When I wake up each day, I scroll my IG feed for other fitness/pole friends. I am truly motivated by people who are already up and killing it. So don’t call narcissist on anyone who is doing gym selfies. I’m the person who gets hyped when I see happy people at the gym. I see new moves, new ideas and love to see if that’s something I can learn or follow leads to new information!!
CENTERING MYSELF AND MY DAY I spend a few minutes centering myself with the #spiritualawakening . I need to focus each day on positives and healing and moving forward. This is self care.
I like clothes. I choose my outfits and I go the the gym feeling good. I don’t schlep. It hurts my workout game.
I have a ritual in the AM. I have my amazing prep pancakes because my hubs makes them for me. I smell them and we say “that smells like 1st place.. hahahahah”
I have 2 containers of oats under my prep table at all times. Those are security oats. We will NOT run out of oats.
HACKS My project/prep.. is only 18 hours. It only lasts for the hours I’m awake. I can do 18 hours easily. When I wake up the next day, I repeat what I did yesterday or tweak what I needed to change. I never get mad when I mess up because, I can readjust and go again tomorrow. There is not “fail” there is only learning/adjusting/tweaking.
One thing I do not do, EVER. Not allowed.
I do not make decisions about my day while I am lying in bed. If I want to skip the gym I only allow myself to make that decision after I get up and have a shower or coffee. Do I skip the gym? Yep.. Sometimes, my body needs recovery. Sometimes I can rearrange and do it later. My day is in my control but it’s NOT a knee jerk reaction to being “sleepy, crabby or unmotivated”.
One thing that happens to clients is they constantly throw the baby out with the bathwater. Oh.. I messed up well.. screw it.. I failed.. I’m out.. done.. I’ll find something new to do next week. I’ll try this and that.. but they dont’ NEEEEEEEED something new. They need to be consistent!!
Consistency is not for sale.
Everything we want is waiting for us.. but we have to discover how to motivate ourselves each day to check off the boxes we need to. Soon we have strung together many, many days of success and we are reaching our goals.
How do you stay motivated?
Here’s a picture of Mango and I. We know you can do it!
The internet is filled with garbage like the above meme. It drives people to shame eat, to self punish and creates disordered eating. I’m here to set this straight for you so you can rise above this nonsense like smart people should.
Sadly, many of us have been used to self punishing for transgressions related to eating. Binge/Restrict: over eating or eating ‘bad’ food followed by starvation or food restriction. Bad food could be considered “not clean” and this falls into the eating disorder Orthorexia. See this blog
“Oh no, I ate that bag of Cheetos, tomorrow .That’s it… No sugar, no caffeine!! I’ll work out two hours a day all week to burn it off.”
Paws up if you’ve been there.
We are going to put this to rest right here. Today. You are going to read this, digest it and reflect on it with peace in your brain so you can stop with all the mental torture.
First of all.. This behavior gets us no where. You and I both know it. Say it out loud. It gets us no where! NOTHING positive comes from this. Repetitive negative self talk begat negative actions which begat more negative self talk and pretty soon.. WTF, you’re falling down a rabbit hole of despair over your inability to lose weight, control your eating . Worse yet.. you feel like a failure because of FOOD. BECAUSE of food!
“OMG, I went out with my friends and had one drink. I couldn’t help myself we got apps. Then I had more drinks and then we went to Denny’s. I said “screw it” and ate a Grand Slam with hash browns and sausage. OMG I woke up today feeling horrible. Why did I do that? I worked so hard this week. I was good until we went out. I shouldn’t go out. I can’t believe I f*cked this up. I can’t believe I’m like this. I’m going to eat what I want to day because “f*ck it” I’ll start my program tomorrow and if I’m GOOD all week then I’ll lose the weight I gained today. “
Monday morning: “I feel disgusting. My pant’s don’t fit me. I look so puffy and disgusting. I don’t even feel like going to the gym. Today I’m not eating until after dinner and no coffee for me. No sugar. Sugar is the devil. I need to get it together. Why did I do this? I can’t believe how I cant’ get my life together.”
Let me help you now. This is common dialog for many of us. I’m going to tell you once again that this behavior is an endless cycle of garbage talk and will never, ever help us reach any goal. If your kiddo spoke to herself, this way or Gawd -forbid a teacher told your kiddo this exact thing, we’d put a stop to this immediately. It’s not healthy.
We do not assign morality to food. There is no good or bad food.
Listen up all you “sugar is evil” people. I see you. I’m calling you out. You post out how sugar is the devil and I see you eating cookies and candy on Facebook and elsewhere. There is NO morality assigned to food.
What if: instead of saying “Decisions/food are “GOOD” or “BAD”
Let’s change our thinking to “for me personally decisions are either ‘helpful’ or “not helpful to my life/goals”.
A decision I make could be “not helpful to my goal” even if for another person it would be helpful.
“I’m in my prep and very close to stage time. Eating this additional serving of strawberries is not helpful to me today”.
That doesn’t mean eating extra strawberries is wrong for everyone. Just today, my prep goals would not deem the additional food helpful. It’s not a moral issue.
Decisions CAN create for us chaos or harmony for each of us. A decision might create chaos for you but may not be chaotic for someone else.
Here’s two scenarios to consider:
Mary works in an office and it’s the holidays. There is a lot of food and treats there every day. Mary said to herself
“There are so many treats at work and it’s really hard to stay away from them so I’m going to have 1 cupcake on Tuesday and enjoy that. I will have a little bit of Joann’s dessert she ‘s bringing on Friday. I’m excited to try it, she talks about it all the time.”
Same scenario: chaotic
“Oh no, I went to the break room for coffee and I couldn’t help myself because someone handed me a cup cake. I’m just going to eat what I want now. I did so good for so many days but it’s just staring at me. I have to eat it now. I just can’t lose weight. I’m addicted to sugar. I hate myself. I hate my belly. Why am I like this? “
In scenario 1. Mary was accountable and made a decision based on what was helpful to her. She didn’t vilify the food. She didn’t’ blame anyone else for what she ate. She choose what she wanted and it made her happy to eat it. She had a positive experience with the choice and she didn’t’ feel chaotic or the need to punish herself.” #helpful
In scenario 2: The decision she made was NOT helpful to her. She acted impulsively and blamed it on someone handing her the treat. She created a dialog that made her feel ashamed and degrade her ability to reach her goals . She degraded her body. #nothelpful
Punishment: Exercise is not punishment. We do not punish our children with exercise when they don’t pick up their toys. If your kiddo has an ice cream cone, would you then tell her to do 283 burpees? If a coach followed your kiddo from the lunch room to gym class and told them to ‘work off that meal with 680 burpees’ would you feel ok about that? The punishment didn’t fit the crime because eating isn’t a crime.
When we think of this nasty cycle, we are again reminded.. it doesn’t help. It isn’t logical. It doesn’t get us further on our goals. Thoughtful planning and mindfulness with logic will help us understand our decisions.
My guess that you are a decent person. You don’t lie to yourself and you trust yourself . You don’t deserve punishment. We don’t need to do this any more and especially regarding food and exercise. We certainly are smart enough to realize that when things don’t work, we should stop doing them. Can we take some self love and realize that mindset can go farther than 680 burpees? I know we can!!
Ok, so listen there are a few things we hear from new athletes when they are in prep/offseason.
“I don’t know what to do, I’m traveling” “I can’t travel or do anything with my family while I’m in prep.”
Traveling is super overwhelming simply because most of our preps are 12-16 weeks long! It’s nearly impossible to assume that nothing is going to come up during that time.
Prep is not a social death sentence.
Strategies: If you are on IIFYM your life will be so much easier than our Bro-plan sisters.
There are so many options for travel and eating well on the road.
TSA: OY.. that’s tricky. I put everything in my suitcase so I don’t even bother with frozen chicken breasts and a six pack cooler. That’s so old school and unnecessary any more.
If you ‘must’ bring your chicken breasts with you, freeze them. I never found any of this valuable. I don’t like eating thawing food. I’d rather just buy deli chicken. But, feel free to exercise your beast mode mentality and take it with!!
How I do it:
1. Pack dry stuff in single serve packets in your suit case. Example: Oatmeal packets
whey isolate in small zip lock bags. Label them with the macros!! Remember to bring a few blender bottles and your scale!
2. Keep Protein bars, like Quest bars in my carry on or purse for hunger emergencies.
3. When I get to my destination, head to Walmart for supplies. I buy deli turkey and cottage cheese for protein. I also pick up cutlery because I forgot to bring it. You can also get some from your hotel restaurant or the lady at the deli counter at Walmart will give you some. I know her. lol
4. Veggies. I always book my hotel room with a microwave so I get the veggies that steam in the bag or are in serving plates.
Restaurants: Our team does not eat in restaurants in prep. I have brought my own food to many restaurants. The reasoning is.. you don’t know what the chef is putting on your food. They may not tell you that they spray that buttery spray on your chicken breast and that is lots of fat.
When I’m in prep, if I can’t see how it’s made, I don’t eat it.
Caveats: A bowl of lettuce or raw veggies. I’ve done that. Fruit.. ok. I’m good there. I carry my scale. Truth bomb: 12 weeks out vs 4 weeks out.. my macros are considerable different.
There is no room to have extra macros unaccounted for as I near the finish line.
Strategies for eating:
Fueling my workouts is my number one priority. Getting my protein /fiber /veggies is next in line. I might save back carbs and some of my fats for ‘unknowns’ . I’m going to hit my macros like a boss but I’m a huge fan of carb cycling for my life. If I have more carbs on a day I’m walking around more.. so be it.
Also, I know that sometimes, it’s hard to get all your food in and no one wants to be back at the hotel after an all day meeting having 6 protein shakes to hit your numbers.
When you are at Walmart pick up Protein Water to drink during the day!!
There are actually good hotel options for athletes!! Our Coach Ashley, recommends
Extended Stay America. “Stay at Extended Stay America if there is one – you will have a full kitchen…and generally the cost is super cheap so companies usually don’t have an issue with reimbursement for them.”
I’ve also stayed at Marriot Courtyard which also has a full kitchen.
If you don’t need a full kitchen, I recommend Marriot suites! They always have a fridge and Microwave.
When I was in Las Vegas I booked through Fun Jet this lovely condo!
It’s the Hilton Grand Resorts on the strip. It had a grocery store in the lower level
and a Starbucks. These hotels are all over the world. Just Google #Hilton Grand Resorts!!
One recommendation is to join a chain gym that you can use while on the road.
Gold’s Gym or Lifetime are good choices.
I will tell you that if you try to buy a week pass you will pay massive fees.
We wanted few day pass to LVAC and it was 100 dollars.
Since we now can Uber around, it’s worth it if you need a gym that surpasses your hotel gym.
With Hotels like Marriot, we typically see a nice gym but in NYC.. NOPE!! It’s a tiny room with a mat. Be sure to navigate your potential workout facility before you go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Post Show: Bad sportsmanship is never ok!!
I should have placed.
The judges hated me I’m quitting my coach for another coach. I should have won. I’m quitting the sport. I deserved to win, that other girl didn’t.
This show is rigged. The judges have their favorites.
Boy, doesn’t this sound familiar. First of all.. being an athlete isn’t’ when you are walking on stage in your sparkly bikini, it’s how you handle yourself. Being a real athlete is about sportsmanship as well as hard work. Frankly, being pissy because you didn’t get what you wanted actually shows on stage. Yep.. you don’t think it does.. but it sure does.
It shows in your social media. It shows in how you treat others in your show. It shows.
Disparaging other athletes in public or social media reflects badly on YOU. Your friends will always side with you. Pro-tip: keep that conversation between you and your coach and be gracious in your placing. Your judges see your social.. just count on that. It looks bad.
Hey.. honestly…There is no guarantee. Body building is a subjective sport and as athletes we never know who will show up. We don’t really have a solid handle as an industry on criteria. Each federation seems to want something different or perhaps the judging isn’t consistent. We already all know these things, yet we choose to step on stage.
No one is entitled to a pro card. In your first year, not getting a pro card is a good thing. I said it. I’ve seen many athletes win their pro card on their first show and were not ready to compete at pro level. They did not do their time coming up and it basically put them out of the competition game.
Not getting a trophy when we thought we deserved one is normal because we all go there with the intention of winning. Sometimes things just don’t go our way. Sometimes the numbers are tight and it’s literally a crap shoot on who placed higher.
Yeah, sometimes the judges have their favorites. Sometimes they don’t even see you.
Sometimes they don’t like YOU. Sometimes it sucks. It’s a subjective sport.
My point here is if you think that the grass is greener elsewhere then you didn’t do your show for the right reason. Our goals should be to improve our physique and be competitive. Winning is a cherry on top of the actual cupcake of the competition process. We can get better and work hard for the next time! We can try another federation that might be a better fit. We can figure out where we can work smarter and keep pushing. Or we can stomp our feet and be mad. Trust me.. one is easier than the other.
So sorry… but 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.
Baby Iggy wants you to know that you are enough.. just work hard!!
Good luck with your show
Bikini Competitions are the “new wedding”!! I spent more time selecting all my suits than I actually did selecting my wedding gown 20 years ago. If you are new to competing, it might seem overwhelming. Have no fear!! This is the fun part!
What kind of suit do I need for my bikini competition? If you are doing bikini, the suit you will buy will be like these!
You can see that suits come in all colors and styles.
They are two pieces and have connectors . Most girls have their suits custom made but many designers have ready to go designs available. They come in all price ranges.
If you are FIGURE, your suit will look like this.
Figure suits are connected and cross in the back. . This girl looks awesome.
If you are a figure girls, this is the suit you will buy. It can be blingy, very blingy, plain, OMG or in between.
You need to know!
this is from Kata Stage Apparel The bottom cut of your suit will depend on the federation you compete in.
You will check with your coach or federation guidelines on their website for more details. NPC will be a much smaller cut.
Many natural federation like NANBF require the moderate back. Origninally, it was said tht UFE bottoms should cover 30 percent of the glute, although they recently posted you could use pro or standard back.
If you are doing shows in different federations, you can order two bottoms with your top.
Wait: my husband said the bottoms are too small. That happens a lot. The bottoms are very small to show off your glutes. You will use Bikini Bite to secure it down. It will look amazing. If your bottoms are very large you will not be able to show the judges your best package. No thongs though!!
Can I buy one at Walmart? Sure. If you want to wear off the rack that’s up to you. We’ve seen a few ladies do that.
I’d never recommend it, but it’s your show. If you have the package and presentation to pull it off, why not. If your federation has rules, please abide by them.
When do I order? Typically, suits are ordered 8 weeks out from your show. Some designers require more time because of stoning or volume of work load during the show season. You will find that info on their website. If you need it, many designers have a ‘quick ship’ or quick turnaround for an additional charge.
What color should I pick? I don’t know? I don’t know.. what do the judges like? Do they like girls in red suits?
Good gravy!! Calm down. Pick the suit YOU like. What color do YOU feel amazing in?
You are judged on total package. If you feel like Queen Bey in in your suit then you will give them all the sass. If you pick a color you aren’t feeling, it will show!! I want you to love your suit.
Things I’ve learned.. Jewel tones look brighter on smaller frames and athletes with dark hair and skin. We had a lovely athlete who was had a bit of a darker complextion and brunette hair. She chose cranberry and she just got lost on the stage. We put her in yellow next time and she just shone bright.
I like to google for athletes who resemble my skin and hair. It’s nice to see some red heads in something other than green. I have done every color out there.
On another note: Stop with the “do the judges like brown hair, short hair, tattoos, red suits.. mentality. Stop it. This imaginary group of people who work up in a shitty mood or great mood or just got off a plan are real people who are rushed to look at 100’s of physiques and score them subjectively. One judge said he hated red suits because his ex wife wore those in shows. Some judges are obsessed with blondes. Some hate redheads.
There’s’ no criteria for our sport. I said it out loud. It’s one of the biggest complaints.
So here’s what you do, bring your best package and look exactly like YOU want to. Show them you are amazing and engaging in your favorite suit and that you are a winner.
I’m so excited, I want to order it now. Please don’t. We have seen time and time again that jumping the gun will bite you in the booty. If you are 8 weeks out the designer will know how to cut it for show. Most ladies who pulled the trigger early had to have their bottoms remade because they looked like a diaper. You have no idea how tiny you will be at show. They won’t fit until right before your show.
Ack. there is a sale and I want it. You could pay your designer for your suit and place the order 8 weeks out.
Where will I find designers/suits to look at?I love Instagram! If you look for #competitionbikinis, #competitionsuits, you will find some amazing designers!
Google will give you some great results too, but you’ll miss out on some of the newer designers. I say.. use IG!
Glamfitbikini’s has the coolest IG page on the planet. @Glamfitbikini
They get big ups for color coding their entire feed. They are in Australia but ship to the US.
Katkinis has some beautiful suits!
The connectors!! Another cool designer is @Bikini_voronina_Official
How much should I spend? I bought my first suits from RavishSands.com. They are amazing to work with. There are so many price points when you are selecting your suits. Pricing can depend on amount of stones, upgrades in stone colors and connector choices. You can spend as much as you want!
I’ve had suits that were very blingy but this year I went with the stretchy sequins !I bought my suit this year from a picture I saw on IG! @crystallinibikini/ I paid $180 for it and it’s my favorite suit! I actually felt that the stretchy sequin fabric was a better fit for my implants! I had some trouble with my stoned suits coming up . I love the connectors. Sequins looked great on stage too!
You can also buy plain suits and stone them yourself if you are up to the challenge!!
My new obsession this year is Muscle Dazzle. I saw a girl at my last show with a fantastic suit from them. It came in a pretty sleeper box! Their prices are fantastic!
Does color/style matter to judges? Tamee Marie her self told me that blondes in pink suits is cliche. I don’t know. I’ve been to lots of shows and the ONE thing I do know is.. the total package matters. If you pick a suit that makes you feel awesome, look awesome and you rock it, that counts for a lot. I love blingy suits on stage, the lights make them look amazing but I’ve also seen girls with plain suits win. Oddly, a girl won in bikini wearing a figure suit at one show. I don’t even know how that worked out, but my guess is ‘suits’ aren’t the thing that makes the judges pick you over another girl.
Suit designers I like RavishSands.com
They are very very good! This year, they remade my old suit bottoms to fit the federation I was competing in. I sent them the bottoms and they had them back promptly! Great customer service too. I have had amazing luck with them.
I got my suit! It doesn’t fit! If you are a girl who has to lean out for stage, your suit may not fit until the last week. If you try it on 3 weeks out and you still have work to do, try not to panic. It will fit! The designers are good at their job!
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 Mayhem 2019.
I am training for plenty of pole show cases, and two competitions in 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We received 7 trophies for this show. IIFYM. Yes.. and two pro cards for our ladies.
Bikini portion of the Glamour category as well as the themewear.
I’m 51 and I’m fucking proud of this. Yeah I said it.
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!!
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.
1/2 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage Crumbles
1 whole egg
1/2 cup whites
1 slice Kraft Fat Free Singles
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.
I love this show. I am so excited to share with you how fun it is to compete in UFE.
So.. I did this show last year and I wanted to really raise my game for the judges!!
I started working with my designer in January!! Ideas were solidified in May and we brought 4 amazing looks to this show. They were exactly what I wanted.
Ok.. so here’s how it all went…
My peak week went really well . I woke up Thursday looking great! Nice and tight. Friday I woke up looking like ET. Horrible. My suits were way way toooo big. Oh no… I went straight to eating!! Carbs. mmmmmm. I started looking better immediately!! mmmmm carbs. Best day!!
Friday night we had our meeting and tan.
You know how pale I am. That tan was spot on. The tanner for UFE is Fitworld and they are amazing.And just so you know.. when you are competing with UFE, Rachel and her team will help you backstage. They glued me so many times, fixed my tan and just went out of their way to make sure I was taken care of. They also do hair and makeup!!
I will encourage you to use Fitworld Competition Services for all your backstage needs.
They are in the host hotel with us!! It’s fantastic.
Oh.. I loved my tan.. it was very sunkissed and not orangey.
My goal this year was to do my own hair and makeup. I hired an artist and did my lessons. At the end though, I couldn’t make it happen. I was just too overwhelmed. I worked with a local Chicago Artist Sabrina Ramirez. She gave me my best VS look. I loved that she used the colors I bought for my show so I could touch up. This is my favorite look I’ve done for stage! In UFE your stage presentation is a large portion of your score!! I needed full on glam to complete my looks.
I want to thank Melissa Lambert who is my dear friend and hairstylist. She created my red color. This is Tracy Red. I also wanted to homage Prince and the color purple in my show for her. She is an amazing friend to me and so gifted at her job.
My nails are done with love and care all year by my dear friend Rose. She is so good to me! Both ladies would love to work with you!
Ok.. so back to show day!!
In my suit ready to go.
Selfie with the mister. This guy is my rock. You all know he food preps like a boss. He has my back. I could not do this without him
Oh man.. I was the first one on stage this year! Oh man.. I was nervous but I went out for Glamour in my bikini for judging. We come back in our themewear later.
Our green room is the bomb. This is a good shot of my Prince Purple Rain bikini. All the connectors were hand made from jewelry by my costume designer, Rebel Tart. I love sequins on stage.
Hit the stage again in my blue bikini.
This suit. omg. We have that puppy glued down. I love the flat sequins. My dragon look for themewear held together with chains.This was entirely the vision of Cindy from Rebel Tart We needed to get me out of the “pink and girlie” box for this Halloween show. The chains were inspired by Britney Spears costume at the Billboard awards this year. The Harness is from a VS fashion show outfit. The chains are held on with jewelry hooks and have spikes.
I got the shoes from amazon!! They are now going to be pole shoes!! ha.
I want to tell you about the Wings. We got these wings custom from a seller on Etsy. They were horrible. The broke immediately and were totally shoddy work. Cindy’s friend Terry creates wings for movies. She enlisted his help to recreate them so they were wearable. My clients know how much stress these things gave us. Cindy then stayed up all night filling out the feathers and building them into these stage worthy masterpieces. I did not just ‘get these’. People’s hearts and souls were put into making this look.
UFE has the fabulous Glamour Category that is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show category. You can choose any type of glamour outfit you like. I want you all to do this category!! OMG .
UFE Halloween Mayhem has a costume contest. I wanted to do Batgirl to celebrate 50 years of Batgirl. Cindy Henry took the original design for Yvonne Craig’s suit from the old Batman Tv series. She hand crafted Bat-a Rangs for the closure on the back and on the utility belt. The bat is inset into the fabric! This costume is 100 percent my favorite thing I have ever worn. I will transition this outfit to my pole now.
My kiddos told me that I have to high kick. .
Back stage! The Chicago Boys were awesome. They put on a fantastic show. They are acrobats and it was mind blowing! The energy at this show is off the chain!
These ladies. Omg sisters in iron. I have so many friends in UFE and they all have amazing journeys. The girls on stage.. never discount what they have done to get there. We had so much fun!
Backstage with Donna!
Awards at the night show. this is the Glamor Category. I’m still in Batgirl. We could wear what we wanted for awards.
My dear friend and fellow Sleek Body coach Michelle brought me a cupcake and a vat of icing. She and Lar Bear drove 5 hours to support me in my show. Our Team mate Jessica also came! I ‘m so freaking happy. I placed 1st in Bikini Masters, 2nd in Glamour and I was in the top 5 of the bikini open. UFE does top 3 for trophies but I will take the victory of being in the top 5. I am now able to compete in the Elite Category for UFE and will be able to compete at UFE Worlds. I will bring a better package next year!
One more shout out to the mister who brought his best John McClain from Die Hard!
We are a great team. I’m so happy to have such support from my family, my clients, my friends. The folks who believe in me make me work harder.
I love my UFE home and am so happy to be in the UFE family. They treat their athletes so well. I feel they are very fair in their judging. I am excited to help bring UFE Rampage to St. Louis April 22, 2017.
If you want to learn more about competing in this great federation, please visit ufeshows.com or contact me for more info about Rampage. You can also join our FB group!
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.
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.