6.5 weeks out: A change in perspective

I really feel like crap today. I slipped up and over did my fat last night[2tbsp instead of 1], I’m getting my monthly so I’m bloated, my abs look like shit, and I basically feel like a monster or steroids[to clarify I’m not on steroids]. IMG_2158

Last week I was on a high.. snap chatting the whole world[aka my boyfriend] photos of my abs on low carb day. I WAS ACTUALLY LOVING LOW CARB DAY!

And now it’s this…Four weeks is quickly approaching and my diet will condense even more and I just keep thinking how will I survive and I don’t even look ready. My coach is fabulous and checks on me regularly but how do you burden someone with thoughts like this? Especially when some days I feel fantastic! I feel like I’m constantly on a damn rollar-coaster [ironically my nickname growing up was rachel, rachel, rollar-coaster]

So I went through my morning feeling like crap, taught a yoga class that was spiritual-less[crap], and then went on Facebook to look at motivational photos stalk others to make me feel like crap. Why am I punishing myself like this?! Then I saw Tabitha’s post [she is competing in Vegas in 4 weeks!] —“I am not gonna pretend… I am tired today. This process is not always pretty and it is not always fun. Yes it would be easy to skip a workout today, let the tired take over but that’s not who I am. The tired reminds me it’s hard and the hard reminds me how great the reward will be. I know this time around I will#beatmybest and for that I am proud. So tired is ok, it’s what you do with the tired that counts” Many times I forget how rewarding this process is and will be because I’m so focused on the food after my show as my reward instead of the discipline I have learned and the muscle I have gained. Those are exceptional rewards that will last a lifetime..

Then I realized if I even want to place… I need to be confident in myself… that confidence will radiate from inside-out, into my ever so graceless walk.. I posted the image below to Ohra Wellness’s Facebook page yesterday. Perhaps it is time to change my perspective on how I feel about my body… and my body will follow.

So I guess that is my weekly goal: Radiate Confidence and change perspective.

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Through our bodies we see the world in a ‘new perspective’ during inversions. Having trouble with inversions? Challenge yourself to see things differently in your mind… your body will follow.

7.5 weeks out

This past weekend I switched trainers. I liked my old trainer but I just wasn’t getting enough and it was really frustrating because I felt like my body was not where it needed to be. My biggest issue was I could never get ahold of her… if you’ve ever done a competition before you know support is key. Some people try and juggle too many things at once versus doing one thing and being really great at it. I felt like I had no one, not to mention I spent a whole weekend unsure if she was going to even show up to my show because she had a wedding the day before…… I have extreme anxiety so obviously I was going crazy, I even thought about quitting… coaches shouldn’t make you feel like that.. they should defer you from those thoughts. I was afraid of a lot of things… that I’d hurt her feelings, that another coach wouldn’t take me at 8 weeks, that I wasn’t even ready by any means to be 8 weeks out…but I really need to do what was best for myself to enjoy this process.. you only get one first show.

So I made the switch to Brick House Bodies. I am now part of a TEAM of beautiful and inspiring women!

Tabitha [my new coach] dove right in with me and we pick out a suit this past Sunday. The most fabulous part was that I got to meat with the suit maker, Caron, in person so she could really know my body. I’m obsessed with my suit, the color is perfect and the hip connectors are really make me smile. I can’t believe in less than 2 months my ass will be prancing around on a stage in a competition. I want to cry tears of happiness and excitement just thinking about it! 

 

Ten Weeks Out

This past Saturday marked 10 weeks out… I can’t believe how fast this process is going! I met with Krista to get measured and boy was I in for a surprise.. in four weeks I lost 4% body fat!! I went from 22% to 18% WOOHOO! Seeing these numbers is AH-MAZING! Seeing my progress in photos even more surprising. From here on out I will probably have to work harder to see more results but hey it’s part of the progress right?

 

 

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Now that I’ve began cutting things out of my diet I’ve felt way more deprived than ever especially mid summer with birthdays, holidays, parties and BBQ galore surrounding me..  I’ve lost a lot of ‘friends’ bc of my lack of social life… well I guess they are more SELFISH than I thought and not true friends for supporting me and being there for me to lean on… ANYWAYS…Things I have cut out of my diet::Fruit, Cut carbs from 4oz 3x/day to 3oz 3x/day, stevia, almond milk, all nuts, red bull[even the 0 cal and sugar free]. My progress is my only motivation… sometimes I really just wanna give up… I look pretty great already and I’m really happy and I’m sure with 1 cheat per week I could maintain what I have built… BUT I WANT MORE! This is for myself.. No one else! 

Here is 14 weeks vs 10 weeks:

[My boyfriend is a terrible photographer so the angles are horrific I do apologize..]

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14 weeks out

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10 weeks out

I’m pretty happy with my progress so far..

My only problem is:LACK OF CAFFEINE!!!

The hardest thing for me to let go of may be the red bull bc i’m SO DAMN TIRED all the time… I am starting a new job on the 9th at a fitness facility… hopefully it can work into my schedule… otherwise I’m kinda FKED…mainly bc my food prep skills are half ass bc I have a lot of time on my hands that I can prep every day or two vs. weekly.  I may as well start an IV of coffee[my only form of caffeine!] into my veins… I’m in for a longggg 10 weeks ahead… September 7th cannot come soon enough!

Twelve Weeks Out. [I wanna be 12 days out.]

Today is twelve weeks out… I’m still kinda shocked to be honest… I’ve been going through the motions of training and eating 5/6 times a day without thinking now that it still hasn’t hit me that I’m training for a bikini competition. The thing they don’t tell you about competitions is that in the beginning it fucking sucks, I’m bloated and nauseous by about 3 pm every day..[I know I know a week ago I said what’s not to love… I take it back!!!]

I’m tired of chicken and egg whites and tilapia and I have a SEVERE case of the I DON’T WANNA’s. See for me I’ve always been a grazer… so eating this much protein and carbs is kinda like a shock to my body.. so much so that I feel like I haven’t seen any change [so much so that I’m embarrassed to post any photos of myself!].

I took photos this morning and weighed myself [119.4] so I have a starting point… I just can’t wait to cut [I say that now right?].  My glutes are DEFINITELY rounder and bigger and my arms/whole upper is way more toned. However,I feel mainly the same looking… I’m mainly focused on my tummy cus that’s always been a tough spot for me. The only time I see a significant difference really is when I flex [vs flexing a month ago] perhaps the bloat is causing this..But my boyfriend says I look leaner sexier and way more toned… lets just hope these low points don’t last long .. I’m losing some motivation bc of it. Maybe no one talks about how awful the beginning is… but IDC I think people should know what they’re getting into!! Also.. how can you look at yourself at 12 weeks out and feel like a sexy beast when u know soon you’re gonna look like the pic below[or some variation of]… an even sexier beast… I wanna be 12 days out not 12 weeks…UGH!

 

To increase my motivation I’ve called upon the gods of instagram and found Jessica Arevalo IFBB Pro [pictured below]. The young lady is EXACTLY my height [5’1 &3/4″] and my inspiration right now [I think it’s best to find a bod that is similar type/height as yours so your expectations aren’t distorted!]… along with a few words that really INSPIRED me by Bella Falconi. I have to say thank god for internet or idk how I’d get through this without the wise words of the women I one day hope to stand with.

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^^JESSICA AREVALO^^ – Isn’t this chick STUNNING?!

 

Words that are keeping me strong right now every time I question why I’m doing this:

“If you ask me why do I do this, I will ask you back, what don’t you? I have never regretted one single training, one single cardio session, eating healthy, sticking to my diet and being compromised to my goals. I don’t remember feeling sad after a killer workout, “oh I shouldn’t have done that”. No sir, I do not recall being mad at myself for changing my eating habits. Now, I do remember the amazing feeling after I saw PROGRESS! I do remember being so much excited after I noticed my legs growing, my abs showing and my entire body tight! I do remember wanting this, each day more and more and feeling glad that I took the decision to start. Now, you really think that you’ll be able to feel that good by sitting on your couch and wishing that you looked like someone else? Hell no! People, if you don’t do it for yourself, no one will. Guess what else? No one will feel sorry for you because you are not happy with yourself. It’s your job to take care of your body, and it’s yours alone. Peace out!”-Bella Falconi

The Final Meal..

Because I’m dramatic I handle all things like it’s the end of the world/my life/ect. I referred to Friday as my ‘final meal’. Being that Yesterday I was 13 weeks out cheat meals are no longer an option and cutting is with in arms distance.. Of course I treated it like I was on death row and this was my last meal before I hit the chair. I ate til I hated myself and then some. Obviously cheat meals aren’t supposed to be like that.. but I was so strict on my diet and I figure I have to deny myself things for so long, I might as well go out in style.

I went to my favie mexi restaurant in Mt. Kisco with Amedeo. I ordered margaritas, chips, guacamole, and chicken fajitas. Obviously that day was leg and ab day so I was also beyond starving! I was going to get froyo as well but we had so many chips and salsa there was no room..[fatties] HA!

I figured I could shove in more food but the small frequent meals thing has really made it hard for me to over eat bc I get full so fast [and hungry again even faster..].

As for my bulking phase, It’s now officially over and I’m not loading up on carbs anymore THANK GOD! After I put up my last post Krista informed me I should be about 5-8 pounds heavier by the end bc I’d be losing fat and gaining muscle.. well that made me freak out because obviously any woman can get on the scale and bug a little that they are +8 pounds in 2 weeks. I’m no different. Although my stomach is toning up [in RECORD time] I was really uncomfortable with the idea of being 130 with food and hydrated… but u figure 12 weeks x 2lbs/week =28 130-28=108. I should be about 108 pounds of muscle by the time this thing is over… Not too shabby[obviously i will come up after the competition].. so of course I tossed my scale and reminded myself I need to trust the system[and myself and my trainer]. I meet with Krista thursday Lets hope my body fat has gone down by then!

Bulking… what’s not to love?

So for those that don’t know.. Bulking phase is the first phase you go through when you decide you want to compete. Basically you eat clean five/six times a day every three hours [should I do a post on clean eating? comment below]. Each meal should have a lean protein, veggies, and a complex carb, except at breakfast you can have fruit at breakfast… [that’s been about the toughest rule, I love fruit especially in the summer].

So basically you just eat all the food and get fat while having an excuse to do so.

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However, my weight has been maintained prob bc I have super human metabolism [and because it’s been like 5 days but I’m remaining positive]..THANKS GENETICS! Also I will only bulk for two weeks… some people do this longer so it really depends on what you’re going for here as far as muscle build goes.

I usually eat like bird, grazing at things as I go on, most days I used to drink juice in the am… or nothing at all. Bulking is like gods gift to body builders. Literally you can eat ALL the food you want MWAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is so exciting for me… can  you tell?

Why must I be such a ‘fat ass’ for the next few weeks? To feed my muscles silly! Every time you lift, your muscles tear and then begin to rebuild. They won’t look their best unless you eat all the food…. and the food may or may not need to be burned in order to build and restore your muscles.

Oh and did I mention sushi is ok? [brown rice with no tempura or ‘crunches’ obviously, but it’s sushi yay!] I’ve been eating salmon avocado rolls every day like it’s my job. 

Things I’ve been craving: More sweet potatoes, Tri-o-plex protein cookies, burger king. [surprisingly not wine? I’m just THAT motivated I guess]

I may have to make my cheat meal burger king this week… although I convinced my five year old sister burger king is made of plastic and is horrible for you…[my mom said she now refuses to eat there and cries saying it’s plastic, she’ll thank me in her college years when everyone goes on fast food runs at 3am and she still fits in her skinny jeans at the end of her freshman year while everyone else is wearing sweatpants…]

So I may go out for mexican food instead…and then fried oreos at the carnival!!!!

 

 

Another Journey Begins..

I mad it my new years resolution to do a bikini competition this year. For several reasons: To love my body more, To extinguish my fears and anxiety, and To accomplish something that requires a ton of hard work and dedication. These same reasons have kept me from completing this goal. I’m petrified of going on stage… when I know I HAVE to be someplace and I cannot leave it freaks me out so much my eyes suddenly start jutting around looking for a way to escape even if it’s just for a moment. This happens in cars, in meetings, even having long conversations with customers… It’s something I have come to live with and debated back and forth as the should I or shouldn’t I plunge into this competition thing..

One day I was just so fed up with not being able to fully immerse myself in anything including a conversation I just lost it… I texted Krista, my trainer, and finally told her I’m in. We set a date and I am 14 weeks out (as of yesterday) from a Fitness America Pageant.

YAY!! AC HERE I COME!!!

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I was so excited to begin, I food prepped for an entire week already and put myself on a strict diet. People say the diet is the most difficult part. I know for me, I am the most difficult part of the process.

Of course.. I obsessively looked on the website only to learn the pageants are televised. And my body and mind are immediately yelling ABORT ABORT ABORT. My struggle with this anxiety is so bizarre I can’t really understand it…. I’ve been dealing with these issues since I was 15 (going on 8 years now!) and I’ve tried everything from meditation to anti-depressants to ease my mind. Nothing dulls it… Except when I get really into something and am so happy or excited for a slight moment I forget…. and then I remember… and then the feeling of happiness goes away. And all I am left with is hatred for myself, my body, and my mind. 

Nobody should feel this way. What’s the best way to stop running away and hiding from everyone? Obviously prance around in your underwear on the stage of a televised event.

 

A Mini Adventure: Strala/Lululemon/&Chobani

I had the pleasure of taking a mini adventure into the city on Wednesday. It’s been quite sometime since I’ve “hung out” with myself and I think it’s a good tradition I plan on upholding.

I even made specific ‘plans’ to follow… Getting out by yourself vs the comfort of doing something with a friend is quite empowering [just make sure you don’t bail on yourself!]

So here was my itinerary: Strala,Lululemon,Chobani.

At Lulu lemons’s I bought some clothes and a mat. If you are a sweaty palm person ..guilty.. and you’re tired of washing those damn yogi toes [that cost just as much as the mat from LLL’s FYI!] then you need this mat because IT IS WONDERFUL! no slipping no sliding no problems. The people at LLL’s sure did mean it when they said I would kick some serious asana.

I love hitting up a manhattan yoga class. There’s nothing like walking down broadway with all its stores and tourists just go pop through a small glass door, go up an elevator, walk down a hallway and BAM! Gorgeous [huge] yoga room equipped with gorgeous yoga teachers. Strala is co-founded by up and coming yoga sensation/model Tara Stiles. I attempted to get to her 5:30 relax class but apparently the cars on the west side highway did not want me to get there in time…. However, I had the pleasure of being the lovely and talented Heidi Kristoffer’s student for the evening during her 7 pm strong class. [relax and strong are open all levels and lovers of yoga]

Heidi’s class consisted of lots of ball busting poses like holding plank for 2 minutes or dancing in goddess pose[aka holding a squat for 5 minutes] all while being reminded to SMILE! I really enjoy classes that don’t take anything too seriously, the lightness in the room was something beautiful. I’ve never been encouraged to laugh during boat pose or literally kiss my knees while bringing my knee to my nose. Yeah Strala is something wonderfully different.

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Heidi Kristoffer @ Strala [holding forearm stand]

Last but not least CHOBANI! Chobani soho is on prince street [not far from strala yoga] and is the only Chobani store in the world. Where they literally make you yogurt with the freshest and yummiest of ingredients. This was such a treat after yoga, I almost ordered every single one I couldn’t choose. So I settled on two one for now one for the morning.. I got Grapefruit & Mint and for later Fig &Walnut. [ I will definitely be recreating both if not all masterpieces at home]

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Quick Tip: For those who don’t know flavored yogurt has wayyy too much sugar/extra ingredients. You’re better off getting plain and adding honey yourself so it was really  great the C.soho used plain yay!

I was the happiest little yogi in the world coming back home I actually had trouble sleeping.. perhaps it was because I knew I would be sporting my new LLL clothes/mat in the morning.

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