Monday, August 19, 2013

Fat?

ok, so this is a blog post I have been meaning to write for a long time. I am sure I have about 30 things on my to do list today that take precedence over writing a blog but here it is...
I started taking some crossfit workouts in addition to my regular lifting I do as my bodybuilding training. I want to be able to get away with eating more sooner, so I need to burn more calories. More importantly I have a major goal this year to improve my flexibility and increase my mobility hopefully undoing some of the damage I have done to my body over the last 31 years and make it better able to preform. I also have poor cardiovascular endurance and really even muscular endurance. I would like to be faster and learn to be more explosive in my movements when it would be beneficial.
I flippantly made a comment on my facebook about being slow and fat, not really thinking about the various ways people would interpret this.
I have to say I am sorry if that was offensive to anyone. Please understand it wasn't intended to be a put down to myself or anyone else.
photo from july 2013
"needs to be leaner"
I am involved in a sport, bodybuilding, where an unnaturally low level of body fat is required. Lower than the doctor recommended levels required to support organ function. You only need to be at this level for a short period of time, but that's the way it is. Last month I was as lean as I have ever been in my life, at around 9.5% bodyfat, based on my hydrostatic weighings... you know what my #1 critique was? "Needs to be leaner"
Due to my involvement in bodybuilding I have developed a really unemotional relationship with the word "fat" and the idea of having fat on your body. I don't look at it as part of who I am, more like a state of my present physical condition. Something I could adjust with some effort based on my personal goals or preference. Anyone who does not have a metabolic disorder or a physical disability has this ability, and even those that do have shown that with the right determination they can as well. I have had to make this mental transition because I cannot base my perception of myself on the percentage of body fat to lean body mass I have. It is a mutable thing completely under my control.
I am not a fat shamer. I do not think that people with higher levels of body fat look unattractive or "gross" or whatever we are supposed to think. If someone has an extremely high fat level I may feel concerned for their health or sympathize with the amount of joint pain they have or how daily activities are probably more challenging for them. I may feel bad that they can't do physical activity that I take joy in, like hiking, or empathize with the feelings they most likely have of being out of control of the situation. I don't judge them, because even though I was never at the point where my health was at risk, I have been out of shape and overweight, and I have felt like there was nothing I could do to change it. What's more, they may truly not care... maybe they really like reading and don't care for nature at all. They might be perfectly happy with their physical abilities, and that is none of my business.
photo from 2010
I have always wanted to be lean and shape so that I could be more physically able to do whatever I want in life without my body holding me back. EVERY SINGLE DAY when I wake up I think about how grateful I am that I can step out of bed and walk to the bathroom. I might not always take it further than that but I usually come back to it at some point in the day when I am active- I think about how lucky I am to have my health, how grateful I am to be able to run through the woods or have the strength to pick up a heavy weight.
At some point in my life I might not have that. I could lose my mobility or my strong immune system, or in some other way become unable to live like I currently do so I don't for one moment want to take my able body for granted.
The other thing I want to add is that everything is relative to the place you are personally at. Pretty much every human being is going to have a moment in their life where they feel out of shape. Or feel fat. Those are valid whether you are below or above some national average for fitness.
I am excited to have gotten an opportunity to feel that way. Feeling out of shape motivates me to do something about it. Having to drag a heavy body around motivates me to lose the parts of my physique that are not doing work. I want to be more strong and efficient.
Of course I have some pride in looking fit, and looking lean. I feel more attractive, but mostly because looking lean and muscular is MY PERSONAL idea of what a sexy woman looks like. Lot's of people might look at me and think "that's too much muscle for a girl" or "gross, too manly". I could care less. I have worked very hard to get my body closer to MY idea of the best it can be. That is an evolving concept. Now the best it can be also involves being able to be strong, AND fast, AND agile.
I love my muscles
I am not a natural athlete. I am not a person who has always been super active, or done sports my whole life. I am a bookworm who grew up camping and maybe riding my bike around the neighborhood a few hours a day. The only physical activity I was every really involved in was lifting weights and I did that casually. There is nothing special about me that makes me able to achieve a level of fitness that the average person out there could not. It just takes the right motivation, which to me is the desire to use athleticism to promote a vegan diet. Without that motivation I would still look like the person from 2010... I actually don't even view myself as being particularly lean or in shape. Just better off than I was a few years ago. There was nothing wrong with that, I was just a lot less physically able to preform the tasks that I can today and a lot less empowered and confident to try.
Dani's Champions!
I want everyone to know that they can have what they want in life if they really try. I also want people to know that this photo on the right -> is not what we look like everyday. None of us feel bad about our bodies when we are not at our peak form. Of course it's fun to look in the mirror and think "I look like a magazine!" but that is a temporary state. It is however very normal to hear us call ourselves "fat" or "slow" or "out of shape" because we know that even at the best we've ever been, we can always be better. We also know that fat is not who you are, your current level of endurance is not who you are, it is a place you are at. A place you can leave if you want, or stay if you are comfortable. I am not comfortable. I want to be better able to do more.
I respect everyone for where they are personally at and just want to see them reach a level of health they are satisfied with.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Naturally Fit Super Show Recap!

I had a rough beginning of this week with some turmoil on the home-front but luckily the universe seemed to sense I needed a little extra love and I had a lot of amazing and heartwarming things come my way as well.
First thing to note is that I am so overwhelmed and inspired by all the kind comments and notes I have been receiving from friends and supporters letting me know that I am inspiring THEM and motivating them to lift heavier, or do better with their diets, or BECOME VEGAN! Wow, WOW! How awesome and rewarding it is to hear these things. It motivates me to work harder and do better over the next year so I can hope to really make a big impact in the fitness industry as an example of a vegan athlete in top condition.
Secondly I have been given a promotion by Veganproteins.com from friend and customer to family and employee! What an honor! I can't think of a small business I would rather get to work with and help to grow more than Vegan Proteins. So due to this you may see more frequent short posts on my personal blog directing you to posts on the Vegan Proteins blog that I wrote. I am hoping we will do some cooking demos as well!
You can read my full recap of the Austin Takeover Weekend here:
Blog Post
But I also wanted to add some things as a personal note on my own blog.
This year has been really life changing for me. I feel like I have discovered a passion in an area that has always been a hobby for me but that I never felt capable of making a career or lifestyle out of. Now I feel like it is a part of who I am and that I will be living the lifestyle of a competing natural bodybuilder for the next several years and that natural fitness and a more health focused diet will be in my future career for a long time to come.
Many of you know I teach cooking classes. I hope to integrate more performance based meals into my cooking classes in the future and maybe get my personal training certification over this next year as well so that I can start working with local plant based athletes (especially women!) who want to build mass and lift heavy!
I am working with Dani Taylor, my coach and Vegan Proteins Co-Owner to write a cookbook this year that is designed to work with the meal plans and diet programs she writes for her clients. I am ecstatic to apply my culinary creativity to this project and come up with lots of super healthy vegan meals.
I had a nice little binge for a few days but am back on a meal plan designed to increase my metabolism gradually over the next few months. By december I want it to be cranking so I can eat and eat and fuel some big muscles. The biggest challenge right now is not eating all of the chocolate that has somehow appeared in my life over the last several days. My building goals over the next year are to increase mass in my shoulders and abs, and work on changing the shape of my quads and hamstrings so that even though that area of my body holds the majority of my fat, they will still be a strong point for me next year when I compete again. I want to keep my body fat percentage under 15% over the winter while I build so that I won't have as far to drop when cutting season starts and I will be able to get leaner than I was this year.
I made some awesome trophy gains this year but the biggest win I have experienced is in all of the new friendships I have made and family I have gained in the process. I have a home at TPS alongside some super strong women (and men!) under the mentorship of the gracefully fierce Katy Wayman-White who has been competing in Natural Women's Bodybuilding for over 30 years and genuinely loves and promotes the sport. I am excited to learn so much from her and the other people I attend posing class with so that I can become a skilled and strong performer and showcase my body to the best of it's potential. I have a true family united by our passion to speak for the innocents in team Plant Built. I feel so bonded to this group and proud of what we have accomplished in just one season. I can't wait to be proud and inspired by what all of these amazing athletes achieve over the next year. I am especially hoping that I can get some more of the women to cross over into body building this year!
I have also made some really cool friends from the online community and some of them even live in my area so I am really hoping to be able to train a little with them this year and help those that are just coming into the world of physique competition to settle in and find their place.
I cannot say enough how grateful I am for the support both financially and emotionally I have been given this year from all of you and I hope I made you proud. I will continue to share photos and videos from the competition as I come across them so that you can get a look into the experience you helped to create.
I just want to give a quick mention of some of the companies that helped support the team and me personally this year, so that you know who to check out for businesses that give back to the community...
Vegan Proteins - Online Vegan Supplement Retailer
Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness - Online bb and fitness community and info hub
Plant Fusion - Premium Vegan Protein
Badass Power Cookie - Delicious baddass cookie
Engine 2 Diet - Plant based educational support community
Justin's Nut Butter - Mmmm nut butter
Brad's Raw Leafy Kale - Kale chip delight
Rhythm Superfoods - More delicious Kale
Just Pure Foods - Plant-Based snack foods
Eda-Zen - Edamame snacks
Beyond Fit Austin - Austin plant based gym
Bonebreaker Barbell - Plant powered hardcore gym in Kyle, Texas


I wanted to mention that also received a personal sponsorship from:
Mackay Manufacturing

Thank you so much to these businesses for supporting us!






Friday, July 12, 2013

video update

Sorry it has been forever since I updated. Here is a little video update and I will do more soon! http://youtu.be/7OGLSaGXgog

Friday, May 31, 2013

8 weeks out, gofundme, and body fat test...

I am officially at my 8 week mark. Wow. It is pretty intense to think I only have 8 weeks left to achieve my physical and mental goals for this comp.
This last week I have been working on adjusting my mindset a little- the key focus being "letting go". As I get closer to competing I feel an increased urgency to lose fat and keep muscle, and get my posing perfect, and make the money I need to compete, and promote what I am doing to help animals... all of that and constantly stopping myself from reaching for my food and trying to ensure I get enough sleep. For the first week or so of cutting I wasn't seeing any difference in my body. I was having some digestive issues and was really bloated and that week led straight into my pms week so again I was bloated and basically giving up on ever having abs at that point. It's hard to not get panicky when you aren't seeing results for a period of time this close to the deadline. I was really starting to stress it- which doesn't help to lose fat. I had to take a step back and say "It isn't my job to worry about this. It is my job to do what my coach tells me and report my results accurately. It is her job to worry about my body composition. That is why I have her, to stay sane." I am making a major effort to genuinely commit to that mindset. Then today I was talking to my dad on the phone and he asked how my workouts were going. I told him I kinda had a bad week for workouts this last week. I have added more cardio, I am on a caloric deficit, and I always feel hungry and tired. He said "yeah, from this point on it is going to be like this. You just need to accept that the workouts aren't about the number on the weight right now, or having one of those big gain days. You are there to work your body, and as long as you are struggling to get the weight up you are having a good workout. You are going to feel weak and you may not make any increase in weight from here on out but as long as you are working you had a good workout."
So letting go and acceptance are my lessons this week. I just need to focus on each day as it comes. Do my best to stick to my meal plan, get my cardio, posing practice, and weight lifting in, and get good sleep at night. The chips will fall as they may but as long as I can say I did my best I need to be happy with that and just use my experience to learn for next time.
I did get a body fat test today since I am 8 weeks out- and that seemed like a good time. I have not lost as much fat as I had hoped to in the last few weeks but I blame that on the first two rough weeks of cutting I had. I feel like the last week and a half I have seen visible results every few days including a few new visible veins and more abs. The one good thing about my body composition results was that I seem to have gained a half pound of muscle... which apparently makes me a genetic freak. Everyone seems a little confused about how I can have decreased my caloric intake, added cardio, and still gained muscle. Fuck if I know... I just do what I am told.
The last thing of note is that I put up a GO FUND ME to help me raise some funds for myself, and Plant Built as a whole to get to Austin. If you enjoy my blog, and have a few dollars kicking around please toss me a few bucks. Even $5 is rad. I put up some incentives, like cookies, and dinner catering... so check it out!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Why YOU need a coach!

ok, so this post is directed to YOU! You know who you are... you've been working for months to lose/gain fat/muscle and it's just not happening... or not happening as fast as you think it should. You tried this one plan your friend told you about and after a few weeks you lost faith in it and moved on to another one. You missed a few weeks of workouts cause you hurt yourself, or got sick, or lost motivation, but you're gonna start up again next week and hopefully do a better job sticking with it this time.
You think you are eating ok... I mean if you want to lose fat you need to reduce calories, right? So you've been eating before work and before bed, and trying to stick with veggies and rice cakes. It's hard, but it will pay off! Conversely, you're trying to get huge- all the big guys in the gym say they eat like 5000 calories a day. It seems like a lot, but your are eating a cup of peanut butter and as many french fries as possible to hit that number every day!
OR
You just have no clue what you are doing. You know that you need to do something, and you know you aren't happy, but you just feel lost and powerless to change anything. You would get a trainer at the gym but they probably wouldn't understand your dietary needs... plus aren't trainers expensive??

YOU need help.
YOU need a coach! Here's why:

- Having an expert to help you make a plan that specifically meets your personal needs and goals is invaluable! Stop wasting your time with plans that don't quite work for your needs.

- A diet coach can help you to figure out exactly what your nutritional requirements are and how you can meet them. Abs are made in the kitchen right? Or at least our ability to see them under the layer of fat on our tummies is... Eating is over half the battle in reaching your goals.

- Most importantly a coach can offer you motivation, accountability, and confidence in your plan. No matter what your goals, you will see faster and better results when you have the help of an expert and you have someone to report to.

Here's what you CAN'T expect from a coach:

- Someone to erase the bad eating choices you made over the weekend.

- A physical transformation if you don't follow the plan.

- Free services or advice- after all this is how they make their living.


I know I would not have been able to reach my goals without the help of my diet and training coach- who I highly recommend. Now that I am preparing for competition I am going to a posing coach as well. Look around and find the right person for YOU. Someone you can relate to, who will understand your goals and support you but also push you when you need it. Someone you feel you can trust with your personal health- because that is really what your diet and fitness equate to!


Friday, May 17, 2013

10 weeks out!!!!

It is oh so close, yet so far away... I was due for my back progression shot on wednesday so I have kinda been getting antsy and excited for it the last few weeks. It is really hard to see my progress on a daily basis, I see little changes all the time- a new ab muscle showing, or veins becoming more prominent as my layer of fat beneath my skin melts away but overall I don't see change. That is the best part about the back progression series I have been doing- I actually get to see the change, and on an area I don't see daily. Without further ado:

Pretty cool right? Helps me to fight the grazing urge when I look at that. Now since I have 10 weeks left you can kinda use the panels to gauge where I will be in 10 weeks based on the change over every 6 weeks shown above. Smaller and more lumpy mostly ;)
I go to my first posing class this saturday. OH! I guess that is tomorrow! I am nervous and excited. I found an ideal posing coach, a female body builder with years of competing and judging experience in natural shows and a pro-card in the organization I will be competing in. I can't wait to meet her!
I haven't been posting as much as I should because I have had a busy few weeks trying to sort my finances, but I promise I will be better.
As the date looms closer I have been starting to have to make some sizable purchases for the competition. I am gonna ask you all for some help... 
Here's the scoop!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

just pumpin along...


 So I am back in the gym, as you know if you read my last update... I am on a high rep, short rest program, lifting as much as I can for 12-15 reps- which is pathetic by the way... Makes me feel really bad about myself when I collapse on the ground after 8 pushups. It is paying off though, it seems, because I am so swoll when I walk out of the gym that sometimes I can't bend my arms. I was sore for DAYS after my last leg workout. Just goes to show that anytime you start getting comfortable with a program it is time to switch it up. As evidence in the picture to the left of this text my shoulders are getting bigger and I am pretty happy about it. I have a lot of work to do- and I realize I am only going to get so far before this first competition, but I am feeling hopeful about how I will look after I cut. I just don't want to look small. That is my biggest concern, I don't want to look scrawny.
I've been seeing my chiropractor consistently since my hiatus and feel like I have a lot more mobility in my body than I did previously. We are working on my right shoulder right now, since I generally have chronic pain in it and it rolls forward. After that my goal is better chest and shoulder flexibility in general since I look like CT Fletcher when I squat with my hands practically on the plates!

As far as diet goes, I start cutting this tuesday. I got really lucky and got to push my cutting start day back a little because I was ahead with my pre-cut fat loss, but now it's time to get serious. I go in monday morning for a bodyfat test, just to see where I am at before I start my new diet. I don't think it will be much different than my last one as I don't see a lot of difference visibly, but my weight hasn't really changed and I think I have more muscle, so I might have less fat ;) that's how it works right?? Haha... My current workout has me feeling hungry ALL the TIME! So it has been hard to avoid extra snacks. I admit I have taken a few extra almonds here and there. I wrote a note to myself on the top of the jar to hopefully curb that.
I imagine when I actually start cutting and have to get serious I am going to have to put inspirational and threatening messages all over my kitchen to make sure I don't cheat. I know this portion of contest prep is all a mental fight. Ignoring your cravings and reaching a peace with hunger... I read a quote yesterday that I thought would really resonate in the next three months:
"If you're not suffering, you're not gonna get lean enough. That's what I've always thought. People ask me, 'How you feeling?' I say, 'I feel bad'. You're gonna feel bad if you're gonna get in good condition and I just know that's what it takes to get there and I'm willing to do what I have to do to get in this kind of conditioning." - Joe "the beast" Derousie
So I am thinking up little tricks to help me. Unfortunately sugar-free gum has been a fallback already. I know that the chemicals are horrible for me but sometimes when I am craving sweets just that little bit of satisfaction helps ease it. Also flavored lip balms and sweet smelling lotions and perfumes have been helping. I got a few new products this last week even though I couldn't really justify the expense. It feels nice to treat yourself to something sweet.
 In the meantime I am truly savoring my carbs- especially the berries which I hear I will be losing. I had a strawberry protein shake with my oats this morning and it was so so good. I don't take something like the flavor and natural sweetness of berries for granted at all anymore.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Back" in business

ok, horrible pun, I know! I saw a genius doctor who I will do a full post on later in the month and he totally put me on the road to recovery and told me I was good to work out. Seems I had several little issues that were coming to a head and creating what seemed like one BIG issue in my body. My feet tingling was most likely due to super tight Piriformus (surprise surprise, my giant butt muscles were tight) pressing on my sciatic nerve. He did some ACT on my piriformus among other things and the tingling in my feet is almost completely gone. Just a little here and there when I like hike up a big hill or something. He also worked on my back and shoulder and I have more mobility than I have in months. Again though, I will save the details for a full post later. Needless to say I am thrilled to be back in the gym and attacking my workouts with ferocity. I have moved into a new phase of my training, and if I didn't know better I would think Coach Taylor was trying to kill me. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger I guess ;) I am doing lower weights with high reps- which sounds like a walk in the park but instead equals feeling totally exhausted and like a wet noodle about half way through my workout. Little leftie is getting hit hard so I expect my biceps will be near symmetrical in no time!
This is me back in the gym and some dude is looking at me like "um why is this dumb girl taking pictures of herself at the gym?" oooor maybe he's thinking "what a babe, her back muscles are killer... I would ask her for her number but she is too intimidating" one of those two anyway...
Today is my back day and hopefully I don't undo all the good progress the doc made on me tuesday. I will just ice a lot and it will be cool. Blanche lives to help me with icing. And basically lives for any opportunity to lay on top of me so I can't get up and go anywhere.
Yesterday was my BIG CHEAT DAY! I asked my coach for one last chance to eat whatever I wanted before we start cutting and my wish was granted. I took a picture of my tummy in the morning incase it would never be the same again after my fun filled food day.  I ate what I wanted but tried to avoid refined sugar because I didn't want to have cravings for the rest of the week and have a sugar hangover.
Here is a little summary of my day and all the deliciousness it entailed!

Peanut Butter Toast and Kevita 
I still squeezed in 3 protein shakes... I love them 
Cinnamon oatmeal with sweetened almond milk
maximizing the peanut butter experience
Fucking Chips and Guac... that's right
"pre-workout" Waffle... I needed carbs
My handsome cheat day accomplice

My vegan canadian bacon and pineapple pizza on top,
his vegetarian garden pizza on bottom
mmmm...

Frozen banana and strawberry soft serve with
some coconut and sprinkles for good measure 
mmmmm....

Monday, April 8, 2013

Out of the gym :(

 I supposed it was inevitable that I would at some point durning these 9 months face an injury that would take me out of the gym for a few days. I am grateful that it (seems like it) is minor. I am really missing my workouts though! Trying not to stress or be frustrated about missing time that I could be making gains and instead just be patient with my body and let it recover. Hoping that when I go back I will be fully recovered and ready to kill it! So I seem to have a pinched nerve or something in my back somewhere that is causing some tingling in my foot and maybe occasional muscle weakness in my lower leg. I can't tell if it is weakness or if it just feels shaky because the tingling sometimes moves into my lower leg. Either way, not rad, and I need it to get better. I have been getting some hot spots in my mid-upper back for a few weeks but I just started a new job that I know is contributing and I was hoping that in time my body would adjust and deal with it. Instead it seems to have gotten a little worse and for about a week now I have had tingling in my big toe on and off. On friday it progressed to my whole foot, and on saturday my lower leg a little. So I am on orders from my coach to stay out of the gym until it starts getting better, or I see a doctor. I have a call in to a sports med doctor my friend referred me to but I am kinda hoping it gets better on it's own because I am a poor single income dog mom. Doctors visits aren't in my budget. I have gotten a lot of good advice from doctor friends, massage friends, PT friends, and trainer friends and I am following all of it. Icing, stretching, anti-inflams, foam rolling, and core stabilizing exercises. I am also reducing my calories a little bit for the next few days so I don't fall behind with my bf goals while I am not in the gym. Really really hoping to be back in by wednesday at the latest!!!
In the meantime I am trying to stay focused on other things I can do to help prepare for the competition that don't require my body to work. I start officially cutting body fat next week and I know mentally I am going to need to be on my A game so I made this motivational poster for myself to help me stay on target. I left some space to add more stuff but I have the bulk of it down. I have progress photos, motivational memes I have been saving for months, photos of my favorite muscly ladies and photos of my friends that support my training. Also a few nice notes given to me. What inspires you in your training??
This wednesday I am scheduled to get one big cheat day before I start strict dieting. I will have to see if I still get the green light on this from my coach since I have been out of the gym a few days but my plan is to eat waffles with syrup AND pizza on wednesday... and lots of protein shakes- which I choose to eat on my cheat day because I looove them. Any other ideas for me?
Can't wait to get beck to the gym!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weekend in review, Kevita, EOW

Two of my favorite people!
This last weekend was super fun and productive but I am definitely still trying to recover and catch up on my sleep. Dani and Giacomo flew in on Thursday night and we stayed up too late catching up. Then friday we were up bright and early to go set up the Vegan Proteins booth at the Seattle Vegfest. After we got everything prepared for the big weekend ahead of us we ran home for a quick meal and then went to the gym for a work out.
Me and the coach
Vegan Muscle
It was my chest day and I didn't move anything too remarkable but it was still a good time. I got to show off my big kid weighted dips to my coach and get some hands on personal training. Saturday was another early morning and we had a long day at the fest followed by dinner at veggie grill. I got to sneak in a little cheat meal with Dani's permission and had the B-Wing Salad. So so good! The next day we were up early again and had a great day talking to people about vegan nutrition and protein supplements. Then when we were done we hit the gym for deadlifts. Super fun workout! Giacomo, Trevor, and I were all doing deadlifts in a rotation and I was able to hit a new personal best of 195lbs for 6 reps. Probably just showing off for Dani... 
135 for 6 :)
The gym is my happy place















195!!! Ugly lockout face!
























We were up late again preparing veggies for a catering job I do and then after about 6 hours of sleep up early again to go drop off the catering and then go to the gym for my upper back workout. With Giacomo's help I did my first weighted pull ups, I completed 3 sets of 6 with a 5lb weight and did my other sets just body weight. Pretty cool! There were definitely times I thought I would never get to a weighted pull up, haha!
Sets of 6 pull-ups with a 5lb weight
Veggies!
















After the gym I sadly dropped my friends at the airport and headed to work and back to regular life.Still catching up on sleep but feeling super super motivated to follow my meal plan perfectly and push myself every workout.
New favorite thing in the world!









The highlight of vegfest this year was a product I had never had before called Kevita. It is a sparkly probiotic drink made from non-dairy kefir and it is AMAZING. It is only about 10-20 calories per bottle and is packed with good digestive enhancers so not only am I allowed to have it on my diet, I am encouraged. The probiotics help to digest all the protein shakes I consume (not that I have any issues, my body LOVES protein shakes) but any excuse to drink what is pretty much a healthy soda is alright by me. I plan to have at least one of these a day between now and the competition. My favorite flavors are Lemon Cayenne, Coconut, Mango Coconut, and really, well, all of them. There is one flavor that has sugar so I skipped that one, but the rest are stevia sweetened.























For the exercise of the week this week I am just going to say THE WHOLE WEEKEND, and PUMPIN IT WITH FRIENDS. Every workout was awesome, I loved having Dani there to give me little tips and Giacomo to encourage me to go bigger. It was also really really cool for them to meet Trevor who is basically not only my most regular lifting buddy but also my in person coach... always helping me to work for better form and more weight.









Thursday, March 21, 2013

Body Fat Test Update and more...

The results are in...


All I have to say is YAY!!!!
If you were with me from the beginning you might remember that I was given the goal of having my body fat between 17-20% by the end of this month so that going in to cutting I wouldn't be too far behind and have to lose so much fat so quickly. Losing slower makes it easier to maintain mass while you are cutting- plus makes you less cranky. So I made it with flying colors! I was preparing myself to hear 21% and hoping for 19-20 so when I got the results back I was ecstatic.
Doing the test was pretty interesting. You just submerge yourself in a tub with a weight across your legs on top of a scale. You breathe all your air out as hard as you can and they weigh you. You are weighed dry before starting the test so based on your two measurements they are able to deduce your body composition. I think the coolest part was finding out that I have 103lbs of lean mass and that my daily resting caloric demand is 1517. Knowing my caloric needs will help my fabulous coach to set my meal plan while I am cutting.



The other cool thing to happen this week was that we got our fliers made for the show. Our group co-ordinator worked his magic and got all sorts of awesome things set up with the event co-ordinator for the show and I am really really excited for the next few months. We got our website set up, Plantbuilt.com, it doesn't have much up on it right now but in the next few weeks team member bios will be posted and merchandise will be available for purchase with the proceeds going towards our cost of promoting the group and veganism at the show this summer and onward.
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Dani and Giacomo. They come in tonight and we will be spending the weekend working out and educating the public at the Seattle Vegfest about the wonders of vegan protein for an athletes diet. If you are near Seattle come visit us!
This weeks Exercise of the Week is DIPS! I know I have featured dips before but for the past few weeks I have been nursing a little shoulder pain and haven't been able to make any increases and last friday my shoulder was feeling good so I was able to break new ground. I did 8 sets 6 reps with the following weight: Body Weight- Body Weight- Plus 35lb- Plus 45lbs- Plus 55lbs- Plus 55lbs- Plus 55lbs- Last set Plus 55lb for 4, body weight for 6. Trevor got a video of my second to last set, unfortunately he missed my first rep but you get the idea :)

 

I added a new feature to my blog. On the right hand side you will now see a spot for recommended articles, and recommended videos. I will add more as I come across good ones. Check em out when you have time!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Patience is a virtue... I don't have

omg... is that a cut starting to show on my hip??
I am definitely trying to practice it though. I realized this last week that by the time the competition hits I will have been prepping for it around 9 months... I am aware that as far as body building goes this isn't much time. Granted, I have been casually lifting on and off my whole life so it isn't as though I have started from scratch, but I haven't been working hard or towards a specific goal or even really pushing myself at all until now. So anyway 9 months... it hit me that I have never ever in my life done ANYTHING for 9 months that I gave this much focus and effort to. Prepping for this show has been the central focus of my life EVERY DAY since I decided to compete. I am either at the gym, planning my eating around the gym, shopping for food, prepping food, eating, scheduling my day for the gym, or getting enough sleep to make sure I recover, or doing laundry so I have clothes FOR THE GYM. Or now that it is getting closer I am spending time looking at posing videos, looking up female body builders and physique competitors, thinking about the music I am going to use for my posing routine... The long and the short of it is that I am so focused and driven to succeed at this- and by succeed I don't mean win, although winning is rad, I mean just show up and look as good as I can for my first show and make a statement for the animals. If nothing else I will be proud of myself for fully committing to something with ALL MY EFFORT for a long period of time.
You might be saying- but sara, you've been vegan and straight edge for over 14 years, what do you mean you've never fully committed and put in genuine effort for a long time before? Let's be honest here, that stuff wasn't hard for me once the ball was rolling. Those are things you just don't have to do... I don't have to drink, I don't eat certain things, but it doesn't take effort for me to not smoke a cigarette. At least not after a month or so... This is something I have to consciously put effort into everyday, and I am in the EASY phase still for another 2 weeks... once I have to add cardio and make my diet even more strict it will take a lot of forcing myself to do things I don't want to do... Oh willpower, how I don't have you... but I will.
The downside of this process is that nothing comes easy and nothing comes fast. So now I practice patience. I go weeks sometimes without noticing any real change to my body. Weeks of practicing a strict diet and spending 10-15 hours in the gym... but then I get the little reward of noticing a new muscle showing through or some contours in my body I didn't have before. Right now I am going through a period of riding the wave. I have 2 weeks til I start cutting, I am making very minute bf losses, I am in a strength building focus of training so not much mass gaining, and I just have to keep plugging along having faith in the fact that the effort I put in is paying off in small small ways that will add up over time. Sometimes when I need the reminder that things are happening and I just need to be patient I look at older photos of myself and I think "yep, BIG changes". That is reassuring. I am getting antsy to start cutting just so I can see things pop out more!
So I am proud of myself and the mental and physical determination I have been giving to this process. I think I am going to learn a lot and grow as a person from this experience- definitely more than I ever realized when I took it on.
Next wednesday I am planning on going in for the dunk. My body fat test at the gym with calipers measuring just my upper body read at 18% last week, so it will be very interesting to see what the reality is and just how much fat my juicy booty contributes to my overall fat percent. I am so thrilled to be spending time with my coach Dani and her fiance, my fellow competitor, and encourager, Giacomo, when they come to town next week for the Seattle Vegfest. It is going to be so awesome to work out with them and get a chance to have Dani assess me in person and give me some extra focus on my areas of weakness.
Oh! Exercise of the Week... hmmm this week it is tough. I am going to go with CALF PRESS. So I am doing seated calf presses twice a week right now. I am seeing way more size and definition in my calves and starting to (OMG) like my legs. I know right?!