes and Core

These can be done with or without weight or apparatus.  I personally do them utilizing the smith machine at my gym but you could just as easily do them with cables, or ankle weights.  Set the bar on the smith to the lowest point, kneel on all fours with your feet able to comfortably push up and back on the bar of the smith, switch legs and repeat.  Warning doing these will definitely make you walk funny the next day.  I’ve worked up to 2-25lb plates and will be aiming for 2-35lb plates this weekend.
Donkey_kicks

Curtsy Lunges
Target: Glutes and Adductors

This is exactly what it sounds like.  Think back to some old movie like Gone with the Wind, where gentlemen bowed and ladies curtsied.  Except replace the white gloves and corsets with gym clothes and barbells.  Normally when you lunge your leading leg should be slightly out and toe pointed out (this is a very commonly badly performed exercise).  In this case you are going to lunge with your legs almost crossed.  Want that nice round look on your tush?  Give these a shot.
curtsy

Hip Thrust or Glute Bridge
Target: Glutes and Core

These can be performed a few ways and there are variations.  Beginners may want to start with only body weight (lie on a mat knees bent, thrust hips into the air with shoulders still on matt) slightly more difficult do the same thing and extend one leg out straight, or my personal favorite is to sit on a bench, rest a barbell (currently I do these with 70 lbs) and step off the bench until you’re shoulders are resting on the bench with the barbell resting across your hips.  Lower you’re backside to the floor, and raise back up to flat again, keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle.  (Little trick: when you’re finished sit on the floor and tilt the barbell upright in order to get up from these)

hip-thrust

References:
*http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2012/04000/Effects_of_Changing_from_Full_Range_of_Motion_to.2.aspx

No Excuses

Everyone has an excuse.  Whether it’s for why your house is a mess, you’re wearing the same clothes 3 days in a row, haven’t had the oil changed in the car or why you just do not have time to get to the gym.  I should know, I used them for years and years.  It wasn’t until I gave up on the excuses that I started to see major results (30 lbs lost in 45-ish days)

Reality is that everyone has busy lives.  At the time I started hitting the gym, I was a single Mom of two boys then 13 and 5.  They have two different dads, which means two different schedules and a lot of the time two different and just as stressful headaches.  I was working about 45 minutes each way from home to my job where I generally put in 40+ hour weeks.  I was also running a home based business doing hair extensions out of my house, needless to say, I had gotten into the habit of eating what was easy instead of what was healthy.  I would make huge batches of Sheppard’s pie and lasagna.  While they are delicious, I cannot eat like that every day, I was also surviving on no less than 4 XL Tim Horton’s Double-Double Coffee’s (that’s more than 120 grams of sugar just from coffee).    I have never been lazy.  I really was busy.  I would get up early to make breakfasts and lunches, to make sure kids teeth got brushed, and that homework was organized and in line.  I would also be responding to emails and text messages from work, trying to stay in touch with my family out of town and driving kids to soccer, hockey, school stuff etc.   I have never been much of a TV Person, but I certainly liked sitting down at the end of the day with some quiet music and a glass of wine.

The moment that I decided I had enough everything changed.

I gave myself one hour!  “My” one hour when I started was always right after work.  Boo liked the gym daycare because there were always lot of other little boys to play with so right after work I would pick him up from regular daycare and go to the gym.  He’d play, I’d sweat… or lie on the matt hoping the fact I couldn’t move anymore appeared to be stretching.  I gave up Tim Horton’s cold turkey, gave up most of my red wine.  I would still have a glass with friends, and I still do, it’s just not every night.  I switched out white potatoes for mashed cauliflower, quinoa for rice and started learning to use spices instead of sauces and creams.  That’s it.  1 hour every day and I was down 30lbs in 45 days.  I also started drinking water, water and more water.  I felt amazing!  Going home for Christmas that year I shocked everyone by how well I was doing.

So let me help you give up your excuse.

“I don’t have time”

  1.  How much television do you watch on average in a day / week?

Personally I usually have one series per season that I enjoy.  Winter time is Game of Thrones, summer its True Blood, fall-ish is mad men.  Yes the TV is on at my house, I have kids and a bf.  They watch annoying kid stuff and annoying loud car stuff.  But if you’re watching even an hour a day you just found your time to work out.

  1.  Set the alarm for an hour earlier.

When you’re overweight and tired, the idea of getting up early and losing an hour of sleep is horrifying.  Trust me I remember it vividly.  Hitting snooze like 6 times so that suddenly everybody is running late, nobody has what they need and you inadvertently go to work in mis-matched heels.   Thing is the more you work out and get fit, the more energy you have… seems backwards but it’s true.   Exercise releases oxygen into your body, more oxygen makes you feel more energetic.  Then add in that it releases endorphins and they make you “feel good”.  So now you’re working towards “looking good” and you already feel good.  No caffeine or sugar crash required.

  1. Have a Nooner

Most of us work long stressful days and there’s nothing like taking even 30 minutes on your lunch to sweat out the frustration of a long day of frustrating “work”.

  1. Work out at home!

Do this in front of the TV if you really cannot miss your “show”, do it in the morning, in the evening while making dinner whatever works for you.  Body weight is a great thing, use it.  Squats, lunges, jump squats, crunches, planks etc.  Even better grab some weights, a kettlebell, and a resistance band and you can work out wherever and whenever you like.

 

“Eating Healthy Is Too Expensive”

  1.  All I have to say to this is cut the crap!  Yes perhaps eating “healthier” options from your favorite overpriced burger joint is more expensive.  But a can of Tuna generally can be found around a dollar, eggs are dirt cheap, and spinach can be bought pre-washed for like $3 for enough to eat a salad a day for a week plus throw some in just about everything else you cook.

 

Sample Healthy Grocery List (1 week – 1 person)

  • Dozen Eggs:    $2
  • Egg Whites (2 packages of 3 large from Costco): $6
  • Salsa:     $2.50
  • Sweet Potatoes: $1 / pound
  • Oats:    $2
  • Frozen Roast Chicken Slices (this probably will last you two weeks): $10
  • Tilapia Fillet’s:    $10
  • 4 cans of Tuna:   $4
  • Random veggies and fruit buying what’s on sale: $5
  • Almonds: $5

 

I can make about 15 Different meals with the list above.  I’ve rounded for ease.  That entire list is less than $50 for more than a week of groceries….   You can’t have a Coffee a day and a burger for 5 days a week for that. … which brings us to the next excuse. (also the first excuse)

“Cooking Healthy Takes Too Much Time”

  1. I either cook everything all at once on a Sunday and pack my fridge with Tupperware.  Never takes an hour to do all the cooking for a week.  Most days I cook in the morning for the day.  After the gym and while getting myself and my kids ready for the day.   Meal 1 is usually oats, meal 2 and 4 Egg whites, salsa and spinach tossed and scrambled in the frying pan takes about 2 minutes to make, spinach salad with chicken and almonds and cherry tomatoes for lunch, and grilled fish and veggies for dinner and depending on my prep half a sweet potato.  Add in a handful of almonds or some protein powder or veggies to crunch on and you just prepped all of your food for the day in 15 minutes.  Easy Peasy!

 

“I am big boned, small boned, an ectomorph etc”

  1. Nice to meet you.  I’m Kelly and no, you’re not.  Genetics definitely plays a role in body type, shape and size.  However I’ll guarantee you’re bones are not three times bigger than anyone else’s.  I personally think that these excuses have far more to do with how you were raised, or are you’re raising your own children.  If you only ever were raised to eat meat and potatoes, chips and always had ice cream I guess I can see why you might feel deprived.  It’s definitely a learned habit.  However they say doing something for 12 days makes it a habit.  So, set you’re self-up for success by making a 12 day plan and do not deviate from it at all.  Bet you will look and feel amazing.
  2. From the ladies this is usually “I just want to get toned”.  When they ask what I do at the gym and I tell them I lift as heavy as I can their next response is usually “But I don’t want to get bulky”… Ummm… so you want to look like me, and I just told you what I do, I am by no means a big girl (at all) so…. ?

“I take medication / have an injury”

  1.  Of course you are not supposed to start any exercise program without first consulting a physician.  However I have yet to hear of a physician saying no to working out due to any malady out there.  Medications can work against you, however they will not stop you from working out.  As for injuries, start light with any injured body part and work up slowly to full strength.  Personally I was plagued by a bad back due to a car accident in my teens that used to “go out” randomly all of the time.  I started doing no weight back extensions at the gym 2.5 years ago and it has’nt hurt me since.

 

“I do not know what I am doing”

  1. This is the Internet, and there is a thing called “Google”.  A few of my favorite resources:

Hope this was helpful.

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Fountain of youth

Throwbackthursday . Ever wonder what the fountain of youth looks like? Or how to achieve it? Left is. 2010 almost 2011, I was in an abusive relationship, unhealthy, unhappy and over weight. Right is a couple of weeks ago when I got elite status with UFE. Fitness IS the fountain of youth. I have been ID’d more in the last yeAr than my entire 20s combined. Now go lift!

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Full Competition Recap and Plans

UFE SHOWDOWN 2014

Showdown took place at Centenial Hall right here in good old London Ontario.  I do not work on Fridays and I spent the day limiting water, getting my nails done, and getting spray tanned for the competition.  For a tan this time, since I am always looking for a way to keep on Budget rather than do the traditional Competition Tan, I bought a bottle of Pro Tan overnight competition tan.  This stuff is amazing.  I began on Wednesday night by applying a coat, did the same Thursday night and then went for a regular old spray tan on Friday afternoon.  The other half took the kids to the race track Friday night, and I headed to the athletes meeting.  There were ALLOT of competitors in this show.  My guess is well over 100.  So, it was jammed, and moved incredibly slowly.  Suggestion:  Allow people to fill out their waivers, and bio’s online and give out the Goodie Bags at the show, perhaps during the 9 am meeting?  Standing around for 2 hours dehydrated but having to pee and throwing off you’re meal schedule the day before the show is not a lot of fun.  Either way I met some great people again.

Day of the show, Countdown over!
Day of the show, Countdown over!

Friday night I barely slept, too excited, feeling fabulous and just generally wound up.  Got up at 5 am and put curls in my hair, Alysia of AM Pro Makeup Artistry came to the house just before 8 am and I can honestly say she is absolutely amazing!

 

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Was supposed to be at the venue for 9 am, but the athlete meeting pre-show never happens when they say so I didn’t miss it even though my hair wasn’t done yet and I was running behind.  Totally lost my brain Saturday morning and forgot to bring my competitor numbers as well as the memory card for the camera.  Not that it matters, the other half isn’t keen on taking my picture apparently.  He got some good shots with his cell phone I suppose and I even talked him into 1 whole picture with me.

dandme

 

I competed in Masters Fitness Model and Masters Bikini.  I felt amazing.  However I rushed my bikini walk as its the first time I have been on stage for a year and regardless of all of my practice I got nervous and zipped through my walk.  My Bikini round of fitness model went really well, the judges were paying attention, I felt confident and fit.  Sports wear for fitness model, I had pink boxer bottoms (seen above) that were riding up and I tried to utilize bikini bit to ensure I was showing the goods on stage, instead just ended up with big dark glue marks on my hiney.  I had been prepared and brought another pair of bottoms, however they had fallen out of my bag and before stage time I could not find them for the life of me.  (I wore them at the evening show).

Pre-judging done, we went home and I could have gone straight to sleep.  However an hour later I was back at the venue for pictures with Chris Linton Photography  He was amazing to work with, I have not seen the photo’s yet but I am waiting on pins and needles.  They were taken outside of Centenial Hall in the court yard.  Lets just say you get some crazy looks from people when you’re wandering around at 2:30 in the afternoon downtown in a hot pink bikini and clear stripper heels!  It was so much fun and I can hardly wait to do another photoshoot.

 

After that I had about enough time to go home, have a glass of vino, feed the kids, and head out to the evening show.

babies 

Evening show was so much more fun than the morning, everyone was having fun.  You relax, the judges have made their decisions.  I spent all day having complete strangers telling me that I had this.  I felt like I had it.  Masters fitness model was called for awards first.  And I got 3rd!  Yes very excited and suprisingly very dissapointed too.  I really thought I HAD this.  All that work.  However and some won’t like that I am posting it.  I don’t think I get brownie points for being my own trainer, or for not being part of any of the “teams”…  I also have no sponsors, no idea how you get them either.  So, yes I am now a UFE Elite Fitness Model.  Bikini masters I have no idea where I placed because they only called top 5 and have’nt posted results yet.  Not so upset about bikini even though I thought I came through on my phyique and my quarters turns, but I screwed up my T-Walk (nerves!)

3rd place masters fitness model ufe showdown 2014
3rd place masters fitness model ufe showdown 2014

So… its been a week and a half.  Now what?

Trainer

After asking for advise and speaking to a few I have made the decision to hire a well known trainer.  Not announcing it yet, as I still have to figure out how and send them funds.  Announcement coming soon!  This should deal with the No Trainer and no idea how to promote myself issue.

Gym

Still at it.  Hardcore.  I want to compete again in the fall and I want to win.  First place please and thanks.  So, still going hard.  Took 2 days off right after the competition and schedules with the kids starting summer has been a little chaotic however I am dedicated to my workouts and my lifts are coming back up.

Food.

Oh how I missed food.  Regardless of my best intentions I jumped two feet off teh diet right after the show.  I have eaten and drank to my hearts content.  That’s gotta stop or all that hard work is right out the window.  Competition weight is not do-able year round with a job and a life however I do not want to go back up to my starting weight 12 + weeks ago of 143 either.  Seeing as I want to compete possibly october and definitely november that means its gotta stay relatively clean.