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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How I Stopped Being Self-Conscious In The Gym

The other day my sister sent me a text asking how I got over being self-conscious in the gym.  My immediate response was, “I don’t know.  I just made myself do it…”

But how??

Fitness was not always a part of my life.  Working out was a chore or a punishment depending on the day and my version of a work out was going for a run.  I didn’t know anything about weights and even had escape plans up my sleeve to save myself from embarrassment of “figuring” out equipment.   Now the gym is my first home and I wouldn’t know what I would do without it.

So how did I get this to this point?

 

I had a goal, a vision, and a purpose.  The day I stepped in the gym (I mean really stepped in a gym) was the day I decided to compete in my first bikini competition. I had little knowledge in the gym, but I wanted to get into the best shape of my life and show it off in a competition wearing the smallest bikini known to man.  Placing in the competition was always a bonus, but I was there to prove to myself that I could do this. I researched different “competition coaches” and hired someone online.  Even though they gave me a plan they didn’t show me how to actually do anything in the gym.  This plan was no better than googling a random workout.  They did hold me accountable, but I was still on my own to figure it out.  Despite how intimidating it was I determined enough to step in that gym and do the work even if I looked like a jackass.   As motivated as I was, I was still afraid of using certain machines or doing certain exercises, because I knew I was “weak” and thought I would look stupid.  I avoided these exercises for quite some time until I finally decided to make myself do it.

Fitness Girl

I came up with a plan.  Every week I picked an exercise that I had been too intimidated to try and made a promise to myself that I would get it done by the end of the week/session.   Sometimes I failed on that promise and sometimes I succeeded, but I never stopped trying.  I was consistent in my efforts and building up the courage until I finally did it all.

 

I used visualization.  Some days were harder than others and it required more mental strength to get through it.  I’m inspired by the visuals I can create in my own my mind.   There would be days I sat in the parking lot seeing myself lift or at my goal physique on stage with the lights on me.  I could physically feel the emotions of accomplishing these goals and what my life will be like when I checked this goal off my list.  It was a high that I used to help step through those doors and try something new.  Visualization is still a strong tool for me, but I’ve been able to utilize self-talk to get me through hard workouts as well.  Try both to figure out what works well for you.

 

I dressed like a bad assin my own head.   I’m not a fashionista nor do I have any right telling anyone what looks good and what doesn’t.  I started off trying to find things to hide my body or sweat stains because avoiding all forms of embarrassment was key and wardrobe played a role in fading into the background. But as I grew more confident in the gym I began to expand my outfits outside of black and baggy.  It may sound silly, but when you feel like a bad ass in your gym gear then you will work out like a bad ass.

 

At the end of the day there is no magic trick to get over being self-conscious in the gym.  At some point you need to stand up to your fears and make yourself do it.  If you need to start off small then do that.  If you can rip it off  like a band-aid and go balls to the walls then more power to ya’ sista!   Regardless of the size steps you take you have to be ready and willing to make the commitment to change and step outside your comfort zone.

 

The best piece of advice someone has ever given me was ‘do it scared.’   And no matter if you’re scared, just go ahead and do it anyway because you might as well do it scared, so it will get done and you will feel so much better if you step out of your comfort zone. – Sherri Shepard

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