JOURNEY TO STAGE: 26 weeks out

26weeks
If you follow my blog, then you probably realize that I am totally transparent on my posts. I’m able to track my journey and if you are so inclined to follow.. then you will get the good, bad, and ugly.

The last time I competed was June 2017. That show.. omg.. whew. I was messed up when I finished it.  I had a really great show in October 2016 and wanted to wait a year to compete for my pro card.  In 2017, UFE removed the Halloween pro qualifer so the only option was to do the June show.  I made a decision to do that so in 52 weeks, I’d prepped for 48 weeks.  My body was not happy.   After that show was over, I was mentally a mess. I decided to stop for a while and try to recover.  It took me about 6 months before I could even look objectively at my pictures from that show.

Here’s a few shots from this show. I loved doing it with my sisters though. I’m glad I took a break.43753668_2298874023459281_3131529486659485696_n44996466_2298874560125894_3561750270436179968_n

Over the last  2.5 years it’s been a roller coaster of good, bad and holy shit for me. I’m finally in a place that I feel super pumped to do this new project.  #Mayhem2019
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GOOD STUFF:
I’m really lucky because I have some really amazing things planned for my year. I’m doing some pole shows.
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I have a brand new secret project that is HUGE for our family.  It’s going to blow up and it’s going to be a game changer. Our team!! ❤ ❤
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Mayhem will be the perfect icing for this cupcake!

DON CURRY PHOTOSHOOT
I’m 8 weeks out right now for my huge photoshoot. I’m doing a photoshoot prep right now so I can look my best.
I did this shoot last year and I cannot wait. I have so many costumes and shoes planned!

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After the shoot, I’ll take a few weeks and then start show prep. I’m also working really hard with my pole coaches to get my routines down for my shows.  So Yeah.. stage lean will be the last thing I see.  I need to maintain my strength to do my pole shows.  I’m pretty psyched to plan this prep and make it all happen while eating as much food as possible!!  BOOM

Posing starts with the Queen B on May 25 and I need a total overhaul!!
I’m ready to slay!

 

SLEEK BIKINI FIGURE TEAM
I’m doing my own prep with the help of my besties who are on staff at Sleek Body.
My goal is to go into this show with the best wardrobe I’ve ever had. The most beautiful themewear.  I want to bring a better package than 2017 and have a calm mind.

Our team has really focused over the last 2 years on making our prep very calm and not scattered or upsetting. I feel like slow and steady will always help me succeed.  Of course, I’m doing IIFYM!!

So we are off and running to this new project!
27 weeks track with Mango.
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Coach Mango!!  She’s on her posing.58542992_2579575988722415_1648926382605991936_n

Training at Fit City and Sleek Body for this show!!

My partner in my prep is the mister and he is my chef! He watches a lot of cooking shows. It’s a good fit.   I’m lucky. I get that.
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Mango says.. we got this.
41542233_2235808806432470_4391235045159862272_n Stay tuned for updates!

Good luck on  your competition!
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WEIGHT LOSS HACK: STOP LABELING YOUR EATING STYLE

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The culture of diets is as hostile as the cult of fitness.  There is a mentality that says
“My way or the highway” .

“Keto is the only way to go. Low carb means you lose weight.”
“Eat clean to lose weight.”
“I only eat Paleo.”
“I don’t eat any sugar, ever. It will kill you.”

So may people go from one style to another style in search of the holy grail eating but they foil themselves because.. these things are NOT sustainable.

If you have fat to lose you will do so by being in a calorie deficit. That could be by
 burning calories, or in taking less calories.

The style of eating you do over all is not what makes you lose weight.

So listen,  I can understand wanting to  jump on a band wagon for lightning fast results.
I understand the desire to grasp at magic bullets, or extremes but let’s start here.

If these things (diets) were fool proof, we would not have an alarming obesity rate world wide.

But let’s get back to you.. I want to help you feel better about your food choices so let’s give up the labels.

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When you are thinking about all the food you ‘cannot’ have.

By nature, the restriction of food groups could trigger binges.
Have you ever told yourself, “No more sugar.” 
What is it you crave the most while on your new plan?  Sugar.
When we restrict ourselves from certain food groups, we are essentially, white knuckling our eating.  There’s no peace, there is militant, discipline and on the other side, failure if things don’t go as planned.

Keto: restricts carbs.
Paleo restricts Grains
Clean restricts “processed” food.
Competition Bro diet: No fruit, dairy, processed food.. good grief.

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By nature, restrictive diets limit food groups and therefore micro nutrition suffers.
When you are restricting veggies and fiber your body notices.  When you are restricting fruit, you miss out on the glorious nutrition of vibrant colors and sources of vitamins!
When you restrict all sugar, you have to remove pretty much everything fun because even frozen yogurt has lactose which is technically sugar.  Bummer.
Dairy can be a great source of protein!
Are you willing to let your overall nutrition suffer so you can  sit at the back of the bus with all the ‘bros?’

WHEN BRO DIETS MAKE YOU ILL

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By nature, labeling our eating style sets us up for failure and it’s not necessary.

This is the big one:   The eating disorder, Orthorexia comes to mind here. The clean eater, is terrified of eating anything ‘not clean’ or things that are processed.  What we typically see with the clean eater is frequent binges of ‘non clean things’ .  So basically, it’s not sustainable.

“I only eat clean, until I’m face down in a bucket of icing or doing late night at Denny’s after the bar.”

“I eat clean, gluten free.. but I love this craft beer and I drink Whey protein”
Both are clearly processed.  So it’s only clean because you made up that it is.

There is NO such thing as clean. Even blueberries are processed.

Why there is no such thing as clean
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We often see the ‘clean eater’ purchasing large amounts of “clean” food for binges.
“I can’t help it. At night I ate 5 RX bars. I feel so bad about myself”
“I can’t stop eating almonds from Trader Joes, they are clean but I can’t lose my belly fat”

IIFYM/FLEXIBLE DIETING/MACRO COUNTING
The problem with labels is.. what difference does it make?  You could stop labeling your eating style and follow IIFYM which could be done any way you like.

With IIFYM we are simply counting
Protein P
Fat F
Carbs C
and the micro nutrient Fiber.

All food has macros. All food.  You can find that information on the label or look up nutrition on sites like FatSecret.com
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We set your macros for physique goals .. whatever that is.  Then we eat them and stop when we are done.  We are not locked into to one style of food and each day we could enjoy variety as long as we are hitting our macros.  That mean..

The style of food that we like.. is how we should eat.

Your macros are not dependent on clean food, paleo or zero sugar, but you could eat them any way  YOU like.

If you find Dairy upsets your stomach but egg whites are ok.. that’s good!  You can choose your own adventure!
If you like a snack treat now and again and it keeps you from feeling deprived, you can certainly work that into your plan without it being detrimental to your physique goals.

If your doctor has asked you to limit gluten or keep your fats at a certain level.. that’s ok too. You can eat for your body, your health and your own likes!  You never have to eat food you don’t like.

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I like lower carb though.. I just do.

IIFYM doesnt’ mean you can’t eat toward your style.  Use your carbs for fueling your workouts and to get your fiber and veggie/fruit requirements.  You are not required to eat poptarts or high carb snacks. But you could.. if they fit your macros.

If you feel better on no grains, you can certainly make that work too.

If you don’t want sugar foods, or snack treats in your life because they trigger you. Maybe you feel better when you don’t eat food like that.. Maybe you just enjoy whole fresh fruits and veggies.. totally fine too.  It’s all about YOU.

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When you let go of labels, you have no fear of mistakes. You simply figure out how YOU enjoy eating and tweak to hit your macro/micro nutrient goals!!

There is much freedom in the ability to be consistent and live without the restrictions that diet labels give.  Being consistent is how you reach your physique goals.

Do you need help with macros or workouts?? Head over to my site LEARNIIFYM.COM

Roo Ferrigno eats her macros every day.
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IIFYM : Secrets to Staying on Plan While You Travel

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Guest Blogger today is Sleek Body Coach Tracy Collins.

When it comes to sticking to your macros while traveling—it doesn’t have to be a struggle… it is what you make it! Don’t let “ but..I travel” be an excuse!

Plan ahead
Before you leave, make the decision made about what foods you are not willing to bend on!

Think about how many meals you will need to pack per day. If you are traveling for business, chances are you know the name of the restaurant that you will be dining at. Pull the menu up online ahead and decide what you are going to have as your meal, or call ahead and explain you have special dietary needs. Don’t feel embarrassed, or ashamed! We have goals and we are sticking to them! Trust me, your guests will respect your decision.. heck they may thank you because now they don’t feel pressured to eat something that’s not on their typical menu!

You can stick closely to the types of food you are typically eating at home. Look for the hidden fats and ask them to be removed from your food.. example: filet, ask them to cook with no oil or butter, veggies ask them to be steamed, or no oil. Salads, really read the ingredients and review everything that it contains… think about your macros… if you don’t want it, ask them to remove it!
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Alcohol

Do you know how to accurately track alcohol?  

We all know the secret to this…and I have to admit, I’m not afraid to just stick with water and lemon, or a diet soda…However you know your macros. Go in with a plan! Remember, You don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time!

You can stick closely to the types of food you are typically eating at home. Look for the hidden fats and ask them to be removed from your food.. example: filet, ask them to cook with no oil or butter, veggies ask them to be steamed, or no oil. Salads, really read the ingredients and review everything that it contains… think about your macros… if you don’t want it, ask them to remove it!

I most always bring a packets of oatmeal and make a protein shake as my pre-workout meal. If additional carbs are needed, I pack some dried blueberries or cranberries or other fruit. Most workout facilities have fresh apples available, (but don’t count on that).

My post workout meal is usually a shake and oatmeal again if a restaurant isn’t available. Starbucks has those turkey egg white sandwiches that are Divine! (There seems to always be one close to or in the hotel)

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Really, there are so many options and I’m always up for a challenge to myself. How can I make what’s available to me work! It’s like a game of survival… Could you do it?

The Hotel
Search for hotels that offer a mini-fridge and a microwave in the room. Most will bring one to your room at no additional charge or there is a community microwave is available. (However, the Kuerig in the room is easily manipulated to my oatmeal warmer). If I had to choose between the two, I would pick a fridge.

My co-workers know when we travel a gym is super important to me, so we always check it out online before we go or search for nearby full size gyms. Obviously, a hotel most times does not offer the same equipment.

If you need additional items or want something specific, plan to make a trip to a nearby grocery store.
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What to Bring?
All food is safe to bring on an airplane, it’s how you pack it that matters. TIP: if you have a suitcase that you are checking, pack your food in a insulated lunch box with an ice pack! It will be fine!

In you carry on bag, pack an empty shaker cup, use this as your water cup throughout the day… you will also get through TSA with it being empty. Once through security, fill it up at a water fountain, or most restaurants are happy to fill it for you with ice water. (I always go in showing a few bucks in my hand) 😉

Snacks: nuts, protein bars, carrots, hummus, rice cakes, almond butter (individual packets are available) lunch meat, protein powder, jerky, apples and other favorites of yours. (Yogurt is subject to the liquid TSA rules, but is available heavily throughout most airports)

In summary, don’t stress or worry, do your best.. and learn from each trip that you take!

Coach Tracy has openings for coaching!!  Check her out here

Mindset hacks to master your diet without punishment.

stopThe 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.
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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.

REALITY SPEAK
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.

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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!!

How to stay motivated on your fitness plan

 

I posted the Rock’s Instagram so you can click through, follow and get motivated.

When a client begins a new program, they are on fire. They head out and buy new gear and get all their ducks in a row. They immerse down in it ready to slay dragons on their way to  their new physique.

That works for a while until they loose their steam. Getting up early is a chore. They begin to fall into old habits and soon their motivation is gone.

What has also happened here is yet another time they have not been successful in their journey.  😦

I wanted to do a blog on motivation but I cannot offer the secrets to staying motivated until I tell you the actual truth.  If you are frequent reader of my blog, you’ll hear the same tone resonate.  Consistency wins over perfection. Starting and stopping is the opposite of consistency but we sure do find ourselves in that predicament way to often.

Here’s the hard fact: Motivation fades. Discipline is the way change happens.

If you find yourself dropping off a program after a certain amount of time,  then let’s explore some ways to help you push through that trouble spot.

If you ask the body builder sect, they will tell you to Just F’n do it. Yep. I totally hear that. I totally agree with that. I totally think that some people don’t really know how to do that!!
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Here are some of the reasons people start a program.

“My doctor told me to lose weight or I will be facing a health crisis.”
“I need to lose weight so I can have the surgery I need.”
“I need to lose weight or I will be put on medicine for my blood pressure”
“I am told to work out 3 days a week for my health issues.”

When I get this from a client, they already have the motivation to make a change. Wouldn’t you say?  You would be surprised how little health issues motivate people.
It’s shocking.

When we talk to them about why they drop off the plan, they use reasons (excuses) like “I just can’t get the food. I can’t find the time. It’s not a good time.”

Motivation for health isn’t enough.  This person needs discipline to make this happen.

I want to help my clients to reach their goals and no amount of barking about their health seems to matter. They need tools in their tool box to help create new habits.
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GOALS:
A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve”

Things I hear from clients
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to get back in my smaller clothes”
“I want to eat better and be healthy.”

The most successful clients are ones that do not set arbitrary goals like these but more  specific/realistic ones.

“I’d like to be one size smaller by Christmas”
“I’d like to be wearing my favorite dress again by Easter.”
“I’d like to learn to manage my stress eating.”

We also see them do much better when we set long term goals and short term goals.

“Overall, I need to lose 100 pounds but in the next 90 days, my goal is to train
4x per week and lose two dress sizes. “

What has been so helpful for my program and clients is we set up 3 month plans.  We have a goal, a start day and end day.  We then assess, look over what we have learned and begin that process again. It’s not wrong to also set rewards for the end of the challenge. Make it non- food based !!

Challenges
I like to incorporate Challenges into their plan so they are working progressively each week on improvement!  You don’t need the 200 squats a day challenge. Progressive challenges are attainable and provide positive reinforcement!!

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Plan of action:  
To achieve our goals, we are going to be very successful if we are accountable!
My clients use our app to track their progress, workouts and can see an actual spreadsheet of improvements.  They can check in their workouts and get achievements for their efforts.  Apps like My Fitness Pal or even your Fit Bit are there for the accountability factor!!  Tracking your food is simple on the apps so you always know you are on point.  No food is eaten without being tracked!!  Accountability !

Many clients say they loose steam because are too busy to workout or do their food. Everything seems to go to the back burner.  I ask them to book their classes /workouts like it is an important business meeting.   One of the things I love about the apps is that you can put your workouts on the calendar and it will signal you if you miss one.  Our app syncs with My Fitness Pal so I can see my clients daily food intake!!
Accountability is one of the things clients tell me they need the most.  Using tools to help with this is a fantastic way to move forward!

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Vision board:
This is fantastic.  Vision boards are great for any goals/projects you have set up.  I love this board from one of our athletes.  She hit the mark on positive text and images for her project!!  I recommend this for you too!!

A workout /program buddy or support group.
Having support on your journey is fantastic and actually will help you succeed more than going at it alone.  I have found that posting my goals in public or sharing my journey on my social media is very helpful for me.

Many people set up fitness journey accounts on Instagram so those who like to can follow it.  I find a lot of inspiration from others who are also on their journey.

Our dear client on her fitness journey!14183885-1363590546987638-9165857793060093686-n_1_orig

For me, posting progress, or selfies and telling of my successes and struggles may help someone feel motivated but it’s more for my personal growth. I’ve been able to see trends in my progress as well as just overall accountability to my goal.  Personally, I’m going to finish a project if I share it publically.

Facebook has lots of groups or challenges you can join. Our clients have access to our fitness group and  macros boards. We can talk about concerns or get new ideas. It’s fun to post personal records and Non scale victories when others are cheering for you.

What I have found is that clients who refuse to be a part of a group fall off faster than those who are part of a community.  There is a lot to be said for surrounding yourself with like minded people.
Embracing-technology-brings-you-closer

Don’t stand up your friend. If you need a workout buddy, you can set that up at your gym or in a group.  Seek this out!!   If your buddy is online only, you can share your accountability posts by sending gym selfies so they know you went.  The two of you could set your own parameters to help keep you motivated and on track!!

Instagram: I have found that I’m super motivated by my fitness friends and people like The Rock. I always set my alarm for 10 min before I’m going to get up and scroll through my fitness feed for inspiration.  I love seeing others training and doing well. It energizes me.  I love looking at cute workout clothes and thinking of what I want to wear that day. You may not feel motivated by those things but there is something you can explore to help you set the pace for the day.

If you set up a fitness account for Insta, only follow fitness accounts. Nothing annoys me more than baby pics on my fitness feed.  I can load my personal friends accounts on my main account. When I am looking for inspiration, I want to keep my feed focused

What do you do to to stay disciplined/motivated?
This is Bun. He is motivating you with his mind.
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Do you need help with your plan? Would you like to be a client and reach your goals!! I can help you! You can find me at http://www.sleekbodyfitness.com
Our coaches do online, in studio and competition training!!

Secrets to Successful Travels for Athletes

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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!!

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I get these at Walmart. I can put them in my carry on and I can eat them cold. I’m ok with that. Just add water. 20g P and 34 C.

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!!

Hotels:

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Extended Stay America


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!!

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Workouts:
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.

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Hard Rock Las Vegas. Yep. I got this.

I always travel with bands just in case.

I also do my track on parking lots.
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What are your travel secrets?

Moving from IIFYM into Intuitive Dieting part 1:

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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.

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!!

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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.
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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!!

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Fit Girl Food Hacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I have to count macros forever?

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

The question I received today was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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