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Creating my ideal figure, one workout and one meal at a time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Post-Comp "Wish List"

I made a deal with myself that instead of cheating on my diet during this prep, I would write down the name/type of food I was craving and wait until after the show to eat it.

I had this same approach last year, and while it did work to help keep my mind off food cravings, I also went a little too crazy by eating about 80% of my "wish list" food within the first 3 weeks of being off the diet.  Not only that, but a lot of the food I'd written down was real junk food.  Needless to say, I ballooned!

What was strange was that I haven't been a big junk food eater in years.  Oh sure, I indulge occasionally, but ever since I've learned about the effects of food on our bodies, I've cut out deep fried and greasy food completely, made the permanent switch to whole wheat everything, reduced the amount of packaged food I buy and eat by about 75%, and cut back on sweets as much as possible (not sure if I ever could give up chocolate).  And yet, there I was chowing down on all that stuff (and then some) at least once per day.  It was weird, and now that I think of it, it was painful too.

This time my cravings are still indulgent (by a dieter's standards) but are much simpler and healthier.  My "Wish List" for post-comp foods are:

Honey.  Honey in tea, on cereal, with peanut butter, in baked foods....

Kashi Go Lean protein cereal, with almond milk and strawberries.

Dried dates.  Oooh, my local HFS (health food store) has the freshest, softest, most delicious dates I've ever had.  I could eat a whole handful, but I'd be happy with even just one.

A really awesome trail mix.  I make THE BEST trail mix you've ever tried.  Seriously, I'm not being modest here.  Partially because I'm not afraid to mix textures and tastes.  I love going to the bulk section of the HFS and getting a little bit of everything then mixing it all up.  Some yogurt almonds, dried cherries and papaya, coffee beans, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, and maybe some of that Kashi cereal.

A sandwich with swiss cheese, ham, lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo, mustard (surprise me), spicy eggplant, bell peppers, and grilled zucchini on a 9 grain bun, grilled.  Yummmmm.
Sushi.  But that's a given.

One of my classic B.A.S's (Big A** Salad).  I have all but given up on ordering salads from restaurants because they're always so boring!  "Oh, some iceberg lettuce..... how creative.  And cucumbers, that's a first.  And what's this?  A soggy tomato?  Lovely."  YUCK!  And you want me to pay $15 for that?  I have a "kitchen sink" approach to building salads that involves using whatever leftovers I can find in the fridge, again combining different flavors such as sweet, spicy, and salty, and making sure to incorporate an ingredient from every color of the rainbow.  The end result is beautiful, and always delicious.

This soup (Oh She Glows): Creamy tomato, onion and garlic coconut

Veggie burger (Oh She Glows).  Yes, I do usually love me a big beefy burger, but lately my diet consists mostly of meat and very few vegetables.  The result is an undeniable NEED for GREEN!
 And of course, it just wouldn't be me if I wasn't craving something sweet.  Believe it or not, I've been searching high and low for a dessert that really speaks to me (I'm a sugar ADDICT!) and have come up short.  The only one that has kind of appealed to me has been this one.
White chocolate sweet potato cake (Martha Stewart)

I've also got about 3 issues of Clean Eating Magazine stockpiled and earmarked, ready to go for when I'm done.  

35 Days, 35 days, 35 days......

Friday, September 23, 2011

I need to do a WORKOUT post!

I realized today that I haven't done a post about my workouts for quite a while now!  Sometimes it seems like I get so caught up in the bells and whistles of this competition that I lose sight of my roots: working out.

A few people have approached me lately and told me they wish they had my determination and drive.  While I am definitely flattered by this, I also can't take too much credit because honestly, I love going to the  gym - I love going to play with the "big boys" in the weight section, and actually knowing what I'm doing; I like trying new techniques and equipment;  I like lifting weights and see them become progressively heavier; and with the exception of heavy leg days, I generally look forward to working out.  So to go every day is really not a big deal to me, just as going to work at a job you love isn't difficult for you either!

So with that in mind, here's a rundown on what I've been doing at the gym lately:
Db = Dumbbell
Sets x Reps (ex. 3x12 means 3 sets of 12 reps)
Failure = can't do any more!

Day 1 - Legs 
Squat 10X10 
Leg press 5x12-15 
Leg curls 5x12-15 
One legged press 5x25-50 
Calf raises 5x15-25 
Shock set 
Leg press 4x failure (65-75 % max strength) 
Leg curls 2x failure 
Leg extensions 2x failure 
Calf raises 2x failure 
Day 2 - Chest
Bench press 10x10 
Db incline press 6x6 (heavy) 
Incline flys 5x5 (heavy) 
Incline db curls 4x12-15 
Concentration curls 3x15-25 
Machine preacher curls 3x12-15 
Shock set 
Standing hammer curls with EZ bar 3x21 
Lying leg raises 4x failure
Crunches 4x failure 

Day 3 - Abs 

Crunches 4x failure 
Rope crunches 4x failure

Day 4 - Metabolic Workout  
*Complete 20 reps each for 1 Giant set, rest, and repeat for 5 sets.
*Warmup: 10 minutes skipping
Lat pull down  
Cable row 
Leg press 
Leg extension 
Shoulder press 
Side lateral raise 
Hamstring curl 
Hanging leg raise 
Weighted ab crunch
Skipping (3 min)

Day 5 - Shoulders
Db shoulder press 10x10 
Db side laterals 6x6 (heavy) 
Front db laterals 5x12-15 
Db side laterals 4x12-15 
Upright rows 6x6 (heavy) 
Tricep push downs 4x12-15 
U-handle reverse push downs 4x12-15 
Db close grip press 4x failure (heavy) 

Day 6 - Back
Bent over rows 10x10 
Straight bar pull-overs 6x6 
Dumbbell rows 6x6 
Cable rows 4x12-15 
Hammer high rows 4x12-15 
Shock set 
Bent over rows 2x failure 
Rope crunches 5x failure 
Day 7 - 35 min cardio 
Day 8 - Metabolic Workout

Day 9 - Rest

*60 minutes cardio every morning on an empty stomach
*40 minutes cardio following each workout
*Yoga 1x per week
*Stretching every day 10-15 minutes

So there you have it - that's what my body's been doing the past few weeks, and will be doing for a couple weeks to come.

I hope you're all having as much FUN (yes, I said FUN!) with your fitness :)

Progress: 5 weeks out!

I've got lots and lots of pictures for you today!!!  First up, progress pictures for this week:

No baby oil this week.  I hadn't eaten breakfast yet by this point, and I was too hungry to bother mucking around with the stuff.  My tan is also fading.... so sad :(  I've decided not to do the tanning beds before the show because, frankly, I don't have the money for it lol.  But I'm also hoping that the Pro Tan will be enough.  Seems silly to risk cancer for something I can fix with an extra coat of paint!

Next, I thought I'd re-take my posing pictures.  Jason and I went through my poses a couple days ago via FaceTime (like Skype), and made some changes improvements.  It's still a work in progress (gotta loosen up those hands a bit), but I think it's looking better already!  Though, being in better "posing attire" helps ;)

I didn't post a Front Pose picture before, but trust me, this is an improvement!
You can't see it here, but I was SWEATING going through these poses.  My back has been so stiff this week from all of the twisting and unnatural contorting.  But, the more it hurts now, the less it'll hurt later!  I've made a mental note to spend more time doing spinal twists and stretches every day.

My diet changed, starting today.  It's essentially the same as my previous diet, just a little less of everything (calories decreased from about 1,400 to 1,100).  I'm also making a mental note to drink A LOT more water - no empty water glasses!  

Aside from that, things are going well.  I still haven't figured out the digestion thing, but I've resigned myself to just dealing with it for whatever time is remaining.  This weekend is my University's homecoming, and while I won't be able to partake in any of the drinking of beer and eating of poutine (classic college combo), I'm very excited to go "home" and see everybody. 

Does running around after drunken friends count as cardio??

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fighting "The Bloat"

I know I've complained about this before, but sadly I haven't seen the end of my bowel movement troubles.

I'm not sure what's wrong.  What I believe to be some of the possible causes are:
-lack of fibre
-lack of oils
-problem with the supplements
-coffee turning on me

I get tons of sleep and drink ridiculous amounts of water, so I've ruled those out.  I've also ruled out any sensitivities to food, as it's mostly just meat, vegetables, and oats at this point, and I've never had issues with any of that.

What I do know is this: it feels awful :(  I'm not sleeping at night because I'm so uncomfortable; my skin is breaking out; I have constant gas which seems to get worse in the evenings; I get horrible horrible acid reflux during my afternoon workout and cardio; I just feel generally sluggish and yucky.  

I hate for this to be a "downer" of a post, but this is the issue I've been living with lately and it's kind of getting me down.  I wonder if a lack of bowel movements hinders weight loss....?  I mean, you can't lose weight if you're not drinking enough fluids to wash it out, so can't the same be true for #2?  Either way, having all those toxins sitting and stewing in your system for days on end CAN'T be good for you.

The real problem is that, being only 6 weeks from the show, I can't manipulate my diet to find and fix the problem.  I'd tried taking Metamucil but that backfired BADLY and just made things 5x worse.  I suppose I could drink Senna tea, but I like to stay away from laxatives if I can; call me crazy, but I believe I'm entitled to natural bowel movements, darn it!

So where does that leave me?

Well, I'm still including ground flaxseed in my morning oat bran.  I'd read somewhere that you should pour boiling water over the flaxseed, let it sit for 20 minutes, strain off the flax, then mix in Apple Cider Vinegar with the flax liquid.  Apart from that, I can try cutting out my coffee, doing some yoga poses that help with digestion, look up some accupressure points, or try changing my supplement brands.

I know you're all DYING to know how this story ends for me, so I'll be sure to keep you posted with this developing issue lol.  Yes yes, you're welcome :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

6 Weeks Out!

Omigosh, is it really only 6 weeks away already?  And it's mid-September?  And I have to dig out my mittens??  Wowza... that was fast.

Alright, here's what we've got for today:
September 16th, 2011, 126.5lbs

I have to be super super super strict from here on out.  In the words of my trainer: "If it's not on your meal plan, it doesn't go in your mouth!"  Can't get much more clear than that, eh?  ;)

I've been trying to decide whether or not I should do the tanning bed thing in preparation for this show.  I've never been one to use them (the risk of cancer just doesn't seem worth it!) but I'm wondering if it'll make a difference on-stage.  And isn't it something I can fix with an extra layer of Pro Tan?  Anyone with insight into this, please feel welcome to share your knowledge!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Posing Suit Brainstorm

I had my first appointment with Joan of Daydreams Fitness Wear today to design my posing suits :)  I have worked with Joan three times now, and both times before this she would ask me "do you have anything in mind for your suits?" and I would reply "uh, no.... whatever you think is good?"  Well, third time's a charm I guess, because I went in today with not only some ideas but some sketches of suits I'd conjured up (with the help of my talented and creative sisters).  I had two themes: volcano and tree.

Me, contemplating the sun rise over Haleakela (dormant volcano) in Maui

My sister, Rachel, and I got matching tree tattoos while in BC

I was so inspired by the volcano we visited in Hawaii that I just had to incorporate it somehow into this competition.  And of course, being the tree-hugging fanatic that I am, I also wanted to include them too.  My sisters and I brainstormed ideas while we were on vacation.  Here's the culmination of what we came up with:

You can't see it here, but I actually even went over some of these images with glitter glue!!  John said I looked like a kid doing art homework.

Some of these colors are a bit more vibrant than is intended, but I had limited crayons :)
So many options.....
.....it's like picking a favorite dessert: Impossible! 

I've decided to wear my hair red for the show so I used autumnal colors for the trees; that way my hair will match both suits.

Now, I'm not going to tell you which two we decided to go with (1 figure, 1 fitness model), but I can assure you they're going to look original and AMAZING!   Joan is a talented lady.  I'm so excited to see my brainchildren materialize :)

For any newbies out there who are trying to decide whether to order your suits online or get them custom made, I highly recommend the latter.  Assuming your suit-maker is someone as awesome as Joan, the prices will be more than comparable (I've seen used suits online go for $900.  I can tell you right now that I've paid less than half of that.).  You will also ensure a perfect fit for your body - considerations being made for your "strong" and "weak" body parts.  And finally, you will have some creative input into the design of the suit you will need to ROCK onstage.  I believe that it's easier to feel confident (and thus exude more confidence) when you really love what you're wearing.  

Anyone who's interested in checking out Joan's work, follow the link to her website and Facebook page below.  I promise you will not be disappointed!

Website ----> http://daydreamsfitnesswear.com/Site_2/Home.html
Facebook ---->https://www.facebook.com/pages/Daydreams-Fitness-Wear-and-Bikinis/112010875486952?ref=ts

My next fitting is in two weeks; stay tuned for a (possible) sneak peak!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hi Mom!

Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to my mom, who has just recently started reading my blog.  Love you!

Hi Mom!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What a Poser

Since I'm a mere 46 days away from the competition, I decided to start practicing my posing today.  Now, admittedly, I generally strike a pose or two in the mirror every day in the bathroom mirror (admit it, you do too!) but these sessions are a little bit more structured than that ;)  My gym has a big yoga studio with great lighting that is seldom occupied, so I like to make use of that following my workouts when my muscles are pumped up and sweaty!

Last year I only learned the poses about 5 weeks out and only really started practicing them seriously at the 3 week mark.  I thought that my posing on show day was fine.  Sidenote: it seemed CRAZY to me how many girls had not only not practiced their poses at all, but didn't even know which poses they were expected to do!  Honestly, if you're going to spend 12+ weeks training and dieting, you can spend at least 10 minutes looking up the federation's posing requirements.  Sheesh!  Anyways, I was happy enough with my posing, but there's always room for improvement, which is why I'm starting to practice 7 weeks out this time.

I'm starting with 2x 10 minute sessions and will increase the time by a few minutes weekly.  I go through all of the mandatory poses for both the figure and fitness model class twice, then go back to those poses I felt were weak, paying special attention to my Relaxed pose, as this is the one I'll spend the most time in on-stage.  I'll start preparing my T-walk in a few weeks.

Here are the poses I'll be doing (with the exception of the Front pose, which was just too embarrassingly bad to post!).  The front, back, and relaxed pose are the same for both categories (although the judges want you to flex a bit less for the fitness model, as they're supposed to be a bit smoother in appearance), so the only really major difference between the two is in the Side pose (notice arms are flared out to make the upper body look bigger!).

Relaxed: Gotta bring my left shoulder down a bit (that's always a problem for me) and flex my abs some more.

Fitness Model Side: looks pretty good, I think :)
Back: Could be flexing my calves and flaring my lats a bit more, but overall it's ok.

Figure Side: Gotta bring the left shoulder down so that it's a downward slope from right to left.  

I'm meeting with my trainer on Thanksgiving weekend to go over my poses and stage presence, at which point I'm sure he'll make quite a few changes and tweaks (everybody's posing looks a little bit different in order to enhance one's individual strengths and minimize weaknesses), but by starting now I'll at least have built up my stamina.

Honestly, you'd be amazed at how difficult posing is.  Try contorting your body into the most uncomfortable position imaginable, flex every single muscle in your body, and hold that for 3 minutes straight.  Do that 4-12 more times.  Feeling winded yet?  I swear, it's a workout in and of itself.  And if your body's not used to it, you can have serious cramping and fatigue on-stage (especially when you throw in carb and water depletion).  So, the earlier I start the better prepared my muscles will be for the big day :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

7 weeks out

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted progress pics.  What can I say - I got busy vacationing!

Feedback from my trainer was that my back, quads, and abs are looking good, but hamstrings and gluteus need work (story of my LIFE!).  New workout program starts in the next couple days, and new diet by end of next week. 

In general I guess I'm pretty happy.  Lol wow, can't contain that excitement, eh?  Ok, I feel GREAT about all my new muscle, I'm happy with how my body is taking shape, and I'm confident that my presentation will be better this year (hair, makeup, suit, tan).  But I'd really really like to super lean, like, yesterday!  I'm anxious that I'm running out of time.  Trainer seems to think it's possible, and I have absolute faith in his expertise, but I worry.....  

Guess I've gotta just dig deep and work hard for the next 7 weeks!  Worse comes to worst, I'll delay 'til spring and will be that much better prepared for it :)

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I had a great moment of realization and reflection this morning.  I went for a run (my leg is on the mend, so I'm running for longer periods these days) and had to stop around 45 minutes (rounded out my 60 minutes on the stationary bike at home).  But I didn't stop because my heart couldn't take it, or my body was too weak - I had to stop because I'm trying to be cautious with my leg and not push it too much.

Anyways, this is big because it was only 4 years ago that I could barely make it around a basketball court without feeling exhausted and winded.  I remember when I first started running (if you can even call it that), my then boyfriend had told me that if I did any less than 20 minutes, there was no point at all to cardio (of course, that turned out to be not entirely true as even a bit of cardio is better than none at all!).  I remember being completely devastated because at the time I could barely manage 5 minutes, and scared because I could not comprehend how ANYBODY could run for any longer than that.  However, it did put things into perspective for me, and gave me a goal to work towards.

For the next few years I slowly built up my endurance, one minute at a time.  I ran for only 5 minutes until I felt comfortable enough to increase my time to 6.  Then 7.  Then 10.  Sometimes it took days, sometimes it took months.

Two years later, I hit the 20 minute mark - what a great feeling that was!  I set a new goal for myself to get to 30 minutes.  When I hit 30, I tried for 40.  And then, when I finally got to 40 minutes of non-stop running, I discovered that I was in good enough shape to continue running for as long as I needed to.  It's like, once you hit your stride, it's easy to just keep going.  My only concern now is keeping my legs injury-free.

I'm still a little bit slow; I'm sure my "running" pace is a runner's jog lol.  So now that I've worked my way up to the time that I want, perhaps it's time to start working on the speed that I want.  I wonder how much faster I can get in 4 years.....

When I came back from my run, there was a couple entering the building.  They were winded and sweating, talking about how tough their 15 minute walk had been, but smiling because apparently this had been a great accomplishment for them.  I smiled back; everyone's gotta start somewhere!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Travel + Yoga

So you may recall that I was going on vacation with my family at the end of August.  Well, I'm back now and it was WONDERFUL!  I had no idea Hawaii was so diverse in landscape!  And BC, wow, I kinda want to live there now.  

More details about my trip in future posts, but for now I wanted to share some yoga pictures my sisters and I took while vacationing.  I have the most beautiful sisters, and we were in the most beautiful places.  I think you'll agree that these pictures are total eye candy - enjoy!

Tree pose



Mountain pose

Warrior Two

Dancer pose

Twisting Prayer pose

Seated spinal twist

Shoulder stand

Sun salutation

Star pose

Revolved Triangle pose

Bridge pose

Crow pose

Lying spinal twist

Upward Dog
Downward Dog

Pigeon pose

Child's pose