This is probably one of the most exciting things that's ever happened to me. I feel so honored to have been selected. Thanks Bodybuilding.com!
And thank you to all my bodyspace friends for helping me throughout this transformation journey. I never could have done it without your advice and support!!
Here's a link to the article. Check it out!
It was not from overtraining.. or the flu... or mental problems. I finally found out i was sick from E coli. Ugh! After about 10 days of being sick i developed an alarming new symptom that made me run to the doctor(this may be too much info, but i'll say it anyway.. i had baaad bloody stools. Yikes!). Apparently i had every single E coli symptom right up to (but not including, thank god) kidney failure and death. Im super happy to have dodged those bullets!
So anyway.. i got on some antibiotics and feel much better! I am pretty weak and fatigue easily still, but am now symptom free and on the mend
Thought I should post an update on that 'hit-by-a-bus" situation. I took all of last week off from the gym (and exercising in general). Now normally I would be going completely bat-ass crazy missing a week of lifting, but last week I was so fatigued that I just slept and muddled thru in a fog. I promised myself that I would wait till monday to lift.. assuming I would be feeling great and chomping at the bit by then. Well....
It's monday and Im not exactly "chomping at the bit" yet. How Im feeling is a bit of a mixed bag. Here's the lowdown...
The GOOD: I am only sleeping 8 hours a night again (good), my muscles stopped hurting (good), the joint pain is down to only my shoulders and one hip (good), my water retention is gone (good), and I look human again (good!).
The BAD: Im still fatigued and feeling weak (bad).
The UGLY: I am sick after all. With the flu. The stomach flu. And it aint pretty.
Bottom line.. whatever was going on overtraining or stress wise is definitely improved, but I am sick with the flu. I think this is good news, actually. I feel MUCH better knowing that 1) Im not crazy, 2) I didn't do any long-term adrenaline gland (or some other body part) damage as a result of being more tough than smart, 3) Im not crazy, 4) Im only sick now... and can return to regular workouts (as soon as I can venture that far from the bathroom. Hahahaaha!).
So my post-show off-season-bulking-phase has been going great. Ive been getting stronger, upping my weights, and looking more muscly (muscly?? is that a word?? hmmm....). Until last week that is... when I got run over by a bus.
At least that's what I think MUST have happened cuz I suddenly.. out of nowhere.. became weak and fatigued and pathetic. I started sleeping a LOT (like 10-12 hours a night), feeling all achy and pained (muscles and joints killing me), and retaining water like mad. And Im pretty sure my hair is starting to fall out. WTH!!
AND THEN... last week I trained 4 days, but my workouts were pathetic and weak. 2 sets instead of 4, and much much lighter weights. Finally by friday there was just NO WAY i could workout. I was falling to pieces!
Why?? I hear you asking. Well... I HAVE been under a tremendous amount of personal stress lately (could be the problem), and I HAVE been training really really hard without a break for 7 months (could also be the problem). And I MIGHT be sick (another possibility). No matter what the cause, it's not good. Crap, crap, and double crap
SO... I decided to skate outside friday instead of lift, and that helped me feel a little better mentally. And over the weekend I resolved a bunch of the personal issues (which relieved a LOT of stress), and today I made an appt with my trainer to nail down a workout and diet strategy (feels good to be taking action/control!).
I will let you know how Im feeling and what I figure out for a new plan over the next few days.
Think maybe I'll go take a nap now...
So after having a ridiculously stressful week full of sickness, problems at home and baaad workouts I came up with the brilliant idea to take friday off from the gym and go trail skating. Whether or not this actually was a brilliant idea is yet to be determined.
As those of you who have been friends with me for awhile know, I played roller derby for the past two years (until I retired in October to start bodybuilding). I like to think I was a pretty bad-assed derby girl. Even though Im only 5'1" and 110lbs (okay.. more like 125 back then) I could skate with the best of them and knock girls twice my size on their butt. So friday I was thinking that outdoor skating was the perfect answer to my low energy/high stress rut. I could get outside, get some fresh air and a little change of scenery, reduce the stress and have an easy workout (Im so fit I figured skating at a moderate pace wouldn't take any effort at all).
BUT things didn't start out all that smoothly. First I had to FIND all my skating gear. After about 30 mins of searching (and a bit of swearing and an increase in my stress level) I finally located my skates... minus the wheels. CRAP!... not gonna get very far without wheels. So more searching (and swearing and stress). Ok.. found wheels! Aw, crap again.. these are INDOOR wheels (made for wood floors). More searching (and sweating, and swearing) and OH cool... here's another pair. But these are indoor wheels too (for concrete floors). Double crap!! Where the HELL did I put those outdoor wheels?? Getting REALLY stressed out now. And fighting the urge to give up skating all together in favor of binge eating ice cream. So ten more minutes wasted talking myself off of THAT ledge, then ANOTHER 30 minutes of frustrated searching until Im completely stressed out, covered in sweat, swearing like a long shoreman and ready to bag the whole damn trip, when VOILA! Found em (in the back of the closet.. on the floor... under a pile of goodwill crap that I never got around to taking to goodwill). Thank god!! Got my skates WITH my outdoor wheels. Now where did I put all my pads....??
Ok.. skip ahead another hour.. I finally got my pads, my skates WITH my outdoor wheels, my cool water bottle backpack, my ipod (fully charged), my sunglasses (so I look cool), a pretty high stress level (but Im hanging on to the idea that skating will fix that) and Im on my way to the trail head. Yay!
I get to the park, get all my gear on, lock the car, take off... AND suddenly realize that I have completely forgotten how to skate! AGHGHHGHG!!! (when did THAT happen??) So I spend the next 20 or so minutes trying to remember how to skate while simultaneously trying not to die (not good for the stress level either!!). Longest 20 mins of my (hopefully not about to end) life. FINALLY it starts coming back to me and I got in a groove, turn off my brain, zone out and start feeling like my old self again. I skated for about 1 1/2 hours until my legs were dead (apparently being in good lifting shape doesn't translate into being in good skating shape! lol) and I felt exhausted and happy and renewed.
Guess it was a brilliant idea afterall...
So I got in a big discussion the other day with a new friend over lifting straps. I had never used them before, but now that I am in 'off season' and lifting hard and heavy, I am. So this friend tells me he "doesn't believe in lifting straps and I will ruin my grip strength if I use them". I counter with "my grip is just fine thank-you-very-much, and I need the straps for deadlifts because my legs are stronger than my hands". This conversation goes back and forth a few times until we agree to disagree (or at least he did. I agreed to keep hounding him about it until he admitted I was right
Anyhoo... skip ahead a couple of days to today. I was outside in the sunny weather washing and waxing my motorcycle in anticipation of a ride (and possibly a photo shoot in my new matching bikini!). In the middle of my project the wax got all stopped up. I shook it a few times, then gave it a big squeeeze... and the whole bottle exploded in my hand! Literally exploded right down the side with a big 4" gash. Wax flew everywhere. All over me, all over my bike, and all over the concrete. It was a huge mess, but I couldn't stop laughing and thinking "Weak grip my ass!"
So Stu... admit it. Im RIGHT. Hahaha!!!
Pre contest prep was tough and busy, so tough that I never got a chance to blog about it, so Im doing it now.
A month out from the comp I was doing great. I wasn't just coming down on track, but I was even ahead of the game. My weight was good (101 lbs) and I had a fair amount of energy for my workouts. Everything was going good except for my stomach still.
Then for no apparent reason I stopped losing weight and was behind again, so we had to up my cardio (to 100 mins/day) and reduced my calories to 1100 (my lifting stayed the same). My weight slowly started coming down again, but my stomach got worse. The pain was so bad that 1 week out we decided to up my carbs and reduce my protein. this worked wonders for my stomach (and my energy level!), but then 1 gained 5lbs of water weight. Ugh!! So I immediately completely cut out all sodium, stopped water loading and prayed. It slowly came off and by the day of the comp i was 100lbs (1lb off my goal weight).
Im very thankful I shed most of the water weight and had a successful show, but it was still a bit of a bummer that I looked better 2 weeks ahead of time. Guess all I can do it chalk it up to experience and not make the same diet mistake next time around
Well, Ive still been having a bunch of stomach issues (bloating/gas), so we made more changes to my diet. Cut out the syntha 6 protein drink, replaced the yams with 1/2 cup rice and replaced the broccoli with zucchini. And added a probiotic. Hopefully this helps!
My workouts are longer now. 85 mins of cardio/day next week. Plus added a 3rd set to every exercise everyday. Still using the same weights I struggled with at 2 sets, which means its INTENSE (going to failure on every exercise). We also added 2 new leg exercises: deep squats and lunges with added weight on the smith machine. Gotta hammer those glutes!! AND added 1 more chest exercise (incline presses on a machine). Wheh!
I started tanning, and am super excited to see some muscle definition showing up. I can picture what Im gonna look like on stage now! My trainer is pleased with my progress.. so much I even get a cheat meal on the weekends for the next couple of weeks (as long as I eat healthy stuff and stick to my calorie/carb goals). Yay! Looks like Im dialing in well and gonna be ready in time for the show afterall. Guess all my panicking was for nothing
2-6-2012 (8 weeks out)
Since my last entries a few things have changed. My diet has gotten stricter (ugh!). Now I am only eating 1278 calories, which looks like this:
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1/2 c oats
Mid Morn: syntha 6 protein drink in water (with added creatine and glutamine)
Lunch: 5oz chicken and 4oz yams
Dinner: 5oz salmon and 1 c broccoli
Bedtime: muscle milk protein drink in water
Not much food, but Im making progress so it is worth the sacrifice. In addition I added fat burners last week. I chose to go with L-carnatine, Yohimbe and Green Tea. I also drink a fair amount of coffee in the morning to get my caffeine fix!
I am still upping my cardio by 5 mins/week. Right now Im at 70 mins per day (15 mins on the dreaded stepmill and the rest high incline treadmill) which I divide into 2 sessions. And I have upped virtually all my weights to keep building those muscles!
Let's see, what else? Oh ya... I am getting all the show details hammered out. I went to a pre-contest workshop, met with my suit designer (picked out a bright blue metallic spandex material and clear/pink crystals), bought jewelry, met with a stylist (and decided to dye my hair dark to accent my eyes), interviewed the spray tan guys (and will book them for the show), bought a posing DVD (and have been practicing every night), bought 5" acrylic stripper heels (and have been practicing every night in those too!) and have been obsessively looking at Figure Competition photos (LOL!).
Guess that's it for now. Everything is coming along nicely....
I forgot to mention my cardio program, so here it is....
In addition to the cardio workout I get during my lifting, I'm doing 40mins/day on the treadmill right after weight training. But this is gonna go up! Im adding 5 mins cardio every week, for the next 12 weeks up to my show. When I get to an hour/day, I will split it into 2 separate sessions. Oh, and Im also doing abs 3 days/week.
That's it... my whole pre-contest program. Wish me luck!
I do a 5 day rest/pause routine. Each exercise is 2 sets.
The 1st set is 9 or 12 reps. If I do 9, then the 2nd set is 3-5 reps.
If I do 12 reps, then the 2nd set is 4-6 reps.
I only take 10 seconds rest between sets, and I go to failure.
My entire workout takes around 30 mins.
It's intense cardio as well as strength training.
Leg Press (hack sled): 230lbs added
Leg Extensions: 50lbs
Vertical Leg Press: 140lbs
Leg Extensions: 50lbs
Dead Lifts: 70lbs added
Leg Curls: 40lbs
Abductor Machine: 100lbs
Pelvic Lifts: 90lbs added to bar
Standing Calf Raises: 120lbs (1 set of 20)
Side Lateral Raises, arms bent (DB): 15lbs
Upright Rows (BB): 40lbs
Seated Shoulder Press (DB): 20lbs
Lateral Raises (Body Masters machine): 30lbs
Upright Rows (DB): 20lbs
Shoulder Press (machine): 20lbs
Side Lateral Raises (feet together, arms straight): 10lbs
Rear Lateral Raises (laying, incline, DB): 10lbs
Lat Pulls (inverted grip): 75lbs
Pull Overs (DB): 35lbs
Single Arm Bent-over Rows (DB): 35lbs
Lat Pulls (wide grip): 65lbs
Low Rows (machine): 60lbs
Lat Pulls (close grip): 65lbs
Rows (machine): 40lbs
Incline Presses (DB):25lbs
Cable Flys: 40lbs
Chest Press (machine): 45lbs
Incline Press (BB): 40lbs
Machine Fly: 45lbs
Chest Press (DB): 25lbs
Chest Press (Smith Machine): 25lbs added to bar
Tricep Press (BB): 55lbs
Cable Tricep Extensions: 80lbs
Tricep Press (machine): 85lbs
Laying Overhead Tricep Extensions: 45lbs
Tricep Press (smith machine): 25lbs added to bar
Bicep Curls (BB): 35lbs
Bicep Curls (DB): 15lbs
Bicep Curls (machine): 15lbs
Preacher Curls (straight bar): 30lbs
Ok.. here it is. The food Im going to be enjoying (??) for the next 15 weeks. My trainer gave me one day's worth of food, and that's what I am to eat EVERY DAY for 105 days. NO SUBSTITUTIONS. (Every time I asked if I could change out this for that... he just kept saying "No substitutions!" LOL) I guess I just have to remind myself (repeatedly!) that this is contest prep.... not a way of life. I can do anything for 105 days to make my goals, right?!
So every day I'll eat:
BREAKFASTt: 2 eggs, 1/2 c. oats
MID MORN: syntha 6 protein drink (1 scoop in water)
LUNCH: 5 oz chicken breast, 4 oz yams, 1 cup zucchini
MID AFTERNOON: muscle milk protein drink (1 scoop in water)
EVENING: 6 oz elk meat, 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
The total numbers are:
PROTEIN: 157 gms
CARBS: 88.5 gms
FAT: 35.4 gms
Oh, and the following suppliments:
And don't forget the water! 1 1/2 - 2 gallons/day
That it. I intend to follow this nutrition plan to the T. And hopefully I have some great progress to report soon!! : )
I am now 15 weeks out from my first Figure Competition. That means I am now officially "pre-contest". Yesterday I met with my trainer to get an updated body comp and to be set up on my pre-contest nutrition program and workout. Here's the details....
I now weigh 113 lbs, and have a bf of 20%. Which is an 'okay' starting point for 15 weeks out.
My stage weight should be 99lbs and 9% bf. Therefore I have 14lbs and 11%bf to lose over the next 15 weeks.
Weight training workout:
It will remain the same. (5 day split, rest/pause.)
I will now be doing cardio 5 days/week....on the treadmill at a fast walk. The first week is 25mins/day. Then every week after that bumps up by 5 mins, until I reach a max of 90mins/day. This could max out at 60 mins/day IF i am losing weight at a good rate and am "ahead of the game". (At 60 mins/day, cardio splits into 2 sessions: morning and evening.)
Hmmm... we forgot to talk about abs. Currently I am doing 2 exercies (30 reps each... working up to 50), twice a week. Guess I'd better check with my trainer to see if this changes too.
I'll post it an a separate blog. Im not gonna do it right now because it's written down on a piece of paper which is out in my car. And since it's 2:30am, Im not going to go get it right now. Once thing I can say.. I am up at 2:30am because I started the diet today, and I AM HUNGRY! (ugh)
12-8-11 We Picked A Show!
I am going to compete in the NPC Vancouver Natural Bodybuilding Championships & Tanji Johnson Fitness, Figure and Bikini Classic on March 31, 2012! Yes, that's right.. March 31st! Only 16 1/2 weeks away! I am kinda freaking out that my first show is going to be so soon. But Donnie is confident that I can be ready in time, so I am going to trust him (and all his experience) and go for it.
Since this is my first ever show we decide to allow 15 weeks for contest prep (that means I only have 1 more week of 'off season'. yikes!). At this point I don't really even know what 'contest prep' entails. I think my workouts will stay the same for awhile, but my diet will get a lot stricter. (I will post specifics when I know them.) Im excited about the challenges of the training. Pretty confident (but a little worried) about whether I can be strong enough to tackle the diet part. And totally terrified about getting up on stage.... in a bikini and 5" heels!
In order to calm my nerves (and because I am a total planning/control freak) I am going start taking care of all of the details now. I already contacted a friend (Mrs Washington, Lisa Bluhm) to coach me in walking in heels, poise, smiling, and all the other 'pageant' aspects of competing. She is even going to help me pick out suit and makeup colors. Thank you Lisa! And Im going to buy my shoes on Monday, so I can start practicing walking with grace. I also talked to a custom suit maker about sewing me a suit. So many things to think about.
It's all getting pretty real now....!!
11-30-11 The 1st Month
DIET: I've been eating really clean all month.. absolutely no junkfood, eating mainly eggs, oats, lean meats, veggies, whey protein drinks, etc, etc. Drinking a lot of water. I hit my calorie and protein goal numbers every single day (even Thanksgiving!) within a margin of about 50 cals and 5 gms protein.
WORKOUT: I started out the month pretty weak. The first week was only 1 set of each exercise (9-12 reps) at a quick, intense pace. Day 1 was legs. I only made it half way thru when I got lightheaded and overheated and almost passed out. I actually had to lay down on the floor for about 5 mins till the dizziness passed (and then got sent home for the day! lol) And even though I only did 1/2 of a light day of legs, I was sore as crap for days! hahaha!
BUT I have gained quite a bit of strength since then. I am doing 2 sets of each exercise in a rest/pause fashion now. The first set is 9-12 reps. And then, after almost no rest, I do a second set (if I got 9 the first time, I do 3-5 on the second set. If I got 12 the first time, I do 4-6 on the second time.) If I can do 12 on the first set without dying, then the weight bumps up.
I love this workout! It only takes me about 30 mins to do my whole weight program. Because it is so short, I can lift really intensely the whole time (LOVE THAT!). I lift to failure (which challenges me to my last bit of strength). My heart rate stays up the whole time (good fat burning!). And I can have a life outside the gym : )
BODY COMP (after 30 days)
SO... after 1 month, I am seeing improvement. Still along way to go though.
Next months goal: build to 3 sets rest/pause... continue on the same nutrition program... and pick out my first show date!