Wednesday, December 22, 2010

workout less

I was running tonight on the treadmill in the garage. While I was not very excited about going downstairs tonight and working out, I realized that it's so much easier to do it when I know my workout is not going to be very long. I love the fact that my workouts are no more than 1 hour long. It's easier on the mind and easier to make myself do it.

Years ago, before having children, I used to workout about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Now I couldn't imagine doing that again. Tonight I was downstairs about 45 minutes. I ran for 30, plus a 5 minute cool down, then did 4 sets of sit ups and 4 sets of pull ups. Done! It was a simple workout that calmed and centered me. I feel good, happy, and ready to watch Rachael Maddow.

What we do today is a good prediction of what we will have produced by tomorrow. A small accomplishment today will mean a little step forward tomorrow, a big step in one week, and a huge step in one month.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick update

Last night I worked out at 6:30pm.

However, since today was going to be crazy busy I got up at 6:30am to workout downstairs. I ran for 30 minutes, cool down for 4 minutes, and did 3 different leg exercises: alternating butt' blasters, standing calf raises, and hip thrusts with 25 lb weight. There are days like these that could really mess me up with my nutrition and exercise. However, thinking ahead and planning on the follow through is vital to the success of what I want to accomplish. At the end of the day I was glad I exercised early in the morning. I could enjoy the rest of the day and not worry about whether or not I was going to "fit" exercise into my schedule.

Tomorrow I will workout around 830pm at home. Thursday I'll go back to Kettlebell. Yes, it's true the holidays are not easy to stay regimented, but as I am certain that the more I practice good nutrition and exercise during the times when it's really tough then I am certain I can pretty much do it anytime. The practice makes my mind stronger, more focused, and in a weird way I start feeling more relaxed, because I'm better practiced at all this.

Monday, December 20, 2010

1 week update on Nutrition and Exercise

FYI: The Egg Nog Tea comes from the Ralphs supermarket on Margarite and Santa Margarita Pkwy on the border of Mission Viejo & Santa Margarita.

Sunday was officially my one week back on track. I decided not to go to Super Sunday Cardio Kickboxing because I just thought I would be overdoing it by not taking 1 day off for the week.

Tonight I went to Kettlebell. Awesome class Paul!!!!! It was great. All of us in the class worked on the same moves, then branched off into different moves 1/2 way through the class. We are all at different levels and needed different workouts. Paul is very good at creating different workouts for different people.

Just to give you an idea of what I did tonight in hopes that you will try kettlebell someday if you haven't. I did the classic kettlebell swing, then did cleans, high pulls, push ups, alternating rows, and chest press. I was ampt and exhausted.

Tonight for dinner I strayed away from my normal dinner, because my mom came over and cooked for the family. I kept good portion control, and the meal was well balanced with broccoli, potatoes, and steak meatballs. The fat from the meatballs came mostly from the steak, yet it did not have too much fat running through it. We cooked the meatballs in the oven without any oil. The broccoli was plain, and I'm not sure what the potatoes had in them. They were broken up and cooked with the broccoli. I should have asked. Mom likes to sneak a little of this and that into her in-prompt-to recipes. She's a great cook, but I usually need to make sure what I'm eating is not too fattening.

This week was not a problem staying focused. As long as I'm eating every 2 1/2 hours I can keep on track.
This week I worked out 6 out of 7 days. Now we are on week 2. The cookies from the cookie exchange are slowly being eaten up by my husband and children. I haven't touched them, but they look very good. I think I'll just enjoy the fact that they look so good on the kitchen counter and they can provide comfort to my eyes and not my body.

Peanut Butter Banana Shake Recipe and more....

Yes, I love my peanut butter and banana shake!
Here is the simple recipe.

In this order I put these ingredients into my Braun Blender, a normal size blender.
Approximately 10 oz. of tap water.
1 Banana (if my bananas get really ripe I take off the skins, wrap them in cellaphane or put them in a Ziploc baggy and freeze them until I'm ready to make my shake). I always use a medium or large banana.
1 Scoop Protein Powder: I use vanilla Lean Complex 4. 1 Scoop has 1 g fat, 150 calories, 32 g protein, and 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, which is Sucralose. However!!! Recently my husband went to the store to buy the protein powder and the company has changed it's label. It's called Lean Complex 8. I haven't tried the new vanilla but my husband says it's good. The profile is 150 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar from Sucralose. The big difference between the two protein powders is that the new one has 8 different types of proteins instead of 4 and they are time released.

1 rounded Tablespoon of Organic Peanut Butter from Costco. I love that peanut butter. You have to stir it which is a pain, but oh well.

I put all of the ingredients into the blender until blended and drink. Yummy!
I have 2 adult gummy vitamins and 1 chewable calcium, because I just love sweets...and that is my breakfast.

Recommended Shake from a friend:
Peach Ginger Recharger ( from the Oxygen Magazine October 2010 Issue)
I have not tried this shake yet, but a friend of mine who recently decided to subscribe to the magazine  because I was relentless about how wonderful this magazine was for women who really wanted to get fit and also readvaluable information that is meaningful to body transformation.

1 red or orange fleshed peach, pitted and chopped. However during this time of year I would be likely to use Costco's peaches in a jar. They come in a 3 pack.

1 1/2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot. Use the fresh ginger!
1 cup low-fat buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk there is a way to make it with the ingredients you have at home. Look it up on the internet. It's something like using vinegar, lemon juice, and nonfat milk. Sorry I don't have it at my fingertips.
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
Ice cubes ( I might use 3).

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly.
272 calories, 2 grams fat, 15 mg cholesteral, 30 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 20 grams sugar, 33 grams protein.

Mocha Muscle Shake
I have not tried it but it has peanut butter and I love peanut butter. See what you think. It also comes from my favorite magazine, Oxygen. I am posting this recipe because it's lower in carbohydrates.
Ice cubes
1 cup soy milk (but I may try Rice Dream or NonFat Milk)
1/3 cup brewed coffee
1 TBSP all natural peanut butter
1 scoop chocolate flavored whey protein ( I would use Lean Complex 4 or 8: chocolate flavor).

200 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0 cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams protein.

Enjoy! and let me know what you think by leaving me a comment in my blog.
I love the questions. Keep them coming! Whatever I can do to be your motivator will in turn also motivate me to keep going.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tea and Comfort

I love tea! I drink it about 2-3 times per day. I have  favorite tea, which is the decaffeinated Good Earth tea. It has a very rich flavor perfect for the fall and winter months. It's a very strong tea, so I use one tea bag for at least 24 ounces of hot water. I found another tea at the grocery store the other day. It's called Egg Nog Holiday Tea. You can tell I love my comfort foods and drinks! This tea smells just like egg nog, but without any calories. I like the Good Earth tea better, but the Egg Nog tea is a good alternative.

I drink tea because I like the warmth, and it's calming and soothing mentally and physically, and keeps me on track nutritionally. In fact, I'm wanting a little nibble of something right now, so I'll probably have a cup of tea before bed. It really provides me with the feeling of having a "comfort food" without having to eat a comfort food.

Today's Workout:
Kettlebell at 7am

Food Today:
same banana protein powder smoothie that I always have with banana and peanut butter.
1030am: 1 egg and 1 package of sliced apples
1pm: I was in a hurry and grabbed a protein bar
3pm: another protein bar. I rarely have more than one per day, but I was a little unprepared today
530pm: dinner halibut & 1 veggie patty.

Vitamin Supplements:
2 calcium chews today & multivitam/mineral supplement.

4 (32oz) bottles of water

Tomorrow is supposed to be a day off. I'm debating about whether to go to super sunday cardio kickboxing at Cal Elite 730am tomorrow. I want to go, but the body also needs a day of rest.

It's important to learn new ways of coping if the old ways are not working.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I love to eat

I love all those yummy foods during the holidays and even when it's not a holiday. I like all the fattening, high calorie, salty, and sugary stuff. Today I made 5 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange party I went to for homeschoolers. It was fun baking them with the children. I made semi sweet, white chocolate, and peanut butter cookies. It smelled so good! It was hard not to eat the batter. The batter is probably the best part as far as I'm concerned. Can you believe...I didn't have a single lick or single bite or single cookie! I just knew if I had one cookie I would want more and I would want to sample each one.

Instead I stuck to my program. My 4th meal was a chocolate chip protein bar, which satisfied my desire for a cookie. I know that someone out there may think I'm crazy because I should probably relax and have a cookie. But honestly, it's not going to help me achieve my next goal. I realize it's the holidays, but it's also a time when I need to focus on my training. I could wait until January 1st, but then I'll only have 3 months until the competition, and I'll just get further away from my goal. I really want to compete in at least one more competition. I want a 3rd or 4th place trophy to prove to myself that I can do better than the last competition. It may not happen, however, I do know that I can look even better than I did at my first competition.

Honestly, I just feel better when I don't eat all that C---. My emotions, my body, my attitude, everything is just 100% better. So for me, it's worth the sacrifice. I already gained a little weight from October 30th-the beginning of December, and I am not interested in having to work that much harder to take off more pounds to meet my goal.

With the parties and continous stream of holidays throughout the year it would be easy just to cave in. Just because it's December doesn't mean that being fit is out of style or "grinch-like".

I had a great day at the cookie exchange talking about homeschooling options and the lifestyle. If anything, the conversation really fed my body what I needed.

Tomorrow morning Paul has Kettlebell at 7am. I just finished working out tonight and I am hoping to drag myself out of bed, if I can get some quality sleep tonight. Otherwise, I'll go to the Super Sunday cardio kickboxing at Cal Elite.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

morning or night time workouts

I like working out in the evenings best. For one thing, I don't have to get up early in the morning, which works out well, since I go to bed late. Also, when I workout in the morning I tend to be hungrier in the daytime. If I workout at night, I have a 1/2 scoop protein powder and just watch television and go to bed. At night, if I am a little hungry I feel okay going to bed without more food in the tummy. At night I'm usually more stressed because I've had a full day of doing so much, so the night time workout helps me calm down and feel happy again.

Morning workouts are good for people who want to get their workout over with and not have to deal with it at the end of the day. They are also good for those people who just cannot fall asleep fast enough after a nighttime workout. I used to workout in the morning when I was younger and in school. However, it just doesn't seem to work as well for me now that I have a family of my own and lots of obligations.

Another big factor for working out at night is that my husband also works out at night. While there are many days that we do not workout together, because I'm at a Kettlebell class, there are at least a few nights per week that we are together downstairs in the garage working out.

Whether one works out at night or in the morning really doesn't matter. There are pros and cons to both. For me, working out at night is best because I'm able to stick to it better, which of course is key.

Tonight I was going to go to kettlebell, but my evening plans changed, and I needed to be home. So, after the children went to bed, I went downstairs and ran for 30 minutes, walked for 5 minutes, and stretched.

Now I'm happy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

4 months until the next competition

Tonight I was on the treadmill and counting how many months until the competition. I can't believe it's only four months away. Saying the competition is in April, it seems so far away. But when I say it's 4 months away it doesn't seem that long.

Today was a good day nutritionally. I had my typical 5 meals and then 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder after my workout tonight.

I was away from the house most of the day so I packed 4 meals for the kids and me. I have to say I must save a lot of money not buying food out, saving time not having to wait in lines, and being able to keep the food healthy for all of us. Plus I am rarely disappointed with what I'm eating. I can't always say that about the food that I buy spur of the moment.

Tonight I walked for 10 minutes then ran for 20 minutes, then cooled down for 5 minutes. I did a light leg workout of 4 giant sets of 15 reps each  of hamstring curls and alternating lunges. Tomorrow night will be busy. I will go to my kettlebell class then hop on over to the mall for a moms night out for homeschooling moms.

Tomorrow I'm going to write about the pros and cons of working out in the morning and working out at night.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sleeping well

I know when I eat well and exercise consistently I sleep better, feel peaceful, and I'm sure I am smiling when I am sleeping. Something like sleeping well after eating and exercising well in one day feels like a "reward".

It may sound odd to look at sleeping well as a reward, but everything that makes me feel better, happier, and calmer is really a reward of enjoying life more.

Kettlebell Training:
Yesterday and today I attended kettlebell. Both days I had great workouts. I plan on working out at home tomorrow night, thenThursday back to kettlebell class, Friday at home, Saturday at Kettlebell, and Sunday a day off. This is what my schedule will be like this week. Kettlebell always makes me feel stronger from the core to the extremities.

This week I'm taking moment to moment when eating. I have been planning my meals ahead of time, so it's easier to just grab meals and run out of the house as needed. Tomorrow I'll be out of the house pretty much all day until 615pm, so I'll be loading up the cooler for the children and me.

This morning I went to the market before the children woke up. I bought bananas, pepperocinnis, red bell peppers in a jar, and chocolate chip cookie dough Promax Bars to have what I want on hand for my morning and afternoon meals. When I don't have all the things on hand at home then I'm most likely not able or not willing to stay regimented. When I have all that I need It's easier and I have to think less.

Tonight was just a hodge podge of things to share. My mind is a little bit all over the place, so I'm just sharing lots of different thoughts about a variety of subjects.

Monday, December 13, 2010

MIA all the way

I've been Missing In Action for a while. I got off track with my eating and exercise, but again mostly the eating. Last week was so busy, I think I didn't even stop to take a breath. Homeschooling has been very time consuming for me, my sick cat, and then add in the holidays and our busy Orange County lifestyle and you get a true mess!

This week is much better. I'm just going to get right back on track with everything. Today was a great day with homeschooling. I've made lots of modifications to their daily work to make it easier on me, more challenging for them, and less time consuming for all of us. My cat, who got in a fight last week had me running back and forth from the ER during the weekends and week nights and then back again today to the vet is finally less needy.

Perhaps the rest of the month is a good time to focus on slowing down and doing less, and just trying to stay on track with nutrition and exercise. I need to put ME back in the equation in regards to not overextending myself and just trying to stay focused on the best way to care for myself.

I'll be back at Kettlebell either tonight or tomorrow, but I'll definitely workout tonight. My eating was back on track today. But for the rest of the month I think I will just focus on minute by minute and not day by day. I'm back at baby steps.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 5 - Diabetes

Day 5-
It's Friday and the week went by so quickly. Tonight I kept my exercise to a minimum with only 30 minutes running on the treadmill + 5 minutes cool down. Tomorrow morning I'm going to the Kettlebell Class Paul Daniel is having for FREE from 730-930am. I didn't want to exhaust my muscles, since I just finished working out this evening(915pm) and I don't have a long time to recover until the morning workout.

My nutrition intake was similar to yesterday, except that I had about 3 oz of Steel Head Trout & 1 1/4 veggie patties. It's my yummy right now. I just love those veggie patties. My other yummy is having Roasted Red Peppers in a water/brine. You can get them at the supermarket. They are next to the pepperoccinis.

Diabetes and Lifestyle Conversation:
I was having an interesting conversation today with someone I know. It was interesting because in light of her having diabetes and managing it somewhat with the modification of food and mostly with medication, she said to me that I should try to let up a little on the the nutrition/fitness regiment and be more involved with social functions that involve food, and perhaps the intense regiment or structure that I live is placing too much stress on my body.

Of course, my first internal reaction was that the regimented nutrition and fitness program keeps me happier, balanced, and more capable of handling all my obligations. When I am not working out and don't eat well everything seems to bottom out. I commented on the fact that I have been involved with social functions but I just refrain from eating if I'm not hungry and choosing carefully what I eat when I am. In addition there were other factors that have played a significant part of my stress.  I have been working hard to manage the other factors, but as everything, it takes time to see significant improvements.

On the other hand, my internal thought about her was that she needs to be less lax about social situations that involve food so that she doesn't have to manage the diabetes with medications and doctor's visits, and she really needs to start some kind of consistent exercise program, wherein exercise is not just something that "I'll see about whether or not I have time to do it" but builds it into her daily routine.

Sometimes I'm left stumped for words when I am aware that diabetes can be managed and eliminated with consistently healthy nutrition and fitness, and yet the person who I was speaking with not only knows that, but chooses to wait until the doctor says to take the medication and go to a class for diabetics. I understand that it is important to take medication, but the other things need to be built into her daily routine. Yes, it's hard. No, we don't always want to do things we don't like. Yes, it's hard to get started. Yes, it's hard to stick with it.

There's a NO, NO, and a YES, YES for all of our thoughts about exercise and nutrition, but it still doesn't change the fact that the body needs to move and needs to be fed properly or I know for a fact that I will see some of these same ailments in my future if I play the NO NO YES YES game.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 4: Group Kettlebell Workouts

I was driving home from kettlebell this evening and I started to think how important the energy and connections of any group is when working out with others. It's comfortable, low key, unpretentious, and enjoyable to be in such a wonderful group of people. I can't say that about every exercise group I've been apart of. It's been a long time since I've worked out with others, but as I recall, many of the group classes I've attended at fitness centers did not always feel comfortable.

I have to say that going to the kettlebell class at Cal Elite Sports Center in RSM is something I really look forward to. This part of working out is important to me, because even though I am self motivated, having a class that I feel comfortable in helps during those times of "I don't want to go....but i know I have to go" moments.

Tonight's Fitness Program:
Kettlebell class with Paul Daniels: for 45 minutes. It was awsome.
I love the thought of knowing that the kettlebell really shapes the body. I came home and had a 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder (75 calories)

Today's Eats:
830am: 1scoop protein powder + 1 Tbs organic peanut butter + 1 large banana= approx. 400 cal.
1030am: 1 bag apple slices from Costco + 1 hardboiled egg = approx. 150 cal
100pm: small sweet potato+ ground lean turkey + pepperocinis + sliced jarred red peppers = 250-300cal
300pm: 1 protein bar 290 calories.
5:15pm: (earlier than normal because of an early kettlebell class) 1 veggie patty + ground turkey = 225 cal.

Total with 1/2 scoop protein from above: = approx 1400 calories (give or take50 calories).

Plus I had two mango ginger chews + 1 piece of gum + 4 or 5 32oz water throughout the entire day.

At the end of the day or anywhere in between I'm not usually hungry. Today I was not hungry at all. My fat intake before my workout was about 5 grams of fat and after the workout it was "0". Fat is definitely in the morning, the 2nd meal, and at 3pm mostly. Most of my diet is pretty balanced in fat/protein/carbs. Portion size is EXTREMELY important. For a period of time when  I trained for my first competition I had to use the food scale to measure my protein. It's easy to get too little or too much.

In the frig right now....
I have left over steel head trout & ground turkey which I have been using for the past 3 days. It's vital that I have prepared food around so that I can grab and run.

Another very successful day.

good sleep + good exercise + good eats = happier me + emotionally more balanced + physically and emotionally able to handle various stressors throughout the day without snapping.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 3 Progress

It's not the best picture, but this was the 5th place award I won at my first competition. Next competition I'd like to place 3rd or 4th.
Today was an excellent day too!
After the girls went to bed, I went downstairs in the garage and worked out at 8:20pm.

My mind and body are starting to get back into the swing of things. I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes + another 5 minutes for cooling down. I ran 1/2 the time at 4.5 and the rest at 5.0. No incline. Then I did 3 different exercises for my legs: butt blasters, abductors, adductors. Then, I finished off with 3 sets of 2 unassisted pull-ups.

When I was on the treadmill I wasn't jiggling all over the place like I spoke about a few days ago. I think what helped was the leg workout I did on Monday. Some of the muscle fibers weren't so loose. Sounds weird, but there was a noticeable difference.

To give you an idea of what I ate today:
meal #1: 1 scoop protein powder + 1 banana+1 Tbs organic peanut butter.
meal #2: 1 bag of sliced apples from Costco + 1 hardboiled egg
meal #3: ground turkey + yam + corn taken from the cob. No seasoning or fat on this meal.
meal #4: protein bar (290 calories)
meal #5: white meat chicken + brown rice + 2 tsp salsa
meal #6: after workout 1/2 scoop protein powder.

I wanted to share that meals #2- #5 were meals that I ate while out of the house today. I always carry at least 3 meals with me each day for myself and then another2- 3 meals usually for the kids. Life gets so hectic and it would be easy to just go with the flow, but it really helps me to plan ahead of time what I'm going to make and eat for the next day...not only for me but for the children.

Today for the first time I tried the Flame Broiled restaurant. My daughter had a reading and writing class until 5:30pm tonight, and I didn't want to drive all the way back home and then go back to the place where I pick her up, so I thought I would see what this restaurant was all about. It was great! They have the calories, fat, protein, for all their meals listed. Also, they had great options. They had a little chicken bowl and a larger one.

If you haven't tried this restaurant and you are looking for a nutritious and healthy meal...these restaurants are all over Orange County. I'm always looking for options just in case I run into a jam or I need a change.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 2 towards my 4 month goal

Today was day 2 on my path towards my 4 month goal. I decided to start now and not relax anymore, because I don't like the feeling of carrying even 5 more pounds than my competition weight in October. It's not comfortable and I feel like a fat cow right now. I haven't weighed myself but I can usually tell by the way my clothes fit. I knew I wanted to gain a little weight back, but I now feel that I would like to stay at 108/109 lbs.

So right now my goal is to take off the 5 lbs I may have gained and then just stay there until about 2-3 months out from the competition. Then, I'll try to reduce slowly down to approximately 100-105lbs depending on how I look. I need to gain muscle so losing too much weight now will compromise my end goal.

Yesterday and today I ate very clean foods. 5 out of 6 meals were whole foods. The other meal was a supplement. I've been enjoying ground lean turkey & sweet potatoes at lunch, and tonight I just loved my veggie hamburger patty dinner (from Costco). It was a nice change. The veggie burgers I bought had 150 calories and 5 grams of fat and around 18 grams of protein. It was the perfect meal before working out, since eating fat before a workout is not good. FYI: eating fat after a workout is not good either. I can eat some fat, but not a lot, otherwise the body is not able to use the nutrients in the proper way.

Right now, I'm also thinking about how I will navigate my way through holiday parties. My husband and I are leaving to San Jose for a business holiday party next week. So, I will plan to workout on a Friday morning before the flight and then when we return on Saturday, I will workout in the evening. I'll definitely be bringing my Good Earth tea bags with me for some comfort.

If you are worried about trying to reach your goal while in the midst of the holiday season and you would like any information that could help you, let me know. It would be nice for me to share with you and in return it would also keep me motivated knowing that you are training too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Running on the Treadmill

Tonight I ran on the treadmill. I don't know if you have ever had this experience, but after a period of time of not eating well or training consistently, my lower half jiggles on the treadmill when I run. It's not so much that I'm bothered by the jiggling as I am with what it feels like when I run. The fat on my buttocks and upper legs hurts when they jiggle. I guess it could also be some of the loss of tight muscle. I don't know, but it hurts.

The other thing I experience when I'm getting back into the swing of things is that I want to work out longer than my ordinary workouts. For instance, instead of running for 30 minutes I often contemplate running for 40 minutes. Tonight I really wanted to run longer, because I have that urgency of wanting to make up for lost time. I didn't do it. I had to hold myself back, because I don't want to get in the habit of feeling like the amount of time I workout isn't enough. I have been able to demonstrate that a 30 minute run is enough time spent on the treadmill and overdoing it will have repercussions on my food intake as well as leave me too tired towards the end of the week when I still have a day or two before a rest day.

Example of my workout tonight:

Tonight I ran on the treadmill 30 minutes, and had a 5 minute walk cool down, then stretched.
Leg workout followed:
4 sets alternating leg lunges, no weights, and giant setted with buttocks lifts with a 25 lb weight.

Afterwards, I completed 4 sets of hamstring curls giant setted with standing calf raises, without weights.

1/2 scoop protein powder after the workout....within 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back from Vacation

                                          Thanksgiving in Santa Fe, New Mexico
I was hoping to go to kettlebell & blog before I took off for Thanksgiving vacation, but both didn't happen. I know you know how busy we parents get doing everything to get ready for a small vacation. Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, our family left for vacation. We returned Saturday evening. My older daughter got ill last night, so getting back into the swing of things has been way off. I'm glad I had a chance to get away for a few days, but being on vacation always gets me way off track from my normal routine and makes it hard to get back into my routine when I return home.

My husband is back downstairs in the home gym as I'm typing! Even though he has 4 competitions under his belt, he also confesses how difficult it is to get back into a routine again. He does the same thing, he just forces himself to do it. It really doesn't seem to matter how much practice one has had with nutrition or exercise or how long one has been doing it consistently, it is always a challenge when little life vacations interfere with  the normal routine. I will be back downstairs or at Kettlebell tomorrow, forcing myself until it gets easier again.

I think this time in between competitions is an incredible challenge and is so interesting, especially around the holidays. It's so much more difficult than I expected. I will look forward to sharing my daily struggles, what I've learned, and what went right or wrong for me.

I just went online to sign up for 3 months of unlimited kettlebell training with Paul Daniels at The Body Warehouse, and I just got off the telephone with a friend talking about the fact that I'm not the type of person to wait for the "right moment" to get back into my routine. That "moment" won't happen. It's one of those things where I just have to do what I know I need to do not what I want to do.

I don't believe in waiting for the right moment to happen. Enough experience has consistently demonstrated to me that the right moment always happens when I'm already doing the right thing and I just want to continue doing more of the right thing.

After blogging many months, I just happend to look at the "comments" tab. I thought the comments showed up in a different place, until I discovered them tonight. So sorry. To answer a few of them...

1. I use a whey protein, not a soy protein. I use Lean Complex 4, vanilla flavor is my favorite. I love the chocolate too. You can get this protein powder at NutriStop or Nutrishop. I go to the one near Ralphs on Santa Margarita Pkwy & Margarite.

2. I use Canola oil as a substitute for butter. But if I can get away with it, I use Coconut oil instead. Coconut oil, even though a saturated fat, actually has the ability to reduce body fat. When I'm in competition mode, I don't cook with oil unless absolutely necessary. Fish goes directly into the pan. I cover the pan to keep in the moisture, so that the bottom of the fish doesn't stick. I cook chicken and ground turkey the same way, without butter or oil.

3. I always use egg substitute or egg whites whenever I bake and whenever possible.
Now that I know where to look for comments, I will enjoy answering them more frequently. Thank YOU!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Architect of Oneself

I came across an article I hadn't read yet, but the title captured my attention. It was in my favorite magazine, Oxygen, by Robert Kennedy. I really liked the idea of looking at oneself as the architect of one's body. With that image in mind, whether one is building a house or a new body, the process and components are essentially the same. Build a foundation on a strong solid core, use the right materials, give oneself enough time to do the job right, adapt to change, and step back to see what has been accomplished, and enjoy.

Right now I'm in the "give oneself enough time to do the job right" and "adapt to change" phases. It's been really tough physically and mentally to get back in the groove of moving towards the next competition. Today was another day of taking one minute, one moment, and one hour at a time. I made it through successfully, but I always have those moments of guilt for the days I just let "whatever happen" with my diet or exercise.

I'm leaving on vacation until Saturday evening, so I'm trying to plan how I will fit in exercise and not to just eat everything. Tomorrow will be another tough day of hanging in there. I figure I have 3 weeks to "hang in there" before I reach a point where it will start to get easier.

I ran on the treadmill tonight, did 4 sets of sit ups, and 4 sets of pull ups (only 2 for each set). My number is way down.

Tomorrow is Kettlebell!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Precious Friendships in Difficult Situations

Changing one's body can make a huge impact on a friendship. Sometimes the impact is positive and sometimes it is not. Many times and maybe over many years the friendship is not affected, but then there is that point when one changes themselves (body or otherwise) and then the effect becomes apparent. I couldn't say conclusively that ONLY changing one's physique is the sole cause of a distant friendship, because sometimes as in my case, I pulled away from some friends because I really wanted to make physical changes that I could not see were possible while still maintaining the same habits with those friends that I once did.

After a few months of blogging and expressing my sadness and relief to not participating in get-togethers that were accompanied by lots of processed or unhealthy foods with people I knew for many years, I had a wonderful experience of hearing from a friend who had been apart of that group.

She was so incredibly understanding, thoughtful, and insightful of the things she said to me privately. She completely understood my position and offered up an idea where we could do things that involved exercise or good nutrition. It's not to say that we could not enjoy a yummy now and then, but that the foundation of rekindling the relationship would be about "health". A few weeks ago we went for a walk together, and last night we went to see a movie unaccompanied by POPCORN.

I know the minute I walk into the theatre I always want a bag of popcorn. Even though I have competed and transformed my body, I am still drawn to certain yummies. I had brought a protein bar instead and it was very satisfying.

I think my experience confirmed that making a change to one's health takes priority over everything else, even when it hurts to let go or change. Sometimes, like in my experience, not just good things, but great things come from change and the chaotic turbulence that one does not WANT to experience in the moments of change can ultimately bring about changes that are better than you ever imagined.

This is the stuff that supports the statement "No Pain No Gain".
Today is day 6 of being on target for my next goal. Right now I'm just in the maintaining mode, but I still have to be as diligent in this process. Now is the time for me to be able to maintain my current weight, still enjoying yummies now and then, but not giving in to too much temptation.

As I said in blogs long ago, the goal of competing was only one part of a much larger system. To stay fit, balanced, and maintain my weight within 5 pounds is the current goal, until I am ready to reduce my weight for the next competition around March.
Please feel free to email me or post a comment anonymously or otherwise on my blog. I'm always open to your thoughts or questions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A New Day

Today was an excellent day sticking to good nutrition and exercise. Tonight I ran for 30 minutes + another 5 minutes fast walking for my cool down. Then I did 4 different exercises, 4 sets, for legs. It wasn't easy mentally, but it was definitely okay on a physical level. I had all that woulda shoulda couldas in my mind today and I couldn't help thinking about "the why didn't I-s..."Oh well.

So today was day 1. I pan cooked some chicken breasts today with salf free seasoning so that I wouldn't have to prepare my 3rd meal of the day for the next few days. Preparation is absolutely a necessity for me to be successful. My 3rd meal is always more time consuming to put together than the other meals.

If there is anything I learned again from the last few days is that I don't like the way I feel when I don't eat balanced. I don't sleep well, I don't focus well, I am cranky, and frankly I don't like being around me.
Staying balanced just makes every part of my life so much better, even though it's not always easy to stay the course with all the mommy and wife stresses. I handle the daily stresses so much better when I'm feeling fit.

Tomorrow I will be at kettlebell.
This weekend I'll start to look back at some recipes so that I'm more prepared with cooking dinners.
...and breath!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The post I don't want to write about

                                            BLOGGING IN MY BEDROOM.......

If you're keeping up with my blogs I know you know that I go through my highs and lows. Now I'm in a funk. I worked out all last week. I had a great week and felt like I was back on track. Then Sunday I hit a brick wall. Sunday was a day off, because I had worked out 6 days in a row. Monday came and went. I didn't get on the treadmill or do any strength training and I didn't eat very well. It felt good to just fully relax, but I know it didn't do the best thing for my psyche.

After Monday past, I was faced with today. I knew I was supposed to go to Kettlebell. I was even excited about going. I had so much going on today, and I wasn't in the mood to cook, and so I gave into Domino's and the bag of marshmallows under the counter. It's so unlike me, but then again, it must be like me or I wouldn't have had my husband order and pick up pizza nor dipped into the squishy marshmallows. So eating poorly tonight and not exercising and just giving into complacency set me back mentally and physically. I know where this is going.

All I have to say is that I have a LOT of work to do tomorrow on getting my mind and body back on track. I have a lot of sitting with my thoughts and emotions tomorrow while not allowing myself to react or do ANYTHING. I just have to let myself go through whatever feelings I'll have and just sit with ALL of it until it passes. And IT WILL. But time will be the catalyst that helps.

So, anyway, as Paul says in some of his closing statements after cardio kickboxing:

"Don't worry about the past, Don't think about the future, Just be in the present"
I know I just butchered what HE really says, but I hope you understand the point.
SO IF YOU SEE ME AT KETTLEBELL THIS THURSDAY...YOU'LL KNOW HOW HARD IT WAS TO COME! not because I don't enjoy it....but because I'll be pulling myself out of my funk.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Doing it Together

It really feels good when other people I know start to make changes in nutrition and exercise. A few people I know have taken baby steps to make small changes towards their goals. It's a great thing to hear, because I think that the small changes seem much more manageable, and don't interfere so much with day to day living.

Back then, when I wasn't in the mood to exercise or eat clean, I just changed one thing. I started to exercise 30 minutes a day 3 days a week (whether I liked it or not) to see if I could be consistent. I did it for 2-4 weeks consistently before I changed anything else. Then I took away only butter from my diet. I made minimal changes and practiced the new habits before I made any new ones.

Starting Small, Being Consistent, and Documenting the Success was how I got to where I am now. It wouldn't have worked for me if I had made lots of changes quickly. Some people may like the all or nothing, but I guess I didn't find much value in it, because I had done that before several times and it really didn't work out for me in the long run.

Even if you post a comment anonymously I would love to know where you are in achieving your goals. What works for you? What is hard for you? Where are your week points?

Tomorrow is my day off from working out. I worked out this week Monday -Saturday. Saturday I was pretty tired, so I need a good day of recovery.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Listening to your body, following your gut

Okay, so I should give you the ins and outs of my 3 days off from eating clean and not exercising. Those 3 days were this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A week after the competition had passed and I was finally ready to just relax and do whatever. Since I love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups & Butterfingers, and the girls had saved all of them for me from Trick-Or-Treating, I decided to dive in. I'm not just talking about one or two or a bite here or there. I totally ate all of them. I know there were at least 7 Reese's & at least that many of those little Butterfingers. They were so good. Oh yea...Friday night my husband and I went to a movie. I hadn't had popcorn for so many months, I decided to have a small bag while we were there. He didn't eat any, I ate it all! I not only have a sweet tooth, but I love buttered and salted popcorn. Of course I would have to be the type that loves all the fattening, unhealthy foods that make my body hate me.

Saturday night I think my body really hated me. I didn't sleep well, probably because of the spike in blood sugar, and I was a little too full from all the junk.

I remember thinking about the importance to not let this get totally out of hand or it would be hard to reign it back in. I reminded myself that I had only been really strict for 4 months and prior to that 1 year of trying to be consistent with exercise and clean eating. Overall, that time period is not a long time to completely have mastered consistency. So getting back on track quickly was a priority no matter how difficult or unwelcoming it would be. Monday I went to Kettlebell and had a good workout, but Tuesday (yesterday) was very difficult as I had previously written about. The horrible part was that my legs were itching during my run most likely because of all the toxins in my body from eating junk food. That is the price I paid! Was it worth it? Yes!!!! I needed to just fully let down. Moderation unfortunately was not my priority or in my ability at the time.

The positive side is that getting back on track with both this week has been relatively easy. I'm tired this week from doing so much on a day to day basis, but getting back into eating the typical foods I have felt good, felt familiar, and tasted good. I like the fact that it felt familiar and tasted good. Those are the two areas that are key to being consistent. Being able to return to something that is comfortable, but healthy is what makes consistency possible.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Anger and Hormones

Last night I meant to blog, but I had so many things on my to do list last night, and I was angry and my hormones were going crazy. I can tell you that I worked out last night for a little over an hour. I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes, cooled down for 5 minutes, and did a leg workout which consisted of 3 different exercises, 4 sets each. During the whole time I was angry. I just wanted to hit something. My husband was close by??????? but he was being very understanding, so I thought that it might not be a good idea to take it out on him!

With 3 days off from eating well and not exercising, I know my hormones were off, and so was my mood. It was an incredibly hard workout. I kept thinking that it would have been nice to have some gloves and a punching bag. Instead I kind of threw my water bottle into the treadmill drink pocket and it missed. It hit the floor with a big thump. I hit the treadmill once with my hands. I didn't hurt myself, I just needed to get the frustration out. I had this odd energy that I really needed to express and since I was working out the energy just came out where I was.

Anyway, I felt better afterwards. Tonight I worked out and I felt fine. I've been eating well 3 days and working out 3 days and I just feel so much better. I don't know if you've ever had those moments or days where you just know your hormones and temperament is off because you haven't been taking care of yourself, but I can easily recognize where it happens to me.

It's amazing how much more I can accomplish in a day's time when my body is fed well and my workouts are consistent. Even though I have days where I just don't want to workout, it's a good thing I force myself. I always feel better afterwards.

FYI: for those of you who want to try a FREE Kettlebell class with Paul Daniels (, I think he is going to have a class at 7:30am December 4th, Saturday at Rancho Santa Margarita Lake. I know he teaches Kettlebell in Foothill Ranch in the morning for his boot camp. Anyway, I'm passing this information on to you, because Kettlebell just builds such a strong core in such a short period of time, and I think it's really important that if you are going to try this new sport, that you learn properly.

On another note, I am still going to train for another competition. I will probably do one in about 3 months. If you are keeping up with my blog, why don't you join me in reaching your goal while I'm reaching mine.

Please feel free to leave me comments or ask me questions on my blog. I'd love to hear from you. Keep it anonymous if you'd like.

Tomorrow night I will be at Kettlebell Class at California Elite Sports Center in Rancho Santa Margarita at 6:15pm.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Days Off

This weekend I was ready to just relax and not worry about what I was eating and not worry about whether or not I exercised. I did just that! It was nice to just enjoy foods I hadn't had in a long time, and not have to worry about measuring any food or watching proportions. I totally enjoyed.

However, the flip side is that I knew that Monday, today, I needed to get right back on track. If I had taken anymore days off, It would have been harder and harder to get back into the swing of things. As it was I didn't know if I was going to go to Kettlebell tonight. There is always so much to do at home with the family and children, that I have a list of excuses why I could have skipped tonight and gone Wednesday instead. Also my body was kind of feeling fluffy after not eating clean this weekend, so that would have been another reason why I could have waited to go to class. I just have a bunch of excuses and all would have been valid.

I decided to make myself go to class. First, I missed going to kettlebell. It has been a little over 1 week since I had been to class. Second, I knew that if I just went, I would feel calmer and fitter. It was a really good class. I would have preferred it to be harder, but it was good that it wasn't, since I hadn't been doing it for a while.

Today, overall was a good day. I ate clean, ate every 2 1/2 hours, had my favorite tea several times during the day, and worked out. I don't know about you, but when I workout and eat well, physically  and mentally I'm definitely more balanced in everything else I do on that day.

I'm also getting more comfortable with homeschooling. I'm getting more organized, more thorough, and more confident. I still have a long way to go. I'm impressed with all those teachers out there who love teaching and do it well. I wish they all made over 100K a year. It's simply not fair.

Tomorrow will be day 2 on my road towards my second goal. I'm very aware that the holidays are coming up. So, I'm just letting my mind ponder about how I want to deal with the holiday meals. It may sound strange, but dealing with it now, will help me stay on track.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


So I had an easy day overall with my nutrition UNTIL THIS EVENING!
I don't think I ate enough fat during the day, so I was munching on some lightly salted cashews & some dried mixed fruit from Costco. It was so good. I have not had either of those for months! Then I was feeling a little like I didn't want to work out either.

I knew I was there in that bad place where I just wanted to sit, relax, and munch. I can feel on top of the world with what I ate for the entire day and plan my exercise routine for the evening and then a few minutes I go from 100% go to 100% no.

Anyway, I just kind of sat and thought "what good is it going to do me if I don't work out?" or "munch" some more. I could only come up with "absolutely nothing". So, after the girls went to bed, I put on my workout clothes, went downstairs into the garage, and ran for 30 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes of cool down.

I counted minutes again. I tend to do that when I'm just not in the mood to workout. I ran hard and had a very good run. Then I did 4 sets of 3 pull ups and giant setted those with 4 sets of holding a plank position.

The other thought I had tonight was that my first goal will be to maintain my current level of nutrition and exercise for another year. July 2009 my goal was to get fit and be consistent. In July 2010 my goal was to enter a contest. My goal now will be to stay consistent until July 2011. It's certainly a more realistic goal than to enter another show. However, I have not given up on entering another show.

It's adding the "extra"
to the ordinary-
and that takes persistence.
-Bryce Courtenay, B 1933
Australian Best-Selling Author


Pictures of Prejudging

 The picture above was taken during the prejudging. I was wearing the black suit that I had planned on wearing for both the prejudging and the evening show.
Here I am in the line-up with the other competitors who are 35 years old and up to 44 years old. I'm pretty sure I was the oldest competitor. I haven't quite perfected my stage posing. I was trying, but I definitely felt nervous and stiff.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Favorites

Here is a list of my favorite things that help me day to day.

I love Lean Complex 4 protein powder, vanilla or chocolate. I buy it at NutriSport or NutriStop.
I love Promax Bars when I have a craving for a goody and don't want to eat my regular meal. I like the chocolate chip, peanut butter crunch, double chocolate ones. I buy them at Trader Joe's by the box.

Fats: I love the organic peanut butter from Costco, unsalted walnuts, cashews, and almonds.
Carbohydrates: I love sweet potatoes in the day with my protein, because it stabilizes my blood sugars and provides enough energy to get me to the next meal. I eat broccoli practically every day. I buy it in bulk in the refrigerated section at Costco. I love the brown rice rice cakes lightly salted from Vons. I love the prepackaged apple slices from Costco. I usually buy two boxes in the refrigerated section, because I eat one package a day. I also love vanilla Greek Yogurt. I can't remember the name, but I get it from Henry's.
Protein: I love steel head trout (frozen) from Costco. It's so good. The family loves it too. Sometimes I cook it with a little garlic salt and sometimes with nothing. It's easy to overcook. I can thaw it out 20 minutes before putting it in a pan and dinner is done within 30 minutes. I also love the canned white chicken from Costco, and lean ground turkey from Costco. I also have hard boiled eggs always available in the refrigerator.

I love, love, love and have it at least 2 times per day: Good Earth decaffeinated tea. I also love Ginger Chews from World Market and I've tried the Ginger chews by Newmann at Henry's, but there not as good as the ginger chews. I like altoids once in a while. I rely on these things to keep me on track.

What I don't eat:
I do not eat pasta, white bread, or white rice. In fact, I rarely eat bread. I do not eat sweets other than my protein bars and supplements and the Soy Vey I put on my vegetables.

Favorite Places to Shop for food:
I love the Sultan's Market off of El Toro Road. Amazingly inexpensive produce. It's right next to Fudruckers.
I shop at Costco obviously and Vons, Henry's and Trader Joes.

I eat approximately every 2 1/2 hours to keep my blood sugars level, keep me from those nasty cravings, and watch the quantity of food I prepare...which is key for my age: 42.

My Motto: Try one thing new today and do it for one week and see if you can stay consistent with it. If you can, do it for another week....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Free Weights, Weight Machines, & Kettlebells

Tonight I worked biceps, triceps, shoulders, and abs with dumbbells and machines. For so many years I have loved working out with dumbbells and machines, and thought I would never want to part with my first love. After having spent 4 months using the kettlebell 3 times a week, and having gone back to weights tonight, I really miss the kettlebell.

I went to Paul Daniels website: and figured that if I went 3 times a week to kettlebell class, I could take them at 6:15pm Tuesday & Thursday evenings and then Saturday at 7am. He teaches these classes at California Elite Sports Center in Rancho Santa Margarita, which would be easy to get to for me. The workouts are only 45 minutes long, so that's good too. It doesn't take much to burn a lot of calories with the kettlebell, so it will save me time.

Then, I would do cardio and specific weight training for my legs at home on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Sunday would be my day off. I'm just brainstorming right now trying to figure out the best workout schedule for me.

Anyway, I had a good workout tonight, but I can tell that part of the reason why my workout was good was because of all the core strength I had developed from using the kettlebell.

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Day Back Workout

Tonight's workout wasn't as bad as I expected. I ran 30 minutes with a 5 minute cool down, and completed a leg workout. I counted minutes while I was on the treadmill (like I sometimes do), but at least I wasn't dreading being there. I started my workout around 8:20pm and ended at approximately 9:30pm. Now I can just relax and watch television with my husband.

I thought a lot about the next competition. Now I'm thinking I may wait until March to do the next one. I really want to make some more significant changes, and it's just not possible to do that in 35 days. I really want a 4th place or 3rd place trophy the next time! I need about 3 months to make some significant changes to my rear and back of my legs. I think I'm going to increase the number of leg workouts I do per week, continue kettlebell for overall core strength, lean muscle, and definition, and of course continue my 30 minute cardio sessions throughout the week.

I'm glad I got back on track today. Friday and Saturday I didn't workout. Sunday I had planned to, but the Resees Peanut Butter cups from the girls' trick-or-treat bags were too good to pass up, and I really wanted to just hang one more day. So now that I've had my rest, I feel ready as one can be to just get back on track. I've always said that regardless of my feelings wanting to pull another direction, I know what is best for my mind and body.

Tomorrow I'll try to post a few more pictures, so you can see the other posing suit I used during the precompetition. It's a little bland, but does have it's good points.

Meal Planning and Exercising Day 1 After Competing

Here is an example of how I think about and do the meals in a day:

Yesterday, I went to the store to buy my favorite Greek Yogurt and some yams, so that I would have all the foods in the house that I will want to eat today. Meals 1, 2, & 4 are a no brainer for me. Meal 3 I'll probably have a 1/2 -3/4 yam and some chicken, which means that while the girls are doing their daily calendar and writing assignment this morning at breakfast, I'll boil some chicken, so I can have it to eat for my 3rd meal. I love Soy Vay (spelling?). I use about 3/4 Tablespoon on this meal most of the time. I just drizzle it over the yam for flavor. It's yummy. If I'm not in the mood for a "chinese flavor" I'll use some salsa fresca I made instead...for a Mexican flavor!

I forgot to defrost the steel head trout last night, so there is a meatloaf recipe in my favorite magazine that I'm going to try tonight. Oxygen Magazine put out by Robert Kennedy is awesome! I can't think of a better women's fitness magazine on the shelf. I'll pull the recipe this morning, since later today, things are going to get hectic. If I wait until later to think about it, then dinner will be prepared too late and I will be too hungry by that point.

My older get's out of gymnastics at 5:45pm, so preparation is so important. I will have to make dinner prior to the time I would normally make dinner, so that I can eat my portion at 5:30pm while I'm waiting for her to finish up gymnastics, and then feed the rest of the family at 6pm when I bring my daughter home from gymnastics. I'll sit with the family at dinner tonight having my favorite Good Earth tea. Dinner time is social time, so if at least I'm sitting with the family it's a good thing.

This morning I really feel amped to workout! I'd like to take a run or do some kettlebell this morning, but it's not going to happen. Sometimes when I have these feelings, by the evening those same excited feelings disappear by the time I will workout. By the evening I can be all pissed off that I missed out exercising WHEN I really wanted to. Nonetheless, I will go downstairs in the garage and run for 1/2 hour and I may do a light leg workout afterwards. I haven't really thought about what my workouts will be this week. I'm probably going to check out Paul Daniel's website: and see what time his schedule of classes are in the mornings and evenings this week. I'll check out his boot camp schedule for kettlebell, just to get an idea of how I want to reconstruct my exercise program this week. I'd like to continue kettlebell training, because it's such an awesome workout, and did so much for my physique. 3 days /week  would be perfect, but I'll have to see what classes will be most economical for me. I'm going to be doing some leg workouts at home in the garage gym. I'm going to have to take some time to really plan my new exercise goals.

Analysis after the competition

I had such a great time at the fitness competition. I definitely want to do it again. This morning as I was tossing and turning in bed flooded by my thoughts of whether or not I will compete in December, I do know that there are some definite things I will need to do to be more competitive on stage.

For one, I need to work on my rear end and back of the legs. While I really want to compete in December's competition (just to keep the momentum going) I may have to wait a few more months to really change my physique. With only one month away before the next competition, I don't have the time to make significant improvements. Competing in December will probably allow me to try out my new posing suit for the prejudging contest, so that I can see how much a difference that makes for the judges to see me in this suit verses the black suit I wore this time for prejudging. Also, I would have time to change some of my posing routine to be more flattering on stage. I would also be able to drop a few more pounds, which would be good. However, without enough changes to the rear end and back of the legs, I may not show as well as if I waited a few more months. I have until November 25th to decide.

In the meantime, today is MONDAY! I'm really excited about starting anew today, but I also realize it's MONDAY!...and most of us women probably have the same feeling about MONDAYS! I hate that feeling inside that says "don't blow it, it's Monday", "it's my first day back on track". I feel the extra added pressure of not only being Monday, but also being November 1st (another whammy). It's so funny (in a pathetic way)how I'm just so entirely programmed to let my thoughts and feelings be totally consumed by that pressure.

Anyway, today is an important day, because I know that staying super focused and disciplined today will be extremely important. Meal planning for the day and making time to workout tonight will be harder, since I took Saturday evening and Sunday evening off from eating clean. It's always so easy to just say "what's a few more days of relaxing", but honesty, it will turn into a disaster for me if I relax and NOT think about what I am doing.

I'm going to post in the next email how I will get ready for being successful today.
If you ever have any comments or questions please feel free to post a comment on my site or email me. I'll enjoy any feedback. It's nice to know others are going through something similar.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Outcome of the Bikini Competition!

What an amazing experience. At various times during the competition I was excited, nervous, hungry, bored, and sore. That pretty much describes the experience, minus a whole lot of details. The evening before the show I, along with about 100 ladies, were checking in at a mandatory hotel meeting. Suits had to be checked, NPC cards needed to be purchased, height taken, CD of pictures could be purchased, and event instructions and flyers were disseminated. In between all the crazy stuff that was going on I also had to be spray tanned that evening. I got back to my hotel room about 9pm, and at sleep by 10pm.

In the morning, there was a meeting at 9am about how we girls would walk onto and exit the stage. Afterwards, all of us ladies would basically sit around and wait for our turns to go on stage. I took time to practice my posing routine, read National Geographic Magazine, listen to my iPod, get spray tanned again, meet and chat with other women, and eat at timed intervals.

The morning show was very long and drawn out. Time couldn't go by fast enough. I waited and waited and waited. However, the evening show flew by. The women and I had a lot of fun chatting and laughing, and sharing tips and information. I mostly gathered information since it was my first show. The women I spoke to were fun and a joy to be around.

I entered two competitions, the Masters 35+ and the Unlimited Bikini Class B (height 5'1-5'2 1/2"). I did not place in the Masters 35+. However, my husband, mother, and people sitting next to them couldn't understand why. In the Unlimited Bikini class B I placed 5th and took home a trophy. The Unlimited Bikini was a tougher class because the ages included 20+. The gals on stage were all in there 20's or early 30's. I may or may not have one a trophy if there had been more than 5 women. There were only 5, so by circumstance I would get a trophy anyway.

Between the Prejudging and the Evening Shows I changed posing suits! In the prejudging contest I had an all black suit on. It was pleasant, but not really dazzling. In the second show, I tried on a suit I just happened to see at the event and purchased it on the spot, and wore it for the evening show. The other women competitors were so supportive. Once they saw the suit on, they said I needed to "trash" the black suit and put this suit on. They said that it was too bad that I hadn't worn it for the prejudging show and that the outcome may have been very different if I had. Lesson learned.

Here are some pictures from the evening show. Enjoy!
                                                 (Above): Me and my 20 year old competition!

                                     (Above): My competitors in the Unlimited Bikini Class: Any age.
                                                  (Above): After the show with my 5th place award.
                                                            (Above): After the show

This last picture was taken at home last night after having just finished a child's size vanilla shake from In & Out and Taco Bell Tacos!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My last workout

Tonight is normally a night off from exercising. Since I will not be working out on Friday and Saturday before the competition I thought I would squeeze one last cardio kickboxing workout in before the big day. I had a wonderful workout with Paul Daniels. I love his kickboxing class. I feel like it works every part of my body, but just in a different way than a kettlebell workout.

I am getting nervous about Saturday's competition. I am excited, nervous, and in that weird place of "am I really going to do this". It's the place of the unknown. However, I am sure about one thing. My intention is to give it my all on stage. I came this far, why shy away from my few moments on stage. However I look, it is what it is, and I will give it my all.

Tonight after blogging I will pack my bag with make-up, hairdryer, 2 suits, robe, shoes, ipod shuffle, and every other incidental I can think of. Tomorrow night at 7pm I will be sprayed with a tanning solution. I can't believe how fast D-day is approaching.

It's strange to think that 4 months ago I started this journey, determined, committed, and excited. You've experienced some of my ups and downs throughout. It's been a wonderful experience to share my thoughts and feelings along the way, especially when I tend to be quite a private person with those thoughts and feelings. However, my hope is that whomever is reading this blog has enjoyed the process like I have.

I will continue to blog about the competition day and the aftermath. I am sure those days will be just as interesting as the past 4 months. I'll be curious myself!

If I don't get a chance to blog tomorrow, wish me luck. I'll be back by Monday blogging...if not sooner!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My competition this weekend

I apologize for not posting for the past week. I've been crazy busy, and I have not had a chance to relax and sit down at the computer and blog.

This Saturday is my competition. Today I had my "officially" last workout with Paul Daniels at What a fantastic coach! I can't say enough about his committment, care, and quality. If you ever get a chance to be coached by him, he is well worth the time. It wouldn't matter where you are in your process of transformation, he is easy to be around, and you will feel so comfortable being coached by him.

Tomorrow night I'll probably go to one last session of cardio kickboxing at Cal Elite in Rancho Santa Margarita. Then, that will be it for me until the competition on Saturday.

I have trained hard, practiced my posing, and I am definitely ready to compete. I am nervous about how I will do on stage. I don't have a clue as to how I will feel, but it's just one of those things you just move through inspite of the fear.

This past week I have been exfoliating my body to prepare the skin to be "painted tan" for the stage. I have practiced my routine most evenings in front of the mirror. I can feel myself feeling suddenly nervous talking about it.

Friday night I will be in San Diego for a brief mandatory meeting and check in and to get painted. I will sleep with the new tan color on my skin, then I will go back in the morning and get touched up again.

I will keep you updated, if not Friday, certainly, right after the competition.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday Workout Blues

I didn't want to blog about my workout blues on Monday at Kettlebell with Paul. However, I thought perhaps it could benefit some people if I expressed the feelings and thoughts I was going through during my workout.

It was a tough workout emotionally for me. I had been having some personal issues at home recently and my emotions have been bottled up and I, self restrained. Workouts can be tough with this type of "baggage", because if I put very little energy into my workout I get very little in return. However, if I workout with gusto, then I'll probably fall apart crying.

So of course I fell apart crying during the rest periods. I still have 1 1/2 weeks to go until the competition and I could not afford to waste a workout.

It would be one thing if I was working out alone. Paul Daniels ( was training me that day, so there I was sobbing in between sets. I was a big ball of emotions. Even though it would have been nice to go through this emotional upheaval without anybody around, Paul was absolutely fabulous about keeping my workout going, being funny at times to lighten the mood, and just being his calm self.

Gosh. I can think of so many times in my past where I could have said I'm not working out, I'm going to relax and have a nice cup of hot cocoa, but the fact is that these emotions needed to be expressed, and exercise is truly one of the best ways I know of to get it all out.

Yesterday, I weighed myself. 109 lbs. I'm so excited that I dropped below 110 lbs. I might be able to reach 108 for the competition. If I don't that is okay.

core strength

It's not a little secret that people don't know if they workout with kettlebells...but kettlebell workouts amazingly increase core strength. I'm in the home stretch of my bikini transformation, and I can now hold a plank for several seconds and for several times. I can do 4 pull ups now unassisted! It's amazing. Doing pull ups may not be everybody's desire, but I have wanted to be able to do pull ups for a long time without any assistance. To be able to pull my body weight up to clear my chin is truly amazing, since months ago I couldn't even do 1/2 of one.

I hope that kettlebell becomes mainstream, because I think it will cut down on how long people spend in the gym working out, how much strength they will increase, and how nice it transforms the body without looking bulky.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

make up pictures

Here are a few pictures of me with adding the dark foundation and make-up for the show. I was practicing. I will make the foundation darker if I need to depending on how dark the rest of my body is for the show. My hair is not styled very well in the pictures. I have my earings on and the suit I will wear for the show. I was going to use the purple suit, but the rear looks better in this suit. Why is it that it has to be black! I'm so tired of black. However, fit is very important to the judges.

After the Competition

This is a good time to start thinking about what how I will eat and exercise after the competition. Getting ready for the competition is very similar to getting ready for are reunion, in that the goal is working towards a specific event for one specific day.

While my goal over the past 1 1/2 has been to just get into shape and be consistent, I can't lose sight of the fact that I am still working towards a goal on one specific day. If I hadn't had this competition coming up then I would be more relaxed about the process and progress on a daily or weekly basis. Here I am with about 2 1/2 more weeks to go until the competition and my nutrition program is pretty rigorous. The exercise program is too.

Envisioning my day to day lifestyle after the competition is important. I will not just allow myself to slip into old habits of not focusing on the quantity, the quality, and the frequency of food I ingest.

Instead I imagine myself eating pretty much the same way on a day to day basis, with the exception of eating the same foods as the family at dinner time. Also, I like the idea of sharing one meal more often with my family. If we go out to eat, I can share one meal with our two daughters. Nowadays, the quantity of food that is put on a plate at a restaurant is so out of proportion to what we need to eat that it would be very easy to share with them and save money. Kids usually are given the fattiest and most unhealthiest options anyway on a restaurant's menu that it will be an excellent choice to share.

I will continue to bring my own food whenever I go to our children's birthday party invites. Choosing smaller meals off the appetizer menu and varying the restaurants I eat at is important. Taste and variety are very important to feeling satiated.

On the other hand, exercise is equally as important. I'll probably maintain a 5 day a week exercise program with 2 days off consistently. Throughout most of the 4 months I have been taking only 1 day off per week. I'll continue kettlebell most definitely! It is by far the number one exercise program for building a strong core, developing lean muscle tone and definition, and doing it in a short amount of time.

I have my eye set on a possible second competition in December. We'll see how the first competition goes. If I enjoy it, I may do the December 4th competition. It will keep me focused and allow me to make some body changes that I couldn't have done in this competition. I'll also have to see whether or not I like the bikini competition. I had always had my mind set on the fitness or figure competition, so I'll just have to wait and see how this one goes.

I have reached my 110 lb goal!
Now, I'll just see if I can drop 1 1/2 lbs before October 30th. If I don't, I'm not really worried about it. If I do, it will be icing on the cake!

Monday, October 11, 2010

We all have one thing in common

It really doesn't matter whether a person is totally out of shape or close to their ideal goal, working out and keeping to a solid nutrition program is hard work. Sometimes my husband and I go downstairs to workout in the evening and both of us don't want to workout. At dinner time one of us will ask if the other is working out tonight. I'll say "yes, even though I don't want to", and he'll say " I should workout and most likely yes". It's one of those conversations that comes up now and then. I think we do it, because one person is really not feeling like working out, and wants an excuse not to workout, but ultimately it seems that each of us makes the right decision based on what we know is right for ourselves, not because of what the other person says. There are many times when each of us has gone downstairs by oneself to workout, because the other person has decided not to or it was a day off.

Sometimes I count the minutes while on the "dreadmill". I love my treadmill, but sometimes it really is dreadful. The minutes slowly go by as I run. I get to 15 minutes and I tell myself, "I have 15 more". At 20 minutes I tell myself "that's not so bad, only 10 more minutes to go". Without fail, after I finish the treadmill, I'm all happy again. These types of days are not typical, but I wanted you to know that I am no different than anybody else in this respect.

...however, giving up and giving in is NOT an option.

Do you like the foods on your diet?

Many of us have tried the oldest to the newest diet fad at some point in our lives. Did it really work? Did we get the results we wanted? Why do we follow a fad even though they usually don't work? We put so much heart and soul into believing or wanting to believe that "this will be the diet that works".  Then we fail and we blame ourselves for not being able to stick to it.  If we failed to look at whether those types of foods will work for us, the preparation of those foods will work for us, or how often we are allowed to eat, no wonder the program didn't work. It probably had nothing to do with will power as it had to do with the program just not being right for how each of us lives.

It's kind of sad to put place so much power in the hands of others when most of us probably know what to do. I assume that most of us know that the best foods to eat are vegetables, fruits, quality proteins, and quality fats. We have to be careful not to eat too much or we won't lose weight. We also have to be careful not to eat too little or we will lose muscle or become ravenous and want to eat everything. It is a delicate balance. With some practice, however, it is manageable and completely possible.

What I eat may not be what you like or want to eat. For example, today for breakfast I ate a protein, banana, peanut butter smoothie as usual. For snack I had 1 hard boiled egg and 1 apple. For lunch I ate ground lean turkey, a few slices of sweet potato and some homemade salsa. My second snack included 1 Greek nonfat yogurt and 12 almonds. I ate 1 corn on the cob, ground lean turkey, and 7 unsalted cashews for dinner, and after my evening workout I had 1/2 scoop protein powder.

What I ate today may not be what somebody else would want to eat. That's okay. There are so many foods that are nutritious and will allow the body to transform just as easily as my program. The key is finding the foods that will be comforting and satiating on a daily basis. For instance, some people may prefer oatmeal and egg whites in the morning, another person may want 2 corn tortillas, scrambled egg whites, and a cup full of salsa and make them into morning tacos. In my opinion it would be better to start with foods that you will ultimately feel good about. I wouldn't worry about how much food you are eating as long as the food is quality. After a few weeks just eating well without having to place so much pressure on oneself to eat a certain proportion might be a more realistic goal.

Tomorrow my taste buds will probably change. I may feel like trading in a lunch for a dense 300 calorie protein bar. Sometimes I need my little treats and so I will grab a peanut butter and chocolate protein bar instead. It's important to change things up. I'm not a robot and cannot eat the same foods every day. Yesterday, I ate steel head trout (from Costco's frozen fish section) at both the afternoon and evening meals. I had sweet potato with one and broccoli with the other. If you haven't had the steel head trout, it's a must! It's so good.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

training hard without much to show for it

The other day I was thinking about all the times when I trained hard, ate well, was not consistent, yet did not produce the results I wanted. It was so frustrating not seeing the physical results of the hard work week after week. Yes, I saw some results, but not enough to make me happy. Last July 2009 when I decided to make some significant changes I noticed that my body did not need as much food as I once consumed when I was in my twenties and thirties. It was discouraging. I loved to eat and certainly wanted to eat more than my body needed. The problem was that I was not able to see the changes I wanted. Part of the problem was quantity and the other part of the problem was the types of foods I consumed.

As I made changes slowly both to my diet and exercise program the fat came off. Then there was a plateau. The plateau lasted a long time. I wasn't making the necessary changes in my diet so my body had no desire to drop the fat. Muscle was growing, so the scale would pretty much stay the same. Changes finally happened again when I really focused on the problem.

I also had some good excuses why I couldn't lose more weight. I blamed that fatty pouch area between the belly button and the bikini line on the fact that I was older now, I had two children, and "my body is just different now". I also made the excuse that my legs would never look good, because they are the worst part of my body, and no matter how hard I tried, I just knew that they would never look good.

With that said, and at 110.5 I realize that there was really nothing keeping me from losing more weight  other than my own lack of determination and commitment. I was taking a shower this afternoon, soaping up my midsection, and the entire stomach is completely flat. There is no pouch. But you should have seen it before! My legs are still not "perfect", but I they have taken shape and are so much less fatty. It's quite remarkable how stubborn my mind was about not wanting to believe I could change that much.

While diet and exercise are necessary, the biggest obstacle was more in my head than in any of those places. Being truly open to change and embracing the obstacles has been very important to the transformation process.

I have 3 weeks to go until my competition. I would like to just cave in right now and have some food. But honestly I'm not hungry right now, I ate well today, and in a few hours all of these feelings will pass too. I'll get into some p.j's, curl up in bed, watch some television, take a few deep breaths, and it will all be okay.

Train Hard...Train Smart! that's what Paul Daniels from always says.
Thank you Paul!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting used to change

Getting used to change is difficult. I've had 5 weeks now of homeschooling the girls and the past two days I'm feeling much calmer. The past two days have been quite enjoyable. However, I did have a slight melt down three days ago when I was trying to teach one of the girls something new and she just didn't get it. I felt like I was spending all our hours homeschooling trying to get her to understand. Time was slipping by and I felt frustrated that there was other work to complete. I went to the public school and spoke with her teacher from last year. I wanted to find out where they were in their curriculum to see if I was behind. "Rest assured" she said, "you are ahead of us". That news came as a relief. I realized that I'm doing okay. So the past few days have been much more relaxing.

Okay, so how does this stuff translate into my bikini competition training? While my committment to train and not lose sight of my goal is vital to my success, it seems that other parts of my life also need attention, but cannot overwhelm me to such a degree that I sabotage all my efforts. It would be so easy to just say "forget this", "I need a break", "I don't need all this stress", or "maybe another time I'll try again". Honestly, how many times has a person taken the easy way out and then returned and accomplished the goal that was set?

Isn't part of the attainment of a goal always interrupted by some crisis or situation that tries to take one off course? It's just life. Life is full of the unexpected. After a while one sees the pattern that the unexpected always shows up when one doesn't want it. It's a great opportunity to get a little chuckle and then say "ah ha, her it comes again"! Then just move throught the challenge with whatever coping skills or tricks one has to make the process easier.

Simply, training one's body is really about training the mind. Practice training the mind by changing in small ways. Get rid of one thing. Get rid of eating cheese one week. If that's too hard, get rid of eating white bread. If not, try getting rid of butter for one week. If you can survive one week from eating one food, then go for two weeks. Then start exercising 1/2 hour 3 times per week. 1/2 hour 3 times per week can be anything. Remember it's just a pattern you are establishing. If you cannot establish the pattern or the ritual, then you might get overwhelmed within a month of your program and quit.  Build slowly.

The mind will adapt and change when you give it time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Posing Practice Sessions

Last night I started practicing my model poses with the heels and suit. I was strutting back and forth in the mirror in the master bathroom. Early on I just had this overwhelming thought, "what the heck am I doing at 42 walking around like I'm 22"?

I know that it doesn't really matter what age I am. I know that there are other women who are my age who will be doing the same thing, but it just seems so flashy and out of my comfort zone. Literally I thought, "are you serious? You are going to get up on stage in a bikini, heels, and do that"? . It's an odd feeling. I better practice really well, because I don't want to look like a fool.

Tomorrow, I'll do another practice session. Thursdays, I'll practice in front of my husband. He's a good critic. He'll tell me like it is and redirect me if he thinks I look silly or unbelievable.