Show Updates: I’m in prep!

me1
Hey oh! I’m at the gym.. again! I’m smiling at YOU!

I can’t believe it’s been almost 8 weeks since I had my gall bladder surgery! I was a hot mess for a while but I’m healed and feeling awesome. Anyone who even bothers to read my life-casting stuff.. just know I use this as a timeline for my progress.

One of my bodybuilding sisters, turned me on to a brand new gym that is close to my studio. It’s a perfect fit for me. It has the best equipment I’ve ever worked with in over 33 years of training.  I’m able to do most everything at Sleek but this is a perfect fit. I am feeling so pumped right now!

Prep: I started in January, prepping for my photo-shoot. I am now 6 weeks from that.
I wrote a brand new plan for myself to see how my body would change. I love it. One thing I want to note is that post surgery, my food has been about keeping my digestive system happy. I can’t digest much fat so I literally eat about 5g fat per meal. Certain foods make my stomach hurt!  I have made peace with my food situation. I’m focused on my physique and my health.  I am sitting at about 2000 calories a day and I’m very happy with my slow results. I don’t even know what I weigh. My clothes are getting too big. Seriously… I fluffed so hard over the holidays. I know I added some muscle but I am excited to NOT feel fluffy!

My next competition
My next show is UFE Halloween Mayhem, October 29 in Chicago! I am beyond excited. I am so happy in this federation. I really, really like the people. The experience was amazing. I’m going to compete this year as Master’s Glamour (like VS fashion show) and Fitness Model categories. I am not doing bikini. I will be upping my macros a bit post shoot to continue to build for this show. I will come in with a better package this year. I get two costumes and two bikinis! I’m meeting my costume designer this week!

Current situation: This is happening in prep:
bike
Sometimes that bike.. tho! Getting snap chats from my team!

Booty/Hammies are changing with my new workouts:
Legs are my hardest area to bring in. I will be successful this year.
peach

SleekBikiniTeam: OMGOSH I am the luckiest coach. I have the best, best team of women competing and in off season.  I have two lovely  online ladies very close to their April shows!  Our local team is prepping for NANBF and there are 7 girls representing TeamSleekBody in late April.  Everyone is looking spot on and feeling pumped. Suits are ordered and we are going to bring it. We have a full roster of amazing athletes heading in to the summer and fall ready to kill it!

It’s now the summer prep season so my studio clients, brides and lifestyle clients are pushing hard. Every day, I get to wake up and train alongside these awesome women.
They bring their best everyday.  Progress, not perfection. We are sisters in iron and macros and  we are Justin Bieber fans too. lol

Push hard!
t

Competition 101: Read this before you quit your show.

britprep

So you have been prepping for your show and right now you want to quit.

Trust me I have been there!  If you discover that competing isn’t for you, I get it. Maybe you are on the fence. Maybe you need some tough love and strategies. 

PREP
First of all, during prep, there are a lot of emotions.  Being a competitive body builder is hard. It’s HARD. It doesn’t matter if you’re bikini, figure or body building, it’s incredibly demanding.  That is what sets us apart from fitness seekers.

Reasons you might find yourself wanting to quit.
1. Restricted dieting.
As you get further into prep, the food gets harder. Even doing flexible dieting you still have to be leaning and that means eating less.
I typically question why I ever started competing when I see people leaving Quik Trip with bags of treats. What did I do? They look happy. I am dying. Sometimes I actually get angry!

2. Schedule:  Contest prep training schedule is very demanding.  We all have to work, tend to our families and obligations.  I am up sometimes at 3:30am for my workouts. Many people have to carve out the time to make it happen.  It can be very overwhelming and exhausting.

3.  Fear of not making it. I usually quit 3 or 4 times per prep. The worst times are at about 5 weeks out. I lose it.  I just know I won’t make it. It’s not worth it. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m sick of whatever.  Then I cry and refocus.   I also freak out when I get my new suit and it doesn’t fit.  About 3 weeks out I break down in the gym and cry then I get my eye of the tiger back.   So much of prep is mental.  We all already know how to lift.

4. Negativity from those who are close to us.
When others question you, it’s easy to question yourself.  Frankly, body building is a lonely sport. You often train alone, eat alone.  If your friends/family are critical or not understanding it is very hard to sustain the drive to succeed.

Let’s just say.. the bloom has fallen off the rose.

5. Derail
If you end up having a weak moment and derail, that may cause you to want to quit altogether.

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

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

Subsequent preps I try to do with more purpose. I work hard in off season to bring up lagging parts, improve my physique each time. Prep is now very different.

body
Thank you for this!

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

Mistake number one
cheatmeals
I don’t want to be perfect. I want to eat. Ice cream is all I can think about.. Why am I doing this?  
 Do NOT throw everything away for a cupcake. If you are truly, at wits end because of the food, try to find something in your macros that will feel treat like.  What I know is after a free-for-all food binge, many clients suffer with remorse.  A weak moment can wreck your prep mentally! Trust me.     Problem solve! Talk to your coach.
Remember:

me

A betchy word about discipline and commitment and being elite. 
Discipline and  following through on what you said you would do is an elite quality.  Every lay person who fails at a diet proves this point. Yes.. that was super betchy.  I’m not speaking to fitness seekers who need help with their diet. Competitive athletes set them selves apart from fitness seekers by choice and by their actions..  I’m not being touchy feely here and  I’m not apologizing. Wanting to drink with your friends and throwing your whole training away for that is NOT what athletes do.  Sometimes you flat out have to remind yourself  YOU set yourself apart from the other fitness seekers.  Level up!

Before you quit: Ask yourself these questions. 
1. Will you feel remorse or relief?
2. Are you quitting for someone else? Because of pressure from others?
3. On the day of your show, will you be upset that you are not there?
4. What will be different when you officially quit? Do you have a plan?

Sometimes I just need to accept that I feel this way and refocus.

How I focus
First and foremost: Reminding myself I chose this journey.

I also want to remind myself I can finish  this project …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I encourage you  pause and make peace with the rest  of your journey whatever it is. The internal struggle is by far the hardest thing about prep. Every prep.

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

Prepping Not Starving:Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes

pancake

I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I’ve had protein pancakes for breakkie since 2012.
I like them!

I was having a conversation with one of my friends/competitor clients.  We both agreed that food prep is “meh”.   So when I tell you I had to bake sweet potatoes for this, that’s about the extent of my prep.  If I’m home, I will toss 5 or 6 into the oven. I keep them in the fridge for pancakes!

Note to the clean eating mafia: Hurray.. these are full of amazing magic sweet potatoes.
egg whites and oatmeal! #BroCoachApproved

How I bake Sweet Potatoes
Step 1: Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Set your timer for 45 min.
Line your cookie sheet with tinfoil so you don’t have to scrub it!
Put your washed sweet potatoes on the sheet and bake them until they ooze caramel.

*never microwave sweet potatoes. So yucky.

Pancake is:

3/4 cup pourable egg whites
4 oz sweet potato

Mix it in your ninja.
Spray your pan and make a pancake. It’s not easy to flip. It might get messy.

Macros without syrup

4oz

Here it is with 4 oz IHOP sugar free syrup .
ihop

Just to mix it up. Here is 2 oz sweet potato and 20g quick oats
oats

If you add the syrup, you could add less. 1/2 cup is a lot of syrup.
You can modify the amount based on the carbs you have to work with. Since I typically lift in the morning, this recipe with syrup is a great pre-workout with 39 carbs.

We make double recipe every single day and this is meals 1 and 2 for me.
I don’t mind eating pancakes all day!

If you want to up your fats, fiber, toss in some flax or chia. Just sayin..
This pancake smells awesome. It tastes awesome and you can add spices or SF coffee syrup to create something YOU love.

Say it with me. No. More. Gagging. On . Egg Whites!

Volume foods: Ratatouille Prep Style plus update

pasta

So, really quick. I just started a 16 week lean out for an upcoming photo shoot I’m doing in April. Truth is, I haven’t been at my best for a while.  Monday night I had to go to the ER with severe stomach pains and my right shoulder was on fire!  In fact, my shoulder pain was lingering for a few weeks. I was scared.

Got to the ER and after tests were run, I had an emergency Gallbladder removal. I had a stone bigger than a golf ball blocking my duct!  I didn’t see that coming! I thought they would tell me to “quit playin” and go home.  I was in the hospital until Thursday.
So.. I’m on bed rest for a while. No lifting for 6 weeks. No pole dancing. No cardio.

So this is a set back. I’ll be fine. I’ll come back feeling better. However, there is one thing;
my diet has been changed.  My doc has me on a low cholesterol diet, no processed meats,
limited in grain too.  We did a slow careful return to food  after I was allowed to eat again.
Fatty foods are OUT!  Right now, I’m eating no more than 3g fat per meal . I will be able to get to about 30% healthy fats.  But no hydrogenated oils either.

I’m going to look at this as a blessing in disguise. There will be no more fried anything.
I’m not interested in fatty foods after going through that fresh hell of a  surgery.

They had to make the incision so much bigger to get that stone out. Doc said I might have had it since high school.

Slow process back
I  just started back on fiber and veggies today.  I’m pretty scared right now so I’m keeping my food very simple.  I know I can’t make ‘stones’ now but I want to be sure I’m not fooling around with my digestion.  My IIFYM experience is so flexible, it will just have to be foods that fit my plan.  I’m still planning on doing the shoot!

Ratatouille

Rob is a wiz in the kitch so he created this awesome bake for me. I was slightly concerned about the tomatos but it went well. I have had zero pain when I eat!

The recipe contains:

Sliced Green Zucchini
Sliced mushrooms
Sliced fresh organic tomato
6 oz chicken breast for the whole pan
3/4 jar of Prego Light Smart red sauce.

No spices for me!

Bake it 40 min at  350 degrees.

Macros.. not much. The red sauce is 16 carbs per 1/2 cup. It’s mostly veggies.

It was really good!  If you are prepping, here’s another way to fill up without spending all your carbs!

chels

This is a picture of  Recovery Kitty, Chelsea. She has nothing to do with cooking but she is very soft.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Boss workouts:Booty builder

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

10 leg presses
+
10 pop squats
10 rounds

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

I wish you well in your competiton! Keep pushing!

 

 

 

Competition 101: Master your prep mindset

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

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

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

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

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

body
Thank you for this!

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

Mistake number one
cheatmeals

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

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

me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Boss workouts: Fat Shredding Plyo

Plyometrics: What kind of fresh hell is this!?

Plyo has great benefits. It’s good for your heart, it builds lean, sexy muscle.
I for sure use it for prep!
This series is pretty freaking tough.
Start with 30 seconds air squats then go right into 30 seconds jump squats. Follow that with 30 seconds of wide tuck jumps.
Tuck jumps are the hardest for me.
I also did a variation with a box jump instead of the tuck jumps. There is no other fire. You have to push.

So get to it and let’s see those glutes!

Low fat Low carb Maple Peanut Butter

JTTW
JTTW

Poverty macros are no match with this trick I just discovered yesterday!
Maple Peanut Butter will fit your macros in some way shape or form!

Ingredients:
12 g PB2 Powder
60g (1/2 cup) Ihop sugar free syrup (available at Walmart) Trust me.. it’s the best.

Mix it up and eat it all up.

Macros for the above recipe:
Calories: 65
F: 1.5g
P: 5g
C: 12g
Fiber 2

You can adjust the amounts based on how many macros you have to play with.
I use less than 1/4 cup if I want it to be thicker like sticky peanut butter. The full 1/4 cup
of syrup is perfect if you have macros to double the PB2.

I want to use this as Icing on everything. I want to dip a quest bar in it.
You will use a spatula to get it all out of your bowl
Here’s how I do it
lick

10 weeks out Update

IMG_0721
D
ecember 2014 and Today: Aug 2015

I’m 10 weeks from my UFE Show in Chicago. I snapped the above pic on the right today no filter. I am happy with progress.  I want to share a little about this process of being self coached and IIFYM.

The pics above are about 5 pounds apart.

My grow season was about eating some good food and building. I do not gain muscle easily. My macros were over 2000 calories but I  was still fighting binges. I probably always will have that to contend with. 😦
I did get some good gains and I lifted some heavy weight. Lots of PRS! I put the time in on building that’s for sure.
Even though, I’m pretty fluffy in pic 1, I was happy and felt good.   I was in the process of eliminating too many sugary foods that were causing me to binge. It’s taken me months to get into the right groove. But, I always tell my clients..
hey.. we learned something!”

I started a prep in March then halted it for a few reasons.  I was not happy with the balance of food and the length of time I needed to cut . I’ve been working on a slow cut for several months.  The scale.. ugh. It just never gives me the right answer!

Current progress
IMG_0725
Last week to this week. Now, I had just come of my birthday and vacation in Las Vegas. But I’m still liking the change my new macros gave me after 10 days.  I was rudely, publicly criticized  two times this week by meatheads saying that what I’m doing is a waste of time. I think not.  I give zero credibility to people who cannot see past their own arrogance. We are all here to learn.  I am grateful for my circle of friends who are positive!

Strategies
FullSizeRender (2)

This prep, even though I’m Macro counting,  I’m using almost no grains. Oats is about it. I’m eating my weight in veggies and creating more balance of food that looks and tastes good than 5 meals of Turkey Chicken Fish.

Most of my food is whole foods.  No nut butters. Those trigger me!  My fats are all coming from super foods, like avocado,
cocoa nibs, salmon, fish oil caps, olive oil.    I’m not sharing my cut percentages., 🙂  Sorry, a few of you have asked.  I am playing with the ones that work and these are the ones.

My proteins are coming from  lean meat , but I’m also using whey, greek yogurt (light and fit ), cottage cheese and egg whites of course. I always start the day with a protein pancake since 2013.  Boring!

Carbs include fruit too. I do not eat food I dislike. I am hungry sometimes but over all feel amazing!

I understand I will have to drop macros more, but for now.. it’s working just fine. I’m sure I’ll keep you updated!
Peach Protein Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing
FullSizeRender (3)
I’m using rippedrecipes.com to give me options that are fun yet fit how I want to eat. I’m making Peach Raspberry Protein cupcakes for dinner. They are grain free and high protein.
Look at these macros.. I removed the Agave which takes off 2g carbs and 8 calories  per cupcake. It’s sweet enough without the Agave.   Here is that recipe
FullSizeRender (1)

Here’s why
I posted this for a couple reasons. Slow cuts are better for me!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m working my butt off but a 20 pound loss in 12 weeks is going to go badly on the rebound. My goal is to reverse properly and stay at a solid off season weight that will allow me some choices. I want more muscle for 2016.

Secondly, many of the super stars of IG never show you their grow season pictures.  I’m ok with that, but it’s hard to believe they eat on prep macros all year round and look camera ready.  You need a surplus of calories to grow. It’s science.

Yeah Science
Many times girls want to compete and they show me their current macros that they live on..basically no food.
You cannot start a prep from a low caloric intake.

Please understand this.. to get leaner, you must be in a deficit. If you start a 12 week prep on 1200 calories and 6 days of cardio, the only thing you can do is workout more, or eat less.

The trick to this process is to learn where the balance is between off season and show season.  Not many people are proficient because I see women posting all the time about how they rebounded post show.

My goal in this process is to learn as much as I can so I can get better each year.

I’m starting 10 weeks out feeling great. So many miles to go! 
Enjoy your weekend and stay focused. Stay positive! You can do it!

Can I drink in prep and other practical questions for competitors

Thank you for this!
Thank you for this!

I follow a lot of competitor boards. These are actual questions from new people who are competing in their first show.
Perhaps you have these questions too.

1. Can I still drink in prep? It’s just so hard to go out with my friends. I deserve a drink! I work hard.

Answer: You can. But the girl on stage next to you didn’t.  What kind of athlete do you want to be?

2. I didn’t feel like going to the gym, so I cleaned my house, that counts as a workout. It was so hard.
Answer:You could certainly  do that. Ask yourself,  will you be on stage knowing you did everything you could or will you wished you’d done more? Go to the gym!

3. I did a Beach Body video for my workout instead of lifting. I didn’t feel like going today.
Answer: See above answer. I take clients who think they train hard enough to compete, then give them my workouts and they have no idea! I would never recommend Beach Body videos for competition prep. I said it.  Feel free to send hate mail.My clients have workouts that are designed for them. Good coaches won’t recommend generic workouts. Go to the gym and do 100 percent of what you NEED to do to get your physique on point.

4. It’s ok to have a cheat day, right?  I don’t see why not. I work hard.
Answer: No. It’s not. You can look at the above answers but let’s get real. One big cheat can blow your progress out of the water. I’ve been there, and my coach told me she wouldn’t let me on stage if I did it again.  If you aren’t serious about your prep, competition may not be right for you.  If you derail, get it together and tell your coach!  You have a finite amount of time to  complete the project. If you are Flex and  struggling, with wanting to binge, check out my blog posts on how to calm sugar cravings. If you are on a Bro-prep.. suck it up.

You are competing in a body building competition. If you commit to doing it, follow through. It’s not supposed to be easy!