Tuesday, December 16, 2014

target creeper update

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 ;)

**Another update**
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 ;)

Monday, December 8, 2014

fit moms

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 ;)

Friday, November 28, 2014


Alrighty this is long...

Aaron flew with me to Miami, along with my coach Robyn and her boyfriend Lyman.

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 the part.

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 that far.

We went out for a cheat meal and to enjoy getting out and about Miami!
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. =)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nationals one week out

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!
vivint !!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

reckless or badass?

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!)

Moving on..
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!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

the down side of competing

There’s a lot of reasons people don’t compete who want to, so I’m going to tell you all the reasons why it sucks lol..

It’s expensive. 
Here’s just a layout of what a typical show costs, based on my experience:

Coach: $500-1200 depending on who and how much time you need and if they train you in person
Suit: anywhere from $75 renting to $1000+ buying one! Yeah that tiny sparkly piece of fabric costs that much
Posing lessons: $25-100 not required, but you better be practicing with someone who knows their stuff! You don't wanna be the girl with the awesome physique but horrible presentation who loses the show.
NPC (or whatever federation) registration: $120
Actual local show registration: $75-150
Spray tan for show: $75+
Make-up and hair for show: $100-300 depending on who does it, and how many days.. Sometimes you have pre-judge on Friday, then Finals on Saturday. 2 days worth of stage make-up
Heels: $50 ish
Potential photo shoots or buying photos from the show: $80-400
Nails before show: $50 this is optional, I've decided that Forever 21 $2 nail polish is what's happening for me.
Jewelry: $40-75 ish. Even that Claire's fake crap is expensive!
If you travel for a show (like me for Nationals), you’re paying for a hotel, a flight, car, etc! This is no joke!

Then you have your gym membership, your food (protein gets expensive, and you eat a lot of it!), plus supplements.

Is this terrifying to anyone yet?? Most of us do not have this kind of money just laying around for "extracurricular" hobbies like competing.

And this is why competitors kindly ask for sponsors to help them through all this. (Subtle enough? Anyone? Please?? ;)

Sooooo... besides being a financial bomb, here’s what you sacrifice:
Time- it depends on the person, but some have to spend A LOT of time working out.
It takes time and effort and planning to prep your food.
You don’t get to eat out.. unless an occasional cheat meal.
Because of that, you feel a little socially awkward and get tired of carrying Tupperware into restaurants to eat while everyone else has pizza.
You’re not fun to take on a date, because you “can’t eat anything.”
You’re often tired, carb-depleted, and end up emotional and grouchy. Especially close to show date.
You run the risk of obsessing over food, your body, and experiencing post-show weight gain, and depression.
(By the way, if you have tendencies towards disordered eating, distorted body image, etc, just be aware this sport probably isn't for you).

So why the freak are we doing this?! 

This whole list of suckiness probably just turned a lot of people off, but it’s reality! Those stage photos represent your best physique, and most likely the best shape of your life, but most people on the outside don’t know what got you there and what it took to reach that moment. And trophy or not, you’ve accomplished something huge. Most likely your family has made sacrifices too, for you to reach your goals. 

And people ask me all the time, so how much money do you get when you win??
Uhhhhhh... a $30 trophy? Even at the pro level when you do get a check for placing, it's not much. You don't really have a career from merely competing.

We compete for the love of the sport, and the challenge of pushing ourselves further each time. Lots of of us have to scrimp and save and beg to be able to fund it all. 
But it is FUN! I love that I've met so many people who share the same passion. Prep is so much better when you are surrounded by people who can relate and are supportive and are on the same crazy journey with you.

Posing practice from this morning. Thanks Heather Dees and those who took these pictures lol. Always a good time =)

Thank you to those sponsors I do have who are encouraging and supportive in my journal towards Nationals!! 8 weeks ya'll!

For local competitors, I thought I'd share some of my people who help me look and do my best, and who I'll be calling on in the future!
I rented my suit, which was made by Bonnie. She's amazing!
Competition tan by Shawn and Karim. It was perfect.
Lovely make-up for all my shoots and shows by my bestie Megan.
I do my own hair for shows, but my colorist is so awesome! She's here in Lehi, and I can give her number to anyone interested =)
And of course, my awesome coach Robyn
I do posing with Robyn, but also with IFBB pro Heather Dees.
And the show's photographer,  Lyman who specializes in fitness shoots. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

supplement basics

I've been asked quite a bit about supplements. This is something I am not the expert on, because in the past, I haven't taken a lot. They're meant to "supplement" your diet, so first and foremost you need to be eating right, then fill in where you're lacking.

I'm addressing women who may have similar goals to mine, in that they want to lose weight, and build muscle but be lean, and "toned." All of the above right? =)

Weight training should be a part of everyone's routine, and to encourage growth, you gotta up the protein! The best sources are from real whole foods: chicken, tuna, eggs, etc, but a quick protein shake is always really beneficial especially before or after a workout.

I've tried LOTS of protein powders, and I don't think they're all created equal. Whey seems to be the most popular, and that's what I stick to (although I've heard casein is best when trying to bake with protein powder).

I get most of my supplements from Mixers Nutrition! They're located in Glendale, AZ and expanding to Utah soon (yay!) If you're in Arizona, mention my name and they'll hook you up with a smoothie! ;)
Also, if you are local and want to try anything out, I can arrange a discount too!

My favorite protein powders are:

Cellucor peanut butter marshmallow (I know right?!)
Dymatize ISO 100 (I feel like it's a purer protein without added carbs or fat, and less calories)
They just came out with 2 new flavors: Birthday cake and fudge brownie. Total yum!!

I love protein bars but I'm very particular. Really, the only ones I'll eat anymore are Quest. Clean and nutritionally balanced, they're the only way to go PLUS they taste awesome! We went to the Olympia last weekend and walked through the expo where there were TONS of protein bars and other supplements to try.
Nothing's as good as Quest! Besides, now they have protein chips now. Amazing.

I recommend a good multivitamin for everyone. Sometimes I eat gummies because they taste like candy.. not because I think they actually help ;) Truth. Get something legit!

I do take a pre-workout but not every single day, every single workout. I don't want to depend on caffeine. I'm still trying to nail down my favorite.

Fat burners:
So if you've ever struggled with your weight, maybe you've taken one or contemplated it.
I remember I did in college, felt crazy on them, and then never really saw weight loss.
Here's the thing: Hydroxycut or Xenadrine or whatever magic fat loss pill says on the label that it works in conjunction with proper diet and exercise. I always exercised but never was as consistent with my diet. Thus, no results. Lots of competitors take them to aid in stripping the last bit of fat off, but it's really important that you follow the instructions, and you cycle off. 
For me personally, I like RoxyLean (and that shiz is strong), but again I don't want to have to "need it" if that makes sense. I'd rather have my body burn its own fat, and use a fat burner as a last resort. Don't think it's a miracle pill, because there is no such thing.

There are other methods of aiding fat loss, like L-carnitine, CLA, chromium, green tea, etc. that are worth looking into. 

This was new to me when I started training for shows. Branch chain amino acids help support lean muscle and aid in recovery and growth. Great for before, during and after a workout.

There are numerous other supplements for specific goals that you can research, and figure out what works for you. Every body is different and reacts in its own way, so it may be some experimentation.

Bottom line though: Nothing gets you in shape like good old fashioned healthy eating and exercise!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

competing from an LDS perspective

I don't mean to be controversial, and I owe no explanation to anyone, but these are my thoughts..

I'm an active member of the LDS church, always have been and like it that way =)
In our religion, we believe in chastity and modesty, so I can understand if people believe I'm contradictory in my standards. Whatever you believe, competing is not right for everyone!

I found this on Instagram and recently reposted it to my Facebook:
And that is why I do what I do.

There are girls who think it's a fun idea to go compete for the sake of looking hot, getting attention, or whatever. I think for most of us though, this is bodybuilding. I wear a skimpy suit on stage for a day, but the rest of the time, I bust my A in the gym, looking gross but finding pride in pushing myself further, for the sake of fitness.
Please DO NOT mistake me for taking a part of a different industry- one that I despise. And there's a great article about that here
I believe that we are given rules and commandments to follow, but we have the freedom to make decisions for ourselves based on our lives and what we feel is appropriate for us. There may be people frowning upon my lifestyle, but it is my opinion that people who don't exercise, but who eat donuts and drink coke all day are breaking the Word of Wisdom, a code of health that keeps us free of addiction and encourages us to take care of our bodies. But that's your business ;)
I just do what's right for me. But my husband's opinion is also extremely important to me.

Aaron was not thrilled about me wanting to compete again. I understood and respected his reasons, and held off for a while. Of course he doesn't love that his wife is wearing almost nothing on a stage for everyone to see. Competing can make you very self-absorbed and obsessive about your body, not to mention it can suck your money and time away!
I felt guilty pursuing this, but in time he started to realize why this was important to me. I had something to prove to myself and I was determined to be successful. He's become sooo supportive and I would not continue without him backing me. It meant the world to me that he flew in from Dallas to surprise me and be there at my show. 

But we decided, if at any time my focus drifts away from what is truly important, I won't hesitate to hang up my competition heels. Having a great physique is not worth putting my family or faith aside. 
With anything else in life, it's about balance and doing what's right for you. Besides, no matter what you do, there will always be haters! Lucky for me though, I've had such great comments and feedback and encouragement. So thank you!

Training and diet has commenced for Nationals in November! Wish me luck and lots of willpower ;)

Monday, September 8, 2014


Despite the seemingly flawless photos of competitors or fitness models, or people on social media posting their best, most flattering selfie (guilty), just be aware that many if not all of them have insecurities and flaws.
I've spent lots of time while in contest prep browsing photos of pro competitors, to get an idea of how you're "supposed to look" and how to pose, and I'll be honest, it can be depressing! 
Most of them look freaking perfect.
Like, how do judges even score them when everyone looks amazing?!

But I've been backstage, where people actually walk around, and aren't in a perfect flattering pose, and I see cellulite, and saggy butts, and stretch marks!
It's a huge relief! We've all got something wrong with us!!

I had the most amazing photos done, which highlighted my muscles and my stretch marks, and crazy herniated belly button. I struggle with it, but it is what it is!

Which brings me to my next point:
Posing is a big deal.

My coach told me it's not always the girl with the best physique that wins shows, but it's the one who presents herself best. Creates the illusion of having the best physique.
I can tell you right now that I probably didn't have the best body! I had insecurities- I felt my legs were big, my glute-hamstring tie-in (where your butt and hamstrings connect) wasn't where I wanted it to be. My abs were ripped, but I had to make an effort to keep em tight.
Looking at comparison photos, there are girls who look better than me in different ways!!

But I used what I know was good, and presented it the best I could. 
I have pretty developed lats, and I have a booty. If I twist just right in that front pose, my waist looks tiny. (And it's really not that small!!) I created a nice silhouette from what I had.

My stage presentation was 30 seconds. I opted not to do anything flirty or sexy because that's not my personality (I mean business people!!)
There are girls who do crazy shiz on that stage! Like bending over weird, or sticking out their chest, or doing strange things with their hands.
It's awkward.
I don't blow kisses or shake my hips around, I just keep it simple, and I appear confident, and hit poses I know flatter me best, and I don't like to do stuff that I feel weird doing.
Are you with me?

So my point is, people are showing their best angles in competitions, posing just right to highlight their strengths and hide the flaws. It's actually quite hard! Which is why we practice posing A LOT.
Stage pictures look awesome but be aware that they are meant to. Everyone's in killer shape but we've all got flaws ;)

Speaking of flaws, people ask me a lot about cellulite, and if you can get rid of it:

Rule #1

Rule #2
But by all means, you wear what you want! ;)

I'm not an expert on this subject, but this is what I understand:
Cellulite is just fat under the skin, and it's bumpy and puckers because it's pushing against connective tissue. 

Is there a cure? Yes and no...

I believe it's genetic. You may never get rid of it, but you can greatly reduce it!

It's not by creams and lipo (unless you had some crazy success story, by all means, share!), but it's by cleaning up your diet, and LIFTING WEIGHTS.
I'd say most women have it on the back of their legs and butt, so get some heavy weights and squat! Doing lunges, leg press, anything to activate and put pressure on those muscles.
You'll create better shape and reduce your body fat. When you're leaner, you're likely to have less cellulite. Capiche?

I've had cellulite both pregnancies. I hate it, but I manage to get rid of it...
On stage, you don't see the stretch marks on my hips or inside of my thighs, all from big weight swings. But they're there! Smoke and mirrors, friends.

Friday, September 5, 2014

this one's for the mamas

This post is really personal (and embarrassing!!) but it's real. Lots of people have been here.
I've told countless friends and clients to chuck the scale, and base progress on pictures because that's been eye-opening for me.

And here's a **disclaimer**
This was not a crazy fast transformation. This was a year and a half in the making, of hard work and persistence. It's also not photoshopped ;)

Everyone has a story...

I had Mason (baby #2) January 2013. I gained 40 pounds (I'm 5'2").
I carried different this time, in that I stuck. straight. out. 
Mason was just under 8 pounds, but when you're short, there's just nowhere for that baby to go!
I'm one of the lucky ones that doesn't get morning sickness, but I get famished immediately, and gain 10 pounds immediately. The rest eases its way on. Lovely.
And I had another c-section, planned this time.
And I loved that beautiful baby the second he came out =)

Now shi gets real..
I took pictures every month after til I lost the baby weight, and those first couple months were ROUGH. I jumped back into exercise as soon as I was able. My husband was gone a lot, we didn't have our gym or equipment yet and I couldn't take a newborn to Golds.

I had a crappy old mirror down in our unfinished basement, and I had 2 sets of free weights. 
For a solid 2 months, I did everything I could do with those weights, watching my form in that old mirror, and cringing at the body I had. I didn't see noticeable progress, and it was so frustrating but I kept at it.
I jogged around that basement, I did jumping jacks, lunges, shoulder presses, you name it. It was depressing starting out, but I had to build my muscle back up, and I was determined. 

There is a month difference in these 2 pictures. I almost look fatter in the 2nd! 

The following months:

My bedroom was also getting a makeover in the meantime haha.
Change did happen. I obviously did lose weight over time, but the more I stepped on that scale, the more frustrated I'd become because it didn't change as much as I wanted it to. But the proof is in the pictures!

So I need to address my biggest issue. Two pregnancies has destroyed my abs. I have LOTS of stretch marks around my belly button, 2 hernias, and diastasis recti (separated abs) plus c-section scars.

I ruled out competing forever, seriously. Unless I would get a full tummy tuck to fix all that after I'm done having kids. Because there's nothing else you can really do.
I actually had a consult with a plastic surgeon. To get my boobs back up where they used to be, and fix my abs, it was going to be 3 surgeries, and $14,000. That's what my body needed to be repaired.
My body needs $14,000 of improvements! Talk about overwhelming depression...

I let that horrible fact sink in, then had to just ignore it and refocus on my fitness, just for me...
I realized that there is no sense in whining and worrying about things that you can't change.

So...I've always had abs. It's kind of genetic, or maybe leftover from gymnastics days. I'm proud of them, but they're weird, and you can kinda see the weirdness in this picture.
(It's worse in person, I promise!)
And FYI I don't do a ton of ab exercises. I target lower abs more, but there's really no secret move. Just work em in to your weekly routine, and keep good form, engaging core when lifting other muscle groups =)

So.... I got the itch once again to compete despite the way my midsection looked. Even though I might be up against 20-year old girls who don't even know what stretch marks and cellulite are. There's nothing I could do at that point anyways, so what the heck.

Well, as it turns out, when you get really lean, your waist gets smaller, and looks a lot better ;) 
Because on a regular basis, when I'm not super lean, and relaxed, I could still pass for 5 months pregnant.
I'm not joking.

Then you get a spray tan, decide you don't care that you have stretch marks or weird abs (because lots of ladies that compete are moms and have stretch marks too!)
And you pull out all the confidence you can muster.

And then you win.

Carrying a baby (or several!) in your body is an amazing thing. And just because there's a little scarring left, you are not doomed. 
You are not stuck with that baby weight forever, rather you are entitled to take care of yourself. 
You have to work for it, and you have to want it. 
No excuses.