Falling In Love

I have fallen in love with baking my vegetables!!  It’s so much easier than cooking stove top.  Since veggies cook slower in the oven, the process of standing over the pot and tossing them around, when I’m multi-tasking, is a pain in the…

This is my first time “baking” or “roasting” broccoli, but I’m confident they will taste great just like the cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, zucchini, and green beans.  🙂  I minced up several cloves of garlic, added olive oil, and granulated garlic powder. It’s in the oven now baking at 350. Baked covered for about 40 minutes. I am using frozen broccoli, so it may take longer.

broccoli

With 21 days left til I walk on stage again for my second figure competition, I struggle to get everything crossed off my to do list.  Heck.. today, I can’t even find my book that has my lists. Ugh!!

These days, I’m trying to keep meals for me and my family as simple as possible. Later, I’ll share my other baked veggie recipes.

This morning I did legs, but here’s a video of me doing one of my favorite back exercises (Bent Over Two-Arm Long Bar Row) from another day.

For best results, you MUST do each exercise properly. This video is the correct way to do this exercise.  My friend stopped me three times before I did it right. That’s what you want… trust me!

If you’re new to weight training, hook up with an experienced, ethical, and knowledgable personal trainer. They will teach you the right way.  Anything other than that will have you disappointed and frustrated with your results.

I hope you enjoyed your day. 🙂

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“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
-Patanjali

 

May 17th is rapidly creeping up on me. Six months ago, the date of the competition seemed like years away.  But today signifies that only three weeks remain until show time.

The week’s highlight was seeing the first version of my competition suit. It arrived by mail on Wednesday. I ripped the envelope open as if it were a special delivery from Oprah!

Like a kid, I was giddy and eager.  My seamstress lives over 2 ½ hours away in another state. We haven’t met in person, but thanks to technology we’ve had in-depth conversation about my suit. Her eye for quality fabric and intricate details is impeccable. I’ve seen her work firsthand and know that I put my trust into the right person.

This pic does the suit no justice as it is, but the quality of the fabric and the details of the stitching is amazing.  I cannot wait to see the completed suit!
This pic does the suit no justice as it is, but the quality of the fabric and the details of the stitching is amazing. I cannot wait to see the completed suit!

Thursday I tried on the suit. Eye popping!! Though I wasn’t quite ready for what I saw. Yikes! Cheeks and crack! Umm… baby’s got back and need more fabric in the rear.  I can’t bring myself to post those pictures.

All the nuances of figure competing are completely surprising to me.  As a little girl, I didn’t compete in pageants, cheer leading, or any of the girly stuff. I played football, wrestled, and fist fought my boy cousins—none of which required me to be on a stage. The tricks of looking good on stage is remarkable.

It turns out; my suit was too big and needed a few adjustments. I am still getting use to the idea of walking on stage wearing a skimpy two piece suit. But I am ready! Lol!

Friday I mailed the suit back to my seamstress for final alterations. Final alterations include the addition of a multitude of crystals and other delicate changes that will make me feel very special when I hit the stage.

I had to take a week off from the 30 minutes of daily cardio training because my weight loss was occurring too fast. Look at the numbers:

♥ March 31st – 147 lb.

♥ April 7th – 145.2 lb.

♥ April 14th – 142.9 lb.

♥ April 21st – 140.2 lbs.

At this rate of weight loss, I would have well surpassed my competition weight goal. Years of fitness training and daddy’s genetics have kept me relatively lean, so with minimal intensity, I can quickly drop weight.

This week, my training was limited to weight training. I missed the cardio, but remain focused on the goal.

Counting and winding down is more about increased intensity and momentum. This is a source of inspiration for me. Patanajali’s quote epitomizes the core essence of my project (fitness challenge).   It has been greater than a physical transformation.  My approach to fitness will never be the same.

My passion for running has shifted and my desire to lift weights has expanded. Wow! I never thought I’d utter such words. Post competition, I face determining how to balance my love for CrossFit and my urge and the need to throw up weights at the gym.

No, I am not going to stop running all together, but I doubt that I’ll ever return to running 40-60 miles a week that I typically do during the summer.  My body looks and feels better now than it did before the weight training regimen.  Amazing!

48 feels really good!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

A Sneak Peek



Igniting A Flame

I am building a fire,

and every day I train,

I add more fuel,

At just the right moment,

I light the match.

Mia Hamm

Today was back day.

On the cables, I did three sets of the Lat Pulldown. The last two sets, I graduated to 90 pounds!  I’m getting stronger and my back is growing!

Another PR (personal record) for me. 🙂

This afternoon, I lit the match!

Oh, the momentum!  I can’t wait until Thursday!

Don’t give up on your dreams.  Just keep it moving!

Sweet dreams!


Sacrificing More

In October when I started my training, I firmly decided that Sunday would be my rest day.  A career, B’Dazzle’s football and basketball schedules, football camp combined with a house, wife duties and… oh yeah, me time has me rising early six days a week. One day of rest isn’t asking for too much.

Today that changed. Why? Because it is time for me to step up my game; I need to get in as much gym time as humanly possible.

Just because I have already made sacrifices, does not mean that, more sacrifices cannot be made.

How badly do you want this?  I asked myself.  Really bad! What are you willing to give up?  Umm…  Sundays and then some!

And so at 7 o’clock this morning, I tip toed out of the house and I strolled into the gym.  Bright eyed and bushy-tailed?  Not exactly.  But alert, coherent, and determined.

Day Light Savings Time stole an hour from me this morning.  I didn’t appreciate it, but got over it.

The workout started with posing practice in the fitness room.  Hard wood floors and wall-to-wall mirrors help me to get acclimated with 5-inch heels and to get acquainted with popping muscles.

Posing is exhausting.  For me to look like a natural on stage, I must practice… A LOT!     Pose in the morning, pose in the kitchen, pose in the bathroom, pose EVERYWHERE!

Last week while buzzing around the kitchen before work, I slipped on my 5-inch stilettos.

My competition shoe

My competition shoe

My thinking is, if I walk in the shoes enough at home and at the gym, by show time, they should feel like slippers and I ought to be quite comfortable. I wear heels, but never this high.

Today was leg day and I worked hard at dead lifts, squats, lunges, and more.  Three sets of sitting leg presses at 420 pounds has my legs feeling dogged tired.

I’m off to bed now so that tomorrow I awake feeling refreshed and rested. After work, it’s straight to the gym for another day of exceeding my expectations.

“Bodybuilding is much like any other sport.  To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet, and mental approach.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sweet dreams!


Hasta La Vista To Two Favorites

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

― Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

The imagination is a powerful force?  Creativity, ingenuity, and unlimited possibilities occur as a result of positive usage of the imagination. However, negative energy can lead the imagination to produce fear, anxiety, and skepticism.

At least twice this past week, thoughts of having to change two of my favorite routines, clouded my vision.

The first had to do with music. At the end of a workout session, a chit-chat with my trainer stunned me.

Trainer:  When I return from vacation, you can’t use “that” (pointing to my iPod) any more.

Me:  Stunned.  Is she kidding, I’m thinking.

Trainer:   We’re about 9 weeks out and we need to take this training to another level.

Me: Whiney like a little kid use to having her way. Oh no! Music motivates me.  I do eeeeverthing with music.  Run, eat, sleep, etc…

Trainer:    She kicked into “mommy/drill sergeant mode.”   Well, you’ll just have to learn to use your mind to motivate yourself.

It was as if she ended her sentence with, “Period! End of discussion!  I don’t want to hear any more from you!” LOL!  Oh boy!!

For now... bye-bye iPod!

For now… bye-bye iPod!

While driving to the gym for my first day of working out with her without music, I thought about her orders. Frustration settled in and I thought about challenging her on her decision.  The entire drive, I turned up the volume and blasted the music while trying to store up the good feel from the base and series of favorite tunes.  I know.  Sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I think everyone has that one “thing” that infuses a sense of comfort, support, and motivation.  My “thing” is music.

I was even silly enough to question myself on how I would be able to push through the last and most difficult reps while deprived of a rhythmic beat and inspiring lyrics. Smh!

Within 20 minutes of the workout, I forgot all about my routine of one ear being pounced with heavy base. I was no longer distracted (my trainer’s words not mine) by the volume or finding the right track before completing a set. I moved swiftly and without delay. I had a great workout.

Today I did two sets of drop-downs arm curls on the cable machine starting with 90 pounds!  No music and.. a personal best for me. Whoop! Whoop! High-five!!! Thanks for the push coach!

I imagined the process and the outcome to be all WRONG.

Sugar free java

Sugar free java

At around 7 o’clock this morning, I think. Correction.  I know that I drank my last sugar laced cup of coffee.  Erroneously I convinced myself that, while training, I’d be okay using Sugar In The Raw in my coffee.  But the fact is, sugar IS sugar.

imagined that regardless of having a splash of Bailey’s, my favorite flavored creamer, my organic freshly ground coffee would taste bitter and less satisfying.  Hmm…  How many ways can I say wrong?  Incorrect. Mistaken.  Amiss.  And so on… just like my imagination.  I enjoyed my java no less than I did yesterday.  I am surprised but happy.  🙂

My favorite coffee and mug

My favorite coffee and mug

It is ironic how I consider myself to be a positive thinker. Yet two times this week when I was required to do something different from what I LOVE and from my norm, that I  conjured up  negative thoughts about the changes. 

What’s up with that? When it comes to work, I constantly look for new solutions to old challenges and seek out better ways to get the job done.  But I now realize that it may not occur automatically on a more personal level.  Wait, wait wait.  Thinking about this even more, the thoughts of a negative outcome happens when the change is a directive from someone other than myself.  Yeah, that’s probably it.

I just realized this self-defeating behavior/attitude about myself.  Wow! I need to pay closer attention to my thoughts and get this mess in check.

See, this is exactly why I love writing.  All that stuff in my head gets sorted out on paper or on the keyboard.

The week ended with two successes.  While my successes may seem minor, the payoff for making both changes are big and will move me closer to accomplishing my goal of placing tops in May’s figure competition.

My arms feel like lead from this mornings workout, so after dinner a nap is in order–something I rarely get. Tomorrow morning it’s back to the gym for training and posing practice.

Enjoy your weekend!

Reads About Sugar

Sugar in the Raw That’s Not | The Healthy Home Economist

Difference Between Brown Sugar & Sugar in the Raw 

Nutrition Diva:  Is Natural Sugar Better for You?

Is Sugar Bad For A Bodybuilder?