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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 Mayhem recap and pics

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UFE HALLOWEEN MAYHEM 2016 CHICAGO IL

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.
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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.

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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.hair
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!!

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In my suit ready to go.
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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
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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.

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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.
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Hit the stage again in my blue bikini.
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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.

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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 .

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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.
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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!

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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!
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Backstage with Donna!

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Awards at the night show.  this is the Glamor Category. I’m still in Batgirl. We could wear what we wanted for awards.

9My 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!
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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!

If you are looking for a bikini team home.. please check us out at SleekBikiniTeam.com
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mmm.. time to eat.. 🙂

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

Grow Booty: The secret to getting glutes

booty
Do you want to get a lifted, round, peachy booty that salutes?  Are you working hard in the gym but you seem stuck? Do you feel like your results are NOT coming fast enough?
It’s important to know is that building glutes takes time and you must eat to get gains.
The process is not a  Pinterest 30 day squat challenge. It’s not a 6 week make over. It’s a long process with a lot of hard work. This is my growth from nearly 3 years.  Picture 1 is from my show in 2013. Picture two was 34 months later.  I am 100 percent happy.  I am a 50 year old woman who has put on muscle. I have worked hard for these gains. I ate a lot of good food and quite a bit of Captain Crunch Donut Cereal.  And if you didn’t know.. we are IIFYM so we eat what we want to grow that booty.
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Instagram Lies
Do you need to ground yourself from Instagram? Are you feeling low because you don’t look like the Insta famous and their  dumb Shredz asses?  Do you feel like your changes should come over night?  Of course you do feel that way. I do too!  We have to stop and remember that we are natural body builders!  We have to eat the right amounts of macros for bulking/growing. Companies like Shredz are making lots of  money off photoshopped images. You must understand that glute implants, photoshop and other trickery are going to be used in marketing  because everyone is looking for a quick fix. Don’t fall for this!

Cutting grows nothing!
One thing to remember is:  You are NOT building muscle in a deficit. I compete every year which means I am cutting (active fat loss)   and losing some muscle for roughly 20 weeks of each year. If I were to build for a solid year, I might have gotten here sooner.  If you live in a deficit of calories so you can ‘stay shredded’ chances are you  aren’t really shredded plus you probably  haven’t been in the caloric surplus you need to build muscle.  EAT!

Training 
Since January 2016, I have put the hurt on my glutes and trained in a new fashion. I am moving out of the bikini category into Fitness Model in my federation UFE.  UFEshows.com.  I want more of the Oxygen Magazine look anyway.  I used bulking macros for myself and many of my clients at the end of 2015 as we prepared for this spring season of cutting.

Jax
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Jax started on my team  late  in 2014 in a size xxs in VSPINK. She grew that booty and placed in the top 10 out of 55 girls in NPC . She took another year, ate and lifted and is about to rock NANBF. Look at those booty gains. Jax was eating over 400 carbs a day this winter.  Pasta is her favorite.  Jax is a busy mom of 2 little girls and works 40+ hours a week! She knew what she had to do and she did it!  She built what she wanted!

InstaFAKE
Oh, hey.. there was no waist training, detox tea, magic supplements, magic wraps, gels,  lotions.No Kardashians were involved here. This was just science. Bad ass science, lifting heavy shit and great food.   If you were looking for the secrets.. this was it.

More….
Meet Ashley

Lovely and so sweet, Ash joined my team in late 2015. These are  her  booty changes in just a few months.  She just took 2nd place in her  first NPC show.
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Her judges comments said she was spot on in her conditioning and physique!  The last picture is just 10 days before her show. Ash was willing to eat to grow even when it was hard! She lifted like a rockstar and when we cut her down.. bliss!
Her food favorite was Oreos!

Rowan
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Rowan is an amazing athlete.She is truly gorgeous inside and out! She started with me in July of 2015 and the March 29 picture is just a few days before she hit the stage with OCB.  She was willing to eat and grow!   She loves pancakes!  Oh.. how did she do??

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Three wins for Rowan!  Oh boy, did she eat a lot of food in those months before we cut hard. No bro food.. She ate what she wanted. She put the work in and it paid off. She is now taking a full year to build for her next  NPC show in 2017. This athlete is on a mission.

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Our Sleek Bikini Team mate Ashley put the work in. She ate food. No starving here.
This booty transformation was awesome!!  She nailed her  macros.

You can do it
If you have a goal to build your glutes.. dig in and commit to the time and macros it takes to do it. You have to be patient.  You must stop comparing your results to  others. You must be willing to eat in a surplus to get gains and you might feel fluffy!  So what. Get some stretchy pants and rock them!  We get it. We are here to support you! Three cheers for strechy pants!

My blog has so many of my glute moves here but if you need help… I can help you!
If you are a competitor looking for a team home, check out SleekBikiniTeam!  We might be a good fit.
I wish you success in your competition!
t

Booty Builder: Single Leg Glute Bridge Foot Elevated

Glute bridges of all kinds are badazz for creating round booties. All competitors and fitgirl followers are deeply skilled at thrusting for a peachy booty.

This version takes it up a notch.  

We use this in my studio and do 50 per day each leg.  No one likes them. Not even me. You are wishing you were somewhere else, that’s for sure.  Ok ,so why do them? Because you get some extra activation by elevating that weight bearing leg.  The med ball is unstable so that makes it even more challenging.

Things to remember.
1.Press through the heel.
2. Squeeze as you come up.
3. The ball should be pretty close to your glute but you can experiment to see where YOU feel it best.
4. Your hamstring is engaged hard here. Good to know!

Modifications: Put your foot on a bosu, or a couch cushion, coffee table. If you are at the gym, you can use a bench but the ball is crazzzy.

I hope you incorporate this into your training for a perfectly peachy booty.
xoxo
t

 

 

Competition 101: Facing doubt

hurricane
If you ever think or feel

“I’m not going to make it”
“I’m not changing fast enough”
“I won’t be lean enough”

You are normal. It’s ok! Don’t let doubt overwhelm you! 

I quit 3 times in prep. My 5 week out mark is always my worst. I  am 5 weeks out. I just hit milestone goal in my prep and immediately threw myself under a bus. It’s almost funny how I always self -sabotage and get down on myself at this point.

trust
Trust the process. Don’t give up

Three weeks out is another hard time. Suit arrives . Never fits.  I know I’m not going to make it.Crying crying then I pull it together and ROCK OUT with a vengeance.

I always make it. You will too. Everyone who is on stage has doubts.
They don’t weigh you on stage. You will be lean enough. You will get you there.
Skip over those doubts and know that you are going to be spot on. Visualize your success!
Every aspect of it.  When you step off stage, you will have done something very few have done!

For my clients..Believe me.. if you are worried, I’m on it. I will adjust you so we are on point every step of the way.

Trust this process.. cliche but real.
Your job now is to focus each day and bring your best! I believe in YOU.
You have this!

t

Leaving your BRO prep for IIFYM and how to avoid panic

almond
This is me.. This doesn’t work for me anymore.

Are you moving from a Bro prep/ coaching experience to IIFYM/Flexible Dieting and feeling panic in the core of your soul?  I am going to talk you down today and gently help you find your way to success and meal time peace.

What is the difference?
Bro-diets are legendary for only  ALLOWING foods like these.
Egg whites, turkey, chicken, fish, beef (super lean 1x per week) asparagus, sweet potatoes, brown rice, olive oil (maybe) and the super duper magical oatmeal.

IIFYM /Flexible dieting, Macro counting is NOT a diet, you eat according to your fitness goals by hitting your macro nutrients of Protein, Carbs, Fats and the micro-nutrient fiber.

Bro-Flex is when coaches tell you  you are eating  IIFYM but give you a restricted list of items that you can swap with.  If you have a swap list, you are not IIFYM.

Let me first of all reassure you. Look at this quote from Mr. Olympia Frank Zane who utilized Flexible Dieting in his show prep, 1979.

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I love this. 1979 Flexible dieting.

Remember this: IIFYM was born out of Bro-fatigue. It came about organically when competitors discovered they could swap foods as long as they achieved their macro nutrient goals.  The goal of IIFYM was never to eat crap all day, but to offer options.
You must hit your macros but you must hit your fiber goals too. The food you eat will by nature be ‘healthful* to hit that fiber!

You should know this
In a cut (active fat loss) the amount of discretionary food is very low, about 5 percent of your day.

In off season, the percentage can be up to 80% wholesome*/20% discretionary.
This is where the ‘poptart divas’ of Instagram confuse and infuriates the Bro dieters.  Everyone has different macros.

So… If your carbs are low, you can’t eat much in the way of sweet treats however if you have lots to work with, you could potentially  have more. Everyone is different.

My macros wouldn’t allow me to eat 18 pancakes ever but the Rock did.  His macros are totally different than mine!  Of course they are.. Look at him! He needs more food than me!  That’s why YOU need macros based on YOU and not a cookie cutter diet your whole bikini team followed.

rock
Pancakes.. mmmm

How I prep with IIFYM.
As an IIFYM coach, I believe quality of food matters.Myself,  I eat 5 different sources of protein each day. I do use greek  yogurt and dairy as protein. I use whey, bars and of course animal protein. Chicken 5x per day disgusts me and my stomach can’t handle beef so I need options. I eat wonderful food that looks gorgeous, tastes delish and hits my macros perfectly. I have over 35 different foods each week- not the same 11 foods for 16 weeks that I used in my bro-preps. Our team eats 300-500g fruits and veggies daily minimum.  We have a veggie minimum for athletes.

food.jpgThis is the actual food our athletes at in prep for our last show.

I enjoy a diet soda when I want one, but I get down a gallon of water every day.  I use sugar free syrup and stevia too. I eat what I want!

Story time:One of my competitors calls herself the pancake queen. I love this. I also find pancakes amazing and delish and they can be made to taste like whatever you want. My first coach would not allow me to eat pancakes. It had to be 6 egg whites and 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked. NO pancakes because “I wouldn’t look right”. I buried egg whites in mustard, hated breakfast so hard.

Quality of food
I also use my food score ratings from MyNetDiary. I only eat A and B foods. If you don’t know about food scores Click here

YUM!
a1
This would typically NOT be on the Bro diet but the macros fit my prep. I use it.
It has fiber and protein!  I mix it with Sugar free syrup and get a lovely bowl of icing. Look here

Do I have to get my carbs from sweet potatoes, brown rice, Ezekiel bread?
I don’t. I use things like  Flat out wraps, fruit, veggies greek yogurt (has both protein and carbs-I use Light and Fit). I use  Light Smart red sauce from Prego. Basically I eat what I like. Dude, I haven’t had Ezekial in 2 years!

flatout
flat out wraps

WAIT.. aren’t foods like  brown rice, sweet potatoes and Ezekial magic?
My bro coaches told me they were but I can’t find any science that backs that up.
I hate brown rice. My first coach made me eat 8 cups of brown rice a day for a carb up.
I buried it in salsa and mustard to choke it down. I could have had something else. There was no reason I couldn’t have except her lack of knowledge. I refuse to be miserable in prep or any other time. GROSS. I carb up now on SF Fro yo.  Even in prep. I refeed with purpose and I eat things that I like.

But….
I do, however,  eat a lot of sweet potatoes because I like them. I use them in amazing pancakes because they are carmelly and sweet.  I don’t choke down food I hate but I eat things that I like. . If you want toast whatever. It has good macros, but it’s not my thing.  If you want it.. make it fit.
I ate this in prep last year..
dinner
English muffins, eggs, turkey and ff cheese. I put SF syrup on it. It fit my macros. Those english muffins are fiber city.

Oh.. prepped with Margarita Shrimp saladIMG_1398
pancakes 100 ways too.IMG_0811

How to not go crazy when you start.
When I began I might have flown a little too close to the sun. I can fit a lot of things into my plan but I sort of lost sight of my goal to eat for my health. I was crabby because broccoli took up so many carbs when I really wanted goldfish cookies.  Now, I am very solid in my conviction eat well and I don’t feel well when I eat lots of sugar treats even if they do fit.  I prefer in off season to use foods like Poptarts to fuel my leg day. But that’s my journey.  The beauty of IIFYM is that it is YOUR journey.

For my team  in PREP we follow the guideline of 95% nutrient dense food 5% discretionary.
Yes, I know that all food has macros and nutrients , you can read more on this here.

Off season is 80/20.

Hack:
Start by tracking what you normally eat then tweak where you like.
Input your coaches plan into your tracker and see what the macros are.
If you are not enjoying asparagus (gross) and want to swap it out.. look here.
food

I simply added the asparagus into MyNetDiary in the amount that was on the menu.
I thought about the veggies I’d like to eat and began to add them in to see how much I would have to eat to get close to those macros.

I like pumpkin a lot and can mix that with some brown sugar stevia (adds 2g carbs)
but It’s fantastic. The thing to notice with the pumpkin is the fiber. I don’t have the 3g fiber that the asparagus has but I hit my fiber goals daily anyway.   If you don’t have a fiber goal.. this should be a red flag!

Some athletes can eat cabbage into their last week.  Green beans are pretty easy peasy to sub up. I add Reduced fat Parm to my green beans and take the fats (3g ) for my serving.

Look how close Zuchinni is! I personally do zuchinni chips in my last week. I love them!!

I use sites like rippedrecipes.com to create healthful concoctions that feed my body and soul. I like sweets. I will put  something like this in my tracker early in the day so I can enjoy it at couch time. The base of this is garbanzo beans. Every ingredient is rated A,
including the dark cacao chips that I count out and weigh.
cookie

But, I can’t seem to stop eating my Bro foods I’m too afraid.
I hear ya. The thing is, bro foods aren’t bad choices. They are solid choices especially the further into prep you get.  Typically you will have to taper macros to continue to get stage lean. I am very good at ‘stretching’ my food out by using volume foods like miracle noodles and zucchini. Things like Quest bars aren’t good choices for me late in prep because it uses a lot of macros in a small meal. I need more volume!!  However, you simply don’t have to live in a world where you have NO options. If you make pancakes out of your egg whites and oatmeal you can do it. I use Sugar Free syrups too but I weigh and account for everything I put in my mouth.  If I find ways to eat foods that make me happy, and provide me with my P:C:F: and fiber I am very happy.

Give me an example:
crepe
I do this late in prep. Oh Lort, I had a some banana, that’s not bro at all. But look at those macros. My low carb days are happier than when M1-M6 was chicken breast only.

Again, to fulfill your macros +5/-5g each day you must eat well, but you have options.
Using sites like Pinterest, IG, blogs, with the #IIFYM  #Flexible dieting you will find many amazing ideas that you can modify to fit your prep!

I wish you luck in your competition training!
t

*I know food terms like nutritious, wholesome or healthy etc are just terms I’m using to
give you a visual.  All food has macros. I also know the difference between Apples and Hostess Twinkies  and you do too. So bear with me. Use your food scanner and make the best choices for yourself..The overall snapshot of your day should be healthful food with room to improvise. Choices! Just as eating healthy one day of your life doesn’t make you ‘healthy’ eating discretionary foods doesn’t make you unhealthy. Its what you follow consistently matters.

Boss workouts:Booty builder

This workout is one of my favorites for competition training.
I do this on my big leg day.  I set the big leg press up with 4 plates. Yeah, I can lift a lot more than that but this one is a volume set so I keep it on the light side-you know.. like Luke Skywalker.

10 leg presses
+
10 pop squats
10 rounds

Of course, you can use your regressions and cut the sets down and lower the weight.
If you don’t have a leg press, you can rock the power cord version which will burn like
Hades. Just saying.

I wish you well in your competiton! Keep pushing!

 

 

 

Competition 101: Master your prep mindset

britprep
If you have been training hard and have a show picked out, you will be starting your “prep” about 12-16 weeks out from your show date. Perhaps you are sick of feeling fluffy and ready to get lean! I get that!! This is very very  exciting. It’s mind blowing how quickly things just got real.

You are officially just weeks away from stepping on stage! OMG! 

I want to share with you some things that helped me considerably in my preps.  Let me explain how they were different.

My first show prep was adrenaline driven. The show was ALL I thought about. It was  my everything. I had zero balance. I feel like this is common with a lot of competitors in their first show. It’s actually pretty awesome. It doesn’t mean it isn’t grueling, or you aren’t hungry. It’s just different.
Stepping on stage after that prep is a high I cannot begin to explain.

Subsequent preps I tried to do with more purpose. I worked hard in off season to bring up lagging parts, improve my physique each time. Prep was very different.

body
Thank you for this!

I, in fact have a love/hate relationship with prep.   I think it’s incredibly grueling  and requires much more focus and strategies than adrenaline.

Mistake number one
cheatmeals

I’ve had coaches in the past tell me to  go eat whatever I wanted right  before prep  because it’s the last meals I would get for 16 weeks. I hate starting like that. I’m immediately feeling deprived and my focus is on what I am going to miss out on, not what I’m gaining. I do not ever want to start prep, bloated,  and mad at myself for a “sanctioned binge”.

Going straight from several dessert runs to turkey chicken and fish effected me negatively. It reminded me of all the “I’ll start my diet on Monday so I may as well eat everything I want” experience.  This is NOT how I want to start an competitive training schedule.

me

How I focus
I choose to start my prep in a positive mental state..

1. Knowing I am capable to do what needs to be done. Fear has no place here!

2. Knowing my food will be colorful. I will eat things I like and that are fulfilling because I choose the right things to forward this process. My health is important to me!

3. Knowing that it’s going to be very hard sometimes but I will prevail. 🙂

4. Knowing that skipping the struggle isn’t an option.

5. Knowing that I’m going to feel weary, and want to quit but I won’t.

6. Visualizing myself being on stage with my best package.

7. Knowing that others will question me not support me, be rude, comment on my body/food or try to make me feel like it’s ok cheat on my plan. I will prevail because my goals are important.

8. Knowing that everything that tempts me, will be there after my show.

9. Knowing that this challenge is something that very few people actually complete and that I can do it.

10.Knowing there will be times when I doubt myself, feel I won’t be ready, feel I’m not going to do well . I will push past that with the mindset that I am bringing my best. Negative self talk is out of place.

11. Knowing that I can give 100 percent to this goal every single day. I will be disciplined when desire/motivation fails me.

 

stop
Stop trying to skip the struggle:
So, in one of my  preps,  I realized that I’m pretty much,  always wishing I could skip the struggle. It’s not an option.  Did I embrace it and work  through it?  Sometimes. Sometimes I was just angry and questioned why I ever really wanted to compete.  Once that light came on for me, I really found myself pulling it out at the end. This is typical Tracy fashion. Getting out of the comfort zone is like me jumping off a cliff willingly.
hmmm..
Sometimes I wish I was flying blind again like I was in my first show.However, I have learned a lot about myself.  I find the challenge of prep the thing I  most appreciate about doing this sport. My goal is always to bring a better package but now I also have a goal to perfect my prep each time.  I grow an incredible amount during this process. It is worth it on the other side because I prevail on a real  challenge I set for myself.   When I step on stage, no one knows all of this, no one cares. It’s my journey.

I encourage you to take some time before you begin your prep and make peace with the next part of your journey. If it’s your first time, you can benefit from adrenaline prep and strategies!

I believe we can push ourselves far beyond what we think is possible. I wish you luck in your competition journey! xoxo