Thursday, April 10, 2014

You know when there is something on the tip of your tongue but you just cant figure out what it is that you are trying to remember? Well that is how life has been for me. I know what I want, I know where I would like to go and I do see myself doing some great things but how to get there, I just cant figure that part out. It may seem like an easy task because the big picture is painted but it is like a blank canvas and I need to figure out which brush and which color to use to get to the final image. The tools are in the toolbox but to use them in such a way that the final image is a true piece of art is extremely challenging for me!

I want to inspire others in such a way that when they look at me, they cant help but want the same thing. I want to encourage and empower women and men alike to push forward towards their goals and never give up. The biggest thing I want to prove, more for myself than anyone else, is to never settle because it is easier than working your tail off and taking a chance that could change your life. This is the fork in the road that I am currently facing folks. Which way do I go? Left or right? Will I regret one way or the other or what if I fall flat on my face? I guess that is where chance meets opportunity and you make the best of both. No one can make that decision except for you and if there is one thing I know, it is that this life is too short and too precious to waste! Stay hungry. Stay Humble. Never give up!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Favorite Day of the Week.... Friday

It is finally Friday! I thought it would be the perfect day to share some of my favorite fitness products, whether that be clothing, accessories, or the gizmos and gadgets that I use to get me through the day. I absolutely adore cute gym clothes that no one else has. I like to find deals at Marshalls or TJ Maxx on tank tops, sports bras, and training tights that no one else will be wearing because yes I have shown up at the gym wearing my cute top from Target to have 4, yes 4!, other girls wearing the same one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but I like to be different! :) So here it is folks, my list of favorites!
  • Versa Gripps- I like to feel the iron in my hands. I like when I have a callous from a grueling back workout. I get excited when I chalk up my hands before I attempt my pull-ups. But I also like knowing that the heavy weight I am about to pull is not going anywhere. I love my Versa Gripps and use them frequently! They come in all sizes and a couple different colors. They can be found here: Gripps.
  • Jawbone UP 24- Curiosity killed the cat...just joking! But I am a curious person and I always want to know how active I am throughout the day, from the gym to work to cleaning the house. I monitor my activity as well as my sleep by my Jawbone UP 24. It is similar to the Nike Fuel Band or the FitBit but what I like about it is that I can simply open the app on my phone and it syncs wirelessly with my band revealing the amount of time I have been active, the longest time I was idle and even monitors how long I was in light sleep compared to deep sleep. 

  • Foam Roller- I love to hate this thing. I pack my mini one around to in the back seat of my car so I know I always have it. I take it on road trips, especially long ones and I even have two more at home (one upstairs and one downstairs) to ensure I use it. When you lift weights, you tear muscle fibers and the outter covering (called the Fascia) can sometimes become adhered to the muscle itself (I will go more in depth on this at another time). These "trigger spots" can be quite painful and my legs have a tendency to feel mighty cruddy when I do not take the time to roll and stretch, especially since I am doing 2-3 heavy leg sessions a week. 
  • Lululemon Pants- THESE ARE MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PANTS! Yes that is me shouting because I love them so much. They cost an arm and a leg (not really but kinda) however they fit really good, are very comfortable, can be dressed up :) and everyone that I have ever seen in these pants looks fantastic! The material very durable and if you do not dry them, they last for a very long time. I utilize gift cards and the outlet store or Ebay to score sweet deals on these suckers. 
  • Smart Shaker- I love my Smart Shaker and I recently saw that they were selling them at Costco!! Woot woot! They are awesome for putting pre- and post-workout supplements in them especially when you are on the go like me, and pack all your stuff the night before or the morning of. I put my pre-workout powder in the main shaker compartment, my pre-workout pills in the next compartment and my post-workout powder in the last compartment. It fits perfectly in my gym bag, it cuts down on plastic baggie use (what I happened to do before) and it fits just the right amount of liquid in the shaker cup. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Learning To Be...

My last post (deciding to step back from a show I committed to) took a toll on my emotionally. I am a type-A, somewhat OCD perfectionist that likes to win (what a combo huh?). This can work in my favor, example being grad school, but also work against me…perfect example…my previous post. When I commit to something, especially a show, I give it my all from the beginning. If you have followed my journey from day one, this probably comes as no surprise, so you can imagine the aftermath of stepping away from a commitment. I have cried, yelled, and laughed, felt extremely relieved yet felt overwhelmed with guilt on multiple occasions. I consider this a “learning curve”, a test of my ability to change my mind, move forward, and never look back.

Change is hard. Some people really enjoy continuous change in their daily lives, while some, like yours truly, do not welcome change so much. I like my routine, I like knowing what is happening, I like planning, and I like being in control (which makes me sound really really terrible and boring but I’m NOT). So this is what I told myself when I stepped aside from doing that show, “Put your big girl pants on, hold your head high, and don’t look back”. Guess what? Who gives a sh*t if I did that show or not besides me? Absolutely NO ONE. I put the pressure on myself. It is all crap I put in my own head. Crap that has beat me down, bullied me, and made me want to give up. But I am better than all the belittling self-talk.

Enough of the babble already! Get to the gym! J


Quick Update

Hey Y'all! I am still writing this blog but have also started another blog found RIGHT OVER HERE. This has been a great thing for me so I can share my passion and knowledge about health, fitness and new research in this constantly changing profession. Please continue to follow my journey in the gym AS WELL AS my life in the health and fitness industry!

Ciao for now,


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weight of the World....

It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my back. No I am not talking about the weight of a heavy barbell loaded up for squats or the straight bar I normally use for walking lunges. I am talking about the weight that comes from standing up for something that deep down in my heart, was just not right. You see, I love competing. I love the way it forces me to push outside my comfort zone and do something I never thought I would. I love following a meal plan (most days) and I love the smell of the tanning products that make me look like an Umpa-Lumpa. I love a challenging workout, probably more than most and even though I despise the mere thought of it, I secretly kinda like leg days because who doesn’t like a nice pair of gams?? But even with the passion that burns deep down inside of me, there is something that is just not sitting well. The weight…

Back to this weight… I decided on a show. I decided I was going to do it and I had 11 weeks to get ready for it. Normally I’m amped up and ready to get down to business. I was excited, don’t get me wrong, but I was also fighting myself much much more than usual.  I had lined out my hair, make-up, rental suit. I had started posing most days and I was following my plan, checking in with coach to make sure we were on track… and I was. Yet, it still didn’t feel good. Something inside me was so unsettled that my workouts were suffering, my home life was feeling the effects, and I was in a down right damn ugly funk. There was a week in which every single day I would get home, immediately put on my sweats and sweatshirt and crawl into bed. I would pull the covers up and hide from myself. What was going on? What is wrong with me? Why can I not pull my head out and push on? These were only a couple of the numerous things I would ask myself. This mental battle was affecting my physical progress. My weight shot up, I felt horrible, my attitude sucked and I was either moments away from crying or punching someone in the face.

Then it hit me... A group of us were visiting having dinner, gushing over a 6-week old adorable baby girl, and I just wanted to enjoy it.  That night I told Mr. T that I didn’t think it was a good idea to do the scheduled show and listed some reasons why. He couldn’t agree with me more. However, the next day I woke up and still had something nagging at me. We went about our normal Saturday, hitting the gym and getting some stuff done around the house while preparing for a cheat meal. But the weight, it was still freaking there! After throwing the idea of visiting my mom and sister around for hours, I finally decided to go and have a night with them. Best. Idea. Ever. I drove slow down the beautiful country road that leads to my folk’s place, which at the time, were covered in a dazzling blanket of fresh snow. I told my mom and sister some of the feelings I have been having and they said to take a step back and take care of you first. It was not their words that helped me; it was getting out of my own head for a minute to breathe.

I did not fail myself by deciding to take some time to take care of me. I did not fail Mr. T or coach or my family. My decision to not do this show does not define who I am. I am proud to say that this week has been a hell of a lot better than that week and I feel good about things again. I do not feel the PRESSURE that this show placed on me, all due to my own doing, and I do not feel like curling up and hiding. I feel free and it is a darn good feeling!

Ciao for now,


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Oh you confident cat!

   As I have declared before, my resolution is to love myself, love my body, love everything I have in order to be happy, healthy, and confident. This has always been a struggle for me and to be honest, I do not know why, when, or even how it all started. I am a perfectionist and get that good ol' 'Type A' personality trait from my pops. Mr. T always says, "you are your father's daughter." Now don't get me wrong, I am damn proud to be my fathers daughter. That man is hard working and has worked for everything he has BUT he also can get so involved in his own to-do lists, tasks, goals, ect that he sometimes forgets about other aspects that need attention. This is me (insert sigh and hanging of my head). I love crossing stuff off of lists. I love feeling accomplished. I love feeling at the top of my game and expect to feel this way each and every day. Come on folks, lets be honest here, I am only human and my name is not Super Woman! I have to remind myself that I AM ENOUGH. Each and every character trait I possess (the good, bad, and down right ugly) makes me who I am and that is enough. I have put so much thought and energy into working on my inner self lately that I can honestly say there are more days when I love who I am, where I am in life, and who I share my life with than dark days of fighting myself for not looking like a certain girl I saw or for my hair not being long enough or my skin looking blotchy from the late night workout. Do any of these things really matter?? Do they define who I am as a woman? No they do not nor does my weight or the tight feeling of my jeans on my muscular thighs or the chips in my nail polish. These are all superficial things that do not represent me as a woman. A woman who loves those close to her more than anything. A woman who cries because she sees an individual eating alone. A woman who will fight for what she believes in. A woman who is more competitive and driven than most. A woman who, in herself, is enough!

Ciao for now,


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Leave a Trail of Beauty...

It is widely known that the most beautiful thing about a woman is her confidence. Her ability to actually become it, to feel it, and to radiate confidence from the inside out. Once she is solid about who she is and truly believes in herself, she walks with her head held high and cant help but leave a trail of beauty wherever she goes!

Over the last three years of my competition journey, I have learned several things not only about myself but about this sport. First, I CHOSE to compete in a sport that judges me based on my body. The shape and fullness of my muscles, the texture of my skin, the way I carry and present myself on stage, even the way I decide to wear my hair and makeup that day. The criticism can be harsh and the feelings about how you placed can sometimes be even worse. I chose this. Second, when you do not place well or believe from a trusted source that you should be more like someone else or that a certain judge does not like you, you start to believe them even though you KNOW better! Third, those who believe in you and support you no matter what is going on around you, will ALWAYS be there. They will empower you, encourage you, and push you to new levels. That I know for a fact, for I married him. My husband is my biggest fan and through his influence, I have grown exponentially over the last 2 1/2 years. What I have also learned is that I am ENOUGH. I do not need to impress others in order to gain their acceptance or approval. I know that I was created with greatness and do not need to worry about others recognizing such awesomeness! I know that I am free to carry myself with grace, dignity and with true confidence in myself. I know I deserve to live my life in every facet without intimidation of what others think having a place over me. No one has the authority to steal my confidence! So what I told Mr. T is this... "The next time I step on stage, the glow will not come from the glaze. The glow will come from the inside." This is my motto and this will follow me everywhere. I have a ways to go to leave my trail but for now at least I can say I am scattering a trail. :)

Ciao for now,