Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I've learned from training for FIGURE

This has been a long process- maybe my readers are sick of hearing about it! We're down to 3 1/2 weeks and at this point, I just wanna get there!
There's a lot I've learned along the way- good things and bad, and I might as well share if anyone foresees themselves taking this journey as well =)

1. This hobby is EXPENSIVE. I kid you not... I don't even want to add up all the expenses with training, and then the suit, shoes, tanning, beautification before the show, etc. It's fun because it's kind of like a fitness beauty pageant and you get the experience of looking your best, but man..  my poor husband keeps seeing one purchase after another.. it's like.. sorry!

2. I am TIRED. Right now, at 1200 calories a day, but a solid 90 minutes of training everyday, I just am struggling with energy. By 7 pm, I'm about ready to crash. And that's without doing my 2 workouts a day that I had planned on! That being said, I'm also a little moody. I like carbs, and when I don't get enough, I really feel it, physically and emotionally.

3. Training for a competition is all-consuming. You have to plan out your meals, keep good foods in the house, keep your mind-set in competition mode so you don't binge on junk. Life revolves around getting your workouts in.

3. My immune system is compromised. I swear, I've had a cold for 2 months... during these last and hardest 2 months of training. I'm taking vitamins, eating as many greens & healthy foods as I can, but like I said, the calorie deficit takes a toll.

4. Even if you've had kids, you can still get a 6-pack! This is the good part! It's a mommy myth that your body will never be the same, and maybe for some, that is true... but it is amazing what proper training and nutrition can do. I've mentioned that I don't do crunches... and I really don't. I engage my core enough with other exercises that I don't have to spend hours on the floor doing sit-ups. Plus, once you get your body fat low enough, those abs will show through!

5. Good-bye cellulite. Another bonus! Squats, lunges, leg press... lots of exercises that I avoided for a while, thinking it'd bulk up my already thick thighs. All it's done is smoothed things out and tightened things up!

6. It's inspiring! I had no idea how many people would be supportive and encouraging me through this process, and how many people would develop a newfound desire to get fit. That in itself is very rewarding =)

I love this image from my pinterest. It keeps me motivated, and keeps me excited for the showdown!
Ultimately, I've learned that I have more self-discipline than I ever imagined. Friends ask me all the time, I don't know how you do it... how do you have the self-control of saying no to treats? It's so hard, I can't even tell you, but I've learned to do it. If I'm gonna be wearing a skimpy suit like the ones above, on a stage in front of people, suddenly that piece of cake just doesn't look so good. And I REALLY like cake...and anything with sugar =) I've "cheated" on my diet, I've had moments of weakness, but the key is getting back on track, putting in the time at the gym, and refocusing my efforts. It'll all be worth it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

J. crew goodness

My sister and I were at J.Crew last week. We each had a mini heart attack at the cutest jewelry and accessories. I dunno about you, but I am ready for SPRING!


















Monday, February 27, 2012

Guest posting

Hi amigos. I have a guest post today over at Mixers pertaining to body fat so check it out!
Also, my new gym bag came today. I'm kinda excited about it!

From asos.. They have a huge, cute selection of "overnight bags," duffle bags, gym bags, etc.
Hope your Monday was fantastic. Looking forward to watching the Bachelor.. =)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

riveting

I just discovered these awesome wallcoverings (by Phillip-Jeffries).. with rivets! I don't think they're that "new" and they've probably already circulated the decorating blog world, but I just found em and think they're cool! I love a good texture, especially when it looks like nailhead trim!




Friday, February 24, 2012

FADS

I have to do this.
There is a 4-letter word that starts with an F and it has been driving me absolutely nuts. Yep it's FADS, more specifically fad diets.
Most of us have heard that fad diets don't work, and that they're a waste of money, a ripoff. So why in the world are half of my friends and family on one?!!

Disclaimer- I do not mean to offend anyone by this blog post. It's just time for a heart-to-heart because I care =)

Let's start with my absolute favorite- the HCG diet. What in the world makes someone think it's okay to inject themselves with hormones, and then eat 500 calories a day? You're better off staying overweight, I'm sorry... that is such a risky thing, and the second you stop your "diet," that weight is coming right back on.
That is the same with any "diet." You go ON a diet, lose the weight, you go OFF the diet, you gain it back.
Someone I know is on a diet, where you don't eat carbs. You don't eat much at all, and you are not allowed to exercise on the diet. And the big, wonderful thing that this diet claims, is that you lose only FAT and retain all your MUSCLE. (Imagine my complete shock as she's telling me this!) Well, girls I hate to tell you this, but muscle is the first thing to go when you're cutting calories. Any plan that instructs you to sit all day to lose weight is bogus. Awesome you just dropped ten pounds, but sorry that your body fat just went up 5%.

I've also heard of diets where you sprinkle their magic stuff on your food, and it cuts the calories in half. Wow wouldn't that be awesome!

There's all sorts of diets popping up- the South Beach, the Mediterranean, the Paleo, the gluten-free, and before I go bashing on any of those, let me say that there may be some good there. The basis of some of these can be very beneficial, especially if you're sensitive to some foods (wheat/gluten). If that's the lifestyle you want to commit to, then go ahead, just don't give into expensive, temporary fixes that will be but just a fad a few years from now. Beware of diets that require you cutting out entire food groups, unless it's for a valid reason. (Carbs are not evil!)

I also find some value in programs such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. They teach portion control and healthy choices and can be the ideal start for a lot of people. But beware of the packaged, processed foods, because they're full of crap really, and sodium, and they're expensive.

As far as fitness and nutrition goes, the science is all the same. But health gurus need to make more money. So someone comes out with a new diet that will "solve all your problems!"Or a new exercise breakthrough. CrossFit is super popular and I feel like I can talk about it since I tried it out last week. It is AWESOME. But keep in mind it is super trendy and it is expensive. You can do the same workouts at a normal gym that CrossFit offers, but basically you're paying for them to have the workouts already made up for you, kinda like a personal trainer everyday. If that works for you and gets you exercising, then GREAT. A few years from now, there will be a new hype, and CrossFit won't be as cool.

Bottom line: There is no easy way to lose weight and be healthy. There is no magic pill, miracle workout, or diet. It's old-fashioned eating healthy, whole, unprocessed foods and getting your body moving. Eating the right portion sizes, of good calories, and burning excess calories through exercise. Everything in moderation. Sure, have pizza once in a while, or treat yourself to a dessert, but keep your diet mostly clean, and get your heart pumping a couple days a week. Track your calories for a while if you're struggling, and see where you need to make the changes.

I love the new food pyramid! It makes sense, and hey, it's free!
Oh be wise, what can I say more?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fun finds

I've been trying to be a good girl lately and cut back on the shopping. OH, I'm lying. I feel like I've been doing better, though really... until I hit up Pier 1 yesterday. (And Old Navy and TJ Maxx). Whoops.
Does anyone else get sucked into the little trinkets? Things that aren't all that expensive but they're cute, or they're cool... and then all of a sudden, that's all you've got is little worthless things that your husband thinks is just clutter? 
Whoops.
Pier 1 has lots of awesome things right now.
Well, take for example, this awesome green geometric thing. Turns out it is a tea mug, with some kind of tea filter in it (I don't really drink tea, so what do I know?) But it was on sale, and the pattern was cool. So I bought it. Think it would be cute in a bathroom, for I dunno... Q-tips?
Then ikat gift bags were on sale... I'm a sucker for cute gift bags.
This gold star thing is big and ceramic and I actually really love it. No buyer's remorse here! It'd add a punch to a nice neutral room (imagining I had one of those...)
And I'm always looking for holiday decor that's not cheesy or tacky or screams HOLIDAY. I thought these cute lil bunnies were worthy of my money =)

On an unrelated note
I appreciate everyone's input on my choices of competition suits! I've been kinda stressing because I was so undecided and time is running out... and then I found this CORAL one, and I was sold. I'm mildly obsessed with coral and orange lately, and I think once I'm super tan (pretty much as tan as this black mannequin) it'd look pretty sweet. I sent in my measurements and ordered it today!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's go shopping at the Husband Store



The Husband Store 
 
A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:


You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!


So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:


Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:


Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'


So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.


'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.


She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.



'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.


She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:


Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.
 

PLEASE NOTE:

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.


The first floor has wives that love sex.


The second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer



The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

pharmacy lamps

I have a new love. It's not fake peanut butter.
It's pharmacy lamps
I see them popping up everywhere, from offices to bedrooms to vanities and they pretty much rock.








Sunday, February 19, 2012

new love

I still get a lot of questions lately about my diet and what my training consists of. I'm over 4 weeks out til my show, my diet is tightening up, and I have to be pretty selective about what I put in my mouth. I am craving PEANUT BUTTER. And while most of us think, but that's a good, healthy fat, can you really not have that? The answer is probably no, I shouldn't be. Peanuts aren't the best source of getting healthy fats, it contains sugar and salt, and honestly I just don't have the calories to spare in my diet so justify 200 on a measly portion of delicious peanut butter. But I still really want it!

Enter my new love:
This is PB2. It's not a peanut butter substitute, but somehow they've made peanuts into a powder, and took out 85% of the calories and fat!!! A 2 TBSP serving is only 45 calories! You just mix it with water- and it's actually quite good.

Most of you are already leading a healthy lifestyle, and I say, eat the real thing. (After all, a small jar of PB2 set me back $7!) But if a clean lifestyle is part of your goal, and cutting calories is part of your plan, you could give this a try =) It's awesome in protein shakes, and I put some on my protein pancakes this morning. So delicious!

I ordered mine from amazon, but I've heard Whole Foods sells it. I'd check online for the best prices... and someone let me know how the chocolate one is- I haven't tried it yet!

Friday, February 17, 2012

those dang Brits

Well once again, I've been suckered into another British fashion shop. I dunno how it happens... it's like, first NextDirect sent me a catalog, which I ordered from and LOVE, and now this place called Boden is sending me stuff in the mail. But I kinda happen to love it.




 Because you need a polka dot sneaker... and summer is drawing nigh... swimsuit season!


 Kids clothes! I want all of the following for my son:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our Valentines Day-cation

Hello little minions. Hope you had a fantastic Valentine's Day. My hubs and I just got back this afternoon from our Valentine's celebration, which we celebrated a day late- on purpose. We beat the crowds, the craze, and had an awesome over-nighter (thanks to our friends Jake & Lauren who babysat for us!)

So I have some new recipes for ya'll. On actual Valentine's Day, obviously we stayed in, and I cooked yet another healthy meal from recipes I found on pinterest... and they were amazing!

The chicken was SO good, not even kidding, and I just grilled em in the George Foreman. I felt like it needed a dipping sauce so I just kinda mixed together some plain yogurt with lemon juice, dill, and chives.

I realize the kale chips are a stretch for some of you, but I was curious to try them! K let me tell you- the easiest thing in the world to make, and they were actually pretty good! Between my husband and I, we ate the entire head of kale. Success!

Yesterday we dropped our son off with our friends and headed to my meeting with Sandy, who trains girls for fitness shows. I hired her to help me with posing. I brought my husband along even though he has harassed me from the get-go about the ugly, manly Frankenstein poses, which I will reluctantly share with you now...
Feel free to laugh ;) My husband actually kept his cool pretty well during this.
So here we are down to my swimsuit, and you'll notice the window behind me.. yeah, I was in the aerobics room of Gold's gym, with windows all along that back wall, where the dumbbell weight rack- thus a bunch of dudes-is located. Talk about embarrassing. (PS I should be smiling in all of these.. whoops, gotta work on that)
This "posing" is a lot more complicated than it looks... There's a walk, and a wave, and certain stances, and mandatory poses that we had to go over. And I still feel pretty um.. not confident.

So here's cute little coach Sandy, who busts out the competition suits for me to try on (since I still haven't bought one). Don't mind the fact that my butt is completely hanging out! How weird am I, that
 Well, after this revealing and intimidating afternoon, I feel like I'm heading in the right direction, but still have work to do. I pretty much still need to drop 10 pounds! And probably 3% body fat, in 5 weeks.

Well to sum up our awesome date yesterday- after this lovely posing session, we worked out, and worked up an appetite and planned on sushi for dinner.
Now, my trainer actually might disapprove of this, because I need to be limiting my salt, and being very selective with what I eat, so this was probably a no-no.
But just FYI, sushi is typically a pretty good choice for when eating out- but it can turn fattening and straight up horrible, if you're not careful. Here's some tips!
*ask for brown rice
*request lower sodium soy sauce- you can't even tell the difference
*watch out for mayo-based sauces (even spicy tuna, surprisingly is mixed up with mayo)
*tempura means fried- so opt for something else
 I got this Bora Bora, which was salmon with a little bit of crab, jalapeno, lime, and cilantro. It was so. freaking. good. (The rest are my husbands- don't think I ate like 4 rolls lol)
We went to a movie then stayed last night at the Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake. By this time, I was kinda hungry again, and let me just tell you about the temptations!!!
Chocolate cookies at the front desk when you check in
Free cheesecake and sparkling cider in the fridge in our room (i LOVE cheesecake)
Breakfast options were: ham & cheese croissants, raspberry cream cheese danishes, hot cocoa, and sugary juice.
Basically not a THING that I could eat... so my kind husband drove us to Whole Foods late at night so I could get a protein bar to satisfy my sudden "dessert craving," and oatmeal for breakfast the next morning =)

This is hard. Not gonna lie. Some things get easier but sometimes those temptations and those cravings still hit ya and it takes A LOT to keep yourself on track. Thank goodness for a great supportive husband!
You better watch out, cuz those croissants and cheesecake will land you here lol... and you do NOT wanna go here!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Health article for the weekend =)

First off, this will be me.. minutes after my competition, chowing down on "real food" that I've cut out the past couple months!
(Except they are extremely hot bikini competitors)


Lately I've been reading a lot of fitness magazines, gearing up for my show and familiarizing myself with the industry. I've had to learn how to train better, eat better, and keep my focus mentally, none of which comes naturally. It seems I have a lot of friends who are also trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, lose the last ten pounds, or just tone up, so I hope you find this article as helpful as I did! It's written by an IFBB bikini pro Tiffany Boydston, regarding eating habits and feeling fulfilled even though you feel like you miss out on so many good (unhealthy) foods.


Satisfying the unsatisfied…
How many of you have started your new diet regimen?  Having troubles staying satisfied or even living a healthy lifestyle and fighting the urge to not go to the break room and give in to the doughnut?
Recently, I was at the airport and pulled out a meal from my cooler.  A woman next to me said, “ I wish I could eat that, you’re very healthy.”  I looked at her, smiled and said, “you can eat like this, there’s a salad bar right around the corner and a Mexican restaurant that will grill your chicken with corn tortillas for tacos.”  She looked back at me with her pizza in her hand and said, “you know I didn’t even think about that, next time I will.”  She then turned back to me and said, “well to be honest every time I eat that I never feel satisfied.”
This is a common issue most people have.  It’s not about not being satisfied with the foods.  It’s deeper than that.  The vast majority of it is more of an emotional problem. We have it all in different cases: the under-eater, the over-eater, the never satisfied eater.  This all boils down to your emotional well-being.  When you are stressed you may overeat or under eat.  When you're not satisfied this may be with something you’re lacking in your everyday life, which you try to fill with foods yet it’s not the food you want to satisfy you.
For the majority of my healthy way of living I have had to battle this as well.  I had to make my life changes and get creative with foods.
Life changes - 
Take a look around at your surroundings and making them positive is the best advice I can give.  For those who have grueling work schedules, time consuming projects, and school, this can be a lot to handle, let alone with eating healthy and stressors of the never satisfied feeling.  Try to organize your schedules a bit to eliminate the stress in your life.  Get a notebook out and organize your life.  You’d be amazed how all over the place you are.  Focus on one task at a time in an orderly fashion.  This will help you organize your eating as well.
Negative calorie effect -
When the munchies do come around try snacking on raw veggies.  Not only are they great for you but also when consumed raw it takes more calories to digest them, than when consumed cooked, which is the thermic effect.  This actually will help you shed fat in the process.  The crunchy foods are something we all seem to crave.  Raw veggies help with just that.  Little tip I do (when I crave sweet and crunchy food) I add to celery - stevia, cinnamon, and a dash of unsweetened cocoa for a little treat.  I even do this to my almonds.  Just a creative and fun way to switch it up.
Drink up! - 
I have noticed that when I think I’m hungry it’s actually my body telling me I’m thirsty.  I will have a hot tea with every meal along with my stevia lemon water.  The warmth of the tea satisfies my sweet tooth and fills me up.  If you’re not a tea drinker make water fun.  Add berries, lemons, or limes and add stevia.  Voila!  Naturally flavored sugar free water.
Beat the boredom - 
Make meals fun!  I have made my own protein bars just using oats, egg whites, stevia and protein powder.  They taste like cake and curbs any sweet cravings I have.  Make meat fun by making them into loafs or mini sliders with the right spices.  I post a ton of recipes on my facebook fan page (link below) that can help you out as well.
To fight the urge of never feeling satisfied isn’t an easy task.  However, with small changes you can tackle this one step at a time.  Making smarter choices, getting creative, and having your surroundings controlled will have you on the right path.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I think I just found my dream kitchen

Oh my gosh Better Homes and Gardens. You have swept me off my feet yet again with this amazing kitchen.
I am obsessed with everything. That faux bamboo chandelier is off the hook.
(Except that I'd still like some closed cupboards up top)
 Look at the cabinetry!!!!
And the marble backsplash is to die for. I'm not usually a fan of open shelving because of the clutter factor, but since everything is so subtle and neutral, I totally love this. Just a few fun pops of color


 Love faucets like this. And the sink that is the same material as the countertop so it just flows. So lovely

 And of course, awesome organization!!




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