Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fresh Countdown...10 Weeks Out!

I had my check in with my coach over the weekend....
10 Weeks Out from Team U!

I sent the bossman a new round of pictures as well as my weigh in...
I'm definitely beginning to see changes in my physique consistently now, which is a hell of a morale booster. New veins poppin, separation coming through and my waistline is making her comeback...makes me one happy girl :))) I still think my pictures look awful, but I do see progression from last week which is what it's all about. I also broke a MAJOR barrier with this check in....the scale FINALLY dipped below 140 for the first time since last summer! Sure, it's only 139.6lbs but seeing 130anything was such a kick in my ass...I was beyond excited to be in the 130's again. It's still just as number as we really have no "goal weight" in mind for the show, the classes are by height anyway so I just have to look MY best. As long as the trend is DOWNWARD, I couldn't be happier!

As far as my diet, training and all that good stuff are concerned...
I'm just trucking along. I'm pushing myself in my workouts, not crushing PR's or anything crazy but I'm getting shit done. Aside from just looking leaner, I am FEELING fit and healthy again! I'm banging out my cardio on the step mill, level 20 and not dying..dripping in sweat and huffin n' puffin, sure but nothing like I lungs are no long screaming for help. Hell, I can keep up with my dogs going up and down the stairs again...a few months ago, that was NOT the case. Funny how carrying 20 extra pounds of fat will slow ya down (eyeroll) My diet has been consistent, as I'm making progress there haven't been a reason to make changes to things. Am I hungry? Yes, I'm dieting..but I'm not STARVING, like going to eat my arm hungry or anything...but check back in a few weeks.

In addition to training and cardio, I have been putting in some time posing. Running through my mandatory poses between sets or after my workout...holding them for a count etc. As the weeks move along, I will be putting in more posing work..more time, holding, tweaking them. As I get leaner, it allows me to really see what little changes to a pose can have on the physique I'm presenting. Something else that I am starting to work on is my routine :o) EEEEKKKK!!!!! I do believe I have my music narrowed down, a friend is editing it down for me so hopefully it works well. Now, I have to somehow put something together...Last year, I threw it together the night before and backstage after pre judging..I want to be a bit more prepared this time around. As someone who is NOT a performer, this is a lofty task.

OK, so 10 weeks out and here's plan of action:

Training: 4 Day split/ 5-6 days a week..heavy/moderate and intense
Diet: Low fats/Moderate carb/High protein; 1.5-2gal H2o and 3-4 cups of tea
Cardio: 20min step mill sessions (I suppose you can count posing as cardio too lol)
Supplementation: Champion Nutrition's Multi-V, Omega 3 Fish Oil, Performance BCAA's, ProFlex Advance Joint Support, Liver Cleanse, Muscle Nitro PM, Power Creatine, Power Glutamine, Adrenol8 (pre/wo), Pure Whey and the love of my life, ThermoGold :)

And just because I'm in a kick ass mood....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A slight change in plans...

Change can be a funny thing. Sometimes it throws us off our game and other times, it works in our favor...
This is one of those (oh, so rare) times where I welcome and embrace it :)

If you've been following along, you're aware that this prep has had many ups and downs..To say I've been stressed and frustrated would be an understatement. I had SEVERE doubts that I could do this, that I would be ready..I had even for the first time since I started competing actually thought about throwing up my hands and quitting! Me? Giving up?! WTF?!? That's not my spirit, that's not who I am...

Well, with that said, I will not be prepping for the Atlantic States show in NYC any longer...
Apparently, unlike what I had previously thought, I do NOT need to do a qualifying show this season! After doing a little research, it turns out the local PA show I did last spring has already qualified me to compete in Women's Physique at Team Universe this July!

My coach and I are thrilled to have a few extra weeks to bring the whole package together. My spark has been re lit and I am more amped up than I have been in a long time. Will it be easy? Nope, but anything worth having, is worth busting my ass for.

I'm confident that I will present the BEST Nicole yet!
Just under 11 weeks (10 weeks and 3 days lol)....Let's fuckin go!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Riddle me this!

I get a ton of comments/messages, questions etc so instead of giving the same repetitive answers I decided to put them all in here which should pretty much cover it!

Here goes nothing....

Q: What do you do for cardio?
A: Right now, I'm doing 20min cardio sessions as per my coaches orders. The key to only doing shorter sessions is that I can keep them intense. I do hills/intervals on the highest setting of the step mill (unless someone is using it then my heart rate is increased cause I'm pissed LOL!). I hate doing cardio, so if Imma do it, Imma get more bang for my buck if you will. No strolling through the park on the treadmill here, I'm dripping sweat and putting a hurting on my lungs!

Q: What is your favorite supplement?
A: Obviously, throughout the year this varies, but right now (7.5wks out) I am alllllllll about my fat burners! Imma stim junky and Champion Nutrition's Thermo Gold is my crack :) I pop 2 first thing in the morning and then another mid afternoon. A close second is Champion Nutrition's Pure Whey (Cookies & Cream or Chocolate PB)..mixed with my oats or greek yogurt is a yummy way to fancy up my food lol

Q: How are you feeling?
A: Oh boy is that a loaded question. I get asked this at least once a day and depending when you ask, my answer will vary LOL! Overall, I'm feeling pretty good. My energy is best early in the day, which makes my evening cardio session a little blah but I'm getting it done. As the weeks tick by and I drop weight/body fat, my strength has begun to drop as well. Right now, I'm not looking to smash any PR's..I'm not fueled for it so the oooph isn't there. By the end of my day, I'm definitely ready to crash and even though I am typically a lazy person, it's at another level right now. If it's not prep or work related, I've got ZERO interest in moving. And, yeah..I'm tummy growling huuungry!

Q: Have you put a routine together?
A: EEEEK! That about sums it up, right?!?! No, I have not even begun to tackle the routine but I NEED to! I have narrowed my song list down to the final 2 so hopefully as I settle on the ONE, a routine will start coming together. In addition to my posing, this shit's gotta get done so ummmm...hopefully, I'll have more on that later :/

Q: How do you keep your diet exciting?
A: Ok, it's food..It's not "exciting" LOL! I'm a lazy chick, I hate to cook and like to keep it as simple as humanly possible. Staples of egg whites, oats, chicken, salads and greek yogurt are my go-tos. As far as exciting goes, I use cajun seasoning for my chicken/salads, mix my hard boiled egg whites with spicy mustard and use cinnamon and sugar free syrup in my oats. My favorite meal of the day is probably greek yogurt mixed with whey and chocolate walden farms syrup..YUMMY!

Q: How do you deal with people who don't support your goals?
A: Easy, I don't! I know, that sounds harsh lol but you don't have to "understand" what I do or why I do it to be supportive. If you love me, then you will respect and support me. It's pretty simple really...I surround myself with positive people. I'm perfectly capable of beating myself down, so there is no room in my life for those who try to drag me down or hold me back. There are so many people in this world who don't have a passion for anything, I have been fortunate to find mine in the gym..People who want to be in my life will support what brings me happiness and if they don't, it's their loss really cause Imma keep doing me!

Q:How do you stay so focused and motivated?
A: Oh if I knew, I would bottle that shit up and be rich! There is a switch inside of me that just flips when it comes to training and contest prep. It's like, I circle the show date on the calendar and it's auto pilot. I honestly, wish I knew how I do it, I'd utilize it in other areas of my life and maybe I'd actually have my shit together ;)

Q: Why don't you start a fan page?
A: To be totally honesty, why the hell would I have one?!? I don't see the purpose of having one. Unless I were a coach, trainer or something along those lines I don't see the need for having a separate page. A lot of times people who have multiple pages (unless for business purposes) it just ends up as more "look at me" redundant posts..One FB page is plenty for me.

Q: What is your best lift?
A: While training over the off season as well as at the beginning of prep, I hit a few PR's 270 Squat, 315 Deadlift, 115 Military press and 175 bench were my single rep highlights.

Q: Are you craving anything?
A: When am I not craving anything is a better question! Overall, I'm starting to get "hungry" yes..but a specific craving like "Oh, I want pasta" not really..Do I want food? Of course! I'd fuck up some dessert right about now LOL! I'm cruising the food porn now and then but I'm not groping and smelling shit at the food store or bakery....yet ;-) Seriously, sure I would LOVE to live off of ice cream, cookies and cereal but I can honestly say I am not "craving" any one thing in particular, more like, I'm hungry and just want FOOD! 

Q:When are you doing a PL meet?
A: This is a VERY common question I am asked and yes, it's on my bucket list..something I WILL do at some point but now I am focused on bodybuilding. I had hoped to do a meet in the fall last year but life came along and pissed all over that idea. I hit some great PR's while in my off season, which came to a halt as I got deeper into prep. After my show I will evaluate what my next step will be on the physique stage and then decided where PL fits in. My love and my passion is BB, that will always come first but at least once, I will take it to the platform but only time will tell when that will be.

Q: Stats?
A: Pretty much anytime you post a pic, someone is going to ask your stats lol Since, I'm prepping it's changing all the time..YAY! I am currently 7.5wks out, hanging around 142lbs and I'm 5'4". And can I just say, I love the fact that this sport is the only arena where people will ask how much you weigh and it's a perfectly acceptable question.

Q: What forums are you on? Fave FB pages etc?
A: I'm not much for forums anymore, with FB you can pretty much keep up with anyone and anything. I do have a training journal on RX Muscle. Their RXGirl forums have been a huge wealth of information. Aside from that, I follow a few FB pages and blogs...
Here are the links to my favorites, check them out, "like" them and follow along:

Monday, April 8, 2013

Perspective on progress....

Bodybuilding, contest prep etc is NOT an easy endeavor to undertake...
It's physically demanding, YES but for me the mental battle is always where I find out the most about myself. 

I had my check in a couple of days ago and it was what I needed to really lift my spirits. I'm currently 9wks out and for anyone who has been following along, I've been a tad..ummmm, shall we say frustrated! After the weeks of battle with the scale, I know people thought I was nuts for trashing it and buying a new one but I knew something wasn't right and since I replaced the scale, there has been a consistent downward trend with each check in. Like I've stated COUNTLESS times, it's not the number itself that gets to me, but the lack of progressing. If you're dropping body fat, the scale should be moving..Period. I'm down about 2.5lbs over the last week, my composition is changing and it's clear from the way my clothes fit and even in my dreadful pics. My pictures still IMO (and those who see me in person agree) don't capture how far I've really come but the changes are clear...and hey, if you look better in a shitty picture that's gotta be a good sign right!??! 

There haven't been changes to my program since my last update. Diet/macros are still the same and I've been busting my ass in the gym. I give my EVERYTHING in the gym, some days are harder than others but I get it done. I'm listening to my body and easing up on the power movements. My focus is to drop body fat, maintain my muscle and most importantly stay HEALTHY! My cardio hasn't increased, still hitting 20min sessions on the stepmill (unless someone is on it! GRRRR that pisses me off lol)...and I'm not talking no walk in the park, I run up that fucker! There is no doubt that the addition of the cardio, after not doing any for so long has kicked my body into's definitely responding.

Am I still stressed and worrying that I'm behind? Do I wish my conditioning were better? Do I still have a long ways to go? Yes, Yes and YES! I set lofty expectations and standards for myself, but I've already come so far and I'm up to any challenge that lies ahead.....

Sometimes, I get so caught up in how much work I still have ahead that I don't stop and give myself credit for how far I've come. I got a nice reminder from a friend who said  "It's a never ending walk, but always take a moment or two to look over your shoulder and admire what you've left behind..." Thanks, Dave K :)

Here's to the next 9wks..Let's fuckin do this! 

What a difference 10lbs can make!

Monday, April 1, 2013

10WKS OUT!!! Say what?!!?!?

I feel like this prep is flying by, yet at the same time I feel I still have so far to go...

This weeks check in was definitely a frustrating one, so much so that I literally (I am not being dramatic) threw my fuckin scale in the trash! I am convince that fucker is broken :/ It has to be. I've gotten over the obsession of seeing a certain number, I honestly do NOT care how much I weigh, but that the number is moving. The scale has been stuck at 144.4 for month! I stepped on it and it will show me a number (140.2) then shoot right back up to 144.4?? WTF? I can see clear changes in my physique, my facial structure is back and my clothing are fitting very differently...Hell, I'm wearing shorts..IN PUBLIC! How is it even possible for there to be no movement one way of another?? It has been driving me absolutely insane! So, I trashed it and bought a new one. I will get on the new scale for my next check in and use that to track my progress from here on out. Do I sound crazy? Yep and I really don't give a fuck!

As far as my pictures go, while I am NOT thrilled with them by any means, I do think I am seeing progression in them. Again, I don't think pictures capture me accurately at all..I am not photogenic and look MUCH better in person but as long as there is some sort of progress, I'm happy. As much as I HATE taking pictures and yes, I wish I were further ahead etc but in looking back through previous weeks, I can see how far I've come. 

My coach did make some changes to my program this week, which I'm sure will get my body responding. He didn't make any tweaks to my diet this time around, but did add in some additional cardio sessions...Still just 20min, but on the stepmill that 20 is no fuckin joke!That is pretty much the point of cardio throughout my prep, not much but MAKE IT COUNT! I'll take an intense, exhausting 20min session than an hour long walk in the park any day.

A little candid babbling:
I am having quite a few doubts lately...
I question if I will be ready? Should I shoot for a later show? Am I being realistic? There are other shows, this isn't the end all be all...but let's be real, that isn't my style. When I commit to something, I make it happen, it's just who I am and what I do. In some ways, 10wks is still a good chunk of time and in other ways, it leaves NO margin for error. I still have my work cut out for me for sure, but I don't back down from a challenge and I'm ready to dig a little deeper and do what needs to be done to get where I want to be....