Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My life is absolutely crazy right now. Aside from the holiday hustle & bustle, we are constantly working on our house projects while the weather is still relatively mild, I had 3 good friends get engaged over the Christmas weekend, I'm an aunt for the 5th time on Christmas Eve, my sister gave birth to my beautiful niece Hailey Davis (maiden names are always the middle names in their family), and I have been working like a mad woman at my new job.

My new job has been nutso. There are so many different facets to what needs to get done in this job, its amazing. Last week, I will admit, I had been working so hard and trying to get everything done that I completely went a full work day without food (don't ask) and I think I had to be told to go home no less than 3 times last week. This week is a bit better, starting to get more in the groove, however, I still have crazier weeks to come this January. But this week I have been better with my meal times.

Anyway, if you have emailed me, texted me, facebooked me, tweeted me, called me and I have not gotten back to you... I'm so sorry! Just give me a kind reminder and I will. :) Also sorry I haven't read any of your blogs! Work is really cramping my style right now.

I wasn't real excited about this. I mean, its hard to get excited about an injury but just wanted to show you all the severity of the injury as well as what I am doing to work on healing.

I was also not real excited about taking and showing these photos. But our bodies show the reality of our lives and choices and this is my reality of where I am in starting prep. I discussed my injury with my prep coach and he feels we have adequate time to work on healing and start prep. But that does mean diet needs to be clean right now, which is has been... but  for me right now it means that I just need to be on guard for other random foods around this time of year, instead of being lackadaisical about my nutrition. My FBM content is slightly lower than my last prep, I have about 2 lbs more muscle (which put me at 98.5 LBM, right where I wanted to be), and definitely have my work cut out for me.

At first, like I said I wasn't really excited about taking and showing these photos. But the more I look at them, the better I see myself. I think my mind has been skewed in how I see myself. I think NOT doing my competition in October was worse on my self-esteem than anything else. But at any rate, you can tell I've increased some muscle mass... although my frame shows the fat I've put on, it definitely holds differently. Still mostly in my love-handles and tum tum, but I can still see some V-Cut going on and feel stronger (aside from my low back).

See that horrible scoliosis looking gross spine curvature?! My body is trying desperately to take weight off my hip. These were taken last Tuesday (12/13). But I was walking everyday, like I was told to. And have been able to run a few times in this last week. I even did abs on Monday! I could still feel the strain in my back, so I only did a few sets and listened to my body. But yeah, can definitely tell a difference in my tummy an addition of muscle. :) Kind of excited to see what it looks like underneath!

I'm officially in hard core prep on Monday. Meaning, no option of sleeping in versus am cardio. :) Again, I'm committing to the Emerald Cup in Seattle on April 21st and probably the Empire Classic on April 28th. Also considering the Bill Pearl Classic in Bend, OR on May 12th but we will see (pretty much only if this prep goes smoother than last time, boyfriends only stay with emotional wrecks for so long haha). Yep, still planning on Bikini... May try my hand at Figure at the Empire Classic, just for fun. I'll admit that while I want my body to look more like bikini.... I have a figure back. Its just the truth. I was a swimmer for years and just have a thicker back.

So anyway, since I have taken up 23 minutes of work time typing this up I had better get back at it (okay seriously, this is my only time to do this stuff!) and get some breakfast... Next week there will be progress pictures!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday and Take it easy out there on New Years people! ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Most Recent iTunes Binge

I'll have a new update coming in the next couple of days BUT! Thought I'd pass along my most recent iTunes Binge.

1. Epic by B.o.B.
   No reason. I just love B.o.B. His rhymes flow so well to my ears. ;)

2. I'm The Best by Nicki Minaj
    Because I am the best. ;)

3. 7 by the Artist Formerly Known as Prince
    Just to go old school on ya...

4. Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO
    I totally get down to this on cardio... Friggin FUNNIEST video evar!

5. Called Out In the Dark by Snow Patrol
    I absolutely love this song. Something about it, but I find myself playing this song a LOT!

6. Workout by J. Cole
    Its the Paula Abdul remix in it that I love, brings me back.

7. I Am The Champion by  B.o.B
   Just because I think B.o.B is funny as hell.

8. Right Thru Me by Nicki Minaj

9. Blackout by Breathe Carolina
    Because we're all getting started! Don't blackout!

10. Make Me Proud by Drake & Nicki Minaj
   SIGH! I have the biggest crush on Drake ever.... Why is he so sexy all the time?!?!

There you have it! I'll probably have another binge sometime in the near future... just because binging on treats won't be an option! ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Christmas Prayer For All

My sincere prayer for all athletes and non-athletes alike is that you will never have to deal with the pain and stress of a broken back.

(True) Stories.
In August of 2005, after having so much fun rock climbing and developing an invincible ego, I fell while unharnessed and unbelayed 80 feet up on the face of a familiar rock. The move that would forever change my life was my last of the day and completing it would have meant me looking down and walking to my car unscathed. However, that isn't what happened. As previously mentioned, I was 80 feet up a rock face and on my last move. I was in a position that looks like this:
With a leg and arm in a cravasse, the other leg & arm on smooth rock. It only meant pushing my body up and I would have been done with my climb for the day. Except my foot that was on smooth rock had one problem: It was on smooth rock. It slipped and subsequently swung me in that direction pulling my foot and other hand out of its secure placement in the cravasse, which meant only my left hand on smooth rock was placed. And that couldn't last long. And it didn't.

What I get asked a lot, is what was going through my head at that point? Honestly, all I could think about was "How am I going to survive this?" I had a very strange and clear moment, which felt like an eternity, although only a few seconds. I knew I was going to fall. The only thing I could control was how I was going to fall. My first thought was to try to regain my placement in the cravasse, but decided against it as I felt struggling could mean completely losing placement and falling 80 feet to my death. My second thought was trying to fall to the ledge I could see 30 feet below me. During my moment of clarity, I thought "how do I land?" I considered landing on my side, I considered landing on my feet. And with that, my right hand gave out.

I fell 30 feet to the ledge below, skidding on my feet, and landing on my butt. With the force of a 120 lbs woman falling 30 feet to only meet the force of a rock, my L1 vertebrae absorbed the stress of both forces... and burst.

Shockingly enough, with the hundreds of tiny splinters that were now surrounding my spinal cord, none of them actually pierced my spinal cord. Aside from coming very close to death, I was just barely tip-toe'ing around being paralyzed from the waist down. Fast forward 24 hours, and I had already been on the news and in a hospital bed. Although completely humiliated, stressed, ashamed, and hurt, I went through a complete L1 vertebrectomy (removing the vertebrae) and a T12 thru L2 Spinal Fusion (fusing the 3 vertebrae with a titanium cage). I became a whole inch shorter.

(Painful) Problems.
So, let me just explain the vast array of issues associated with the fun experience I had above. If I thought breaking my back would be the worst of my problems at that point, I was dead wrong.

After 3 months off from work, wearing a gigantic back brace all day every day, 4 physical therapy appointments a week for 12 weeks, massage therapy once a week for 12 weeks (By the way, ALL OF WHICH I could not drive myself to) and a cabinet full of muscle relaxers, pain killers and anti-inflammatory's... I was deemed well enough to work again.

As I went back into the work force, I was still in pain... I couldn't stand for more than a half an hour which was a problem at work, and doing chores, and taking a shower (I had a chair for the shower). I couldn't sit for more than 5 minutes, which was a huge problem when driving and going to church. I was on so many drugs I had become constipated which was very very difficult considering there is no "pushing" when you cannot even contract your core muscles. Rectal suppositories was something my mother and I faced daily, and when you are 20 years old it is simply humiliating, but I couldn't twist my back in any way. But my love for my mother changed at that point.

Laughing, sneezing, coughing was all difficult for months. I couldn't eat with friends, sit in a movie, go shopping without being extremely uncomfortable, which was obviously hard for my friends who would want to show me a good time when I wasn't working. Most nights of the week, by the end of the day I was completely hunched over, not able to stand up straight whatsoever, because my back muscles were so exhausted. I gained weight due to being sedentary which made the pain worse. I think you all know the end of the story is that I lost weight and my back pain became controllable. And for the most part, it is.

This weekend (just as my diet and exercise regimen became exciting again, of course) I experienced it again. I woke up Saturday morning with such intense pain I could barely get out of bed. Riding in the car, I had to have the seat fully reclined. I couldn't sit at all. I had to be lying down or standing. Pain levels interest me greatly just because of the great difference people can have in their tolerance. And although you might be in great pain, no one can ever understand what that feels like to you. Doctors even. And often times, I think because they see so many drug seekers, they aren't really sure how to treat your pain as more than just pain. What I seek, isn't to control my pain. I seek to control my pain by making my body stronger and therefore not having pain by eradicating the problem.

After 6 years of working hard to keep my body healthy and make it strong, one wrong move can bring you to your knees. And for me, the pain has literally brought me to my knees multiple times.

I tell you this big long story really just to say:
Take care of your body BEFORE it becomes necessity and BEFORE you can't anymore.

The doctor told me that I have strained my SI (sacro-iliac) muscle which has tightened up around my sciatic nerve. Pain shoots down the sides of my legs to my ankles. I can't really sit on the right side of my hips. When I walk, I look like I have scoliosis as my body tries to contort to take pressure off my right hip. There is no chance I will be lifting anytime soon. I start more rounds of physical therapy, massage therapy and living life only to get the pain down starting today. I would rather my time be spent on bettering my body, but I will take walking over not. I will take mobility over being flat on my back, which always means baby steps. I can't be greedy, that got me where I am today.

There are times when I see people doing only minimum work at the gym, like on the elliptical and not sweating, and I think to myself, "Those people are never going to get anywhere if they don't push themselves!" Shame on me for ever judging a person. Because for a while, I am genuinely only going to be able to do light walking or light elliptical as it turns out.

My Prayer.
My prayer and plea for all of you is that you never have to experience debilitating pain. Much less for the rest of your life. Take care of your body before you aren't able to. Stretch your muscles, warm up before your workouts, drink enough water! I very much encourage yoga to keep your mobility... because our spines were made to bend backward just as much as forward, and stretching those muscles will help with your overall health.

Athletes and non-athletes alike all deserve a healthy body. Most diabetics don't change their diet even after they're diagnosed with diabetes. And most athletes don't begin a strong stretching regimen until after they sprain something. Most people don't start taking care of their bodies until something goes wrong, you owe it to yourself to be smarter than that. You are smarter than that.

I'm off to some massage therapy to hopefully relieve some pain. By the way, even though I'm not working out currently, diet has not faltered. Diet is just as important to the health of the body. :) Isn't it interesting that people used to wish each other good health? That is because it truly is one of the important things in life. Hope you all are doing well and are HEALTHY beyond belief! Merry Christmas! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stuff I Don't Feel Guilty About

1. I don't feel guilty about gym time.

I spend more time in the gym than I do anywhere else, aside from work and home. That is MY time. And I certainly can't take care of anyone or anything else until I take care of myself. :) It is the one place where I find myself both completely capable and yet challenged. Brings out the superwoman in me.

2. I don't feel guilty about spending money on myself.

Ever. I refuse to feel guilty about it. Once upon a time, I was in a relationship with a man that made less than I do... And I would feel guilty about spending $10 on myself. My boyfriend has no problems with how I choose to spend my money, and that freedom is one of the best feelings ever. It honestly causes me not to go overboard because of his trust.

3. That being said, I also don't feel guilty about wanting a breast augmentation.

Part of what makes your life yours, is how you feel about your own body. Its amazing that I lost so much weight and have parts that didn't quite bounce back. Nevermind, I was trying to be somewhat discrete about how I phrased all of this but it just isn't working. I have big time saggy boobs. And I do not feel bad that I want them to match the rest of my curvy body. For a long time, I waged war with myself over it... but what comes down to it is that it is something for me. And Patrick. I don't feel vain and I don't feel guilty.

4. I don't feel guilty about not liking Kanye West.

No explanation. I think he is just plain douchey. I don't like country music (even though I live in the country) but I genuinely saw him as the biggest douche bag ever when he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the Grammy's a few years ago.

5. I really don't feel guilty about my love of pumpkin things.

Or baking. I just have to regulate how much I bake or Patrick will end up finding me in a mountain of flour snorting sifted sugar, a sink fuuuullll of dishes, and a large assortment of baked goods everywhere. I could easily have been a southern momma in another life.

6. I don't feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

I refuse to feel guilty about the above things. I genuinely think that it is time to let go of any Catholic dispositions of naturally feeling guilty. We can't make progress if we are holding ourselves back. Stop feeling guilty and own the things you love and want in life.

What don't you feel guilty about? :)