I realize this is long, but I hope you take time to read this, as this is something extremely important to me. In the fitness industry, emphasis is placed on appearances and we often forget that our health should be the primary focus. As most of you know, I have 60lbs over the course of a few years and transformed my flab into abs… literally. But what none of you know is that when I was overweight, my health was spiraling out of control. My senior year of college, my annual physical showed my blood pressure in pre-hypertensive ranges, and my resting heart rate at 92bpm. If I had continued on the destructive path that I was on, there is no doubt in my mind I would have ended up with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and a shortened life span. Unfortunately, this is far too common today. This is where my picture comes into play. Today, as I was sitting on a bench at the gym getting ready to start my workout, I looked down at my heart rate monitor to see the number 48 staring back at me. My resting heart rate is 48bpm. This is my milestone. This number went from “borderline chronic disease” to “athlete” ranges in only a few years time. This number and this picture will ALWAYS be more important to me than having a 6-pack, or the size of jeans I wear. This number proves that you can completely change your life no matter what your starting point. So this is my message to you all… Make your own milestone, and put your health first. Period. You only have one body, and one life. You deserve the absolute best, so treat yourself and your body in that manner... and the appearance that we place so much emphasis on will not be far behind. I promise. XOXO
Why does everyone think there is a "secret" to weight loss? I have to say, "what is your secret" is one of the most popular questions I get asked by people regarding my transformation. Its hard not to take this question offensively... And let me explain why. After busting my ass in the gym and completely changing my diet... after heading the the gym on a Friday night instead of the bar and turning down numerous invitations to get ice cream, pizza and fast food... all the hard work I've put in over the last few years is reduced to a "secret".
As a nation we've become lazy. Period. Everyone wants to take the easy way out and no one wants to work for the things that they desire the most. I blame the "5 minute diets" and the "lose 20lbs in one week" gimmicks that we have become so accustomed to seeing in the news and on TV. We forget that good old fashioned hard work and self-control is the best "secret" there is.
So let me answer this question once and for all. The secret is... THERE IS NO SECRET. There are no quick fixes, no short cuts, no magic pills. You bust your ass in the gym and you eat real food. You get get off your ass, get moving, and put down the garbage. Your results are directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in. If you spend 20 minutes reading your magazine on the elliptical and pop your frozen dinner into the microwave when you get home, or even worse, swing through the drive-thru, then thats what you'll see when you look in the mirror. If you lift heavy weights, embrace being uncomfortable in the gym, sweat, push yourself beyond your limits, and cook real food for yourself when you get home... you will be greatly rewarded.
So I heard someone say today that bodybuilders and those involved with health & fitness are "too into themselves". Since when did putting your health first, wanting to feel good about yourself, and caring about your appearance become being "too into yourself"? I don't know about you... but whoever thinks that can go enjoy their Big Mac and feel like crap about themselves when they look in the mirror, while I go be "into myself" at the gym, with my 6 pack and 20 extra years of life. BAM.
Karina's Killa Leg Workout (aka plan on not walking for the next 3 days)
Walking Lunges (Holding Dumbbells): 4 sets, medium weight, 40 steps total (20/side)
Wide Stance Squat (Smith Machine or Barbell): 3 sets, heavy weight, 10 reps
Straight Leg Deadlift: 3 sets, heavy weight, 10 reps
Leg Curl Machine: 3 sets, medium weight, 15-18 reps
Step Ups: 3 sets, heavy weight, 10 reps per leg
Narrow Stance Leg Press: 3 sets, medium weight, 15-18 reps
Step Down Reverse Lunge (Bodyweight): Standing on step with 2 risers (6-10 inches off the ground) step down & back into reverse lunge, alternate legs, 4 sets, 60 reps (30/leg)
Single Leg Deadlift: 3 sets, medium weight, 15 reps
All exercises are supersetted. Get ready for some shakey ass legs! Hurts so good!
these aren't really a pancake consistency so I'm just calling them cakes...
Either way, they're awesome.
tbsp coconut oil
medium sweet potoato, baked and skins removed -> lets be honest, I didn't
"bake" my potato, I used the microwave because I have no patience...
oh and I ate the skin
tbsp cocnut flour
oz almond milk -> or milk of choice
oz (6 tbsp) egg whites
of coice -> I used like 6 drops of stevia which would be equivilent to
probably 1 packet.. you could also use honey or maple syrup if that sounds
better to you... whatever floats your boat
free maple syrup
to do it:
In a bowl mix together your coconut flour, almond milk, egg whites, vanilla,
cinnamon and sweetner. Your batter will be super lumpy (coconut flour tends to
do that), but just mix the crap out of it and let it sit. I promise it will
Mash your potato into the mixture and stir until everything is well
Heat your coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and when hot, place
large spoonfuls of the cake mixture in the pan (mine made roughly 5
Cook until browned and flip... just like you would a pancake
Cook another 5 minutes, or until browned and you've got yourself an amzing
snack. NOM NOM. Make sure you top your stack with some syrup and more cinnamon
for extra yumminess, and hey, if you can afford the extra cals, more coconut
oil, because that sh*t is bomb.com. That was dumb, sorry. ENJOY
1 scoop chocolate casein protein -> vanilla can be subbed here if you don't
have chocolate, just add a couple tbsps of unsweetened cocoa or raw
1 tbsp peanut butter -> or any nut butter you like best
2 tbsp PB2 + 2 tbsp water -> optional, but it bulks up the peanut butter
portion for fewer cals! you could also add another tbsp of peanut butter
instead of the PB2, just be sure to add some water to the PB to thin it out a
1 packet stevia/truvia/sweetener of choice -> I used a 5-6 drops of liquid
stevia (which is the sh*t... if you haven't tried it, you should)
almond milk/coconut milk/water -> whatever lights your fire
muffin pan, metal or silicone
tin foil -> you'll need to make foil muffin cups if you have a muffin tin
like me (I'm not classy enough for silicone yet) ... basically you just cut (I
ripped) a piece of tin foil and stuff it in each cup to fit the shape of the
pan. you only need to 3... but who are we kidding, you'll probably make a
double batch like I did so make 6 just incae. easy.
to Do it:
Take your protein powder and mix with your milk/liquid of choice (just no OJ
please), until it has reached a consistency somewhere between sludgey and
liquidy. You want it to be pourable but exremely thick. Sorry for the vauge
description... My dumb ass didn't measure how much I used... I'll record it
next time for those of you that need an accurate measure.
Add your sweetener of choice and set the bowl to the side.
Mix your PB and PB2 + 2 tbps of water in a seperate bowl.
Pull out your fancy muffin tin and pour a couple spoonfuls of the chocolate
mixture into 3 of the cups. You should be using about half the mixture here...
Save half for the top of the cup!
Throw your cups in the freezer for a bout 15-20 min to harden up.
Spread your PB mixture equally onto your 3 cups and throw back in the freezer
for another 15-20 min.
Finally, top each cup with the remaining chocolate mixture and put in the
freezer again for another 15-20 min or until solid... It might take a little
longer for the top layer. Sorry! I know you want to eat.
BAM. You have yourself some protein chocolate PB cups. Eat up!
---> I made a double
batch of this when I did it... because I was hungry. Feel free to do the same
Seriously, my blog titles suck. Sorry I'm not sorry I didn't end up with a creative gene. I'm over it. Now for the good stuff.
Well here we are... 2 weeks out from the LA fit expo (and 1 day to be exact, but hey, who's counting)... and what have I learned from my first 2 1/2 weeks of contest prep so far?
1) Contest prep blows... Lets just be honest here.
2) Prepping for a show in 5 weeks sucks even more... Really.
3) If you're ever thinking about prepping for a show in January. Don't. Unless you like watching everyone else eat an amazing fatty Christmas dinner and cookies while you eat chicken and brown rice.
4) Sweet potatoes are the sh*t. Some people have fruit bowls set out on their counters, I have a sweet potato bowl.
I'll turn this bad boy around into one positive monster in a second, I just had to get that out. Anyone who says contest prep is their favorite time of year, is full of sh*t. And by the way, I don't think I'm being negative. I'm being real. No filter.
If you've read my transformation story or watched my semi-finalist video, you'll learn that I'm all about taking your time and finding out what works best for you.. catering to your own individual needs. Well lets just say that all that sh*t flew right out the window for this show. When you have 5 weeks before you step on stage for the biggest event of your entire life, time is not exactly on your side.. And being that this is my first time EVER preparing for a show, I was forced to take the advice of someone else, instead of being able to find what works best for me. Letting go of my control has been a b*tch, to put it lightly. Some days I feel like I'm walking around with my head in the clouds.. Correction, every day. Although.. my sassy ass has found a way to make some tweaks that I just like better.. (like eating more).. Sorry coach. So what am I getting at here? I don't even know. I guess its that this experience has been tough. That's what. And to anyone who's ever stepped on stage, I give you props my friend. You are a bad ass. ALL of you.
So now for the positive side of things. Yesterday in the gym some random dude walked up to me and asked me what I was training for. Now usually my quick smart ass response is "life mother fu**er, what's wrong with a girl that likes to lift heavy?" ... But before I jumped down this guys throat, I stopped. WAIT... I AM training for something. All of this busting my ass that I've done over the last couple years is not just so that I feel better about myself anymore... It's so I can strut my stuff on stage and show the world what hard work looks like. Wow.. talk about a mood booster. Guess what? Every bit of crabbiness and feeling exhausted and watching everyone else eat cookies is COMPLETELY worth it. Every second of it. This is a once in a life time opportunity and you better believe my ass is going to enjoy every up AND every down. There is a light at the end of the tunnel my friends, and that b*tch is so damn bright its blinding. As I close in on my goal over the next 2 weeks, I'm turning my tunnel vision on and bringing home the W with a smile on my damn face
I realize my blog is a bit of a cluster of randomness today (blame it on the diet), but if you take one thing away from it, it should be this: You can't be up all the time. This crazy thing we call life is one hell of a roller coaster. But know this... there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and no matter how far out of your comfort zone you are, no matter how much you are struggling to reach your goal, no matter how much your motivation is lacking today... it will ALL be worth it in the end. So pick yourself up, go and brush your shoulders off (thanks Jay-Z), put a smile on your face, and kick your ass and all of it's negativity until you reach your goal. Period.
Have a great weekend
Thats right... I said it. F the training wheels. Sorry I'm not sorry for my vulgar title. I like it, so deal with it. Incase you haven't heard or seen one of my many fit statuses.... I'M A FINALIST FOR BODYBUILDING.COM'S SPOKESMODEL SEARCH! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Now that I got that out... lets chit chat. By the way, sorry for my slight hiatus. Since I found out I made it on Friday night I feel like I haven't stopped moving. Trying to prep for your first show + booked solid with clients before xmas + xmas shopping that still needs to be done = holy sh*t.
Anyway.. lets get into why I titled this bad boy "F The Training Wheels". The show at the LA Fit Expo in January will be my first show ever. Yes, you heard me right... ever. April 6th, 2013 was going to be this girl's competition debut.. in Lakewood, Ohio. Heard of it? Didn't think so. Its small town. Cozy, safe, comfortable. Instead.. I'll be appearing on stage, 3 months earlier than originally expected, at the LA Fit Expo.. in Los Angles, California. Ever heard of it? Yeah, I have too. Big, scary, holy sh*t. Seeing that I am the only female finalist that has not competed yet, I have literally no idea what I'm doing to prep, or what being on stage actually feels like.... I may be at a slight disadvantage. But you know what? I welcome the challenge. I say BRING IT ON. I'll bust my ass more than anyone, to show everyone I deserve to be there. I'm breakin' the training wheels off this bicycle and going balls to the wall. Yes, I realize I don't have balls, I just like the saying. Back off.
So, my fit friends... let me challenge you today. Is there something in your life that you've wanted to do and have been putting off? Maybe you've thought about trying Crossfit but haven't gone because you were worried about how you would do. Or maybe you've been running the same 2 mile route for the last few months because that 3rd mile just sounds too far. Or maybe you've even been wanting to compete like me, you just have sent in that damn entry form yet because you just aren't sure if you're ready. Whatever it may be.. fitness related or not... why don't you say f the training wheels? Leap (not just step) out of your comfort zone, give it all you've got, balls to the wall.. (or not), and ride around on 2 wheels instead of 4. You know what? It feels pretty damn good.
Ok... so my blog titles suck. I get it. I'm not creative. Get over it and let me tell you about my new fav back exercise. Check out the pic of me pulling the rope to my chest. Yes, I have a ridiculous smile on my face (mostly because this exercise is that frickin good) and yes, I mess with the coloring of my pics (you can follow me on instagram @kbaymiller). If you're reading this and you've been doing the exercise for the last 15 years, then good for you. Shut your mouth and let me enjoy my moment. Thanks Now let me tell you why this sh*t is phenomenal. I did this last week just messing around to try something new, and my lats were so frickin' sore for the next 3 days I couldn't even lift my arms. Yeah, it was that good.
I attach the rope to the lat pulldown machine because its a little bit higher than the cables and I can get some good leverage from the seat. Its similar to a face pull, but I pull towards my chest and keep my elbows low, which targets the lats. Now if you really wanna get crazy, you can raise your elbows to hit more rhomboids and rear delts, but I like this one better.. so deal with it.
Also... for your viewing entertainment I threw in a pic of me mid-sentence, mid-workout, no makeup. Apparently my lifting buddies aren't so good with photography. Whatever. If you were wondering what a bodybuilding.com spokesmodel semi-finalist really looks like, welp there you go folks. Sh*t doesn't get much more real than that. I kinda like it. Sorry I'm not sorry.
In this last pic... I was definitely feeling myself after I hit that rope exercise hard, so I took a pic. Don't hate. And yes I'm reppin' bodybuilding.com. I own roughly 234989 of those shirts. I alone could probably keep them in business with the massive amounts of supps I buy. Love those guys. By the way we need a name for those rope thingamajigs. Let me know if you've got something creative
Well lets be honest, Monday's usually suck. Especially here in Cleveland, where its been 40 degrees and rainy for the last 2 months. Awesome. No one likes Mondays... and if you do, congrats on being apart of 0.0009% of the population. Anyway.. today has been a particularly good Monday for me, no sucking here! After 1 week of complete rest followed by 1 week of "light" activity (lets be real.. I don't know what light activity is... sorry doc), it felt FANTASTIC to be able to tear it up in the gym again. Side note: if you're looking for some entertainment today, check out my newest pics. The bruise on my left arm looks phenomenal (aka disgusting). You can thank the nurse in the ER. My veins pop out.. They can't be that hard to find! Anyway, I digress.. So when I got to the gym this morning on this cloudy, dreary, wonderfully crappy day, I was feeling a little down. I'm human.. and this weather can really be a mood killer on a Monday. Then, the meatiest most ripped dude at my gym walked over to me and said he wanted to call me "quadzilla" because I have the best legs he's ever seen. That was all I needed. I put a smile on my face, I hopped my ass on the treadmill, and I knocked out the best chest workout I've had in months. My point here folks.. sometimes you just have to create your own sunshine. Stay with me. I latched on to that word "quadzilla" like I was clingin' on to life. Even Jay-Z was calling me "quadzilla" through my headphones. That's all I needed to kill my workout on the most hated day of the week. And after I finished... the wonderful high that so many of us feel after working out. And you know what? The rest of today will be amazing because of it. So today, if you're needing a little bit of sunshine, I hope to be that for you. Or make you laugh.. a little. No? My humor sucks. I know. Anyway.. to all you "quadzillas" out there... if you haven't made it to the gym yet today, put on some Ke$ha (or whatever floats your boat), and get there. I'll be there twice today prepping this bod for the LA fit expo (fingers crossed!). So JUST DO IT. Hey, Nike was really on to something when they came up with that slogan. Let me know what your sunshine was today... and if you happen to be apart of the 0.0009% of the population that likes Monday's, let me know what drugs you're on.
Have a fantastic day! I will talk to you all tomorrow!
Also, I think I've found a new obsession for blogging. I get to talk about myself, let my sarcasm and inappropriate humor flow freely, spread my no BS approach to fitness and nutrition, and inspire and motivate you all at the same time. Seems like a pretty legit combo to me.
Can I just say how completely excited and mind blown I am that I made the top 20 semi-finalists for the bodyspace spokesmodel contest? I have to say.. when I received the email earlier this week my jaw literally hit the floor! Me?? Really?? Thank you to EVERY SINGLE PERSON that voted for me over the last month... (I have to admit, I did vote for myself 3 times haha) ... I had no idea that I was so inspirational to so many people. I am completely humbled and honored to be in a group of ladies who are truly amazing. The judges definitely have their work cut out for the them to choose the top 5! A win for me would totally affirm that no matter what your starting point may be, you can achieve anything. I mean, have you seen my before pictures?? I wish all of the other ladies the best of luck, but my journey doesn't stop here. Watch out LA, I'm comin' for ya!
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
Don't hate me for being cheesy... it fits