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!!
LHDlKE0

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.
goal
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!!

CAT-MEME
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!

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:

extended
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!!

hilton2hilton1

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.
lv

What are your travel secrets?

The Brutal Truth About Your Competition and your Expectations

THIS BLOG IS ABOUT PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION! ❤


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

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

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

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

wonderwoman
This was 5 weeks out from my first show.

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

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

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

WE ALL HAVE WORK TO DO.

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

Why bother? UGH.. well..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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Baby Iggy wants you to know that you are enough.. just work hard!!
Good luck with your show
Coach T

How to Pick a Competition Bikini

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!

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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.
coach j
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!
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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.
glamfit

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!

This one is mineeeeeeeeeee!
This one is mineeeeeeeeeee!

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!!

MuscleDazzle.com
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!

md

Can I borrow or rent or buy a gently used suit?
Sure. Facebook has a great group of ladies on the
Figure/physique, bikini competitors ‘buy and sell’ board.
TameeMarie.com rents her suits out as well. They go fast though. You should watch her FB page too.

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.

Crystallini Bikini (Ellen is your girl).

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!

I wish you much luck!!

xoxo

What does it cost to compete in a bikini competition?

If you are contemplating a journey to the stage, my goal here today is help you navigate the cost of competing!

First of all, I believe that if you are reading this, you have been in the process of searching. You’ve been looking at Instagram and seeing all the gorgeous competitors.  You’ve thought about bikinis and maybe you don’t actually know where to start for this process!  So let’s make a plan.

Gym Membership:02

I’m assuming you have one. You need one.  Cost  will depend on your area. If you need to train at 3:30am  because that’s when you can do it.. get a 24 hour one!!
I own a gym. I have two other gym memberships too. One is the biggest gym in STL and the other is a 24 hour one. I need to train when I can!!
$35+ per month.

Coaching:

jules
I love being a coach!!  My girl Julia and her hardware!!

I fully believe that ALL first time athletes need a competition coach.

I don’t believe all competition coaches are good or qualified. I believe that YOU must interview your potential coach and get as much information as YOU can about what your coach will do for you.  If your coach only gives workouts, no support, no information, no posing, nothing but a cookie cutter diet and that’s ok with you.. you can find so many  who will take your money.

Your coach might be online, or in your area.   Decide which you prefer!!  If you  have actual personal training time with your coach, you are going to pay a lot hourly.
I charge $75 per hour for privates.  Some charge more!!

Please do your research and learn as much as you can about how your competition experience will be. 

Finances: Many coaches make you sign a full year contract that includes off season and prep. You can pay anywhere from $150 monthly to several hundred dollars a month.
Phone calls from the best coaches can be up to $600! I know because I requested one!!

Some coaches will require you to pay in full ahead of time for your prep.  That  could run you $600 or more.

Coaching is generally non refundable and non transferable.  If you don’t keep your end of the bargain, you can be dropped for non compliance.   This may upset some people but if a client is not ready for stage because they are not following their plan, that falls on the client. As a Client  it’s YOUR job to hire the best person then follow through.

Perspective:
Our  bikini team offers a  monthly package of $175 on an auto bill.   We require our clients to stay with the team for at least one month past their show so we can help them reverse diet.

You can find us at SLEEKBIKINITEAM.COM

You may also find coaches who will do monthly payments as well.

I found a coach who is super cheap!!
You probably found a coach who hands out cookie cutter diets and workout plans. 

I want to stress to you.. Find the right person and pay them to help YOU.  

ADVICE: if you see any ads that say “I can take anyone to stage in 12 weeks” 
Run away.  Trust me, every client is different!  I’ve seen this so often and it’s a low calorie, low carb,restricted plan.  Find someone who is a good fit for YOU.  Did I stress this enough?  

Do you need more help choosing a coach?  Look here!

POSING

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Karina posed with our Skype posing coach and it was a game changer. 

  Please do not over look posing.  Please do not useYouTube videos to learn to pose.  Please pay the right person to give YOU the best presentation.  If your posing coach gives everyone the same routine, that’s a bad thing!!   Posing coaches with “signature” styles make it obvious to judges who posed the athlete.   The better choice is to find a posing coach who will teach YOU how you look your best.   They will teach you how to
create a presentation for the federation you want to compete and they will be vested in your progress!!  You can look to some amazing Skype coaches as well as local ones.  Please do your homework.  Posing will cost $40-60 per hour.

Do not make the mistake of skimping on your presentation. Hire someone who will be truthful and honest and help you win.

If your posing coach has no idea what to give you for your federation, find someone else!  Don’t waste your money.  Your posing coach should pose your early and then tweak you again when you are stage lean. Things a look different when you are stage lean!!

Do not wait! If you made the decision to compete, hire a coach  right away!

Supplements:

Prosculpt is my thing
Just a smattering of my supplements.

  The basic supplements you may be using  for bikini are Whey protein (or the equivalent), BCAAs,  Pre-workout, multi vitamin, fish oil etc.
I know, I know.. you might know someone who did it without any sups. That’s awesome but most of us will be taking at least a protein supplement.  My first coach had me on a vitamin regiment that was about $200 a month and I purchased from her friend. ASK questions before you sign up!!

Items like Whey will range from about $30-50 a tub.  Shopping places like Amazon, Body building.com and local stores, you can get rewards, points or sales.  Basic supplements will cost $100 a month give or take.

Food:
food

If you are eating Bro (turkey chicken or fish and veggies) your grocery bill is going to be spent on all of that!!  Walmart, Costco, Sams, these are great places to stock up!
If you are IIFYM you can have more choices but you can still stock up!!   Depending on prices in your area, you will spend a good amount on food. Athletes pretty much eat all the time.   I spend about $175 a week on my prep food.

 

Bikini:

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This one is mineeeeeeeeeee! It was $185 from Crystallini Bikini

Stage Bikini’s come in all price ranges!!  If you want to have   super blingy suit you can spend as much as you want!!  My first two suits from Ravish Sands were $650 each.   I have gone to sequin suits now because I can compete in more than one in my show.  I love them. They are fantastic on stage!  I paid between $150 -$185 for my sequin suits.
Plain suits can be purchased too. Most sites have plain ones for sale so you can really choose one based on your budget.  If you are so inclined, you can purchase your own crystals and bling your own.

Suits are ordered 8 weeks out.
Do you need more info on choosing a suit?

Rental: Of course you can rent or buy second hard also!!  Facebook has several groups for reselling!
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Stage shoes :  Most of us will wear the basic style 5 inch clear heel from Ellie “Brooke”.  This shoe is amazing. It fits great. Easy to walk in too!   You can get them on Amazon for about $30.  Of course you can choose your own shoe style and bling.  Price range is up to you!!
Advice: Buy two pairs.   I’ve seen girls blow out a pair of heels backstage and hobble out. I’m an over thinker.

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Jewelry:  We love our bling!!  I have a huge collection of stage jewelry that I’ve accumulated.  Let me tell you a secret.. don’t spend a fortune!  It gets janky from the tan and it can get lost.  I’ve been at so many shows where someone broke an earring or needed a bracelet and someone gave them their extras.

I purchase my jewelry locally at the import stores. They have huge selections and I got 10 pieces for about $70!!   Amazon has blingy jewelry and you can search IG for the high end suppliers to competitors.  I find it’s not worth the expense because backstage is very chaotic. I’ve lost plenty of things!!  Save your good jewelry for date night!!

Tan
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This is where you do NOT want to skimp!!  Please hear me on this.  You have trained and dieted for months so do whatever it takes to bring your best package to stage. You will tan with your backstage tanner.  Don’t go to the local tan company and try them out.  Your stage tan is unique!!  It does not have DHA so it will wash off and you do NOT want to look green on stage!!  Your tan will be $100-$200 and you will receive touch ups all day backstage. You should have your tanner providing you with gloss and glue too!   The tanning backstage is generally wonderful!

Hair/Makeup: Someone posted “Do judges like you better if you have long hair, dark hair, extensions. Are you dinged for bangs?  ”

Ok listen to me now.. you are in a subjective sport.  You may find a judge that likes blondes better than redheads. You have one who loves girls in blue suits but hates red because his ex wife wore red.  So the only thing you can do is bring your best package.  The overall package will win. If you want extensions and you love your look, do it.  If you rock a look that isn’t at all you, it will show!   Be the best version of YOU and rock it like you are Beyonce.

Get your nails done with Gel so the tan will not stain it.  That’s an additional 30-40 dollars and remember you need to do your toes in Gel too.  The top coat is fine.
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Hair:/makeup: Can you do your own stage hair?  If you are good at it.. awesome. I can’t. I’m far to hungry and emotional to do anything day of show.  I use my own hair and makeup artists.

Backstage will have some options for hair and makeup.  Do your research!!  If you are comfortable without a trial run, they will be a great resource for you and they will most likely touch you up during the day. That will be  about $100 each for Hair/Makeup
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Private Artists:  Search Facebook Makeup artists group and find the best one for you.   You will have to pay travel for some artists but if you work with them ahead of time, you can show them the look you want.  I’ve paid $180 for makeup with travel.

Do I recommend it. Yes I do.  I need 3 hours to get my look together. That’s just me.
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Doing your own makeup: I set out to do my own makeup. I took lessons from an artist. That cost me about $100 per lesson.  I purchased a rolling makeup kit and about $650 worth of the right color cosmetics for stage.  I ended up paying an artists simply because I ‘m too low carb to do much day of show.   Some ladies are skilled.  Here’s more on makeup if you want to try to do your own.

Other expenses: 
Federation Card : $60-$100
Price per category you compete in
Example: Bikini open  $60+ and Bikini  Novice  $60+
Fee to register for the show  $75 +
Hotel  and other travel expenses TBD
Photography varies by photographer!!!  Backstage photography is worth it!!
At UFE I paid $75 for 10 pics. Stage pictures were about $200.
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Photoshoots: As you are stage lean, you will book your own photoshoot!!  This is well worth it!! We shoot in every competition season!!  You can do your research on quality photographers who shoot fitness.  Prices will vary in your area.

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Karina always had bomb shoots around her shows!  LOVE this.

I know you are working hard. I hope this helps! I wish you so much luck on your plan!
Baby Iggy has no knowledge of competition costs but he supports our desire to shine.
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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!!
❤ 

IIFYM 101: HOW TO GET 35 DIFFERENT FOODS A WEEK.

Are you a creature of habit? Do you eat the exact same thing every day?  Did your coach give you a plan with a total of 6 items on it?  Are you struggling to incorporate variety into your meals because you “just don’t know what to eat?”

This blog will help you.

Sports nutrition 101 tells us that we need to eat 35 different foods a week.  Our team of athletes and lifestyle clients follows this goal.
This is important simply because, variety allows us to get micro nutrients from lots of different sources.

I have spoken openly about my Bro diet plan  and how it made me very sick. You can read more about that here.  I was eating a ‘totally clean’ competition diet of
turkey
chicken
fish.
egg whites
oats
ezekial bread
brown rice
sweet pot
spinach

I had 12 cups of spinach on my plan each day.
I hated my meal plan.  As I got closer to my show, my calories were very low and I had 6-7 meals a day of tilapia and spinach.

That is about 9 different foods and entire food groups are missing from this plan.
There is zero nutrition coming from beautiful fruits and other veggies.  I could have had other options and still reached my goal. I would have felt better and had more energy.  I certainly didn’t look better on this plan than I do on a variety of food.  That’s a fact.

If you are on a “bro plan” but want to learn how to get variety.. click here

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Nutrition should be a priority no matter what plan you are on.
It astounds me that intelligent people accept this style of eating when “dieting”. If you were told to give your kiddo this food 6x a day, you wouldn’t.  Kids need better nutrition. They need their calcium and fruits and veggies. How dare someone recommend this.
When did we lose our sensibilities!! Let’s eat some beautiful food! Stop removing total food groups! You don’t need to!!

How can I increase my variety to get to 35 different foods a week?

DON’T OVERTHINK IT.
Eat simply. If you are in the mood for black berries, eat them.  Have an apple on another day.  Eating the rainbow is a perfect way to increase your variety easily.


DON’T SHOP FOR 35 DIFFERENT FOODS
You don’t need to do that!!  Just start with what you like, and add to it.
We use challenges like “Taco Tuesday” and “Waffle Wednesday” to help our clients get creative and increase their variety.  Both of those meals can be created with lots of variety!  It’s easy to find yourself with 15-20 different foods a day on those days!!
Think of the toppings, the ingredients.  If you want fish tacos, great?  Do you want a taco salad?  Or waffles with Halo top and chocolate sauce.. Or perhaps you just want  Waffles with blueberries!


Hack: My Net Diary tracks your food amounts!!
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You can see the number of foods you have eaten each day!  Cool.  MyNetDiary Pro is bomb!

If you need a macro plan or want to learn more about IIFYM you can work with us at LEARNIIFYM.COM

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!!

IIFYM 101: I don’t know what to eat

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When a new IIFYM client starts my program, I will typically get this questions.
“What should I  eat? I don’t know what to eat”

hmmmm..

Ok.. first of all the most important step you can do as a new IIFYMer is to  follow directions of the plan.  Our plan starts with three full days of tracking YOU.

I ask my clients to fill out their tracker with their normal food for 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day.   Looking at your normal eating habits is eye opening. It’s easy to tweak your food so it fits your macros.  If you toss the entire way you eat, and are searching for food to eat, you are missing the whole point of IIFYM.  EAT WHAT YOU WANT.

If you are low on fiber and protein, then you certainly can figure out how to add more of those. If your carbs and fats are way over, you are going to have to make some adjustments.  Simply cutting the serving sizes for overages is one way you can modify . Weigh everything in grams.
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The protein bar problem.

One client told me she was really sick and tired of trying to find a protein bar that would fit her macros for a snack.

“I need a bar that is 12g protein and 13g Carbs.  All the bars have 24g Protein and 26g carbs. “

Ok.. so she probably could simply use half the bar . Right?
Make it fit.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
Clients start this project jumping ahead to the middle instead of following our directions.
A huge mistake is to start with a whole new menu because you “think” you have to.

WE NEVER TELL YOU TO DO THIS. Success in IIFYM comes from the fact that you can eat like YOU.  The more it feels like  YOU, the more consistent you will be. Consistency wins over perfection.

When you want Qdoba.. add it to your tracker and make it fit.  You can use Fatsecret.com to find all kinds of food that you might like if you have a hankering.

Hacks:
AIM FOR PROTEIN FIRST.
Most of our clients come to us eating very little protein. They end up with 100g of protein left at the end of the day and no carbs or fats.

This blog tells you where to get protein  (feel free to also search “Protein” on this blog)

Add your breakfast first.  Most of us have a favorite breakfast so put her in there and let’s see how she fits!
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This is Ashley’s pancakes with Cinnamon and pumpkin. She tweaked her recipes so it fit her macros.

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Tracy topped her waffles with syrup and Sugar free Jelly.  Man I love her. She’s bomb.

Add dinner or Movie time carbs next
If you are fired up about Taco Tuesday,  then do yourself a solid and put those tacos in your tracker in the morning or the day before. We call this FRONT LOADING YOUR TRACKER.

You can eat the tacos YOU want!    Or what about Pizza!! Maybe you have a pizza craving!! Whatever it is.. put it in so when movie time happens you have your food accounted for.


Fill in what is left for the day!!

HACK: 
Front load the whole tracker. Sit down at your PC and add the food you want to eat to your tracker for the next day.  Make it fit. Take the time to do it and pick things you want.
Make sure too add your fruit and veggie requirements and your fiber too.

Then hit the PRINT button for your menu. Eat that for 1 or two days.  You don’t have to track it again.. just follow the menu.

Even if you don’t want to food prep, you can still make convenient foods fit!
EAT WHAT YOU LIKE.

I did that but someone asked me to have lunch with them and now I don’t know what to eat.

That could happen and that’s why you are learning IIFYM. So move some things around in your plan so you can enjoy lunch with your friend. If you cannot fit it into your macros ask your friend to give you a days notice so you can be prepared!!  You are never more than 24 hours away from what you want!!

I filled in my lunch but now I have a bunch of ‘dangling macros left and I dont’ know what to eat.

If you don’t front load your dinner, evening food and eat around that all day.. this could happen.
You can do a flex bowl if you truly can’t get it together.
This is the blog on Flex bowls.  

Flex bowls are a way to take the protein you have left and create something exciting and fun with the macros  you have left.

I had a bunch of macros left over and I don’t want to eat anymore so I’m just going to bed.

ACK we get this quite a bit.  Try harder. You need to hit your macros +5/-5 grams every day.  That is your job. You are eating like it’s your job so focus.  You can do it.

If you end up with 75g protein left at the end of the day.. just move on with your life. Tomorrow, figure out how to eat more protein during the day. Increase the protein at each meal or have something extra to bring your protein up.  I like Laughing Cow cheese or even Kraft Shreds. Cottage cheese is packed with protein.

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Really? Still have no idea?  Go to Ripped Recipes.com and enjoy their recipe search.
Use your computer, NOT your phone because the filters are better!!
You can add the macros you have to work with and get recipes to match.
You can do a whole day or just a certain amount.
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This game is like Tetris. You can learn something new every day and when something doesn’t work.. that’s ok. You have a clean tracker tomorrow!! So get on it!!
Let’s see what you can do.

IIFYM 101: How to Get Protein like a boss

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If you are just begining your IIFYM/Flexible Dieting Journey you may be surprised to see how much protein you are going to need to eat each day.  In fact, most of my new clients come to me eating very little protein so it looks daunting to try to hit those protein goals!

The question I get the most is “How can I hit my protein goals with out going over fats and carbs?”

Protein is very important to our physique goals!!  We need protein to build muscle and we all know that muscle is the fountain of youth!  In a fat loss plan, we eat protein to help us maintain the muscle we have!!   Protein also helps you feel full!!

Protein 101: Basic Sources
Meat Lean cuts to keep fat down. Skinless white meat is lower in fat.
Chicken
Turkey
Pork
Beef
Fish
Other Seafood (shrimp, scallops)
Dairy
Milk, Chocolate milk (great post workout)
Sour cream
Greek Yogurt
Cheese
Laughing cow cheese is fun!
Cottage cheese (add to your pancakes to add a fluffy texture)
Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
Halo top Ice cream (I had to add that)
Eggs
Egg whites (buy the pour-able kind)

Legumes
Beans and legumes have some protein but the carb profile is higher, but if you can make it fit.. could be an option.

Whey
Whey protein or Isolate : you can cook with this!!
Lenny and Larry’s cookies (low protein profile but worthy)
Kodiak protein pancake mix (Target)
Protein Bars like Quest or B-Up bars (check your local Supplement store for variety)
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Peach Protein Cupcakes with Raspberry Lemon icing.. I tossed this in for you just for fun. Here’s that recipe.  P:11 C:11 F2 for each cuppie.

Protip: Aim for protein first, Carbs second and fats last.
If you aim for hitting your protein goals first, you won’t be left at the end of the day with 120g to eat!!  
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Protein hack: You could split your protein goals up by meal. 
Mary Jo has 160g protein per day. She likes to eat 5 meals a day.  Each meal could contain 32g protein per meal.
100g of shrimp is 28g of protein!!

Hidden protein

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Many foods you enjoy each day will have protein in them!!  These amounts will help get you to your goals. Track that food!!  Let’s see whatcha got!!

“I don’t like eggs or egg whites.”
Ok.. I hear you. I don’t care for egg whites on their own either, but I do love Crepes, Pancakes and French toast which are all made with egg whites /egg.
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This is my Birthday Cake  crepe. The recipe is here
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Here’s a Banana Protein Pancake!!!
Protein pudding is boss.. This is at Walmart,  Sup stores, Amazon.
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Oh Hey.. let’s make Fish Tacos!  The shells are La Tiara (4 carbs per taco shell)
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Hack:  Start tracking your normal eating.  Look at it like a puzzle. Are you lacking in protein but way over in fatty/carby foods?  Let’s start working on ways to tweak your normal eating!
How can you add more protein in and hit your other macros on point?

Ideas:
RippedRecipes.com will help you find some fun ideas that are NOT boring.

This Blog!!  Search Protein and you will see all my ideas!!

This is Roo Ferrigno. She is very sure of her protein intake and likes to judge mine.
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I know you are working hard! Don’t give up. If you need macros or help.. connect with me on
LearnIIFYM.com
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