My Version of Healthy Eating

Healthy eating can be define differently by many people but for me, it goes beyond what you put in your mouth or the labels on the packaging.  It’s about “why” you are eating what you are eating and it begins with a healthy mindset.  For as long as I could remember, my relationship with food was horrendous. As I got older, it became more destructive and I never thought I would be able to get out of it.

Through therapy and my first prep, I began to learn the reasons behind my disordered eating and learned to identified emotions that were attached to my impulsive, self-abusive episodes. I rebounded terribly after my first show and even though I added 30 pounds really quickly, I noticed something shifted inside of me. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror but I didn’t hate me.  It took some time to level out my post-show binges but when I did, I made the decision to spend the next 3 years eating what I wanted with no fear.

I accepted my body but this was easier said than done.  I always had aesthetic goals of losing fat, but my failed attempts to limiting my food intake was a clear sign that I wasn’t ready to categorize my food again.  Slowly but surely, my weight became just a number, I enjoyed my workouts and embraced my athletic physique.

I stopped categorizing food.   We live in world where if you don’t follow the categories of food then you are doing something wrong. Well, I said “F*ck that!”.  Obviously, I knew that certain foods were more nutritious than others. I knew sugar wasn’t great, too much caffeine can negatively impact you, processed foods can be damaging…etc. but I didn’t care.  My fitness friends would often make comments like, “We have to earn that meal!” or “We shouldn’t be eating this.” I would respond with, “Who’s we? I eat whatever I want.  I have no fears…” I’m sure they didn’t get it, but I didn’t care.  Saying out loud that I eat whatever I want wasn’t for them, it was reinforcement for me.

I stopped “earning” meals”. This was probably one of my biggest pet peeves with society.  The idea of earning meals.  What the hell is that?! I don’t need to earn my meal! I’m human; I need food to survive, I enjoy food for pleasure and the only thing I should be earning is the money to afford to put that food in my mouth. I cringe anytime I hear or see people saying that they earned a meal as I feel that it puts this negative meaning behind delicious food.  “I must torture myself in the gym so I can feel less guilty about eating something I enjoy and don’t want to live without!” No, that won’t be me.

Don’t get me wrong; if you have aesthetic goals then you need to eat accordingly.  If you want to gain muscle and keep your fat increase at a minimum then you need to strategically eat above your maintenance.  If you want to lose fat, then you need to restrict your intake.  There will be foods that you should or shouldn’t eat based on your goal and foods that are more healthier than others, but these decisions should be based on the purpose of your goal not the purpose of your happiness.  I needed to spend the 3 years not being afraid of carbs, not regretting indulging, appreciating what my body looks like and is capable of doing, but most importantly, enjoying life and not letting food dictate me. It hasn’t been an easy road and I still have my struggles, but I also have a lot of self-awareness to recognize when I need to take step back and focus on my mental health.

We all have our food issues, but my hope is that my stories can help someone else work through theirs and stop fearing food because it’s pretty freaking amazing. Oh and get this, when you start taking care of your mind/body, your mind/body will start taking care of you!

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Where do I begin?

I love competing. I love everything about the struggle of prep and it always seems impossible when I am doing it, which makes it so rewarding to get on stage.  As much as I knew what I must do post show and as much as I thought I was mentally prepared, I really wasn’t.

I can’t really explain where it all began and it doesn’t even matter at this point, but my body filling out and the scale go up really played a toll on my mind.  It is hard to explain, but your eyes literally play tricks on you.  You get so use to seeing your body shrink dramatically week after week.  You know this is just for the show.  You know this isn’t maintainable and that it will all come to an end but 5 extra pounds on the body looks like 20 in your mind.  Week after week, pound after pound, I was mentally freaking out feeling like a failure. I should be able to maintain this. Everyone else does, right? I kept going back and forth with my logical, reasonable thoughts to irrational post show competitor thoughts. It was a roller coaster of mental self-talk that took me months to get out of.  

I know some people reading this would wonder why the hell would I want to do that again? It’s “so unhealthy”.  Sure, you can definitely argue putting myself through that mental torture isn’t the best thing to do, but what you don’t understand is I see it as a challenge and a chance for growth.  It’s an opportunity to prove to myself that I can beat these stupid thoughts, that I will not go back to the old Kristine, and that after all these years of self work and understanding I have the ability to get out of these slumps faster than ever before.  And honestly, I’m proud. Sure, it sucked. For months, it sucked and in the moment I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t feel just as good with my body 20lbs heavier than I was on stage, but I got through it and now I am here.

So what now?

I still plan to compete and I plan to do it slower and smarter next time.  I learned a lot of about myself and my body the last prep which I plan to use to the next one.  I am currently 17lbs heavier than I was on stage and I know quite a bit of that is fat, but there is nothing I can do it about it now other than embrace it.  I am finally at balance with my diet and am slowly reversing my calories out; I am currently eating about 1750 calories and hope to get it up to as close to 2000 before I cut again.  I’m lifting heavy and I love it!  I’m doing the hatch squat program (I also added in bench and press) with an extra glutes and shoulder day and hit the other body parts in between.  I am doing NO cardio which I am currently loving and I am definitely in no rush to start that back up again!  As much as I would love to be leaner and see a smaller waistline, I am 100% on board with building up my strength and increasing my muscle.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had thoughts of maybe doing a mini cut but then I remember, “YOU’RE ASS WON’T GROW IF YOU DO THAT!” so I eat and lift like my life depends on it.

I feel good, really good and I feel like my old self again. I pay attention to the scale less and admire my physique more which is exactly how it should be!  I’m looking forward to the future and seeing all the gains.  Gains, Gains, Gains!

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What’s the deal, yo?

Well, I’ve been out for some time and it is mainly because I’ve lacked motivation and inspiration for life all around.  Don’t get me wrong, I am happy but my passion to create and inspire has diminished. Mainly because I am trying to get myself together since the last show.

I know, I know, it’s been like four months and I am still talking about it?!  What you have to understand is that post show was a shock to my system.  It was a humbling experience as I thought I would never repeat the same patterns or thoughts again.  I haven’t quite figured out what triggered me but it was something within prep not the prep itself.  So I’ve spent these past few months trying to “regain control” and get back to my old ways but the more I tried to be in control the more out of control I’ve felt.

So about a month ago I decided to stop tracking my macros and intuitively eat.  The second I did that the pressure of trying to maintain a certain look rolled off my shoulders and my menstrual cycle came back and let me tell you, I felt like a champion that morning.  There is something about missing your period as a woman that makes me feel like your less of a woman. It’s strange and it was concerning, worrying about my health was constantly on my mind.  But what do you know? The second I stopped worrying about everything my body bounced back and I felt better.  Stress is a bitch I tell ya.

Since I stopped tracking my macros, my body began to love the food I ate (healthy or not) and my zest for physique improvements came back.  I gained about 5lbs in that process and although I don’t care for my current stats they fail to bother me as much as it use too knowing that I can change  all of that.

Current Stats: 161lbs / 29.8% Current Macros: 192c / 155p / 51f
Current Stats:
161lbs / 29.8%
Current Macros:
192c / 155p / 51f

Fast forward today – I am back on my macros and I am eating more carbs than I always thought I could handle.  I was convinced my body preferred higher fat and lower carb, which in the past always felt good, but recently it seems as though my body is not rejecting the higher carbs as it use to and I am not complaining.  I am feeling more focused on myself and my goals;  I still have plans to compete this year (in early December), continuing to improve my blog/vlog is always on my mind and I am getting ready to sit my ass down and write the book I keep saying I am going to do.  My mind took a couple of steps back which may have taken me by surprised but I can feel that I am coming out stronger from it.

So I am making the decision to make my blog more personal like when I first started.  Truthfully, being able to express my voice has always been therapeutic and it is true to who I am and my purpose in all of this.  Don’t worry, I promise to still share everything fitness and food along the way!

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Thoughts at Thirty

I have been trying to collect my thoughts and sort them out; my head was spinning with a bunch of words and emotions that didn’t make any sense.  Exactly a week ago was my birthday, but not just any birthday, THE Birthday….I am officially in my thirties, y’all.  People have asked, “how does it feel?” and while my initial response is, “great”, my internal thoughts were of a bipolar person. Am I happy, sad, or indifferent?  It wasn’t until now that I realized I am thankful at 30.
Truth be told I never saw my life in my thirties.  It was almost like I never expected to be here at 30 years old and by “here” I mean as the woman who I am today.  Three years ago it was hard to imagine what happiness, confidence and self-love was like.  I never really understood that depression didn’t have to be permanent, confidence didn’t have to go in waves and I didn’t need someone’s approval to love myself.


I have The Gym to thank for that. 

 

The Gym gave me oxygen so that I could learn how to breathe.  It gave me the chance to save my life and be my own super hero. I didn’t need a man to save me from the internal hell I was creating and I didn’t need the support or the encouraging words that everything would be ok. I saved myself without using someone else’s back bone and I learned to love myself without someone telling me that they loved me back.


The Gym
taught me strength, discipline and a new perspective on my body.  I no longer hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror nor did I emphasized my thoughts on my “problem areas”.  I began to look past the body fat and saw shape, definition, and new curves that I didn’t have before.  The best part of it all was that I created this.

The Gym taught me self empowerment.  I learned that I didn’t need to continue to be a prisoner within my skin and that I had the abilities to change my circumstances.  I had the power to change my physique in any way I wanted;  If I wanted bigger muscles then I could make it happen.  If I wanted to slim down then shit, let’s get to work.  If I wanted to throw all my physique plans in the trash and just lift shit for funzies then I did that too.   I felt empowered to do what ever I wanted and I wish someone would have tried to stop me.

The Gym taught my patience and perseverance.   Changes didn’t happen overnight and I experienced many frustrated days, weeks and months, but I kept going despite my negative thoughts and screw ups.  After all the pity parties I attended, I still managed to make it out and reach my goals despite it all.

The Gym has been the greatest gift to my life as it has made me realize how special I am at thirty years old.  I could sit here and think about all the things I thought I would have had at thirty like a husband, family, booming career and my own home or at least be very close to some of these things.  I am not close to marriage, a child, owning my own home and in many ways I am just beginning my career.  I could let all that break my heart but instead it just makes me smile.

Because of The Gym I realized I’ve been given a gift to create the life I want without any obligations to anyone or anything but myself.  I am not a prisoner of my circumstance and with some patience, perseverance and a lot of self-love, I am capable of creating the most amazing life ever imagined with or without a person by my side.

So, cheers to be thirty! May these be the best years of my life with the biggest Glutes I can possibly build!

thoughts at thirty

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“Will Power” is a Practice

I’ve always despised hearing people say “Will Power”.  It made me feel like this was a way to describe someone with supernatural powers because not everyone, including myself at times, possessed this skill.   I despised it so much I even wrote a post on it at one point, however, my thoughts on will power have changed.

Towards the end of my prep I realized something; Will Power is a Practice.  Although this last prep was much easier and smoother then my first, I would be lying if I said it was a perfect one no thanks to my “Will Power”.  See the thing is, I screw up to and then I ask myself, “Why did I do that?  This is my goal and those actions don’t support my goal.”

It occurred to me during one of my self-therapy sessions that this will power that people possess does not always come so easy but it doesn’t mean it can’t be developed.  Whether you are training for a show for the first time or trying to lose 50lbs the entire journey is a process.  The further you get through it the easier it will become, but you will continue to make mistakes a long the way.  As you continue to grow and continue to get stronger, your Will Power strengthens as well.

I bet if you look at the bigger picture and dissect your actions from what you were like when you started and what you are like now, you can find a stronger Will Power.  Everyone has Will Power and some are able to flex bigger Will Power muscles then others.  But just like that scrawny teenager that has grown into a massive muscle man your Will Power cannot change over night…it just needs a little practice.

What are your thoughts on Will Power?

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