The Brutal Truth About Your First Competition and your Expectations

THIS BLOG IS ABOUT PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION! ❤


As a coach, I have lots and lots of brand new athletes who begin their journey on my team.

As their shows grow closer and closer ,it’s common for them to tell me..
“I thought I’d 
1. be showing more muscle
2. look  just like the Instagram competitors
3. be tighter
4. be more defined
5. have more muscle
or some variation of this.

The hard truth is
If you started your prep having not done a full off /grow/build  season, you did it backwards. Yep. I said it. As athletes.. we NEED a full grow season before we begin to prep for stage.
It is very common to see people who “workout” think they can cut down to what you see on the gram. It’s not the same as taking a strategic off season, eating, building, and then cut to unveil what you have built.

In 2012/2013, it was common to see coaches advertise “12 Weeks to Stage”  and starve a sister to stage lean.  It was a simpler time back then because the bikini physique was not pumped , super conditioned or showing striations. It was beachy.  BEACHY.

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This was 5 weeks out from my first show.

Fast forward to the ultra competitive nature of the stage of today. Conditioning needs to be on point. If a new athlete has begun her prep without mature muscle, she will come in lean and sexy but without the visible conditioning she is thinking she should see.

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In every cut.. we lose muscle. EVERY one.  That is real. We work so hard to keep what we have when we are on a cut.  If you are lifting heavy and training with high intensity and keeping your protein higher.. you are doing your best to keep that valuable muscle for stage.  You will not be building any muscle in a caloric deficit.  If you are on the normal path of losing body fat, and your calories are lower, you will be fighting to keep the muscle you have.

If you have very little muscle to start with.. you can certainly come in lean and gorgeous but with visible work to do.

WE ALL HAVE WORK TO DO.

Does that make you unworthy to compete? 
Not at all.
Does it mean you are going to lose?
Not necessarily.
Can you even win?
Of course you could!

Why bother? UGH.. well..

Because this sport is about improvements. When you compete, you must look at what you brought to the stage and work with your coach for improvements.
Do the work and come back with a better package.

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Build build build your physique but know you can get better every show!!

Your first show should be a baseline. It’s a BASELINE.

You gain experience, you gain, knowledge of your body. You gain reality checks and you lose the nerves associated with the competition process. You become less about the madness and all about strategy.

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In 2013 I needed much glute work. I still do! Middle pic is lots of food, lots of lifting  (2016) Final pic is 2017.  I’m a work in progress because I want to get better.

We all have to take the time to build mature muscle to get the IG look. Some of those women are NOT natural and it’s deceiving.  No offense to anyone who is not natty just be realistic!!
There is no fast track to mature muscle when you are natty.

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Ashley in 2015 and 2018. She is lighter on the right BTW.

It’s surplus of calories and progressive overload on your muscles. It’s diligence and time spent to create the physique you want. #science

No magic. Science.
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coach j
Julia Before and at the UFE World Championships in Toronto

I’m not writing  this to bring you down. I’m asking for you to understand your sport and realize your amazing potential. I’m asking you to focus on what you are accomplishing in a very short time and what knowledge you are gaining in this process.
I’m asking for all of us to stay away from comparisons when you are looking at your  pictures. It is not going to further your progress or goal to compare.

You do not know who will show up on stage next to you.
You do not have any control over the judges likes and feelings. You are in a sport that has literally no criteria and is  subjective.

FOCUS on YOU and your best package. Retool and learn how to apply what you are learning.
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Baby Iggy wants you to know that you are enough.. just work hard!!
Good luck with your show
Coach T

Moving from IIFYM into Intuitive Dieting part 1:

me
Progressions through my journey. I’m getting better every year.

It’s been a while since I posted an update on my training/dieting.   I finished my show season in June and have reversed dieted back up to over 2000 calories a day.  I will not have another bikini competition until I take the stage at UFE Worlds in Toronto, November 2018.

I am however.. training for my first pole competition here in St. Louis, December 2017.

So let me back track a bit.  I want to show you a progression of my flexible dieting journey. Part two will explain my current use of IIFYM for my competition.

Binge/Restrict 2012
I spent the bulk of my life in a binge restrict pattern.  I was knee deep in the Tosca Reno EAT CLEAN movement but  never measured servings. I refused to eat sugar because it was the devil (according to the Skinny Bitches movement). I was deep in orthorexia but still binged until I made myself sick.   Cookies, cakes, whole pies, then returned to a restricted plan with full intentions of redeeming myself. I know   I choose to compete in a competition partially because I knew I could lock myself down to get rid of these binges. This is the first time I admitted that.

When I began my competition journey in  late 2012, I was basically starving myself.  Nutrition was tough for me because of my patterns of binging. ;(
This is how I looked on my first day of bikini competition training.   Yes.. I was lifting, doing massive cardio but not getting enough nutrition to fuel the work I was doing.  My coach told me “you are starving”. I agree.

 

 

 


Bro plan: Restrict. 2013/2014
I started immediately on low carb bro plan but.. I also started eating more protein and I began to look better. My nutrition was improving too because I was consistently eating 12 cups of spinach each day. My vitamins were on point and I was fueling my workouts.
I was focused and did well until I binged out. I had terrible derails that lasted for days.
My coach told me 8 weeks out from my first show, that one more derail would keep me off stage. Well. I handled that just fine. Placed 2nd and ate an entire pound of birthday cake fudge in the car on the way to the restaurant.

I had no reverse diets either. It was a hot mess.  I did Bro hard core off and on.
I got very sick from the lack of nutrition my coaches gave me. I resorted back to my binges in the off season and then I would grab my old show diets and use those. It makes me so sad to say that. I never fixed one thing. I only proved to myself that I had an iron will until I fell apart and that was NOT going to be ok for me any longer.

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Jan 2013 and June 2014.  I began IIFYM post show Nanbf  in July 2014.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  I asked my coach during 2014 prep for swaps and was told I wouldn’t look right on stage if I swapped out my protein or carbs.  I don’t believe that is true.  I was going to make this happen and end this nightmare of binge/restrict.  I fired her and  began this part of my journey.

I want to say to you, if you are still with me.. all of the things I experienced above made me a better athlete and a better coach.  I’m not mad about this journey. I’m here to learn and grow.  I’m leaving behind those old ideas and people who won’t use science!!

IIFYM: The First year with IIFYM was interesting. I set a goal to learn to find out what triggered me and my binges. I found out!!! Then I fixed it. Sometimes it was baby steps but it was information.  I still believed in ‘clean’ food but I added in small sugar treats until I started to get mad when my veggies got in the way of my snacks. 😦  Read more about that here
I worked very hard my first year to decrease binges by eating foods that made me happy.
I still believed some food was “bad”. I made huge strides in my physique and my happiness. I would go 6 months without a binge.  This was great.  Here’s how that looked.  I had almost 18 months between shows and I prepped myself for UFE Halloween Mayhem 2015.  I did not binge in prep. I did however have 2 months post show that I lost my way. I’m just being honest.  I pulled it together and set new goals for 2016.
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IIFYM Flexible Prep: 2016
For my second full year of IIFYM I wanted to take my nutrition to the next level. I had done so well curtailing my binges and I was very confident in my ability to master flexible dieting.  I paid mind to eating food that made my body run great, I focused on my fruits and veggies and variety.  I began to let go of the “bad ” food concept and allowed myself to eat foods that were previously off limits.  Amazingly, I didn’t get fat, I didn’t lose my way. I began to understand that I could fuse lots of great food into my plan as long as I was eating my daily nutrition requirements!!  YESSS.

That journey was seriously incredible. I focused in on micro nutrition as well as my macros. I began to understand more about my body than I had ever dreamed. I wanted to know!!  Yes… old habits die hard. I still found myself wanting to have treats (albeit “clean”) to help me stay out of that binge territory. I know what works for me!!  I made it work. I want to show you this picture because this was all about fueling for my build from just doing a basic cookie cutter bro plan. Yes.. time had passed but let’s be honest.. I started this at 47 so three years isn’t’ that long.

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Eat lift slay for a booty. I ate more carbs than ever!

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Halloween Mayhem October 2016 I became a UFE Elite Athlete. I loved my package and I loved my prep. It was an amazing learning experience.  I ate so many amazing foods in my prep and came in with my favorite package!!

2017
I competed right away again in June of 2017 and I loved my package but this prep was harder on my body and I had to dig deeper to get lean enough.  I basically did 42 weeks of prep in 1 year.  I would never do that again!! That’s not what my body wants at all.
It was still a great prep and I ate beautifully as I got ready for stage.
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After Fury in June 2017 my next step was to reverse diet and then begin my training for the Pole Sport Organization Gateway competition in December.

Intuitive dieting: What is it?
The goal of our team with clients is to teach them the progression of flexible dieting so they can learn to be truly flexible.  That means they can begin to use their knowledge to eat for their goals without being tied to a scale and tracker. This comes with time and practice.

To be effective a client  would understand and manage your macros in their head.  I know I have to reach 150-180g P each day. I need 25g min of fiber and 500g veggies min. I know my minimum fat intake should be about 40g so I just eat and add this in my head. I’m using visuals and my scale as well as nutritional information on lables.

When would a person use this?  I started using intuitive dieting loosely post show 2017.  It was magical. I was spot on because, trust me.. I’ve seen 5 ounces of chicken breast more than I’d like to admit.  I often use it when I”m traveling or eating out. Most restaurants have nutrition on their websites.  It’s handy!

Who should use this?  Only people who have a clear understanding of their body, macros and feel committed to hitting all their micros/macros!!

Do you do it daily?  Maybe..  I might do it on a day then use my tracker.  I started gingerly and progressed.  I’m very tied to MYNETDIARY tracker.  It’s a safety blanket for me. However.. being able to start this process is a huge step for me.

Here I go!!  Part two is here.

Moving from IIFYM into Intuitive Dieting part 2: Pole Competition prep food

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In June 2017, I committed to competing in the PSO Gateway Pole competition here in St. Louis Mo.  I had just finished competing in my body building show , UFE Fury and decided to work on a project that would allow me to be judged on skills and not simply my physique.

This is not a pole blog but I want to explain to you in this post how my diet has changed based on my sport of choice. I will include my training schedule and how I fuel.

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This is how I”m looking now. I’m pretty happy with my off season physique.

Post Show reverse diet was completed and I went back up to about 2000 calories a day. I’m 52 now and frankly.. that’s a lot of food for me.  Even in my off season normally, I don’t need much more than that.   I hover around 1800-2000 average.

How I train
My training schedule is frankly harder than I can even explain.  I am probably a big whiner but my body is on fire constantly and the work I’m doing is extremely challenging.  I am competing in Level 2 Exotic which is pretty low on the skill set but it’s still a big jump for me.

I meet my coach once a week for an hour but I also train each day on something pole related. I do flexibility and floor work 2-3x a week.  I do actual pole time with spins and climbs 3x a week. I also include core, and 2/3 leg days and 2 upper body days.  I have cardio as well.

How do I fit it in.. ?
Sunday: Pole, floor work, flexibility, upper body work.
Monday: Cardio + Big Leg day with compound moves like deads and squats
Tuesday:  Pole, floor work, flexibility, core some upper body  weights and bands
Wednesday: booty work and train clients.  Probably cardio and core too.
Thursday 1 hour warming up pole/floor. 1 hour pole with my coach, 1 hour practicing what we learned.
Friday:  bands booty.. it’s not a lot..cables booty extensions.  maybe some plyo, cardio.
Saturday: rest or cardio with my bikini team.

I take rest days as I need to.  On non pole days I train for about an hour.
It looks like a lot, but I’m in competition prep. I’m used to this pace.

I cannot pole everyday and I try to do legs on the days before I pole so my upper has time to recover.  Pole is a lot of core and upper body work too.  Floor work is total body and legs are on fire.  I add in the big leg day to help me maintain the muscle I have. I’m experimenting with my program so it may change!!

splits
so much leg work and upper body/core in the floor work portion.

Ok.. so I am also doing a photoshoot and presenting on stage at Halloween Mayhem. I have to be in shape and while not stage lean, I need to look good. I also know that when I fluff it out, it’s harder for me to pull myself up on the pole.

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pole arms are coming in!

This is next level IIFYM for me.  My first priority is to keep my calories high enough for my day that I can have energy to train.  Normally in my body building workouts I would use 20-30% of my daily carbs pre and also post workout to fuel and for muscle recovery.
In pole though, I find that that simply isn’t enough.   For this project what works for me is
about 100 carbs pre workout with 1 scoop Isolate.  I also have C4 pre workout and drink a Bang throughout.  Holy mama.  I have experimented with different ratios of carbs and cannot perform without at least 100g Carbs.  I always follow with recovery carbs and Iso.
I take creatine and BA daily too. Hells yes!!

I did a 3 hour pole workout yesterday and used about 135g carbs pre and 60g post.
I felt amazing.  The normal food I train with does not work with me any longer. I can’t eat actual food because the spinning makes me nauseous so I use dextrose. I have used  Phorm 1 Ignition and it works well.
post_workout_stack

The rest of my day will be used to increase my veggies and protein.  I have fats later in the day as well. I’m not ending my day with couch carbs or lots of snacks and I’m basically doing intuitive dieting for now. I’m looking leaner and while it’s a different look, I like it.

I’m not scared about doing this intuitive version of my plan simply because I’m so focused on fueling right now or I cannot give my best to practice. I know I must keep my protein at 150-180 as normal but I might need more carbs for some days.  I can use the flexiblity of those other macros to eat the best way for my sport.

I am always open to the idea of going back to tracking if need be but I’ve had no need to right now.  Everything is working!!  What a journey to learn even more!!

Follow my pole journey to competition here!!

kittyskittles

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

bread
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

Prepping Not Starving: Taco Tuesday

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Our Team LOVES Taco Tuesday! Who doesn’t!!  IIFYM is bomb because you can make them fit your macros!!  Here are a few of our creations!  The tacos above are grilled chicken !taco1
Alicia scored this find at Trader Joes! 24g Protein!  Holla!
taco2
Coach Michelle is on vacation and on prep. Her tacos are on point. That avocado!!  Avocados and that wrap have fiber. That’s about 20g fiber right there!  taco3
Ashley is about 4 weeks out from her show. This is her masterpiece!

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Coach Julia is 7 weeks from her show and this is her taco crunch wrap!
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Melissa is 7 weeks from her show. These are her shrimp tacos! I love the lime. taco5
These are mine. I am 13 weeks from stage. Each one of those shells is only 4 carbs. taco7
Jen nailed her macros while eating tacos out!  um.. yes please!!
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Holy Mama, sometimes you need a taco when you are out. The macros on the Taco Bell Chicken Soft Taco are sweet.

Hack: If you are craving Tacos, front load your tracker with your tacos early in the day and eat around them.

Here’s my 4g Carb Taco shells.

shell

taco
These are in the grocery store or order online. We buy 72 shells at a time!

Eat food that makes you happy!  #makeItFit

Prepping Not Starving: Quik Trip Egg bowl hack

breakfast-bowl
If Quik Trip is local to you, you might have seen this egg bowl in their stores. I had the chance to taste it last fall and it was insane.  I know a lot of restaurants serve this as well.

Last night, we recreated this masterpiece for my  prep macros. I have no pic, because I ate it up. But it looked much like the above one so go with that.

bowl

1/2 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage Crumbles
1 whole egg
1/2 cup whites
1 slice Kraft Fat Free Singles
onions

In the pan with cooking spray, heat your onions first.
Next add the crumbles until they are hot.
Eggs go next
Put the cheese on top and put a lid on it so it melts.

You can modify anything here just adjust your macros.
If you take out the whole egg  you can take off  5g Fat. I use an omega egg so
that’s a good way to get my EFAs. If you have the fat, get some real cheddar!
It’s so good!

BRO ALERT:  If your coach has locked you down to Bro-city, you can still rock this meal.
Use cooked ground turkey and seasonings instead of your sausage.

Wish I’d saved room for Buttered Toast!

Hey.. do you need help with IIFYM? Check us out at LearnIIFYM.com

Prepping not starving: The Monte Cristo Sandwich

montecristo

The mister has been binge watching “Top Chef” so my prep has gone to level 3000.
This sandwich is the bomb and the macros are fierce!  Seriously, you can use whatever you want to make your own to fit your macros but this was one I had for Brekkie!! It’s a good pre workout too.

2 slices 97/3 Ham
1 slices FF turkey
100 calorie english muffin
1 slice FF cheese

1/2 egg whites
Splash of vanilla

Mix egg whites and vanilla together
beat it until it is frothy

Drop the muffins into the mixture and let it soak up the eggs.
Fry the bacon and turkey in a pan with some cooking spray.
Remove from the pan.

Put the muffins in the pan and pour the rest of the mixture on top.
Flip them over then put the turkey and ham and cheese on the muffin.
Close it like a sandwich. cover the pan so the cheese melts.
Serve with syrup and jelly or powdered sugar if you have the carbs.

Your macros will vary but you can make it fit, even with some


I know you are working hard on your prep!! Keep going!
t

2017 Competition Season Begins

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We all made it through the holidays.  Some of us are fluffier and some no worse for the wear.  The beginning of a fresh new year, signals  SHOW SEASON.  Everyone is baking chicken and veggies (not me) and buying up the gallon jugs of water!

I have 16 ladies competing this spring and we are fired up and ready!!

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We are super excited to bring UFE Rampage to St. Louis in just 16 weeks!  This will be a great opportunity for athletes to have a truly amazing competition experience!   This show is going to be something St. Louis has never seen with the categories of Fitness Model and Glamour.  If you are competing in NPC Midwest or NANBF Liberty, you can do UFE!  We are the week in between!!
Right now, you can register for UFE shows for just $75!
Here’s the link to Rampage

I’m starting my show prep a bit early. I’m competing this year in UFE Fury in Chicago, June 3.  This show is  a Pro Qualifier which means if I win, I can earn my pro card. It was a tough decision to turn around and start a prep again, but I’m ready to do it.  I have several pole and fitness photo shoots this spring so it’s a good time.  I will finish my year with UFE Worlds in Toronto, November 2017.

UFE Halloween Mayhem Update: 9 weeks out

photopic

When I look at my stage pics, I’m always feeling a little crummy about how my skin looks so muddy with that spray tan.  I feel like it never looks like ME on stage.  This year, I did not hire hair and makeup because I need to commit to creating my own look.

I went to You tube and watched the same videos everyone watched. I bought every product on those videos too.

One of our Sleek Bikini Team athletes hired a local artist for her show in June.
Racheal Gloyd
http://www.instagram.com/Rachael_makeup
www.EYESLIPSANDLASHES.COM

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Taylor’s makeup just looked fantastic on stage.
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I asked Rachael to teach me!!

She spent 4 hours with me to construct a look that will be perfect through all my costume changes.  She taught me how to hold the brushes and how to contour, MY face so my photography looks great.

I feel like a lot of girls have skills in makeup and while I’m a total cosmetic junkie, I never progressed at all in doing it well.   So it’s going to be a real challenge to commit to this aspect of competition.

My skin looks really pale here but we already have put a formula together to mix shades once I know how my spray tan comes out. This will allow me to get the right amount of color without being fully chocotaco tan on my face.

Rachael put a lot of emphasis on my eyes and we are using glitter and we will use fluffy lashes too.

So now, the ball is in my corner. I have 4 hours worth of instructional video ready to conquer this.

I wish you luck in your competition!!
t

Show Update: UFE Mayhem Prep

pup
Anyone else? This is totally me. I’m so squishy right now.

Oh man, it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post. It’s been so crazy.
My mother in law says I have “luxury problems” being that I’m so busy with my business and what not.  Ok.. maybe so here’s what going on.. the short version.

jules
Julia killed Figure! 2 trophies!!  She was amazing!

Stuff
Photo shoot went really well.
Took 7 girls to NANBF Southern States Classic in Liberty and we came home with 5 trophies. Everyone looked great!  We are back to work, heads down and grinding for next
season. UFE Rampage STL is April 22, 2017!  We have 10 girls already training for this show!
We also have some amazing athletes getting ready to compete in just a few weeks. Squeee!!  I can’t wait to show you!!

Sick
Last week, I was starting my own prep and got really sick. The lady at Brow Art in the mall used a communal eye liner on me and I ended up at the ER sick as a dog. GROSS. I was so sick I wished someone would kill me. I haven’t been this sick in so long. I missed my son’s graduation!  This was a pretty bad week. I think missing his graduation was the worst day of my life.  I’m so glad he understood. I’m so proud of him.

I’m finally feeling better. I am going to start my full on prep in the morning. I have 8 weeks until my 20 year wedding anniversary Trip in Vegas with the Mister. Here we are in Nashville at Miss Pole Dance America Championships!


Prep:
I’m ready. I have a game plan in place. I’m pretty freaking psyched that my girls are training with me this time. We are at a new gym and have added in some sled training. I can already tell my legs are better.  I need to really bring it this year.

My prep is long. I’m taking it slow as usual but I’m going a bit of a different route this time. I will fill you in later about what I’m doing. Right now I’m just going to get a little leaner before Vegas then spend the last 12 weeks to finish it out. I will be 51 at this show, UFE Halloween Mayhem.

I’m not really feeling 100 percent but I’m heading in with the right mindset. My before pics are done already. I’m puffy from the meds, I haven’t trained for over a week so.. this should be interesting!

So that’s the short update:  Here’s how my whole weekend looked.  This is Roo. She trains with Lou Ferrigno. She eats totally Bro.  puppy