Goals

Contest Prep Week 9 & 10 Progress

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed that I’ve renamed the updates again.  I started with bikini prep, but decided I hope to switch to figure instead (perhaps pushing back my show date if I’m not ready).  Now I’m changing them to read “Progress” in place of “Weigh In.”

I have a couple of reasons for that.

  1. This isn’t just about weight loss.  It’s about muscle growth, definition and strength.
  2. Fuck the scale.

Yeah, that deserved an F-bomb.

My last contest update talked about how I’ve struggled with my emotions.  I mean, I would wake up ready to be the best fitness competitor the world has ever seen, not to mention best mom, and an hour later I’d be ready to give up and crawl under a rock.

Whoa.  Put a quark on your emotional bottle, honey.

I was attempting to stay positive, but the feelings often didn’t stay long.  I dislike being that way.  I haven’t felt that emotional since before I asked for a divorce.

I think I’m learning to create a balance better.  I never claimed to have my mess figured out, but I can tell you I don’t quit.  I find solutions, I push through pain, fear, anger… I FINISH.

Whew.  Now, let’s get on with the progress shot and (stupid) weigh-in.

Here’s your reminder of where I began.  Starting weight of 197.5 pounds.

2014_09_06Day1
Week 1 5.5 pounds lost, bringing me to 192.

Week 2 1.5 pounds lost, and 190.5 pounds.

Week 3 2.5 pounds lost, and 188 pounds.

Week 4 1.5 pounds lost, and 186.5 pounds.

Week 5 1 pound GAIN, and 187.5 pounds.

Week 6 0.5 pound lost, and 187 pounds.

Week 7 4.5 pounds lost, and 182.5 pounds.

Week 8 1 pound lost, and 181.5 pounds.

(Keeping weekly progress in posts for now.)

And on weigh-in morning…

2013_11_15Week10WeighIn

Weeks 9 & 10 Weigh In: 182 pounds

Weight Lost: 0.5 pound GAIN (15.5 pounds total)

No loss and I gained a bit.  Yes, I was a tad pissed.  I’m anxious to weigh less.  I wanted to make it to the 170s!  Why?!

After emailing my trainer, he reviewed my pictures and said he can see that I’m trimming up in upper body and even some in lower.  THANK YOU.  I needed to hear some positive news.

We also discussed how crappy my mindset has been.  He definitely encouraged me to focus on the strength gains “when the scale is kicking my ass” and that he’s around for me during the week if I need to talk.

Yes, I’m stronger.  Every week, I’m able to raise the weight on some things.  For example, one leg workout never uses the same weights as the previous week for all exercises.  I’m always able to increase one or multiple things.  Focus on that.

This isn’t JUST about looking good in a bikini or figure suit.  I want to be strong too.  I want to LOOK strong and fit, of course, but that will come and I’m finally starting to FEEL it on a regular basis.

I’m a very impatient person.  I know that’s one of my limitations. Honestly though, it took me 2.5 years to lose close to 60 pounds.  I think that’s patient!  I know other people who have done it in 6 months.

The problem is I can’t compare my journey to anyone else’s.  This is my story and if I can’t go from still overweight to a figure competitor in 6 months, FINE.  I’ll just take longer to do it, but the point is, I WILL ACCOMPLISH IT.

Lessons Learned & Highlights of the Week:

  • Adjusted cardio.
    My trainer added more steady state cardio and intensified my HIIT sessions.  I now do 1 minute high, 1 minute low rather than 1:2.  Kicks serious ass.
  • Supplements.
    I added a multi-vitamin to my daily regime and creatine.  Creatine also causes weight fluctuation in women which I discussed with my trainer.  I also got a preworkout, Cellucor C4.

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    C4 not pictured!
  • Road Trip.
    I went to the Upper Peninsula to visit my boyfriend.  We hiked and lifted heavy things.
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56 pound sandbag.
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Heavy awkward rock and a 60 pound ruck.
    The Suck training is beginning!
    In the past, road trips would have been an excuse to me to stop at places along the way for snacks.  I love snacking and driving.  I was prepared for this trip with all of my meals and protein shakes!
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Rest stop for protein/apple time!

I have a lot more to say, but this post is WAY overdue and I don’t want to completely lose your attention!

As always, I love to hear from readers.  Let me know your story or just comment to say you came by.  🙂

Contest Prep Week 8 Weigh-In

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This update is really late because I hard an extremely difficult time getting into the right mindset to write it.

Two months into contest prep.  Eeesh.  I’d like to tell you I’ve gotten the hang of this.  I’d like to tell you it’s getting easy and I don’t want to eat EVERYTHING.  I’d like to tell you I didn’t have a week long mental breakdown.

But I can’t do that.

I CAN tell you, I’m excellent at meal prepping.  This week, I stuck to my diet and most of my workout plan.  I struggled to fit in cardio.  I had trouble getting up every day.  Trouble getting the kids out the door.  Trouble with one of my kids in daycare.  I was pretty much an emotional wreck most of the week.

Here’s your reminder of where I began.  Starting weight of 197.5 pounds.

2014_09_06Day1
Week 1 5.5 pounds lost, bringing me to 192.

Week 2 1.5 pounds lost, and 190.5 pounds.

Week 3 2.5 pounds lost, and 188 pounds.

Week 4 1.5 pounds lost, and 186.5 pounds.

Week 5 1 pound GAIN, and 187.5 pounds.

Week 6 0.5 pound lost, and 187 pounds.

Week 7 4.5 pounds lost, and 182.5 pounds.

(Keeping weekly progress in posts for now.)

And on weigh-in morning…

2013_11_01Week8WeighIn

Week 8 Weigh In: 181.5 pounds

Weight Lost: 1 pound (16 pounds total)

Better than nothing.

I struggle with the up and down weight loss.  I dread Fridays and I hate the scale.

I’m trying to be happy with everything I accomplish and stop thinking about what I haven’t.  I’m trying to look at this journey in small nibbles.  One day or one week at a time.

It’s overwhelming to think about only being 8 weeks into prep and having another 16-20 to go.  I keep feeling like I should have lost more weight by now.

I know I’m irrational.  I know this.  I’m down 16 pounds in 8 weeks, 2 pounds a week average.  That’s fantastic.  Faster than I’ve ever dropped weight in the past.

If you knew me personally, you’d know that I’m a perfectionist.  That if I can’t do something the way I want, then I probably just won’t do it all.  And I’m never satisfied.  I always feel like I should be better.

Example.  I cried for weeks my junior year in high school over the A- that ruined my 4.0, preventing me from being valedictorian.  I ended up being salutatorian.

“But Addie, you know how many people would be thrilled just to graduate with honors?  You got to give a speech at graduation!”

Those people aren’t me.  I expect more of myself.  I don’t care what other people do.  I want to be better.

Seriously though, chill out, Addie.  You used to look like this…

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After my first son was born in 2008, I weighed around 290 and retained a lot of water at the end of my pregnancy.

And you looked like this… the picture that prompted this weightloss journey…

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At my mom’s wedding in March of 2011. I have this posted on my bedroom wall.

Sometimes, I feel like I’ve disconnected myself with who I used to be, that this is someone else I’m looking at pictures of.   I can hardly remember anymore what it was like to be her, because I’ve tried to block out the sadness.  And yet I still feel her insecurities in a different way.

Though, I’m happy not to be fat and unhealthy anymore, I concentrate too much on reaching the “final product” instead of relishing in what my body is now.  Like somehow I’m not allowed to be happy with myself until I get the body I want…

Okay, venting/ranting/rambling over.  I needed to clear my head.  I feel semi-better.  I’m working on loving myself all the time instead of in phases.  Thanks for being here.

Lessons Learned & Highlights of the Week:

  • New leg day.
    After sending my progress from week 7 to my trainer, he questioned whether my leg routine was making my glutes hurt to which I replied no.  My glutes must be lagging in progress, so he sent over a new leg routine.Basically, it kicked my ass hard.  It seems to target my glutes and hamstrings a lot more.

    A new thing I do now is high rep sets on leg press (previously was 20, now 30) and superset that with walking dumbbell lunges.  WOW.  What a difference.  I also do smith machine step backs which I didn’t think I would like but really enjoy.

  • Halloween.
    I let my kids go trick-or-treating with their dad while I had a make up cardio session at the gym.  I’m not really into the trick-or-treating and didn’t want to be tempted with candy, so not a big deal to me if he took them.

    And NO, I did not decide to hand out candy, bought with my hard earned money, while secretly judging all the fat parents sitting in their cars between houses.When they came home, I separated EVERYTHING I LIKE and sent it back with their dad!  Milky Ways, SNICKERS, M&Ms, basically all chocolate, Skittles and Starburst…. loaded ’em back into a bag and sent them out the door.  Temptation resisted.

    I prefer they don’t eat all that candy anyway, so I’ll keep it a couple weeks and let them have a few pieces.  I’ll trash it all after that.  What a wasteful holiday.

  • Heels.
    During week 7, my contest heels came!  I forgot to mention that.I ordered them so early for a few reasons.
    1. I’m tall and awkward.
    2. I never wear heels.
    3. I have giant feet.

    These are size 13s and I was lucky to find them on Amazon after a lot of searching (many cross dressing sites were visits).  I really wear wide size 12s, but going up a size will usually get me by without wide width.

    IMAG1160
    Luckily, the clear plastic is fairly pliable.  My feet are crammed in there and if not for the flexibility they wouldn’t have fit!

    I decided to give them a try with a bikini on as well.  I felt utterly ridiculous.

    BikiniPicWeek1toWeek7FRONT
    As always, I love to hear from readers.  Let me know your story or just comment to say you came by.  🙂

Bad Apple Ultra

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After completing a half marathon without stopping and running a sub 30 minute 5k, is the next step a full marathon?  No, not in my world.  Instead, I decided a 12 hour ultra marathon would be the next step.

I originally heard about the Bad Apple Ultra from a high school friend.  I liked the Facebook page, decided it might be a future goal, then back logged it in my head for what I thought might be a few YEARS down the road.  Well, I like to impulsively undertake things for which I haven’t trained properly and when my schedule was empty on the day of this race I just couldn’t resist.

15 months ago, a quarter mile was impossible.  When I moved up to a 5k, it was torture.  35 (or more) minutes of running?!  I just want it to be over with!  Nearly 7 hours on the Xtreme Muck Ruck obstacle course was mental brutality last June. Recently, increasing to over 2.5 hours of continuous running on a course for a half marathon was intimidating.  However after running my second half without stopping a couple weeks ago, even running carrying my water through aid stations, I felt like I could go forever mentally.  Take that mental barriers!

There were three time choices for this event:  3, 6 or 12 hours.  I debated between the 6 and 12 hours, taking into account that I’ve already been on a course for over 6 hours before and that I have planned a few endurance challenges for next year.   Choosing the long race seemed like the best choice.

The race was held at Klackle Orchards in Greenville, MI on a 4 mile loop.  When I pictured the orchard, I imagined it to be rustic and rural.  It was actually on the main highway going through town and less than a mile from our hotel.  It was very convenient and despite being on the highway, the course turned out to be pleasantly secluded.  More about that later.

We registered the night before the race, so we didn’t have to worry about it in the morning.  I was slightly disappointed in the race shirt.  Being my first ultra, I was hoping for something really cool that I’d love to wear.   I love the logo, I love red… but I really dislike white race shirts.  I think most people agree.  People just don’t like wearing white t-shirts.

BadAppleUltraShirt
First take, hands covering logo and very dorky. Second take, crazy eye. Boom.

I organized my gear in the hotel room.  All of my food (EPIC bars, bananas, apples, protein pancakes, almonds) went in one bag, then I had a hydration backpack filled with gear (gloves, mittens, headband, headlamp, race belt, extra dry socks, shirts and coat),  another bag with our post race clothes and a plastic bag with two extra pairs of shoes.

The race started at 6:00am on Saturday.  I ate a banana and a couple protein pancakes  before heading to the race. (FYI, I made the pancakes at home with only protein powder, bananas and egg.)  We arrived onsite and arranged our bags on tables under the event tent.  Headlamp on, adjusted my shoelaces, gloves on and I was ready to go.

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A little scared and excited!
BadAppleUltra003
Receiving some last minute course information from the race director, Ben.  Picture from the Bad Apple Ultra Facebook.

My original strategy was to run a 4 mile loop, walk a loop, repeat for 12 hours.  Being an endurance race, rather than speed focused, Dion decided to keep his pace slower and we could run the first loop together.

The course started in the main area of the orchard.  We ran through an area where orchard patrons would later be occupying, but it never proved to be a problem.  The course continued up and down rows of apple trees, through some wooded areas and single tracks, back into the orchard.  The variety in terrain and scenery was nice.

There was a low chance of rain that morning, so naturally the first two hours of the race were in a light chilly rain.  I didn’t want to wear contacts that day, because I knew it was suppose to be windy.  I figured with that amount of time outside, they’d get pretty dry and probably irritate me.  Part way through the first lap, I couldn’t see from the rain and my glasses fogging so I had to ask Dion to take the lead (he normally lets me lead to set pace when we run together) .

After the first lap, Dion kept running and I began my walking lap.  Still raining, my glasses were spotted and fogging.  Since I was walking now instead of running, I figured following the course wouldn’t be a problem.  I was wrong.  Thankfully, I didn’t get too lost.  There was a section that turned to the right, then left, and left again… so I imagine Oklahoma, flip the state horizontally and you get this…

oklahoma
Course was suppose to be the red line, but I missed the turn. The purple line is where I went.

Luckily, the row I was in ran back into the course so I didn’t get very lost in the dark and rain!  And I probably only missed less than a quarter mile of the trail.  This is around where I met Teri.  She was running off and on and we ended up by each other.  Not sure how we even started talking but we discovered that our goals for the race were similar.  We both thought wanted to rotate between running and walking and we both wanted to get at least 32 miles so it would be a real ultra (over 50k or 31 miles).

The second lap went by fast having someone to talk with and it turned out we had very similar back stories (formerly overweight, started running in 2012, two kids, among other things).

We checked out the mile 2 aid station on the way that I had skipped the first time through.  It was stocked with “ultra runner foods” a.k.a. junk food.  Apparently, ultra runners like to fuel with cookies, oreos, pretzels and lots of things I don’t eat anymore.  For this exact reason, I brought my own food.  There were double chocolate chip cookies at this aid station that I literally was eyeing ALL DAY.  Later in the day, they have grilled cheese sandwiches (which looked delicious), boiled potatoes and a plate of salt to dip them in (YES, these were awesome) and chicken broth (I probably had about 3/4 of a cup through the day).

I can’t remember exactly what I fueled with between each lap.  I kind of winged it and tried to have something different every time through.  I believe I had a turkey, almond and cranberry EPIC bar after the second lap and a banana.  Throughout the day, I consumed 3 EPIC bars, 2 apples, 2 more bananas, a handful of almonds, a couple potato chips and about 10 M&Ms in addition to the potatoes and broth.  I’d say that was pretty good given all the stuff I could have cheated with there!

Teri and I ended up running lap 3 and walking lap 4.

As we came in from our 4th lap it was 10:12am.  16 miles in 4 hours and 12 minutes isn’t shabby!  We were half way to our goal and had only used a third of the time we had.  Piece of cake.

Beginning the 5th lap, we decided to take it easy.  There was plenty of time to finish.  We ran here and there, but walked most of that lap, as well as lap 6 and 7.

We talked quite a bit and enjoyed the scenary.  Also stopped a few times for pictures.

BadAppleUltra004
16 miles down and half way to my goal.
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“Hey, these pumpkin wagons are awesome!”
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“Let’s take pictures!”

On one of the laps, we met Ben, the race director, off the trail taking pictures of runners.  Of course, we were walking and had to remedy that for photos…

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Who isn’t smiling over 16 miles into an ultra?

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After lap 7, I took a good break at the base camp aid station.  Dion came in soon after having just completed his 8th lap.  His 9th lap happened to be a walking lap (he started rotating after 20 miles).  It was likely to be my last lap and I was excited that after beginning together, I would finish with him too.  Teri headed out on her own, while I waited for Dion to refuel.

At the end of the 8th lap, I decided I wanted to run the last stretch.  At this point, all of my joints were aching and the bottom of my feet hurt especially bad, but I wanted to finish like I started… running.

I reached base camp at 4:27pm finishing my first ultra, 32 miles, in 10 hours and 27 minutes.  There was still an hour and a half for me to go back out, finish a lap and possibly come in under 12 hours to go back out for a bonus lap.  That would have given me 40 miles, but I knew that I needed to stop.  I had reached my goal.

Dion left for his 10th and final lap, intending to run as much of it as possible.  I went to the car for a blanket, grabbed some food and waited.  Closing in on 12 hours, I began to see some people who left base camp AFTER Dion.  I was getting a little worried that he may have injured himself, because if he was running he would have been back by now.

I decided to head out and see if he was coming close to the finish line.  Probably less than a quarter mile out, I could see him running down the trail.  I waited for him then ran behind him to the finish.  He made his goal of 40 miles in just under 12 hours.

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The medal was unique which I really liked it!

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The only suggestion I have would be separate medals for each event and maybe a nice ribbon instead of a chain.  Perhaps the ribbons could have the year on them too.

I almost forgot to mention the volunteers were phenomenal!  They were in the cold all day serving the racers warm broth, making sandwiches, recording our lap times and asking if we needed anything.

The race director was awesome!  He was constantly on the go, making sure stations were stocked and the race was running properly.  Ben marked the course wonderfully with pie plates on stakes as well as  little orange flags with reflectors.  Had it not been for my darn glasses, I wouldn’t have gotten lost on the second lap.  That was my fault.  I emailed him for my lap times after the results were posted and he promptly emailed them to me as well as the pictures he took of me.  I’ve never had a race director reply so quickly.  Great job, Ben!

My first ultra experience was definitely positive and I’m EXTREMELY excited to come back next year with bigger goals.  Maybe 48-52 miles next time!

Contest Prep Week 7 Weigh-In

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We left off with a week of miniscule weight loss and a slight gain the week prior to that.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, I was really discouraged after two weeks of feeling I wasn’t going anywhere.  If I had a third week like that, I’m not sure how easy it would have been for me to want to continue working so hard and monitoring everything single thing I eat so carefully.

Can someone pass the paleo-fied dessert, please?  It’s paleo which is healthy, so I can have the whole pan of brownies, right?

You know I’m kidding, but it was starting to get me really down.

My trainer switched up my meal plan a tad and added more cardio to my schedule.  I even started entering my food into My Fitness Pal again, just to visualize my macros, calories, meals… to see the exact break down of my nutrition.  Keep myself in the zone.  I’m a geek, so I like data.

Here’s your reminder of where I began.  Starting weight of 197.5 pounds.

2014_09_06Day1
Week 1 5.5 pounds lost, bringing me to 192.

Week 2 1.5 pounds lost, and 190.5 pounds.

Week 3 2.5 pounds lost, and 188 pounds.

Week 4 1.5 pounds lost, and 186.5 pounds.

Week 5 1 pound GAIN, and 187.5 pounds.

Week 6 0.5 pound lost, and 187 pounds.

(Keeping weekly progress in posts for now.)

And on weigh-in morning…

2013_10_18Week7WeighIn
Week 7 Weigh In: 182.5 pounds

Weight Lost: 4.5 pounds (15 pounds total)

Whaaaaat?  I had to triple check the scale!!  I kept thinking, C’mon 185.  That’s all I’m asking for, just two pounds.  I can live with two pounds.  It’s much better than a half pound lost or a gain.

My gym has a balance scale (with the two little sliders like doctor’s offices always had growing up) and I pushed the large weight to 150 then slid the small weight right up to 35, for a total of 185. *clunk*  Too much weight.  I kept tapping it to the left, bit by bit.  Closing in on 183, still too heavy.   Another half pound and it’s perfect.  I’m completely stunned. 182.5.  So close to 170s.  I can’t even fathom it.

I got off the scale and stepped back on, thinking that maybe I was standing on it funny.  Put my clothes back on even and got back on, up only a pound with those on.  Wow.  It must be real.

15 pounds total lost in 7 weeks.  I’m averaging just over 2 pounds per week again.  I love it.

Lessons Learned & Highlights of the Week:

  • Sub 30 5k.
    In case you are not a runner, this means a 5k (3.1 miles) in under 30 minutes.  This has been on my goal list all year.  I’ve gotten close twice by about 20 seconds and missed.  I was starting to give up hope that it would happen.  I should REALLY stop doubting myself.  I’ve been daring enough to add sub 25 5k to my list of Goals for Life now.  Eep.

    Hopefully, I can make time to write a post soon about that experience.  It was a superhero run and my kids did the fun run together.IMG_20131019_180202

  • Disappointing competition news.
    My trainer broke the news to me that he thinks I’ll likely be a bikini candidate this year rather than figure.  Honestly, I understand where he’s coming from, so I’m not upset with him for saying it.  I like that he tells things straight and he’s not going to have me compete in figure if I’m not on that level yet.

    He said I might be bikini this year, take time off to bulk up more and hit figure the following year.  He also said that he could be wrong, we still have time.  I told him I’d like to be able to prove him wrong. 😉

    The more I look at bikini girls and competitions, the more I realize that’s not really me.  It almost feels like the main point of the category is focused on sex appeal not as much the physical fitness and muscularity.  I’m uncomfortable with the posing especially.

  • Avoided office temptation.
    My office has a potluck for every birthday.  We had one yesterday and since our staff is small, I pretty much had to bring something.  Even though I wouldn’t be eating anything because of my meal plan, I brought in hummus and carrots.  The co-worker whose birthday we were celebrating enjoyed hummus and carrots the last time I brought it, so that’s what I got for her.

    I used to be the person who would bring dessert.  I loved baking cookies, cakes, pies, etc.  Anything new and delicious looking that I found a recipe for, I would make.  That’s not part of who I am anymore though.  Especially being paleo, I don’t keep regular flour and sugar in the house at all.There is one woman in my office who CONSTANTLY encourages me to eat shit.  She also complained that she didn’t like hummus (Well, it’s not for you, bitch!!)  And at this party, she kept saying to me, “C’mon, you can cheat one day.”

    She doesn’t get it.  I remind her probably weekly that I used to weigh 240 pounds.  I’m down close to 60 pounds now.  Still, she won’t stop.

    Yes, I do WANT to eat that shit.  My “lizard” brain wants to eat the cheesy potatoes, corn chowder, deli baked chicken, blueberry cheesecake and whatever else you have.  My rational brain takes over quickly though and reminds me of how far I’ve come, how good I feel and how terrible that food is going to react with my body.

  • Made almond butter.
    I ordered a bulk 5 pound bag of almonds that came in just before my trainer removed afternoon almonds from my diet.  I decided that I could be making my own almond butter with those.  I pulled out the food processor and after much patience, raw almonds and a tiny bit of coconut oil, I had almond butter creamier than the store bought processed stuff!  (Google if you want a recipe!  So easy!)

    IMG_20131019_202414
    Jar of Marantha no-stir creamy almond butter on the top left and my homemade on the right. Both bottom pictures are the homemade almond butter. One pound of almonds made about 20-22 ounces, which is one of those 16 ounce jars, and another 4-6 ounces in that little jar on the bottom right.

    No palm oil or sugar.  This is straight almond butter with less than a tablespoon of coconut oil.  It’s DELICIOUS.  Next time, I’m going to give roasting the almonds a try.

And coming next week, I’ll have a blog up about my first ultra this weekend!  12 hours of a 4 mile loop, as many laps as possible, the Bad Apple Ultra.  We’ll see if that was a good idea or not. 😉

Contest Prep Week 6 Weigh-In

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The good news this week is that I didn’t gain weight.  The bad news is that I didn’t lose much.

I also have some GREAT news!  I have finally made the decision to buy my domain.  LEGIT stuff people.  If you look up in your browser at the web address, you’ll now notice www.fitfatfut.com!  Baby steps toward my dreams, people!

Here’s your reminder of where I began.  Starting weight of 197.5 pounds.

2014_09_06Day1
Week 1 5.5 pounds lost, bringing me to 192.

Week 2 1.5 pounds lost, and 190.5 pounds.

Week 3 2.5 pounds lost, and 188 pounds.

Week 4 1.5 pounds lost, and 186.5 pounds.

Week 5 1 pound GAIN, and 187.5 pounds.

(Keeping weekly progress in posts for now.)

And on weigh-in morning…

Copy of 2013_10_18Week6WeighIn
Week 6 Weigh In: 187.0 pounds

Weight Lost: 0.5 pounds (10.5 pounds total)

I am happy my weight isn’t up again, of course.  But half pound feels so disappointing still.

I’m tried to change my mindset by remembering that I have lost 10.5 pounds in 6 weeks.  That averages 1.75 pounds a week.  So yes, two weeks in a row weren’t up to par, BUT my average remains high.  I can’t focus on things I haven’t achieved yet.  I must remember the victories, like this…

July2013toOctober2013GluteHamProgress

Whaaaaat?  I’m seriously loving the shapeliness that’s occurring in the glute and hamstring region.  Something to feel really good about.  And yes, my stomach is smaller but it’s something I’m really really tired of looking at.

Here’s what I’m talking about…

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That’s what my stomach looks like with my underwear rolled down.  *sigh*  I call it my stomach mustache.  Totally mustache shaped, tell me you see it?  This is what happens when you are overweight and get pregnant, twice, and end up closing in on 300 pounds.  Skin stretching beyond capacity.

Many people don’t realize that being overweight when you get pregnant will likely cause more stretch marks and issues with “bouncing back” because your body is already being pushed to its limits.  It has gotten better with more weight loss, less prominent.  I hope that it continues to improve.  I can live with all the stretch marks, but I don’t want the saggy wrinkly skin!

So after emailing my trainer, we discussed how to change up my routine.  My diet is slightly modified now (such as decreased dinner carbs and no afternoon almonds, sob!) and my cardio is going to be increased a few days a week.

Lessons Learned & Highlights of the Week:

  • Drink more water.
    Always a problem.
  • Ran a half marathon without stopping on Sunday.
    Blog post about this is in progress!
  • Hit some new PRs.
    Notably, I headed back to the gym on Tuesday night and hit 350 on the leg press for 3 reps.  I’ve never maxed out the machine and wanted to see what I was capable of.My regular sets of leg presses involve 20 reps so I keep the weight much lower than that maximum.  I’d been stuck around 140-150, and kept feeling so weak when I did them.  This week I was pushing 180 during my sets.  After hitting 350, I feel like I really need to push harder!

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Contest Prep Week 5 Weigh-In

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I have been dreading having to write this post.  The first week that feels like I didn’t get anywhere.

Let’s get the pictures out of the way.

So here’s your reminder of where I begin four weeks ago.  Starting weight of 197.5 pounds.

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Week 1 brought a 5.5 pound weight loss, bringing me to 192.

Week 2 brought 1.5 pounds, and 190.5 pounds.

Week 3 brought 2.5 pounds, and 188 pounds.

Week 4 brought 1.5 pounds, and 186.5 pounds.

(Keeping weekly progress in posts for now.)

And on weigh-in morning… (Decided to start taking pictures in more revealing underwear for progress sake.  Can’t really see something like glute progress in the others.)

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Week 5 Weigh In: 187.5 pounds

Weight Lost: 1 pounds GAINED (10 pounds total)

I was very bummed this week with gaining a pound.  I understand that I am building muscle, but I still have plenty of fat to lose.   I’ve also been having constipation problems this week (sorry, not sorry for sharing… it impacts weight and my stomach felt bloated most of the week). Was frustrated and kind of dreaded telling my trainer.  Like he’d think I was cheating.

My fears were amiss though.  He replied to my progress email and said he’s not surprised, given how much I dropped the first few weeks, that I went up a pound.  This week, he expects my weight will be back down.  I hope so!  If it slows or stalls, then we’re going to discuss the first round of changes to my plan, but he’d like to wait one week.

As with every week though, I see changes in my body that just don’t come through in the photos.  New muscle definition that I’ve never had before, clothing fits differently and I’m pretty sure my glutes are getting perkier, more firm.  I just need to keep following the plan, stop worrying about the scale and do what my trainer says.

I was feeling down about it, my weight was up all week.  Texting my boyfriend though, he said this…

“It’s natural.  The same darkness u battled at xmr and u got through it.  But u are strong and u have a strong boyfriend. Together as a team we will conquer your doubts.”

Seriously… find people who help empower you.  Struggling through weeks like this last year, would have been very different for me.

Lessons Learned & Highlights of the Week:

  • Drink more water.
    Self explanatory.  I don’t drink enough water.
  • I FEEL PRETTY AGAIN!
    Wanted to dress up for my boyfriend’s arrival on weigh-in day… BAM!
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FYI, I knitted that shawl/scarf. 🙂
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Seriously, I’m kind of gorgeous in this picture.
  • The number on the scale isn’t the everything.
    I know this.  I’ve heard it a million times and even said it, but the reality is, when you’re still overweight, the number holds importance and power over you.   A shrinking number is an indication of progress if you’re trying to lose fat.  Simple as that.  Honestly, when my body fat is lower, I really don’t care what the number is.  Right now, it’s just the biggest indicator of getting lean.

And just a reminder, meal prepping is a huge key to success!  You don’t have to be on a contest prep diet to meal prep.  Make your meals ahead of time and you’ll be less tempted to reach for the fast/junk food options.  Don’t bring snacks into your house and they won’t be there for you to sneak either.

This week, I had all of my meals (including my morning scrambled eggs) in bags and containers ready to go.  I also made mini pancakes for my boys, their dinners for the week and coconut milk.

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Contest Prep Week 4 Weigh-In

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Basically, an uneventful week.

I timed a 5k on Saturday of that week then went to my first bodybuilding competition, as I said in the previous post.  Meal prep went great.  Meals were on.  Gym was awesome.

So here’s your reminder of where I begin four weeks ago.  Starting weight of 197.5 pounds.

2014_09_06Day1
Week 1 brought a 5.5 pound weight loss, bringing me to 192.

Week 2 brought 1.5 pounds, and 190.5 pounds.

Week 3 brought 2.5 pounds, and 188 pounds.

(Do you want this information every week?  It’s going to get long!)

And this morning…

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Week 4 Weigh In: 186.5 pounds

Weight Lost: 1.5 pounds (11 pounds total)

I don’t want to analyze and nitpick details of my body every week, but I am feeling slimmer and stronger every day, which is the point really.  If I have a significant revelation, I’ll share.

Lessons Learned & Highlights of the Week:

  • Felt “skinny.”
    I was looking in the mirror and thinking, who’s skinny body is this?  Now, I know I’m not SKINNY and I haven’t drastically changed from week 1 to 4, but 11 pounds is a pretty big difference.  It’s that feeling of being flatter, tighter, stronger, smaller than ever before that equates to feeling thin and fit for me, ATHLETIC even.IMAG0951
    I actually don’t want to be “skinny.”  Using that word is an old cultural habit.  This is what comes to mind when I think of skinny.Skinny modelsNo thanks.  That look isn’t for me.   I need to change my thought process to begin with words like “athletic,” “fit,” or “healthy” when I think of how I want to look.

    One of my fitness idols… Annie Thorisdottir.

    Annie Thorisdottir, Europe
    Annie is a crossfitter, but she’s actually an all around athlete. She’s good at everything she’s tried, including time as a gymnast. She was nearly an Olympic pole vaulter but decided it wasn’t what she loved to do.
  • I FEEL PRETTY!
    I’m looking in mirrors far too much.  Seriously.  People have told me I was pretty before I lost weight, that they could see what I couldn’t (especially my boyfriend who tells me EVERY DAY how beautiful I have always been).  All I saw was fat, ugly, sad and miserable.  I didn’t like how I looked or the life I was living and couldn’t see past any of that.Sooooo guess what?  It’s simple.  Do what makes you happy.  Be with people who make you happy.  Cut the bad.  Stop envying what other people SEEM or PRETEND to have.  You can be whoever you want if you make the effort.IMAG0945
  • Ripped my skinny jeans.
    The problem with jeans and bodybuilding is losing stomach fat and gaining muscle in the glutes and upper leg region.  The waist of my only pair of skinny jeans was getting very loose, but the legs seemed to get tighter every time I put them on.  They weren’t a stretchy pair, so when I squatted to pick up a box at work they had no give.  Now I understand why stretchy jeans exist.

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    Had to go buy some fabulous pink pants at the thrift store next door, because of this epic rip.