Category Archives: Beginner’s Tips

2 Tips on Successful Dieting

Stemmed from the Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip of the Day, I give you 2 tips to increase your chances of succeeding with your new diet.

  1. Be specific. Be precise about what you are trying to achieve and when you will do it. It’s not enough to say “I want to be fit and will work out consistently”. Write in your calendar the exact days and times so you can hold yourself accountable and have your diet written out to follow (including when you will have a “treat meal”).
  2. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t. When trying to change behavior, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the bad habit. Focus on the substitute instead. If you want to stop munching, don’t dwell on the times you’ve caved to your cravings. Think about what you will do the next time you find yourself hovering over the pantry.

Thank you Michelle for sharing the Harvard tip of the day – you inspired this post!


So you want to compete: Expenses

Before you decide to compete, you should definitely make sure you are prepared for the expenses. It is totally worth it, but don’t go into it uninformed. Everyone agree with me on that one?

I was plugged into a good *fitness community before I started and my trainer was very informative, so I felt very prepared and nothing took me by surprise.

They warn you it will be expensive, but let me break it down for ya…

  • $$$$ Trainer – depending on how often you see your trainer and for how long you train with him/her before your competition this can be up to the thousands.  Estimate between $50-80 per session
  • $$ Posing classes – price varies, usually the cost of a training session or slightly less
  • $$ shampoo and conditioner and exfoliating scrub (so your tan wont get splotchy) and lotion that you will blow through because you will be working out every day and sometimes twice (or more).
  • $20 food scale
  • $ per month you will need an average lifetime supply of ziploc baggies and foil 😛
  • $80-150 per week on food
  • $40 per month on supplements (protein, amino acids, liver, vitamins, glutamine, pre-workout drinks etc)
  • $40-100 Massage
  • $7.99 Half gallon water jug
  • $100-$900 Posing suit – depending on how elaborate your suit
  • $35 5″ clear heels
  • $10-30 Miscellaneous jewelry
  • $150+ Make up and Hair
  • $115-150+ Tanning
  • $45 Manicure/fake nails
  • $25 Pedicure
  • $100 Official NPC card
  • $75+ Competition Entry Fee
  • $100+ Hotel (+applicable taxes/fees) – even if it is local you will probably need to get a hotel unless you live close by, because there is usually a meeting in the evening, then you have to wake up EARLY for final tanning, hair and make up before the prejudging in the morning
  • $20 Resistance bands to pump up back stage (it’s nice to have your own so you don’t have to wait and can even continue pumping while lined up before walking up)
  • $250 Photo shoot (you’re in the best shape of your life, lots of people like to capture that accomplishment)
  • $100-200 photo shoot apparel
  • $10 Body scrub to exfoliate for at least a week before spray tan

Am I missing anything?

*fitness community: (1) Donloree Hoffman blog and community: BikiniorBust.com, (2) Fitness Spectaculars, (3) twitter, (4) Jerome’s gym, (5) Bodybuilding.com


Dealing with the Bloating, The Golden Rule

I realized last weekend that I was not drinking enough water. Started guzzling as much as I could but was not getting in as much water as usual. Over the week I was consuming about 1/2 gallon daily and every day increasing by a little.  I’m now up to a gallon a day so this is right where I wanted to be with water intake. The bloating has continued to decrease and I’m seeing my body normalize – hooray! Took about 2 weeks, which seems to be pretty standard because most of my friends have mentioned 1.5-2 weeks for them as well this season.

The Golden Rule:Drink water! Eek!

2 things I learned in my post-comp weeks:
  1. Water is mondo importante. It is so worth it to indulge just remember to drink lots and lots of water!
  2. Pace yourself. I learned to tell myself “The food will be there, it’s not going to run away or become unavailable”, so I don’t need to feel like I have to gorge all in one sitting.

Fading Glory: Tips on Spray Tan After-Math

video during my lunch break yesterday and finally got my iphone to post it to youtube!

About that spray tan…

Things I did right:

  • I exfoliated for over a week before the tan, the tan absorbed right up into my skin as a result! And it stayed even and flawless looking throughout the day whereas I noticed a lot of girls were already quite splotchy by the night show.  Side note, I exfoliate on a regular basis as part of my normal routine (1-2 times per week with a body scrub; daily (mild) with a loofah and body wash) – so if you are not already doing this, then maybe start exfoliating every other day 10-14 days out.
  • I continued exfoliating after the show AND applying lotion. The tan continued to fade very gracefully….except…the next area where I tend to be more gentle. Ew. Don’t know if you can tell in the vid, but I look like I have a disease. Good thing I’m short and shadows and my long hair will hide the splotchy-ness.
  • I applied baby oil or light sesame body oil immediately after each shower.  This helps your skin lock in moisture (so that it doesn’t flake off causing a splotchy appearance).  Also, baby oil in particular apparently helps the tan fade (read this the other day on ehow)!

Evaluation By Comparison

I started to evaluate my body by comparing it to a bikini PRO, to give me a good idea on where I want to be come April 2nd.

It probably is completely humanly impossible to look like a pro on my first show with only 4 weeks left, but I like to use it as my measuring stick.

I looked at pictures of NPC amateurs and noticed a lot of them had very under developed abs and lacked that nice curve of the outer quad.

So I want to keep in mind, as I train, that there may be many areas of my body underdeveloped unless I put serious attention on them.  (I know, I know…even still, I will probably be very underdeveloped at my first show. But I have to try 🙂 right?)

Below is Bikini Pro Tianna Ta. I look at her abs and her quads and even her arms.  She certainly didn’t get there by eating bon-bons and watching soap operas – this girl busted her can! I’m trying to visualize MYSELF becoming like this so that I can stay excited about sweating and working till my head spins off!

Train with excitement and perseverance!

Image of Tianna Ta bikini pro

Tianna Ta


Bread is the Worst Thing You Can Do When You’re in Prep…

I THOUGHT I knew how to eat healthy and how to improvise, but I proved that idea wrong over the weekend.

I had gained 2 pounds when I was supposed to LOSE 2 pounds.  I really set myself back with only 4 weeks left.

I had to face the music. After informing my trainer she was honest about the implications of my food choices but also told me a lot can happen in the final 4 weeks, but I have to stick to the plan.

Abiding the diet now 100%, but I am kicking myself for what I did. Ok…regroup…what can I do. I absolutely do NOT want to get on stage with thoughts of regret or “I should have done…” or “oh my gosh I should not have…”

The diet is making me feel weak at the gym so I am not pushing myself as far as I used to. I decided I need more time with my trainer or Luke so that I could be pushed or spotted.

I am an action girl – a doer. So here is a list of things that I need to do to help me feel like I am doing EVERYTHING I possibly can to come in strong on April 2nd:

  • GET BETTER SLEEP – I really, really, really need to get serious about sleep
  • Drink all my allotted water
  • Stick 100% perfectly to the nutrition plan Susan designed for me
  • Train more days with Susan to make sure I can get through my workouts
  • Watch my posture

My cardio has increased a bit and am relegated to running or stepmill. Relegated…that is such a negative word…I have been AWARDED the opportunity to still reach my potential! THANK YOU, I’LL TAKE IT!! 😀

This is me about to bust my butt like no body’s business. It can be done. It will be done.


165lbs, New to Fitness. Where do I start?

Sarah Asks:

I’m just a beginner, & I’m at 165lbs. I’ve lost 30 on my own.THIS is where I get confused. Since I’m starting off with a lot of body fat to lose, do I need to get some of that off (by eating clean & inc cardio) BEFORE I try to build muscle? I don’t want to inc calories on top of the fat I already have, right ? I’m already eating very clean, lifting *heavy* and doing a lot of cardio. I think I’m overdoing it.

Fitness Model/Writer Jamie Eason Responds:

Sarah – be careful not to overtrain because then you can’t maximize your workouts anyway. When you start with a high amount of excess bodyfat, the focus should be clean eating first and foremost (like you are doing) and a workout geared mo…re toward overall body training. You can get away with a general workout split of chest with tris, back with bis and legs on their own day. For about 4 days a week, you can incoporate a medium intensity cardio and a few days of abs just to strengthen your core. As for food, I want you to think of calories in terms of energy. You need to provide enough energy for your body to get through these workouts. When you switch to clean foods, you should still be able to eat a decent portion because clean foods typically have fewer overall calories than processed foods. Don’t be afraid to eat the good stuff because as you stay consistent, your body will trust that it is going to get fed the proper amount of enegy and will release more fat for fuel.

Can you relate to this woman? Do you still have unanswered questions?

Read the original post


Can I Just Smell Your Food?

Image - cat begging Please let me smell your food - Faith Keith

I do this to my husband daily 😛

“Can I Just Smell Your Food?” How many of you have asked that question? hahaha

It’s funny and a non-dieter would never understand that we truly get satisfaction from smelling warm donuts or smelling your enchiladas or that juicy cheeseburger.

Becca from ihearteggs talked about this too so I KNOW I am not alone haha

Ah…sweet dieting…  The dieting and mental resolve that this sport demands is the most difficult thing about this process.  It is definitely one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  I am so glad to be doing this – I have so much more respect for the women on stage.  I used to think of some of them as “Barbies” and maybe even “ditz”, but now I know otherwise.  Those girls are TOUGH. BEASTS. MACHINES. and the most dedicated people you will ever meet.  Can I hear an Amen?!


Vacation with Dieting and Fitness

Taking a vacation during In-Season…Tips from my first experience.

Our River Run Village condo in Keystone, Colorado made it possible to cook and prep all my meals.  I can’t wait to go back – now I know it is doable to vacation while in-season.

Flight

KLM MD-11

Image by caribb via Flickr

Only dilemma: Airline security will not allow you to bring liquids more than 3 ozs

Bring:

  • Money for water or bring your jug and fill at water fountain after security
  • Food in disposable tupperware and ziplocs.  Nothing worse than grossing everyone out with empty tuna-smelling tupperware
  • Splenda + cinnamon

On the Road with Friends 

road trip - Faith Keith

image from europeword.com

Dilemma: friends may snack the entire trip

Bring:

  • Sugar free gum (there are tons of yummy dessert like flavors)
  • Thermos for coffee
  • Crystal light drink mix on the go for your 8 oz water bottles
  • Healthy, portioned snacks. (you can still binge on healthy foods, so portion it out ahead)

Staying Sane During High-Altitude Activities 

Allie Snowboarding

Image by VancityAllie via Flickr

Dilemma: in-season diet plus high-altitude in the Colorado mountains makes for weak energy

What to do:

  • Check with trainer before changing your nutrition plan, they may have better suggestions or tell you to wait a day to acclimate
  • It WILL throw you off schedule, but make time to eat when you can.  Don’t go more than 4 hours without eating
  • Drink LOTS of water
  • Turn your meals into snack like munchies! I cut up my evening yam into small pieces and treated it like the chips and queso everyone else was eating, dipping the pieces of yam into splenda and cayenne pepper
  • Schedule your fitness plan – if you can’t be SURE that you will have the will power to hit the gym during the day while on vacation, then wake up and get it in first thing in the morning to get it out of the way
  • MENTION your fitness endeavor.  Don’t talk their ear off (no one likes a person who is obsessive), but do mention it or make everyone aware in some way that you are sticking to a meal plan – this will help you stick to it because you can’t let them see you fail.  They will respect your efforts and might even be an encouragement to you.

If you have “been there done that” and have tips – please share!!


Rinsing Tuna

My trainer, Susan, changed my diet again.  In the diet I now have tuna.  She noted “tuna, rinsed”.  I wondered why on earth I would have to rinse my tuna, especially if it is already in water.  Instead of asking her right away, I thought I would google it.  I instantly found my answer – reduces sodium!  It is especially helpful when you will be consuming a lot of tuna – rinsing helps cut back on the sodium intake.  Good to know!


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