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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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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F*ck Will Power

Will power noun: control of one’s impulses and actions; self-control.

As I grew through my fitness journey I began to loathe the word “will power” and I resented anyone that used it. “Will Power” has just became another word to make certain people feel supernatural.  It gives this illusion that if you pick a subway sandwich over a salad then you lack will power.  If you lack will power then you must be weak and just suck at life.

According to the #fitspos of the Instaworld having “will power” means that you will go to the gym despite the hurricane running rampant or being sick in bed with the West Nile Virus.   God forbid, you turn into a human being and for whatever reason allow your emotions or lack of energy decide your actions for the day.  That human being clearly has no will power and he/she should continue to stalk the #fitpsos that make it seem impossible to obtain a fitness goal.

Fuckin #fitspos…they ruin everything.

As far as I am concerned “will power” doesn’t exist.

Someone who is struggling with an addiction doesn’t relapse due to the lack of will power.

Someone with an eating disorder doesn’t starve, binge and purge due to lack of will power.

Someone with trichotillomania doesn’t pull their hair out due to lack of will power.

Believe it or not, there are things in this world that trump “will power” at any given moment and making a decision to skip your cardio or eat something that is not on your healthy plan doesn’t mean you are a failure.  What you don’t realize is that a lot of those #fitspos post things from previous days/months.  They aren’t ripped 24/7 and maybe they do go to the gym as often as they make it seem, but do they have the life balance that you want?

Stop comparing yourself to others or deeming yourself a failure because your “will power” doesn’t match Booty Shorts Barbie and her fabulous filtered glutes; Your journey is your journey and you determine your lifestyle.  Your goals are your goals and you define your will power not #Fitspos or even dictionary.

 

Click here for my previous post on #Fitspos,
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Convince Yourself

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Success and accomplishment require hard work, commitment and sacrifice.  To achieve your goals, you must be willing to invest yourself in them, day after day, year after year.  So before you can begin to achieve them, you must convince yourself that they’re worth the effort.  If you’re half-hearted about pursuing an achievement, that achievement won’t happen.  So it’s vital that the first person you “sign on” to the project is yourself. Truly convince yourself of the value of your pursuits and you’ve created a powerful and effective advocate for them.  Know, deep down and throughout your being, why you want what you want and you’ll find a way to get it.  Goals chose haphazardly will rarely be reached.  The goals you will attain are the ones you know without a doubt that you must reach in order to fulfill your own best possibilities.  What are these goals, what are those possibilities for you? Find them, understand them and go for them with everything you have.  When you’ve convinced yourself that you must, you will.

Daily OM

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Be Encouraged

FullSizeRender (21)It’s very easy to get lost in the disappointments of your life.  It’s even easier to transform these disappointments into feelings of failures, but the truth is these “failures” are in your life because the road you are on is ending short for a reason.   I know, I hate hearing that “everything happens for a reason”.  My immediate response to that person is to yell “F*CK YOUR REASON!” but you can’t because then you are considered aggressive and negative…

….bitches.

Right when you think you’ve figured things out, you got your diet on point, your routine on schedule and life just feels easy, BAM…the Universe (or God) plays a nice fat joke on you.

“Don’t get too comfortable”, it says, “this isn’t the end of your road.”

These are the times when your character is tested;  are you going to keep repeating the same patterns of self-pity or will you keep pushing and dig for that light at the end of the tunnel?  Nobody can tell you how you are supposed to react during your tough times.  You are entitled to your reactions, your feelings and thoughts but we all know sitting in negativity for too long breeds negativity to be drawn to you.    Because of that find a way to feel encouraged.

 

The world will not always offer you encouragement.  Often you must supply your own.  Many times you’ll have good reason to feel sorry for yourself.  Yet you can just as easily choose to feel encouraged about yourself. 

Reach deep inside and find the goodness that is always there, the goodness you may have forgotten about. 

Fell the positive purpose that nothing can take away from you.  You are worthy and relevant, effective and capable of the very best.  Remind yourself often.  

Keep in mind that every disappointment is temporary.  Every frustration can be overcome.  There is every reason to persist, to endure and to move forward with the most positive of expectations.  Because deep within, you know you can. – DailyOM

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Cheat Meals. Letting Go. Can I Do It and Still Make Progress?

As a trainer I am constantly asked if “letting go on the weekends” is ok.  Well, this depends on your definition of “letting go”.  One “cheat” meal or even two “cheat” meals in an entire weekend isn’t going to derail your fat loss/muscle gain.   Drinking with the purpose of getting drunk and eating shitty ass food whenever you want as if your stomach is a black a hole will.

What is your definition of a cheat meal?

Having a meal that is not tracked and enjoyed to satisfaction without guilt is not cheating. Eating a meal(s) to the point where you need to unbutton your jeans is just unnecessary.  I personally hate using the words “cheat meal” because it makes it seem like you are doing something wrong and shameful.  I refuse to allow something like a big chocolate chip cookie make me feel like I am guilty of something.  When did we allow food to make us feel bad about ourselves? Do you hear how stupid that sounds??  There is nothing shameful in enjoying food and not worrying about what it may or may not do to your body.   Food is not the devil so let’s not be dramatic over the word “cheat”.

Let’s go back to your goals.  

Are you serious about changing your physique and why? If answering that question fires up burning motivation then why do you want to spend an entire weekend eating like shit and being lazy? What purpose does that serve? Get your shit together and prioritize people!  Stop giving food so much power that you allow it to take over what is important to you.   Food is food and it will always be there.  You will always have access to sweets, take-out and alcohol so stop acting like this is an all-you-can-eat-because-the-world-is-coming-to-an-end buffet.

Please, please, please, I beg of you, please don’t be that person that tries to justify your binge weekend with all the working out you did. Good Lord, that is NOT how this works!

 

First of all, your workouts should just be part of your “being alive” routine not used as a way to negate you calories. But because I know you (yes, you!) pray that your binge weekend can be made up we’re going to put this into perspective.

Below is a list of yummy-shitty foods and how long you would have to do burpees for to burn it off.  Why burpees? Because they suck, they’re hard, they burn a lot of calories and everyone hates them.

  • Slice of pepperoni pizza (298 calories): 30 minutes of burpees
  • Cheeseburger (423 calories): 42 minutes and 20 seconds of burpees
  • Medium-sized McDonald’s french fries (380 calories): 38 minutes of burpees
  • Grilled cheese (580 calories): 58 minutes of burpees
  • Homemade chocolate chip cookie (89 calories): 9 minutes of burpees
  • Red velvet cupcake (496 calories): 50 minutes of burpees
  • Half a cup of vanilla ice cream (230 calories): 23 minutes of burpees
  • Half a bar of dark chocolate (300 calories): 30 minutes of burpees
  • 5-ounce glass of red wine (115 calories): 11 minutes and 30 seconds of burpees
  • 12-ounce bottle of beer (150 calories): 15 minutes of burpees
  • 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola (143 calories): 14 minutes and 20 seconds of burpees

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to do 23 minutes of burpees to make up for a half a cup of vanilla ice cream.  Let’s be honest, most people here aren’t trying to whip out a half of cup and fill it to the brim with ice cream if they are “letting go”.   I am not saying the food listed above is bad or should be avoided because life would suck that way.  But in terms of “cheat days” we’re not talking about having one grilled cheese; we’re talking about having the grilled cheese, with 10 homemade cookies, 7 bottles of bear and a late night run to McDonald’s.

So…you tell me? Is a cheat day good or bad for your progress?

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