Finally, an epiphany

I’ve had a drastic mindset change lately and it’s prevented me from posting. I want to update everyone on how my beliefs on fitness have changed and open up discussion for a new model of fit living. I’ve been through all the phases of fitness: running, bodybuilding, sports, moderation, competition, weight gain, weight loss, eating disorders, being unhealthy, loving it, hating it, lack of motivation… It has made me bitter. I didn’t even want to go to the gym anymore in fear of someone telling me my work out was too short or asking me if I’m doing a new show, or letting me know I’ve let myself go… We are our harshest critic. Except at the gym. Then there’s always bound to be some a-hole who is our harshest critic and destroys your world in one sentence and doesn’t think twice about it. I’ve been that a-hole. The bro-swagging, better-than-you mentality  permeates gym culture and causes places like Planet Fitness to discourage people who are in shape from coming to their gym so they can prey on the easy client who won’t actually ever show up to the gym and cost them any money. I’ve landed on middle ground, finally.

Exercise and Nutrition are very personal things. That’s why doctors charts can’t tell you whether you are the right size for your height and why you feel good about yourself one day and you feel terrible by yourself another day even though the scale hasn’t changed. That’s why everyone thinks they alone have a secret cure to better health, and why I discourage people from using cookie cutter meal plans and exercise videos. Because it’s different for each person.

My mentality on weight loss, exercise, and diet has changed dramatically in the past two years. It’s about finding your happy place, whether that’s weight loss or muscle gaining or just being able to make it up some stairs. It’s about finding what makes you feel good. No one is a harsher critic than we are on our self, so why hire a personal trainer or fitness coach that beats you down, is mean to you, gives you guidelines that are too strict for you to follow? Weight loss and health should be accessible. It’s already built into us. You know what works for you. I’m here to help make customizable plans that help you find what that is. I will work around what you’re capable of doing. pushing you to your own personal limit, not to a standardized plan of what the government, funded by the corn industry, thinks that it should be. So I am not here to judge. I am NOT here to fix you. I’m here to help you become what you always have been: Perfect. Losing weight or gaining weight doesn’t change who you are. But it can help you be stronger, healthier, even tempered, and able to handle adulthood insanity better. We need to be able to love ourselves for what we’ve accomplished, rather than what society has to set upon us as the required standard. I don’t want to help you become some Movie Star prototype. I don’t want to tell you that you have to stop living your life if you ever want to reach your goals. If a kick in the pants is what you need, then you’ll get a kick in the pants, but my new approach to exercise and health is based on living the life that you want to live and helping you get healthy. Because watching Netflix for eight hours makes you feel like crap. Eating pizza five times a week makes you feel like crap. And drinking a bottle of wine every night makes you feel like crap. Let’s all take steps towards being happier and using our bodies for what they were meant to be used for. There’s nothing like the feeling of being able to run without being out of breath, and  feeling strong with the pavement moving beneath your feet. Nothing compares to being proud of your own strength. We are all on that long journey to being okay with who we are and what we look like. I’m not going to say I’m done, but I will tell you that I’m a lot closer now than I was when I was bodybuilding.

Being okay with how you look doesn’t mean being okay with obesity or being okay with your bad health. It means that you’re always growing, always bettering yourself. Getting to a goal weight won’t change all of your insecurities and imperfections. Challenging yourself should never be covert self destruction, as it has often become in the fitness world. I want to help coach people to their new levels of healthy.

I am giving people the chance to get to that place of moderation and happiness. Let’s all just be happy with ourselves for once!

I will be offering work out plans with diet guidelines again. Please message me for rates and details.

And even though a cookie cutter work out won’t fit everyone’s needs (which is why you should pay someone *me* to write them for you and your needs specifically) I’m providing you with an at home sample teaser work out for you to try today!

This is a full body at home work out that leaves no room for excuses! It takes 30 minutes or less and you don’t even have to go out in the 35 degree rain to do it. If you need modifications, let me know and I can always come up with an alternative

Warm up:
20 squats
20 sec plank
20 squats 
20 sec plank
30 jumping jacks

10 push ups ("girl" push ups are fine)
10 step ups each leg (onto a chair)
10 push ups
10 step ups each leg 

20 leg extensions each leg, standing (hold a wall, keep chest and back upright, extend your leg behind you, keeping toe pointed up and medial)
10 squat jumps 
(x2)

10 sec hand stand against wall (get some help from a friend if you are worried about falling)
30 sec knee ups in plank
(x2)

15 couch or chair dips (hands on couch facing forward, heels on floor, hips bent, knees straight- Bend elbow 90 degrees) 
10 lunges each leg
(x2)

Cool down with standing knee ups for 2 min and leg extensions.

Stretch



							
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Generation Awful

I’m taking a moment from fitness posts (that I barely do lately) to rant about a topic near and dear to my brain.

I’m so SICK of people constantly referencing “our generation” and the problems that we’ve caused. People have been making horrible decisions for years and living at home too long for years, it’s just that now we have social media to publicly declare our lack of motivation.

Which brings me to social media. Like all things, it can be abused. And each of us have about 10 people that are constantly posting meaningless, gratuitous statuses that drive us nuts. That’s 10 people out of my 1200 friends. Social media only has the power we give it. If you think social media has too big of a role, instead of posting about it on your wall, maybe you should just take 2-3 days off from looking at it. If you think Kim Kardashian’s butt photo is outrageous and she shouldn’t’ receive attention for it, it’s probably best NOT to give that article your click and then NOT share it on your wall in disgust. I guarantee that article is going viral due the people who are appalled by the idea that someone else likes it. Congratulations, internet, Kim Kardashian’s butt did not break you. It did exactly as intended.

I’m tired of being lumped in with an unambitious crowd because of the year I was born. Please keep in mind that this is the first generation that has been force-fed “follow your dreams” over and over again to the point that anything less than achieving stardom is failure or an indication you didn’t try hard enough; this trickles down from a generation who took an accounting course and got an accounting job and called it a dream. Take that into consideration when you see a bunch of perma-students in an economy that has no jobs for anyone without 5 years of experience. There are some serious expectations behind the educated, who are now lucky to come out with a 30k a year salary with benefits, a standard in my parents time with a high school degree. Try walking into a perfectly good job and have them tell you you’re worth $10 at your level, despite 8 years of related experience, professionalism, and entrepreneurship. Then try paying rent. Ask anyone about my ambitions. They will tell you I’m exhausting. I try to do too much and reach too high and fail miserably with a few successes dispersed in between. It’s not a generation. It’s people that are lazy. If you (at any age) want to wake up at 5am with me to hit fasted cardio before working 8 hours to work out again only to go home and prep your food, so you can get 8+ hours of sleep, because you need your sleep or you’ll get sick and you can’t miss a day of working out and work, because you need money, you have goals, and you want to be the best at everything so that you can go to networking events on the weekend instead of party— sure, be my guest. But do NOT lump me in with lazy. Do NOT lump me in with unambitious jerk offs. I am not an anomaly. I’m trying to keep up with my peers. So BACK OFF, public opinions, and let me do my thang with out youchoo h8in ….

Our generation’s grammatical derelict is also the topic of every parent get-together and every Facebook post known to man. Not all of us fall into that category, and a lot of us know how to turn it on and off. Considering literacy rates are a little different compared to a hundred years ago, maybe we should cut “this generation” some slack because any discrepancies in a child’s education and upbringing is governed by the PARENTING FIGURE. Watch out, baby boomers, I just pointed a finger.

I REALLY LIKE CHARTS, SHUT UP OK.

Percentage of persons 14 years old and over who were illiterate (unable to read or write in any language), by race and nativity: 1870 to 1979

Year Total White Black and other
Total Native Foreign-born
1870 20.0 11.5 79.9
1880 17.0 9.4 8.7 12.0 70.0
1890 13.3 7.7 6.2 13.1 56.8
1900 10.7 6.2 4.6 12.9 44.5
1910 7.7 5.0 3.0 12.7 30.5
1920 6.0 4.0 2.0 13.1 23.0
1930 4.3 3.0 1.6 10.8 16.4
1940 2.9 2.0 1.1 9.0 11.5
1947 2.7 1.8 11.0
1950 3.2
1952 2.5 1.8 10.2
1959 2.2 1.6 7.5
1969 1.0 0.7 3.6 *
1979 0.6 0.4 1.6 *
* Based on black population only

Not only can a few members of this “horrible” generation spell, self-motivate, and not feel entitled to luxury, they’ve done some good. We are the generation that saw equal rights given for gay marriage; not out of some political agenda, but because a massive group of people wanted to be able to see their friends express their love. This is the generation that cares what the other generations thought and writes long winded blog posts about why their parents should approve of them. This is the generation that will find eco-friendly solutions. This is the generation that will save the planet; because we have to. Maybe it’s been so easy on us because our society is becoming well developed. Here we are though, creating new ideas, new solutions, and being generally “smarter” than the last generation, once we finally get off our parent’s couch.

There will be good in my life time. And I will see a generation grow. Because that’s what every generation does. Please don’t write off a whole population because they say LOL. We know how to spell Laff out Lowd for realz. Ok?

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The Science of Butts

The Butt is a complex organism primarily comprised of hip hop music, deep squats, and Sir Mix-a-Lot. The key to understanding the building and usage of The Butt is not only found in songs like “Drop it Low” and “A$$”, but also in carefully designed work outs, a little bit of anatomy, and a little bit of strategy. (Ah! It rhymes! New rap song about butts in the making!)

Let’s first take a look at the Anatomy:

glutes

Your glute max is your powerhouse for the extenion of the hip. Please note how it inserts at the femur.

Your glute medius and minimus is responsible for abduction and external rotation of the femur. They are also important stabilizers.

There are a lot of other muscles tied into your hips that flex and rotate, but for the sake of keeping it simple, we’ll try to focus on these guys.

The butt lip. The fold-over. The under-cheek. The crease. You know what part I’m talking about yet? That’s not a part of the butt anatomy, as cute as it is. It’s your body’s genetic choice of how it stores fat. So forget about lifting that part up or shaping it. Your butt wants what it wants. The only way to change it is to get rid of it by lowering body fat. I was thoroughly disappointed to discover this. The bottom of your glute max, as previously mentioned, is on the femur, which looks great on that ham/glute tie in on your back pose in bikini, but does NOT accentuate the underbutt.

Left: 13% body fat Right: 20% body fat Low body fat=Loss of butt crease, which just means you need to build those glutes up even more so no one will notice you lost the 'donk in badonk

Left: 13% body fat
Right: 20% body fat
Low body fat=Loss of butt crease, which just means you need to build those glutes up even more so no one will notice you lost the ‘donk in badonk

See: Lean looks better from the back, where the side view is lacking:

Should have been leaner to better demonstrate glute/ham tie in.  Sorry ya'll! What was I thinking!

Should have been leaner to better demonstrate glute/ham tie in. Sorry ya’ll! What was I thinking!?

HOW DO I GET A ROUND PERFECT BUTT????

Skinny is out. Strong curves are in. THANK GOD. Because my body is all about mass quantities of food and sweaty work outs.

We’ve all heard it a before: Squat. Squat. Squat. But I’ve been squatting for years. I just hit a new max of 245lbs. I feel like I have the squat thing down. So is that all? There’s more to it than just one exercise and there are plenty more ways to get there. Here are a few pointers from personal experience that have helped me grow my booty:

Stretching and warm up: 

Ok, this doesn’t directly grow your shelf-butt. Indirectly, stretching does influence your range of motion, and range of motion is make or break in building a better booty. Get full range of motion to achieve maximum twerkable results. Body builders have a reputation for being tight and inflexible, excuses stemming from the shear mass of their enormous muscles blocking them from being able to touch their toes. Well, maybe that’s true (it’s not, but I don’t feel like arguing with a 250lb muscle guru who can bench press 3 of me), but increasing your range of motion, especially in the lower body is crucial for a good squat, and a good work out.

Foam roll!!! Roll around on that weird foam tube you’ve been wondering about to find that tight spot on your calves, glutes, quads, and hip flexors (TFL!) and put all the body weight you can handle into it. Hold there for 30 seconds or until you feel the muscle relax. Then stretch those areas.

I’m a big believer in static stretching (where you hold it 10-30 seconds until it loosens up) with light dynamic stretching (hip swings, etc).

Activate: What’s tight? Activate the muscle on the opposing side with some light body weight work. For example, I have have tight hips, so I do 20 standing leg lifts to activate the glute medius.

To make sure you have full range of motion and nothing’s too tight,  do a couple sets of body weight squats, squatting as low as possible.

Form: Quality over quantity

I love putting up heavy weight. I love having as much weight on the bar as the guy next to me. However, having a better butt than the guy next to me is more important, so step down to the maximum weight you can handle to get as low as you can. I often alternate leg days that are super heavy with moderate (but acceptable form) to next week just focusing on getting low, chest up, glute focus. Both have their benefit. Form day, however is much more crucial to getting 2 basketballs for a be-hind.

A good tip from a trainer friend: Set the spotting bars in the squat rack at the right height to catch the weight at the deepest point of your squat. Load up the weight 10-20lbs heavier (or at) your max. Perform the negative motion of your squat til it catches on the spot bars and crawl out from underneath. This will help you get the feel for the depth of what your squat should be. Then contemplate how you will ever get the bar back up to the top.

Exercises to get that c-shaped derriere:

Deep squats: nothing we don’t know

Lunges: get that knee down to the floor. Go HEAVY! None of that 20lb crap. Your lunges are crucial for symmetry that can be lost in the squat. Treat these as important as squats. Also great for core strength. Forget about side dips. These will effect your obliques more than any ab work out you can do.

Dead lifts: Regular and Straight leg (not on the same day, but work these in for that glute/ham tie in and overall shape. Hit the ground. Let them stare.

Hip bridges: There’s a ton of variations online to check out! Go Heavy or Go Home!

Cable kick backs (standing, kneeling): Get you some glute medius and minumus action! Lead with that heel, not your toe, or you’ll suffer from tight hips.

Step ups: Stack em high and heavy!

Plyometrcs/box jumps: Everyone’s favorite! Don’t forget you have those fast twitch muscles to tend to! No muscle fiber left behind!

Side lunges/side to side movement: I’m guilty of leaving these guys out, but those stabilizing muscles will support the big ones to get some growth!

—–

There are more of course, but if you did all of these with proper form and challenging weight, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see results!

To find out more  and get your own customized plan for butt building, strength programming, correctional exercise, weight loss, message me! We’ll talk muscles!

-Audra

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9 Awful Reasons You’re Not Working Out

istock-tired-woman1

No one is innocent of becoming the excuse monster when it’s time for working out. Suddenly, our minds turn into an elaborate thought processors for wonderful, creative reasons why we shouldn’t go to the gym. They’re all real. And so is the couch… with all of its soft pillows and movie options. You can make a million reasons not to go, but you only need one good reason to go sweat to the oldies (or pop music, gangsta rap, dubstep… etc). You’ve set your goals of becoming a burpee/cardio champion and you want it to happen with all your heart. So the next time you hear those little donut filled, slipper wearing, couch-bound voices in your head, I want you to pull up this list, find your excuse, and read it to yourself like a mantra that will save you from early onset marshmallow thighs.

1) I’m too tired. Sleep is my favorite. I love it so much that I sometimes go to sleep and dream about sleeping. You have to prioritize sleep! But it’s 5 pm and you already made your choice last night to watch 3 seasons of Breaking Bad in a row, despite Netflix asking you every few hours “Are you still watching?” (Yes, Netflix. Don’t judge me.) The gym seems like a foreboding way to punish yourself for your bad decisions, but in reality, it is the perfect cure. Part of your sleepy issue is not booty burning (a term I just dubbed)! If you work out, you sleep better. If you work out, you have more energy for the rest of the day. If you work out, you improve your mood. I hate to tell America to do something that’s uncomfortable in the slightest, but just get up and do it. Nutrition can be holding you back, too. Dehydration can cause tiredness as well. So before you make that decision to slip into sweatpants and check out, chug 16 ounces of water and have a banana.

Audra’s Trick: Just get dressed for the gym. That’s all you have to do. Then, after that, just tell yourself you will simply walk/run a single mile. Go from there and see how you feel. At least you will have made an effort and still have gotten the blood flowing and it’s not as daunting as taking on a full work out on little sleep or energy. 

2) I’m too sore. Then work out a different body part. Everything sore? Then go walk on a treadmill. Light exercise works through lactic acid and can help decrease Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Drink some water, and get your ass to the gym. Soreness will get easier. Don’t skip your rest days, but no one needs more than 1-2 days off a week. I’m not saying you have to work out 6 days a week, but I’m telling you that you can if you wanted to. If you’re a beginner, shoot for 3-5 days (>3 strength, 2-5 cardio) and go from there. There’s always room to improve, but you won’t see weight loss results if you only work out twice a week.

Audra’s Trick: I’m always sore. Every day. Sometimes you just have to deal with it. Don’t overwork sore muscles. If your legs are sore, go on a walk and work upper body. If your upper body is sore, only work out your lower body. If everything’s sore, you’re doing it right. Good job. Now chug some amino acids and get back on that horse. It’ll get easier. 

3) I can’t afford it/don’t have a gym membership. Do you have running shoes? A bicycle? A garden to tend? A house that needs cleaning? Then you have your gym! Just keep active! Running is free. Push-ups are free. Squats, lunges, jump squats, jump lunges, burpees, pull ups, ab work, side lunges, dancing, planks, stretching, leg lifts, hip bridges, walking your dog, vacuuming, and playing tag with your kids are all free. Do it to it.

Audra’s Trick: My whole personal training company is completely in home. I use equipment for maybe half of the exercises. There’s a ton of exercises available for you on Youtube, and different websites that can help you figure out what to do at home. Plus there’s always Suzanne Summers work out tapes. Yes. I said tapes. Like a true 80’s child. 

4) I don’t know what to do. Grab a friend who does know what they’re doing. Ask a stranger at the gym. I’ve made tons of friends at my gym and it’s a good way to network and meet people! Or hire a trainer (message me for details!). There are plenty of work outs online to check out as well. I used to worry that people were watching me and judging me when I try out a new exercise. Then I realized, no one gives a shit about me or my work out. All the other boys and girls are too busy checking out their booty and biceps in the mirror to notice if you’re screwing up. Who knew that would be a comforting thought?

Audra’s trick: If I need to mix it up, I research creative exercises to get excited about for each trip to the gym. Check out fitness accounts on Instagram for great videos and motivation. 

5) I’m too busy. There’s always someone busier than you, who is working out harder and longer than you and stealing all the gains that you should have gotten for yourself. Wake up earlier. Go to bed earlier. Stop watching TV. Find a gym with a free daycare. Turn girls night out into girl’s fitness night out. I know so many people that come to the gym on their lunch break. Still don’t have time? 15 minutes of jogging, or strength training at home then. I’ve worked 50 hours a week, 6 days a week, teaching classes, and prepped 5 meals a day, all while still finding time to do 2-a-days. You make room in your life for what you really want. You have to prioritize. Make it as important as eating or sleeping, because without exercise, you will die. Just not quite as fast. Lots of bodybuilding competitors make my schedule look easy in comparison, adding kids to the mix, 2nd jobs, and school. If we can do it, so can you.

Audra’s Trick: Schedule it like you would a doctor’s appointment. Put it in you planner with what you plan a week ahead of time. This will cut back on your plans you make around the time you should be getting your grind on. If you schedule it enough, it will become a habit.

6) I’m just not motivated. How badly do you want this? Write down your goals. Write why you want your goals. Remember why you started in the first place.

Audra’s Trick: When I first started competing, I bought a fitness magazine and cut out pictures I liked of fitness models. I put them around my house (concentrating them on the fridge and food pantry) with little sayings on them like, “Oksana knows when you cheat” or “What would Nicole eat?”. Again, Instagram motivational pages can be really great for when I’m social media-ing underneath blankets when I should be sculpting that body. 

7) I don’t like to work out. There are many ways to be fit! Working out doesn’t have to be sweating on a treadmill for 2 hours, listening to Katy Perry on the loud speakers. Take fitness classes. Try cycling. Go on a hike. Bring a friend to the gym with you. Join a community team. Try cult-fit. I mean, crossfit.  If you really want to make the gym thing happen, just stick with it. It’s hard for everyone at first. I had a client who hated our sessions for a good solid year. Then one day, during one of our work outs he said, “Is it weird that I kind of enjoy the burning?” Nope. Welcome to the club. You’ll come around, too. They always do.

Audra’s Trick: I love to work out. But some days, no, I don’t enjoy it. I don’t have a trick. You just do it anyhow. Don’t be a little bitch. You will have good days and bad days. You don’t give up on having hair just because of a bad hair day, right? As much as I’d like to be understanding, sometimes you just have to woman up and push through it. 

8) I’ve already screwed up today. Man, those 4 cupcakes were good. But the post-frosting guilt makes you want to give up altogether. At least for today. You’ll try again tomorrow. NO. Tomorrow never comes. Go burn off as much of those cupcakes as you’ve can while it’s still in your blood stream and muscles before it gets stored away in your jiggly spots and enjoy the great work out (minus the nausea) it should give you. Think of it as carbing up for a race. Your glycogen stores are full and ready to lift big!

Audra’s Trick: Sometimes, to work out like an insane person, you have to be a little insane. So I talk to myself and state “I can do this” (usually moaning through my belly aches) and put on my work out clothes. Don’t let being mad at yourself keep you from succeeding.

9) I’ll start Monday. After I get my doctor’s approval. After I get my gym membership. After I party this weekend. On Monday, you’ll always wish you had started sooner. Every little bit counts. If all you can do today is walk a mile, then walk a mile. Being too out of shape is a bad reason to not get into shape.

Audra’s Trick: Nothing in my life gets done unless I do it right this second. What are you doing right now? I’m guessing you’re on your phone or computer. Get up this second and go do your walk/run/lift/zumba/whatever. Thanks for reading this first though.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Message me if you’re interested in a little extra motivation. I provide online coaching and motivation that includes a diet plan and work out routine (if needed), all based on your schedule, capabilities, and resources.

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A note to off season competitors

I’ve recently started training full time, a decision I couldn’t be happier about! It’s always fun to try new old things in a new old town and see if you can stay on your feet long enough to have an impact on some lives and the economy (aka my bank account). Quitting the old job that involved 50 hours a week or 6-7 days a week feels like freedom. To top it off, I’m off season, baby! Time to eat big, get big and see all those gains.

However, doing shows does something to your brain. It ruins you. You spend your whole life grabbing different body parts in the mirror, and sucking in or sticking something out to try to create that photo-shopped look we just all HAVE to have. You’ve spent your whole life staring at other girls and measuring yourself up to them while applauding or condemning your own body and it’s small belly chub or weird thigh extensions flapping on the edges. And then on show day, you wake up, look in the mirror, think, I’ve never looked this good (all while still deciding that you could have lost a couple more….) and then literally going on a stage in front of judges who look at you and decide which one of your group has the best body. Every woman’s nightmare is a sport. To make it worse, they rank you even if you don’t win. So, for the rest of your life, you know that you can achieve that top 1% body that most people, even photoshopped models, won’t ever be at. You know why they can’t do that? You can’t live like that. Bodybuilding shows are rough, and you’re the weakest you’ve ever been. Tired, hungry, cranky, dehydrated, moody. Your relationships are all on the fritz because you’ve either unreasonably lashed out at them or haven’t seen them unless they, too, attend the gym like it hands out free pizza every time you go (Eat it, Planet Fitness.) It’s not like an eating disorder that allows you to disappear and work out and not eat. You have MUSCLE MASS that you have to maintain like it’s the spoiled baby you always dreamed of. You have to feed it every 3 hours and you have to take it to the gym for 3 hours a day. And you can’t overfeed it or underfeed it and you think about nothing else 24/7. When you’re doing something other than working out, it’s constantly running through your mind that you want to work out. It’s your LIFE. All of these memes try to make all the non-crazies feel bad saying “‘Obsession’ is a word lazy people use to describe ‘dedication'”. False. It’s an obsession. It’s a controlled eating disorder that will plague you the rest of your life. You can no longer look at food and think This is a delicious piece of watermelon. All you see after a show is “14 grams of sugar, 20 carbs, 0 fat, fast burning sugar, high water content.” Your brain is addicted.

Now I’m not saying doing body building competitions are a bad thing. I’ve never been healthier (off season, when the raging carb-starved jerk has gone into relapse and the brown rice overfloweth). I overcame an eating disorder by living in this structured lifestyle. It forces you to take care of yourself. I have accomplished things I never thought I could, lifted heavier weight than I ever thought possible, and pushed through times that make other hard things, like college, or even a marathon, pale in comparison. And somehow it’s all worth it. But my thoughts today are on the off season. Bikini competitors and all body builders alike know what I mean when I say we’re ruined. Once you’ve seen your body at 13% or 10% or hell, 2% body fat, everything else is “fat”. I watch countless posts on facebook of insecure, normal looking fit people criticizing themselves or justifying a selfie by calling their normal body fatted bodies “fluffy”, usually in an attempt to attain some sort of affirmation that they’re still insanely hot. “Fluffy?” as if fat is made of cotton candy and whipped cream and it just floats around us like extra fur. No.

So this is a message to myself, and all the others who constantly criticize their “fluffy” bodies in off season: YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT. Someone who stays at 10%(women) all year round is a) doing steroids, b) not getting gains, and c) miserable. Now I’m not saying that you have to gain 30 pounds (I’ve seen others put on 50 or more), after a show like I did after my first. As a representative of the fitness community, especially if you are a personal trainer (because for some reason I can’t train you while eating cupcakes, but that sounds fun and I’ll put it on the bucket list), you should stay decently lean because you’ll have to lose it again, and people can’t see those awesome muscles you bust ass for every day otherwise. But we have to stop criticizing ourselves for being in the average range! Or even people who criticize themselves who are still in the athletic range for body fat! You must do this to put on muscle! You must live your life! And you probably still look amazing! No one else is walking around dissecting watermelon like we are and no one else noticed that your delt vein went away. Enjoy your cheat meals. Enjoy your clean eating too. But most importantly, enjoy your boobs that finally came back.

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Debunking 11 Of Your Most Common Fitness Myths!

We’re 7.5 weeks out. I’m down 16 pounds so far from where I originally started in early January, and we’re trying to slow it down at this point so that we don’t lose any more muscle. My coach has it all planned out and it’s going great! Or as well as not eating grilled cheese and fudge for every meal can possibly go.

My store sells weight management and sports nutrition supplements, and doles out advice to all who enter. I also have been a trainer for years and get asked questions regularly outside of work. Or over text. Or on Facebook. Or from people pretending  to make friends with me in exchange for free advice on how to lose weight, if it’s not too much trouble! Here you go, folks. I’m going to save you (and me) some hassle and debunk the most annoying and most commonly asked questions that are just wrong… so just stop.

1. I don’t really want to lose any weight! I just want to tone up!

False. You just don’t know what you want. “Toning up” involves losing body fat, and gaining muscle. You will have to clean up your diet and work out more. You can’t go to the gym twice a week and see results. You can’t cardio this one out. You need to eat less shit and eat more whole natural foods. And lift weights. You can run until your feet fall off and never have a firm, round booty. You’re gonna have to squat for that. I don’t care if it’s high rep, low weight, power-lifting, 5 sets of 5, or 3 sets of 10. Put a bar on your shoulders, add whatever weight you feel like you can handle with out looking stupid, and drop it drop it low, girl (or boy).

2. What supplements can I take that will make me lose weight/get stronger/bulk up/build muscle/just lose this right here.

Sweat. Hard work. Getting off your butt. Meal prepping. Supplements are designed to help amplify your results. Muscles are built as a result of torn or over-worked muscle fibers repairing themselves. Supplements can make that repairing process happen faster, but YOU have to work and break them down first. In the gym. 5-6 days a week. While draining your bank account eating all the protein and vegetables that you can afford. Steroids are the same story (don’t do steroids). Your work will show up faster, but there is no quick fix, just quicker fixes. The same goes for weight loss. If you diet when you’re taking fat burners and metabolism boosters, you will most likely see extra results (everyone’s different), but whereas you may have lost an eighth a pound that day, you may lose a quarter pound instead, with the aid of supplements. If you take a fat burner and eat a whole bag of chips, your body will still be burning more calories, but probably not enough for your scale to decrease. In fact, it may still increase. That bag of chips is 800-1000 calories, and you burned an extra 200 maybe. Plus salt and fast absorption carbs cause water retention and will make the scale go up regardless of calories consumed. You do the math.  It’s not that the supplements don’t work. You’re the one not doing the work. <—I go through this about 10 times a day. I wish I could send a memo out with this information to all of Asheville, or just post it to the door.

3. I work out all the time, but I just can’t lose any weight!

You can’t outwork a bad diet. Your diet is the problem, I guarantee it. You may burn up to 600-700 calories in an hour long cardio work out! An hour of sweat and tears and boredom while watching Maury break up fights on the TV converts into about 1 piece of cake, 2.5 slices of cheese pizza, or one “healthy choice” on the Applebee’s menu. 1 pound of fat is 3500 calories. So, if you don’t over eat, with out any cheats, doing’ cardio for an hour a day, 4-5 DAYS LATER YOU WILL HAVE LOST ONE MEASLY POUND. So do yourself a favor and eat right.

4. Since I’ve been working out, I’ve gained weight, but that’s just muscle, right?

No. Again, it’s your diet. In a YEAR of lifting weights, taking tons of muscle-promoting supplements, eating 150 grams of protein a day, I’ve put on maybe 5-7 pounds of lean muscle. Men are different and can put on more, and it is more accelerated in the beginning, but you did not just gain 5 pounds of muscle in your first month of treadmill walking. What happened was that you justified eating more because you were working out, or you got hungrier because your metabolism is now working harder. It’s not a bad thing, but you have to find the tricks to working through it, like adding protein and fiber to your meals to keep you fuller longer. Ignore the voice in your head saying you need a post-work out muffin, or an Chicken-Strips-Have-Protein-In-Them-So-They’re-Cool-Right from Cookout. The craving will go away as soon as you put a protein shake, piece of baked chicken, or a bowl of quinoa for you vegetarians, into your body.

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Trust the process- I’m just like you, only crazier.

      So we’re at 9 weeks and 4 days away from my second bikini competition. This week has challenged my patience a bit. I lost 4 pounds last week. Now to most people, they would be ecstatic. But it turns out, I’m slightly obsessive and insane! You know how when you have a drink, you think, “that was good, I like this feeling. I should keep doing this, disregarding my slowly fading memories of hangovers,” until you’re heads deep in a strangers toilet and your new dress seems way less classy covered in shame and vomit. So when losing weight, 4 pounds looked so good, I’d like to lose 10! If 10 pounds look good, I’d lose 20. It’s just the way the mind of an addictive maniac works.
      This week’s patience test has been that damned scale. I don’t know many times, as a fitness professional that I’ve told other people to not worry about the scale, watch their inches instead, weigh only once a week, and just “trust the process.” But when it comes to practicing my own advice, surprise! I am a hypocrite! The scale hasn’t budged in 5 days. I have people telling me they noticed my weight loss. It’s visible and it’s happening. There is progress, none the less. I need to TRUST THE PROCESS (my coach’s favorite saying). NO CUTTING OUT FOOD or making judgement calls on what’s “enough”. Stick to your diet and trust your coach. They’re doing what they do because they’ve been around for a while doing this. Starving won’t help. Over-eating won’t satisfy you. Just stay focused and get it done!
Success breeds success. Focus on your aspirations and keep them in the fore-front of you brain during every decision. “Obsessed is a word lazy people used to describe dedication”.
I am still picking out my suit! It’s so expensive, but you know what they say, glued-on plastic crystals are a girls best friend!
I also found this photo from my last show! #TBT I can’t wait to see the final package on show day!
auuudddrrrrraaaa
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