"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails." ~John Maxwell

Friday, December 31, 2010

Before pics 20 weeks out

Height:  5'8.5"
Weight:  146 (morning weight)
Chest:  34 1/2
Waist:  27 2/8
Hips:  38 6/8
Thighs:  23 1/2

Guys, it is quite an eye opener to see these pictures.  I have a looooong way to go.  These past couple of months have taught me a few things which I am grateful to have learned before my actual prep time.  One, cardio is a must.  Two, three days in the gym is not enough.  Finally, you may think you are eating "clean", but you are not.  There is always room for improvement.  Thank you for hanging in there with me and hopefully you will still be checking in when I am posting my contest shots. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back & Bi's

I have enjoyed being off this week and catching up on things around my house and in the gym.  Just to give you a peak into my activities in the gym, here is this morning's workout:
One arm rows 4 X 8 ( I start with  35lbs and work to 50 lbs)
Rev grip lat pulldown 4 X 8 ( I started with 80 lbs and finished with 100 lbs)
Pullups 4 X 8 (I use the assisted machine and set the weight at 90 to start and then finish at 80 lbs)
DB deadlift 5 X 5 (start with 25's and finish with 40's)
Con. curls 3 X 8 (20lbs)
Hammer curls 3 X 8 (20, 20, 25 lbs)
Incline curls 3 X 6 (12 lbs)
HIIT on treadmill for 15 min.
Good workout.  This week I was trying to concentrate on heavier weights, less reps.  It has been a good change up. 

My tip:  Change up your workout as often as you can.  For me, it keeps the boredom down and gives me new challenges. 
If you have not already started your New Years program, there is no time like the present.  Start today!

Monday, December 27, 2010

5 Days to full prep.

Hey guys, life has been busy.  My girls are home for the holidays and they keep me very busy.  Lots of shopping, cooking, movies, etc...  Just to get you caught up, I have been in the gym for cardio or weights each day except Christmas last week and plan to do a few 2 a days this week.  My diet has not been a contest diet, but I have held strong with almost no sweets.  The plan is to post my "before" shot on the 1st along with my before measurements and such.  I am looking forward to this more and more each day.   

Take care and have a wonderfully healthy, happy New Year!! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weight ~ 148

My weight is at 148.  I have lost again, and I measured again this morning and my measurements are down too.  The plan is to hit it hard in the gym this week and next to hopefully reach my goal weight, 142.  Thank you to those who posted on yesterday's post.  Today is much better than yesterday and hopefully it will only go up from here.
For the women who read this, I have mentioned weight and measurements a lot on here.  So, to tie it in I will post my measurements, height, and weight along with my status pic in January.  I think seeing the whole package will help some who are stuck on what the scale says to see there is more involved

*A special thanks here to my sweetie, and the best trainer EVER, Harley!!!  Yesterday's back and bi workout was absolutely delicious.  It was one of the first days I was so proud of the way my upper body was looking.  I could not do this without him. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Having a serious case of the Blahs

I keep asking myself what is going on.  What happened to trigger my blah state.  I do not know.  Yesterday I was so down on myself, I looked in the mirror and hated everything I saw. 

 Maybe I am slightly overwhelmed.  There is sooooo much to do this week and it seems like so little time.  Maybe I feel like I have not done enough for those I love to really show them how much I do love and appreciate all that they have done for me.  Maybe it is because I am not quite getting to where I had wanted to be by JJanuary 1st.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.....  My plans this week are to hit the gym everyday, get my Christmas wrapping done, get a few gifts made, and finish cleaning my house.  One of the things I thought about this morning is how I can not stand anything to be out of place anymore.  I enjoy a clean, organized house.  It seems to make me much happier.  On the flip side, this may sound crazy, but I love when everyone is home and I have to run the dishwasher twice a day because we have cooked so much and just hung out at home.

So let me end this on a positive note:  I love my family MUCH, I enjoy my time with them, wish I could give them everything their heart desires, and hope at the end of the day that we have to unload the dishwasher at least twice because we have cooked, ate, drank, and been merrily happy in each others presence.

Tip of the day:  Get in the gym!!!  Get your lift on this week, run a few extra miles, do an extra workout video, and take care of yourself!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Every Decision Has A Consequence

I designed this blog to give you the real story behind my journey, so with all other thoughts aside, I gained a 1/2 lb over the last 10 days.  Harley and I sat on the couch last night and discussed the possibilities of how or why this happened.  Harley believes it is because I am not consuming enough calories, I am averaging 1650 per day.  I believe that even though I have maintained 3 weight training days per week and got in my days last week and will again this week, there was a 7 day period between my last workout and yesterday's workout.  Also, I have let myself run out of my usual foods and protein powder over the last couple of days and I think my diet suffered slightly because of it.

So here are my lessons learned:  Yes, I know I need to be training more than 3 days per week, but that is what I agreed with myself to do in the pre prep cycle of my journey.  Those 3 days need to be closer together or rather less time passing between workout sessions.  7 days between is unacceptable, who cares if I was sick or tired, this must come first.  The workouts need to be closer together because when you work out with weights your body will continue to burn calories for a period of time afterwards.  Therefore keeping your metabolism kicking and burning more than you would at a normal resting rate.  So as soon as it slows down you are right back in the gym getting it kicked up again.  Also, I am seeing how tough it will be for me to eat a proper training diet.  I think I will have two grocery lists.  One for the fam and one that coinsides with all my receipts and meals for the next 2 weeks.

Better the lesson be learned now instead of later when I will not have time to make up from it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weigh in today

Guys, I am pumped about weighing in today!  Crazy, I know, but I can feel changes in my body.  I am expecting about a 2lb change, but will take whatever I can get at this point.  My goal was to drop 10lbs before starting contest prep in January.  I gave myself 2 months to do it and I am still up 6 lbs as of last weigh in 10 days ago.  Honestly, the # (my weight) does not matter, other than having been a goal in my head.  The only logical thought I put behind the magic # I picked was it will be easier to run if I am packing 10 less pounds.  :)  Also, most figure women I have read about and such at my height, 5' 8" - 5'9", usually finish off for a show around 135-138lbs.  
And because I said I would always mention this.....I measured this morning and again my hips are down, my waist and legs have not moved.  Good to know some of my aspirin is coming off, I have plenty to spare. :) My waist is at 27.5 and I do not think it will get any smaller until I add serious cardio.  My goal is to have my waist at least 26" if not smaller by the show.  I do not have a magic # for my legs in mind as long as they are nicely toned and tight, I do not care what they measure.

Just a brief aside:  Someone mentioned to me that they were very unhappy about their weight and shape yesterday, but that they were going to cruise on through the holidays and get started at the 1st of the year.  Why, oh why, would you wait to improve your health???  I understand the holidays and such are upon us, but every little bit helps.  Why not start now and allow yourself a cheat meal or two over the holidays to get you through.  Is that not better than nothing?

Good Luck with all of your health, diet, and exercise plans!  We all need it.     

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Listen to your body

Starting somewhere around Friday, I started feeling bad.  No time to slow down, I worked one job all day and another all night and got back up Saturday and worked all day.  Sunday, is clean house day, so no rest again.  I fought the urge to workout all day Sunday, listened to my body and decided I needed to rest more than my back and bi's needed the workout.  Monday I called in sick because I had not slept any Sunday night and my body was bottoming out.  Monday I laid around, carbed up bigtime (healthy carbs), and rested.  Again fighting the urge to go workout and deciding my body needed to rest more.  Today I woke up feeling MUCH better and glad to have taken the time off to rest and let my body repair.

Moral of the story:  There is a time to work through whatever obstacle your body throws at you and a time to listen to your body and rest.  Learn the difference.  My mom used to tell me "your burning the candle at both ends and it will catch up with you".  It always does, take care of your investment, so it can take care of you. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Under the Weather

Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days.  I am fighting the crude....taking a ton of vit. C and other vitamins, drinking plenty of fluids, trying to get some much needed rest.  Hopefully I will be up to par in a couple of days.

Remember to get your flu shot if you have not already done so.  Take care of yourself!  :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Small things

I HAVE TWO FOLLOWERS!!!  I am soooo excited! 

Also, this is one I wanted to share, not related to training, but it left an impression on me.  Yesterday as I was leaving the gym, I saw a momma cat and her two kittens (looked about 5-6 weeks old) walking on the edge of a wooded area.  At first, I stopped my car starring at them while I thought about getting out to try to catch them.  Then, the momma cat turned and looked at me and one of the babies "fuzzed" up.  I knew there was no way the momma cat would let me catch her and for a split moment I couldn't bear the thought of taking her babies away from her.  So I pulled away as they all walked into the brush.  When I laid down last night I prayed for that momma cat and her kittens to have a safe warm place to sleep and plenty of food to eat.  
It made me think of my girls and even now is bringing tears to my eyes.  Lord keep them safe. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Days

No big accomplishment, but the occasional reinforcement is nice.  While getting dressed for work this morning I put on a pair of pants that were so snug a month ago I could not stand them.  They were a perfect fit this morning, actually a little loose.  Go me!  (such humility) :)  The part I am most excited about is that my body is making these changes with very little effort on my part.  So, I get crazy excited when I think about what will happen over the next few months when I actually apply all the tools in my arsenal.  (More weight training, CARDIO, DIET, supplements, thermos, etc...)    

Now, I hope you guys will remember this post and point it out to me if ever in the next few months I get down on myself. 

I hope you have started to make some positive changes in your diet and exercise program. 
Have a healthier New Year!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A little better

Some good news!!!  Yesterday when I got to the gym I weighed in and I was 2 lbs lighter!  (6.5 lbs from my Jan. 1 goal) This was a bit of a shock for me as my diet has been thrown off due to not going grocery shopping on time.  I was eating more carbs and fats than I should have been vs my protiens.  Again, Harley said it was because of my calorie intake being higher.  Well lets review my calories over the last week, up till yesterday at weigh in.......1393, 2054, 1211, 1461, 1628, 1720, 1824 =11,291 calories for the week with an average of 1,613.  I really struggle to get my calories to 2,000 and when I run out of my "protiens" it is very difficult.  My measurements are still decreasing and my body is holding onto the muscle tone, at least in my upper body.  Again, my legs are taking forever, pitiful woman's curse!  
Now, let me clear something up.  Yes, I am trying to lose weight, rather fat deposits all over my body.  Muscle weighs more than fat.  So if you are new to weight lifting it is possible for you to hold your weight or not lose weight as rapidly as you think you should.  Fat weighs less than muscle, but takes up more room.  That is why you will always hear me mention my measurements.  It means much more to me to see my measurements decrease than my weight decrease.   
My overall goal is perfect lean muscle symmetry with little to no body fat.      

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday morning

Where does it all go?  My time, money, & energy.  I wake up and it feels like Monday morning all over again.  Someone asked me this morning where I was going to fit it all in come January.  Honestly I really do not know.  Three jobs, active children, household, and wanting to train for a competition.  All I can say is that when others have said that to me in the past, I have made it work.  Where there is a will there is a way.  Just to give you an idea, I recently found out about a show in May that I would like to do.  For me that means cardio 6 days a week starting in January, plus at least 4 days of weights, preferably 5.  I am only getting in 3 days of weights and no cardio now. 
Long and short of it is, if you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it happen.  There is no backing out for me, no throwing in the towel.  Hopefully, you will make a comitment to yourself for a healthier New Year and  get started now.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Can't explain why and it doesn't make much sense, but I am so hyped this morning.  All night I tossed and turned, had the strangest of dreams, but I am feeling great!  My blessings are many and for the 1st time in a long time I am not worried about anything. 

Yesterday's leg/shoulder/ab workout was great.  It takes me about an hour and a half and always makes me feel as if I have accomplished something when I am done.  (My trainer is wonderfully gifted)
Give this one a try:
DB shoulder press 4 X 10
Laterals 4 X 15
Rev Pec Deck 4 X 15
Leg Ext 4 X 20
Standing Leg Curl 4 X 8 (I did 50lbs, this is the most I have ever done :)
Step Ups 3 X 15, 13, 10
Hack Squats 3 X 20
Chair Calf Raises 3 X 12
Sitted Calf Raises 2 X 10
Ab work

My latest thought towards competition is how will I do my training.  Not sure how much cardio to start off with since I will be 6 months out.  My thought was 1 session per week, then 2 the following month, and then when I am 4 months out get serious with it.  Maybe I am wrong and if any of you have an opinion, I would appreciate hearing it.  As of now it looks like I will be starting with carb cycling.  As I am not sure I can do 6 months of low carbs.  Then as I get about 2-3 months out I might switch to all low carb if I need to.  Decisions, Decisions!   

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back and Bi workout from 11/31/10

Pull ups 4 X 10
Smith Mach. Rows 3 X 10
Rev Grip Pulldowns 3 X 15
Concentration Curls 3 X 10
Wide Grip Cable Curls 4 X 12
Hyperextensions 3 X 12
Not a bad workout (Harley).  Really felt it in my mid back.  By the time I got to the RG pulldowns, I was burning.  
Yesterday was also weigh in day.  Somehow over the Thanksgiving holiday I lost another 1/2 a pound.  Harley is convinced I am not eating enough calories per day (2000 or trying), so he was quite smug when he found out I had lost after eating all those calories.  

Moral of the story:  Especially for women; most think they need to starve themselves to loss weight.  NOT TRUE!!!!  You have to eat!  Anyone can be skinny, just starve yourself, but skinny is not attractive.  Fit and healthy is attractive which means muscle tone.  In order to maintain your muscle you must eat.  5-6 meals of balanced clean protiens and carbs will cause you to lose more weight, look and feel better.  Now go grocery shopping!  :)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Picture day

It hit me this morning that I will be posting a "before" picture in one month.  Up till now, the thought really has not bothered me much, as it is a part of the process, but now for some reason I seem nervous.  Even just yesterday my mom was asking me for a particular body measurement, she sews, and she said "your body is changing again".  Now the smart daughter would have asked her what she meant, since I do intend to strap on a bikini and walk across a stage in front of strangers, but I didn't.  So, what did she mean?  (I could torture myself with that one for hours.)  How would you feel if you had to post a "before" picture for anyone to see?  Would what you post make you proud or depressed?  Since I do not believe in perfection, I think we could all use a little work, and I don't mean the plastic kind.  :)  Start your New Years resolution now to get in better shape and take better care of yourself.  Post your own picture on your bathroom mirror and again each month to see how much you've improved.  I would love to see your before and after shots!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Blunders

Hopefully, you did not fall off the wagon during Thanksgiving.  It was tough for me and I did not do as well with my diet as I had thought, but today is a new day and it is time to move on.  So, if you slipped a little or alot during the holiday, jump back on and let's do this thing.  :) 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More to be thankful for

When I got to the gym yesterday, I checked in, grabbed my hand towel, walked over to the ice machine and started fixing a water for my workout.  Routine as usual.  On the TV above my head I saw the ticker read "hundreds dead in stampede".  For what must have only been a couple of minutes, but seemed much longer, I watched pictures of dead human bodies lined up on a street and bodies being carried off.  I don't think I have to say I am thankful I was not a part of anything so horrific, but later during my workout, I was grateful to have my IPod with music that reflected the somberness of my heart.  Later as I got into my shower, I asked God to please be with those families and friends of the victims.  Help them find peace and comfort during their mourning period. 
While there are lots of people I am thankful to have in my life and certian materialist things that give me comfort, I am most Thankful to the one who has gotten me through so many hard times.  He has listened to my heart, heard me cry, held me when there was no one, and always been a father to me, Jesus.  I pray there is healing in this world of ours and while I am not a "Christian" by certian standards, my faith in Him never waivers. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Looking forward to Thanksgiving

Most simply think of Thanksgiving as a time to eat and be with family and friends.  Both of those are in my plans, but I do intend to keep the eating part to more of a tasting, since I will have no way of knowing all that went into making the dish.  With your Thanksgiving this year try to have a small spoonfull of each thing instead of a huge helping and limit your deserts to the truely special ones and try a taste of each vs a whole slice or 3 of your favorite.  (You have to start somewhere)  :)

For me this Thanksgiving I want to let all of you know what I am thankful for.  Each night I pray for the health of my girls and that God place angels around them to protect them from all harm or evil.  Cierra & Hannah are my reason for being.  For being the mother and woman I am.  They are always 1st on my list to take care of and watch over.  It is interesting how different they are in their own little ways, but then so much alike.  Both are intelligent, beautiful, compassionate, and quirky.  My life has been full because of them and I am thankful for God gifting me with my babies. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010


OK, not the hardest part, but definately a pain, is the food.  Each morning I get up to pack all or all but one meal of the day for me.  That means 5-6 meals in my little black bag.  That is all good as long as I have recently been to the grocery store and my fridge is full of everything perfectly healthy.  Towards the end of payday when it is time to go shopping again it gets hard to put together a full day of balanced, clean meals.  Plus I am trying to keep my calories around 2000 and that takes quite a bit of planning.  
Try to plan your meals this next week.  If you are only eating 2-3 meals a day try to add at least 1-2 more.  Balance out you protien and carbs and keep your fats down.  Let me know how you feel or if you saw any changes.  Good Luck!

Since I know you have been waiting for it, here goes.
My tip:  Pack your meals.  One, you know it is healthy.  Two, you know it is clean (not meaning dirty food :), but unprocessed, healthy food)  Three, you can easily keep up with your macronutrients such as:  fat, carbs, and protiens. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yesterday's Leg Workout

Between Harley and I & availability of equipment at the gym here is how it played out:
Laterals 3 X 10
Squats 5 X 15 (Keep in mind I have not done these since I hurt my back so badly last year)
Military Press 5 X 10
Deadlift 5 X 5 (Probably going to stick with stiff leg DB deadlifts for back issues)
Upright Rows 5 X 8
Rev Pec Deck 3 X 8
Step ups 3 X 10 each leg
Lying Leg Curls 3 X 8 drop set on last
Sitted Calves 3 X 10
Standing Calves 2 X 10
Abs (4) 2 X 15

A huge thanks to all the guys at my gym who give me space and support!

My Tip:  Check out fitday.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happiness in small measures

First off I want to let you guys know this is going to be a work in progress.  Not sure how much I will post, how personal or not I will get, but maybe someone might read this and get something out of it. 

Since my body did not change like I thought it should, I started looking up reasons why.  What I have found is that my cortisol levels are probably high.  With quite a bit of stress in my life and a few other issues it makes sence.  Of course I am not a doctor nor have I been to see one, and likely will make these types of calls from time to time based on all that I read, I decided to see what I could do about it naturally, of course.  Starting this past Monday I have been taking a vit. C, Omega 3,6,9, B complex, and combo Magnesium, Zinc, & Calcium pills each morning.  My energy levels are GREAT, my overall mood has improved, and I am sleeping better.  My lower stomach has not gone down much, but there is always next week. 
Also, I am very happy to report my measurements have decreased, all except my legs..........I swear as I have told Harley over and over.........those will be the very last to "come in".  The curse of womanhood!

TIP:  Not personally mine, but worth the try.......Add natural lemons (juice) to your water during the day.  Will help with the cortisol issue too because of the Vit. C in lemons. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pre Prep Work

I am starting this site for those who are interested in watching my journey in Figure competition.  At one point, I had thought I would post everything on my Facebook page, but to me that will be forcing my friends and family to read or view my progress.  By having this blog you can "choose" to sign in and read up or see my updated pics. 
This will be a challenge for me as I have never done this before, but one I am looking forward to and have looked forward to since I was 15 years old.  Many of you will know of my admiration and love for Arnold, but some of you will be hearing this for the 1st time.  When I was about 15, I fell in love with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He has been my only lifelong crush.  (Nothing sick, I just wanted to touch)  :) 
So along the way if you have any Arnold favorites please share them with me.  Any and all will definately help me keep my eye on the prize.  (Harley have no fear, you are my one and only!)