Just finished week 8. I was sick until Thursday. I don’t feel like I progressed any. I’m not skipping updates because it is what it is. I’m for sure feeling inflamed today. I slept 11 hours last night which is amazing but I could have kept sleeping! I’m still not feeling like fully recovered. This week, I was on my food but I only had a few workouts and they were not full steam. I’m really worried about getting sick again in prep. Everyone I know is sick. We all have to do everything we can to stay healthy.
Track was done. I did what I could though and it was cold!! This weekend is warming up so I’ll get out again!
Cardio and posing done. Yep.
Hit that leg day at Fit City tho. I need a good booty pump.
Hit some practice for my shows.
Water: Heck yes.. I had nothing else to do but drink water!
So let’s just say.. this coming week at 7 weeks out.. I’m ramping back up!
Stay well.. keep pushing!
I actually started prep after Thanksgiving last year. I took one day off for Christmas. I’ve been perfect on my macros every day. That sounds braggy. I don’t mean it to be, just that I felt so good and calm it isn’t hard. I have a lot of food. A LOT. I haven’t cut my macros yet at all since I started 11 weeks ago. I always do about a 20 week prep. I wasn’t sure how progress would be with all the hormone issues I’m having. I think I had a good week.
I started taking good pics about a month ago. I’m not sure why I waited. But in anycase.. here are the comparisons. I told you, this blog is the reality, not the instagram fairy tale. I have to chip away at every bit of progress.
Food this week was great. I still have taco salad for lunch. I’ve been doing lots of raw veggies and dip. I use cottage cheese for the dip though. We have our prep food down to a science. We can order from Wal-mart’s app and they bring it right out to the car!
Valentines: We did a special meal. I have to say that I should not have tried to go into the grocery store on Valentines Day. All the pink cookies and cakes were really talking to me. I held back macros for dinner so I was hungry! NOOOOO.. that’s not the time to go shopping.
In prep, I try to have a steak or red meat once in while. I don’t really like it except for burgers. I freaking love burgers. We bought lean, grass fed filet and baked potatoes. We made Spinach Salad too. My goal was to have 2 Smore’s. I bought the right Graham crackers. The ones with the cinnamon sugar on them.
The steak, I could not even eat it. I just can’t even get it down. The graham crackers were like cardboard. I haven’t eaten those for ever so I guess they are different. GROSS. I threw those in the trash. Never mind.
Posing: Practicing every single day. My back is on fire!! I’m hoping it will get better and better. It’s really hard.
Water: UGH!! Terrible. I need to get it together. I hate it so bad! I’m going to come back next week having hit my water goals. Committed.
Sleep: I had 3 great nights. I felt like a different human! It was freaking amazing. The rest were pretty bad. I know if I had better sleep overall, I’d be doing better on this project.
I have all my wardrobe for both shows!! My wings are coming this week, I’m told. I love my suits that were graciously sent to me by one of my team mates! ❤
Workouts: Never any issues. I have a lot of pole this week. I’m getting close on my show and need to step up my practice time.
Thoughts: A few times this week, I looked at myself in the mirror with disdain and said “why are you even trying this?” I was able to reset my thoughts and ground myself. This is MY project. It’s about what I can accomplish and I deserve to be on stage just as much as anyone. I am working really hard and focused. But I’m enjoying this process. I like documenting the journey so I can learn!!
I bought this up in one of my other blogs, but having done so much counseling, I don’t even crave things like I used to. I can’t explain that freedom and the relief. Had I not had all the trauma, I’d never have been someone who struggled so hard with eating disorders and using food to cope. But it is what it is.
In prep, I have been able to use it as a coping mechanism and not deal with my issues. It’s a good fit for someone like me and not in a good way. When I hit the wall in 2017 after my last show, I took that time to get my mental health together. It’s been horrible. I’m not going to lie. Horrible.
All that being said, is just to say, this blog goes all the way back to 2014 preps. I can see growth. I hope that in the years to come I can read back on these posts and see even more growth!!
I had a great week. I got all my workouts in. I felt like I got some changes this week. My food was on point. . My pics today are actually in a show suit. My last two suits were not suitable for this show. The blue one from last week was a suit I wore in 2015 and it didn’t fit me until show week! It’s much too big now. This beautiful silver suit is stage tiny.
Water is always really hard for me. I get it. I feel much better when I drink it that is for sure. It is much better but not 100 percent. Still a goal for this week to get a better handle on that
Sleep is terrible. Do you sleep well? I have hot flashes all night and I’m awake for hours in the middle of the night. I am doing everything I can in regards to ‘remedies’ for menopause symptoms. I have had my food really spot on and I am not eating sugary things. I don’t notice that it makes it worse but I’ve read some people say it does.
I’m not going to food shame sugar or call it the devil. This prep, I’m not craving or looking for it. I have had a lot of counseling and dealing with stuff has really changed my desire for ‘comfort’ foods. I’m really happy with my food and it’s lovely. I probably get sucrose in a few items that I’m eating but it’s not a big deal. I love Powerful Oats and I’m sure it has a little.
My point is.. I’m eating really well, I haven’t dropped macros and I’m getting all my nutrition needs met. I just can’t sleep! I know that has some effect on my results too.
FOOD! I have to thank the mister who is on the crock pots! It’s too cold to grill so we’ve been doing a lot of crock pot meals. My favorite still is lean turkey meat with taco seasoning. I have a bunch of containers of cut up things like tomatoes and onions. I make taco salad for lunch. We are doing a lot of cut up veggies and dip. Cottage cheese and dip mix. Boom. I also eat baked chicken thighs. So good. I just adjust my fat for the day . Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
My friend Kelsey told me about a new Starbucks drink. Cold Brew with a splash of oatmilk and SF cinnamon syrup. It’s the Kelsey Oatmeal Cookie.
POSING I met with Belinda and got my presentation done. I’m practicing everyday.
On Saturday, I hurt my knee doing the sled so that made me really bummed. So I’m going to have to work around some things while this heals. Good grief. I’m always hurt in prep.
Today I’m posing with my team mate , Julie so I will have some fun pics from that. So far, I’m enjoying this process a lot. I am resisting the urge to compare my body with others. I am here for this lesson, journey and to learn some really good things about prepping in menopause. I’m feeling strong so I’m excited to see what I can accomplish this week.
Chip it away, a little at a time.. but it’s all good. Let’s do something great this week!
First of all.. Thank gawd, January is finally over: long ass month. I had a great week. I only had one day when I struggled on my food. I hit all my workouts, rest days. Sleep was terrible though.
I found out this week I can’t get my green suit altered. So I have some other suits to work with. This is one from 2015. I think it will be too big come show day. It works for now.
This week I performed again for the Side Show Menagerie at the Crack Fox. I had some extra pole practices. It went really well. I don’t have any more shows until mOBSCENE 3.21. I am going to be in the gym doing the thing.
I haven’t dropped any macros yet. There are a lot of crock pots going at this house. I’m loving turkey taco salads for lunch these days. Last night, I had protein cookie dough for dinner. I actually like this prep best of all I’ve done so far.
This weeks goals are water.. ugh.. I hate water. I ‘m doing good but it could be better.
Posing: I pose with Belinda today. I will update with screen shots. NGA posing is a bit like my NANBF I did in 2013/14 but I need so much help. I really want to be incredible at my presentation.
The other goals are to just keep working and chipping away.
Getting stage lean for me takes a long time and my legs are the last to improve. I’m just focusing in on the work.
I haven’t prepped really since 2017. I took years off from my last competition to recover mentally and have been working on my mental health. Lots of self care there.
So my goals for 2020 are to prep for a show I am producing in March! It’s not a body building show but I’m going to come in looking strong. I am treating this prep as I do my bikini competition shows. It’s mental for me.
I’m excited to be back on prep!
I’m 54 now and I’m also exploring food and hormones and going to working hard to figure out how to deal with all these changes in my body. No one wants to discuss how hormones effect women and we are sort of the forgotten humans when it comes to fitness. Honestly, the midsection is really hard for many of us, and add peri-menopause or Menopause.. ugh. So I’m going to focus there.
I have lots of shows and photo shoots on deck for 2020 so I’m super focused. I’m actually feeling really good! We are taking our team to the NGA Show in April and many of us are prepping together so we will all have some camaraderie.
I wish you success with your journey!!! Let’s do this!!
The sport with no finish line. Every day moves you further along, even when it seems ‘boring’ or uninspired. It comes with time and energy..
Ahhhhh… beginnings…New beginnings!
I’ve been doing fitness for a long, long time.. but that does not mean that it isn’t a struggle to stay motivated. Fitness ebbs and flows. It does because life does. I’ve done years where I’ve been on prep, or focused on body building shows exclusively. I’ve had years recently that focused on mental health and learning more pole, performance. None of these things are wrong. I grew weary of being in show prep. My body was just sick of it.
So let me tell you what I have done since day one, without fail. I have done workout, selfies and progress updates. I have everything uploaded into drop box and I can see exactly every point of my journey.
I can see freakish lean, buffet fluffy. I can see off season perfect as well as times when I struggled in my macro journey. I can see when I was in my saddest times, the times I felt good and the times I felt really strong.
Every one of these pics are snapshots of my journey. The good, bad and the gym hair, don’t care, ugly.
Why is this meaningful? I look at this pic of my back when I first started getting ready for a show. This was probably back in 2012. I was so motivated to do my first show. It’s all I thought about. I’m sure it bored everyone around me. I thought I looked awesome and I was getting better and better. Motivation and adrenaline level 3000.
Time passed. Shows came and went.. I probably felt less motivated and had to focus more on strategy for subsequent shows. It became habit and skill. But.. I probably beat myself up plenty because I didn’t look IG ready all the time. I probably said negative things in my head about being too this or too that and not good enough. I’m sure of it.
That’s really normal for me.
But…as it turns out..some changes happened.
I probably work up one day around that time and felt bad about myself. I probably allowed my negative self talk to focus in on the things I didn’t like about myself.
But I made gains. I made progress. It’s real.. because I often forget to look up or see how far I’ve come. I’m always digging into why I’m not perfect or 100 percent better. /
There is no finish line though. There is progress. I need to focus more on that!
Progress pics tell our story!
Think of your progress pics, in the same way you track your lifts, and your macros. It’s information!
If you don’t know how to take good progress pics.. go here
I decided to produce my own show in 2020 and I’m very excited to put a new transformation into play. I’ve been working very hard for 2 years on my CPTSD.
I want to touch on that for just a second. Not every day is good. There is a lot of fatigue and some days it’s hard to do much. I think this is a really nice goal for me to put some energy into this show and creating something I have never seen before.
I am about 23 weeks out from that and have decided to make a new physique shape for my show. Something I’ve never done before. It’s a great challenge. I’ve picked out my wardrobe for the show so it has to be spot on.
I spent yesterday digging through years of progress pics. I decided that I do have more skills, more muscle, more knowledge, more information than any of those days before. I’m capable of digging in and creating a new improved process to get to my next set of goals. My journey in pics showed me so much and inspired me to remember where I came from.
My point of this blog is to just give you some real life.. not every fitness guru is showing you the reality of what being fit is. It does flow and sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes health and life issues get in the way. Sometimes we are on fire and sometimes we are not motivated. We have to figure out how to create the life we want and still achieve our dreams. I love the idea of always documenting our journey. It takes very little time, but it’s so powerful to see changes!!
If you follow my blog, then you probably realize that I am totally transparent on my posts. I’m able to track my journey and if you are so inclined to follow.. then you will get the good, bad, and ugly.
The last time I competed was June 2017. That show.. omg.. whew. I was messed up when I finished it. I had a really great show in October 2016 and wanted to wait a year to compete for my pro card. In 2017, UFE removed the Halloween pro qualifer so the only option was to do the June show. I made a decision to do that so in 52 weeks, I’d prepped for 48 weeks. My body was not happy. After that show was over, I was mentally a mess. I decided to stop for a while and try to recover. It took me about 6 months before I could even look objectively at my pictures from that show.
Here’s a few shots from this show. I loved doing it with my sisters though. I’m glad I took a break.
Over the last 2.5 years it’s been a roller coaster of good, bad and holy shit for me. I’m finally in a place that I feel super pumped to do this new project. #Mayhem2019
I’m really lucky because I have some really amazing things planned for my year. I’m doing some pole shows.
I have a brand new secret project that is HUGE for our family. It’s going to blow up and it’s going to be a game changer. Our team!! ❤ ❤
Mayhem will be the perfect icing for this cupcake!
DON CURRY PHOTOSHOOT
I’m 8 weeks out right now for my huge photoshoot. I’m doing a photoshoot prep right now so I can look my best.
I did this shoot last year and I cannot wait. I have so many costumes and shoes planned!
After the shoot, I’ll take a few weeks and then start show prep. I’m also working really hard with my pole coaches to get my routines down for my shows. So Yeah.. stage lean will be the last thing I see. I need to maintain my strength to do my pole shows. I’m pretty psyched to plan this prep and make it all happen while eating as much food as possible!! BOOM
Posing starts with the Queen B on May 25 and I need a total overhaul!!
I’m ready to slay!
SLEEK BIKINI FIGURE TEAM
I’m doing my own prep with the help of my besties who are on staff at Sleek Body.
My goal is to go into this show with the best wardrobe I’ve ever had. The most beautiful themewear. I want to bring a better package than 2017 and have a calm mind.
Our team has really focused over the last 2 years on making our prep very calm and not scattered or upsetting. I feel like slow and steady will always help me succeed. Of course, I’m doing IIFYM!!
So we are off and running to this new project! 27 weeks track with Mango.
Coach Mango!! She’s on her posing.
Training at Fit City and Sleek Body for this show!!
My partner in my prep is the mister and he is my chef! He watches a lot of cooking shows. It’s a good fit. I’m lucky. I get that.
“I workout at home. I am not buying any more equipment. How do I make the workout harder?”
“The workout my coach gave me is too easy.”
So let’s dig right in and talk about your workout and the effort you need to apply to it. For amazing results, it should be intense. That means you should have laser focus and give 100 percent effort to your sessions.
We often see clients walking through their workouts with a very lacadasical pace.
Last week, I got a check in from a client who said “I need harder workouts”.
If you have ever thought that.. you need to work harder. This is on you. I can give my clients a series with 5 pound weights and I anticipate they will kick their own asses with that.
I will give you some really nice ideas here now to increase your intensity and raise your game. I’m throwing shade on that last check in.. Work harder!! I’m squeezing so hard here.. RARRRRRRRRR
Ways to increase intensity:
Lift heavier: I gave Mary Beth 3 sets of 10 reps with her bicep curls. She’s been doing 8 pounds on those curls for 2 months.
Your body gets used to lifting a certain amount and it adapts. So now you need to grab a heavier weight and push your muscle to do more.
Pro Tip: Muscle engagment. Visualize that you are lifting 100 pounds on those curls and resist!! Squeeze. Visualize your muscles growing!! Connect the hardware (brain)to the soft ware (body). Tell your muscles to grow!!
Muscles grow when they are challenged!! We have to keep on the progressive overload if we want results so keep lifting heavier!! Look for increases in strength to let you know you are building!! YES.
More reps: Our client said she’s not investing in more weights and the 10 pounds she has to use is all she is going to use. Hmmm..
I asked her to add sets. Progressive overload is still happening by using a more volume training approach. She can do 4 sets of 12-15. I promise you, she will burn out and feel that fatigue!! If you can’t increase weight.. increase reps.
Super sets: This is a fun way to fatigue the muscle. Fun for who? hahahah.. It’s a burn like none other.
Marybeth was given
bicep curls 3×10
Tricep kickbacks 3×10
No rest between those two moves. A super set is just putting two moves in succession. You can super set anything together. After she does her superset, then she will rest. Repeat 3-4 times.
Giant set: adding 3 or more moves in succession before you rest. It’s often called a Circuit.
Let me be clear.. if you can do more.. do more!! If you have energy for a second workout or could go take a class.. you did not do your job. You should be spent.
Ok.. here’s one for you..
Let’s say you are doing cardio blasts at home or the gym. You are bored or just not feeling the effort is there. You can increase intensity in your basic movement by using the STAR method.
STAR stands for Speed Tempo Air Range of Motion (ROM)
How to do this:
Start with a very basic move. Any one will do.
Round 1: do your basic move.
Round 2: change the speed (faster.. slower.. up to you)
Round 3: change the tempo.. to what? Doesn’t matter. Slow, fast slow fast.. just alter the tempo.
Round 4: Add a hop or jump to it!!
Round 5: See how big the movement can be!!
My video below shows this!!
My video shows a very basic movement. It can work with any thing!! You could increase the box height too. You could use a ladder.. you could just do super basic movements on the floor like skaters or jumping jacks. You could use a bosu too!
How to do this for cardio. Set your timer for 30 seconds work/ 10 seconds rest.
Pick one move then do the STAR method. That’s 5 rounds! Or do it twice! Mix and match rounds.. you got this..
In your weight training, you can also somewhat modify this to your lifts. Using tempo changes, holds, less rests, more rests, all create variance in your training. Our bodies need to be pushed.
Band hacks Bands workouts are often mislabeled as too easy or ‘dumb’ but listen.. band workouts are hard.. IF you do it right.
The beauty of using a band is that we can use some pretty intense training styles like time under tension (TUT) to overload the muscle. Time under tension means that your band is tight and your muscle is working against it. The biggest secret I can tell you is to keep your band tight when you are using it. Don’t let it get loose during your set. This video will show you exactly how to get the most from your band workouts and what NOT to do!
One thing to remember, you are fully in charge of the work you are doing. So push really hard!!!
This is Baby Iggy. He’s very sure you can train harder. So go on and do that.
The culture of diets is as hostile as the cult of fitness. There is a mentality that says
“My way or the highway” .
“Keto is the only way to go. Low carb means you lose weight.” “Eat clean to lose weight.” “I only eat Paleo.” “I don’t eat any sugar, ever. It will kill you.”
So may people go from one style to another style in search of the holy grail eating but they foil themselves because.. these things are NOT sustainable.
If you have fat to lose you will do so by being in a calorie deficit. That could be by burning calories, or in taking less calories.
The style of eating you do over all is not what makes you lose weight.
So listen, I can understand wanting to jump on a band wagon for lightning fast results.
I understand the desire to grasp at magic bullets, or extremes but let’s start here.
If these things (diets) were fool proof, we would not have an alarming obesity rate world wide.
But let’s get back to you.. I want to help you feel better about your food choices so let’s give up the labels.
By nature, the restriction of food groups could trigger binges. Have you ever told yourself, “No more sugar.”
What is it you crave the most while on your new plan? Sugar.
When we restrict ourselves from certain food groups, we are essentially, white knuckling our eating. There’s no peace, there is militant, discipline and on the other side, failure if things don’t go as planned.
Keto: restricts carbs.
Paleo restricts Grains
Clean restricts “processed” food.
Competition Bro diet: No fruit, dairy, processed food.. good grief.
By nature, restrictive diets limit food groups and therefore micro nutrition suffers. When you are restricting veggies and fiber your body notices. When you are restricting fruit, you miss out on the glorious nutrition of vibrant colors and sources of vitamins!
When you restrict all sugar, you have to remove pretty much everything fun because even frozen yogurt has lactose which is technically sugar. Bummer.
Dairy can be a great source of protein!
Are you willing to let your overall nutrition suffer so you can sit at the back of the bus with all the ‘bros?’
By nature, labeling our eating style sets us up for failure and it’s not necessary.
This is the big one: The eating disorder, Orthorexia comes to mind here. The clean eater, is terrified of eating anything ‘not clean’ or things that are processed. What we typically see with the clean eater is frequent binges of ‘non clean things’ . So basically, it’s not sustainable.
“I only eat clean, until I’m face down in a bucket of icing or doing late night at Denny’s after the bar.”
“I eat clean, gluten free.. but I love this craft beer and I drink Whey protein”
Both are clearly processed. So it’s only clean because you made up that it is.
There is NO such thing as clean. Even blueberries are processed.
We often see the ‘clean eater’ purchasing large amounts of “clean” food for binges.
“I can’t help it. At night I ate 5 RX bars. I feel so bad about myself”
“I can’t stop eating almonds from Trader Joes, they are clean but I can’t lose my belly fat”
IIFYM/FLEXIBLE DIETING/MACRO COUNTING
The problem with labels is.. what difference does it make? You could stop labeling your eating style and follow IIFYM which could be done any way you like.
With IIFYM we are simply counting
and the micro nutrient Fiber.
All food has macros. All food. You can find that information on the label or look up nutrition on sites like FatSecret.com
We set your macros for physique goals .. whatever that is. Then we eat them and stop when we are done. We are not locked into to one style of food and each day we could enjoy variety as long as we are hitting our macros. That mean..
The style of food that we like.. is how we should eat.
Your macros are not dependent on clean food, paleo or zero sugar, but you could eat them any way YOU like.
If you find Dairy upsets your stomach but egg whites are ok.. that’s good! You can choose your own adventure!
If you like a snack treat now and again and it keeps you from feeling deprived, you can certainly work that into your plan without it being detrimental to your physique goals.
If your doctor has asked you to limit gluten or keep your fats at a certain level.. that’s ok too. You can eat for your body, your health and your own likes! You never have to eat food you don’t like.
IIFYM doesnt’ mean you can’t eat toward your style. Use your carbs for fueling your workouts and to get your fiber and veggie/fruit requirements. You are not required to eat poptarts or high carb snacks. But you could.. if they fit your macros.
If you feel better on no grains, you can certainly make that work too.
If you don’t want sugar foods, or snack treats in your life because they trigger you. Maybe you feel better when you don’t eat food like that.. Maybe you just enjoy whole fresh fruits and veggies.. totally fine too. It’s all about YOU.
When you let go of labels, you have no fear of mistakes. You simply figure out how YOU enjoy eating and tweak to hit your macro/micro nutrient goals!!
There is much freedom in the ability to be consistent and live without the restrictions that diet labels give. Being consistent is how you reach your physique goals.