Week 10: So Much More To Give

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“Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

This week everything felt harder; my carb cycle changed and my cardio intensity was increased.  In fact, the exact words said when it came down to cardio was, “Go as hard as you can and don’t hold back.  Just do it!”  I would be lying if I said making myself go harder didn’t scare me but I also can recognize that it is easy to stay in my comfort zone of discomfort.  You know, that place that sucks enough to feel pain but bearable enough where you know you will still make it out alive?  We all have that comfort zone of discomfort and I’m no different.

This past Monday afternoon, I decided to quadruple up on sports bras and run as fast as I could until my legs couldn’t keep up and I increased my chances of passing out, throwing up and busting my face on the treadmill with the opportunity to make it on the next Facebook circuit of gym fails.   Luckily my face looks the same and vomiting did not occur.

However, half way through my 20 min of sprints I wanted to quit so damn bad.  I found myself making excuses as to why I couldn’t continue or justified how what I had already accomplished was enough.  I knew it wasn’t enough and I even though I couldn’t feel my feet and time moved so effin slow, I found a way to remind myself that I was wearing big girl panties and decided to finish the damn thing.

My ribs were killing me.

Sweat was dripping from my wrists.

The lighting in the room was starting to dim and I could barely catch my breath.

It was the most rewarding moment of hell I have ever experienced.

 

It was in my moments of trying to desperately recover that I realized I made it out alive.  I didn’t die, the pain was temporary and I may have grunted out a few F bombs, but I was alive.  Not only did I live to do it again, but there was so much untapped strength and unused effort that I had no idea existed.  That in itself was the greatest gift that HIIT cardio could ever give me.  Don’t get me wrong, I still despise sprints or any form of cardio that makes me feel like I’ll never make it in one piece, but I can’t help but appreciate this realization that my body is capable of much more than what I give it credit for.  Man, I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can do to share more of my near death experiences.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and amazing things will happen.

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11 Weeks Out: My Story

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Well, I am 11 weeks out and good God time is flying by!  I don’t really have much to update on how the week went so I figure I would let you in on how I even got into this madness of competing in the first place.

Fall of 2011

It’s almost  my 3 year anniversary of diving into this crazy fitness world that started with my first competition.  Prior to that I hated working out.  In fact, it was my form of punishment because I hated my body and had a lot of other self esteem issues that were masked in my extreme unhealthy relationship with food.  I lived on a constant diet (or 744647_1307911697608_fullattempted to at least), tried almost every fad you can think of and only knew how to run.   I always felt fat even at my smallest and would have done anything to look like a Victoria’s Secret model.    Funny enough, I had a secret obsession with muscle and what I really wanted was to look like Janet Jackson during her “All For You” Tour.  But society didn’t obsess about Janet Jackson’s body like they did with the Angels so being the unhappy insecure person I was I decided to jump on the VS bandwagon.

Whether it was muscular or lean, it was not something I thought I could accomplish. In fact, my issues were much deeper then just getting on a regime and figuring out how to squat.

It wasn’t until I took my first job at Life Time Athletic in Scottsdale, AZ as a front desk girl where I realized muscular woman existed.  Working the early morning shift I began to notice a group of women who were training for a figure show.  I so badly wanted to look like them but when I found out what they did to get their look and how often they worked out I “knew” that would never be me,

 “I’m bingeing on food every night and there was no way in hell I was going to ever be able to do a competition…but maybe, one day.  One day I will do a show…just one show….just to say ‘I did it.'”

Despite the lack of confidence I had to pursue this, I never let go of the dream and always said, “One day…”

February 2013…it was time to make that “one day” the day.

After spending several months heartbroken over this douche noodle, I literally woke up one morning and said to myself, “Today is the day.”   You don’t need to know anything about this guy other than that he was a douche who apparently looked like a noodle.  I don’t know, google it.  I can’t explain what happened to me that switched me into competition mode but what I can tell you is that I was tired of crying over this noodle and I wanted to do something for myself.  From that morning on my life changed.  I went from never lifting a weight in my life to lifting 6 days a week and trying my best to follow my diet plan.  I started this blog (all original content was unfortunately lost) made my diet mistakes, went through different coaches until I found the right one and 20 weeks later I made it to the stage. It was not an easy task; in fact I did a lot of emotional healing with therapy during my prep which was never my original intention.  How all that came about will be saved for another post but the combination of therapy and exercise helped me heal and establish a healthy relationship with my body, which was something I never thought to be possible.

Today, January 2015

After competing and placing in my first show I knew this was something I wanted to do again.  However, I struggled getting back into the groove and sticking with a plan.  I realized now that I was too busy enjoying the gym and food that I didn’t want to jump back into a competition prep.   The gym was a brand new toy for me and I had so many things I could play with and learn.  My work outs didn’t have a distinct plan other than picking shit up, putting shit down and doing it so many different ways.  These past 3 years have been a blast but as you know, I am ready for a the next challenge; competing as a different woman!

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“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in questions finally getting tired of their own bullshit.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

 

 

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12 Weeks Out: Getting Down To Business

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I would love to sit here and tell you that I was on point with my Holiday treats and cheats but no, that was not the case at all.  We went to Pine Top for Christmas and did nothing but veg and it was exactly what the doctor ordered.  There were moments of guilt that past me but honestly, sometimes you just need to not give a shit and let your hair down and that is exactly what I did.  Is it wise to do that so closely to my 12 week mark? Eh…maybe not. But the eatable satisfaction is done with and now it’s time to get back to work.

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Reppin’ SJU workout gear! #SJUAlmuni

If you know me at all then you know that I am terrible at Math.  I bring this up because I had been counting down the weeks wrong for the longest time and have been giving myself an extra week to buffer mistakes #dumbass.  As of this past Friday I am officially 12 weeks out from my show not the 13 like I had thought.   I think I’ve passed the that road block of fears because the only thing I can feel  is excitement; excitement to put in the work, excitement to push myself hard, excitement for the challenges and of course excitement to be on stage.

So what does 12 weeks mean?

Well for one, it means no more cheating and sticking to the plan 100%.  Of course I am human and the second I hear “no cheating” my brain turns into “cheat. You must cheat. 100% cheating.” However, I know in order for me to succeed at this I need to slow my shit down and focus on one day at a time. Keep my end goal in mind but worry only about my present, not the future.   Easier said then done.

Each day is going to feel different and will present different obstacles. It’s important to me to give each day my current 100%. I don’t believe that 100% is equal across the board.  I believe it varies based on the condition of your present stressors and how your body is reacting to it. So listening to my body but pushing myself to it’s max on that day, not what my max was yesterday or the week before, is what I plan to strive for (HRV training will assist in that).

You see my friends it’s time to get serious.  Sacrifices will be made, emotions will run wild, doubts will fester, excitement will hit me and my social life may alter a bit.  I’m about to get on a the crazy roller coaster of serious prep business but I’m looking forward to see how this process will turn out this time around.

Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable.

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15 Weeks Out: Fit Fam & HRV Training

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So this week was the first week where I felt more in the groove of things which was a relief. There was something about last week’s post where I acknowledged certain fears that helped eliminate the power it held over me and progressed into the following week.  Also, shout out to Traci for offering her support and reminding me that I am not in this alone.  I have a habit of isolating and I tend to close the walls in on myself to get through things but I don’t need to go through this alone.  In fact, my first prep is what opened me up to the support system I discovered through fitness so why would I chose to forget about that support system? So here’s to working on not isolating and surrounding myself to my fitness family that root each other on!

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Follow on IG @krisantiaaago

In other news, I finally found my glutes!  It sounds ridiculous but what I mean is I finally “found” my glutes through every leg movement.  I’ve completely taken the work out of my quads and put it all into my glutes which means that shit will only get bigger from here!

FINALLY.

 

It has literally been such a process in tying to use my glutes in squats, lunges, leg press and so on and it finally clicked.  Needless to say my ass has been quite sore this week but I’m definitely not complaining about it.

I am also pretty pumped to announce that I am using HRV (Heart Rate Variability) Training to my program.   It’s a popular tool used amongst athletes to dial in their training and it’s something that has always interest me but never took the plunge to actually do it.   What is HRV Training?  It is a tool used to monitor how your body is handling stress (physical aka workouts, emotional, environmental, mental…etc). This is important to know because through this information I will be able to manipulate my training intensity so that I can continue to make progress and not hit a plateau or risk injury.  If used correctly, the data will show that I am not stressing my muscles enough to make gains, that I am doing too much and risk over training or that I am doing exactly what I need to do.  This week will be my first full week of utilizing HRV and I’m excited to see how it goes.  I’ll keep you updated.

 

To learn about HRV:

BioForce HRV from Digital Brew on Vimeo.

Heart Rate Variability –  Article from T-Nation

BioForce HRV – Official Website

 

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16 Weeks Out: Facing Fear

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I wish I could say that this week went by swimmingly, but it didn’t.

I wish I could blame it on Thanksgiving, but I can’t.

I’m a personal trainer and everyone thinks that just because this is “what I do for a living” that this should be easy, but that is far from the truth.  A lot of personal trainers become trainers because of an emotional period in their life where fitness completely transformed their way of being.  Just because we clawed our way through barriers and found muscles underneath the surface it doesn’t mean the pieces of those barriers don’t still exist.

I 51OnErKGDtL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_am a self-help junkie and I’m always trying to find an explanation on the reasons for my behaviors of self sabotage.  In my process of trying to understand my mind and become a better person I’ve picked up the book, “You are a Badass.  How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life” by Jen Sincero.   It was recommended by a friend and it’s amazing.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a swift kick in the ass in a witty and straight to the point kind of way.

I bring this up because I just finished a chapter called “Fear Is For Success” and it hit me – I am struggling to stay true to my goal of competing because of fear.  Our entire life we have made fear a habit.  Fear wasn’t something we knew intuitively as a child but it was taught to us and throughout our life it has defined who we have become today.  Some people have used fear to propel them into success and others have used it to keep them safe to live a mediocre life with mediocre goals. What does this have to do with me competing?

I fear discomfort. I fear pain.  I fear failing but I also fear success. I continue to make self sabotaging choices because it is much easier to stay comfortable in what I know because what I know isn’t bad – it fits in. What I know is mediocre and it makes me normal; it’s not risky, it keeps me hidden from scrutiny, it keeps me safe from mistakes and hard lessons. Fuckin’ fear…

So here’s to another week of staring fear in the face and fighting my own mental battles holding me back from the greatness I see in my mind. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this transition in my life (which includes this prep) is all about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is going to suck in so many ways but I am prepared to do what I can to build a better me and a better booty!

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17 Weeks Out till NPC Natural Western USA

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5th Place at NPC Muscle Beach Championships August 2013

Ahh yes…we’re back, back to prepping!  If you know me personally then you know I’ve mentioned competing again and I may have even said that I was currently prepping and then stopped.  Truth is, competing is always on my mind but for the longest time I wasn’t truly ready to make the necessary changes and commitment to do what I needed to do.

This time I am ready to not just train hard but to challenge myself.  My mindset is of a different one then my first show prep; I am happier and healthier and the gym has just become part of my lifestyle.

I am excited to see what my body looks like this time around being that I’ve spent almost a 3 solid years working out for myself.  I’ve put on some decent muscle and have increased my metabolism.   Even though I did a show before and I’m at a better starting point there is nothing about this show prep that is going to be easy or comfortable.  My recent motto is “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” and that is exactly what I plan to do this time around.

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Instagram @krisantiaaago

I also plan to do some exciting things for the blog for this prep.  On my “personal blog” on the site, I plan to update you every Sunday with things I’ve discovered or events that happened to me through this prep, but I also plan to add the element of vlogging (finally!).  On the vlog, I’ll give you the in on how I am balancing life and prep at the same time.  My goal is to make this prep as part of my life as possible without isolating and making it my sole purpose in life like last time.  With the Holidays coming up I plan to stay committed but I know it will be a challenge. So I’ll take you through my daily life and add in some workout videos to help give you inspiration as well.

I’m really excited to go through this again and have you guys there by my side like last time!

So here we go….#17weeksout

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