Friday, May 27, 2011

Ben & Jerry's

All I wanted to say today, is that we have such an incredible community of Bloggers on here. I feel so lucky for all of you and your support. Every word is taken to heart and I love hearing from all of you.

Love you guys. :)

My last blog post was regarding how impersonal food can be, that people use it instead of being vulnerable. And I want you all to know, that your words are so much more useful and appreciated more than a pint of my favorite Ben & Jerry's ever could have been.

I've received numerous emails in the last couple of weeks with more encouragement than I could have anticipated. It seems, I haven't been the only one that needed the support. :)

I have a few friends and relatives that I talk to on a daily basis and each time we discuss their well being and diet. They use me as a sounding board for their meal choices, good and bad, and we talk about the ups and downs... And I feel very lucky to say that I've been able to support them in their respective weight loss journeys. Someone I know lost 6 lbs last week by following their plan AND letting me coach them every day! Having someone support you is so key!

Texting can be a powerful tool, I got the following text on Wednesday from Handsome:
"Baby your gonna win this next figure comp:) I have faith in u babe and u already have the curves most girls can't get no matter what they do."
How powerful is that?! It completely changed my day.

If you need someone to support you in your loss, or even just to listen to your frustrations, I am always available via email during almost the whole workday (I'm on PST) . I realized after some emails with others, that being able to help others really helps me. Or if you need someone to text when you are facing a temptation, again, I'm available all day long (email me if you need this). Speaking words of encouragement to others, encourages my own soul.

You don't have to feel alone in your journey, whatever form that takes. Let me be your Ben & Jerry's. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Slow Food, Food Connection & Connections
My rockin sister who works for our local Department of Ecology turned me on to this. What is Slow Food?

Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

The whole idea is based on what so many people want in this world: real, wholesome, not genetically modified, slow-grown, home-grown food. Although many competitors eat so much chicken that it is difficult to ensure organic or free-range, I know most of us are concerned with what kind of nutrition we put in our bodies. And I am very interested in learning about quality nutrition. So, anyway check it out sometime!

I'm aware that I talk about nutrition A-LO-HOT (that's Lacey for a lot), but I truly feel that it is the basis of our being. Food and diet really can make or break you, and this is a light that is constantly going off in my head. Another awesome Blogger, Lady J (whom I also love because she's a lifter AND a yogini, a gal after my own heart), recently posted on the frustrations with food constantly being in the office...

This bag of trail mix has been sitting within arm reach of my desk chair for two. straight. weeks. And after reading her post, it occurred to me that people bring around food as a way of "connecting" without engaging.

Isn't it both crazy and ironic that we use food to attach our feelings of disconnect and then shove it in front of others so we don't have to connect?

I really feel like this: Food is impersonal in how its used in all forms. Food is impersonal period.

This weekend I made an angel food cake, that's right. From scratch. It was amazing and I only ate a sliver of it (plus, Handsome doesn't like the strawberry glaze that goes on it, and prefers just fresh strawberries, so that saves some calories), which I refuse to feel bad about.  I used this angel food cake as a way to show Handsome that I love him. Awwww but no awwww. Food is consumed and quickly forgotten about. It is a temporary show of affection. Is he going to remember that angel food cake I made him in a month? Hardly likely. If I had made him something to keep, he would absolutely keep it forever and remember what it was for.

My challenge for myself and I challenge all of you: Find a new way of showing affection, connecting with people, or engaging with people that doesn't include food. And then share it with me!

On another note:
I promised my friend, Donloree... Well, I didn't promise her but I want the ability to make a commitment by supporting her in her journey. We are all at our own lines; not comparing my beginning to anyone else's beginning or even someone else's finish line. This is me and I'm ready to go forward. 
I may not love the hips right now, but I'm lovin those gunz!
I am 19 weeks from competition, and maybe not in perfect shape to begin contest prep, but definitely the best shape I've ever been in. Hopefully soon I'll have a better mirror to show everyone what's up... our only mirror is in the bathroom and I have to stand in the shower to look at my whole body. LOL! 

I'm at 21% body fat and in 4 weeks, I am going to be at 17%. You can expect those pictures around then. :)

The Biggest Loser

By special request of my friend, Chelsea. :) I actually meant to get this out BEFORE the finale butttt.... forgot. :)
Ending up at 132! Incredible!

I love The Biggest Loser. I tend to fall asleep during it (it goes from 8-10pm... I wake up at 3:45...), but I do enjoy watching it! I get a little worked up sometimes watching it too, because it makes me want to get to work. Those people do things that are just incredible. Day after day, they put their minds and bodies to the test.

They collectively drop hundreds of pounds and do it in a short period of time. What I love watching isn't just them pulling cars around a mile track, or learning capoeira, or the like... but what I love every single week is watching those people who have been down on themselves for years and years and years because of their weight learning to appreciate themselves. And learning that they are worth the effort and learning to be proud of themselves.

Alright. I will admit two things and ask one:
1. I thought Hannah was going to win. But both sisters looked INCREDIBLE! But holy heck! Those girls are tall and thin now!
2. I'm really not sure how I feel about Anna Kournikova joining as a trainer. But I guess it makes sense because she's been a professional loser her whole career. :P She's more like a "celebrity" tennis player. Popular because she's hot, not because she's a success. Heck she ended her career at 22 years old! Those should have been part of her prime years. Anyway, I'm getting off track. I just wonder if this tactic was to draw new viewers instead of getting someone who would help people lose weight.
3. Was it just me, or did it seem like the women were having a contest on shortest skirt?

What I think makes this work, The Biggest Loser, is multiple things:
- Diet: Very well rounded. Small portions, loads of water, and from what I can tell... very much by food pyramid standards within a given amount of calories, which I think is a fantastic way to learn to change your diet and habits.
- Training: ALL over the place. These people do such a wide variety of activities that it constantly keeps their metabolism guessing. Weights, strength conditioning, boxing, farmer's walks (hehe! They PULL cars!), weight complexes, and cardio. I honestly wish I could take 2 weeks and go do their boot camp, just because it sounds like fun!

I honestly feel that their methods are incredible. Although, during any episode they do not *show* their body fat being measured but with very high paid trainers I'm sure that they get a body fat test with calipers or by hydrostatic body fat testing (btw, I really want to try that..).

Does anyone else ever wish this was available to workout to? On at like 4am and again at 4pm, during my am cardio session & pm lift, perhaps...? :D

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reaching For Help

-Making this clear for my family: This is in regards to my fitness goals.

Donloree inspires me. And her posts seem to never come at a better time, with one today that brought me to tears.

I could go on and on explaining it away, but really it comes down to what I do with that information. To recap, I have been alone. And I feel alone. I'm stressed, I'm tired, and I over-analyze everything in effort to feel better. But what I have focused on are really the symptoms, and not the sickness.

"I am firmly on the wagon of clean eating, working out, positive thinking, and a disciplined life; but I am all alone on the wagon and its my fault. Somewhere on the journey I decided that I was strong enough to get the wagon out of all the potholes that are in the road of life and that I don’t need any help." -Donloree Hoffman -Figure Competitor

Something I have realized in this small area of Washington state, is that figure competing is relatively unknown. I have one friend who is very interested in fitness and loads of friends who just think I'm body obsessive. I realized a month or two ago, that I haven't been a very good friend - and actually, a selfish friend. I've worked on trying to reach out to my friends who do support me... but I need them to reach back.

What I'm trying to say is: I need YOU as much as you need me.

Hello. My name is Lacey Davis. I am a figure competitor and I struggle with:
  • Self-doubt & self-loathing. I almost never feel good enough. For anyone or anything.
  • Stress. I sometimes OFTEN feel like I have nothing to look forward to in life because stress weighs me down so heavily.
  • Not blaming problems on my Handsome. Poor guy, he takes the brunt of a lot of my frustration. Not to make excuses, this is probably a bi-product of everything else.
  • Following through Goals. See #1.
  • Independence. I see myself as a burden to others, so I try to do everything myself.
  • Friends. I would love deep female relationships, but I somehow see myself as a burden.
  • Coping with change. I won't apologize, I miss my cat... he was my baby and I miss him immensely.
  • Depression. This is due to all of the above... adding up.
I'm putting myself out there. I want to change and need to change. Things cannot stay the same; I need to progress. I may not know how others can help me right now, if you think you can I'd love your help. Meanwhile, I want you all to consider me your friend... because I think I can be a great one.

Please reach out to me if you've been feeling the same, struggle with any of those issues, or really just need someone to talk to. Even if we can't figure out our issues, at least let me be your friend and give you support in figuring it out.
We can all work to point each other towards success or failure. Let me help you towards success. :) Email me at any time at I look forward to talking with you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Did It!

Go ahead and thank me. Because I've done it, y'all!

Chocolate flavored lettuce. :D

Just kidding. Wouldn't that be awesome?! I realize that most are against genetically altered corn and wheat but NO ONE would object to chocolate flavored lettuce! ... And if they did, competitors on contest prep would throw heads of "unflavored iceberg" at them. Haha!

But on a serious note, I'm really just excited because I FINALLY bought my NPC membership and paid my entry fee for my contest in October. It's real! I'm doing it!

I technically am 19 weeks out. Holy crap! Haha, just kidding again. This time going into prep I absolutely have no reservations and am not even remotely scared. This time, I'm ready and know I will be ready to begin prep at 12 weeks out. I've made some substantial gains and have put on some muscle (I've put on about 8 lbs since January) in the places I've wanted to: rounded out my shoulders, increased size in lats, and really have tightened up my core.
I've only dropped a couple of percentage points in body fat however, I have figured out what contest diet works for me and I've been eating it for the past two weeks. I realize many competitors eat a keto diet for contest prep and in this case until the 12 week mark I will be eating a carb-up meal or two on the weekend.

In the next seven weeks, I will continue on the keto diet, again with carb-up meals. My trainer and I will continue to monitor this beginning the first of June, as we both want to see how my body does and how I do monitoring myself. However, I anticipate that my body will handle this very well.

As far as training goes, I'm continuing through my endurance phase through May and will go back into hypertrophy in June and July... August and September will be back to fat loss.

Now, onto the tricky part... The Stage. I have my suit, need to sequin the thing. I have heels. I have the tanner (still need to figure out who exactly is going to apply this..). But the tricky part is posing. I know how to pose... I understand the lat spread and the stance, but I haven't figured out how exactly a T-walk works. I think I might buy the contests' DVD from last year just to get that part. :) If anyone has any suggestions or comments (or feels an obligation to break this down for me completely... ;) ) on this they are obviously greatly appreciated.

Pictures to come upon monthly updates! :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

SURPRISE Ingredients!

 HEYYY! Here's my Blog Post!!! :D
Mmmm... Looks so delicious!

So, I know that it sounds like a truly basic thing to do for a figure competitor - checking ingredients in EVERYTHING. As far as training goes, its easy to put in your hard work at the gym. But training for any sort of body building competition goes far beyond our work at the gym. Nutrition is REALLY the foundation. Which is why we hear the claim "Abs are made in the kitchen!"

I know I say this all the time, but the food I, often quite eagerly, put in my mouth is for fuel. I give myself enough protein to keep my muscles from breaking down, I give myself enough water to ensure I'm hydrated for my sweaty sweaty-ness, I take my active women's multivitamins to ensure my body has the proper nutrients for change.

The one thing I've chosen never to cut out of my diet is my morning coffee.

Don't become attached to deceptive foods!

Now, coffee isn't for fuel, its for my sanity. I love coffee. I've always had it in my calorie budget. Mind you, I am training for something specific... if I wasn't 5 months out from a competition, I probably wouldn't care. I consistently budget in for the exact calories in the coffee, which is a measly 2 calories and the exact macros in the cream: 4 tablespoons is approximately 78 calories, 2g protein, 2g carbs, and 6g fat... No big deal! Fits in just fine.

But there is a factor I never considered: Syrup.

No, not sugary sweetened syrup! You think I'm NUTS?? I've always done sugar-free vanilla. Easy peasy. BUT, I was recently sold on Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce. Sugar Free, right?! Can't be that bad??


I won't miss it... ?

This sugar free syrup is worth for 1 oz (or 2 tbsp): 130 calories, 0g protein, 24g CARBS (which is due to 14g SUGAR), and 3g Fat. Which would have made my morning coffee 208 calories, 2g protein, 26g carbs, and 11g of fat. That is a whole hell of a lot more than I thought I was consuming! ... No wonder I didn't quite hit ketosis...

"But wait, Lacey," you say, "how can a syrup claim to be sugar-free and still have 14g of sugar?"

Excellent question, you! Most Americans rely on product labels to give them accurate picture of the nutritional content in the food they buy. In fact, I was just reading on the FDA website that 54% of Americans read the nutrition label before they buy a product.

"But isn't that a good thing, Lace?" you ask. "Yes it is, you. BUT it goes deeper. Let's discuss."

Water! Not calorically deceptive!

Many people, including myself are drawn by claims such as "Sugar-free" or "Low Fat". And we believe the claims are true. But are they? Products bearing the claim "sugar-free" on the label must meet certain criteria as established by the FDA. To qualify for the claim, a product must contain less than 0.5g of sugar per labeled serving. Although the FDA mandates that a product making this claim should be free of added sugar or any ingredient known to contain sugar, the organization does allow room for exceptions.

According to the FDA: ""Sugar Free": Less than 0.5 g sugars per RACC and per labeled serving (or for meals and main dishes, less than 0.5 g per labeled serving). Contains no ingredient that is a sugar or generally understood to contain sugars."

So basically, if an ingredient isn't technically a "sugar" but still has grams of  sugar in it and is used in a product, the product can still claim to be Sugar-Free (... and still make you fat...)

Don't be fooled, friends, these companies are out to make money and sell you a product! But YOU are smarter than that, you read labels and know exactly what you are putting in your body. :)

Things I Learned This Week...

Things I Learned In the Last Week:
  1. Blogger SUCKS A FAT ONE and deletes posts without telling you. I had this big long blog post yesterday and was really proud. Aaaaaand they deleted it. Good bye useful information for others!
  2. To sum up my blog post from yesterday: The FDA has given permission to food products to lie to you about what is truly sugar-free.
  3. Ketosis rocks.
  4. Just because its free Ben & Jerry's, doesn't mean I need to eat it.
  5. Handsome is the best man for me.
  6. I'm a busy girl. I admit that. I also admit that I struggle to balance time at home, time with family (which I have a bunch), and time with friends. But I learned that I'm excited to put in more time with friends. :D
  7. Blogger really sucks. And I need my own website.
  8. We're not all meant to have EVERYTHING. Just because I want to teach yoga, doesn't mean that its feasible for me right now. <--- I'm not doing teacher training in the fall, figure won out... its what I want.
  9. I'm getting more excited to compete now that my body fat is starting to fall off. (Finally!)

I might be that competitive jerk... ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Got Me Through Yesterday...

Seriously, this song got me through yesterday's workout. The lyrics hit my heart and mind. Enjoy.

I Need A Doctor by Eminem & Dr. Dre

I'm about to lose my mind
You've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life

I told the world, one day I would pay it back.
Say it on tape and lay it, record it, so that one day I could play it back.
But I don't even know if I believe it when I'm saying that.
Doubt startin' to creep in, everyday it's just so grey and black.
Hope, I just need a ray of that
'Cause no one sees my vision
When I play it for 'em, they just say it's whack.
But they don't know what dope is.
And I don't know if I was awake or asleep when I wrote this.
All I know is you came to me when I was at my lowest.
You picked me up, breathed new life in me. I owe my life to you.
But for the life of me, I don't see why you don't see like I do.
But it just dawned on me; you lost a son. Demon's fightin' you, it's dark.
Let me turn on the lights and brighten me and enlighten you.
I don't think you realize what you mean to me, not the slightest clue.
'Cause me and you, were like a crew. I was like your sidekick.
You gon' either wanna fight when I get off this f-cking mic,
Or you gon' hug me. But I'm out of options, there's nothing else I can do cause...

I'm about to lose my mind
You've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life

It hurts when I see you struggle.
You come to me with ideas.
You say they're just pieces, so I'm puzzled.
'Cause the sh-t I hear is crazy,
But you're either getting lazy, or you don't believe in you no more.
Seems like your own opinions, not one you can form.
Can't make a decision, you keep questioning yourself,
Second guessing, and it's almost like your begging for my help.
Like, I'm YOUR leader.
You're supposed to f-cking be MY mentor.
I can endure no more!
I demand you remember who you are!
It was YOU, who believed in me,
When everyone was telling you, don't sign me.
Everyone at the f-cking label, lets tell the truth.
You risked your career for me, I know it as well as you.
Nobody wanted to f-ck with the white boy...
Dre, I'm crying in this booth.
You saved my life, now maybe it's my time to save yours.
But I can never repay you, what you did for me is way more.
But I ain't giving up faith, and you ain't giving up on me.
Get up Dre! I'm dying, I need you, come back for f-ck's sake cause

I'm about to lose my mind
You've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life
Bring me back to life

It literally feels like a lifetime ago
But I still remember the sh-t like it was just yesterday though
You walked in, yellow jump suit
Whole room, cracked jokes
Once you got inside the booth, told you, like smoke
Went through friends, some of them I put on
But they just left, they said they was riding to the death
But where the f-ck are they now
Now that I need them, I don't see none of them
All I see is Slim
F-ck all you fairweather friends
All I need is him
F-cking backstabbers
When the chips were down, you just laughed at us
Now you bout to feel the f-cking wrath of aftermath, faggots
You gon' see us in our lab jackets and ask where the f-ck we been?
You can kiss my indecisive ass crack maggots and the crackers ass
Little cracker jack beat making wack math,
Backwards producers, I'm back bastards
One more CD and then I'm packing up my bags and as I leave
And I guarantee they'll scream, Dre don't leave us like that man cause...

Im about to lose my mind
You've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life
Bring me back to life
Bring me back to life

I put this on my workout playlist 3 more times, to remind myself that I need to dig deep. Deeper than I know how. This is what we do. This is what I am here for. Not for the times when its easy. But for the times when its hard. That is when the valor is made. That is when an athlete is formed in the heart.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Out of That Mindset!

I don't want to train today.

No, seriously. I really don't. Just like all of you, I have a ton going on in my life, a few things I could feel depressed about, and a bunch of things I feel like need my attention RIGHT now.

I created some tactics some time ago when I was working through some pretty deep depression for just such a mood. And I want to share a few of them:
  • Write down how you feel to the extreme. (Beyond how you currently feel. Most of the time we truly just don't feel up to it, but if you exaggerate the truth it sounds ridiculous. "I just want to sit here and squander away my 20's in misery as I shove my face full of Ben & Jerry's and watch Pride and Prejudice." Now that literally sounds awesome. But also, it literally sounds awful.
  • Write down reasons why you do this. "I do this to create a reason to be proud of myself. I eat well to fuel my body properly. And I train to make my body strong."
  • Consider why you don't want to. "I feel fat." Um, well won't working out help that? "I already cheated on my diet today. I might as well give up today." Again, um, won't working out help that?!
  • Make a list of things that can wait. Include all the pressures that may try to distract you. "I can make the bridal shower cupcakes as I'm making dinner AFTER my workout. I can sweep the kitchen while everything is baking." Everything I worry about can and will wait. And if they can't, ask someone for help!
They are not fool-proof. They only work if you want them to. If you take the time to use every tactic and somewhere deep down inside you truly don't want to feel that way... it will work. :) They are also just a few.

The first part of being a healthy person, or competitor, is to put your own health first. Before everyone and everything else. You can't take care of everyone else or everything else until you put yourself first.

Progress towards your goals daily, no matter what else is facing you, can and will give you the energy to tackle everything else AND will give you something to be proud of... Because you put yourself first in your own life. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Mom Said So

My mom said this to me today: "Give up on giving up."

How are mom's so telepathic? And able to speak words their kids need to hear right when they need to hear them?

Doesn't matter how, the point is she does. And its awesome.

Love you Mom! Happy Early Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Week 1 of 30 Day Yoga Challenge

My current favorite posture - Bow Pose. Requires extreme quad strength to pull your upper body up. :)

Well, 7 days down of my 30 day yoga challenge (actually I've completed 8 now..). I've learned a great many things even in just the last 7 days.

What have I learned?
  • You have good days and you have bad days in yoga. But you don't beat yourself up or act like anyone is watching. You do yoga for you.
  • Techniques help. Let your body talk to you. If you're hurting a lot, don't push it. I started using a technique in yoga that I created that I call "Back N Forth." Now, I know some people won't agree with this. The idea in Bikram Yoga is that you give 110% all the time. Which I agree with! BUT I think when doing a 30 day challenge you have to treat it as a marathon, not a sprint. Idea behind Back N Forth: It is kind of taken from weight lifting techniques; Bascially you one day you focus more on going deeper in forward bends and barely do backbends and switch the next day. You still do the opposite action but you just don't go as deep as possible in that posture. For me, having a very sensitive back due to surgery & hardware I just can't push 100% everytime... just hurts too much.
  • My skin is clearer and softer than it has ever been.
  • My core is tighter than it has ever been, and I feel more power come from my belly than before.
  • I have new favorite postures and postures I don't hate as much as I used to. I still struggle very much in certain postures that depend on hip flexibility and lower back strength.
  • My hips suck. My hips are hugely inflexible which I have noticed largely affects how strong my lower back is. Also, I've noticed that since my hips are inflexible but my hamstrings are very flexible, that is the next step in my practice: Deep focus on hip flexibility. I feel that many postures I struggle with are due to the hip inflexibility and even the postures I rock but can't quite reach full expression, the lack of progression is due to those darn hips.
  • I miss weight lifting. My yoga teacher just doesn't get this. :) I've made a point to focus on muscle activation to compensate the longing I have for training. Focusing on tricep activation when reaching, core activation in all forward bends, sitting deeper into awkward pose, kicking harder in bow poses, etc. It does help some, but the reality is I love the challenge of reps, sets, and cardio. I'm not totally sure how this will look coming out of the yoga challenge... Because my body feels the best when I'm actively doing both.
  • Diet is hard. In yoga I tend to crave a lot of juice or coconut water. My first week on this keto diet was awesome, until I got a taste coconut water on my carb refuel. Trying to think about how to compensate for this. But I have read a lot that during a 30 day it is a good idea to give your body what it wants. :) But I am convinced that keto is for me and just as well that it will be what works for me in competition prep. Dieting is much easier when weight lifting as opposed to hot yoga.
  • I know I go back and forth on this but for me its a serious decision: I'm rethinking being a yoga teacher. Part of me wants to. But part of me is very selfish and isn't sure how I would balance a second job as a yoga teacher as well as training for figure (and PRACTICE my yoga 3x a week at least). I need to decide which is more important, because I don't think I could juggle all of those things. But maybe I'm just one of those people who truly just needs for yoga to be my practice, not my job. Still unsure. :)
Happy week lifters & yogis!