Monday, June 27, 2011

Training Doesn't Stop When Life Gets Busy

"Training Doesn't Stop When Life Gets Busy," says the girl who is ALWAYS busy. (This girl.)

Luckily, the "busy" part of my summer was this last weekend when my baby sister became a married woman. At 14 weeks out, I could have probably afforded myself a cheat day... but I really didn't want to. The last thing I want is to derail my progress. I recognize my eating habits have moved into the Yellow Zone (meaning, my cravings are a lot less but I could easily be shoved back into the red zone if I don't watch myself...).

Diet. Diet lagged a bit. And I'm refusing to feel bad about it, but just move on. It isn't that I cheated horribly or anything... My meal timing was off. In fact on Saturday, when I had gotten up at 5am, I didn't have time for my first meal until right before the wedding at 11am. Which was an un-graceful "shovel food into mouth". Oh well, now I know I'm not great at focusing on myself during an event like that.

Training. I focused all week. And planned my training around the wedding. I took Saturday as my rest day, although it wasn't really restful at all. I had planned to do some cardio on Sunday but didn't get to it, instead spent the day running around doing chores and running errands. Although I took 2 days off from training, I need to give myself kudos for all week putting my training first... Getting up at 330 to do cardio from 345-415 and then work 430 to 3pm just to train from 330-530pm. It was a long week in that respect... but I got it all in. :)

However, I did still weigh in today at 116.0 lbs which is down 5 lbs from 5/29 and my body fat is at 18.75% (down from 21%). My goal was 17% by today's date, but again, refusing to feel bad about that. I sweated and worked my arse off for that 18%.
Here I am on 5/29 at 121 lbs and 22% body fat.

Here I am now, at 116.0 lbs and 18.75% body fat
My goal is a lofty 4% drop by the end of July. Some girls have the luxury of slowly dropping that body fat for shows, and hopefully I'll be in that range for my next show after this. I'd like to hit my 14% and be able to plateau for a couple weeks in August. Then get back to loss.

Also an update, which I'm particularly sad about... I can't afford a prep coach right now. I will be able to in 2 more weeks... but the wedding drained my savings. :( But I know how to keep myself going and fully plan on it until I can finally meet my prep coach.

So be expecting progress pics around July 25th, in which I vow to actually pose and be in my suit. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meal Prep with Lacey

ALWAYS extra rice around!
Many competitors I know have done blog posts regarding their meal prep. And while my meal prep isn't new or fun or exciting, I believe that sharing my meal prep may help many of you, as I do face challenges in regards to diet and making it work for me and my schedule.

*First off, I will warn you: I am the type of person who can eat the same thing day in and day out. If I find something I like, I stick to it. Portions change at times, but for the most part its the same. Also, I prep meals for the whole week at one time. I spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen for this, but mind you I am cooking for more than myself.

One challenge I face is being a good cook. No seriously! Patrick loves my cooking. Since we have been together, over a year, he has made me approximately 3 meals: 2 were for holidays and 1 because I was sick... and that was only once because he tends to get sick when I am and vice versa, which means I still cook even when sick. Patrick loves a reasonably healthy diet: high in protein, high carb, low in fat to help him get through 10 hour days and working out on top of it.

Welcome to my kitchen!

I accomplish this chaos of making both our lunches through LARGE batches of rice and chicken.
I start with rice. You can see my batches of rice in the far counter, and his batches of rice in the near counter. As well as dinner in the bowls :) I differentiate our lunches by putting them in different containers so as to not confuse. Also, I'm boiling eggs for Patrick's lunch.
That's 3 lbs of chicken in that container there. I portion to feed both of us.
Another challenge we face, is we are that couple. The couple that is always going. When I wasn't on contest prep, I would face challenging days. You know the ones. The ones where you come home, completely depleted and have NO CLUE what to make for dinner. The only places within 20 mins of us are Subway (not a bad choice, but you can expend a lot of calories and carbs there) and a grocery store (better, but doesn't have healthy prepared meals). The all too familiar phone call to Patrick "Babyyyyy, will you stop by Subway on your way home...??? Pretty pleaseeee?!" cannot be heard for at least the next 15 weeks.

As many of you may know, being on contest prep virtually magnifies ANY feelings you have about anything. So, when you feel great, you feel intensely amazing. But, when you're tired, depleted, and hungry those feelings can make you feel desperate. Knowing myself, I had to consider a way around this. And like many of you, you have to FIND a way to make it work for you.

Since I am so busy, and often come home thinking "Uuughhhhh, I have to make dinner still?!" This is what I do... I buy bags of frozen lean chicken breast in the 5 lbs variety. I like ground turkey as well as fish but get sick of both of them quick (although I know I will likely need to incorporate them into my diet). And I do this:
I start with 3 containers, all with different spices: (left to right) asian spice mix (cumin, red pepper, garlic, olive oil, and soy sauce), hispanic spice mix (cumin, garlic, onion powder, hot sauce, salt and olive oil), and lastly what I call fresh mix (just garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary and salt).

When I prep the chicken for lunches, I cut ALL 10 lbs of chicken at one time so it ends up like the cooking chicken picture above and the mixed prepped chicken looks like:
Blurry, but you get the picture. But then, once the larger batches are cooked when I cook on a Monday or Tuesday, then I only have to reheat those chicken items!

I will also pre-cut veggies for quick steaming:
Container FULL of pre-cut green beans. That's a LOT of chicken in the back, and hoisin sauce for Patrick's lunches.
The end result is a fridge full of options for quick pull. I can pull it out and throw it in a pan with very little olive oil per poundage of chicken. Another bonus is it has been marinating for days! I tend to throw everything in its pan, put on low, and jump in a bath. Sigh, it makes my life easier just knowing that dinner is easier! I have no option for eating bad when all my meals are ready to cook.
I always leave a large space for our lunch bags as I always prep those the night before.
Bottom drawer is reserved for MY lunches, so Patrick KNOWS not to touch:
My rice & chicken lunches, pre-cut cucumbers and greek yogurts.
Lastly, my dry goods cupboard:
Full of pre-measured protein powders, vanilla up top for Patrick, chocolate on bottom for me.
Pre-measured cereal for Patrick and don't even ask how I can manage prep with Nutella in the house. :)
Bonus Round: Another challenge many face is the issue of eating healthy at work, step into my health food aisle:
Complete with extra measuring cups, supplements, bananas, stevia, rice cakes, peanut butter, flax oil, mugs, tea, gum, almonds, bananas, protein powder, and Jack3D in case I forget it! AND some Mio for the days I can't resist a sweet craving.
It is just a little cubby above my desk, but it makes ALL the difference in the world. Maybe someday I'll show you my drawer in which I keep an extra toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, tampons, floss, makeup and earrings. But that has nothing to do with prep. :) Just for when I'm running late!

The moral of the story is if you have an issue, a challenge, or a problem... you can break it down and find a way to succeed. I would rather fail others than fail myself, so for me there are no excuses. Don't focus on what you can't do, focus on what you CAN do!
There IS a way around each and every challenge we face!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hodge Podge Post: Questions and Progress Pics

Alright. Some of you already know I'm really battling insomnia. Its been a rough time. I don't imagine it getting better anytime before my contest... which is 3 months away. Eeesh. I hope as I see the fat come off that my anxiety about being on stage will decrease and I'll start sleeping more soundly. Anyway, I keep working on a bunch of random posts but cannot form one succinct and/or comprehensive post. So, this post is a Hodge-podge of my thoughts at the moment:

I have questions for those of you who compete, if you feel comfortable sharing. :) If you prefer, feel free to email me instead!

1. For those of you who use Jan Tana- Do you only use the exfoliator that comes with the package, or do you also use another exfoliant to help it?

2. Do you shave your whole body? Or wax? Just parts?

3. How do you plan your birth control? Or do you? Because no joke, TOM is scheduled for PEAK WEEK. WTF?! I'm not sure if I can force it to come whilst on the Nuva Ring.

4. Any competitors battle insomnia? Or maybe even contest anxiety? I think I have both and its really starting to affect my day to day and my prep. I don't meet with new trainer for another week or two. My muscles aren't even getting the appropriate rest at this point. :(

5. Anyone jeweled their own suit before? Any tips and tricks you think I should know?

Here's a quick progress pic, you maybe can't see much but I'm feeling pretty good! Down to 116.5lbs- I feel like when I'm looking at these, I'm seeing an overall fat loss, not a particular fat pocket. It is apparent at this point in time, however, that my last fat pockets that may come off are my love handles, around my belly button (but that isn't even much, although it sticks out I'm 90% sure that's because its sitting over some awesome abs I've built haha), and the back of my thighs. Those are the only parts of my body at this time that I feel like I have a fair amount to lose from. Everywhere else is pretty much an overall fat layer. Pics in red pants were taken 4/12 new pics 4/16:
I'm having measurements taken again on Monday 6/20 as well as measurements, body fat & overall assessment on Monday the 27th with my new trainer Jacques. Can't wait to see the progress! Have a great weekend friends!! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Motivational Monday

Today, I'm channelling the power of Cheryl Brown. She's only 5'3" and 116 lbs contest.

She's always just lovely. The smile she wears exudes the confidence she feels. That confidence is my motivation today. Again, I just love the shorties. :) I love how full her physique is as well as still maintaining the petite look. Hope I can meet her one day and tell her what an inspiration she is.
Just an update on my contest prep: Today I find myself really exciteeeed! (Got that? That means really excited. haha)

I'm two weeks away from meeting my new trainer for contest prep and have been more motivated and on track than I have been in a long time. If I could explain to you how often I think about being on stage, it would take up more words than I'm allowed in one day.

Two weeks ago, I blogged about where I was at physically and mentally and today I'm in a much better spot that I have ever been. I'm down 4 lbs. After only 1 week of tight clean diet, I noticed a difference: ab lines coming in, my work khakis felt like pajama pants, and delt definition showing up. However, I'm making my own changes which I feel will help transition me even just for the next two weeks.

So, I'm technically 16 weeks out (from last Saturday) I guess. But I really don't like to think in terms of weeks... stresses me out. However, I'll be excited to make any changes new trainer tells me to. I know I can do certain parts myself but at some point, you just need someone to tell you what to do so you're not over thinking EVERYTHING (like I do..).

Oh! Also! Very interesting, I had measurements taken this morning and had some very fascinating results! I GAINED an inch on my bicep, GAINED .75 on my hips, GAINED an inch on my thighs, but LOST an inch off my waist! Normally, I would be quite dismayed by this progress. However! Since we know I lost 4 lbs yet have not had my body fat tested yet.. this definitely tells me I've lost a significant amount but also gained some significant muscle! :D So excited!

AND! You can expect progress pics in two more weeks- which I'm sure you all will appreciate the difference in my posing. :) Hope you have a great week friends!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Gives You That Edge?

I often get caught up and down on myself because I'm "not a runner" or I "don't dig cycling." Even more, I will often make myself do those things because its part of what we do as competitors.

But what if I didn't do them? Or put less emphasis on them? Would I fail? Or would I find another way?

Admittedly, we all have exercises we don't love but persevering through them makes us better competitors.  I would prefer an elliptical over a cycle any day. Or a stair mill over a treadmill. I often make myself do those things, although I don't love them, but I believe that putting emphasis on and doing what I love gives me that edge.

Quite frankly, I have workout ADD. I need to constantly be doing something different. And some of those workouts, are more for my sanity than they are for my body... although, still good for my body. Most of you already know, I LOVE hot yoga. Absolutely love it. When I made the decision to not go through teacher training, the decision was made because I also love lifting. And I'm caught in a love triange with lifting and yoga. I feel the strongest in either if I am doing both.

And maybe what gives us an edge above our competition, is what we are doing different from other people. I believe that doing yoga on some days can and does give me that edge above my competition. Now, mind you I still run, I still cycle, I still put in my work. I get flack about doing yoga on a day instead doing MORE cardio. But I swear, the whole idea of spending 90 minutes with a tightened core and a good 45 minutes of completely locked out quads is going to give me that perseverance on stage. That is MY edge. Oh shit! Maybe I shouldn't give it away... ;)

It is also easy, as competitors, to get caught up in THE WEEKS. We tend to gauge our progress and how far we have left to go by how many weeks we have left. But when you get caught into stressing about how many weeks you have left, I'm calling that "Week Syndrome." I'm over that. It makes it feel daunting. Thinking in terms of weeks gives me stage anxiety.

My new Mantra is "Focus on what you can do today."

It is June. My competition is October 1st. And luckily, reminding myself that it is ONLY JUNE makes me feel like I have all the time in the world. Focusing on today, instead of some day in the not-so-near-future. Not only that, but seeing that it is only June gives me the calm that I need to continue in the plan for contest prep. Looking at this in a different light, gives me an edge even over my own mind. ;)

What gives you your edge?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time to Fire My Trainer

Again. And get a new one. Again. It's not personal, it's business.

Well, my last trainer was PSYCHO. I went back and read that post where I had just fired him and have to tell you... My last trainer was TOXIC, manipulative and seriously... psycho. It was a few weeks after I met Patrick, too, and he definitely helped me push that dude out of my life.

My current trainer is young. And there is nothing wrong with that. But let's be honest here... He has never competed in any NPC event, has never trained any NPC competitor, AND he admitted to me that body competitions are against his morals (WTF?!). That was the last straw.

I need a trainer that is going to be behind me 100%. It is possible that a trainer can train you regarding your own personal goals even if it against what he or she believes, sure. But I think there will be a lack of trust as well as a lack in other areas regarding your contest prep, since it is a very intensive thing to do that requires a huge commitment on both sides of the fence.

Anyway, Trainer... it's not me, it's you.

I'm really excited to meet with a new trainer, Jacques Pitcher, who ideally wants me on prep with him for 16 weeks, which would begin June 11th, but I fear that I cannot afford that until after my baby sister's wedding at the end of June as I am helping with some expenses. So, we're meeting around the 27th and I seriously can't wait. I know that will mean I'm immediately in prep, but I'm half considering NOW as my competition prep. As it should be. This far out, really, I shouldn't be cheating at all with the goals I have set. My body fat is still a tad high going into prep and I should be am starting NOW to get there. BUT! On the positive side, not only he is an NPC Body Builder who has his own accomplishments, but he also has a few National Level Figure Competitors under his belt (does that sound weird? wasn't meant that way..) as well as his own wife who has competed and won her class in Lightweight BB. But not only that, his questions to me via email were VERY thorough, which makes me feel very comfortable with going this route. AND! I'm excited that I won't have to evaluate my own body through the process and wear my mind out.

.. I want to go to there...

18 weeks out, this is completely do-able (right? To get to comp bodyfat?). But I may be calling on some of you for encouragement (or a slap in the face) very soon. I'm very much in the Red Zone right now, the part of any diet where I could gorge on hummus at any moment (no joke... this is THE food that makes me go over the edge.)

During the Red Zone, I:

-Am still vulnerable to temptations and am working hard to make sure I ALWAYS have extra clean foods in case I have an itch I can't scratch :) ... particularly: gum and crystal light, sweet cravings are hard in the Red Zone.
-Am working hard to not put myself into tempting situations. I don't even walk through our work cafeteria right now, sweet potato fries smell incredible.
-Am always carrying my next meal with me.
-Am thankful for Patrick: he has a whiskey & coke everynight, but always tosses the extra soda... he knows me well. :) And he texts me cute "You got this" texts.
-Am still battling headaches... pretty sure that is the sugar/carb addiction withdrawls.
-Am glad that this is happening now. The next event to think about is Father's Day, which I can work bringing my own meals. After that is my little sister's wedding on the 25th... if this had been right now, I would've had a difficult time denying myself cake, but since that is still 3 weeks away I'm convinced I'll be broken of diet anxiety. :)

So, I'm feeling the excitement as I continue to work on my suit and am beginning to have more and more people ask when my contest is. Definitely helps keep my Red Zone in check knowing I'm about to meet a trainer who will be commited to my goals!