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.

Emotional Update

The last few days have been fantastic. The emotional crazies have passed. I think that allowing oneself to go through the emotions, not denying oneself the need to express those emotions, not doing anything to sabotage the hard work, and always keeping in mind that "this too will pass", are all key in the process of succeeding.

That's not to say that if one doesn't take all these steps that one is not being successful. We all define success in various ways. However, if we do what we know we should, and we have strategies to help, then we are going to be more successful the next time some crisis or crazy moment surfaces.

I have 28 days until the competition. I thought I could easily go through this month easily, because I have been consistent and dedicated. However, that appears not to be entirely true. Part of the difficulty stems from the fact that I'm at a pretty good weight to compete right now. The other part of me just wants to relax a little and eat something different that has more fat!

I feel more rigid and structured right now, almost like I was in the beginning of this process four months ago. The anticipation of the "end" is nearing and because I want to relax I am doing just the opposite.

If you are in the beginning, middle, or end of your transformation, DON"T GIVE UP! Have another cup of tea and just be with your thoughts and feelings and breath. Know that I'm doing just about the same thing daily.