Friday, April 27, 2012

Brides Workout #2: Rockin' Arms

ROCKIN' ARM'S Workout! 
Of course for your big day, brides want rockin' arms!! I know I do! 
It's a balance you know, wedding planning is like putting on a STAGE production! 
Costumes, set design, lines, rehearsal and finally lights, camera, action!! 

There's a ton to do, but making time for workouts before your big day is JUST as important! You can reduce stress, sleep better, your skin will look better and you will see the results you want and LOVE if you are consistent. Remember too, nutrition is important, it's 70 percent of your success with reaching your goals, but nutrition and exercise go hand in hand!

Warm up: Active warm up or on a treadmill or elliptical machine for 5 min! 

For three sets of 8 reps

Walking lunges holding dumb bells 20 total (20 lunges, not 8 reps)
21's- 7 bicep curls to your waist 7 from the top to mid section, 7 full range curls
Lunge jumps-pump those arms and REPEAT for your three sets of 8! 

Engagement Advent Calendar
With life being so full and so busy wedding planning, working and working OUT, we needed  a reminder of what a wedding is really about.... A MARRIAGE! 

It's not just one day, one big party, it's so much more. It's about building a life, becoming one, not just one day, for for all our days! Just like working out, you don't do something once and expect to see results. 

You don't have one day where you stick to your plans and expect to meet your goals. It's a life long process of getting, being and staying fit. So is marriage. We anticipate a life long process of facing all life throws at us, doing it with God as our strength and doing it with Joy modeled for us in God's word! It may not always be easy, but it will be worth it. 

SO, we took little cards and created an advent calendar with a note, message, memory of our last 6 months and taped it on the wall! Everyday we will turn one over, read the message out loud to the other so we can keep flaming the love, keep our sanity and our perspective.... So far, so good!!  

Have a GREAT weekend, I am off to workout, work and then have my FIRST ever Bridal SHOWER!!! Full recap next week!! Be blessed! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

With just the spray glue on your butt: Great North Recap

Great North  Recap
I have sure been MIA this week, after the Fitness America Pageant, The Great North I DOVE  wedding planning!!  BUT, I had a great experience at the show, learned a ton and am excited to keep moving forward!! 

SO, first of all I didn't place which was a little disappointing, but I came away with a ton of great lessons. I felt prepared, I felt like I looked good, I looked different than my last show and am spending sometime writing a journal about the workouts and meals I had in between shows and check out what may have made a difference.

One difference is that all federations look for different traits in the competitors and that alone is enough to make or break a performance EVEN if you train the same or look the same. They may not be looking for the same as the last show judges in a different federation.  I also received feedback from the judges which is SO gracious of them to do and really helpful.

Things I knew: 
1) My poses are a little weak, meaning, some of my poses I do better in the gym practicing than on stage. I don't believe I am engaging my muscles correctly on the moves and am going to continue to practice. I knew this was a weakness and so did the judges. 
2) My body always seems to look different on stage and after a deplete week than it does even the few days before and after a show, a little flatter, a little less definition. I am still working on deciphering why....
Here is a video of my first T walk, which I messed up on, but tried to correct! 

Don't walk so fast!! Eek! 

Here is a picture ( a little fuzzy) of me FINALLY rocking the Back pose the way I am supposed to... see that V in the middle of my back? Well done, at least I did it once!! It's the most challenging one for me. Here I am with my class-- figure short class. I felt like the competition was REALLY good. Everyone looked amazing. 

MACK, me and Mom

Here are some important lessons I learned: 

1) I was not the only person to walk off stage with out placing, many girls did. And what matters was that my SECOND walk I did, the one at finals was exactly what I had practiced and I was really pleased!! It felt great to rock it out at finals even if the judging had already taken place. What matters is what WE do on stage, not what we come away with. 

2) It's healthy to walk off stage with just the spray glue on your butt. Seriously, I felt like crying. I DID, I wanted to place, even 5th place, but I didn't. It wasn't my turn, it was my turn to walk off the stage with a smile and clap for others. I think it's healthy to NOT do what you want to do at times. We won't always place, win or get what we want, but we can use it to push forward.
A bad day for your ego, can be a GREAT day for your character. 

3) Judging is based on opinion and based on that DAY. I would love for judges to follow us for 2 weeks, see our hard work, dedication, drive, diet, dreams and judge us on that as well, but alas it is simply on how we look, pose and walk that ONE day. I don't have to agree with the judges, but that doesn't mean it's not fair, it is. 

4) Sportsmanship is important. I wanted to cry after the show, but didn't. Once I saw all the other girls who walked off stage without placing, I realized too that what matters as much as how we win is how we don't. I wanted to NOT win with a smile, with joy for my class and determination to do it again. Success. 

I enjoyed a SUNDAY morning breakfast burrito with MACK and Pastor Eric during a pre-marital session and it was amazing!! I took this week to allow a few treats... I also had oatmeal pancakes and they were amazing!! What is YOUR fave treat every week or after a big event?? 

I am excited to focus on building muscle, nailing the walking and posing down and getting ready to marry the man of my dreams before I compete again in the fall. I really love being on stage, but am going to focus on some specific goals on my way!! 

In the meantime it is 65 days till my wedding!! 
Happy, healthy bridal workouts coming right up!! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Word & WEIGHT: Lateral raise

Word & Weight: 

Proverbs 3:3 
Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:3 is my and MACK's wedding verse!! It's even on our invitations! Technically we are using the whole chapter to write a Marriage Mission Statement!! It's in the works! But LOVE is the key to so much, If we say we believe but have no love? What's the point? We can have faith that moves mountains, give up our bodies and give everything we own to the poor, but if we lack love, we have nothing, we gain nothing. 

When we love, it's because Christ first loved us, its because that love is IN us, to the full, to overflowing that it comes out and gets on everything!! It is because we are filled with God's love that we are able to even know what love is, recognize it, give it to others and aim for the true thing, for Christ like love in all we do and say. Keep it close, bind it around your neck and tattoo it on your hearts!! 

my last shoulder workout, 
4 days till showtime! 

Lateral Raise: 
One of my favorite shoulder exercises, the lateral or Side raise targets the deltoids or shoulders, specifically the side which gives us that nice round look, keeps your sundress straps up and helps our waists look smaller! #Winning!

 Start with your knees soft and your elbows just slightly bent. You can use a set of dumb bells, bands or set of lighter plates. 
  • Palms facing your body and facing the floor at the top of the motion
  • LIFT your arms, elbows still slightly bent 
  • Bring your forearms are parallel with your shoulders, and with the floor. 
  • Be sure and exhale as you lift 
  • Lower the weights slowly and in control--that is KEY! 
  • Always be in control of your weights! 

Be sure and use a light enough weight that you can lift and lower without swinging it. Also keep those elbows in line with the shoulders so that you are targeting the lateral deltoid and not the front. Lastly, keep the tension on your muscles, by not letting the weights bang or hang at the bottom of the motion...  Working my shoulders is something I LOVE to do!! 

Watch this coming week for a shoulder SERIES on how to get the best summer shoulders!! 
Have a happy Wednesday and remember--
LOVE is the key! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back to Back: Great North 2012

Happy Tuesday everyone, hope your week is fantastic so far--remember we can choose JOY in all circumstances! Even when I choose to do my first two figure shows back to back! 
Yep, this weekend is my second show, it will put me three weeks between shows! What an experience! 

This weekend at the Mall of America is the Fitness America Great North and I am competing in Open Figure, which is by height. I am excited to get back up on stage and rock out my walk!! 

For the past three weeks, my diet has been good, clean and with simply more carbs than before my last show. My body and muscles respond very well to clean carbs! I look better, stronger and fuller (of course) but I kept them in my diet longer this time and am just this week starting to play with a few less carbs and water... 

It was a challenge to come off a competition I worked so hard for and think about doing another in just three weeks. I didn't stick to my base meal plan for that first week, I enjoyed a clean diet with some additional healthy foods added back in. I may not be as lean for this weekends competition, but I am fine with that, as I am still learning how my body responds to what I give it.  

I am really looking forward to the difference of federations as well, my first show (pictures above was National Physique Committee or NPC and for this weekend, the rules are different, the walk and poses different and it's a little more laid back. I will see which arena I like competing in after testing the waters of both! I DO know this, I was so happy on stage, at first a little nervous, but came out if it great and love competing... here's hoping the next few days of eating and water intake do the trick and I feel stage ready again! 

Tomorrow!! Don't forget to check out the Word & Weight feature! One of my FAVE moves coming up!! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The BRIDES Workout #1

Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; 
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." 

Today: what are you putting first in your heart? In your talk, in your time? Is is lasting and everlasting or will what you put first today just fade away?? This WHOLE week has been a challenge for me to really look at what I am putting first in all areas! Some parts of the wedding planning process have brought my least desirable traits out and when they rear their ugly head, I can't help but ask...what am I allowing to be FIRST over the love of God, over kindness and his word? What ever it is, has GOT to go!! 

On a lighter note, Easter morning I got a sweet surprise in a little basket and pink egg: 
It's a 1920's white diamond and white sapphire ring. 18k white gold, just exactly what MACK and I wanted!! I can't stop looking at it!! 

So to realign my heart with those things that are everlasting and should be put first, I am taking a few days break from planning... but not from working OUT! So, I give you 

The Brides Workout #1 .... 

What do brides want on their wedding day?? 

1) FIT in the dress
2) Great Arms and shoulders
3) flat tummy 

83% of all brides-to-be want to lose weight before their 
wedding day!

Well, we want brides to look their best YEAR round for the husbands and to keep that healthy lifestyle moving along before and AFTER the I DO is done. 

THREE Rounds: 

Body weight squats 12
Squat with Front kick 12 each leg
Push ups 12

Body Weight Squats: Get your legs and heart pumping, make that booty tiny and tight!! 
Chest Press: the BIG guns of lifting--this isn't for GUYS only, get tighter triceps, more defined shoulders and feel the burn when you have to catch your breath.  
Tricep extension: since they will be tired already, fatigue them even more, no rest for the tricep! Shapely arms are shaped by working the WHOLE arm and with a clean diet, strong triceps help! 
Squat with front kick: Hold 2 Dumbbells, squat down and stand, kicking one food straight out in front. Kick all 12 with that foot between squats and feel your Quads and Glutes just light up!  
Barbell bicep curl to press: 2 arm shapers in one. An underhand grip, curling the bar up to chest height and extend overhead to a press. Targeting the shoulders, AND shaping the biceps.
Pushups: tighten your core and work the shoulders, back, chest and triceps with this single move.
Burpees: Plyometrics are great for fat burning and this is the essential plyo move!    

Go after all your goals and never lose sight of WHY we are doing this! Not for one day, but for everyday of the rest of our lives!! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Recipe: Coconut Chicken

I can get sick of spicing chicken the same, so I tried something new: 
I am obsessed with it, so I figured why not put it on Chicken!! 

1/3 C. Oat Bran
1/3 C. Coconut Flour
1/3 C. finely shredded coconut
1/3 C. Egg whites
1/3 C. Coconut oil
3 boneless chicken breasts skinned 

Combine oat bran and shredded coconut in a quart bag, slowly add in coconut oil until blended evenly. 

Rinse each chicken breast and roll in  coconut flour, then coat in egg whites and drop in quart bag of dry ingredients to coat a second time. 

Top with large coconut flakes if desired or a drizzle of honey and bake at 350 for 35 minutes! 

Pair with steamed asparagus drizzled with coconut oil and dill and 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Gopher State Recap

Happy Good Friday! What an amazing weekend: Easter is here which is when God started the process of saving and justifying us! The grave is empty and we have been risen and seated with Christ!! 
There is NO better weekend than Easter!! 

Gopher State is nearly one week behind me and I am excited to say, I took second in my class which was masters 35+! SECOND place for my first show is amazing! I am thrilled and have really caught the bug! 

It was an early day with hair and make up at 6 am, the layers of spray tanning happened the night before, so sleeping was a real treat!! Here is my team mate Carol and I in the WEE hours of the morning, but we have coffee, so we are happy! 

Me and my teammates back stage: Melissa and Rachel who also both placed in their class!! Coach T really does an amazing job of prepping us for walking, posing, what to do and what to expect, plus she coordinates all the things we will need that day! No guess work, leaves us time to do OUR jobs-workout and eat right!! 

Morning was pre-judging so that was a morning and early afternoon full of waiting around. Meeting lots of cool athletes and getting a feel for the competition lifestyle- MUCH work, a lot of waiting and just a few minutes on stage. Prejudging went from 9 am-1 pm and then we had a break till finals when they simply called the athletes on stage and announced the winners. 

This is me after my second place win, I was THRILLED to place at all, let alone top 3, It was fantastic!! AIMING high all the time! When the time came to actually take the facilitators hand  and get our photo taken, I was in awe, I had seen so many pictures like this before and here I was IN ONE!! I was so flustered, I forgot to grab the girls hand next to me--I was still in my pose. Yikes--sorry girl! 

More amazing winners from Coach T:

I wanted to win first in my class. It was my lofty goal, getting second was an amazing reminder of how hard I worked and that with time, experience, MORE hard work and God's grace, I CAN achieve those goals. I wanted to win figure overall as well, why not aim high right? But didn't register correctly so was not in the "open" class. Had I been, I would have been judged against women in my height class, of ALL ages, so it would be a great comparison to all the women competing. As it is, I am thrilled with my place! Still I won't stop writing my goals!! ON to the next!!

The sunday after, I was back at clean eating and this whole past week allowed myself treats not on my regular meal plan: avocado, steak etc. This of course is the way I normally eat, but I have another competition in just 2 weeks, so I took a few days to enjoy and then will be a little more strict. Still I enjoyed a cupcake RIGHT after the show and split one with MACK after this great picnic lunch outside!!

For as much hard work and discipline as I put into this show and as much as I learned about myself, working out and eating, It's not a place where you LIVE. Having a very low BF%  and 6 pack abs is a great goal, but not at the expense of eating normal. My BF was LOW before my deplete week, it was close to 12. Afterwards it was about 9.5 which is below essential and TOO low. My weight dropped a bit too, by about 5 pounds and after this next show, I am looking forward to it going back up. 

I loved competing, I love the challenge and the results and it's is a FUN day with all the other athletes who have worked as hard if not HARDER than you, but Its not a lifestyle. Eating healthy and clean and working hard are, but the last 2 weeks or so of competition prep are not. 

Keep that in mind when you see pictures of these competitions and magazine photo shoots, there's a prep time that is very restrictive and not a place where we should want to be. You can be a hard body, a sexy beast and have an amazing look with eating clean and healthy and hard work alone!! As always, it's a combination of a clean diet, eating for fat loss, lifting weights and doing a few sessions of cardio. There is no magic pill, only hard work and we all possess that potential!! 

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