Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Clean Treat and LEGS....

Today is Leg Day. 
I usually do about 2 a week, one heavy, one light! 
Today is lighter, but more exercises! 

Squats 4 sets 115# (6-8 reps)
Deadlifts 4 sets 95#
walking lunges 3 sets 25#
split squats 4 sets 30#
hamstring curls 3 sets
splashes of weighted crunches in-between! 


Chocolate breakfast Bran muffin!! 

1/4 cup Oat Bran
1 tsp Xylitol (or 1 packet stevia)
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of coconut oi
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 egg
1 tsp chocolate protein powder
 ( OR VANILLA with 1 tsp of mini chocolate chips)
Mix ingredients and put in a coffee cup, microwave for 45 seconds, 
tip cup over and it will slide right out, top with honey or fruit and enjoy!! 

It's SUCH a great treat to have for breakfast or snack, it's sweet and muffin like and really hits the spot for a much needed and very clean treat!!! 

4 weeks out

This pic was from last week, so 5 weeks out, but BOY does the clean diet make amazing difference in abs and physique, you really DO see a difference if you STICK with it!! I am 4 weeks out from my show and 2 weeks out from a photo-shoot with a national photographer!! YIKES! What amazing opportunities have come down my path, I am so grateful to God for everything he sends my way!! Loving, learning and LIVING for him!! It's the best way to experience life!! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Change your mind, change your body

That burning in my arms. 
Don't want to lift another rep,
There so much more to go. 

That burning.
That Strain...
It's in your ARMS. Not your heart. Not your head. Not Command central. 
Arms take orders from YOU. 

I look in the mirror, I look myself in the EYES. 
Where am I? Not here, not alone in the weight room, not sweating and pulling as hard as I can on this iron. Not alone in this hard work, not red faced in the late night. 

I am shining, smiling, in the pink. 
I am past the mirror, past the hazel gate guarding these dreams. 
Walking, winning, worshiping, hand lifted. 

I am there on the stage and the burning is far off on the edge of the audience. 
The pain is peripheral, it's numbness is quiet under the white hot lights. Not gone, not yet a memory. 
What is external is not permiating what is eternal and what is eternal is gracing my future. 
That burning in my arms? 
It only hurts on the outside. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Muscle: No Fear

I love this:
Even though it's only 2 and a half months into the year, I need a REMINDER: I have goals, I am on my way, I am MAKING IT in 2012!!! 

Really listen to others....the BIG ones... 

Muscle: No Fear
I am SURE you know, or have read that for every pound of muscle you gain, your body burns an extra 50 calories! 
YES, muscle burns more calories, even when you are at REST (cardio doesn't do that!) than no or little muscle. Just ONE extra pound of muscle, which is tighter and smaller than it's fatty counterparts, takes up less space than fat and is sexy will burn calories for you--it will WORK FOR YOU!!!! 

Don't be afraid to lift, it will help you reach your goals faster!! Get lifting, get burning, get going!!

2 weeks ago, a BACK shot for my competition coach. Not a skinny girl, not a pretty girl, just a bit of a fit girl working to gain muscle and meet goals! 

What gaining muscle is NOT: 

Not your average lifting workouts at the gym. Granted, what I am working toward is a figure competition where I am aiming on gaining muscle, it's a darn tootin' LOT of work, and takes extra effort in the gym and in the kitchen. So, don't worry you won't get big, bulky and muscle bound. You can gain a pound of muscle and enjoy the results without looking like a bodybuilder. 

This is also not the result of 15 reps with 10 pound weights or lighter. Lifting to "tone" is a relative myth. Muscle fiber is muscle fiber is muscle. Muscle doesn't turn to fat when not growing. Muscle defined is a bigger muscle than smaller. Lifting heavy with fewer reps (depending on the time in cycle, I am always between 6-10, sometimes more for extreme fatigue. 

Gaining muscle is NOT the result of endless cardio, long, long runs and endless classes burning calories and ending when the music is off. It's a fat loss regime, gain muscle lose fat. Eat clean, lift heavy. CHANGE your body shape, don't just shed a few pounds. There is nothing wrong with cardio, even long cardio, but it will lean you out, not cut you up and it has the potential to eat away at the muscle you are working so hard to build. 

How do you feel about gaining muscle, do you like it on your figure, do you find it hard or easy to gain it? 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Each rep, each set, each step

Happy Saturday!! Here is a poem I love: 

I own it - do you see?

I'm not training for "almost," "not quite," 
or "maybe."
Each rep, each set, each step -
Closer to victory.
... So, on I fight -
Me vs. me.
Leaving nothing on the field -
Only sweat.
Giving more than my all -
No regret.
Pushing for the day I find
The body in the mirror
Mirrors the one I see in my mind.
I own it - and I'll never rest
Until I'm better than my best....
By: Erin Stern

I am SO excited, I am seeing more and more gains, 
I can tell my shoulders, my medial Delts, are rounding out. 
The middle part of your deltoid that you target with side 
raises and overhead press, that's what gives us that 
rounded look in our shoulders! A MUST for the figure 
stage and mine are really coming out nice, each rep, 
each set, each step !! 

Valentines RECAP! 
My first, ONLY and last valentines day as an engaged 
woman was amazing!!! I was surprised by MACK at home 
AND at work! 

He sent me flowers at work and surprised me with a 
dinner out at an Italian restaurant that had a FOUR 
course dinner!! I didn't take any pics, but a blurry 
one of us below!  

It was a late night, but we were spontaneous, tired and 
happy...I have never seen someone so THRILLED to give 
to me and love me. Oh, wait, yes I have!! My groom here 
reflects the light and LOVE of my King in heaven! Jesus' 
light just pours out of him. When he is SO enthusiastic to
buy me dinner, a ring, provide all he does for me, he just 
points to Jesus with every action. 
I LOVE you MACK, I love you Jesus! 

each rep, each set, each step
I am tracking all my workouts, each set each rep, and took 
a few minutes today to plan ALL of next week out. The exercises 
are set the reps and weights will change, read IMPROVE in 
strength for the lifts!!! I am SO pumped to have the days already 
planned, in and OUT of the gym, tons of hard work in between 
and planning DONE! 
Sunday I am tracking all my meals ahead of time, prep cooking 
for the WHOLE week and taking the upper hand. No running out of 
food, no forgetting a snack or trying to remember how much I 
lifted last week... time to DO WORK and get FIT!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Heart Day: Show & sow LOVE

Here is Eva Faith. She is the newest member of my household. Here she is, standing on the promises of God. Good kitty!!! 

HOW we know what love is: 

Phil 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

1 John 3:16: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

2 Tim 1:7: For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Sure Romantic love is great. Sure I am probably saying that since I am engaged to MACK this year. No, actually I am not. Years and years I have gotten valentines from my parents and my brother. Without FAIL, Dad sends me chocolates and this year is NO exception! 
Thanks Dad!! 

Today is a day we can show love to EVERYONE!! 

Engaged or not, hitched, attached, it's complicated, swingin' single or NOT, we can show love to others, the way that God shows love to us! Put away the big box of chocolates and Kleenex and get to LOVING others! Send an email to a friend, buy a stranger a coffee, compliment someone you don't know, call you Mother, help your neighbor, extend a hand to that certain person who maybe rubs you the wrong way! 

Show love and SOW Love
What we plant will be what we harvest... don't forget!

MACK SOWING love after I foiled his hair!! 

Heart Healthy tips! 

Watch salt and sugar: People are so concerned with calories that they often over look sodium and sugar in foods! Limit sugars to natural sources like fruits and steer clear of sodium laden foods like fast food, processed and frozen foods. 

Get those Omega-3's in!! Salmon, oatmeal, walnuts are great sources. Or you can take Udo's oil, flax oil or fish oil daily to cover it, either way it's heart healthy! 

Get your heart pumping with at least 30 minutes of activity a day for general health. Keep active, moving and breathless when you are working out and you  increase your capacity to use oxygen. The more your heart can use, the more fit you are! 

Reduce stress in your life! Eliminate obligations and situations that keep you under unhealthy pressure, limit time with strenuous people and toxic relationships! You can clear your schedule as fast as you filled it and your heart will thank you. 

  Walk in forgiveness. Holding resentments will only hurt you and have been linked to stress related illness. Don't drink poison hoping someone else will die, walk in love and forgiveness and HEALTH for your heart, LITERALLY! 

Happy HEART day!! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tracking workouts

Where has this whole week gone? 
I can tell you.... 
I tracked it all! 

I always kind of had an idea of how much I could lift and how many reps I completed, but this past week, I started tracking them all in my new workout planner! It's fun to look at this week and already see progress from the week prior! It's just like tracking your runs on DailyMIle so you can see how far you are going, if your speed is improving etc...  

I will be able to do the same lifting routine for a few weeks and then modify it, working on gaining strength as I go and alternating heavy to light, KNOWING exactly how much that is! 

Back and Biceps day
Lat Pull down - 2 warm up sets 70# 12 reps
6 working sets 100# 6 reps

Barbell Curl - 50# 8 reps, 4 sets
Rope Pull high- 30# 10 reps, 3 sets 42.5# 10 reps 1 set
Hammer Curl- 20# 10 reps, 4 sets
Assisted Pull up (narrow and wide) - 25# assistance 8 narrow grip , 6 wide grip, 
8 narrow grip, 8 wide grip 
Lat Push down- 28.5# 12 reps, 4 sets
Some core in between sets... 

I can tell that I can up my reps on the pull ups and that I can up my weight on the Lat Push down. I can also see that I can up the weight on hammer curls and drop the reps a bit. Just an example of one of the workouts I am doing for my current training!  

I would like to add more moves like crossfitters do... the hang power snatch and power cleans!! 

In the meantime, lift on and give it your all!! 

What is your favorite lift or one you REALLY want to learn and try?? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Figure Vision Board 2012


We envision the end result
we do the work
 we trust the process
 we grow
 we change
 we succeed. 

But WE have to do it. 

Step one: Envision the end result--SEE where and what you want to become. Keep it in front of you. Drink it in. Make it second nature. See YOURSELF there already. 

Do you create vision boards? What are some of your favorites? 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Engagement announcement & goals!

I have two awesome announcements: ONE--I have some 2012 goals to share! 

I know, they aren't resolutions for the new year, but just somethings I am "focusing" on!  Ok, so it's February, and I am working on my 2012 vision board. Not TOO bad, I had been cutting out here and there and just started to put it together this weekend! Turns out I will have TWO, each dedicated to a big goal! 

The vision board process.... 

My figure contest goal is important. I am focused on eating right, lifting right and doing my best for the big contest!! It's a lot of little steps right now toward a BIG goal in the future--it's not too far away now, I will be stepping on stage in just a little while! 

I am going to slow down, take time to rest and make my schedule a little more manageable and ENJOYABLE! What does that look like? More time in the bible for me, everyday, reading, strengthening and growing! Just like we have to work our muscles, we have to read the bible to grow in our strength. Two, not saying "yes" to everything, not taking on too much, not booking my days so busy I don't enjoy life!! 

There is ONE big thing I said YES to!

MACK and I are engaged!! We are planning a summer wedding!!! 

My goal around this is to enjoy being engaged, to LOVE our sweet time in this spot and to work on those things that will last a lifetime, not just for the big day! It ties in with slowing down, I really want to love these moments before June and not just have an additional check list...the no stress wedding planning!!! 

Have a GREAT start to your week-- rock out your goals, no matter how big or how small, every step is a step either in the right direction or the wrong!! Keep up the great work!! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Co-op Trap

I love my co-op, I really do. 
I am in there nearly everyday. It's about 4 blocks from my house, and I get MOST of my meat and veggies there as well as other treats I can't get anywhere else. 

Something that I have noticed though is that my brain will tell, well, itself that EVERYthing at the co-op is ok food to have. It's all natural, organic, expensive...and if It's at the Co-op, it's OK... RIGHT?  Right? 

Not quite. 
Sugar and fat is still sugar and fat. 
Chocolate cake is still chocolate cake. 
Even if it's GF, vegan and flourless. 
I fall into the trap of thinking that things at the co-op are "HEALTHIER" for me, better for me or will not cause weight gain. NOT true! 

Mac and cheese is still mac and cheese. 
Even if the box is green, says organic and has a little healthy bunny on it. 
Even organic processed items are can be loaded with sodium, chemicals and more ingredients than we really need.

Health isn't hiding around EVERY corner of the natural foods store, we still have to do our part: 
Shop the outside of the market
Read labels
Watch fat and sugar intake
Steer away from processed foods: can, box, bag etc.. 

The produce, bakery, meat, seafood, and dairy sections line the walls of the store and most everything else in the center is processed and junk foods. So many of the foods in cans and boxes are filled with additives and preservatives and very highly processed. 
Steer clear!!

You will save money! Fresh food is over all cheaper than the processed goods! It is cheaper to buy fresh and it will take up less space in your bags, car and fridge too! In the long run, you will save on health care costs also...an ounce of prevention!

There are more servings available from fresh food than from processed food. A night of build your own pita pizzas with fresh basil, spinach and tomatoes, can offer days of leftovers, but a frozen tombstone lasts one night and will sit like a rock in your stomach!

Read labels on things you DO buy! Watch fat and SUGAR as well as calories! Also note what added ingredients are in your food you buy. I buy canned beans, but always check to see it's JUST beans, some contain added sodium and even added sugar. The sneakiest part is the serving size...don't assume one serving is one can, bar, bag...check that out so you don't eat more than you need to!  

Most of all you will save calories! Processed foods have been altered from their natural state and many have attatives, sugars, fats and preservatives that can work against weight loss and pile on unwanted pounds. 

Some processed foods like milk and frozen veggies are not "bad" for you, but canned foods with added sodium, frozen dinners and packaged deserts are examples of unhealthy processed foods. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Seeing Struggles, seeing change!

A friend posted on Facebook this week about sadness and honesty. Here is what they wrote:

Most days, I want to post something inspirational or uplifting. But then there are days where I just want to weep. Do we keep all those feelings secret? Do we keep them off the Internet? When we do, does it help others? Or doesn't make them feel more alone when they, too, get sad?

I thought about this for quite a while. 
DO we all keep those feelings secret? NO. We all have those feelings and we do not always keep them secret. Do we keep them off the internet? I think sometimes I do. I don't often post about my struggles, I don't always post about my trials. There are people who see them though, people who know. We know life, we know struggles. We know sadness, even the uplifting, motivating JOY filled Christian can experience sadness. But we know too that JOY comes in the morning, sadness is circumstantial and does not last! 

When I see struggles, I am encouraged. Well, not right away. It takes a little dab of "pull myself up by the bootstraps" but I come around. Struggle can indicate progress, it can indicate growth, it can indicate we are going in the right direction. What keeps us MOVING that way is our WILL. Muhammad Ali said "The will must be stronger than the skill."  

My struggles are different than yours. 
I can't keep ice cream in my house, apparently I can't keep chocolate chips either, so little treats for me, I have to go and get one at a time in single serving sizes. Struggles? Yep, not the same as yours, not better, not worse, just different. With every struggle, I have a chance to make change, to grow and to learn. 

And if I fall? Get back up. That is all. There is no staying down, next time then it will be easier, but until then, bootstraps a-grabbing, up I go. Not just me though, but Christ in me. HE is my strength, he is my provider, so I go to him when I fall. 

I am 8.5 weeks out from my first show and I am seeing some struggles. 
I am 8.5 weeks out from my first show and I am seeing change also. 
Little by little, with every workout, with every good meal choice, with every day that passes where I wait on God and put in my own work, I see change. I am heading in the right direction, I just know it. 

Does it help you to see others struggles brought to light? Or are you motivated more by success around you?

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