Finding focus

Posted: March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Right now, as I type this, I feel great. Not just physically, but mentally. Sure, I’m still 9 weeks out from my first show of the year, but I admit, this prep got off to a rocky start. What do I mean by rocky? Well, I wish I could mean “Rocky”, but all in all, with what life has had in store for me in the last year, I was pooped. Tired. Burned out you could say. I started prep officially on February 15th, but it wasn’t till a week and a half ago that I started feeling my spark come back. Before then, everything after last years season seemed like it was a chore, more so than what it may feel like mid prep. I was there doing it, the diet, training and cardio but I wasn’t…..feeling it. I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could go and I knew it. And it irked me. I think that its important to write blogs like this, to not only let people how your doing, but to inspire others. 🙂

So what changed? I got my head on straight, and it was more than watching motivational videos or reading motivational books, it was another big step in the journey I’m on. Its the journey of knowing oneself better, and not of asking for an easier life, but the strength that comes with the knowledge of making conscience decisions to be better. Habitual improvement, both physically and mentally. I really had to delve deep into what was making me stuck. What was I doing to contribute to it and what were the things I could get accomplished that might help break me out of this hold I was in? I’m a list maker, but I wasn’t making lists and I didn’t want to make lists…for whatever reason. I found however, that its sort of like days that you’d rather not go to the gym or when you try to rationalize doing less cardio or shortening your workout for whatever reason. But then you tell yourself to keep pushing…that someone else out there is on the same path and keep on pushing! After you push through, it usually feels better…much better! And thats quite similar to what I experienced when I was trying to get myself out of the funk.

I feel focused and confident(if not hungry, hello food porn!) and I’m excited to see what this prep and this year will bring. 🙂 9 weeks till Indiana State Championship and 11 weeks till Jr. Nationals.

BRING IT ON! 😀

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Getting ready!

Posted: February 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

So yesterday began contest prep for me. Today I’m 12 weeks out exactly from the NPC Mike Francois Classic, May 11th. NPC Mike Francois It’ll be the first show of the year for me, and then NPC Jr. Nationals, June 14-15th. http://www.npcjrnationals.com

I started cardio Feburary 4th, and am sitting at about 216-217lb right now. I don’t really have a target weight for the show, I’m going to bring in a tight package that’ll be about 15-17lbs heavier than last year. I have had some issues with my right wrist and right shoulder since last last year, along with a broken big left toe earlier this year. It has slowed me down in some ways, and I’ve really had to fight to keep myself going. I’m also trying to be smart about it all and think not only about my goals, but my future too. I’ve been going to physical therapy for my shoulder for the last month, and while it has helped, I was told the injury probably occurred late last year and I’d really just been guarding it and possibly making it worse. I think it started off fairly innocently, however. Both my wrist and my shoulder. I can’t pinpoint an exact moment or movement that I started to feel a “not normal” pain, but I can tell you that like many others that are involved in competitive sport, I tried to work through it, but the longer I tried, the more I realized it just wasn’t going away. After some time(again, I’m not sure just how long, maybe a couple months?) I decided that I had to do something about it. Ice at first and then “gave in” and sought out the help of a physical therapist. Luckily enough, the gym where I train shares the building with a sports therapy clinic and I’ve been going for treatment 3 times a week. Ultrasound and massage and ice, along with stretching being conscience of how I hold my shoulder(and how I sleep on my shoulder, or try NOT to, OY! smh…) and its a work in progress, but I’m getting there. I actually…almost…looked forward to starting contest prep. But that may change after a few short weeks. LOL! I looked forward to what I think the routine will bring. Not that everything up to now hasn’t been wonderful, at least foodwise(hello peanut butter pie!)…see you in 16 weeks. There have been many things that have really gotten to me, but with some time to both let things sit or sink in and then having to MAKE time, it has gotten better. I realized not long ago that this contest prep will be a bit more challenging for me than last years for the Jr. USAs, or as I go on and then in retrospect it could be “easier”, all I know is that with each day that I conscientiously choose to, I’m learning and growing, both physically and mentally. (OK, now that I’m in contest mode, I’m cutting…but still)

Thanks for continuing to follow along with me on my journey. Pics to be posted about every 2 weeks or so leading up till the show! 🙂

Strength- Physical and Mental

Posted: December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

So in the last couple of months, I’ve experienced many things that have tested my focus and strength, from training many clientele, injury, stress from planning out my days and then setting my hours and boundaries.  What I mean by setting boundaries, is times that I’ll open up for personal training clientele.  When I was first starting training people, I didn’t really have a planned out time frame for clients, I just accepted them at the time they were available, and if it didn’t work out for me, then another trainer would take them.  I realized that doing this did 2 things, 1) It made me a slave to the schedule with no time to myself after the day was done(starting around 9:30 in the morning and living at the gym till around 10 at night, and 2) I had no energy or drive during my own workouts. (I hated that)  My day was so spread out that I had to steal away at different times of the day so I could run errands to the bank or to the laundry mat, etc…  What I have been able to do is restructure that way I do things, start a little later in my day, and not accept clients after certain times or before certain times and allow myself at least one day during the week where I have a light client load.  And when it gets time for me to prep for contest(which I’ll not only be doing with my boyfriend, Scott, but several clients) he’ll be training me, and then in turn, I’ll be training him.  Usually we train together, but hopefully doing it this way will allow us both the energy that we need and to help each other!  Also, I’ve been struggling with not only an injury to my right wrist(it happened several months ago), but last week when I went to squat, both knees gave me so much pain I was literally sick with worry and stress about it.  I mean, we all have had our days where we are stiff or sore, but up till now, I’ve not had an issue with pain.  I don’t remember doing anything particular to my knees, so maybe its some weather change?  I’ve got faith that things will start getting better, but it was so discouraging.  Another test for me.  I’m sure that many more people deal with so much more on a daily basis, and looking back, while I thought “Why me?”, I was in a place that was too close to realize that I was being tested, and to regroup and keep focused on my goals.  It frustrated and angered me, because I’d never experienced what I was experiencing and I wasn’t sure where it was coming from, how it happened or the way to address it properly and keep on going.  My knees haven’t given me any pain during the week, but I did develop a sinus and ear infection as well as laryngitis this week.  That was frustrating because I literally couldn’t talk(and was ordered by the doctor NOT to talk for a few days), so clients had to either be rescheduled or train with another trainer.  Despite all this, I try(and are sometimes successful) at seeing and experiencing things that I wouldn’t have been able to if I didn’t have issues with my wrist, had been sick or this weird knee thing….LOL!

So as far as contest prep goes, I’ll be doing a soft start on February 1st, with cardio starting up and cleaning up my diet, limiting myself to just one cheat meal a week.  My official contest prep will start on February 15th, and I’ll be prepping for the NPC Mike Francois Classic on May 11th.  I’m just about 213-4lb right now, and around 13%bodyfat.  I had Scott take some pictures last week on the 15th, and I’ll post them here for you to see.  The goal for this contest season is to put more “beef” on my back and bring my biceps up at least an inch.  I also realized that after looking at the sports bra in the picture that it “pinches” my back, and will be needing to replace it with something that fits me a little better.  Thank you all for your support and following me along in my journey.  I hope this inspires you to keep going or to start on a journey of your own.  And if I don’t get a chance to post about it, Merry Christmas everyone!

12.15.12frontrepose 12.15.12backrepose 12.15.12fdb 12.15.12bdb 12.15.12rls 12.15.12sidechest

 

Injury and refocus

Posted: November 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hello everyone! I’m back! Its been quite a while since I’ve posted last…(January?), but I thought I’d start this back up again to let you all know how I’ve been doing.  Pretty much just training and working. LOL!  I did compete in the Junior USA this year in May.  It was my first National level show, and despite the many…MANY things that did go wrong, I was happy with the package I brought to the stage.  I think I weighed 172 or 173.  I think one thing that no one may have knew(till now, lol!)  is that I was having issues with my eyes about 3 1/2 weeks out from the show.  I’d taken my contacts out and one of them ripped.  It’d been over a year since my last eye exam and I didn’t have a back up pair of glasses. (Always have a backup pair!….Drrr Carrie!) Anyways, I scheduled an appointment for an exam, but was told it was going to be about a week before my glasses came in, and that the doctor recommended I wear glasses for several months before going back to contacts. I then went about 10 days, having 20/40 vision without correction, and having to rely on someone for pretty much everything. 20/40 means that if I’m 40 feet away from something, I literally have to be 20 feet away to see it like someone would whom has 20/20 vision.  While I’m not blind, I cannot see anything in detail without correction.  I can see colors and general shapes, but unless something is literally right in my face, I can’t tell what it is, and unless I know who I’m talking to, my vision is such that I won’t recognize people I saw in the gym or in public, unless I know their voice or know their general shape.  My apologies again to anyone whom might have thought I was blowing them off during the time. 🙂   So how did this effect my training and the show? In a positive light, I feel that my mind to muscle connection improved.  Not being able to really see myself flex in the mirror, I had to rely on someone else telling me what looked good and also how it felt. When I was back stage at the Junior USA, I wore my glasses around backstage, and I mentally prepared myself to step onstage without them.   Could I have worn them? Sure.  Did I want to? No.  It was my decision to go without, and other than taking a little extra time moving around in the lineup, I don’t think it affected me too much at all. Also, having to practice without them at home and at the gym, and knowing I wouldn’t have them onstage helped me prepare.  I now have glasses again, and can really appreciate them even more now!

I also competed in the NPC Indianapolis Championships less than a month later.  I purposely came in about 9lbs heavier, but gosh, the prep was tough! I think because it was something I’d decided to do just after the Junior USA, and I was thinking I’d be “done” for a while after my prep for the Junior USA.  I’m glad I did it, however, and despite the fact that there were only 2 female bodybuilders in the show, I know we both trained and worked very hard to prep, so despite the fact that there were just the 2 of us, should have no bearing on the quality of the athletes or the dedication to their own training and diet. I ended up winning my class and then the overall, and let out a huge sigh of relief, knowing then it was time to get on with the improvement season…and the food! 🙂

Now as far as injuries, about 2 months ago, I started having pains in my right wrist.  I’d started lifting heavier and no doubt that was a culprit.  However it progressed and became steadily more intense to the point where I had difficulty doing everyday thing like brushing my hair and putting my clothes on. The pain was near constant and I was horrified at first that it might be carpal tunnel. As it turns out, I may have “just” pulled a tendon in my wrist and then tried to train through it, exacerbating the injury and lengthening my recovery before conceding and giving it the rest it needed. I was icing it multiple times a day and up ended up taking just about 2 weeks off of training everything except legs.  At first it sucked, but I realized that I really haven’t taken much time off of training in years and it wasn’t all bad.  A week ago I started back into training, slowly and almost tentatively at times, because I knew I was in that dangerous zone where things feel better, but its so much easier to re injure because of that.  So far I can say that things look well on the mend!  I’m still being cautious, but more aware than anything too.  I don’t like to use it as an excuse, just respond to it if anything happens and go from there.

So whats next for me?  I’m still in “improvement season”, and as for shows I’ll be competing in, I’ll likely be starting prep for the 2013 NPC Mike Francois(May 11th) in mid February.  After that I have my sights set on Jr. Nationals on June 13th-14th.  My goals for improvement are to put more size on! (Ha! I’m not sure I thought I’d be in a position to say that 3 years ago when I was losing weight!)  Specifically a wider back and bigger biceps, but more of me in general.  At least muscularly. 🙂  I’ll still post monthly update pics and with any luck, a weekly blog too, if not more frequently. 🙂  Thanks for hanging in there with me, everyone!  Here is a link to the prejudging at the Junior USA this year.  You can see me look down and hesitate before moving. LOL!  Such a great time though, and I got to meet many gals I’d been friends with on Facebook, as well as exchange stories and start friendships that will no doubt last a lifetime.

2012 Junior USA, Women’s Bodybuilding heavyweight comparisons, prejudging

 

 

Hi all! Here are the comparison pics from the last 2 months.  I started up cardio again 3 weeks ago, and I think I’m going to have to scale it back some, as its working well!  I had been doing 40 minutes of AM cardio, pre meal #1, and 20 minutes of cardio post workout, so till contest prep officially starts up(the week BEFORE the Arnold) I’m going to keep it just post workout.  I’m currently weighing 190 and feeling good about how I’m coming into this contest season.  That said, I’m irked by the way my shorts look dishelved in the back shot in repose, you’ll see it.  But I think there is enough of a comparision to include the pic.  I’m just gonna keep on keepin’ on!

Thanks for joining me in my journey!  Stay strong and train smart! 🙂

I’m weighing in at right about 208lb right now, and feeling good! Here are the comparison shots from last month and yesterday.

 

 

Update pic time!

Posted: October 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pics were taken today(on the left) and September 19th.  I’m sitting at about 205lb right now and my measurements are 14.5 biceps, 40chest, 32waist, 42hips (no quad measurement today) and 15.75calves.  A short and sweet update, and I hope you enjoy the comparisons! 🙂