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Self Discovery!

Little did I know that my decision made back in Dec 2014 to compete in a Bikini competition would bring me on such a roller coaster of an experience? I wish I would have blogged thru the entire journey but save that for next time because "yes" there will be a next time. I am not sure when that next time will be- but it was a great experience and I'm not ready to hang up my bedazzled bikini and hooker heels just yet!!

So many didn't exactly understand what a bikini competition was all about- some thought I was like a Tropicana swim suit model, to some I was powerlifting on a stage, others thought I was a bodybuilder and some just really didn't have a clue!

Nonetheless I received amazing support and encouragement from everyone I encountered- and many times that encouragement was what motivated me to finish my last round of cardio or not get off track with my nutrition. Lesson learned here is take time to offer that encouragement to others, a genuine smile and caring heart can truly be the best part of someone’s day and it doesn't cost a penny!

I stood on stage with many strong, fit and beautiful women but we all had our own story- our own journey to the stage. Mine was filled with many ups and downs along the way, but that is all part of the ride, part of the experience that made it so exciting and worthwhile. I know many are curious of what my nutrition and training plan were like and although I am happy to share some of that information or answer questions, I do ask you keep the following things in mind-

- My goal was to step on stage as a bikini competitor and with that comes a VERY strict & sometimes extreme plan

- My starting point was MY STARTING POINT- we all start at different places

- Our bodies are all different, what worked for me, might not work best for you and vice versa

- My plan changed many times throughout my prep- depending on how my body was responding, how I looked and as I got closer to my show.

For me the training was the easiest- I love working out, although the cardio was sometimes a chore. I lifted weights 5-6x week, and my cardio started out only 3-4x week for 30min but was increased to 60min 6x week and another session of 20-30min 5x week for the last 6 weeks or so to work on coming in leaner. Cardio was often my classes that I teach like Cycling or TBC- I did the step mill and incline walking. No running which I missed but I didn't have the energy to run anyway.

Nutrition is really key when changing your physique and truly the toughest part- But it is not rocket science by any means, and most of us know what to do its just doing it that is the tough part.

I ate 5-6x per day. Lean proteins including- chicken, fish, eggs, tuna, protein powders, lean red meat- Complex carbs were brown rice, jasmine rice, sweet potatoes, oats, cream of wheat. Lots of veggies which I love- Brussel sprouts, salads, cucumbers, asparagus, broccoli slaw, green beans, zucchini, (as you notice all green veggies) Good healthy fat sources from Peanut Butter, avocado, almonds, coconut oil. I didn't use many condiments/seasonings other than jalapeño mustard, Walden farms dressing, Mrs. Dash seasoning, and olive oil cooking spray.

I know supplements is a HOT TOPIC for many & we think the magic is in a pill or drink and I wish I could say that was the case- But I am a firm believer in good healthy real food and kick ass training. I will post more on supplementation in another blog post but for now......

I did use protein bars in the beginning Quest Bars which are very tasty- but I discovered a few things after eliminating them- they never really filled me up and often because of the high fiber and sugar alcohols they gave me a belly bloat and gas :( I haven't had one in mths and maybe in a pinch I might buy one but they are rather spendy and I would rather have real food.

I did use protein powder during my prep and will continue to as it is sometimes very difficult to consume protein throughout the day. I also enjoy them post workout. This is a personal preference, there are SO many brands out there- I found a few that I really like because the taste is amazing and I refuse to drink something that tastes gross. But again this isn't required.

I am 9 days post show and there is still so much I have to say and want to share, but I know I don't need to do it in 1 blog post, this is a blog after all not a novel!!

I will leave you with these last thoughts.......

I am 43, a mom of 2, wife of 13 years, no special genetics, and no magic wand! I set a goal, developed a plan, hired a coach, worked my ass off, fell down many times, cried over burnt rice, really wanted to eat dessert and sometimes did, looked for inspiration in my kids, my husband, my clients, friends at the Y, random strangers!

My point.......I am human and I am you!!!

You have the power, the strength, the determination, to achieve your goal whatever that may be you just need to dig down deep and find it.

Dream and Dream Big- the only person standing in your way is YOU!!!

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