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amysuds
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155 Lbs.
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5'7"
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amysuds

Bodybuilding/Fitness Magazines...Are They Worth the Money?

As the winter months close in, I find myself spending a lot more time reading when it's cold out. I just spent 2 hours trying to straighten out the collection of magazines I have. They are literally everywhere in my house...hundreds.......totes and totes of them. I read them all...IronMan, Flex, Planet Muscle MD, Oxygen, M&F, OnFitness and so on....so has it been worth the investment over the past 5 years?   YES!!  I can't stress enough the importance of educating yourself in this lifestyle we share. I find myself reading old issues over again because things change and I change. It is very motivating for me to follow writers that interest me. Here's where it gets tricky. I do not believe everything I read. It has taken a tremendous amount of time to sort out those writers who light my fire and keep me interested. I read some articles sometimes and end up scratching my head thinking...what the heck are they talking about? I am not here to put anyone down, I just got sick and tired of reading conflicting "studies" etc. So last night I wrote down a list of my favorite writers and thought I'd share. When I buy a magazine, I immediately go right to one of their articles. I may have left out a few, not on purpose ,of course. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion. I SO appreciate all the hard work that goes into writing. I have never been led mislead with this group...they INSPIRE and MOTIVATE ME!!


Jill Coleman


Robbie Durand


Jamie Eason

John Hansen


Dwayne N Jackson


Robert Kennedy


Layne Norton


Gunnar Peterson


Jimmy Pena


Dave Ryan


Chad Shaw


Jim Stoppani


Jillian Sarno-Teta


Jade Teta


Keoni Teta


Many of these wonderful people have all kinds of degrees, doctorates and experience. They have spent countless hours researching and sharing valuable information. I have found that knowing who to follow can make a huge difference in your success.


Train hard! Read often!


~amysuds~

I Love Carbs!

I never thought I'd be writing that...especially since I dieted for shows most of this year. For me, the word diet makes me immediately think bye bye carbs. So going back to the beginning of this year, as I started contest prep on my own in February I decreased my total calorie intake. I also upped my water a little to help feel full. Initially, I dropped like 8lbs in 2 days. yup..8lbs and it is usually right around that much every diet start. Water weight goes first from less carbs...then the scale changes go really slow. I tried to keep track of my progress with pictures and checking my weight one a week. Once I stopped seeing progress in the quest to get leaner, I of course lowered my carbs. It has worked beautifully for me in the past. So...I still do not see progress and I of course increase my total cardio (mod and HIIT). Next, my strength starts declining and workouts are getting tougher. So I of course work harder. At this point, I am petrified because my carbs are really low and I feel like crap. Then comes me hiring Tobias. He makes me food plans and gives me all these extra carbs. I start losing fat again...phew. The carbs helped me. Guess what? My strength started to go back up as I got leaner and was not doing extra cardio. Carbs = energy ...Then comes more fat loss plateaus. Guess what happened? Once again I got an increase in carbs and a few adjustments with the other calories. I have to admit, it is kinda scary to be in contest prep and have days where you are eating almost 200carbs in one day very close to show week. The great news is that the scale was hardly moving downward. A big drop in weight at this point means BAD. Muscle loss is the first thing I think of. Yet my pictures told a different story and I was getting leaner. The one thing I know for sure from me studying a zillion fitness articles, is that maximal fat utilization can't happen without sufficient carbs!
The point of this was to respond to a lot of the messages I have had about nutrition. I DO NOT understand why some times plans work and other times they don't for me. My work habits don't change...I did not eat like a bird between shows and stall my metabolism where I had to start the cut from a low number. This goes back to why I need coaches! I am a nutrition idiot!

Another quick thing I want to point out is salt intake. I had taken some progress pictures in the mid summer and was shocked at how puffy I was. It looked like I was gaining fat! No ham lines...etc.  A couple days later I took pics again and was amazed at the difference! I figured out that I had eaten some chicken that day that had a few hundred mg of salt more than my normal. Keep in mind I am a salt hater...salt is evil in my opinion...ha ha....I keep it around 1400 mg a day. Just by eating a few hundred more mg...my bod goes crazy. It makes it very difficult let's say for your coach to judge your level of leanness as you prepare for shows when you are retaining water. I am not talking about the excuse of "not lean enough because I'm retaining water" kinda stuff. Once again, I thank my coach Tobias for figuring out my meals so that this doesn't happen. It's all about what I eat, the order I eat it in ,and when. It is definitely not from just sticking with clean foods. Just a thought I wanted to share. When you work your ass off to get ready, you want to see what's going on as clearly as possible!
Remember, this is a story about me. We are all different with different body types. It's all about trial and error and never quit.

~amysuds~

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Size Really Doesn't Matter!

No..it's not what you're thinking;)

I decided to write about this after a few emails I have had. Some friends I am trying to help get going with fitness are getting frustrated. You see, many books and magazines will say to not pay so much attention to what the scale says...but rather by how your clothes fit. Something I have experienced personally were my jeans getting tighter especially when I first started. Talk about wanting to throw in the towel! All I could think was that my thick legs were getting "bulkier" and it must be from lifting and more muscle. I'm glad I didn't quit. The edema I had was temporary. I do not know why this happens to some people. It may have to do with muscle fiber size causing more inflammation during the repair process? Or maybe the body has water increased water retention from new programs? I guess it doesn't matter why. It just happened to me so I can relate. It actually still happens periodically but I am used to it now. The good news is, the look of my legs is way different.
This brings me also to a story about a recent shopping trip I had. I was going to a department store looking for a new pair of jeans. Keep in mind, I was a bit leaner than my norm and needed bigger jeans. I have come to accept the fact that I will probably not fit into many of my old pairs. The circumference of my legs may be close to the same as last year....but they are not the same. My jeans are tighter in the quad area and looser in hams a little. My jeans are too uncomfortable now. But that's ok! So I am waiting for a fitting room and there were 4 ladies trying on stuff ahead of me. One of them stepped out of the changing room all upset. She was trying on a size 8 and they were tight. So her friend offered to go grab the size 10 for her to try. The young lady was saying...no way am I wearing a 10. I am not a size 10. Please go grab a pair of brand X for me size 8. I'm standing there like...ok... the next lady steps out of her room all smiley with her size 4. ( she of course had to mention it to the 3rd girl. )  Here she is...all skinny with a roll of chubs hanging over the top. She quickly tries to cover it up. Meanwhile the other girl steps out...this time size 8 and they fit great. She was built completely different and had a great waist to hip ratio going on. She was bottom heavy (like I tend to be!)...but I would bet she looks WAY better in a bikini than Ms. size 4 . The point is...it takes work to change our shapes. But it does happen! I would much rather be a curvy size 12 or whatever size it was than have a skinny flabby thing going on. That is one of the reasons I do all this. It is amazing what weight training can do if you are willing. Willing to work hard, eat right and be PATIENT!

Size really is not a good judge of squat. So to my friends....don't worry about what others look like, even though they appear to be fit all dressed. We are all different and special. Big, small...just love yourself for who you are.

Much love!

~amysuds~

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Still Smiling

This past week has been really difficult. I hurt my back last Saturday moving my couch (to vacuum). I felt that all too familiar pain rippin in the middle. It came outta no where. I had only trained my shoulders and felt pretty good actually. So I went to bed flat on my back and woke up with the WORST chest congestion ever. I'm thinking...ok...this can't be happening to me. I am a few weeks out from my next show and have busted my arse to get ready. Well...first thing first, I have been trying to fight off this chest infection all week. I have asthma and it was very scary a few times waking up gasping for air. I checked my breathing output on this tester I have and it was in the red danger level on Monday. My hubby was traveling all this past week so I used my inhaler and did the best i could to take care of me and my babies. So I am on some meds....still sick and haven't even dealt with my back yet. I have a feeling I pulled a muscle leading down in my hip. My squats the past few times on leg day i could feel an uneven balance on the drive up portion. I actually was looking down in between reps to make sure my feet were exactly the same width apart and that my feet were in line before I squatted. So I am typing this standing up..can't sit much. Overall i think today i am a little better. The wheezing has stopped and my chest isn't so tight. For the first time this week my breath meter output was in the green and out of the red and yellow.  The rest of my upper body however is WAY the hell tight. My shoulders are rounded forward...I am a mess.

I'm not sure what I am doing. Obviously my training has stopped but I am walking slowly on treadmill to keep circulation up and it is helping me be able to take deeper breaths.I can feel the inflammation in my back and I have to let it just come down on it's own. I see physical therapy coming again soon. But I also see this as a good time to maybe let my upper body (arms particularly) soften up while I am unable to train.

The antibiotic I am on is also making my tendinitis and carpal tunnel flare up big time. I have limited mobility in my left arm past 2 days and all my fingers are numb. Waiting for doc to call me back about that.

I am very thankful to God that my family is healthy. I'd much rather it be me.

I hope to be back to training as soon as I can. I'm actually not enjoying rest time at all. I miss my gym :(

Hope everyone is kickin ass out there!

~amysuds~

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How I May Be Able To Help

I want to explain a little bit about this topic. Since I have been a member here on bodybuilding.com, I have progressed farther than I ever thought possible. I could not have done it without reaching out to members here that excel. I do not consider myself an expert in fitness however. I consider myself a person who enjoys new avenues, ideas , plans to better myself. Part of what I love is to share whatever I can with other members and give back to this community. I appreciate all of you that have guided me so far.


First of all....I have been a product tester for a few months for Optimum Nutrition and ABB. I am able to tell you about what supplements I have tried and what I think. For example....ON Hydrowhey protein- it tastes great, mixes well with water, fast acting to get to your muscles and easy on the tummy. A superior quality product. That is a for instance....and I have used many of their supplements already. I may be able to guide you to help reach your goals.


Next topic...training and nutrition. I realized pretty quickly back in 2008 that if I didn't spend some time researching and asking for help I would not be able to grow. Nutrition is a huge part of the equation as we all know. I have no degree and would not be able to give you a plan. I also am not a certified trainer. I can only share what I have done in my gym and try to help. With that being said....I have learned that there is NO one size fits all program for either. The complexity of the human body is mind boggling and I still need help. I can offer up the members here that I hired ,or have received the most help from. Every one of these people is an expert in my opinion and I have been very fortunate to have crossed paths with them. Each one offers a different approach to the journey. So if you are serious about moving forward and need help like I do, here are the members and their contact info. I'd like to thank each and every one for all the support!



Jason Phillips   JPhillips17 on this site ...www.jasonphillipsfitness.com


Dr.Layne Norton   Str8flexed on this site....www.biolayne.com


Tobias Young   TobiasYoung on this site.....email  tjyfitness@clearwire.net


Kathy Laucius   KLTexas on this site.....www.kathylaucius.com


Steve Poynter    Stevep78 on this site.....www.fitnesspoynters.com


Again, I love trying to improve! I love learning from others! I also love to share....that's a huge part of my success. We are all in this together after all.

I have a few more figure shows planned this fall and I am in contest prep currently. I ate way too much icecream since my last show as usual. Time to work it off..... I will blog about those experiences as well. The good, bad and ugly.


Train with all you've got!


~amysuds~

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The New ME Diet Book

I don't often comment about books I have read, but this one is worth mentioning. It is a fantastic new book written by Jade and Keoni Teta :holistic physicians, biochemists and personal trainers.

The NEW ME DIET "unlocks your fat-burning hormones, so you can stop counting calories and start losing weight."

This of course sounded very interesting to me. I love to read about the cutting edge science behind fitness. The entire book is easy to follow, and goes into great detail on how to stop rollercoaster weight loss. It is more about "how and what to eat", "how to train"...etc...for maximum fat loss . It explains how you can achieve optimal metabolic functioning...."The Metabolic Effect".
It is amazing how much I learned! Go get this book!!
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NPC USA's and Beyond

I haven't been active on the site too much as the summer is ending. The kids have worn me out...ha ha...but I enjoyed every minute with them. Now that they are back in school, I have a little more time.

First off, I want to comment about my experience a few weeks ago at the NPC USA's in Vegas. Because I did not do well at Jr. Nationals, I decided to go in with a different look. So I gained 7 lbs and went for it. My coach, Tobias Young, basically went with what I decided for my conditioning level. Tobias created me meal plans and we worked together. I have to admit, I was not that comfortable with being "rounder" on stage. It was something completely new for me and actually it was my husband's idea. He always tells me how much better I look when I weigh 140-145. Not so much my physique....but how much healthier I am. At the show, I was once again in class F with over 30 ladies. It was extremely hot (of course, it's Vegas) but to be in the last height class and try to stay pumped without sweating off all your tanning stuff was difficult. I felt like a mess when I went on stage. But...I do believe I did better overall during judging at that weight! I am so used to competing very lean...I actually prefer the lean cut look for figure competitors but that's another story. Anyhow, I enjoyed the show. It was my 2nd national level show this year and I was once again honored to even be part of it. Oh and by the way, the only feedback I got about the first show...Jr's...was for me to work on my abs and thighs. I was kind of surprised. Not so much about my abs, I mean I had 6 babies...they are what they are. But here I was thinking that my back still was going to be the thing to improve. Nope....I thought my legs were a stronger point of me...just goes to show how much I have to learn!

After that show I of course had a huge ice cream. Bad move....I continued to eat ice cream out of control during my vacation. So here I am, in contest prep again having to deal with that. I am very fortunate to have Tobias. He is very understanding ;) I have 6 weeks until my next comp, NPC Continental USA and I will be ready. I have not decided yet how lean I am going to go. My strength has been going up quite a bit so maybe I added a pinch of muscle? I dunno....I am also using ON HMB supplement and think it's helping me.

So that is where I am at. Hope everyone is doing well!

Train with passion,

~amysuds~

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Life After Jr. Nationals

Going back a few weeks, I competed in one of the best competitions I ever have...NPC Jr. Nationals. I had a great time, felt ready and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Granted I did not do well at the show, it really doesn't matter. I worked my ass off to get ready and that is what I love about competing. The challenge of achieving my best conditioning drives me. I feel fortunate to have been up on stage with some of the best ladies out there!

The next 2 weeks following the show, I once again struggled with post comp disaster. I have excellent willpower during prep and then I go to outrageous eating behavior. Every single time I compete this happens. I become the person I don't want to be...withdrawn, grumpy and craving icecream like mad. My hormones must get all messed up too...being a woman has never been so tough! Every monthly symptom is elevated way beyond tolerance. So to combat the way I feel...I usually end up planning to do another show and get back to prep and normalcy (or what seems to be).

In less than 2 weeks I will compete in Vegas at NPC USA's. Once again I have no expectations...there is no sense in getting hung up on winning. All I can do is try my best and roll the dice. My coach Tobias Young has been working on adding fat to my body. I'm not sure how I will look on stage this time. I only have the well conditioned look in my mind that I previously drilled into my head. This is all new for me. I really miss the challenge of what I am capable of....but I understand that being too lean is not going to help me. I trust Tobias and we work well together. I am excited that he will be at this show also! So bear with me as I work through this contest prep and now focus on visualizing a fuller toned self on stage.

Hopefully I come out of this show feeling better than I have been. I don't want to deal with anything lately. I'm missing me.....

It's all about the journey and I am not afraid of change. Change is good. If I never try then I'll never know.

I wonder if other competitors go through this. As soon as I have that cheat meal after the show everything goes downhill. So I will stay positive and whatever! I am SO enjoying spending the summer with some of my children. That's what is keeping me smiling :))" title=":))" />

Train hard everyone and don't put off what you can try today! Life's too short.

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Changed My Mind....Again

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So once again I am going down a different road. Let me explain first what's been going on. I have been doing my own contest prep for over a month now and I am pulling my hair out. I changed up my workout plan and replaced some exercises with others to keep it fresh. As far as diet goes.....I am losing weight, sometimes quickly....then regaining faster than I lose it. My goal was to do minimal moderate cardio and utilize HIIT as my plan of attack. When I look way back at my physique before I joined here....the cardio definitely ate through a lot of lean mass. I have worked way too hard to let that happen again. So just when I think I know where I am at....using my previous experience as a guide, I feel like I am failing. I am so tempted to do a sh*tload of cardio just to make the scale move. I know better however, that the scale doesn't always gauge progression towards getting lean, the whole thing is making me grim. I have adjusted my diet myself, with no luck. I don't want to deal with it anymore.
I have done some soul searching again and what I need right now is the ENTIRE nutrition equation taken out of my hands. I want to have a specific meal plan and not wonder if I am screwing something up. Things at home are hectic with my 2 youngest in baseball and softball every day now. I also have my oldest daughter working out with me trying to prepare for boot camp. I need to focus on my kids right now. That is so important to me.

I am thinking that I have an issue possibly with regulating sodium or water retention etc. I have tried keeping track..even eating a ton of asparagus, blah blah....I am so hard on myself! Not to mention taking out my frustrations on my hubby.  But I cannot judge whether or not I am headed in the right direction when my weight is all over the place.

I have decided to work with Tobias Young through prep. He is an Optimum Nutrition athlete and we seem to jive well. I need his help also with all the new  ON/ABB supplements I am using. I want to learn that also so I can better guide my friends here on the site. They offer a ton of great products! Tobias is going to tell me what and when to eat specifically. He also told me we are not so concerned with what the scale says. He wants to preserve my lean muscle mass and help tighten me up.

A huge part of what keeps me motivated is from learning all I can from others who excel. The last thing I want is to not want to do this. I want to share all my journeys with anyone here who wants to know. Even with as much as I have learned and studied....our bodies adapt and no one knows it all.

So that's that.....I am traveling on a new path and I am excited about being adventurous. My friends here know how I am. I have been very fortunate and blessed so far!! My sincerest thank you's go out to all that have helped me grow.

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2010 Contest Prep and Random Thoughts

In order to explain my plan for this year, I have to go back to my last few competitons. I was coached by Layne Norton....the best of the best. His primary goal of course was to have me stage ready and at my best. Well, he did do that, I couldn't have been more pleased. Then offseason started....and I spent a lot of time thinking. I have been following figure competitons closely and am starting to think it's way more than showing up in the best shape. I have read so many comments here regarding the judging, and where the sport is headed. I am sure that none of us really have the answer. What I have learned however, is that 2 things remain consistent with the winners. Symmetry and BEAUTY. I disagree that the judges are not rewarding muscularity ,overall leanness, hardness, softness etc as a pattern. What I see are ladies hitting that stage glowing. Glowing from an inner feeling of high self esteem. When you feel like you look good, chances are you probably do. As I think back to going on stage and watching my progress as I went through contest prep....I didn't like the way I looked lean. I did not feel pretty. I was stage ready...Layne made sure I was and gave me the tools I needed to do well. I did do well. But something was missing. I did not feel my best. I look at the pictures now and I look tired. I did not look my healthiest. None of this is Layne's fault. I want that to be PERFECTLY clear. It is me.....my struggle with self esteem. I have decided to use all the information I have spent the past few years studying every night to do my own prep. I need first of all to make it as stress free as possible. I am getting older, this whole thing really drains me to the point of being really dangerously self consuming. As an alcoholic who has managed to keep myself out of the hands of that terrible disease....I have to make my decisions based of my own personal struggles. As I told Layne a week ago, I will not be coached my anyone other than myself this year. My ultimate goal is to do my own thing...change my plan to something that is less work actually.....use my diet to achieve the leanness factor that I want. I want to feel the best that I can for these shows. I may sacrifice some leanness, maybe I will fail as a result of my decisions...but I am ready to do this. I am going to spend less time on cardio, and more time on taking care of my skin, my flexibility, my hair...blah blah. I want to glow on that stage more than anything...partly from knowing I gave my prep everything I had and that all my studies were worth something."The great aim of education is not knowledge but action."

This is just part of it. I also have to mention that I have a habit of getting addicted to cardio...out of trying to make the most impact I can with my body. This gets to be a serious issue for me. I let contest prep consume my life. It was never Layne. Layne is the best...his results with clients speak for themselves. I HIGHLY recommend his services.

So that is that. It's all about the journey to find balance with all of this. I will judge my progress to be stage ready through how I feel about myself. I want a genuine smile for the shows and not worry at all about the definition and stuff. I am rolling the dice...I have to do this for me. This granny is tired, that's the bottom line. Time to reel it all in and make it all fun again ....I thrive on trying new things. That is a huge part of who I am.

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Interested in winning an IFPA Procard?

As spring is creeping up on us all...(thank goodness), it's time to think about plans for the next competitions you want to do. I wanted to share with you the path I took last year to be fortunate enough to win my IFPA Pro card.

In Bradley Illinois May 15, 2010 there is a competition that many competitors use to prequalify for the USA show in the fall. This NANBF first show is the one I competed in last year. It was a valuable learning experience for me. I also want to note that you can order a copy of the judges written feedback after the show. It will help you determine what you might need to work on. Doing the NANBF Great Northern & Natural Illinois Bodybuilding & Figure Classic (I won second)  last year qualified me to participate in the big show this past October where I won my Pro card! This NANBF USA Super Pro-Qualifier event in October is awesome because you have the best opportunity to turn pro because you only have to win your height class...not just the overall.Here is the link to the first show in May. The promoter does a fantastic job taking care of all us competitors too :)

www.greatlakesnaturalbodybuilding.com

For anyone interested in this show, I will most likely be attending to watch the competiton. If you need help getting ready for the stage, let me know! I'd be glad to help anyone...just like some great ladies have done for me at past shows.

Also, here is the link for the IFPA website:

www.IFPApro.com

Let's all give natural bodybuilding the support it deserves!

Train hard!
Amy

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Offseason Contest Prep

So here I am, just over halfway through my off time. Turns out, this has been just as tough as contest prep. It is contest prep for sure. My goal during these months was to add more muscle. Not that I am not satisfied for what I have, but for a different reason. I want to have more body to work with as I cut. No doubt, fighting against a "hard" upper body is a challenge when you try to lean out your lower half.

Going back to November, I got my nutrition macro plan from Layne and right off the bat I screwed it up. I had terrible craving and zero willpower for weeks. The holidays were just icing on the cake per say. My appetite was and still is enormous. The research I have done regarding big bulking, has had pretty much the same advice...don't do it. Well, I look at it like this...I have never given myself the chance to grow by increasing my food. I made the choice to do months upon months of perpetual dieting over the past year and a few months. What would happen if I just ate? I was able to gain muscle on a calorie restricted plan ...so I wonder what happens if I try? Maybe I get fat? Maybe I gain both? So after much thought, I decided I will not go through this winter season feeling hungry. I eat an extra meal here and there if I want to.  How can I possibly fuel these workouts I am doing? As of right now, I am hanging around 150lb. I have stopped the sweet treats and am going with my instinct. I know I should have followed Layne's plan for food...but I do not have the willpower to stay macro perfect unless I am competing. I don't want to be anal with macros right now. So if I have a really tough contest prep coming up, I have no one to blame but me. I will say that my food choices have been much different. I am playing the beef and dairy cards...not so much the egg and tuna ones. I have to know how different protein sources effect my journey. I need to know for me.

My lifting ability has improved alot. My work ethic is something that never changes. I love to lift. Layne has given me the foundation plan to build something great. It's up to me to execute. The best things I can do besides my efforts in the gym are to learn as much as I can about the body. I still read muscle mags constantly. I find that re-reading ones from a few years ago is helping me! What may not have been pertinent then, might be something I need now. Such as recovering from my back injury from October. I went many weeks unable to do back work. I literally had no definition in my back for my last comp in mid November. I just couldn't pump and drive the carbs into it. Luckily I still placed third, I was not in my best shape obviously...but I wanted to qualify for NPC national comps this year and I did that.The point here is I recommend you buy the magazines...the men's versions I like better. Granted, not all the info is what I want or need, it motivates me to try little different variables in my workouts. It reminds me of the scene from Braveheart when young William Wallace goes to live with his uncle. William is anxious to use his sword....his uncle tells him in so many words that he has to learn to use his brain before he can use that sword. The more good information I can get my brain to process, the better my body seems to do what I want it to. If I tell myself enough times I can do something, more often than not I lift that weight and set a new PR. I am a bookworm who lifts basically, pocket protector and all :)

Backtracking again to my food issue, I hate to blame hormones but I think they play a huge part in appetite. Let's say you are in prep ladies...and you do a crapload of cardio and get super lean. Maybe you don't even get a period, maybe a late one...something goes haywire with me. Cardio seems to affect hormone levels or something...not sure exactly what happens. Then, you stop the cardio push and the body starts to readjust. Let's just say I felt like I was 16 yr old following contest as far as monthly symptoms. That sucked. But it makes me wonder. I have done some reading about hormones...cortisol, gherlin,  etc...but I don't get it. On the other hand, you have HIIT doing tremendous hormone things too. Good ones! Like increased fat burning, growth hormones released and possibly serotonin?( not sure but I feel really happy for the rest of the day after I do those). You can improve your leg day results through sprinting I have found. Then there is the issue of my body trying to readjust to digesting carbs regularly. What a trainwreck my stomach was for weeks....mostly bloat.
So I am going into the thought of contest prep this time like this....First off, I know in my heart I worked my a*s off every workout. Secondly, I fear not the cardio. I know what to do now. It's not twice a day 45 mintues sessions either. For me, I need to run outside, period ....for one session as required. I also will follow my coach's plan for HIIT. My nutrition plan will be the best possible out there. I will not overtrain, I will work smart and take recovery as seriously as the workouts. This is my plan. I am not 100% sure what comps I will do. For sure I will do an IFPA Pro figure show this summer. I also want to do NPC. I like doing both org, it is a different challenge for each. I wonder sometimes why more competitors don't do OCB, NANBF for example. Those comps are awesome! They seem to be a bit smaller, but the natural bodybuilding shows are truly spectacular and worth every penny to support.

Ok so that's my story....let's see what Sud's can do.

Rock on Team Norton,

Let no one outwork us!!!

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I'm Sad

/amysuds/2009/11/16/im-sad/1o12iwdet81mtudqxl49vix4jrya6308jpeg/I just finished putting away all my competition stuff for the season. I am so used to seeing it all over my house....oh how the mind loves to mess with you. Yesterday, I was sighing with relief to be starting offseason and stop the dieting. Today, I miss competing already. I feel lost without having my next show at least planned out. What the heck??

Ok...so yes....I am addicted. But I guess competitions are better than Corona's...right??  I am more addicted to the CLIMB.

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Competiton recap

/amysuds/2009/11/15/competiton-recap/17aijftk5kzfi9cxmlqm09wargiz1653jpeg/Yesterday I competed in my sixth show in twelve months....I am honestly relieved to be in offseason. The show was NPC Natural Mid States here in IL. I woke up yesterday and noticed something different when I was about to get ready for the show. It was not my physique that I saw....it was my face. I always wake up with major sunken crappy looking peepers that I try to fix up with makeup. I woke up yesterday with no loose skin under my eyes. I know, what does that have to do with anything? Well....it made me think immediately that my water balance was off. My monthly is due any moment and I notoriously gain 3-5lb right before and during that week. So....I was happy that I actually looked refreshed! That started my day off on the right foot. I weighed 130.5 lb for the show. My weight went up a pound from the night before. So...I was thinking my weight was right on and went on with the day. As I was getting ready for the show, I felt I made a mistake first off by wearing my hair up. A small thing, but it made a difference in how I looked next to others on stage at THIS show. Secondly...my tan came out way too light. As I look at the pictures of us all on stage now...I am the lightest or close to that. I don't know how that happened. My stage time for pre judging went ok...I had some stomach pains right before and my tummy was not showing anything close to a 6 pack. But, I felt so awesome on stage!! I was somewhat disappointed when the promoter decided to drop the figure t-walk portion of the competiton. I am guessing it was a time issue for the show...there were 4 height figure classes and about 40 ladies. I think the t-walk shows a different side to a competitor and is important. We only did a three point pose turn during the night show instead.
I worked so hard the past few months ...right through my back injury and then the flu for almost 2 weeks. The problem is that I lost muscle from not lifting extremely heavy for a few weeks... ...for sure. My weight dropped alot between these past 2 shows. So the bottom line here is that I went on stage with less cuts....mainly due to uncontrollable water retention. My precontest plan was perfect and my coach had me stick with the plan that works for me to be stage ready. As I look at the pictures from the show...the bottom line is that I was not in as good of shape as the ladies that placed higher than me. I left that show re-motivated for the future....I saw some physiques that were outta this world :)
I went from 130lb Saturday morning to 133lb this morning. I NEVER gain 3 lbs like that right after a show. Darn hormones....I wasn't prepared for that. Anyhow, I placed third in my tall class and am super happy to do so. My plan is to compete in a few national shows next year as well as a few IFPA Pro ones. So I wanted to write this for the ladies.....expect anything when mother nature gets ahold of you!! Ha ha......

Picture order...5th, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 4th place left to right.

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SciVation's New Advanced Meal Replacement !!!!!

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