Thursday, June 30, 2011

Food for Today - Right on track!

Clean Eating Cooler - Chelle's food for today - Figure Competition Diet
Post Workout -  1 Blueberry Protein Muffin.
Breakfast -  3 Zucchini Protein Muffin.
Snack: 3 oz chicken breast, peach
Lunch - 5 oz baked Swai with 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower, 4 oz baked sweet potato.
Snack -  3 oz shredded pork tenderloin w/salsa and 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower.
Dinner -  5 oz baked Swai, 1 cup
steamed zucchini
Pre-bed Snack -
Protein Ice Cream.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1373 calories
47% protein
30% carb
23% fat
38.7 g fiber

I have a new favorite tea! Have you tried this one? 
Celestial Seasonings White Tea Perfectly Pear
Celestial Seasonings White Tea Perfectly Pear

Whimpers and Roars

Abs class last night rocked. Of course, all of Tab's classes rock :-)  I followed it up with 45 minutes of steady-state cardio on the elliptical. I cleaned up my sweaty self and headed to the bowling alley to cheer on my guys. The alley has a policy against outside food, but when they see me coming with my cooler, they just look away. Probably because I've been known to say, "When they sell food I can eat, I'll stop bringing my own."  Or maybe my biceps scare them. Lol.

clean eating dinner at the bowling alley for a figure competitor
So dinner was my usual Wednesday night fare... chicken breast, mustard, and raw peppers. Bowling went until 9pm, so we didn't get home until 9:15. I had made a deal with myself... I couldn't open my shoes (my competition shoes arrived yesterday at 3:30pm, but I wouldn't be home until after 9) until after I started my protein ice cream (which takes 20 min. in the cuisinart). So while the shoebox sat on my dining room table teasing me, I quickly threw together my ingredients in the magic bullet, then got the ice cream maker going. I washed my hands and eagerly approached the box. I was so excited!! Tab had told me to bring them with me in the morning so we could start posing practice with them (it's definitely time for that!).

Here we go!
Rip goes the tape.
Pop goes the top.
"sniffle, sniffle" goes Chelle.

They were the wrong shoes.

Then I thought, well, these are pretty, maybe they can work... nope. Wrong size.
At this point I was reminded again of my emotional roller coaster. The mood swings are vicious, I'm tellin' ya! It's crazy! Increase activity/intensity, decrease food, delete treats and you've got a woman who's going to meltdown at the least provocation. It's really silly, but there ya have it.

I ate my ice cream and went to bed.

This morning, the alarm clock went off and I was up and aiming for the coffee pot. My 6:30 am workout was intense (more on that shortly), and then I had my post-workout Blueberry Protein Muffin and headed into work. I emailed Norma, the Suit Lady, and she emailed me back so fast I was stunned! She's taking care of it right now. How amazing is that customer service? I'm telling you, Norma is the QUEEN, and I'm so glad Tab sent me to her! We've all had horror stories about customer service, order problems and so on, but Norma just swoops in and fixes it - quick as a blink! Wow! Nicely Done,! :-)

So... this morning's workout.
Back & Biceps with some posing. Slowly but surely, I'll get that posing down. It seems like you should just be able to stand, pose and be done, but man... so very not that easy. Each muscle has to be tensed while holding an aesthetically pleasing pose... while breathing... for an extended length of time. And that was the easy part of my workout. Lol.

We started on the assisted pullup machine, went to standing cable-rows, then bicep curls. Since when do bicep curls burn on the 2nd rep? My head started screwing with me... what a wimp! seriously, you're this weak? you suck!  Oh shut up, I told myself!  I rested then started round 2, then onto round 3 and so on. At one point I was hearing this funny sound... I'm trying to get through these curls, my eyes are closed, I'm blowing out, I'm focused, and I keep hearing this sound... what is that? Is that a... a whimper? Where the heck is that coming from? OMG, it's coming from me! Am I whimpering??? WTH???

I consider myself pretty tough. I work hard. Really hard. I'm proud of the work I do in the gym - the intensity I bring to my workouts. My own husband won't workout with me because I'm too "hardcore". And now I'm whimpering during bicep curls? In short... yes.  And everything in me is screaming that this is NOT OK.

I know I've said it before, but really, this process  has me feeling weaker than I've ever felt in my life. I am not the same fat, out of shape woman who couldn't do 2 minutes on an elliptical 5 years ago, but every time I start a workout, I sure feel like I am - despite what I see in the mirror.

The mental game is brutal. I am so thankful for Tab! I talked to her this morning about this, and asked her how she handled it... her trainer/coach was a guy! Guy's don't get the tears or the fears or any of the girly aspects of this merry-go-round... I can't even imagine! Not only do I have a girl-coach, but she was my personal trainer who taught me how to take control and change my life - was with me every step of the way, cheering me on and teaching me. She is my best friend, and apart from my husband, knows me better than anyone else does (except my mom, cuz mom's always know more about you than you think, lol). Tab gets it. She knows what I'm going through, she knows what to expect. And she puts up with me and loves me anyway. Gotta respect that. When I asked her to be my coach 17 weeks ago, I really had no idea the emotional dump truck I was bringing to her door. Now that I've got a glimpse of what this road is like, not only am I grateful to her for sharing this journey with me, but I've gotta wonder what screws are loose in her head that she agreed - knowing what was coming.   :-)

So with Tab in my corner, my husband and family supporting me, and my determination to reach my goal and grow, I will accept the occasional whimper in the gym. I don't have to like it, but I will accept it as part of the process because while I might whimper now, when I'm done I'm going to ROAR!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Booo for Ozzy-Mommy

For those who have accused me of not sharing the negatives on my journey... this post is for you.

So my personal-growth homework assignment was to attend a Zumba class by myself yesterday. I did. Let me give you a little of the back-story. First, there are a few things about me you should know, if you don't already:

1. I am shy. Painfully shy. Hide in the corner and try not to cry shy. (Now put me on a computer with a keyboard and I'm bubbly-betty!)
2. I am a klutz. I run into things for no reason. I used to think they jumped out at me, but that was just wishful thinkin'. I'm just a klutz.
3. I have no rhythm. Over the years, I have had brief brilliant moments of rhythm, then I think about it and it's gone. Refer back to #2.

So... I have attended Zumba a few times. Always in the company of Tab, and sometimes another friend. My goal in this class is to not injure anyone. Yeah, I'm that bad. No kidding, one time I managed to clear a personal space of about 15 feet all around me - people were that afraid. I'm serious.  In the company of friends, I could maybe someday (in a new millennium or alternate universe) see how this could be fun. On my own - absolutely not. With my knees, the format is too bouncy, too many quick moves & pivots. Then add in my innate shy & klutz, and you have my usual Zumba-MO... frustrated tears. Remember how much I hate to cry? REALLY hate to cry, especially the I-can't-control-these-tears-they-just-pop-out-when-I'm-frustrated crying. Which brings me to yesterday's assignment.

I drove to the gym. I want points for that. I sat in my car a moment, digging for the willpower to walk in. I walked in. I want double points for that. No one was in the class. Room was dark, so I grabbed my notebook and started creating recipes (yes, this is what I do when I have a few moments). Eventually others show up, and finally the instructor. We all file into the room, and the music starts to play. There's a bit of shuffling as folks stake out their spots. No, I'm sorry, this is my space. Yes, I'm quite serious - you'll thank me later.

You know those super-chirpy folks? The one's who are just so darn excited to be here and aren't we all going to have so much fun? The ones who make those cutesy little faces as they talk and direct class? The ones you want a nice cream pie to smash into their perky faces??? Yes. The instructor was one of those. A sweetheart, really, I know her outside of class, and she's a doll. But once she got going, I wanted that pie.

I could not keep up. This was clearly a regular routine that the class did, as either the class knew all the moves or could read the instructor's mind. I jerked and bounced, bobbled and weaved, and thought, "what the hell am I doing here?" This wasn't fun. Fine, I was there, I was moving, but I wasn't enjoying it. Sure, given enough time and practice, I might learn the steps - will that make it more fun for me? NO. I could invest the time and effort into learning more about astro-physics, but that won't make it any more my kind of fun. It's just not me. I know many, many people love Zumba - more power to 'em. Enjoy. It's all yours. There's a million other things I'd rather put my time and energy into. Please understand, I am NOT bashing Zumba, I simply don't belong there. When class began the final cool-down, I grabbed my stuff and ducked out the door. I didn't need a cool-down, my heart-rate was at 78. Sorry, but I could sit in my car in the 116 degree heat and get a better caloric burn than that. Blek.
I didn't cry until I got in my car. I want points for that, too. I was soooo frustrated! I hate doing things I'm not good at, I hate even more doing things I'm not good at and simply don't care about. And it hurts. Physically, it hurts my knees. I could put up with that if it was fun - but it's not. So, I decided, wiping the freakin' tears off my face, I'm not doing it again. I'm done with Zumba. The divorce is final and all parties are free to move on. I know the purpose was to get me out of my comfort zone, but there are other ways and means. There have to be.
So... angry, frustrated, and still fighting tears, I drove home. Home where I was immediately bombarded - I need the car, when's dinner, so-and-so's coming over, the dog needs water... I wasn't even in the door yet! I bet you can guess what happened next. Can I give you just a little more backstory for the day? Remember that I'd gotten my first ticket in 18 years that morning, then was crazy busy all day, and yesterday was one of my HUNGRY days... I was seriously hungry, and then the Zumba fiasco...

I became Ozzy-Mommy. I am not proud of this, but I am honest. I started biting off heads as I made my into the house. My children first, then two children I don't even know, then the dog. I tried to take a breath and reign it in, and then the hubby got it, too. Damnit. I hate when I'm Ozzy-Mommy. Thankfully, I have the world's most amazing husband. And thankfully, he's so exhausted himself that he didn't have the energy to knock me on my emotional ass like I deserved. After my whirling twister of terror, Bill and I headed out back where I could sit in peace for 5 gawdamn minutes (ok, so I was still a little wound up), and he gently talked me down. But I was still hungry.

I texted back and forth with Tab over the Zumba thing. She confirmed, the point wasn't to punish me, lol, but to move me outside my box by doing it alone. Success, I guess. But I am done. I can see that in the right company, it can be a fun goofy event. In my living room with the X-Box Kinnect, sure - goofy fun. But for me on my own, in a class, it holds no appeal - and it's not worth the amount of knee-icing I have to do afterwards. There are other things I can do and enjoy.

Anyway, so once Ozzy-Mommy retired for the night, I managed to get dinner out for everyone - the chicken loaf and smashed chipotle sweet potatoes I'd made during my Sunday Food Prep (see recipe page if you want the recipes). It got gobbled up, while I ate my baked Swai and steamed zucchini. I also tried a new recipe I'd found on a figure competitor's site - omg, major epic unbelievable fail. Truly one of the worst things I've ever tasted. Ew blehk. Bill and the kids had a blast watching the various expressions cross my face. Delightful. It did, however, make me really appreciate my evening protein ice-cream, lol! :-) I'm still playing with the Salted Caramel Custard flavor. I'm getting closer :-)

The day at an end, I crashed hoping that Ozzy-Mommy would stay far-far-away. And for some reason I dreamed about bats. Huh.

This morning, my usual workout was rearranged since the AC is out at the studio. I did HIIT on the StairMaster for 30 minutes followed by 10 minutes of steady state. I was going to say I felt great, but haha, brutal cardio doesn't feel great, lol. It was, however, an awesome session! I had no hamstring pain, minimal knee pain, and I got a great burn. Whew! I was a sweaty mess. Know how to tell I wear super industrial strength sports bras?

I was able to wring out my sports bra, but the "stay-dri" technology really did keep my shirt dry! LOL!!!

When I got home, I enjoyed 2 blueberry protein muffins - had planned on just one, but was so freakin hungry, I figured I could tweak something in my food later in the day, but I needed more than just the one. After two, I felt human. To make up for it, I traded my usual bowl of oatmeal for 2 more muffins for breakfast. Was that confusing? I just re-read that and confused myself. I like the protein muffins (1) for immediately after a workout/cardio in the a.m. because it shoots a quick dose of natural sugar into my bloodstream to replenish depleted glycogen stores in my muscles, while the protein  goes to work repairing those muscles. One muffin fits fine into my macros and calories, as well as my diet parameters, so I while I count it, I don't worry about it (you can look on my cooler pg on the fitday info and see how it all works out). So having two muffins this morning, I was concerned that I was screwing up my macros/calories - but by not having my regular oatmeal bowl for breakfast, and replacing it with 2 more muffins (zucchini), I came out right where I need to be.

After work I head back to the gym, where I'll have Tab's 15 minute Abs Express class followed by 45 minutes of steady-state cardio. After that, I will clean up (the bowling alley will thank me), then had to cheer on my guys at the alley. Summer league goes later, so I won't be home until after 9pm (about 30 minutes before my car turns into a pumpkin). I'll whip up my protein ice cream, snarf it down, then crash. Thursday morning will be Back & Arms. As sore as I am right now, I'm a little scared. LOL! 

Daily Food Accountability :-)

Clean Eating Cooler - Chelle's food for today - Figure Competition Diet
Post Workout -  2 Blueberry Protein Muffin.

Breakfast -  2 Zucchini Protein Muffin.

Snack: Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf, peach

Lunch - 5 oz baked Swai with 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower, 4 oz baked sweet potato. 

Snack -  3 oz chicken breast, 10 raw almonds, and 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower

Dinner -  3 oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup raw peppers

Pre-bed Snack -
Protein Ice Cream.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1442 calories
46% protein
30% carb
24% fat
40.3 g fiber

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daily Cooler, Workout, and a Ticket?? Really??

Clean Eating Cooler - Chelle's food for today - Figure Competition Diet
Today's Cooler

Post Workout -  1 Blueberry Protein Muffin.
Breakfast -  Oatmeal with protein powder, ground flax seed & cinnamon.
Snack: Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf, peach
Lunch - 3 oz Chicken Breast with 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower, 4 oz baked sweet potato.
Snack -  3 oz chicken breast, 10 raw almonds, and 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower.
Dinner - 5 oz baked Swai, 1 cup steamed zucchini
Pre-bed Snack - Protein Ice Cream.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1436 calories
46% protein
31% carb
23% fat
37.7 g fiber

Workout Activity....
After work yesterday, I was back at the gym for Tab's TBC class.  Total Body Conditioning, and she tweaked the format to go Boot Camp style. It was brutal and awesome! I have no idea how many jumping jacks I did, let along varieties of jumping jacks! And the Squats, Lunges... Yowza! A little kickboxing, a little step, some weights... it was terrific!

Back home, I had Swai & steamed asparagus, while the fam had Taco Salad, then got to relax for about an hour before it was time to start prepping the ice-cream. Is it just me, or are the days getting shorter? Lol. Too much to do!

This morning, my chest is soooo sore! And my glutes! Woohoo! And then it was leg-day. NO HAMSTRING PAIN! Well, nothing "bad", just good 'ol muscle work! YES!!! Running late, I flew back home after my workout with the WGT (World's Greatest Trainer), got ready (20 minutes! Nice!) while gobbling up a Blueberry protein muffin and a cup of coffee (really kids, quit taking my conditioner! and my hairbrush!), then as I'm dashing out the door (I'm gonna get to work on time!), Ariel rolls out of bed (late) and needs a ride to work. This makes me late, which puts me in a rush, which is the reason I made the poor choice to speed on the way to work after dropping her off.

Ah, I see you know where this is heading.

My first freakin' ticket in 18 years. Dagnabbit! I'm so mad at myself! Ha, and a little at Ariel. Lol. Drat! Thankfully I can do online traffic school, but now I've got to come up with the fine. DRAT!! I'd kick myself, but my legs are wiped out from the workout. Argh.

Anyway, hungry and annoyed, I finally made it to the office and had my oatmeal. This put me in a better mood. Lol. Today, aside from work, haha, I have to make a dash to WalMart to get some photos printed and buy a bag of Swai (forgot that one on Sunday, oops!). Then after work I have a cardio homework. Tab has given me the challenge of attending a Zumba class. By myself. I scared. Zumba is traumatic to me. I am uncoordinated and easily frustrated. When I am frustrated, I tear up. I hate to cry. Really, really hate to cry. I have only attended ONE Zumba class that I did not cry in. ONE. Oy. 5:30 pm today will find me in the last row of the Group Fit room, hoping desperately I do not injure anyone with my innate klutz. Please, oh please, don't let me injure someone!

So for now, I am putting it out of my mind, and hoping I'll end up having some fun, but now I am ready to eat. Ha, when aren't I? Seriously though, it's time for my snack. FOOD! Plus, this is the snack-time I can have fruit and I have a big juicy peach just waiting to be savored!
Buh-bye!    :-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Today's Food and Embracing Failure...

Clean Eating Cooler - Chelle's food for today - Figure Competition Diet
Post Workout -  1 Blueberry Protein Muffin.
Breakfast -  Oatmeal with protein powder, ground flax seed & cinnamon.
Snack: 3 oz chicken breast, peach
Lunch - 3 oz Chicken Breast with 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower, 4 oz baked sweet potato.
Snack -  Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf with 1 cup
steamed broccoli / cauliflower.
Dinner - 5 oz baked Swai, 1 cup
steamed asparagus
Pre-bed Snack -
Protein Ice Cream.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1401 calories
45% protein
33% carb
22% fat
40.4 g fiber

Workout Activity....
Yesterday was my full Rest day, and boy I enjoyed it! Getting all my Sunday Food Prep done meant I wasn't sitting on my ass all day, lol, but moving at a quick and steady pace. This morning, Tab killed my worked my chest. I'm going to have to learn that weak is ok. It's hard for me to accept failure as a good thing. I know in my head, that I'm working hard, but when my body gives out I feel as if I've let myself down. It's really difficult to change my mindset. As we went through the workout, Tab and I talked about this, and it helps so much that she gets it... really gets it, has experienced it herself. She reassured me that what I'm feeling is normal (and to suck it up and get used to it, lol).

So we worked me until I dropped. And I did. Last pushup and my arms collapsed. Lol. Definitely the last pushup. I drove home and had a Blueberry protein muffin (soooo yummy!), then readied for the day. It was much nicer to shower and dress this morning than it was on Saturday... I forgot to mention that Friday when we got home from our friend's (11pm) we learned that the AC had gone out. We all passed a miserable night... brutally hot, and all the bedrooms are upstairs. Saturday was even worse as temps rose, and the house baked. I finally grabbed Bethany and we went to the mall just for the air conditioning! 112 that day, and it was even hotter upstairs in my house. Thankfully, the landlord got the AC guy out and we had air Saturday night... sort of, it took until about 4am Sunday for the house to reach a decent temp. Thank goodness it's fixed!! 

After work tonight, I head back to the gym for Tab's Total Body Conditioning class. While I'm there, Bill is setting out dinner - the taco meat I made yesterday, black beans and lettuce & stuff for taco salad. It helps so much to have the food prepped, it helps even more to have someone to deal with it for me :-)

And now... it's lunchtime! :-) 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Food Prep

My food is prepped. My laundry is nearly done. My children are.... huh, hang on.... got it, all accounted for, though one is on the road (driving from California home, yikes... yes, I worry). The hubby is watching UFC, and asking when dinner is. Yes, all is normal for a Sunday night. When I assured him it was indeed ready, I had to, just HAD to do the "In-Deed" chest flex. He called me a dork. :-) If you missed that video, it's really a must watch. And I have been doing the "In-Deed" all weekend. Much to the dismay of my children.

I live to embarrass them. It's a gift, and a calling. One I embrace.  hehehehehe.

My crockpots got a workout today, along with my oven, Foreman Grill, and so on. I had a blast. I started up my crockpots - pork tenderloin in broth with Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle in one, and chicken breasts in broth and Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb in th eother. I browned lean ground beef - mixed in a container of brown mushrooms (minced fine), and a can of diced tomatoes. Half was seasoned with Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle & Mrs D Extra Spicy (for taco night) and the other half got Mrs D Tomato & Basil (for spaghetti - using quinoa pasta). That done and put away, I moved on to my mini chicken loaves. I also made a large loaf (sans onion because Bill hates onion), then baked 'em and put them away.

I chopped veggies (zucchini, asparagus, and broccoli/cauliflower) and put them in steamer bags with Mrs D Garlic & Herb - into the fridge they went. My oatmeal baggies got done and put away. I baked a batch of zucchini protein muffins, and another of blueberry protein muffins (Bill's favorite). I tested a new ice cream recipe (apple pie), which turned out ok... still needs a bit of tweaking. I grilled a london broil (love the meat sales!) and sliced it for the family to use in wraps & salads.

Once the crockpots were done, the pork got shredded then separated into 3 oz packets (baggies). I can add salsa or whatnot when I'm ready to use them. The chicken got portioned out (3 and 4 oz) and into baggies that went. Then I started another crockpot with boneless bbq ribs for the family's dinner. I baked a couple sweet potatoes (the white ones) then cut them into 4 oz portions (for my starchy lunch carbs this week).  I also made a batch of Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes (with the orange ones) for dinner this week.
Everything else done, I had one last task, to bake my Swai. My kitchen needs a quick sweep and then it's shut down until Ice Cream time. :-) I love ice-cream time.

Here's the week's menu:
Sunday: BBQ crockpot ribs with corn on the cob (me: Swai & steamed asparagus)
Monday: Tacos/Taco Salad (me: Swai & steamed zucchini)
Tuesday: Chicken Loaf with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes (me: Chicken breast & steamed broccoli/cauliflower)
Wednesday: Leftovers (me: Chicken breast and raw peppers - bowling night)
Thursday: Spaghetti & Salad (me: chicken breast & steamed zucchini)
Friday: Date night... kids'll have leftovers or chicken quesadillas
Saturday: Honey Dijon Chicken & Steamed broccoli/cauliflower (me: chicken breast & steamed veggies)

All the recipes are on my recipe page:

Tomorrow begins Week 9 workouts. I can't believe it's already week 9! Holy cow! I'm hopeful the hamstring will cooperate, and I can start doing HIIT again. We'll see, and whatever happens, I'll face it, I'll deal with it.

I'm going to clean up the last bit in the kitchen and then chill out for the evening (while I count down to ice cream). :-)

Happy Sunday!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Training for Figure...

Fierce Friday. That's today. I woke feeling fantastic! I slept through the night, no hamstring pain to wake me, and I woke with energy and anticipation for today's workout. 2 cups of coffee and I was off to the studio. Tab brutalized me for an hour. It was GREAT! Triceps, biceps, shoulders... they're weeping now! You know it's a good workout when driving home, you can't change the station on the radio! :-) 

During one of my last sets, I was whipped, wiped, and whining (only in my head, but still)... Tab got in my face and said, "Get mad!! Show me your fury!" I dug, I got mad, and I blew out the set. Fury. It's a tool. I like it. :-)  As we made our way to the next exercise, Tab said, "what's that saying? Hell hath no fury...?" We started punching out our own versions of Shakespeare's famous line, then digressed into the burn... Hell hath no burn like a figure competitor doing shoulders. Hell hath no burn like a figure competitor doing bicep curls with a 45 lb body bar and 10 second holds... on and on we went.

It's one thing to workout, to workout hard, to give it your all and leave nothing on the table. It's another to do it knowing the clock is ticking away, and you're going to step on stage, compete. It changes the game. I thought I've worked hard before, and I have, but it was nothing, NOTHING compared to this. The mental game changes everything. It's not just a set I have to finish, it's a striation I have to sculpt. It's not just a rep, it's my placing on the stage. Each stage of each repetition becomes life and death to my hopes and dreams. I've never worked harder. I've never burned more. I've never been stronger, or weaker. It's brutal, it's exhausting, and I'm having the time of my life.

I don't know that when this is over I'll do it again. I hope I have that in me, but if I don't, this is still a win for me. I do know that I'm better for this... I'm become more. I'm evolving, growing, testing my limits and pushing past them. Despite injury, fear, and the sacrifices, I love that I'm doing this.

And having the World's Greatest Trainer/Coach, who's also my best friend, at my side... makes it AWESOME!

Now I'm going to dig up some more of that fury, and go do cardio :-)

Correcting an Assumption

I hate eating crow. Really hate it. Hate it even more when it's due to an assumption I've made which turned out wrong. I blame low carbs.

I've been saying that Capella flavor drops are clean. In fact, they are not. In my search to add variety and haha, flavor, to my competition diet, when I stumbled on these little gems, I read this: and was done. However, there's more. As I was reading last night, I realized that not all of the drops are all naturally flavored. Damn. Some are (yay!), some are not (#$%&!), but here are the doozies... the carrier base is made up of propylene glycol and some flavors add Triacetin.

These are not clean.

I apologize, profusely, for stating that Capella drops are "clean", and steering anyone toward them with this misconception. I erred in not researching further, in stopping with the company hue & cry over what their product does not include (calories, fat, carbs, gluten, sweeteners). I'm ashamed of myself for having this slip by me, and on to you. I am so sorry. Normally, I'm very good at researching products before I recommend them, and as you know, I do NOT get paid or kickbacks for endorsing products. I'm just lil' ol' me, blogging my way through life. I feel horrible that I missed this. Again, I apologize.

I will continue to use the Capella drops for the duration of my Competition Diet. While they are not welcome in a clean eating lifestyle (which I 100% endorse), they go far in enhancing the diet-endurance of a competitor. I will accept them, in this temporary time, and gladly bid them farewell when I can go back to eating fruit and natural sweeteners (and chocolate). Competition diet is beyond strict. There is no cheating. No treats. There is no fudging the calories or ratios. You're on or your off. I've been on. I've been on for a very, very long time, and I have 9 weeks still to go. Capella flavor drops provide me a satisfaction and sense of "treat" that keeps me from feeling deprived, so I'll use them until I no longer need them. Then I will gladly shun the chemical for the real thing.

There is a grand canyon size difference between eating clean and competition diet. I underestimated this when I began my Figure journey. Yes, I eat clean - it's who I am, who I've become. I am absolutely committed to eating clean for the rest of my life. But being on competition diet isn't about simply reducing intake or playing with macros. It's about eliminating (not reducing) entire groups of foods (high glycemic, for example), it's about training your body beyond anything you've ever experienced (or imagined), it's about functioning on far less than the body wants, while utilizing supplements (vitamins, minerals, protein, etc) to make up the difference. It's harsh, and it's hard, and it's temporary. It does not have to be unhealthy as so many have painted it.

In fact, I'm very healthy. My diet is very good, between my clean food and my supplements, I'm nourished, and I'm most assuradly hydrated. Further, the plan I'm following does not require the dehydration phase bodybuilding is known for. I will lean out, but I will not dehydrate. But again, this is temporary. It's not a lifestyle. It's a diet, plain and simple. And as I'm dieting I am using tools I would not otherwise touch. It's a compromise, and one I'm not entirely comfortable with, but I've committed to being honest with myself, and with you, about every step on this path.

Eating clean is a lifestyle made up of choices. We each choose how "clean" we go. We live in a synthetic world, and chemicals are all around us. It is impossible to completely rid ourselves of chemicals - they're in our air, water, food. It is costly to do what we can to elliminate them, and requires a deep committment (and deep, deep pockets). My motto has always been, Do the best you can, with what you have. I live that each day, and it both hurts and grates that I inadvertantly, through negligence, made a bum recommendation.

So again, I offer you my apology for not doing the research on the product. I encourage you, if you've purchased the Capella drops, to do your own research and determine if you can or can't accept them in your lifestyle. If you can't, and you purchased them on my recommendation, please email me. I will make it right.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hamstrings, Guns, Protein Ice Cream - and Euro-Training

I had my appointment with the Sports Massage Therapist yesterday afternoon. Like I said yesterday, this is the same gal I saw 2 years ago when I pulled my lat while training for  the burlesque show. She remembered me (lol), and we chatted as she worked on me. I had to laugh when she told me that I'd lost a ton of weight since the last time she saw me because my body is so different. I'm actually only 2 or 3 lbs lower than the last time! It's the type of weight, lol. I've spent the last couple years sculpting my goal weight, and so my body is very different, but the weight isn't. I know I'm goofy, but that really struck me as funny. But see... there's another proof that the scale is NOT the end-all, be-all. Same weight, different body.

Anyway. When she was done with me, I was sore, but felt better (certainly relaxed!).  We chatted about the nature of my injury (pulled hamstring), and how to handle it. It's going to be a balancing act to keep from aggravating it, while finding a way to train my weakest link... legs. At this moment, though, I'm not worried.

I headed from there over to the other Mountainside (from Shea to Bell), and attended Tab's 15 minute Abs Express class. OMG. I am so sore! There will be no sneezing, no coughing, no laughing! Woot! While the class moved on to Muscle work, I headed out on the floor. I started on the bike - 10 minutes of intervals, moved to the funky glider thing for 10 minutes of intervals, then to the elliptical for another 10, then back to the bike for cooldown. The bike was brutal. I had actually planned to do 30 minutes of intervals followed by 10 steady state minutes on the bike, but couldn't make it! My quads burned! Burn, burn, burn! Genius that I am not, it did not occur to me to lower my resistance and incline. I will do so next time. Hopefully make it longer than 10 minutes. Yikes.

From there, I drove straight to the bowling alley. With some unexpected errand running for work, then my appt, then class, I ended up missing my Snack 2, so dinner got a bit of extra chicken breast, and my ice cream got a bit of extra protein powder, to make up the difference. I worked on next week's meal plan while the guys bowled.

Once back home, Shi and Bethy had a bunch of friends over, and when we walked in, the girls started clamoring for Mom to "show those guns!" Bill just laughed, while I accommodated them. I have to admit, it was a cool moment when the boys' eyes bugged at my muscles, LOL! Shiloh said, "My mom rocks!"  Awwww, that almost makes up for her sneaking bites of my protein ice cream. :-)

It is really neat to have my kids so proud of what I'm doing, and my transformation. It's a validation, and a true joy. Despite the occasional violation of The Rules, I've got the greatest family. :-)

Last night's bedtime protein ice cream was incredible :-) I ended up with room in my numbers for fat, so I added a tablespoon of peanut butter to my chocolate fudge brownie ice cream.... glorious!

Chelle's Chocolate Fudge Brownie -Peanut Butter Protein Ice Cream
1 scoop Chocolate Beverly Ultimate Muscle Protein powder
1 cup chocolate unsweetened almond milk
1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter
10 drops Capella Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor drops
8 drops Chocolate Stevia (optional)

Blend well, then pour into ice cream maker (or do the ziploc thing)

Today's Funny... 
This came to me courtesy of @thefaithkeith on twitter. I linked over and had the best 5 minutes of my day...  I was cracking up in my office (sure she's working) while watching this. Tab, my dearest besty and most brutally effective trainer/coach... this is for you! [and I have no doubt that my next workout might include shades of this, rofl!!]

Today's Food and Workouts...

 Here it is...

Clean Eating Cooler - Chelle's food for today - Figure Competition Diet
Breakfast -  Oatmeal with protein powder, ground flax seed & cinnamon.
Snack: Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf with an apple.

Lunch - 3 oz Chicken Breast with 1 cup
steamed zucchini, half cup quinoa and 10 raw almonds..
Snack -  3 oz chicken breast, 1 cup
steamed zucchini
Dinner - 5 oz baked Swai, 1 cup
steamed green beans
Pre-bed Snack -
Protein Ice Cream.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1420 calories
44% protein
32% carb
24% fat
30.2 g fiber

Workout Activity....
Today would have been leg-day. Due to the temperamental hamstring, that was shelved in favor of 45 minutes of light steady-state cardio. I hit the elliptical with my cardio playlist and away I went. The hammy squacked a few times, but nothing major. As hours pass between my leg & the cardio session, it continues to ease. I'll ice it again this evening, further rest it, and we'll see where I'm at tomorrow. 

Mommy Doesn't Share

Rules for Teenagers Living with a Figure Competitor Mom

1. If Mommy offers you a bite, accept it as the enormous, generous, loving sacrifice and gift that it is. Genuflect, if you like.

2. Do not assume that if Mommy offers you a bite, you're going to get a 2nd one. You won't. You might lose a limb (or your head) if you try.

3. If Mommy's plate is sitting on the table, and Mommy is in the kitchen, you do NOT have permission to swipe a slice of zucchini, a spear of asparagus, or anything else. SHE WILL KNOW.

4. The baggies of pre-cooked, pre-measured food that are labeled and in their own trays/bowls are off-limits. PERIOD.They are not handy treats for the dog, your friends, or any other living creature.

5. When Mommy's day has begun at 4:30, included 1 grueling weight workout, 1 laborious cardio workout, 8 hours of work, nowhere near enough food, 1 hour of drive time, plus errands, hauling kids to cheer, etc... Do NOT call and ask her if she will bring you home a candy bar.

6. If you call and ask her to bring you a candy bar, you WILL quietly and respectfully listen to the ensuing rant about how long it has been since she has had sugar, the dissertation on the chemical makeup of the candy bar, the tirade about the connection between poor health and junk food, and so on. And you will apologize for suggesting the candy bar. For entertaining the thought of the candy bar. For bringing that thought into the home of your figure-competitor-mom. You will. Trust me. Capitulate early and we can all walk away happy.

Just a few small directives to live by.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Injury update, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie Protein Ice Cream Recipe!

No cardio last night, I was banned from the gym. Good thing, as I could barely get up the stairs at home. Blek, stupid injury. I rested, iced, rested, and worked on my e-book for recipes (twenty-two pages in 3 hours, not bad, right?). My protein ice cream of choice last night was Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I gotta say, I wait all day for that bowl of ice cream :-) Supremely yummy.

Chelle's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Protein Ice Cream

1 scoop Chocolate Beverly Ultimate Muscle Protein powder
1 cup chocolate unsweetened almond milk
12 drops Capella Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor drops
8 drops Chocolate Stevia

Blend well, then pour into ice cream maker (or do the ziploc thing)

While my pre-bed treat was awesome, sleep was so/so. Kept waking up in pain, cramping/spasming. Bleh. 4:30 came too early, but with it was a reduction in pain! And a realization. The injury whipped up my worry-ometer, and I've been stressed over how far this will set me back, is it a tear, is it bad, blah blah blah. Round-about 3am, I realized that it doesn't matter. I can't change it. I have no control over it, and so worry is pointless. Plus, and here was the biggie... for each exercise I can't do because I'm hurt, there's another I can. As Tab is so fond of saying, there's always a plan B (or C, or D...). Always. Nothing is absolute. 

When I started my day, I might not have been well-rested, but I was well-fired-up.
Good thing, as it was Back/Biceps day :-) Tab kicked my ass from the Assisted Pullup machine (one more, yeah right! you mean 5 more! I know your tricks!) to the low rows (I am squeezing my back!) to the treadmill (gotta get that heart-rate up) - round and round! Then it was Triceps press-downs with random holds (3 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds while Tab tries to pull it away), followed with 15# dumbells and bicep curls, then posing - then repeat. I'm already sore! :-)  Yes, I'm a little sick, being sore makes me happy.

My hamstring hurts, but nowhere near the levels of yesterday's 7th circle of hell-pain. I have an appointment at 4pm with a fantastic sports massage therapist (she helped me with a screwy lat muscle when I was training for the burlesque show). Hopefully she can get this worked out for me, and put me back on track with legs. I'm not worrying about it, I'll just wait and see what happens.

It's funny, I had this epiphany, then had my workout, then when I got to the office, Tab had sent me an email that ended my hopes of wearing my mascara all day. It was exactly what I needed. Here's what she sent me...

Dear Diary….

My sport is bodybuilding and my game is the day in, day out preparation for my first FIGURE COMPETITION. Like any sport, sports like football and triathlons, there is a goal. In football it is the long blare of a final whistle. In a triathlon it is the white tape flowing across the finish line. For me it is standing on a stage in front of the judges, the crystals of my suit sparkling under the lights as I show off my golden tan and lean physique that is unlike any other I have had before.

My “game”, if you will, is the hours, days, weeks, and months spent cooking, eating, weightlifting, cardio training, posing, planning, and RE-planning. Similar to the other sports (football and triathlons) my sport includes two games: the physical game and mental game. Recently I have come to realize that even when I do not have to focus on the physical game, the mental game continues. It goes beyond the hour of weightlifting and cardio training. It is a constant 24x7 thought process designed to exhaust even those with the most elite mental endurance.

“Have I eaten enough? Too little?”
“OOOPs I for got to eat, what do I do now?”
“Did I workout long enough today?”
“Do I need to change up my routine?”
“Is my bodyfat where it is supposed to be?”
“Crud! I am injured, what do I do now?”

Then it became obvious……In the end how I respond to these thoughts and manage my mental game is going to determine my success. As with all sports “obstacles” are inherent. Football players fumble and turnover the ball. Triathletes have bad transitions or even trip and fall. Bodybuilders pull muscles, sprain ankles, or even strain knees. No matter what the obstacle, usually they are never planned for. However, that doesn’t always mean that the “game” is over. It is these nuances in a sport that make the “game” more challenging and interesting for all the players.

Unfortunately, these challenges are directly correlated with the mentality of the players causing them to flinch, get scared, and sometimes even quit trying. They have the power in their mind to either turn and run or face the obstacle head on. The advantage of facing the obstacle head on creates a diverse learning experience designed to physically challenge and mentally tune the mind and body. Avoiding challenge is not what makes a champion. Champions will choose to refocus, work harder, and come out on top. Being able to stay mentally in the game is what makes a champion. Accepting the things you can’t control and applying yourself 100% to the things you can control makes you a champion.

To me, there is no question that the mental game is sport proves to be more grueling that the physical game. After all….our minds control our bodies. As such, I have chosen to put 100% into that which I can control…..MY MIND. I am ready now. I am ready to push past the many obstacles I encounter in my “game”. I know ultimately, my WIN will only end up meaning so much more. See you at the FINISH LINE….when the FINAL WHISTLE blows……I will see you when I get on STAGE!

Seriously, folks... How much does my BFF rock?? Boy, I needed that. 

Food for Today...

Clean Eating Cooler - Chelle's food for today - Figure Competition Diet
Post Workout  -  1 Protein Muffin (zucchini) and 4 small strawberries
-  3 Protein Muffin (2 zucchini, 1 blueberry)
Snack: 3 oz chicken breast, 1 cup
steamed zucchini and 10 raw almonds.
Lunch - 3 oz Chicken Breast with 1 cup
steamed asparagus and half cup quinoa .
Snack -  3 oz chicken breast, 1 cup
steamed zucchini
Dinner - Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf with 1 cup sliced raw pepper.
Pre-bed Snack -
Protein Ice Cream.
Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1483 calories
47% protein
29% carb
24% fat
36.6 g fiber

Workout Activity....
Weights -Back & Biceps day with Tab - 1 hr. Also did some posing practise.   (am)
Cardio - hoping to be released to do cardio today!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Food, Workouts, and Injury

Clean Eating Cooler - Chelle's food for today - Figure Competition Diet
Breakfast -  Oatmeal (half cup dry, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2 Tbsp ground flax, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, mixed with water).
Snack: Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf with small nectarine.
Lunch - 4 oz Chicken Breast with 1/2 cup grilled peppers/zucchini, 1 cup
steamed asparagus and half cup quinoa .
Snack -  Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf with
steamed zucchini and 10 raw almonds.
Dinner (post-cardio)  - 4 oz chicken breast with
steamed asparagus.
Pre-bed Snack -
Protein Ice Cream.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1444 calories
47% protein
30% carb
22% fat
31.5 g fiber

Workout Activity....
Legs - interrupted by injury  (am)
Cardio - going to aim for 40 minutes steady state on elliptical. (pm)

Wait, did she say her leg workout was interrupted by an injury??

Yes, Injury. *$%#@!!!!!  Today was single-leg day... a brutal but necessary part of my training. I was fully prepared to do the pukey... it is leg day, after all. I was not fully prepared, or in any way, shape, or form prepared, for injury. My right hamstring objected to the workout.

It began on the single leg press - just a "oh hello" kind of pain, that got even stronger the second round, and when we moved to the 2nd round of pistol squats, it seized and dropped me. Tab, the Goddess of All Things Fitness, worked on it, and worked on it, allowing me to walk out of the studio at the end under my own power, but it did unfortunately end my workout, and might stop me from this evening's cardio - we'll see.

Ice, Rest, AVOID Anti-inflammatories (bad for the muscles), and hope for the best. The drive home HURT. Going up the stairs HURT. Down, no problem. As the day is progressing, it's less randomly-make-me-cry-pain, and more what's left over after a charlie-horse. As I sit on my ice-pack, I am crossing all my fingers and toes hoping that I can do cardio this evening, that this was some kind of fluke, and not an absolute injury.

Hamstring injury - biceps femoris Sitting on an ice pack. Fun.

Adding insult to injury... This was in my email this morning.
Godiva chocolate treats
Really, Godiva? REALLY?? That's just mean.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Recipes, and My Suit! Yikes!

As promised.... New Recipes Posted!!

I had tons of fun in the kitchen this weekend. One of the best recipes out of it was my Chicken mini loaves! I'm super excited about these! Jamie Eason and tons of other kitchen wonders have created mini meatloaf muffins and such, the recipes have been all over the 'net for years. They're terrific (the recipes and their creators) but they just don't meet my needs. I need a protein without the carb kick, that I can grab and go... and that isn't my standard grilled chicken breast. The other recipes all include a starchy carb as the binder or filler (quinoa, rice, etc), but I wanted something I could eat at snack time, so that starch was a no-go. After fiddling with pen and paper, then bowl & pan, I got it!

I used ground chicken breast as my lean protein, then added 1 whole egg (for binding, and healthy fat) and filled it out with veggies... the bulk of which are on my "Free Food" list (mushrooms, onion, garlic). This gave my recipe extra flavor, moisture, and bulk. Awesome! I gave the hubby a bite and he said, "Wait, where's mine?"  :-)

Here's the recipe...

figure competition recipes - Chicken Mini-Loaves
Chelle's Mini Chicken Loaves
2 lbs ground chicken breast
1 cup finely minced crimini (brown) mushrooms
1 cup shredded zucchini (usually this is about 1 medium sized zucchini)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced pepper (green, yellow, orange, red, whatever!)
2 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 whole egg
1/3 cup salsa (try this with different kinds each time! I used Whole Foods brand, 365, Chipotle salsa for this batch)
2 Tbsp Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning

Spray Muffin Tin or Mini Loaf pan with oil. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Mix all ingredients, then divide among 8 muffins or loaves.

Bake 20 then carefully drain off any liquid. Check for doneness. May require a total of 30 minutes.
When done, serve immediately, or cool on wire wrack and individually wrap for snacks/meals.

Nutrition data is per individual loaf
Nutrition Informatin for Chelle Stafford's Mini Chicken Loaves
Other additions to the recipe page today are: A Blueberry version of my Zucchini Protein Muffin, my simple stuffed poblanos, and my recipe for baked Swai (white fish). Still working on that downloadable recipe book, I just need more hours in the day :-) You can view them all here:

In addition to my fun, I also baked pie... yep, the Caramel Apple Pie... It smelled soooo good! Everyone raved over it, so I'm guessing it tasted good too. Gotta love homemade caramel :-) Since pie wasn't on my menu, I whipped up a batch of my protein ice cream and used Capella's flavor drops to have my own caramel apple pie taste-treat!   1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Beverly's UMP), 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk, 8 drops apple pie (capella flavor drops), and 10 drops caramel (capella flavor drops). It was awesome!! Loved every bite!

And now... my suit.

So many of you have asked to see it... I've been trying to gather the courage to post the pic. It's funny, as great as I felt in it, I'm super self-conscious about anyone else seeing my not-ready-to-be-in-it photo.  So... be kind. Be really, really kind. Lol! I'm not stage-ready, I'm not posed, I'm not evenly tanned (ROFL!). This is me, 10 weeks from show. 

These are my shoes:
And there ya have it!

Today's Food and Workout Info...

Chelle's clean eating cooler! Figure Competition Diet and Clean Eating!
Post-Workout -  Protein Zucchini Muffin and 4 small strawberries
Breakfast -  Oatmeal (half cup dry, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2 Tbsp ground flax, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, mixed with water).
Snack: Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf with grilled peppers.
Lunch - 5 oz Swai with 1 cup grilled peppers/zucchini and half cup quinoa .
Snack -  Chelle's Chicken Mini Loaf with grilled peppers.
Dinner (post-cardio)  - 4 oz chicken breast with
steamed asparagus.
Pre-bed Snack -
Protein Ice Cream.
(there's a nectarine in my cooler, but when I ran my numbers, I don't have room for it, so it's going back home with me, instead of in me :-) )

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info & meal pictures):
1443 calories
45% protein
31% carb
24% fat
33.5 g fiber

Workout Activity....
Triceps & Chest (1hr) with Tab (am)
Cardio - Total Body Conditioning class, 1 hr (pm)

To view all my photos & nutritional data for today (and other coolers) go to:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rockin' The Kitchen, and my Figure Suit!!!!

With Father's Day today, I did all my grocery shopping yesterday. Had planned to do my food prep, but hit the wall. The week caught up with me, and I crashed hard. I know it was an adjustment thing... the intensity in my workouts, plus going back to a 5-day training schedule, then adding the cardio, and increasing the time on the cardio... it all led to me bottoming out yesterday. Tripping over my own feet, I made it into the house, put away the perishables and went down for a couple hours.

When I resurfaced, I hit the kitchen to prep some of my protein muffins, including a blueberry batch for Bill (Father's Day breakfast). They turned out awesome. I also did a batch of my zucchini ones, and then I tried my hand at some cookies. The cookies were a fail for the family, but once I can have chocolate, and more carbs, they'll be just fine for me.

This morning I set my crockpots going (2, both with chicken breasts), baked my Swai (white fish), prepped some veggies, and baked a pie. Yes, a pie. And no, dagnabbit, I can't have any. And it's my fav. Caramel Apple Pie. It's incredible (and the recipe is on  It's Bill's favorite, so for Dad's day, he gets it.

I also tried two new recipes. One bombed. Bad, lol. Gonna have to keep working on that one, but the Chicken mini-loaves turned out amazing!!! 152 cal. per loaf, 28g protein, 4g carb, 2g fat... they're ideal for my snacks! I'll post the recipe and photos tomorrow, along with complete nutritional info. I had one for my 2nd snack today and it was awesome!!!  Bill loved 'em, too! Score!

Now we're hanging out waiting for Joey to get here with his buddy (we call him my other son) and we'll grill Caveman Triple Protein burgers for the family.  I'll be having chicken and grilled peppers/zucchini. Then while they enjoy their pie & ice cream, I'll whip up a batch of my chocolate peanut butter protein ice cream (or, if my numbers don't allow for the peanut butter, I'll do a vanilla batch with Capella's flavor drops - apple pie and caramel... yum!).   Can I just say, my protein ice cream makes me a happy girl :-)  Shiloh and Bethany (and Bill) gave my ice cream a big A+, which means I'm gonna have to make sure I've got enough protein powder and almond milk for them to make their own :-)

I've also been compiling recipe info and photos, for my downloadable books :-) I need more hours in the day, lol!

In other news... not to bury the lead or anything, but....
I GOT MY SUIT!!!!!  

And it's a beaut!! A bright bluey-turquoise with tons of blinginess! :-)   Really, it's gorgeous! On Friday, Tab and I drove out to Goodyear to meet with the suit-goddess, Norma of  I was excited, but fearful. Those suits are tiny, and I have so many misgivings about my tummy area, and how this is going to work, and so on. Norma and her daughter were warm and welcoming, and we got right to business. We talked budget, customization, and my loose skin. They pulled a couple suits for me to try on, and behind the curtain I went.

Did I mention the suits are tiny? Wow. Hmmm. Out from behind the curtain, I slipped on the shoes and stood for my analysis. Back I went to try the second suit. As soon as I put it on, I thought, "This feels right". It was to tight, of course, but something....  I came out, put on the shoes and faced the mirror.... and fell in love. It was THE suit. MY suit. I knew it. I felt like a million bucks. It didn't bother me to see in the mirror that I wasn't stage-ready yet, that the suit was really snug. Instead, I could see how I WILL look. In it. On stage. I could see it.

Norma gave me such a huge confidence boost.... I didn't feel out of place, like what am I thinking competing with all these other women with amazing bodies... it was matter of fact for her that I was 10 weeks out from show. It was clear that she had no doubt as to me taking my place on that stage, and shining, in her suit. After, she chatted with us about how she steers clients toward the right suit, and my confidence got another boost, when she said the suit was mine, like it had been waiting for me. It's a doozy. And now I feel like I deserve it. What an amazing thing!

It's incredible, this feeling I have right now. As tired as I am, worn out and haha, underfed... I'm excited! I have my suit, and I'm going to rock it!

Hope your day is going fantastic!