POST SHOW RECAP

Hi, hi.

There has been so so much going on in my life lately that I felt like my next post NEEDED to be a recap of what I have been up to!

I am going to start with I COMPETED IN MY FIRST COMPETITION! I was over. the. moon. I will never forget walking off the stage and the feeling that I felt. I was ready to eat. That was for damn sure.

Rolling back just a few days, me and some friends drove up to Spokane (where my show was going to take place) a few days early to get settled in and actually make a vacation out of the whole ordeal. I felt so fortunate to have these people come and support me as I pursued something that I have been working towards for months.

We got in around 1am on Thursday morning and went straight to bed. We were so exhausted from the drive and most of us had a long day on Wednesday. From Billings to Spokane is about 7 hours and we didn’t make it out of town until late afternoon. Going from waking up at 6:30am everyday to being able to sleep in was amazing. A not-so-secret about me is that I loveeeee to sleep. It’s a problem.

ANYWAYS! Thursday evening we went to Scarywood. Ooohhahhhh. If you have never heard of Scarywood before, it is just Silverwood but the employees dress up and walk around and scare you. Turns out, I do not really like haunted houses … I like a lot of scary and gory things but being scared ‘shitless’ is not something that I am interested in partaking in.

Friday we woke up pretty early and I got in my last workout. We were staying with my friend’s aunt and so we were able to cook some food for the next day since we knew that we wouldn’t be at home all day. I wasn’t staying with them that night because I was going to get my supppper dark tan and then hit the rack and prepare for the day ahead of me. I guess the biggest thing that I was nervous about was having my dad and sister coming to my show. I know that they will support in whatever I do but I always have a thought in the back of my head that I want to make them proud. So for me, this was a big deal.

Saturday was exhilarating. People can tell you what it is going to be like backstage and what poses you need to strike onstage but no one can prepare you for the feeling that you get once you are up there in front of all those people. You feel like you accomplished something that many feel they cannot (I believe everyone can achieve anything that they set their minds to but many don’t want to). Although I didn’t place. I came off stage with the biggest smile and I was ready to eat.

 

If you don’t know me then you really don’t know the struggles that I was having about competing. About a month before I was set to walk. I was having serious doubts. I feel like people don’t understand how I felt unless they have actually been in my position. I felt too ‘fat’, my posing wasn’t ‘good enough’, I wasn’t motivated etc. The list could go on and on. I pushed through because people would tell me that I would regret it if I didn’t. I pushed through not entirely for myself but for my friends and family that had given me such kind words of encouragement. And because of them, I chose to be at the most vulnerable state that day.

We came back on Sunday and boy did life not stop. My Coach wanted me back on a reverse diet by Wednesday and at first I really wanted to follow it. But now, after two and a half weeks.. I haven’t been eating the best or working out. It is hard because you go hard hard hard for eight months and you really don’t feel like you get time off. So I took the time off that I wanted and I’ll be going back to the gym this evening. I don’t and won’t ever maintain how lean I was that Saturday and I am ok with that. But since a few of you have followed this journey, I have decided to share my progress photos with you. I don’t look ‘cute’ by any means but these are my transition photos from start(ish) to finish.

I don’t look super lean in any of these but I was also pumping 2 gallons of water into my body each day with a crapton of veggies. I was constantly bloated and doing soooo SOOOO much cardio. On show day I thought it was a MIRACLE how lean I looked and even though I could have been leaner. I was so happy with my progress.

Since next weekend was Halloween weekend. I was DTP. I haven’t been out with my friends in so long that I was ready to dress up and have a good time! I was Pooh and my friend Nat was Piglet. We had a lot of fun dancing and enjoying each others company.

 

Unfortunately, we had so much fun on Saturday that we disregarded the fact that we were having people over to carve pumpkins on Sunday. Ohhhh no. We were not in the mindset that we needed to be to be cleaning our house and decorating. Even though we all weren’t feeling ‘too hot’ we had a heck of a time carving pumpkins with all of our friends.

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Can anyone guess which one is mine?

 

 

I know that this post was long awaited but it took me awhile to decide what I wanted to write. Thank you to everyone that supported me along the way of such a long journey. I will forever hold you all close to my heart.

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23

Well hello!

Seems I’m a day late with this post right now but the way yesterday was going (super packed) I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to be able to get the post out in time. Today I wanted to discuss something different than another recap of my week. Because, honestly. Recaps definitely aren’t my most favorite to write and I’m sure they aren’t your most favorite to read.

I always do a reflection of my life at the beginning of each semester. I determine how much I want to be working vs. how much I need to be working and how both of those will affect my school work. I make sure that I am on the right path in my fitness journey and also make sure to keep my mental health in check. Unfortunately I can be known as the queen of taking too much on and sometimes that can get me in some trouble.

I always try to find balance in my life and sometimes it comes easy, and sometimes not so much. I feel like 23 has been a very awakening stage in my life where I truly found who I was as a person and 2017 has definitely been the year to make things (goals) happen. I used to be the girl that talked ‘big’ but never committed to something fully. So, one day, I decided not to be that girl anymore.

I feel like the first thing that I committed to was my majors in college. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for the longest time. And I knew that it wasn’t a race and I wasn’t ready to be at the finish line anyways. It’s funny, because when I tell people that I want to go into forensics they always ask, ‘Like Dexter?’ What’s funny about it is that I was watching Dexter when it clicked what I wanted to be. So, no. I don’t want to be a serial killer; but yes, I do want to do blood analysis. Got it?

That brings me into my junior year of college. I had a challenging sophomore year (to say the least) but I think that goes back to ‘taking on too much at one time’. Early Spring was my second big decision. I have always been a ‘talker’. Yeah, I’m going to do this or that and never really made it happen. WELL, that is annoying. What are you waiting for? Just say you’re going to do something and just get. it. done. Don’t hesitate. I decided to enter my first NPC competition (oh, here she goes again .. we get it, you work out). It wasn’t a tough decision because I literally thought about it for two days and signed up for a Coach and here I am. Although there are struggles with my prep, I am the happiest and healthiest version of myself at this time in my life. I found that I don’t need to drink or be the life of the party to keep friends or to have a good time. I have officially been two DD’s this summer on two different bachelorette parties and each time I was still able to enjoy myself. Yes, I do like to drink. But, no. I don’t need it to have a good time.

Which brings me to my third big decision. STARTING A BLOG! I didn’t wait too long before I decided to launch .. I was just so excited! I have never been the girl to put her entire life on the internet, but here I am! Allowing people into my life an open book. I knew if I waited too long, then it would never have happened. And I’m so happy for the way things have turned out.

This year I have learned that being alone is OK. I don’t have the FOMO that other people have lingering over them. Sometimes at the end of the day, I just want to curl up in bed and watch a good tv show, alone. And I love that. For a long time I did feel dependent on other people (to the point where I didn’t want to even run errands alone). It feels good to know that I am self-sufficient but my friends are also there when I need them as well.

I know a few posts ago I mentioned friends come and go. And I feel like that came with age as well. When you’re younger you want to hold on to as many friends as you have because it feels like almost quantity over quality. You soon find in life that it is all about quality. I got a good dose of that at the age of 23 as well.

Like I said earlier, 23 has taught me so much and as December rolls around .. I’m excited to see what 24 has in store. Because I know that it can hold nothing but greatness if I go into it with the right attitude. Every so often there are years of learning and growing. So yesterday, when I was reflecting upon my life. I see how I have changed and progressed so much within the last year, cool! The point of this post is to just be proud of who are you are, because you should always be your own number one cheerleader.

Well, besides my cat. He’s probably my number one cheerleader for sure.

 

Anyways! I hope you all have a good weekend and check back soon for new updates. Let the good times roll, people!

QUESTIONS:

Who is your number one supporter?

Do you have any animals?

 

PS – Since I haven’t posted a workout in forever. Here is a quick booty-crusher workout to get you through the weekend!

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Coffee, walks & the Bachelorette

This week has been C R A Z Y busy so far! Thus, I decided to post TWO posts this week to make sure that I didn’t leave anything out. I was so excited on Sunday evening because I got a gift in the mail (the best kind of gifts). I ordered a Fitbit Alta! I really wanted something that would tell me how active I was being during the day.

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It’s dark purple with interchangeable bands! It tells me my text messages, phone calls, active minutes, calories burned and steps taken. The active minutes was confusing to me at first but it is when you haven’t stopped moving for more than 10 minutes. ANYWAYS – I love it and can’t wait to share more about it after I wear it a few more times.

Monday morning was a good friend’s birthday, Natalie. So in honor of her birthday we woke up early to go for coffee and take a walk on the rims. One thing I love about Natalie is she is always wanting to do something adventurous. The coffee shop we decided to go to is a new coffee shop in Billings, Black Dog. The exterior and interior of the joint was very cute and I decided to get an americano with a splash of almond milk.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of my coffee but I was happy to venture out and try something new! I love local shops! Since I work in a coffee shop I always love to try new things (especially our mess ups). Since I’m on prep I can’t really have an entire thick caramel, vanilla, latte made with half and half with a whip cream on top (I just made that up – but people order that!), so it is always nice to just take a sip of these drinks to try new things! Usually I get a coffee called a bee-sting. I get a quad shot over ice with honey, cinnamon and a splash of coconut milk.

One thing to mention about coffee if you are trying to cut weight, get in shape, or whatever, is that what you are drinking can really affect your fitness goals. Getting half the syrup or switching up your milk can be very beneficial in drinking coffee! Sometimes you should drink that extra flavor pumpkin latte. But when you are trying to reach a goal it can be detrimental to your diet.

Here is just a quick look at a Venti Starbuck Vanilla Bean Frappe vs. a Mcdonald’s hamburger. The three things that I always look at when before I eat something is carbs, fat and protein. To me, calories are not as valuable because if I am hitting all my macronutrients then my caloric intake should be fairly low regardless.

Back to discussing Natalie’s birthday! Here are a few pictures of our walk on the rims!

We had so much fun on our walk! Sidney (Nat’s roommate) and I got Nat a Fitbit for her birthday so we are now twins! The rest of the day was pretty mellow, I just went to volunteer at the crime center downtown and had to work that evening! The silliest thing happened when I got off though (aka, a not so funny story). I went to the gym for a late night session and my key FOB wouldn’t work! I was so sad. It definitely put me in a funk before I went to bed that night and I felt like I didn’t sleep as well because of it. I always sleep better when I’m completely exhausted from the day and I still had some pent up energy.

Tuesday I woke up and was ready to rumble. I wanted to make it to talk to the ladies at the gym early but actually didn’t end up going until after I got off of work! I wanted to workout after work but did not want to run home beforehand because it is SO HARD for me to get motivated once I am already home. Therefore, I took tuna packets togo so that I could eat them in my car before my workout!

I was so pumped to be back in the gym that I did a HIIT circuit and some lifting. I always keep my BCAAs close. BCAAs are so good to workout with because they help with soreness and the recovery process of your muscles (and also taste delicious).

It was the second day wearing my Fitbit all day and I reached 15,000 steps! I feel like Tuesday was not even an active day but I had 54 minutes of non-stop movement (cardio) and felt pretty proud with my end of the day check in.

The past few days I have been listening to a good friend of mine’s podcast. If any of you are interested in movies then you have to check it out here. Him and his brother discuss movie reviews in a very funny and witty way. It is even good to listen to when you haven’t seen the movie and it kept me enthralled the entire time I did cardio. I am always looking for new podcasts to listen to so if anyone has good podcast ideas, please share them in the comments!

After my workout I did some stretching. Stretching is so. good. for. you. Did you hear me? So. good. for. you. When you stretch you are increasing your range of motion in your joints. When you don’t stretch, muscles are tight and will have more of a tendency to tear. Stretching lengthens your muscles and can be truly relaxing to get into a good mindset before a workout.

After the gym I went home and watched the latest Bachelorette episode and boy was I bummed. I was already a day behind so I knew who was going to be the winner (I also looked it up a couple weeks ago because I am very impatient). WHY DID PETER NOT WIN?! I am so sad for him I hope that he will be the next Bachelor .. except he doesn’t want to get married so that would ruin the point of the show? Anyways, I was upset to see how Rachel treated Peter in the end but I do have to realize that it is reality tv and a lot of it is done for the viewing. I will FOR SURE be tuning in for BIP (Bachelor in Paradise) though. I am devastated to see that Dean will be making an appearance on there, low-key obsessed with him, but as long as my girl Raven shows up – I’ll be happy.

Back to business, Wednesday was a great day. I love Wednesdays more than any other day in the week. I feel like the week is halfway over and it doesn’t hurt that it is usually my day off. I spent the day food prepping but did end up going to lunch with a friend. Prepping can be hard during the summertime because there is so many events, lunches, dinners, birthdays, etc. But pretty much everywhere you go there will be always be healthy (ish) options. As long as you aren’t going completely H A M you will be okay. Sometimes it is needed to treat yourself.

I made soup for this weeks prep and I’m so excited to try it. I also do not know what I was thinking but I accidentally bought regular potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, what? (But on the real, the bag looked the same and they were next to each other in the store). So I soaked the potatoes for about 20 minutes, peeled them and cut them into fourths. After that, I set the oven to 450 degrees and roasted them for 35 minutes! They came out a littttle crispy but hopefully when I microwave them they’ll be good.

I think soup should be an every season thing. I found this squash apple bisque and I can’t wait to try it! I will totally pair it with some chicken for some extra protein. Lately, I’ve been so on-the-run that I have been eating tuna packets DAILY. I don’t always have time to take two hours to prep, like everyone else – I only have 24 hours in a day. So when I stopped by the grocery store I made sure to pick up some of my quick go-tos for the week.

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I grabbed some tuna packets, yogurt and some rice cakes! I always keep Lenny and Larry’s cookies close. I always have sweet cravings and they are perfect for that.

Before I jet out for the rest of the day, I just wanted to share a quick plyo-leg workout.

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Have a wonderful rest of your week, friends! I hope to catch up with you all soon.

QUESTIONS:

What did you guys think about the Bachelorette results?

What is your favorites go-to snack?

Do you think that soup should be an every season item?

 

GTL, anyone?

This week has been absolutely wonderful. I am starting a new job and finally had a few days off where I felt like I could relax. On Monday, besides volunteering, I didn’t really do much. I actually didn’t make it to the gym. I felt so guilty. Sometimes when I go, go, go, I need to remind myself that it is okay to miss a gym date here and there. You don’t always need to be work yourself in the gym to death. If you miss a day I AM TELLING YOU IT IS OKAY. Your mental health should always be #1 and if you feel like you are not mentally there while at the gym then your workout isn’t going to be good. So, Monday I felt like I was having an off-day and skipped out.

One thing I cannot live without is PANCAKES. Even on prep I am constantly looking for healthy ways to make pancakes. Kodiak brand is BY FAR my favorite brand but I went to Albertsons on Monday and they. were. out. I was appalled. So I decided to try a different brand for once and use a few substitutions.

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For a 1/2 cup of mix I made quite a few substitutions. The only thing that I really added to the mix was 1/4 c scoop of protein powder (Kodiak Cakes have protein in them but this brand didn’t and I couldn’t justify pancakes without protein powder in them).

The macros for the pancakes after all the substitutions were the following:

carbs – 53.4g       fat – 3.1g       protein – 36.7g

 

Although I missed Monday I woke up a little earlier on Tuesday to hit the gym for an early morning cardio session. I decided to do a HIIT circuit because it always gets me sweating. The best part about doing HIIT in the morning is that you are going to continue to burn more calories for the rest of the day – crazy, right? So as much as I hate going to the gym in the morning, I like to at least get a little cardio in (I also feel like the days I get up and go are the days where I have the most energy). Generally, I am a late night gym goer and for the school year, that just isn’t going to work. SO, my goal for the rest of the summer is to try to get my workouts in early or in the afternoon. HIIT is high intensity interval training. Essentially you are going to work out at maximum effort for a short amount of time and then take a short break. Here is an example of a 45 minute HIIT workout that I did on Tuesday.

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Late after work I decided to head back to the gym to finish my day with a shoulder workout (my favorite part of the body to lift). And walked on incline on the treadmill for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday I got up pretty early (is 8:30am early?) and went to walk on the rims with some friends. I love to start my day outside but I usually don’t get the opportunity to do so! After our walk we ran to the mall and I stopped at GNC to buy some goodies. Eeeek! I seriously love trying new protein and products.

I decided to go with GHOST. I think I just like the packaging. But the lady at GNC said it was extremely good so I trusted her judgement and got a huge container, whoops! I also got a ONE bar, Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites (red velvet flavor) and Enlightened Marshmallow Treats (original, double chocolate, and birthday cake)! Can you tell I am a snacker? For how big the rice crispy treats are the macros are C R A Z Y low. Seriously, go pick some up today. They taste just like regular rice crispy treats. The mocha Oreos I bought for my roommate! I will definitely have to try one though!

The macros for the original ON rice crispy treat:

carbs – 48g       fat – 3.5g       protein – 15g

BUT THEN, the best part of the day. I went to Albertsons AGAIN and look what I found!

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OVER THE MOON.

Friday did not go as planned .. I slept most of the day (much needed) and then had to work that evening. After work I decided to hit the gym for some late-night lifting and cardio. Lately I’ve been OBSESSED with Jersey Shore. It has made doing cardio so much easier because I can just put on an episode and not even realize the amount of time that has gone by! Reality TV is definitely a weakness of mine.

I worked both Saturday and Sunday as well. After what seemed like a long weekend I was ready to sit down and relax. I got an email from my Coach saying that I will be cutting from this coming Monday and forward. I’m very excited to see what the next few months have in store for me!

All positive thoughts moving into the next week. I have many birthdays this week and a wedding! Woohoo! Can’t wait to share all of it next Sunday. Have a wonderful week, friends and readers and hope to see you again soon.

QUESTIONS:

What do you guys want to see more of, fitness, lifestyle or recipes?

What is your favorite thing to watch/listen to when you do cardio?

What is your morning ritual like?

Take a Hike

Sometimes I get so caught up trying to work and make money that I forget how much I love to be outdoors. On Wednesday I FINALLY had the opportunity to take a hike with some of my friends up to Bison Lake in Red Lodge (nearby town). Little did we realize that the entire was hike was uphill. Often times when I just do not feel like doing anymore cardio in the gym, I love to take my cardio outside. In Billings, we have these beautiful mountains (mountains? cliffs? rock edges?) called the Rims. There are so many trails on top of the Rims that overlook the city and they it is so pretty to go up there for sunset or sunrise.

ANYWAYS, back to the hike. It was so incredible to be able to look upon the open areas of the mountains while getting in a good workout. I feel often times I take for granted the state we live in. So many people come through and express how incredible the sites are in Montana and most of the time it is just a shrug of the shoulders and and an ‘okay, I’ve lived here practically my whole life.’

I think that the start of the hike was the best part because we ran right into a river within the first 5 minutes. After that is when we started climbing uphill and could look out over the mountain tops and see tiny cars driving on the roads below. After about 2 hours we had to unfortunately turn around (time constraint). But we did almost make it to the top (LOL). Even though we did not make it all the way it was such a wonderful day and it really reminded me to make sure I am taking time for myself to enjoy life and be outdoors just a little more often.

After a pretty sweaty hike back down we decided to stop in Red Lodge and visit a local bead shop and then head for some lunch at Foster & Logans pub. I had a chicken salad and a side of sweet potato fries (seriously my weakness). Obviously before leaving town we stopped at their coffee shop for some coffee and I had an eye-opener (coffee americano) with some sugar-free English Toffee flavoring. For the most part I do not enjoy sugar-free flavors as much as I used to. Generally I just add a little honey to make my drinks sweeter, if needed.

 

Since we were hiking all day I decided to not go to the gym that evening because I was completely burnt out! I ended up just relaxing and going to dinner with some friends. On Thursdays, however, it did feel amazing to be back to lifting.

 

 

QUESTIONS:

Where are your favorite places to hike?

What are your favorite ‘post hike’ snacks?

What do you do for fun?

 

 

 

A FEW MORE PHOTOS OF THE DAY: