Monday, July 28, 2014

Progress - 4 Weeks Out

The time is flying! I can't believe there's less than 4 weeks to the first show. {insert panic attack HERE}  We're working on nailing down that posing song (think we've got it, but I have to "walk" it today to be sure), and my stage makeup... I've spent a little too much time on Pinterest lately, lol. Yesterday we took progress pics. I will warn you now... I was not feeling well and my posing is OFF. Like, bad-off. However, the good, the bad, the ugly - I promised to share it all, so here it is. Side by side comparisons...

My obliques and legs really do have definition, I just wasn't flexing hard enough. Boo.

Mentally, I had a rough weekend - hence the couldn't flex to save my life problem, but I'm moving past it. The food is just mechanical at this point... not a lot of variation. Though we did add in sunflower seeds - for the salt & potassium. Water is at a gallon and a half. Glug! My favorite part of the day is sipping my iced black coffee :-) I'm doing 30 minutes fasted cardio in the morning, my workout during the day, then 45 minutes cardio in the evening (usually a mix of HIIT and steady). 4x/week I do 20 minutes in the dry sauna, and twice a week I meet with my posing coaches (though I practice daily).

Pretty much my whole world revolves around prep. I'm either exercising, eating, food-prepping, doing laundry, or sleeping. Lol. Friday's are still my carb and rest day - full rest day, which means that I typically find myself going a little crazy. ;-) But - well, I guess crazy is normal for me, eh? ;-)

Ok... I have to go switch laundry, then I'm going to enjoy the last of my iced coffee. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Facing Criticism...

There you see my iced coffee, tilapia burger with
pico, avocado, black grapes and white peaches. YUM!
So... Where to begin? Last weekend was great. Super busy, but a lot of fun. Friday was my rest and carb day. I enjoyed each and every gram, lol. Friday night, I packed up my cooler with snacks, then Bill, Shiloh and I had dinner out, then hit the NPC show. I was very excited to discover that Longhorn Steak House has an allergen menu! Woot! It made ordering so easy!!!

The show was fabulous. Friday night was all the prejudging, and a couple of the great folks who've been helping me with posing were competing. We watched the show, took notes, and just generally had fun. Saturday I did all my workouts and cardio, then we went back to Mesa to watch the finals of the NPC. It really helped me to understand how the two-day shows work, since my 2nd show planned is a 2-day NPC. It was a fun night, and I'm glad we went.

Then came Sunday. First let me explain that Sunday was leg day. Leg day is my nemesis. As you can see in my latest video post, I'm really, really good at stalling on leg day. Ha! Anyway. By this point in the day, I'd done my fasted cardio, eaten a couple times, done a boat-load of work, I'm tired, I hate leg day, I'm tired, I'm back at the gym instead of spending precious time with my family... you get the idea. So... I go inside, scope out an available squat rack, and happen to run into someone who's opinion I respect. A lot. We chatted about his competition experience and future goals, then he asked about where I was at. I gave him the stats and that's when it happened. The pin hit my balloon. The nail punctured my tire. The cloud settled over my head.

He said... "You've got to GET ON IT. You have GOT to do the HIIT. You HAVE to do the diet. You have GOT to hit this hard or you're not going to make it."

What??? Are you serious?? Now... I know that I'm responsible for my own emotional state - and the way I take things isn't necessarily how they were meant. But. And let's just say... BIG but, wow that came out of left field! I felt like he was questioning my work ethic, my dedication and commitment to the diet, the cardio, the work. I felt like he was questioning my ability to complete the journey. I felt like he was saying I was half-assing it. And I was crushed. I wanted to scream, "what more do you want??? what more can I possibly do???" I didn't. Of course. I smiled, nodded, thanked him and headed to the squat rack.

And... I killed leg day. There's just nothing like churning emotions to bring out the "I'll show you!" attitude. Unfortunately, that wore off and by the time I got home I was a wreck. Booooo. And my poor hubby had to listen to my rant and whine. :-(

The comments, though well meaning, left me feeling that I wasn't doing enough, wasn't good enough. Ugh. Thankfully, my patient and loving husband was there for me, then Monday I had a long talk with Kayla about it. She pointed out the flaws in what he said, and where he was saying it from. Not the least of which is that I am right where I'm supposed to be. I am cutting exactly as she anticipated (because hello... age IS a factor here - I'm not 20 years old and won't cut like a 20 year old). She has every confidence that I'll get where we're going. She also let me know that she knows I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing. I am 100% compliant, in all areas. Period.

It was a relief to hear all that, and a soothing balm to know that she believes in me - sees how hard I'm working. I struggle every single day with thoughts of giving up. This is hard, folks. I'm almost 44 years old and I have the joints of a 70 year old. Physically, this is taking everything I have. Then you add in the cost personally... I'm missing out on family time. Shi will be moving back to San Diego at the end of September and through her whole time here I've been in competition mode. Bethy is about to start up college again... and through her whole summer I've been in competition mode. Bill gets limited time away from work (he's on the phone sometimes as late as 9 or 10 pm) - his time is precious, and mine is committed to this journey. Competing isn't all sparkles and muscle. It's hard. In every way.

I'm not giving up. I won't give up. That doesn't mean I don't struggle with it. Especially when hit with criticism. This is the real world. And, haha, as my kids say... the struggle is real. Fo' sho'.  ;-)

Once Kayla got me talked off the ledge, lol, I was able to (mostly) set it aside. Later that day was my appointment to pick up my suit. Want a sneak peek? :-)

We've also narrowed down my stage "look". Friday I'll be heading to the mall to play with makeup and consult with my hair-genius, lol. I'm really looking forward to that. I need some girly fun :-)

Today was once again, Leg Day. They're feeling pretty toasted. I'm soon to head back for a quick hamstring session followed by cardio and dry sauna, then my hour of posing practice. Going to be another long night. I'm hoping to be home tonight before 10pm. My abs are playing hide and go seek... some days they pop (like today), other days they're MIA. We'll be experimenting with my carbs this friday to see what we can do to capture those buggers.

Anyway... the drama/crisis is past, and I'm back to the day to day grind. Lots and lots of fish. A gallon and a half of water. Sweat, sweat and more sweat. And a ticking clock. This is life five weeks from show, lol.

Speaking of fish... have I mentioned what a wonderful husband I have? Poor guy had to field my, "OMG, I'm a pound and a half short of Tilapia!!!" moment while I was doing prep last night. What's he do? Heads right out to the store to go buy me some. Then calls me... they're out of Tilapia. He volunteers to go to another store. They were out, too. How crazy is that? True love was me telling him to just come home, lol, and not to try another store - which he offered to do (also true love). Hahahaha! Today I managed to find more Tilapia, so all is well in the world. Little trivia... I go through a pound and a half of Tilapia each day. Yep. EACH DAY. And I prep 3 days at a time.

Just keep swimmin', swimmin', swimmin'...  ;-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Random Thoughts on Being 5.5 Weeks From Show...

If you read my last post, you know that a difficult weekend led to some crucial refining in my thinking. Since that epiphany, lol, things have not gotten better, easier, or smoother. Not gonna lie - prep and real life are just as hard now as they were before I accepted my ownership. My head is in a better place, for sure, but...

I'm so sore.  I want a caramel iced latte with extra-extra-extra caramel (hold the whipped topping - ya know, just hold the latte and hand over the caramel, k?). I want french fries. I want a nap. Did I mention that I'm sore?

Yesterday's workout was tough - and I mean TOUGH. It was leg day, which on its own makes my soul quiver in fear, but the air quality and humidity are so bad here that I was already having breathing issues before I even walked into the gym.   Oh - and before I go further... my car is in the shop because there's a crack in the radiator, the ac is out, and something is wrong with the power steering - or something. So, I was either getting rides from helpful daughters or borrowing their cars. Anyway... we're in our first round of exercises when I realized that I have officially reached that point.

What point? The one where I now cry during workouts. #@Q#$!!!  I hate that!!! Kayla took it well, recognizing and understanding it while not giving in to it. Good coach. So now we're in the second grouping of exercises... deadlifts, then walking wide lunges w/20# bar on my shoulders, then hip thrusts (those are just so awkward, lol). First time through, I hit a full blown asthma attack. ARGH! Out comes the inhaler. Barking seal goes away, HR comes down, and we move on. Second time through - damn barking is back. I focused on the breathing - not easy when my throat was already tight from tears, finally got it under control. Third time through - again!!! Kayla says, "Ok, next round (fyi it's the last one for these), we'll skip the lunges."  F-that.  Inhaler med finally kicked in (what freakin' took so long???) and I told her I could do it. And I did. That's a victory and I'll take it.

We moved on to the rest of the workout. There were a few tears, a few grunts, but I finished. That's what matters. I did it, and I finished. Back home, I made 3 batches of Tilapia burgers, lol. I am stocked! Worked, then back to the gym for cardio. Home again, had dinner, relaxed with the hubby, then protein shake, then bed. This morning when I woke for my fasted cardio I could barely move my legs. Ugh.

Regardless... me and Season 1, Episode 7 of Alias got it done. ;-) Today's gone per plan. Workout with Kayla (back/biceps), work-work-work, errands, blog, then I go back in a bit for cardio and dry sauna. At 9pm I'm working with my posing coaches for an hour. Seriously - these folks are amazing. They're competing Friday night, (they are depleted, mentally and physically) but they're making the time to help me.

Oh, as a follow up to my car situation... the dealer finally gave me a loaner, so at least there's that. I should be able to pick up my car sometime tomorrow. Not holding my breath.

Anyway... all that rigmarole to say that things are what they are. I'm eating, workout out, cardio'ing and generally walking the walk. It takes a lot of daily minutia and repetition to reach big goals... I'd love to have something deep and meaningful to share each day of my journey - but it's just not there. Lol. Or maybe it is, but my carb-deprived brain can't locate the thoughts. Could be.

Hey, I did learn a funny thing today - those horrid dressing room mirrors? I found out what they're good for - spontaneous posing practice. LOL!!