Living in America: The Scared Truth

Since the recent events of the Orlando Shooting I’ve been experience dreams and thoughts of events related to loss or the fear of losing.  I’ve had thoughts of losing my family members, my animals, my friends, my life and my safety and it’s all been tragic visuals.    Maybe it is because I am older and wiser, but these tragic events never really got to me like they do now.  They used to seem like distant stories that they create in a Hollywood Movie for entertainment.

It wasn’t until the Monday after the Orlando shooting where I was listening to the radio and they played the audio of shooting that was taking place inside the club and I realized this wasn’t a movie.  This was real.  This really happened and the terror these people experienced before they died sent chills up my spine.  Later that day, I found out through Facebook that a best friend I had in High School had been affected by this tragedy…her cousin was a victim.  I never met him but I knew of him through stories her family use to share when I would visit their house.   Seeing that post on Facebook made me realized that it doesn’t matter if this happened in city across the country because it could happen anywhere and to any of us.

This may have been an attack on the gay community but it could have been in a race community or religion community or even a gender community. This could be in a grocery store, at a park, in church, at a club or just walking down the street minding their business and someone psycho starts shooting up the block as people walk by. It doesn’t matter what was the target community or where it happened, because at the end of the day we are all humans living in America and I don’t feel safe in my own home any more.   This recent tragedy may have been across the country and may not have hurt anyone that I personally know, but it is much closer to me (and all of us) then it appears on paper.

I’m not sure what to make of these thoughts or what the solution is to safety of our country and I don’t know how I can help be apart of the change, but I have hopes that I will figure it out.   In the mean time, life is too short to be sad, mad or even scared.  And while I am human with a roller coaster of emotions, I don’t want my last moment on earth feeling any of those feelings.

What are your thoughts?

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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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Working With My Demons

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to communicate what has been going on.  Do I vlog and talk or do I just write?  I did record like a 30 minute vlog that I started editing down but as I watched it I realized this wasn’t me. Well, it wasn’t my best. So here I am writing it all down and given you the update.

Since I got off stage my fitness lifestyle has felt like a rollercoaster and it all began with insecurities and comparing myself with other women; it actually started two weeks before stepping on stage. I did my best to ignore those stupid thoughts and managed my way through it but they stayed hidden in the back of my head.

After the show I was on a winning high but soon after I hit a plateau and those insecurities and comparisons started to come back.  I fought my negative thoughts for weeks because I knew they weren’t true but it was still effecting me.  I was allowing my weight define my progress and I began to focus on all the negatives of prep. From talking with my coach, we concluded my metabolism has slowed down (which happens from months of dieting) so the lack of movement wasn’t just me.  This was relieving to hear but I still couldn’t shake the little bitch hanging out on my shoulder.

I decided not to pursue the second show that just took place because my body isn’t ready and it’s not worth sacrificing my health or my competitive future. I’ve been “off” prep the past week and a half and have been trying to reverse out of my diet.  I would be lying if I said this was easy, but I am trying and working at it every day.   My long-term plan is to compete in a California show in December.  This gives me more than enough time to get my metabolism and hormones right where they need to be, put on some quality muscle and slowly cut at a higher caloric base and not end up in the position I am in today.

As far as my thoughts – it will always be constant work, but as I continue to grow I realize how human I am and how accepting I need to be of my demons. I’ve tried so hard to fight them and the more I fight the more I lose.   I’ve put in a lot of work at understanding them and learning to recognize trouble, but there is a difference in coping and trying to erase a part of your personality. Now, I think it is time I accept who I am in every way and use those demons in my favor.  It is time I see it as a personal challenge and use it to propel me forward in my goals.  This is a new mindset I’ve started to develop over the last week and I’ve been trying to apply all of my strengths and weaknesses to my personal development.

I am determined to come back stronger in every sense of the word for this next show.  I know it is not going to be easy and the rollercoaster isn’t over, but I also know it is going to be worth it.

How do you work with your inner demons?

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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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You Aren’t In This Alone

“Look at the sky.  We are not alone.  The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work. ” – A.P.J Adbul Kalam

I know what it is like to go through a fitness transition and feel like you are in it alone. Trying to be healthy and take on active lifestyle can seem lonely when all your friends and family don’t seem to get it.  Sure, they think it is great and they applaud you for your efforts but sometimes it doesn’t seem like it is enough.  The same friend that said they are cheering you on is the same friend giving you a hard time for making gym a priority or trying to tempt you into eating pizza.  It’s frustrating and it can hurt, but despite your feelings of loneliness it doesn’t mean that is the reality of your new fitness life.

I love training and competing in bodybuilding but it’s also a small subculture within the fitness community and can be looked at as “extreme”.  Even though the underline theme of fitness is a commonalty among gym goers it can still feel like a lonely process.   A few years ago when I was going through a tough time in my fitness transition, I was at the gym on the stair master, minding my own business and one of the physical trainers that work at my gym came up to me and handed me a sticky note.  On the sticky note it was a suggestion on how to change-up my cardio.  He explained the science behind it and went on his merry way.  I could have been offended by this action, but instead I was thankful.  I was thankful that this stranger thought to give me a tip on how to change things up because he wanted to help me succeed.

It was then I realized that in even my loneliness moments I actually have secret fans rooting me on.

So no matter who is giving you a hard time on your new lifestyle choices make it your mission to listen to those silent cheers.  Sometimes those secret fans have the biggest voices and they are there to let you know that you aren’t in this alone!

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Ways To Love Your Body at Every Phase

When you’re going through a the fitness journey of either losing body fat or putting on muscle to shape your body differently the transitional periods can suck.  You’re clothes are too small or too big, you don’t feel like you look your best but you know you are making changes.  You might get down on yourself if you skip the gym, miss your yoga class, eat whatever the hell you want for the day or just get frustrated at this slow ass process just to get to that end goal.  Just because you aren’t where you want to be it doesn’t mean you can’t love your body throughout the journey.  Here are four things to keep in mind to still love your body at every phase.

Treat yourself.

Girl, you’ve been kicking your own ass in the gym, making awesome nutritional choices and good for you! However, it is extremely easy to get caught up in the process so treat yourself to some feel goods and I’m not talking about food.  Not all the feel good treats need to be food related; take yourself to a spa, get your hair done, get a pedicure or how about a massage?  You can even take yourself to the movies or pack up your food, bring a good book and a blanket and sit outside in the beautiful weather.  You will be surprised how good you can feel when you stop worrying about what your body looks like and start doing things that feel good to your body!

Flirt.

Yes, I said it – Flirt! I don’t care if you are single or in a relationship, but for Christ’s sake flirt with another human being (or the one you sleep with every night).  Flirting doesn’t have to be overtly sexual or even with intentions on dating them.  Flirting can be fun as hell and give you an extra boost of confidence.  You have to admit – if feels pretty damn good to flirt with someone and walk away knowing they are staring at your hard-earned ass. So get out there and show the other humans of the world how amazing you are by being that sexy, confident you’ve person become since transforming your life.

Admire your gains.

It is so easy to focus on what you need to change and what you don’t like but how about you take a second to admire your damn gains! Appreciate those new curves you’ve built or the tighter waistline you created.  Sure, it may not be your goal physique but it sure as hell much different then it was when you first started.  It also wouldn’t hurt to give yourself some kudos to all the great life style changes you’ve made. So sure, you screwed up on your diet but when was the last time indulged in some sweets and stay consistent with your gym attendance?  Give yourself a break and start lovin’ on those gains!

Fall in love with the process.

Creating discipline, changing your habits and making the gym a nonnegotiable part of your day can be difficult and exhausting.  Not everyday feels the best and some days you  just want to be lazy AF.  Shit, some days you need to be that and there is nothing wrong with it.  But you have to be in love with the process you are in to love the body you have.   Loving the process creates the positive space in your head which allows you to love your body at every phase.  Feeling the blood rushing through your muscles and your heart racing after one hell of an accomplishing work out can leave you on a body high for days.  If you are using diet and exercise as a form a punishment then you have more work ahead of you then any post can give you, but if you can find your enjoyment in your new routine then you will begin to appreciate your body on a much bigger scale then ever imaged.

 

Fitness is not just a one stop trip and you’ll go through phases of wanting to lean out your body, add muscle, shape your booty, add more definition to your arms and so forth.  Changing your physique at any stage is a process and the process isn’t always that glamorous, however you can always find time to love the body you have at every phase of your fitness journey!

 

What do you do to love your body?

 



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