Hit the Reset Button

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It’s been one of those months.  Not days, not weeks, an entire month of being way too liberal with my diet.

I had booked a just-for-fun photo shoot for June 28th but told my photographer I need much more time. If I would have stuck with the original date, I would have been miserable. I probably would look “okay” maybe even “good” to some people, but I’m setting my standards higher than just “good” and “okay.”  I will in no way look like I’m ready to hit the stage in a competition, but I aim to look my most FIT this year. That’s my goal.

So, today is day number 1. Again.  We’ve all been here I’m sure:

“I’ll start tomorrow.”

“Just one more party and I’ll get back on my diet next week.”

“I can’t possibly say no to birthday/graduation/wedding cake, so just one more cheat weekend.”

I consider the past month a mini-vacation for myself. I didn’t go nuts but NOTHING was working to get myself motivated to lean out. My usual tricks just weren’t cutting it. No motivational sayings posted on my phone or pictures of my favorite competitors helped. Writing about it didn’t help. Watching other people workout didn’t do anything for me. Taking progress pics didn’t do it either. Even pushing my own clients to work hard, which almost always works for me, didn’t make me want to take this seriously this time around.

I think I realized the problem: I believe it was a combination of stopping the coaching with Erik as well as having become USED to all the food during my bulk phase. I think my stomach was just like, “Ummm….what happened to all that food you were feeding me?”

Trust me, the food that’s on my diet phase of this plan is PLENTY of food for me. But of course, who wouldn’t just a little bit more? Just an extra bite here. A little more spoonful there. Oh just a few more grams won’t hurt.

The nice interesting part is that the scale doesn’t show any significant change. I didn’t completely undo all my hard work. So this tells me my cheats really weren’t that bad. This is more of a psychological RESET button I’m hitting. Because my mind and my heart were NOT into it this past month at all.

But that’s changing today.

No more slacking. Time to get serious.

So let’s this be a lesson to you boys and girls:

Even when you set goals, be ready to put the work in. Admit when you’re hearts just not into it, and hit that reset button when you are ready. It’s never too late!

 

 

Becoming the Best Version of Yourself

 Did I really try my hardest today?

Maybe it’s the cold weather causing me to hibernate more than I’d like.  Maybe it’s seeing too many people on social media doing more than myself, who knows.  But I thought, in order to hold myself accountable, why not finish the day with a question?  I try to start my day with a statement such as,  I WILL do __________.  I AM going to ____________.  I CAN ____________.   It seems appropriate to end the day with a question – almost like a Review of Your Day.

Sidenote:  Although I’m speaking from a fitness perspective, this can still be applied to career or relationship or pretty much any goal you have.  Especially those New Year Resolutions.

Looking back at the past week, asking myself this questions, I was ON point with my meal plan from my coach.  I didn’t miss any workouts either.  So how can I repeat this?  How can anyone keep this train moving in the right direction?  I suppose it’s a combination of motivation and willpower and accountability from others.  But above all, it started with a plan.

I hear from many of my clients that although they have every intention of doing A, B and C in a given day, there are diversions and things that just get in the way and before you know it, they didn’t accomplish A B or C.  They haven’t even gotten the train out of the station and it’s already derailed.  And now they feel like crap and feel guilty and feel like giving up.

Here are some examples:

A meeting at work that went long, there goes your workout for the day!

Your car needs to be fixed so there goes your money that you wanted to spend on the new gym membership!

You oversleep so now you have to stop by the drive-thru or the cafeteria at work, there goes having a good home cooked meal!

Noticing a common theme in the above examples?  They all could have been prevented with a PLAN.  If you have a plan, you’re so much more likely to succeed.

Here’s some ideas on how to implement one:

  • How do we solve the meeting problem? How can we know when our boss wants us to stay late and work? We don’t.  So we have a plan to workout at a time when your boss has no control of your schedule – usually first thing in the morning.  Or a weekend.  There’s got to be some ME time in your life.  Several of my clients insert “Meeting with Jim” into their work calendar so they don’t miss a workout.  (Jim, like gym…get it?)  Even if you have to work late 5 days a week, if you have a plan to workout at a different time, it’s already done and you won’t feel rushed to squeeze it in.  Even if you only workout one day in a week, that’s something.  That’s an accomplishment.
  • How can you prevent a car that breaks down?  Or your child falls down and gets injured? (Think BIG expenses). Usually not preventable.  But your plan for this is your budget.   I’m a firm believer everyone/family needs a health budget.  This would be different or in addition to a savings account.  Coming from someone who knows what it’s like to scrape by, I know this is easier said than done.  The number one declaration I hear from ALL of my clients is “I wish I would have started this sooner.”  It starts with a health budget.  Save those dollars!  Saving up for a treadmill or a trainer or a good pair of running shoes or gym membership is a good first step.
  • What’s the plan for accidentally oversleeping?  This is probably the easiest one to do but also the one I hear the MOST excuses for:  Prep your food.  Prep your food.  Prep your food.  Prep your DAMN FOOD!!!!

🙂

Can you tell I’m slightly irritated passionate about this one?  It’s seriously the easiest thing to do EVER.  What’s the most common objection to it?

I know what to eat, I just don’t have time to make it.

Nope, not good enough.  You do have the time, you just don’t make it a priority in your life.  Goes back to the health budget.  If it’s a priority, you make the effort to get it done.

Stick “Food prep” in your calendar.  Literally write it down for a block of time for about 2 hours.

Go to bed earlier so you can wake up earlier and get it done in that time frame if you want.

Get off Facebook.  Take a social media BREAK.  Like a legit day or two break.

Make it a family affair and have the kids help out in the kitchen.  They’re going to eat the food anyways, right? Might as well start them young and get them learning some basic cooking skills like just chopping up veggies. If they are too young for that, how about mixing or just throwing stuff in a crock pot?  Or if you have OCD kids that love to be organized, how about getting them to weigh and measure out the food into zip lock baggies?  Seems like a mundane task but most kids I know are entertained by the smallest things.  Turn it into a lesson.  Teach them math or something, I don’t know.   Tell them:  “I need 6 ounces of chicken, in each of these bags.  If I need 6 ounces for everyday this week, how many ounces is that?”

Okay so I’m clearly not a parent nor a teacher but, I think you get my point.

If you have family that doesn’t eat the same foods you then yes, this will require some extra effort.   In my opinion, the easier option is just making stuff that everyone can enjoy, just decreasing/increasing the portions for them.

Picky eaters?  Try the “just try a bite” method.  Worked for me for about 15 some years since I was the pickiest child ever.  PB and J was the only thing I really ate but I would always have “at least a bite” of greens and meats that Mom made for me.  I got wise around age 25 by cooking food, the same time that I invested in a Personal Trainer I might add.

One of my clients recommended a couple books for those picky eaters so I’m passing on the information to my Mommy readers:  Bringing up Bebe:  One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

I just love this review of the book: “Bringing Up Bébé is a must-read for parents who would like their children to eat more than white pasta and chicken fingers.”

Another one is called: Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Check them out and let me know what you think – and if you’ve read them let us know so my readers/followers can hear what you think too!

Speaking of babies, this all comes back to baby steps – small steps to accomplish a large goal.  One day at a time was made for goals such as these.  They can seem overwhelming, they can seem like you’re starting at square one but with just some effort, you can get there.  It might even take months or even years before your PLAN is in full effect.

But before you know it, you’ll get into that rhythm.  You’ll be THAT person that’s always prepared.  THAT person that always seems to have his/her stuff together.  THAT person that you look at or read about and think “Oh I’m sure that would never work for ME.”  Guess what?  It can.

You will be that person that ends your day with “Did I try my hardest today?  HELL YES!” 

And it will show!  You’ll be happier because you’ll be closer to your goals; you’ll be calmer because your stress will be lowered due to all the workouts you’re doing and all the good food you’ve been eating;  you’ll be happier because you’ve been spending your money from your health budget; you’ll be more confident because you put your health first.

As always, if you have any other ideas or suggestions for my readers who struggle with this same problem, feel free to comment and share this post with others who could use the boost!

Peak Week Jitters

This week began what’s called Peak Week for me, the week of the competition.

My plan from Coach Ben was not such a big difference when I first looked at it.  The one big thing was that I got to do cardio!  I even sent him a message saying how I was kind of excited at the thought of doing HIIT training the next morning in addition to my usual weight training.

Hey guess what I realized very quickly the next day???  I don’t miss cardio.

Considering that I had done my weight training and then an hour of cardio afterwards for a grand total of almost two hours at the gym, I was TOAST.  It was great to work up a huge sweat like that but I cannot believe people voluntarily go to the gym and workout for that long on a regular basis.  Hell, I can’t believe I used to RUN (okay JOG) for that long and even longer when I trained for my half and full marathons.  No Thanks!

I only have one more cardio session on Thursday morning and that will be it.

The other big change for me is staying at my low-carb amount for longer than I’m used to.  I used to switch off (kind of like carb cycling) with high carb and low carb days.  Well, today marks day number 4 of low carb.  Let me tell ya, I’m not used to this.  I was very foggy on Monday morning after my workout and I was kind of out of it again this morning with my client.  But, it went away after awhile and although I like telling people “Oh yeah, it’s my lack of carbs, that’s why I forgot (insert ditzy mistake here).”  It makes for a really good excuse but I can’t help but wonder that it’s just because I’m having more than my usual blonde moments. 🙂

Tomorrow I can only drink water…no more crystal light crap or my energy drinks (yes, I became addicted to some of them i’m ashamed to say).  But I can do this…I survived most of my adult life without them, I can certainly handle a few more days of not having them.

Then Friday…..The FUN begins.  I get to carbo load.  And omg I’m SOOOO looking forward to that.

Prepare for a slew of Instagram pics of all my carbo loaded meals.  Nom Nom Nom!!

Possibly one more update before the show.

In the meantime, here are some shots from the posing seminar I attended two weeks ago with some fantastic ladies who I may be competing with.

Top is a little low...oops.
Top is a little low…oops.

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I say “with” and not “against.”  I feel a sense of camaraderie with my fellow figure gals.  Especially the ones who are like me, having never done this before.  Cannot wait to hang backstage and get to know them better.

Off to bed…One more update coming your way Thursday…maybe a quick one on Friday.

-Michelle

 

 

 

Quick Update

I’m 14…er…13 days…well, actually, make that 12 days out if you don’t count today since it’s almost over…Yikes!!!

Things that are done:

  • Registered for the show
  • Posing seminar/dress rehearsal
  • Suit ordered and fits perfectly
  • Tanning booked
  • Photo shoot booked
  • Make up person booked
  • Tickets for family purchased

Things still to do:

  • Get the hair done/scheduled for the morning of the show
  • Get some cheap bling (I think I see a trip to Claire’s in my future)
  • Schedule mani/pedi

As for the diet, Coach Ben says I’m in the best position possible considering he’s adding food to my plan.  YAY for more carbs!

Here are some pics I took last night; I still have to work on the posing and I’m sure it will not be 100% by the time I hit the stage but I’m okay with that.

14 days out!
14 days out!

Now I must go to bed because I got up way early this morning and if I stay up any longer I will be tempted to raid the cupboards.  And I can only eat so much Jell-O (gelatin) in one sitting…I think my new record is 4 cups in one day.  Yeah I don’t think any human being should eat that much.  It’s just plain wrong. 🙂

Good night!  Next update from me will be just 6 days out.  Unbelievable!

Build-a-Butt

Get it?? Like Build-a-Bear….but it’s Build-a-Butt.

That’s funny isn’t it?!  Or maybe I just find silly titles like that humorous.   Moving along…

I survived my first posing seminar this past weekend!  Woohoo! And by surviving I mean I didn’t fall down in my stripper shoes.  That’s a victory in itself.

If you consider my competition the SHOW, you can consider this the dress rehearsal…kind of.  Only with a lot less people…and no spray tans…and no make up or big hair….and no judges. ..okay so it’s not a dress rehearsal at all.

It’s a scrimmage. Yes, a scrimmage would be a much more appropriate description.

I met some amazing looking women like Beth (@SansPantsGirl) and Callista (@StillaLandShark) with matching amazing personalities.  You couldn’t help but size up the competition but what was great is that we were all in the same boat – feeling like we perhaps didn’t belong.  All of us (as I found out later) are first time competitors.  I was shaking in my stripper shoes from the get go, not quite sure how to maneuver in these ginormous heels.

The seminar itself was great – I learned a lot from Chuck and Melissa who are both trainers and have competed several times.  Just watching them give cues I was in awe.  They are both BIG little people.  Big physiques, shorter in stature.  Like you just wanted one of them to bench press you just because you knew they probably could, ha!  (See picture – I’m sure you can tell who they are just by this description).  1071422_496548897099482_1186154786_o

As for the poses themselves – here are some visuals to help you understand just what I was doing on Saturday afternoon and the advice I was given:

frontpose

FRONT POSE:  I feel like I’m trying to be the Hulk in this pose.  You have to give the impression of size, specifically, that you have some.  And not just with this pose, with all of them.  But this is your first one that the judges see.   I’m still “under construction” so I’m not as large as I would like to be.  But, that doesn’t mean you can’t exaggerate and fake it in the meantime.  You’re not supposed to suck in the gut either – it’s more of an elevation of your ribcage.  You also want the judges to see your lats on this pose.  See how you can see that muscle underneath/behind this woman’s armpits?  Yeah, you want to be able to SEE those.  NOT EASY.

backpose

BACK POSE:  This is the most painful pose, in my opinion.  I had a very hard time with this one.  I kept putting my arms out too far and not flexing my back correctly.  I was told by one competitor a couple weeks ago that when you get it right you have to remember how it FEELS, especially since you can’t see yourself.  So, I’ll be recording this one for sure.

sidepose

SIDE POSE:  I wasn’t too bad with this one although I have to remember to stick the butt out and create a curve with the back/tailbone.  Oh and my hands..hand placement is very important with all of these.  Hands have to be relaxed and again, it’s al ot easier said than done.

relaxedsidepose

SIDE RELAXED POSE:  There is nothing RELAXING about this pose.  Of course I had to post a pic of my girl Nicole Wilkins for this one.   See how the front foot is so close to the other foot and it’s pointed?  You have no idea how much that HURTS when you are not accustomed to wearing heels. I was dying in this pose.  Plus I kept forgetting to twist myself so the judges would be able to see me.  This is also the pose you hold while everyone else is on the stage doing their poses.  So it’s imperative you master it (keep smiling keep smiling keep smiling) so you can stay in it for a long period of time. 

Some other bits of advice given to me throughout the seminar:

“Get your butt up…you have no butt so you have to create the illusion that you have one.”

“Relax your back..don’t let your blades jut out.”

“Point your toes as you walk…don’t let your knees bend so much.”

“Stick that butt out.”

Can you tell I need to work on sticking my butt out? 🙂

All in all it made for one very uncomfortable afternoon – but that was the point.  These poses aren’t necessarily comfortable or relaxed in any way.  You are literally shaking (at least I was) as you stand there trying to recall all the pointers that were given to you.  I can only imagine on Competition day what will be going through my head as I pose in front of the judges…”Make eye contact. …Smile…Relax the shoulders…Keep smiling…Hands in front…Butt out  But out…Butt out!!!”

In the meantime it’s practice practice practice.  I actually wear the heels while I do housework as often as I can.  And since I rarely do housework, this is not a common occurrence.  But hey, if it gets me to load the dishwasher and do laundry more often, it’s a win-win situation right?

In the meantime, we got 10 weeks!  The countdown continues.

-Michelle

Tweet of the Week:  Courtesy of MeNote to Gen Pop: “Glad you’re doing well but you’re wasting away to nothing!” is what is defined as a Backhanded Compliment. #StopIt

Sometimes I can’t believe the nerve people have to tell you to your face what they think you look like.  And even after it’s explained that I’m happy and this is for a purpose (i.e. a show) I was told “That’s great! Good for you!  But you’re still wasting to nothing.”   Hey thanks random person!  You’re just fueling my fire to keep this going!

More than Before

May 26th 2012
May 26th 2012

I’ve posted a “Before”  picture on here previously but this picture above is really one that needs to be discussed.

It’s been a little over a year since this picture was taken.  In case it’s not obvious, I was a bridesmaid in my best friends wedding.  (I cropped her out for her privacy, but trust me when I say she was the most gorgeous bride….like, ever).

It’s so strange to look at this picture, NOW.

I don’t recognize myself.

But I don’t get sad as I look at this picture.  There’s no shame.  There’s no embarrassment.  Life was actually pretty good.

It’s just strange because I don’t want to forget how I felt when this picture was taken.  I want to remember that I did not look BAD.  This might be my BEFORE, but it could easily become my AFTER when this competition is over.

I’ll be honest, I hope it’s not.  I love the way I look now, but I was content looking the way I look in that picture.  I was satisfied.  I ate what I wanted when I wanted.  There was freedom to do that back then.

I celebrated birthdays with cake and ice cream and maybe some drinks.  I ate burgers and fries once in awhile.  I had pizza, I loved string cheese like it was going out of style.

I ate Peanut butter and Jelly for weeks at a time when I was feeling lazy.  I had salads with dressing that wasn’t measured out.  I went to baseball games and had hot dogs.

I went to the movies and had popcorn with butter and Buncha Crunch, my most favorite theater snack.

Yeah, I had veggies but only occasionally.

Yeah, I drank water, but only when I worked out.

Yeah I worked out, but only cardio and just SOME weight training for fear of breaking my foot again.

I was coasting….maintaining….perfectly content to just keep living my life that way.

But there was an obvious downside to this freedom:

I had zero self control.  There was no need to analyze every single piece of food that entered my mouth.  Who was keeping track?  Certainly not I.

I didn’t have the willpower to NOT eat everything that was put in front of me.  Any why shouldn’t I? There were no pics to send to any coach.

I hardly cooked my own food.  There was no reason to fuel myself properly for the workouts I wasn’t doing.

I never got enough sleep.  There were no early morning lifting sessions to be rested for.

I wasn’t doing any heavy weight training.  There was no motivation to get in shape.

Was it damaging me?  Maybe not.  Was it healthy?  Eh, not really.  Am I better off now than I was BEFORE?  Absolutely.

Although this experience is far from over, the physical changes are already obvious and that’s all great.

It’s the mental and behavioral changes that should matter most.

Here’s to 11 and a half weeks until my AFTER.

-Michelle