What does it cost to compete in a bikini competition?

If you are contemplating a journey to the stage, my goal here today is help you navigate the cost of competing!

First of all, I believe that if you are reading this, you have been in the process of searching. You’ve been looking at Instagram and seeing all the gorgeous competitors.  You’ve thought about bikinis and maybe you don’t actually know where to start for this process!  So let’s make a plan.

Gym Membership:02

I’m assuming you have one. You need one.  Cost  will depend on your area. If you need to train at 3:30am  because that’s when you can do it.. get a 24 hour one!!
I own a gym. I have two other gym memberships too. One is the biggest gym in STL and the other is a 24 hour one. I need to train when I can!!
$35+ per month.

Coaching:

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I love being a coach!!  My girl Julia and her hardware!!

I fully believe that ALL first time athletes need a competition coach.

I don’t believe all competition coaches are good or qualified. I believe that YOU must interview your potential coach and get as much information as YOU can about what your coach will do for you.  If your coach only gives workouts, no support, no information, no posing, nothing but a cookie cutter diet and that’s ok with you.. you can find so many  who will take your money.

Your coach might be online, or in your area.   Decide which you prefer!!  If you  have actual personal training time with your coach, you are going to pay a lot hourly.
I charge $75 per hour for privates.  Some charge more!!

Please do your research and learn as much as you can about how your competition experience will be. 

Finances: Many coaches make you sign a full year contract that includes off season and prep. You can pay anywhere from $150 monthly to several hundred dollars a month.
Phone calls from the best coaches can be up to $600! I know because I requested one!!

Some coaches will require you to pay in full ahead of time for your prep.  That  could run you $600 or more.

Coaching is generally non refundable and non transferable.  If you don’t keep your end of the bargain, you can be dropped for non compliance.   This may upset some people but if a client is not ready for stage because they are not following their plan, that falls on the client. As a Client  it’s YOUR job to hire the best person then follow through.

Perspective:
Our  bikini team offers a  monthly package of $175 on an auto bill.   We require our clients to stay with the team for at least one month past their show so we can help them reverse diet.

You can find us at SLEEKBIKINITEAM.COM

You may also find coaches who will do monthly payments as well.

I found a coach who is super cheap!!
You probably found a coach who hands out cookie cutter diets and workout plans. 

I want to stress to you.. Find the right person and pay them to help YOU.  

ADVICE: if you see any ads that say “I can take anyone to stage in 12 weeks” 
Run away.  Trust me, every client is different!  I’ve seen this so often and it’s a low calorie, low carb,restricted plan.  Find someone who is a good fit for YOU.  Did I stress this enough?  

Do you need more help choosing a coach?  Look here!

POSING

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Karina posed with our Skype posing coach and it was a game changer. 

  Please do not over look posing.  Please do not useYouTube videos to learn to pose.  Please pay the right person to give YOU the best presentation.  If your posing coach gives everyone the same routine, that’s a bad thing!!   Posing coaches with “signature” styles make it obvious to judges who posed the athlete.   The better choice is to find a posing coach who will teach YOU how you look your best.   They will teach you how to
create a presentation for the federation you want to compete and they will be vested in your progress!!  You can look to some amazing Skype coaches as well as local ones.  Please do your homework.  Posing will cost $40-60 per hour.

Do not make the mistake of skimping on your presentation. Hire someone who will be truthful and honest and help you win.

If your posing coach has no idea what to give you for your federation, find someone else!  Don’t waste your money.  Your posing coach should pose your early and then tweak you again when you are stage lean. Things a look different when you are stage lean!!

Do not wait! If you made the decision to compete, hire a coach  right away!

Supplements:

Prosculpt is my thing
Just a smattering of my supplements.

  The basic supplements you may be using  for bikini are Whey protein (or the equivalent), BCAAs,  Pre-workout, multi vitamin, fish oil etc.
I know, I know.. you might know someone who did it without any sups. That’s awesome but most of us will be taking at least a protein supplement.  My first coach had me on a vitamin regiment that was about $200 a month and I purchased from her friend. ASK questions before you sign up!!

Items like Whey will range from about $30-50 a tub.  Shopping places like Amazon, Body building.com and local stores, you can get rewards, points or sales.  Basic supplements will cost $100 a month give or take.

Food:
food

If you are eating Bro (turkey chicken or fish and veggies) your grocery bill is going to be spent on all of that!!  Walmart, Costco, Sams, these are great places to stock up!
If you are IIFYM you can have more choices but you can still stock up!!   Depending on prices in your area, you will spend a good amount on food. Athletes pretty much eat all the time.   I spend about $175 a week on my prep food.

 

Bikini:

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This one is mineeeeeeeeeee! It was $185 from Crystallini Bikini

Stage Bikini’s come in all price ranges!!  If you want to have   super blingy suit you can spend as much as you want!!  My first two suits from Ravish Sands were $650 each.   I have gone to sequin suits now because I can compete in more than one in my show.  I love them. They are fantastic on stage!  I paid between $150 -$185 for my sequin suits.
Plain suits can be purchased too. Most sites have plain ones for sale so you can really choose one based on your budget.  If you are so inclined, you can purchase your own crystals and bling your own.

Suits are ordered 8 weeks out.
Do you need more info on choosing a suit?

Rental: Of course you can rent or buy second hard also!!  Facebook has several groups for reselling!
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Stage shoes :  Most of us will wear the basic style 5 inch clear heel from Ellie “Brooke”.  This shoe is amazing. It fits great. Easy to walk in too!   You can get them on Amazon for about $30.  Of course you can choose your own shoe style and bling.  Price range is up to you!!
Advice: Buy two pairs.   I’ve seen girls blow out a pair of heels backstage and hobble out. I’m an over thinker.

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Jewelry:  We love our bling!!  I have a huge collection of stage jewelry that I’ve accumulated.  Let me tell you a secret.. don’t spend a fortune!  It gets janky from the tan and it can get lost.  I’ve been at so many shows where someone broke an earring or needed a bracelet and someone gave them their extras.

I purchase my jewelry locally at the import stores. They have huge selections and I got 10 pieces for about $70!!   Amazon has blingy jewelry and you can search IG for the high end suppliers to competitors.  I find it’s not worth the expense because backstage is very chaotic. I’ve lost plenty of things!!  Save your good jewelry for date night!!

Tan
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This is where you do NOT want to skimp!!  Please hear me on this.  You have trained and dieted for months so do whatever it takes to bring your best package to stage. You will tan with your backstage tanner.  Don’t go to the local tan company and try them out.  Your stage tan is unique!!  It does not have DHA so it will wash off and you do NOT want to look green on stage!!  Your tan will be $100-$200 and you will receive touch ups all day backstage. You should have your tanner providing you with gloss and glue too!   The tanning backstage is generally wonderful!

Hair/Makeup: Someone posted “Do judges like you better if you have long hair, dark hair, extensions. Are you dinged for bangs?  ”

Ok listen to me now.. you are in a subjective sport.  You may find a judge that likes blondes better than redheads. You have one who loves girls in blue suits but hates red because his ex wife wore red.  So the only thing you can do is bring your best package.  The overall package will win. If you want extensions and you love your look, do it.  If you rock a look that isn’t at all you, it will show!   Be the best version of YOU and rock it like you are Beyonce.

Get your nails done with Gel so the tan will not stain it.  That’s an additional 30-40 dollars and remember you need to do your toes in Gel too.  The top coat is fine.
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Hair:/makeup: Can you do your own stage hair?  If you are good at it.. awesome. I can’t. I’m far to hungry and emotional to do anything day of show.  I use my own hair and makeup artists.

Backstage will have some options for hair and makeup.  Do your research!!  If you are comfortable without a trial run, they will be a great resource for you and they will most likely touch you up during the day. That will be  about $100 each for Hair/Makeup
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Private Artists:  Search Facebook Makeup artists group and find the best one for you.   You will have to pay travel for some artists but if you work with them ahead of time, you can show them the look you want.  I’ve paid $180 for makeup with travel.

Do I recommend it. Yes I do.  I need 3 hours to get my look together. That’s just me.
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Doing your own makeup: I set out to do my own makeup. I took lessons from an artist. That cost me about $100 per lesson.  I purchased a rolling makeup kit and about $650 worth of the right color cosmetics for stage.  I ended up paying an artists simply because I ‘m too low carb to do much day of show.   Some ladies are skilled.  Here’s more on makeup if you want to try to do your own.

Other expenses: 
Federation Card : $60-$100
Price per category you compete in
Example: Bikini open  $60+ and Bikini  Novice  $60+
Fee to register for the show  $75 +
Hotel  and other travel expenses TBD
Photography varies by photographer!!!  Backstage photography is worth it!!
At UFE I paid $75 for 10 pics. Stage pictures were about $200.
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Photoshoots: As you are stage lean, you will book your own photoshoot!!  This is well worth it!! We shoot in every competition season!!  You can do your research on quality photographers who shoot fitness.  Prices will vary in your area.

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Karina always had bomb shoots around her shows!  LOVE this.

I know you are working hard. I hope this helps! I wish you so much luck on your plan!
Baby Iggy has no knowledge of competition costs but he supports our desire to shine.
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FIRE! I BRING YOU FIRE workout

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I haven’t posted a good booty workout for a minute!!

I did this one today. It’s my second leg day and I focused on glute activation.
I did about 45 min of this plus the finishers.  Good luck

Goal is 3-4 rounds with purpose. Glute activation and zero slacking!

Warm Up: be sweaty and ready .

Band side steps using hip circle 30 seconds
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Barbell Glute bridges HEAVY slow with hip circle above knees. Keep glutes activated 10 reps
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Banded Cable squats 2 counts down 1 count up 10 reps
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Banded stiff leg cable deads 10
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Bulgarian split squat  with barbell 10 /10
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Stationary  lunges 10/10 with barbell
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Barbell Squat pulses 10
Rest

Finishers are 
Cable hip extension 100/100
45 degree hypers with weight 3×12

Music for this one is

No slacking…

Fit Girl Food Hacks

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I’m going right in and tell you a few hacks that can save your life. Ok.. probably not really but you may like them.

STARBUCKS double shot:
Ask for either a dopio or Quad (4 shots omg) over coffee ice.
Add either Sugar free vanilla syrup or a splenda packet.
Add either coconut milk or almond milk or skim.
BOOM.. The drink that keeps giving.  The coffee ice is like “second drink”

Muscle Eggs
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Muscle Eggs is super popular among the fit girl set. I liked it when I purchased it. But.. I had a couple issues.  First of all.. the containers are huge and barely fit in my fridge. I had to keep the other ones frozen and that was tough because of all the halo top in my freezer. No room.  So there is that.

They are pricey which is fine because they taste great.. but I got bored!

Hack. I made my own.
Start at Costco or Sams and buy pourable egg whites by the case. They are between 6-8 bucks for a whole case of 6 boxes.  That’s a lot of egg whites.
You can use any sugar free coffee syrup for and mix with your whites.  You will have lots of flavor choices and won’t be stuck with one gallon of the same.
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You can drink Muscle Eggs and you can also drink pourable whites with coffee syrup.  You can mix them  into your protein shake to make it creamy. You can make pancakes or mug cakes too. You can go to MuscleEggs.com and use their recipes with your own concoctions!!

You can search for “Sugar Free Coffee syrup” and get lots of options.
You can also find them at stores like
Bed Bath And Beyond
Home Goods
Marshals
TJ Maxx
World Market always has a good selection.
Amazon is for sure going to have what you want!

Party time:
Order this and never look back.
Jordan’s Skinny Mixes are Zero macros. That’s P:-0  C0 F0
They are great! They are fun and exciting!  So if you have to be Faux Drinking, you can make this happen with club soda and some garnishes!  Take the macros for your hooch but at least you will be feeling sassy!
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You can search Jordan’s Skinny Mixers online to find them.
Bed Bath And Beyond has lots of amazing Jordan’s Skinny products

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Baby Iggy is not on macros but he’s super happy!!
❤ 

Flexible dieting and prep: what I learned. Honest and brutal

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If you want to know the dang dirty truths, this is the blog to read. I’m going to tell you  everything and some of you won’t like it. Some of you will be haters and think you know more than me. You might.   This blog is my journey and if you get anything good out of it.. that’s a bonus.

I have done two preps in the last 52 weeks. Each prep was 24 weeks long.  I am 51 years old.  You think that doesn’t matter.. it does. My body is tired of prep.  That’s the honest truth. I’m tired of prep. I’m pretty much hit the wall on this and if you ask me to my face.. I’m probably going to spout off.

Personally, I would never do two preps back to back but the federation I compete in suddenly removed the pro qualifer in  October so there was only 1 chance to try for my pro card in 2017.  My husband and I discussed it and we  made the decision to do this show even though I had not yet recovered from my last show.   I went in fully understanding what had to be done and I did my best. We worked hard and I did a great job. I am  100 percent confident in the package I brought to the stage!

As it turns out..
I actually had a great prep. Our whole team started January 1 and we did an entirely flexible prep.   OMG OMG OMG

Basically what that means is each day I hit
my protein goals,
my fat minimums,
my fiber goals,
my fruits veggie goals,
my micro nutrition goals,
and I ate over 35 different foods weekly.

The flexible part came in the fact that I was able to be flexible with my carbs and additional fats to suit what I needed to fuel but also to accommodate what I wanted to eat.

My workouts never suffered. I never “did fasted cardio” unless I wanted to. I never did anything that wasn’t fueled properly to give me the most effective workout.

Actually…
Our whole team has found success prepping this way.  It is truly based on each of us .
We teach our new competitors to pay attention and learn this process so their preps will become more and more flexible the longer they compete with us.

FOOD
This prep we were able to perfect our food so I never felt deprived

Frankly, doing prep.. I can do this stuff with my eyes close. The diet is easy.  It’s easy for me because i am not suffering like I did on my bro preps! We had some gorgeous food!!

Things I liked about this prep:
Front loading my tracker with dinner early in the morning.  Hubs and I would decide on dinner and I would be excited!  I would fuel my workouts, then fill in the rest of the day so I had plenty of macros for dinner. Here’s a few of our dinners.

 

 

 

 

That Monte Cristo Sam had jelly on it.
Our team has Taco Tuesday and Waffle Wednesday each week!! Yummo.   We ate Shrimp and Grits a lot as well as Halo top ice cream! I had a cookie almost every day.  Near the end, I did not because it would not fit.. but that is the way the ‘cookie crumbles’.

What I did not do:
Binge:  
I had one day when a refeed went out of control. I was about 14 weeks out and my Cinnamon Toast cruch measurement turned into something crazy.  I modified my other macros for the rest of the day but I had to remove CTC from my food roster because I felt it was triggering me.   I’m not bragging. I’m stating progress. In 2013 and 2014 on my Bro preps I found myself having full on binges.  I began purging again after both shows.  Getting a handle on prep with IIFYM was a life saver because I don’t feel deprived.   There’s no ‘poor me” here. I need progress not perfection.  I planned my days so they felt fun and I did not have the urge to dip into food that was not on my plan.

Eat Out: .  I did not eat out at all in my prep.  I only ate what was prepared in our house.  Even early on in prep, I won’t do it. I just stayed out of restaurants or I brought my food. I’m fine with that.
Traditional training
I have had plenty of injuries this year.  A few of our team mates really suffered with some bad injuries.  We were all able to train in such a a way that we still got our work done and hit the stage having met our goals.

I cannot have a bar on my back anymore.  I cannot run stairs nor can I do plyo. I probably did 3 plyo sessions this whole year. I had to modify my training to keep my back pain free.   My pole workouts kept me strong and flexible and I added the chiropractor weekly.  I need longevity over PRs.    I will never try to beat my 185 pound dead lift PR because it took several chiropractor visits to get me out of pain.  I’m totally ok with this.

My workouts were focused on muscle activation and not based in ego or how much I was supposed to suffer for my sport.  I wanted to focus on form and creating balance in my physique. I incorporated Fascia Blasting and while I have so far to go there.. I saw amazing changes in my  abs and lower body.
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Blasting those abs!!  Holla

Results:  I took 3 trophies in my show. I loved my physique this year. I feel like this was my favorite package I brought to the stage.  My team took two pro cards.  We took a total of 7 trophies in this show.  Our current trophy count for 2017 is 31 and we are all IIFYM and using our own unique plans.

Part of this journey is to share what works and what didn’t.  I’m in no way saying my way is perfect or I couldn’t have come in better or whatever.  I’m saying that the bigger picture shows that
1. I have never been given a  trophy for suffering, nor has anyone else to my knowledge.
2. Everything has variables and  you have to work with what you have and are able to do.
3. Cookie cutter plans would have been the death of me for prep.
4. Being happy and making progress in my journey is paramount to someone handing me a plastic trophy.
5. I can always strive to improve and use what I learned to better serve my clients and my future preps.
6. Science is indeed a thing.

Here are some of my pics.
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We received 7 trophies for this show. IIFYM. Yes.. and two pro cards for our ladies.
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Bikini portion of the Glamour category as well as the themewear.

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I’m 51 and I’m fucking proud of this. Yeah I said it.
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This body was built on IIFYM, truly enjoying what I do. I have put the time in to slowly learn to trust my body. I will always work incredibly hard but never suffer for a sport that does not reward you for how much you suffer. It’s useless. Working smart is much better! Strategies!!
There is something powerful about learning how your body works and building on this concept.  As athletes to it seems beyond ridiculous for us to continually tear down our bodies and offer it poor nutrition yet ask for it to improve.

Believe me.. I have room to improve but my first priority is recovery. I will not take the stage again until I Worlds Championships in Nov 2018 so I can have a solid building season .

I am very proud of my athletes and their placings are important but what is most important to me is not what someone else thinks of them, it’s the improvements and knowledge they are gaining in their journey.   Having a team with ongoing dialog of our experiences has been a game changer as we navigate our competition endeavors.

If you like my blog.. be sure to follow Caitlin on her blog. She is very honest and truthful about her journey!!

IIFYM 101: HOW TO GET 35 DIFFERENT FOODS A WEEK.

Are you a creature of habit? Do you eat the exact same thing every day?  Did your coach give you a plan with a total of 6 items on it?  Are you struggling to incorporate variety into your meals because you “just don’t know what to eat?”

This blog will help you.

Sports nutrition 101 tells us that we need to eat 35 different foods a week.  Our team of athletes and lifestyle clients follows this goal.
This is important simply because, variety allows us to get micro nutrients from lots of different sources.

I have spoken openly about my Bro diet plan  and how it made me very sick. You can read more about that here.  I was eating a ‘totally clean’ competition diet of
turkey
chicken
fish.
egg whites
oats
ezekial bread
brown rice
sweet pot
spinach

I had 12 cups of spinach on my plan each day.
I hated my meal plan.  As I got closer to my show, my calories were very low and I had 6-7 meals a day of tilapia and spinach.

That is about 9 different foods and entire food groups are missing from this plan.
There is zero nutrition coming from beautiful fruits and other veggies.  I could have had other options and still reached my goal. I would have felt better and had more energy.  I certainly didn’t look better on this plan than I do on a variety of food.  That’s a fact.

If you are on a “bro plan” but want to learn how to get variety.. click here

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Nutrition should be a priority no matter what plan you are on.
It astounds me that intelligent people accept this style of eating when “dieting”. If you were told to give your kiddo this food 6x a day, you wouldn’t.  Kids need better nutrition. They need their calcium and fruits and veggies. How dare someone recommend this.
When did we lose our sensibilities!! Let’s eat some beautiful food! Stop removing total food groups! You don’t need to!!

How can I increase my variety to get to 35 different foods a week?

DON’T OVERTHINK IT.
Eat simply. If you are in the mood for black berries, eat them.  Have an apple on another day.  Eating the rainbow is a perfect way to increase your variety easily.


DON’T SHOP FOR 35 DIFFERENT FOODS
You don’t need to do that!!  Just start with what you like, and add to it.
We use challenges like “Taco Tuesday” and “Waffle Wednesday” to help our clients get creative and increase their variety.  Both of those meals can be created with lots of variety!  It’s easy to find yourself with 15-20 different foods a day on those days!!
Think of the toppings, the ingredients.  If you want fish tacos, great?  Do you want a taco salad?  Or waffles with Halo top and chocolate sauce.. Or perhaps you just want  Waffles with blueberries!


Hack: My Net Diary tracks your food amounts!!
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You can see the number of foods you have eaten each day!  Cool.  MyNetDiary Pro is bomb!

If you need a macro plan or want to learn more about IIFYM you can work with us at LEARNIIFYM.COM

Do I have to count macros forever?

Well.. that’s a giant bucket of OMG!  How do you count that???  I count it as  DGAF.

The question I received today was

“UGH.. do I have to count macros forever?”

The answer is “Yes and sort of yes and no-ish.”

Let me explain: 
Your body counts macros whether you count them or not. If you are fluffy,  it is because you are eating in a surplus. If you are drinking that giant margarita you know you are going to feel accountable for that in some manner. That is surplus for sure!!

IIFYM/Macro counting is not a diet. It is  simply a way to  eat well and achieve your physique goals while enjoying the foods YOU like.. So if you want to achieve your physique goals, yes.. for sure you will have to count them.  However..

The progression of macro counting is fantastic.  The longer you do it, the more comfortable you may feel with “Intuitive dieting”

Intuitive dieting is basically eating your macros and doing math in your head.  Simply understanding that you have a certain amount of Protein, Carbs and Fat and fiber to hit and are able to do that fairly easily.

Example:  I had a Quest bar.. that was  25g protein, 27C and 8g F.   Iced coffee with it that’s an extra 10g protein… etc.  I’m doing math in my head.  It starts to actually become a natural thing the longer you do it.  This works great when you are traveling.  I have found it very easy to eat in airports with intuitive dieting.


When I get a check in from a  client that said “I didn’t track yesterday but I aimed for my protein and hit my calorie goals  pretty close”  this is awesome.  This is someone who understands her goals but can be “flexible” in her food!!

BREAKS ARE GOOD.. SOMETIMES.
I had a client check in and tell me. “I didn’t track at all for the holiday. I was on a float and ate some things, but kept my portions small. I enjoyed the day”

This is a time when you don’t need to track.   This is a flexible dieting win!  My client was aware, she enjoyed her day and she didn’t stay glued to a tracker.   She is back on her normal food right away.

I was very excited to hear her experience over the holiday simply because a dieting break is good for the soul. It’s ok.  On that break, she didn’t binge, she didn’t freak out or beat herself up.  She woke up and went back to her plan.  This is amazing.

Ok.. so I’m just not going to track and guess..
This is could be a struggle with clients who are used to starting and stopping diets.
I’m not advocating this at all. Consistency wins over perfection in the IIFYM game.  Working intuitively for long periods of time is for the advanced macro counter.

Honestly, I can’t even fathom not counting for a long period of time. If you reach that level greatness.. Cheers!!

If you are not solid on your macros. If you cannot hit them consistently. If you are prone to binges and see not tracking as an opportunity to eat in a surplus.. you are probably not ready for intuitive dieting.  That’s ok. Stick to your journey and use the tools you have to be successful.  Never give up but know that the longer you do it, the easier it will become!!

Fascia Blasting Update: 6 months

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This is going to be a hard blog to write. I’m embarrassed, mortified and elated at the same time. I have not shared out in the open what has happened during my fascia blasting journey until today.

I want to back track a bit.  This will be very long so grab some coffee but I will be 100 percent honest about what I’ve gone through and how I got here.

I did my last bikini competition  late October 2016.  I knew I would be starting my fascia blasting journey and had planned on competing October 2017.  However, I realized that the only pro qualifier for my federation was June of 2017 so that cut 6 months off my fascia blasting time!  I would NOT have started if I had realized that. I wanted a full year to restructure my physique.  Mind you.. I am 51 years old. I feel great but I’m a next level kind of girl. I have struggled with my lower body for decades. My legs are clearly beyond bound in the below pictures.That means the fascia is really tight and no matter how lean I get, the muscles can’t be seen. It also leaves me lumpy!  Having bound fascia also means I’m not getting the muscle gains I want because the fascia is like a sausage casing and there’s not room to grow.

I also struggled my whole life with lose skin on my belly.
I’m not mad about this but I don’t want surgery . I was interested in seeing if I could tighten it up.
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Blasting:
I sent my pictures to Ashley Black and she quickly returned a very long protocol for me which I have followed to the letter.
Yes, I am beyond bound (BB) and that is a pretty rough starting place.  I have taught impact workouts for 35 years. It makes sense that my fascia is jacked up.
That tummy area is a tough  area for me because when I gain inches it gets super fluffy but the skin is loose.

I have also worked with Ashley’s moderator,Kelley Zuniga. She is a competitive athlete as well and she gave me great advice for my  prep.  I had gone through a tough phase over Christmas where I was breaking up a lot of adheasons and felt fluffy as can be. I went from stage to loosey goosey.  I tend to get inflamed when I blast.  I’m not opting for a aggressive blasts.  It’s not right for me.

That demolition phase was pretty hard on my brain.   I’m telling you…

Did I bruise. I did for sure.   But I kept going.

Nutrition:
During that demolition phase I was still really struggling with low energy and detox symptoms.  I am an IIFYM girl and not a detox tea or magic solution believer. I drink my gallon of water every day . I probably ate too much over the holidays but  it wasn’t much over my macros.  I was pretty good this year. I’m just being honest.  I do not believe in “Clean” food but I eat for my nutrition and my food is gorgeous and amazing.  I had sugar  and soda and I like franken food like pop chips and protein bars and  Lenny and Larry’s cookies.   I get over 500g fruit and veggies per day and my fiber goals are on point. Protein is high and carbs are fueling my workouts and my life.  I do not believe in magic. I believe in science. #LearnIIFYM

Inner thighs. I brilliantly decided to pull my inner thighs tight while sitting on the side of the tub. I blasted them briskly and I got all the way to gravel in just a few weeks.  It wasn’t long before I saw them smooth and then I had a thigh gap. I looked down and saw that thigh gap and almost passed out.

Legs.. Ok. My legs are still a mess but they are better.  My hope is that I look better than last year on stage. I know I have a long way to go blasting but I’m not stopping.
I have broken up alot of stuff on my legs.  I can see my quad definition now. I blast around the quads and I also am fat lysing them.  They are coming a long.  Still bound.. yep.  But it’s better!!

Glutes Hammies: Oh boy. I’m painfully self aware of the work that has to be done in this area.  That hamstring is still pretty lumpy but I’m going to town on it.  My glutes are looking better.  Smaller yep and not as bound up but I’m ok with this.

Just so you can see a difference in competition time.. look here.
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I blasted my upper arms and rear delts too.  I’m eating a lot more food in 2017 than I was eating on my ‘clean’ food diet in 2014.   Overall my package is better because I’m blasting.
I can almost see my glute. I’m also blasting my “sweep” area and it is coming along.
I want you to know this.. As I have progressed, I am working on muscle activation rather than simply lifting. I train with intention. My glutes/hams are rock hard under the remaining body fat and they are becoming visible. I can feel them fire which I never could before. This is real.

This is rough. Hard to show.
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Picture 1 is from November 2016. I sent this to Ashley.  Picture 2 is March 2017.
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The March picture is after I’ve had 4 meals and a gallon of water.
The Left side was early November in my post show reverse diet.

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So this what my abs look like now.  They look good all day.
No they are not 100 percent . I have some pebbles in that lower portion that was loose and it still puffs out sometimes. I’m not sure if all the loose skin will ever tighten up but I’m really willing to keep going.   I’m 5 weeks out from my show  in this picture.

I want to say here. I have been bullied (whatever) and called a liar my progress.
I have some great images on the web from photographers and so forth.  As a fitness competitor it would be uncool to show off the pictures that look yucky.  I am truthful in my business. I am a real person . I don’t sell the fascia blaster  but I am interested in science and health. I’m interested in learning how my body is changing from the inside out. I also want to be a better athlete and a better coach for my clients. Science drives this train.  So the reality is, we all have work to do. Progress!!

Here is a picture from a photoshoot  that was 2 weeks before my last show. Mid October 2016. This is my struggle in the abs and lower body.  I can usually pose it away but this pic is an out take.
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This picture of me is 8 weeks out from my show.  Look.. I am bending over . My abs are tighter.  That’s the take away here. Perfection.. nope.. progress.. moving forward.
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Blasting schedule: 
Daily or every other day 5 min per body part. I do my abs 4x a week which keeps me from feeling super tired this close to my show.
I carve my abs and arms and legs, especially my quads.

The Fascia Blaster is sold at AshleyBlackGuru.com  I do not sell it. 🙂  I love it though.

If you are a blaster and want help with your workout plan, I can help you! Reach out to me or visit our site http://www.sleekbodyonline.com/

IIFYM 101: I don’t know what to eat

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When a new IIFYM client starts my program, I will typically get this questions.
“What should I  eat? I don’t know what to eat”

hmmmm..

Ok.. first of all the most important step you can do as a new IIFYMer is to  follow directions of the plan.  Our plan starts with three full days of tracking YOU.

I ask my clients to fill out their tracker with their normal food for 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day.   Looking at your normal eating habits is eye opening. It’s easy to tweak your food so it fits your macros.  If you toss the entire way you eat, and are searching for food to eat, you are missing the whole point of IIFYM.  EAT WHAT YOU WANT.

If you are low on fiber and protein, then you certainly can figure out how to add more of those. If your carbs and fats are way over, you are going to have to make some adjustments.  Simply cutting the serving sizes for overages is one way you can modify . Weigh everything in grams.
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The protein bar problem.

One client told me she was really sick and tired of trying to find a protein bar that would fit her macros for a snack.

“I need a bar that is 12g protein and 13g Carbs.  All the bars have 24g Protein and 26g carbs. “

Ok.. so she probably could simply use half the bar . Right?
Make it fit.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
Clients start this project jumping ahead to the middle instead of following our directions.
A huge mistake is to start with a whole new menu because you “think” you have to.

WE NEVER TELL YOU TO DO THIS. Success in IIFYM comes from the fact that you can eat like YOU.  The more it feels like  YOU, the more consistent you will be. Consistency wins over perfection.

When you want Qdoba.. add it to your tracker and make it fit.  You can use Fatsecret.com to find all kinds of food that you might like if you have a hankering.

Hacks:
AIM FOR PROTEIN FIRST.
Most of our clients come to us eating very little protein. They end up with 100g of protein left at the end of the day and no carbs or fats.

This blog tells you where to get protein  (feel free to also search “Protein” on this blog)

Add your breakfast first.  Most of us have a favorite breakfast so put her in there and let’s see how she fits!
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This is Ashley’s pancakes with Cinnamon and pumpkin. She tweaked her recipes so it fit her macros.

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Tracy topped her waffles with syrup and Sugar free Jelly.  Man I love her. She’s bomb.

Add dinner or Movie time carbs next
If you are fired up about Taco Tuesday,  then do yourself a solid and put those tacos in your tracker in the morning or the day before. We call this FRONT LOADING YOUR TRACKER.

You can eat the tacos YOU want!    Or what about Pizza!! Maybe you have a pizza craving!! Whatever it is.. put it in so when movie time happens you have your food accounted for.


Fill in what is left for the day!!

HACK: 
Front load the whole tracker. Sit down at your PC and add the food you want to eat to your tracker for the next day.  Make it fit. Take the time to do it and pick things you want.
Make sure too add your fruit and veggie requirements and your fiber too.

Then hit the PRINT button for your menu. Eat that for 1 or two days.  You don’t have to track it again.. just follow the menu.

Even if you don’t want to food prep, you can still make convenient foods fit!
EAT WHAT YOU LIKE.

I did that but someone asked me to have lunch with them and now I don’t know what to eat.

That could happen and that’s why you are learning IIFYM. So move some things around in your plan so you can enjoy lunch with your friend. If you cannot fit it into your macros ask your friend to give you a days notice so you can be prepared!!  You are never more than 24 hours away from what you want!!

I filled in my lunch but now I have a bunch of ‘dangling macros left and I dont’ know what to eat.

If you don’t front load your dinner, evening food and eat around that all day.. this could happen.
You can do a flex bowl if you truly can’t get it together.
This is the blog on Flex bowls.  

Flex bowls are a way to take the protein you have left and create something exciting and fun with the macros  you have left.

I had a bunch of macros left over and I don’t want to eat anymore so I’m just going to bed.

ACK we get this quite a bit.  Try harder. You need to hit your macros +5/-5 grams every day.  That is your job. You are eating like it’s your job so focus.  You can do it.

If you end up with 75g protein left at the end of the day.. just move on with your life. Tomorrow, figure out how to eat more protein during the day. Increase the protein at each meal or have something extra to bring your protein up.  I like Laughing Cow cheese or even Kraft Shreds. Cottage cheese is packed with protein.

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Really? Still have no idea?  Go to Ripped Recipes.com and enjoy their recipe search.
Use your computer, NOT your phone because the filters are better!!
You can add the macros you have to work with and get recipes to match.
You can do a whole day or just a certain amount.
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This game is like Tetris. You can learn something new every day and when something doesn’t work.. that’s ok. You have a clean tracker tomorrow!! So get on it!!
Let’s see what you can do.

When Clean Eating makes you sick

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UH OH.. this is going to make some people mad..  Hold on now.  This is NOT going to be another fear based post.  I’m hoping the headline peaked your interest and you will be open to some thoughts on our health and nutrition.

First of all.. I don’t buy into the eat clean thing anymore. There’s no such thing as “clean”.
I had coaches give me “clean” diets that lacked
color
variety
fiber
fruit
Fats!!!
AND WHOLE FOOD GROUPS!!

I became really sick eating on those diets. I contracted two eye diseases at one time in my eye. I lost 35 percent of my vision. It took 6 months and 1000’s of dollars of medication that was NOT covered by insurance. My doctor was afraid I would not recover!!

Ok..  I hear you asking “Oh how do you know it was clean eating that caused you to get sick?”

During this clean eating phase.. my GP was alarmed at my HDL levels and ordered me to eat fat because my only fat came from 1 egg yolk per day for 16 weeks. I had a total of 8g fat on my clean menu.

You need fat in your diet!  Fat is beneficial to your hormone balance, brain function.

According to the AMA  Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs fat.”

Simply eating ‘clean’ doesn’t mean anything if you don’t pay attention to your macros “protein, carbs, fats, and micros too.  Fiber is super important. I barely had any of that on 6 meals of tilapia and spinach.

To put it very simply, I was NOT nutritionally balanced and my body suffered.

I did recover, but it took over 6 months with huge doses of anti-virals. I was burdened with eye pain, and felt ill.  We began work developing balanced eating instead of the restricted, bro diet I was on.

I practice IIFYM and I eat a colorful diet of wonderful food that feeds my body and soul. I’m happy and I feel amazing.  My doctors are enormously pleased at my test results and even in my prep time, I still test well.   My doctor has encouraged me to continue as I am for as long as I feel like it even though I am over 50.  I’m very proud of this.  Nutrition matters to me!!

How I coach my lifestyle and athletes:
Our goals for this team are at least 35 different foods a week. We eat the rainbow. We focus on staying healthy and feeling well.
We all eat fiber every day. Even our athletes fulfill a daily requirement of nutrition goals!!   The easiest thing to do is to NOT take away whole food groups.  We encourage our clients to choose foods they like.  It’s not complicated.  If they want blueberries, have them. Next time maybe an apple might be nice.  I know that sounds simplistic, but it is miles from the restricted menus I endured!

I added this meme not to continue the fear based clean eating movement but to share how important it is to think about your food. To eat toward your goals doesn’t mean you don’t eat what you like. You have to think about it. I gave my doctor a ton of money from clean eating!

And to be clear, I eat what I want. I do not skip any food groups nor do I miss out on any foods I like.  I eat sugar, and I have soda!  I also have over 500g fruits and veggies a day! I eat very well and enjoy my life!   I feel great!

So if you want to learn more… our coaches can help you also master IIFYM and you can reach your physique goals too!!
www.learniifym.com or PM me.
And just to say again,  I eat what I want. It may surprise you that you can have the food YOU like and be successful without feeling restricted!!

 

IIFYM 101: How to Get Protein like a boss

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If you are just begining your IIFYM/Flexible Dieting Journey you may be surprised to see how much protein you are going to need to eat each day.  In fact, most of my new clients come to me eating very little protein so it looks daunting to try to hit those protein goals!

The question I get the most is “How can I hit my protein goals with out going over fats and carbs?”

Protein is very important to our physique goals!!  We need protein to build muscle and we all know that muscle is the fountain of youth!  In a fat loss plan, we eat protein to help us maintain the muscle we have!!   Protein also helps you feel full!!

Protein 101: Basic Sources
Meat Lean cuts to keep fat down. Skinless white meat is lower in fat.
Chicken
Turkey
Pork
Beef
Fish
Other Seafood (shrimp, scallops)
Dairy
Milk, Chocolate milk (great post workout)
Sour cream
Greek Yogurt
Cheese
Laughing cow cheese is fun!
Cottage cheese (add to your pancakes to add a fluffy texture)
Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
Halo top Ice cream (I had to add that)
Eggs
Egg whites (buy the pour-able kind)

Legumes
Beans and legumes have some protein but the carb profile is higher, but if you can make it fit.. could be an option.

Whey
Whey protein or Isolate : you can cook with this!!
Lenny and Larry’s cookies (low protein profile but worthy)
Kodiak protein pancake mix (Target)
Protein Bars like Quest or B-Up bars (check your local Supplement store for variety)
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Peach Protein Cupcakes with Raspberry Lemon icing.. I tossed this in for you just for fun. Here’s that recipe.  P:11 C:11 F2 for each cuppie.

Protip: Aim for protein first, Carbs second and fats last.
If you aim for hitting your protein goals first, you won’t be left at the end of the day with 120g to eat!!  
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Protein hack: You could split your protein goals up by meal. 
Mary Jo has 160g protein per day. She likes to eat 5 meals a day.  Each meal could contain 32g protein per meal.
100g of shrimp is 28g of protein!!

Hidden protein

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Many foods you enjoy each day will have protein in them!!  These amounts will help get you to your goals. Track that food!!  Let’s see whatcha got!!

“I don’t like eggs or egg whites.”
Ok.. I hear you. I don’t care for egg whites on their own either, but I do love Crepes, Pancakes and French toast which are all made with egg whites /egg.
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This is my Birthday Cake  crepe. The recipe is here
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Here’s a Banana Protein Pancake!!!
Protein pudding is boss.. This is at Walmart,  Sup stores, Amazon.
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Oh Hey.. let’s make Fish Tacos!  The shells are La Tiara (4 carbs per taco shell)
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Hack:  Start tracking your normal eating.  Look at it like a puzzle. Are you lacking in protein but way over in fatty/carby foods?  Let’s start working on ways to tweak your normal eating!
How can you add more protein in and hit your other macros on point?

Ideas:
RippedRecipes.com will help you find some fun ideas that are NOT boring.

This Blog!!  Search Protein and you will see all my ideas!!

This is Roo Ferrigno. She is very sure of her protein intake and likes to judge mine.
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I know you are working hard! Don’t give up. If you need macros or help.. connect with me on
LearnIIFYM.com
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