Archive for the ‘Experience’ Category

Well everyone knows I’m in contest prep. I am 8 weeks out from my next competition which is August 13.

Contest prep is never fun, I find myself thinking about everything I do and more so everything I put in my mouth. How will that effect my…energy levels, and diet goals.

So just to give you a little insight into my daily routine during prep…follow along. (this is how the last 6 weeks will go…give or take a little cardio)

6:00 am: Up early (with a cup of coffee) and to head to the gym for an early round of cardio. I prefer the Stairmill, now that I have mastered that machine I can text, tweet, and read my 45 mins away.

7:00 am: Now home for a shower,get the child off to school, and breakfast. Oh and we can’t forget another cup of coffee.

Breakfast consist of 1 cup of egg whites, 1 whole egg, 2/3 cup of lite turkey sausage, and 1/2 cup of oats. Now it’s time to get to work.

10:30 am: Snack time, 3-4 oz of chicken and 1 cup of green beans. I pre make all my meals so I can just stick in micro and go.

1:00 pm: Lunch time, 5 oz chicken, 1 cup of broccoli, and 75g of yams ( if it’s leg or back day). Otherwise no yams just green veggies.

Now it’s time to start getting ready to head to the gym to see my trainer Chris. This get’s interesting, the gym is an hour away…so eating in the car has become a ritual.

3:30 pm: Protein shake (sugar free of course), 1 oz of almonds. I will also start my pre-work drink and try to time so I am finishing as I roll up to the gym.

4:30 pm: Workout time – time to lift heavy, and do lots of reps. Over the last year we (the royal “we”) have tried a couple of different routines, but we have most recently seen the best results with long single muscle group sessions. They typically consist of 8 or 9 exercises, hitting both prime movers and stabilizer muscles. Each exercise “we” are doing a warm-up set then working sets- between 6-8 sets with 8-10 reps and always heavy. One of the biggest differences in our workouts is “we” take longer rest between set, normal 3 minutes, so this can make for lots of time at the gym. I normally lift for 2 – 2.5 hours.

6:45 pm: Post workout protein. I like to make “protein brownies”…its not really a brownie but the are good, quick and easy. I just mix protein powder into a thick consistency and cook in microwave. It make a brownie of sorts and  holds me over till I can get home for my last real meal.

Now for the hour drive home…Uggg! But I would not trade Chris for the world so I continue to make the trek 2 – 4 days a week.

8:15 pm: Dinner -6oz of chicken, 3-4 cups of stir fry veggies. I buy the pre bagged ones from Trader Joe’s. It has bean sprouts, bok choy, cabbage and a few peas. I found a stir fry sauce for flavor, it has 5 carbs, so 1 Tbs and stirfry in the wok. Yum this is my favorite meal.

I am not a very creative person when it comes to contest prep food…I will eat these same things for the entire duration of contest prep. I might substitute shrimp, scallops or halibut every once in a while but that it the extent of change.

During last 3 weeks only:

9:30 pm: Back to the gym for another round of cardio.

I find contest prep easy, mostly because it has a start and end and there are very specific rules to follow. It’s the time not in prep that is the biggest challenge for me. I find I need that accountability.

Hope this gives you insight into my day during contest prep.




Now that my body is healed (healing) I have decided to do another competition. August 13, 2011. I know it is a mere 12.5 weeks away, but I am totally excited and ready to get back to it.

I am already lighter and leaner than I was 12 weeks out from my first competition, and I have a tiny bit more size on my legs. Woot! So we are going to do things a little different this time. I have started cardio and it will be a slow steady progression…hopefully I won’t have to do 2 a days. My diet is also changing a little…I am keeping more carbs. I know this sounds exciting for most but this is really going to be difficult. I don’t really eat may carbs with the exception of green veggies and this time around that is not going to be enough. So yams, oats, and brown rice (I won’t be doing much of this…yuck!)

So I have been on a mission these last couple of days to come up with some simple ways to add variety to my selection of carbs. This gets tricky when you think no flour, no sugar, very little oil- but I think I found something that is gonna work. I made sweet potato pancakes. I call it a success when my very very picky son would eat them. So I thought I would share the recipe. Be on the look-out for more sharing, I’m sure I will be tired of these in about 3 weeks and need something new.

Liz’s Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 cup of oats

2 cups of baked yames

3/4 cup of egg whites

2 eggs

2 tsp of cinnamon

Blend the oats in blender till fine powder, add all other ingredients and blend till a smooth consistency.

Blend batter till smooth.

Heat griddle/pan (I added a little walnut oil). Pour batter to form 3.5″ pan

Cook till brown on both sides. Yumm!

cakes. If batter is a little thick you may want to level to an even thickness, (this way they cook evenly). Cook till brown on both sides.

These were great alone, but they were even better with a little dusting of stevia and cinnamon. It was like a treat and no guilt.

Serving size 1 pancake: My batch made 13

Nutrient Totals per pancake:

Protein: 4gm

Carbs: 16 gm

Fiber: 2.5 gm

Fat: 2 gm

Calories: 97

I have listened to and read things that other figure competitors have had to endure from friends, family and colleagues while trying to stay focused on the task of contest prep. The endless banter about the foods they eat, their “opinion” of the countless hours that have been spent in the gym and for what? It does not encourage nor is it supportive of the monumental task at hand.

I count myself lucky. I have not really had to endure any of this negative feedback during contest prep. While unless you count the chicken stir-fry strike my son went on…but I guess 3 weeks of the same exact meal, for most is a little much.

I am also one of those people that once I set my mind to something; I let nothing get in my way to complete my goal. Now this doesn’t mean that I have it easy, I tend to be very critical of myself and cause self-doubt within. There were several times during contest prep that I was just ready to throw in the towel because I was not living up to my own expectation, but there was one thing that stopped me. I am not a Quitter! This is just something I could not live with…so I dig deep within to find the resolve to finish what I started.

I love the quote “If you think the pain is bad now. Quitting lasts forever.”  This has turned into my mantra.

I first saw this on the back of a shirt while I ran behind this man during my first marathon. At first I didn’t think anything about it because I was killing it, but mile 19 came and all I wanted to do was sit on the sidewalk…but this man run past again and I read his shirt. The next 7.2 miles I chanted “If you think the pain is bad now. Quitting lasts forever.” to myself and out loud.

It is amazing how powerful those words are to me, they allow me to dig deep and keep going even when my mind and body have had enough. I believe this is what makes a true competitor…inner resolve.

Find out how other in the Fitness Blog World achieve their goals:

Well it has been 4 long weeks since my first figure competition. I had no idea the aftermath that would follow.

About 3 weeks before my competition I starting getting these extreme cravings for sugar specifically “cupcakes“. This was kind of strange; I have never really been a big sugar eater, and never really craved it. I just figure it was due to not being “allowed” to have it…so I wanted it.

Sugary Goodness

Well after the competition I immediately partook in those delicious cupcakes and all their sugary goodness. But it didn’t stop there…I realized that over the last 4 weeks I have consumed more sugar than I have in an entire year. It has been like someone opened the flood gates. I mean really opened the flood gates, real sugar in my Iced Tea (and I’m from the south, so that means its gotta be syrupy sweet)

This stuff should be banned!

homemade chocolate chip cookies  (well I cooked them in my oven) at least 3 days a week (who ever invented the tub of cookie dough should be shot) soda, and just about anything else I should not be eating as long as it had some chocolate or frosting it was fair game.  I just can’t seem to get enough. I think that my body has actually become addicted to the stuff.

I really started to take notice this week when I looked in the mirror…my abs were gone. What the hell! I had worked so hard for so long and just like that “belly by HoHos” took over. So I decided after making light of the situation with a couple of guys and my trainer at the gym it was time to remove the sugar again…go cold turkey…Stevia here I come. This has been much harder than I expected, but it has been 3 days and my abs are starting to make small appearances, so that gives me hope that I didn’t ruin all my hard work. It did however put it in prospective as to how fast your body and mind can revert to destructive ways.

I wanted to know a little more about why this would happen, when I have never really eaten much sugar or craved it.

In short and really simple: The sugars are very easy to digest, the body doesn’t have to work very hard to gain energy from them. Unlike when you eat proteins and complex carbs the body has to work much harder to retrieve the energy store in them. Basically the body is lazy, so when you take in sugar and it sees how easy it was to get energy; it just sends a message to the brain to get more of that easy energy source…hence the cravings for sugar.

So I am getting back on track and now know what to expect after my next competition.

“Dreaded 5”

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Experience, Training

So it’s theme night in Blog Land and several of my Fabulous Fitness Friends are blogging about their top 5 exercises they love to hate I am going to join in but mine are true hates, and they must be done anyway. I am hoping that once we are all linked together that we will be able to spot a pattern to our love-hate.

For me, I hate legs! Wait I take that back…I love squats and those work the legs but most of the excercises on my “Dreaded 5″ list come from this muscle group. I actually read a post today stating that if there is an exercise we don’t like it is probably because we are weak at it and should do it more often. Well that is my plan. I need to grow me some Quads and Glutes so the “Dreaded 5” are gonna need to become loves.

Let’s get started: (In order least favorite on top)

  1. Leg Press – Oh why do I hate you so, everyone else loves you and puts up such big numbers, but me I start to feel sick just thinking about having to set on that red seat.
  2. Walking Lunges – I think this one just comes down to coordination. I know you are all thinking, it’s just walking across the floor, it takes me about three quarters of the way to get in a rhythm then it’s time to turn around. At least the return trip I’m a much quicker study I only look like I’m gonna fall over a quarter of the way.
  3. Leg Extensions – This is the only exercise where I feel a real burn. Oh yea, see I don’t get that burn that “normal” people get when they lift. My muscles just stop or go to failure with no pain. These leg extensions cause pain, and I don’t like it!
  4. Seated Calf Raises – I don’t mind calf raises on the leg press, standing with dumbbells, but I get on that seat calf raise machine and get about 4 banged out and BAM…the worse cramp ever…ever single time. So I hate it!
  5. Crunches – I don’t do a lot of ab work…that will be changing with the new plan, but I do hate crunches. I think I just hate what they stand for…or that everyone thinks if you do crunches you will have abs…wrong. So I just don’t like to play. I can have abs without them. Okay maybe need to change that attitude, but it is #5.

Well you have seen my list, now check out my Fabulous Fitness Peeps  Alli, Kari, Tiffany, Dawn, Donloree, Jennifer, and Colleen and see if there is a pattern of their hate to love exercises!


A Week of Indulgence!

Posted: April 3, 2011 in Diet/Food, Experience

So it has been a week since my first show and the things I experienced after have been just as valuable if not more so than my entire contest prep.

First, I was so sleep deprived and physically/mentally run down that I literally slept for three days. I got up Sunday morning had breakfast and went back to bed for 5 more hours, got up ate, then back to bed for the night. I think my total time awake was 5 hours. Then on Monday it was like a repeat of Sunday…I got up to eat and back to bed. Tuesday was much better, I only required one  2 hour nap. Wednesday came and I was finally feeling normal…YEA!

Now on to the INDULGENCE!

When I started Contest Prep I was not really concerned with the diet. I eat pretty clean most of the time and I am not a big sweets fan. But when you are told there are things that you can not have, well for some reason the body decides that is what you want most. For me, anyone that knows me or has been following on Twitter, knows about 3 weeks from the finish-line I became obsessed with “Cupcakes and Beer”. When I say obsessed, I mean it, I dreamed about them, talked about them, and even visited the website for the bakery ( often. So the time finally came to eat the cupcakes and beer, and I was not disappointed. It was truly awesome and even better did not create havoc on my stomach. What it did do was open the floodgates, as you will see from the bounty of sugary, carb heavy foods I have been consuming for the last week.

See I told everyone...cupcakes and beer, we haven't even left the parking lot!



Breakfast – Pancakes with bacon and real maple syrup, milk and juice

Lunch – Cupcake and beer

Dinner – Pasta with red sauce and sausage, garlic bread, and wine


Breakfast – Back to my egg whites and turkey sausage, but 2 pieces of toast with butter and honey

Lunch – Cupcake and beer – Now all the cupcakes are gone 😦

Dinner – Pizza and beer

So you can see the pattern building here. I will not list out each and every day but just highlight the best foods, and there were many.

  • Homemade Buffalo Chili with beer bread
  • Pizza and beer again
  • Homemade Mac and Cheese with Kielbasa Sausage and wine
  • Roasted Chicken and Oven Fries…this is borderline, but add wine and it’s over the top
  • Chocolate Chip cookies every night…who ever invented the pre-made cookies is Evil, pure Evil.

    Roasted Chicken and Potatoes!

There were other things eaten throughout the day that could be added but that would do no good. I’m sure you are getting a great visual already.

Now I feel I have gotten that out of my system, it is time to go back to clean eating and scheduled eating. I don’t want to lose all the momentum from contest prep. Looking to stay lean and build a little more muscle with my sights set on another show the end of July.

Trials and Tribs of Show Day!

Posted: March 27, 2011 in Experience

Getting show ready! 6am

Well yesterday “Show” day finally came. I woke at 6 am to start getting ready for a 9am athlete brief. I wanted to make sure that I had a good breakfast and most of my make-up was done before I left since I know the venue is small and prep space is scarce.

I was excited and extremely nervous the entire way to the show…by the way is an hour and half drive. Once there I set up my little spot

Athlete Check-in and Tanning

in the dressing room and I’m off to meet some of the new friends I made at check-in the night before. I got to actually meet @BikiniStaci

(she’s from Montana) and we have been commiserating via Twitter for the last 5 months. So it was great to put a face with name, and she is so stinkin’ cute. Then there was @LanelleP (she’s from Miami/Bahamas) another face with a name…we shared a dressing area and just had a great time. I am totally looking forward to doing a show with her on the East Coast sometime this year. There were several other Twitter girls who I got to meet and know so that little family just gets better all the time. Not to mention all the cheering support from @BikiniorBust, @Fit_Michelle, @babytatten, @lilfitprincess, @survifam (she showed up to watch and cheer us on! get to feel the love), and so many others I am totally forgetting. Thank you!

Master's Line-up

I did 2 classes yesterday, Figure Master 35A and Figure Open B. We started at 11 am with Masters. In my 1st class there were 7 ladies. We all line up and do our thing…oh this was so nerve racking, but everyone says I smiled the entire time so that was my first hurdle. As I was standing up with all the other girls the only thing I noticed was that I am small. I may be cut but not alot of muscle size. *This is just my first impression* Then on the Open B which is all girls 5″1′ – 5″2.5″ (oh yeah…I officially measured in at 5″2’…woot woot!)

I did not make 1st call out for Masters or Open which was disappointing but I got up there and completed the first leg of the journey. Lance Armstrong did not win every leg of the Tour De France but still took the title more than any other rider. So with this thought and my favorite quote “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” Onward and upward I go!

Back Stage all dolled up!

I must take time moment to thank those that were there to support me today, because I know how long today is going to be and both my husband and son got up with me and stuck it out all day…mostly by themselves. One of the best parts of the morning was hearing my son

scream and cheer from the audience. I could not see or hear anything else except him and all I could do was smile. When I finished to hear him say how AWESOME I was…and truly believe it means I won no matter the outcome. That moment is something no one will ever be able to take away! I love you Calvin!

I also have to thank my trainer, Chris…but he deserves a whole blog posting to himself…come next week.

After the morning show, we took off for Yummy Bakery in Santa Monica and cupcakes were our mission! We picked up 4 huge cupcakes…2 buttered popcorn and 2 yummy fudgie, it took all my willpower not to eat them on the way back to the night show. Once we got back to the venue I just took some me time, putts with my phone, got to know some of the other girls…just relaxed. I figured the night show was suppose to be fun and that’s what I was going to have. Now the waiting…because we go on last so that means it will be 10:30 before Figure even starts. that is allot of time to waste.

Same drill as this morning, we get to do all our poses, then comparisons and top 5 are called. Well I knew in advance that I was here so no worries, next time! I did learn allot about stage presence and also maybe it was more an issue of posing than size…we will see when I get comments back from the judges. This will help with the next phase of training. If it is posing/presentation I need work on, well then another show is in order sooner…if it is size, I will take some time and build and do another show in the fall. So it looks like I have a game plan.

After the show ended it was right to the car for a post celebration tailgate style of beer and cupcakes! Yes I said Beer and cupcakes together and it was delightful! I could not think of a better way to end the day!

See I told everyone...cupcakes and beer, we haven't even left the parking lot!