Welcome to the Whole30!

Some of you may have heard about this Whole30 “diet” (which I hate even referring to as a diet), but this has been recently brought to my attention and it peaked my interest.   Like I said, I hate calling it a diet because this way of eating is truly about eating whole foods and eliminating the ones known to cause inflammation, digestive issues and a negative impact on our health.  While the 30-day program is truly a lifestyle, I am looking at these first 30 days as a detox and introduction to the rest of my healthy life.  Oh yea, forgot to mention – I’m starting this tomorrow!

I know a lot of people assume that just because I’m into fitness, have done shows, worked as a Personal Trainer and have a few certifications under my name, that I live and breathe the healthy lifestyle. The truth is, while I have adapted many changes, mostly my activity level, I still eat like shit.

Now bear with me as I explain why that is – 

It is very easy to label health by the foods we eat or don’t eat, but for me, the biggest challenge was my mental health and the relationship I had with food.  For the past 5 years, with the exception of my preps, I threw the middle finger up to any diet rule out there. For me, the most important thing wasn’t focusing “healthy” food, but eating food without any negative thoughts associated with it….no regret, no self-disgust, no guilt, no labels…nothing.  It’s taken years for me to get here and I still have my days, but I finally feel empowered with my relationship with food and I’m ready to adopt a more quality approach to my daily intake.

Which brings me to the Whole30!  I’ve been thinking about making changes to my diet for some time now and I don’t know why it is taking this program to get me make the change, but here I am!

Whole30 Rules:

  •   Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  •   Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  •   Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
  •   Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  •   Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
  •   Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  •  Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. My favorite rule of all!

I’ve become pretty reliant on the scale lately so having a 30-day break will be really good for me and redirect my focus on my health.  But I did take before pictures so that I physically see the differences in my new lifestyle change. So here we go –

Current weight: 159lbs              Current BF%: 29%

(measurements are from my Garmin Index Smart Scale)

Keep an eye out on you YouTube channel. I’ll be vlogging these changes and giving you my thoughts as I go along!

Who else has tried the Whole30??

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Adulting Fears as a Single Woman: Home Inspection

My fitness goals and regime have taken a back seat the past two weeks. I’ve been emotional and mentally stressed over this house situation as this process has literally been a roller coaster for me. It’s consisted of mostly ups, but the occasional downs are self-created due to doubt and fear.

This week I had my inspection for the house which was an overwhelming hour and a half.  The Inspector, Realtor and I went over an 8-page list and at first, I glanced it over thinking, “this isn’t so bad…”  As he went through each item all I could see were dollar signs that would eventually come out of my pocket.  Then  I started to realize some of this stuff I could do, but wait…could I? I’m not handy. I can’t even cook. I’ve burned hardboiled eggs for crying out loud! I don’t even know what part he is talking about, where to get it, what to ask for, how to install it… I don’t have a man in the house to take care of these handy chores…I going to go broke as fuck hiring people to install one tiny tube because I’m helpless…what have I done?! …FUCK, I’M SCREWED!

After the panic,  sadness set in then fear, then doubt, then fear, then sadness, and then panic all over again.  Eventually, I came down from all that and reassured myself that I could do this.   Everything that I don’t know, I can learn.  I can make all of these terrifying decisions by myself and if it doesn’t go right then I will learn from them.  I don’t need to fear making mistakes because how else will I learn?

I often envy those that have the opportunity to make these big decisions with someone by their side. It must be easier to panic with someone and know that you are in this together. If you screw up, someone is there to feel the pains with you and help you stand up. Yea, that sounds nice.

However, I don’t have that opportunity, but I do know that unlike other people, I know what it is like to be alone.  And I’ll know what it is like to truly be independent. When I find my partner, I will be able to be with them out of true companionship, not dependency.  No matter what happens in my relationships, I can stand alone because I’ve done it for so long.  Don’t get me wrong, knowing all of this does not take away the fear or the panic.  That will always be there because there is nothing scarier than going through life alone, but I’ll always be ok.

Panicking, but ok.

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Not the same Beauty In The Buff

Last time you heard from me and I had an exciting New Years Vlog with all the plans (resolutions) I made. And in true resolution form, those plans didn’t last a week BUT with good reason!

A week after I made my 2017 plans, I hit a wall. It wasn’t a bad wall, in fact, I knew it was good, but I couldn’t figure out what was happening.  It was like I could literally feel myself in the middle of transition but I didn’t know where my life was going.  Everything that once motivated me was no longer important, especially with the blog/vlog.  Since I’ve lived in Arizona, I’ve spent my life trying to find things to make me feel important because I didn’t feel at home. I needed a positive distraction to find my purpose while I let life run its course. Out of nowhere, I finally felt like I was exactly where I should be and I made the decision to make an effort in creating my home here, establishing genuine relationships and enjoying myself more!

This didn’t mean I gave up on fitness, competing or “Beauty In The Buff”, but I did need to take a break from my goal focused mentality and live in the moment which is exactly what I’ve been doing.  I will be back on the blog and Youtube, but I am going back to how it all started; documenting life-discovery through fitness.

I started “Beauty In The Buff “when I made my decision to compete for the first time. Through that experience, I found a whole new life and documented the whole discovery process.  I  lost sight of what I enjoyed about blogging and try to change my direction, but that direction isn’t me. I am still discovering life and Fitness continue to be a huge component in creating the woman I am today.   I know I will lose some followers as this blog will quickly transition into more of a personal blog than anything, but that’s ok.

So here is a quick recap of what has been going on and what you’ll be seeing more of in the near future:

  • I’ve decided to commit to Arizona and purchase a home (on the house hunting quest as we speak)!
  • Because of my decision to buy a home, my summer show will be postponed.  I need to buy my house to be able to figure out my competition budget. Also, the June show I wanted to do is not happening anymore.
  • Since I’m not focussed on a particular show, I’ve incorporated powerlifting and swimming in my fitness routine for some variety. I am working on cutting for the summer since bikini seasons is sneaking up on us.
  • I’ve been going out more, meeting new friends, not quite dating but my interest in putting myself out there again is beginning to peak.

Thanks for following, Squirrelfriends.  I hope to be able to entertain you while I work on this thing called “Life”.

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My Diet Breakthrough!

Guys, I’ve had the most remarkable breakthrough with my body regarding my caloric intake!  I didn’t realize that part of my post show challenge was that I had a bit of a lingering fear of food and carbs in particular. This isn’t a new occurrence but I had really thought this was something I got past.  In many ways, I made huge strides, but I always believed that my body could not handle a high carb diet and kept it at a moderate level (around 175-200g).

When I made the decision to get off “dieting” (aka tracking every meal I ate), it was scary. I knew I would be fine in the end but I didn’t trust myself and the ability to make good food choices without gaining the weight.  I was scared of my decision-making, food, and my body.  However, in the first week, I kept reminding myself that this was for the best. As much as I didn’t want to gain weight, I knew that this was a possibility and I was prepared for it. I surprisingly didn’t gain weight and didn’t stress about food as much.  After a couple of weeks, I grew more confident in my decisions and my body and decided that it was time to eat more! I wanted more muscles which meant I needed to eat more food and I was prepared to put on the fat if it got me to my “gain” goal.

During the next 4 weeks, I slowly increased my carbs in every meal to the point where I would go to bed feeling full and yet my weight wasn’t changing.  I was eating whatever I wanted, ate protein in every meal, increased my carbs yet nothing was happening. I knew if I wanted to gain weight that I would need to eat above my maintenance calories so I decided to start tracking my food to get an idea of how much I was eating.

To my surprised, I was averaging 140-150g of protein, 50-60g fat and 250-275g of carbs with NO WEIGHT GAIN!  I was so excited to see that my body was maintaining my weight with those macros, especially with my carbs. I really believed that I couldn’t handle high carbs and I was wrong…oh, but it get’s better! Since then, I’ve continued to increase my fat to 70g and carbs to 330g and I’m eating roughly 2500 calories and still not gaining a pound.  In fact, I gagged on a shit ton of carbs before bed last night and woke up a pound lighter.  I’m floored!! And yes, I literally gagged because I’m now dealing with the struggle of getting in all this food so that I can put on the muscle.

This is such an exciting breakthrough for me and it makes me so happy to see what my body is really capable of! I didn’t give my instincts or my body enough credit and now that I’m finally giving it what it deserves, it’s paying me back in return.  Guys, intuition and risk-taking are a beautiful thing!  Our metabolisms are freaking amazing, but you have to get off the diet to reap the benefits. Trust me, It’s terrifying but worth it. Take a break from the diet and listen to yourself…you won’t regret it!

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Transitioning Life: Personal Trainer to a “Civilian”

Transitioning from the daily life of a Personal Trainer to a “civilian” has been quite comfortable. Almost too comfortable; I never realized what it was like to be on the other end of the trainer/client relationship.

There was a time I worked a regular 9-5, hated my job, always ate take out and punished myself with long runs.  When I first started working out it was for my first bikini show. With about 2 months left of my employement, I quit my job and stayed unemployed for about a year.  At this time I was spending my days doing what I love the most; blogging and show prep.  Then after my show, I got my NASM Certification and began working as a trainer.  I never had this real adjustment period of learning how to live this active lifestyle and work in an office.

Now don’t let it confuse you, just because you work as a Personal Trainer it doesn’t mean you get paid to work out.  I spent many days sleeping 5 hours, barely eating and forcing myself through a workout.  My workouts were still important to me so I always made the time no matter how busy my day was.

Immediately after my second show, I started working at a desk.  This time I enjoyed what I did, the people I worked with and a lot of people in the office were fitness minded, unlike my previous office job experience.  This made it easier to socially transition but just because we are a fitness company it didn’t take away the junk food office environment.  I started my employment there standing at my desk at least 6 hours a day and sticking to all of my prepped food. Seeing all the free delicious food around didn’t phase me because I always knew it would be there tomorrow.  My only “struggle” at this time was trying to get in my 10,000 steps. I use to get 14,000 as a Trainer and now I’m barely breaking 4k, but that was able to be resolved with some after work cardio.

Slowly but surely, I began to sat just a little bit more and I snacked just a little bit more ending up taking over my day. The food was there so I ate it; my chair was there so I sat.  Cardio stopped being a concern and caffeine ended up being an all day thing. The gym was the one thing that never changed because this life was too important to for me to ever give up. To be honest, I was thankful for my personal time back so no matter how tired I felt, I still went. I could finally work out for me again!

I realized changing your unhealthy lifestyle into a healthy one can be difficult and life would be much easier if you could take all the temptations away distracting you into being naturally healthy.  But since that isn’t the case that means you’ll have to work and it will be hard.  I suggest starting with one major goal; sure, you can pick a handful of things you want to change like going to the gym three times a week, missing the afternoon snack of office cookies and standing half your day at your desk, but just pick one to focus on.  Work on the others but give yourself credit if you fail at it.

I’ve been putting all my energy into cutting the caffeine but cutting my sugar is in the back of my head. I give myself a break if I decide to eat the M&Ms as long as I’m on point with my caffeine.  Once I am confident with that then I’ll move on the next goal.  Focusing on the one major goal has given me the chance to build my confidence back up and with every day that goes by it gets easier and I feel better.  I definitely got a dose of the office reality but it’s ok.  I’ll get my routine back.

 

How did you transition your life into a healthier one?  Share your experience in the comment box below!

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