Yes! I want to get big you say, but carbs will make me fat! Well not necessarily. When my trainer told me that my carbs were going to increase by 100g I said the same thing. I was totally scared and afraid of what would happen to my body. Well, guess what, the only thing that happened is happiness. Carbs make me smile and my muscles love them. “Well don’t they turn into fat”? that’s what you’re thinking right? The function of carbohydrates are to increase insulin and the increase in insulin leads to fat storage, but wait, insulin is not the exact reason why you store. It is the imbalance of energy vs. fuel that does.
So yes, if you sit around and eat a excess amount of carbs then your body is going to store them nicely in your fat cells. Per uptodate.com, a medical site commonly used by doctors, your carbs should be approximately 50% of your caloric intake. Strange right, yea I thought so too after being mentally conditioned by previous trainers to keep them below 100g instead of the 180g I’m currently on. Another great thing is carbs increase your GAINZ.
The increase in insulin actually drives amino acids into your muscles which leads to muscle growth via protein synthesis. Awesome right! I know. Let’s not forget energy. Carbs equal glucose, glucose equals fuel, which means you have more energy to optimize physical performance. Thus meaning a productive day in the gym. No carbs, no glucose, decrease performance means that you’re not getting BIG.
When it comes to competition prep, off season is the best time to get big. Slowly increase your carbs to aid in muscle growth. It is not until active prep that you need to worry about carb depletion as a tool to shred down and if you’ve managed your macros properly in off season you won’t need to deplete as much. Even while on prep my carb intake is higher than most. Good off season leads to a good prep. As you can now see carbs are your friend, so eat them.
Stay driven All
You might read the title and think hmmm… What does she mean by that. Well, I have been competing for 3 years now and have changed trainers a few times. What I have noticed is that everyone has the same goal, but different ways of achieving it. If you are interested in competing you have to ask your self, “How do I want to prep and what type of health do I want after prep”.
Now that you have decided that you want a healthy prep that ensures a healthy life after the competition (Yes… you do want a healthy life after competition) it’s time to think about diet. This is where things get a little interesting. Many people use the “Bro” method of dieting, If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), and even some competitors are vegan. Yes vegan, and I’ve seen some killer vegan competitors. The biggest mistake about the whole meal prep is choosing unqualifed individuals to write meal plans for you. You can eat fruits and a variety of vegetables while on prep. Don’t let anyone say you can’t.
When you go long periods without certain fruits and veggies guess what??? You can end up malnourished and who want dull teeth or no teeth. Eat your fruits and veggies please. Not to mention your body will be craving all the vitamins and minerals you are lacking and drive you to bing. Again, killing all your hard work in the gym.
Moral of the story… diet is the key to getting that win. You can train all you want, but you can’t get that winning physique unless you are on a diet that is right for you. Make sure your trainer is also certified to provide you with a balance diet and most of all you need to take ownership of your health. A few seconds of stage time is not worth years of trying to fix your organs and metabolism.
Stay Driven All
College in its self is a difficult task… Especially as an adult. Not everyone can do college right after High school. Some people might not be ready, can’t afford it or maybe they just missed too many deadlines. I can say in my case it was a combination of them all. Luckily I was blessed with the opportunity to get in to the military’s Interservice Physician Assistant Program attending the University of Nebraska. Let me tell you… It’s PA school on steroids.
You get your Bachelor in Science in sixteen months of death by powerpoint. Days are long and every fifty minutes you get about ten minutes to stretch your legs. Some days it’s a toss up between stretching your legs, taking a nap, or studying for the next test. Test days you mostly crash on breaks because, for most, getting up at two in the morning to cram equals a passing grade. When you walk across the stage and look back the last sixteen months you wonder how you made it because you don’t even remember what happened the last year of your life. All you remember is medical terms, conditions and disturbing pictures, but you’re happy to be on your way to the Masters part of the program.
Yay! you think when you realize its no more death by power point, but wait… Now it’s patient care. I’m not foreign to patient care, but it’s different when you have someone staring at you, judging your every word. This person has the power to make or break your rotation and all you can think about is surviving. At some point in time you get comfortable with your preceptor, but now it’s onto the next section. Working, studying, writing, researching and presentations is now what you must do. Feeling tired and maybe a little burnt out? Not yet lady you have to a family and goals.
It might sound like a nightmare, but at the end of it all you stand tall and proud knowing that you were resilient enough to battle through it all. Carving out time for school, kids and training. While in this program I trained for three competitions, went pro while getting my Bachelors degree, did my pro debut, and parented solo (hubby was deployed) while getting my Masters. Was it hard? HECK YES! But like I always say… If I can YOU CAN!
“How do you do it”, is the question people ask me the most. I have to be honest with you. It is not easy. April 2016 my Husband got orders to go to Cali and I was left behind in San Antonio to finish school. I was getting my Bachelorette in Science in a sixteen month time period. So, pretty much my life consisted of around the clock studying. Competing and training was my only outlet and we did the best we could flying me between Cali and Texas for family time.
Now I’m completing my Masters in Physician Assistant Studies in twelve months. My husband is deployed which places all task on my shoulders. It is always hard enough to balance kids, house and work, but on top of that trying to maintain my own hobbies. I stressed, I cried and felt like I was at my wits end. At one point I felt like I had to give up training, but then “Preparation” was the goal.
Learning to stay ahead is key. You have to prep, prep, prep. Meal prep, Day prep, night prep, and gym prep. I knew that if I had a long day ahead of me then the night before I needed to prep all my meals, my clothes, their clothes, their gym meals and snacks. Yes, some days I was fatigue after work, but that changes after you get a little pre workout in while the weeples eat. That’s how you get to the gym, but what about the house and studying?
We all hates the house work after a long day, but tackle the most needed task for the night. Wash dishes as you cook…. Wipe the table while you clean up dinner and train your self to do a little every night before going to bed. I handle studying the same way. Preparation right! If you set a time for baths, bed, cleaning, and studying you will find balancing it all is not that chaotic. Kids are pretty durable and if you as mom stick to the plan they will as well. Remember If I can you can!
Have you ever been walking outside and your own shadow catches your eye? Well today mine did. It just was my own shadow, but also the shadow of my little weeples. I watched as there little feet trotted along with my combat boots. A simply moment symbolized so much for me in that moment.
I remember when I signed the dotted line to join and I’m not afraid to admit that education was my main reason. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a two family home or a mom at home to run to. The choice I made was about survival and I had plenty people who doubted me. To them I was a statistic, a teenage pregnancy waiting to happen and even family members didn’t bother giving their time.
Looking at this reflection I see all that was so hard to see when I signed that paper and raised my right hand. NO! it was not fun waking up to the sounds of rockets while deployed. Lying there half asleep on the floor of my trailer with my flak vest on me realizing if I was hit I’d still probably die anyway. It definitely suck to see two rockets collide in the sky like in the movie Armageddon. Nope, not fun at all.
What I can say about all my years in this uniform is it has made me appreciate the little things in life. I pay closer attention to details and remain vigilant. Family takes on a whole new meaning when you don’t know when the night time you have to take that long flight with the possibility of never coming home. On the bright side, I’ve traveled and most off all I have gotten my education. I’ve made bonds that time and distance cannot break. Both good and bad are all courtesy of the military.
Funny thing is I don’t regret it. Knowing that I am providing my kids with a life I never had is my driving force. Raising my right hand allowed me to travel this path of life. So I look at this picture and I wonder how much further these boots can go and will those tiny feet next to them walk in them one day. Or, will the path I paved push beyond that and on to bigger and better things…
So, I’m bulking and enjoying all my new carbs, but I still have cravings. The candy bars at checkout are still pretty attractive to me. Two weeks before my show earlier this month I had horrible cravings. It definitely didn’t help watching the weeps enjoy there recess, snickers, cookies, and cupcakes. When your bodybuilding you have to remind our self of why you cut those sweets delicious treats out and remember that right after your done you can dive in.
Being a serious competitor and mom is a different story. Yes my lovely Trainer has brought life back into my diet with all these lovely carbs, fruit and even yogurt, but I still what the bad stuff. One day during a craving I decided to spice that plain greek yogurt up. It was either do that or eat me some chips, maybe a ton of honey almond butter or just get down and dirty on some cookies.
I must say that I pretty proud of my self for having the will power to say no. I’m currently 16 weeks out from my next show and yea I might not be in too bad of a shape and can recover from a little cheat every now and then, but I want to beat the me that stood on stage during the last show. They always say, “You can’t out work a bad diet” and that is fact. So, get you some plain creek yogurt and spice it up. You might be surprised how it hits the spot. It’s all about them goals!!!
2oz of plain greek yogurt
.15oz of semi chocolate chips
.30 oz of pretzels (broken)
It’s one thing to have a family member be a military member and even more stressful to be married to a military member. But, what if you are that military member. Too much to wrap your head around. Serving your country during the time of conflict is challenging in it’s self. What’s even more challenging is being a woman serving your country. We all know that it is definitely a male dominated career and at times women have to be very type A to survive the cut. At times you feel like you lose your self in it all.
That was my challenge for a while. Like many I joined so young that I had no idea who I was or where life was going for me. I did know that what ever it was I was going to do had to be medical. Which I was pretty lucky to get. If you come in open general your pretty much get the job the service you joins needs at the time. Let me tell you too, you hit the ground running. At least I did… Everything is a blur and yes deployments and moving all the time sucks, but you get the opportunity to learn other cultures.
In the mean time you grow your immediate family and you wake up one day a wife, mom, and military member. Everyone needs something and of course you know your career won’t wait. So, things get crazy and you feel like a side act in a circus, but you keep going. You are what we call in the Air Force “Resilient”. All that organization and training from basic kicks in and now folding, as we did in my time, and tweezing shirts all makes since. They were teaching you structure, organization, dedication, and attention to detail. The survival tools… All these tools I apply in my personal life as well. It’s how I keep the side show under control and if I can, you can.
There is nothing easy about being anything in the title. We all know that being a parent is a whole new adventure in it’s self.
Before I started the sport when I heard the word bikini competition I could only think about the girls gone wild type and definitely have never been about that life. But, I was so wrong.
I followed varies women for natural hair inspiration and became intrigued by one vloggers bodybuilding journey. Here I was a mom of two with my youngest being 1 and me still carrying baby fat topping the scale at 150 lbs. a light went off and I said, “that’s it, I’m doing it… I’m losing this weight.”
My first trainer just so happened to be a bikini competitor and was competing at a national level. She showed no mercy and if she hadn’t I would have never made it this far. Now, I train with Mind Body and Fuel and let me tell you… they have a interesting way of training. Let’s say you will get the job done. But what I love about them is the family type atmosphere. I have met some amazing women.
That is the greatest thing about the sport period. You meet some amazing women… from all walks of life, in all areas of fitness, with a different journey to the stage. Some do it for the win and some for personal reasons, but it definitely was easy for each one of us.
Yes, we have the most body fat percentage of the sport, ok, and we do girly stuff, but we still bust our arse ( yes arse). 5-6 days a week working out for that 10 seconds or slight more on stage to showcase your hard work. Not to mention all the glits and glam, cost of the suit, and not being able to shower after the tan. Everyone knows what happens when you don’t shower right… Thank goodness it’s only for a day and the keep it extremely cold in the building.
But I love it. The competition is within my self. Pushing my self to be better than I was the last show. My weeples looking up to me telling me their proud of me. Knowing that I’m their example. I do it for that. I do it for the amazing friendships you gain along the way, I do it for the after show meal… If I can you can
Many times we get so preoccupied with providing for our immediate family that we let our own needs suffer. It is a difficult task to balance each hour of the day. When you wake you rush to get the kids up, dressed and cook breakfast. For some you also have the task of helping the husband as well. Some women then rush of to work crunching ever minute they have and praying that they get there on time to hold onto their position in this male dominated world. Then you have the women that finally get everyone out the door only to turn around and start their daily house tasks, errands, grocery shopping and more.
Its not a secret that as women we wear so many faces and have to be masters at juggling. Life is a circus and we survive it with a smile and pretty face, but deep inside many of us feel lost. You feel as if you don’t know your self any longer and find unhappiness with just being the “mom” or “wife’.
What we don’t see most of the time is that along the way it is little things that we do to make out selves happy. Little hobbies we have created throughout the years that bring us joy and in all honesty we just haven’t had the time to focus on the pearls.
I am here to tell you it is ok to be selfish enough to explore your pearls. Skip switching those clothes to the dryer to cultivate yourself. Be a few minutes late to work kissing you weeps goodbye and don’t worry about your image at the job. Yes, we carry a lot of stress, but so have all the mothers and wives before us and you know what… They did it!!! Don’t think that just because you choose the selfless life you can’t have a little moments of selfishness. You must to keep your sanity. So, love your self, pamper your self, leave that mess on the floor. No one is going to die from it and go explore your pearls. If I can you can!
So this begins my journey of blogging. I use to sit back and wonder why would anyone blog, but the funny thing is we all blog through Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites we use. Fact is many people ask me about my journey into the fitness lifestyle as well as how I manage serving my country, motherhood, competing soaping, school and all the other things that I do.
ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!
Just keep going and never give up. The biggest part of being successful at juggling all tasks and goals is organization. Followed by a positive attitude. One quote that has always stayed with me is, “Your attitude determines your altitude”. Stay driven!