So, back in October I had an incident which isn't really a huge deal, but the post is here if you missed it. But I had a lot of support from so many people and wanted to give an update. After that post, I surprisingly received messages from friends that had had worse experiences by someone that should have been reported long before they were. So I'm glad that I did say something. My heart breaks for people that have dealt with far worse.
That guy has been in jail this whole time! 2 months. He had a hearing today, and it was determined that he is mentally incompetent. His bail was only set at $2500 (I think you only have to post 10%) so clearly his family thought he needed to be in there to get help.
He's being booked into the state hospital and will be re-evaluated in March.
After the Target incident, I later went back to Target and talked to management to thank them for acting appropriately. A butt grab is not a huge deal- I'm pretty sure boys grabbed my butt all the time in high school and I thought nothing of it! But my immediate reaction was to tell an employee, and Target took it seriously and called the cops.
I've gotten phone calls from the victims advocate of the police department here and there. I assured them that I am 100% okay and not traumatized, but they have offered free therapy, and compensation for work missed because of the incident. I obviously don't need any of that, but it's a cool thing to know that those things are available- at least here in Utah.
It doesn't make it okay or less invasive that the guy was incompetent. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise for him, so he'll get the medical attention he needs!
Life goes on, and putting that weirdness behind me, but thank you to those who offered support! Just a reminder to always report the weirdness ;)
As I posted this, I looked back on my previous post and remembered a comment I deleted because it was frustratingly rude and inaccurate. A random man I didn't know thought it was his business to comment and call me to Jesus, that I am a bad mom, and that the fact I wear a bikini on a stage is an invitation for a man to grab me.
This kind of demented mentality is 100% WRONG.
Is it okay to go to a beach and start groping people because they are in a swimsuit? Clearly they are asking for it...
I was not wearing a bikini in Target. In fact, I was totally covered up in leggings and a long t-shirt, but that is besides the point (so when people ask- well, what were you wearing.. IT DOES NOT MATTER!) It is never okay to violate someone, period. Okay rant over. Almost everyone was nice and supportive with this whole thing ;)
I recently came across a post on social media from a really amazing woman: Brooke Erickson. She's an IFBB figure pro, with the most amazing legs! She's battled both spectrums of diet problems and eating disorders but has found an outstanding balance between being in a healthy fitness level while putting her family first.
"I am very hardcore, but my kind of hardcore involves being a full time working mom, a loving wife, and an attempt to be a little bit of a badass in between. I don't strive for mediocrity... I don't have time for that. Anyone that thinks that living a balanced life is easy obviously knows nothing about being a working parent. Easy would be putting my wants before my kids' needs. Easy would be not attending birthday parties to avoid the temptation of face plowing a cake. Easy would be prioritizing the treadmill over practicing soccer. Easy would be not buying treats for the pantry and making excuses for poor hungry behavior. Easy would be skipping date night, family vacations, and anything else that would involve impromptu meals, unplanned activities, and prolonged periods of unscheduled gym time.
I am perfectly okay with not being the standard idea of hardcore... because at the end of the day I know what is truly important in life and twenty years from now I know I will still be married, enjoying my beautiful family. And maybe...just maybe... I will still have a quad sweep." I loved this. I've recently seen (and reposted) articles on how fat-shaming has turned to fit-shaming, and that moms should quit "neglecting their kids" because they're in the gym all the time and only care about how hardcore they are, blah blah blah.
I think any shaming is ridiculous. Let's just be nice and encouraging, and quit judging.
Being in "off-season," has its challenges for me. You miss being lean, and in teeny tiny shape. But while in prep, you miss cupcakes lol.. You can't have it all.
It's hard being a mom. It's hard to squeeze your workouts in. It's hard to pass up holiday treats. It's hard to manage work, and church, and finances, and prioritize date nights and budgeting your time.
But no one is demanding perfection.
Good thing, because I fail on a lot of those things often.
But I still have goals. Fitness ones that I know I will achieve and in the back of my mind, they help me keep motivation and some focus.
I want to stay fit (even if it's not competition lean) and eat as clean as I can, however, if my kids ask for Christmas cookies, we're doing it, and I won't feel back for eating one.. or two ;)
Aaron flew with me to Miami, along with my coach Robyn and her
Weather in Miami was not great, with most days rainy or at least
overcast- we didn't even go to the beach! But at least the temperature was a lot more pleasant than Utah.
During the trip, I was increasingly aware of how much effort
goes into getting ready for a show. It’s the third time I’ve stepped on a stage
to compete, but it’s a lot more of an ordeal when you have to fly somewhere
else and make all those arrangements. Crazy expensive too.
Those few days before the show are so tedious- trying to get
your body to look just right. Timing is huge and something I am still learning-
trying to look dry and tight, but with your muscles still full. Carb and water
manipulation. I was really grateful to have my coach Robyn with me to walk me
through all of that.
There were tons of booths set up, where we met some cool peeps and got an awesome stash of free supplements!
Me and this Quest girl look like BFF's. Not a clue who she is... lol
And on the right is IFBB bikini pro Yarishna Ayala. I love her because she's not a stick. She's got curves AND muscle (including quads) so it gives someone like me hope haha.
She's from Puerto Rico and immediately started talking to me in Spanish... I am not Puerto Rican...
Nicole Wilkins.. love her
IFBB physique pro Steve Cook. He was seriously the nicest guy. It's cool when these people actually talk to you instead of acting like they're too cool, because really, outside of the fitness world- no one really knows who you are haha. But really tho..
He was awesome
Competing involves a LOT of waiting around. Friday was
pre-judging, and I had to plan my tan, then my makeup and hair, then we had a
meeting to explain the order and itinerary of how things would run. When they
say bikini would be on stage by 6… I don’t think I actually went on til 9. It
made for a VERY long night.
Final preps before stage with my coach Robyn. She's so great!
Backstage can be awkward. Maybe
because everyone is from different cities across the nation, you don’t really
know anyone, and you know they’re your competition. Luckily there were a few Utah girls there that I've met through previous shows and they are awesome! It really helps to see some familiar faces and people who know exactly what all this craziness is like!
It’s interesting to see in person a lot of those girls I’ve
been following on instagram for so long. Actually it was a pretty cool thing
that I was on the same stage as them- never really imagined that happening.
This show was one of the biggest national shows ever, I
heard. There were SO many competitors! I was #314, and in Class B (That means
between 5’1-5’2 ½”) and I heard there were 40-45 girls just in my class alone!!
By the time they got to me, I was so tired, and I admit I just wanted it done.
I did not place, in fact I was in the bottom, and obviously
I wasn’t thrilled. When it was my turn, and I did my posing routine, not a
single judge was looking at me; they were writing notes. That was frustrating. I
plan on getting feedback from them, but I’m fairly certain on what they’ll say…
I had WAY more mass than all of the girls. We knew that
going in but were hoping it would work in my favor.You never really know what the judges want, and when your
physique is a certain way genetically, you just do the best you can- get lean,
get proportioned, smile big ;)
I didn’t love the way I look in the official photos, and
I’ve heard that NO ONE liked the photos. Too much light, and we all look washed
out and soft, which is also really frustrating.
As far as my physique goes, I think I looked tighter and
better in some areas (than my August show where I took first overall), and in
other areas not so much.
But it’s been a learning process and I don’t have regrets.
(August vs. November)
I worked glutes A LOT this prep, and I could tell a big difference! A little different posing too.
I also had 4 more pounds on me at Nationals than from August.
I’ve learned that for most people at their first national
show, it’s very common they will end up in the bottom placings. You kind of
have to go in it for the experience, “pay your dues,” and keep trying. There
are girls who have competed, I dunno..NINE times on the national level, trying
to earn their pro card, and I 100% feel they deserve it, if they indeed look
That being said though, there are always questionable
placings, and inconsistencies about what kind of physiques end up in the top spots
but that’s just what happens I guess in a sport as subjective as bikini
competitions. You win some, you lose some.
I shed a few tears of disappointment after pre-judging was
over because it’s a hard thing to swallow- after months of training and dieting
and investing so much into 10 seconds of stage time, to not do well. But I try
not to take it personally, and just be grateful I made it
We went out for a cheat meal and to enjoy getting out and
Raviolis and meatballs mmmm and then brownie and carrot cake
sundaes. People always ask what the cheat meal is gonna be, and I really try
not to even think of it til that moment, because I want everything lol.
Everything sounds good!
Ultimately, I’m looking forward to this break for the
holidays. I want to train the way I want to, and eat healthy and clean because
I choose to, and it makes me feel good, not because I have a deadline of a
show. I like having balance where I can stay relatively lean but strong, and
eat well but don’t feel guilty for treats here and there. It’s a hard place to
find but I’m pretty determined. =)
Back to the grind!
Also, although I may have too much size for bikini, I don’t
want to switch to figure. I feel like I’m kind of in-between, and actually
don’t even want to think about changing my body just for judges. I want to be
happy with my body the way it is, for myself. Not to say that there isn’t room
for improvements because there’s plenty! But I’m ready to focus on other
people, and other facets of fitness besides aesthetics. =)
Well, this week has been weird to say the least. Being on a low carb diet, in a caloric deficit and trying to find the energy to get in 2-a-day workouts, while not strangling those closest to me, and still feel human, excited and positive about what's going down in 7 days.. yeah it's just been a roller coaster.
It's seriously crazy how much of a mental game it is. It's harder than the physicality of eating right and working out. Because I know how to do that.
For example, I woke up Monday, feeling good and was stoked that I was looking lean, and pretty ready. Tuesday hits and I feel like I look soft and "fluffy" and I also stepped on the scale, which made things worse. The scale is NEVER in my favor. In fact, this whole prep, I've actually gained weight since last show, and it hasn't moved since. I just know that I need to stay away, do what I'm supposed to do and trust my coach because she can tell what's happening with my body better than I can!
Competition prep is funny.. You get lean as hell and work on developing your best physique but then you still doubt yourself. I don't think I'm the only one.
Nobody trains to lose and everyone wants to place well, and ultimately win a pro card. You can only train with that mentality, because it is so motivating!
This is my first national show, and my 2nd bikini comp ever. Some days, I'm like, what in the world do I think I'm doing, going up against all these girls who have been competing for months and even years?! I still feel fairly new to this sport and all of a sudden, I'm off to Miami competing against all the top winners in the nation. It's kind of terrifying!
And because of that, all the insecurities surface- I'm not gonna come in lean enough, or I'll be too muscular, or my quads are too big, or my posing will be off, blah blah blah.
Here's some progress pics as of late..
It's always surprising when I take pictures of my back as I lean out. Lats are my favorite, and I automatically go into figure pose ;)
Weekly pics for coach in my suit and practicing posing with heels
A huge thank you to my sponsors for allowing this to happen!
Well I've got a blog. A forum to talk about whatever I want but this wasn't ever a topic I intended on. And I'm addressing it because I have an opportunity (although it be through unfortunate circumstances) to increase awareness.
I was groped at Target by a strange man.
I was by myself (no kids with me), down the greeting card aisle, looking through cards. No one else was in the aisle. Out of nowhere, a hand full on grabs my butt. My immediate thought was that it was any one of my friends trying to be funny, and I probably would have thought it was funny too. I've been working on my glutes, it's come up in conversation, so it's kind of a joke.
I turn around, expecting to see a familiar face, and instead I see a middle-aged man turning the corner.
And all of a sudden I felt disgusted and horrified and angry. I actually yelled at him, "excuse me?!"
He disappeared and kind of in a daze, I make it to the checkout and find the first Target employee I can and tell her what just happened. I explain what the guy looked like- dark hair and beard, wearing all red. I saw enough of the back of him to identify him, and she called up the manager.
I was really shaken up, and explained it all to him, and then actually saw the bearded man from a distance and pointed him out. He was by himself, no shopping cart, just perusing the freaking store. Who knows if or how long he had followed me around.
Target took down my info and said they'd notify the police department.
As soon as I got in my car, I just started crying. K you guys- it's just a butt grab.. it's really not a big deal, and I've told myself that, but here's the reality: it is a sickening feeling that some stranger was watching you and thought it was okay to violate you. It's not okay, it's disconcerting and it's wrong.
I had barely been home 5 minutes when Target called me back and had the police there. They wanted me to come back to the store to get my statement, and they had the bearded man in custody. He denied it, of course, but later admitted that he had indeed had contact with me, but had maybe brushed me on accident. Nice try.
I couldn't leave my kids, so the cop came to my house instead and I wrote everything up. He gave me the option of whether to press charges. I'm a forgiving person, and I wanted to downplay this whole thing, but the officer said if it were him, he'd press charges but not to be persuaded by his opinion. So I pressed charges. The bearded man in red was booked into jail. The officer said originally he thought it'd be a misdemeanor but after hearing my story, he's being charged with sexual battery, which is a step down from a felony.
The perpetrator does not live close to here, so the officer assured me that he wouldn't know where I live or anything. He does not have any past history of sexual assault but his sister said he might have some mental health issues. Awesome.
Well, here's a few things I've learned from this:
Thank you Target for acting appropriately and taking this seriously, and not downplaying what some random girl is claiming happened. Loss prevention is going to be looking through video footage for further evidence of him being in my aisle, but my statement is what they go by regardless. I am grateful they believed me.
American Fork PD were really quick and also took this seriously. I had no idea grabbing someone's butt would lead to jail time.
I am okay- disturbed a bit, more than I feel like I should be. This isn't life altering, but I guess you don't really realize how it feels to be violated until it happens to you, and I'm lucky that it wasn't worse. And while it was just a stupid butt grab, I couldn't help but think what else he's done or what he's capable of. Does he hang out in the Target parking lot at night, preying on all sorts of women?? What could he do in the future, especially with signs of mental illness?
I've told a few friends (well, now all of facebook haha) what happened, and some have said they didn't know how they'd react in that situation- that they probably wouldn't even report a perpetrator like that. They wouldn't know what to do.
You guys- you women- You have to report those kinds of things that make you uncomfortable or violated. Teach your children what's okay and what's not, and to tell people if something happens. Unwanted touch is sexual harassment. There's so many worse things that happen to people that goes unreported because of shame or embarrassment or lack of support from those close to them.
And just because someone has a nice butt- or boobs- or whatever.. keep your freaking hands off! We'll put you in jail where you belong.
I am engaged in a hobby/sport/passion.. whatever you call it, in which your body is pushed to its limits. Intense exercise is hard, strict dieting is hard, and your body might just fight it. Your brain fights it. But I feel like with proper knowledge and coaching, it can be done safely and in a way that maximizes the benefits while keeping your body healthy, and mind sane. That's pretty much what I'm doing, for the next 5 weeks which is a challenge but also very exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing my body change and lean out and take the shape it needs to for Nationals! I'm ready.
And will be comin out with an even better physique ;)
I hear really crazy stories in the fitness industry of way too low-calorie diets and crazy amounts of cardio, all for a sprint to the finish line- the competition- and then the sad aftermath. But I've already addressed that.
I guess what still irks me with current fitness trends is the idea and encouragement that PAIN=GAIN.
Maybe you've seen, heard, or been motivated by the following quotes:
First off, let it be known that I'm not messing around when I'm at the gym. I'm not there to socialize, and half the time I don't even have headphones in because they get in the way. I'm focused on my lifts and I push it hard. I've at times felt a little lightheaded, or feel discomfort- maybe even pain when I'm lifting heavy. That's often an indicator that you're working intensely.
But the idea (originated from Jillian Michaels) that you need to keep going until you are puking, passed out or dead is disconcerting to me. What exactly are you training for that requires you to be on the verge of a blackout? Does the fact that you vomited mean you're a badass? I've never passed out or thrown up during a workout session, I must be going at it way too easy...
I like to think that I get results by normal but intense workouts. And if I were to feel pain, that means I should stop, and stretch, or rest and get a drink... not "keep going til you're done."What happened to common sense?
I know certain training programs that are super popular, and I've done them and they're great. It motivates people and gets them to the gym, and I am all about encouraging new ways to train and having support groups to cheer you on. Maybe it's the old-fashioned bodybuilder-type mentality that I have, but proper form and execution will always trump time in my opinion. Yes these programs will get you in great shape- it's been proven. But injuries due to speed and improper form are not totally uncommon. There are immense benefits of doing similar exercises slowly, and with a mind-muscle connection which hones in on specific muscle groups. Just offering my alternate opinion. (I still love you CrossFitters!)
Sometimes I notice friends or clients or relatives who get up at 5 every morning to work out. Now, I don't do that. I'm not really a morning person, and only recently have I been prescribed fasted cardio in the mornings, so I get to the gym by 6:30 and that's a struggle. The thought sometimes crosses my mind, "wow, so-and-so must really be intense and committed. She's up at the crack of dawn to get her workout in. I'm not that cool ."
I think it's so awesome that people create the time slot to get their workouts in before they head to work, or before their kids wake up. Sometimes that's just what you gotta do! I'm lucky in that I don't need to, but it doesn't make me any less committed. I just have to manage my time differently.
BUT I do want to emphasize:
If you are sacrificing proper sleep in order to go get your workout in, that can really backfire. Adequate sleep helps your brain and body rejuvenate and helps regulate healthy body composition.
When your body is sleep deprived, it messes with two appetite-regulating hormones: leptin and ghrelin. To summarize, you will feel abnormally hungry and crave sugary and high-carb foods and are more likely to sabatoge your diet. Get 8+ hours!!!
I saw someone post on Facebook last year that they had gotten up at 4 am Thanksgiving morning to do a 4-hour workout. Are you planning on eating the entire turkey yourself?!! Unless you're training for a freaking Ironman, I don't see any reason for 4 hours of exercise, ever. I don't idolize people like that, I honestly just think they're crazy. Besides, it's Thanksgiving, one day of enjoying food is not going to kill you.
Bottom line, I think training should be fun, it should be challenging, but it should be conducted with common sense. Don't train when you're sick, take rest days. Get enough sleep. And don't compare with others. I'm a person that rarely sweats when I workout. Am I not working out hard enough or am I just so fit that I don't sweat anymore? lol.. Neither. But my methods are working ;)
I feel a little "fluffy" because I'm not super lean right now. But I've been hitting shoulders and glutes pretty hard these past few weeks. Operation lean-out commences NOW!