Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's next?

.....The most common question people ask post competition.

After my show, I gave myself a mental and physical break. It was well needed and very much overdue. I took the entire week post show off from the gym..No training, no cardio..nothing. I had a few days where I ate whatever the fuck I wanted..Literally WHATEVER! Peanut Butter Pop-Tarts, mixed nuts and Ben & Jerry's is a normal dinner...right? LOL! Well, the food fun was short lived because I felt like a fuckin train hit me...Oh the fun of sugar and sodium (eye roll). I was bloated, crampy and looked a hot mess...But, it was good fun and got it out of my system. After those few days, I cleaned up my meals but still kept my ass out of the gym. I took the free time to catch up on, life etc.

After my week of rest, I got back in the gym over the weekend and it felt AMAZING! My energy is through the roof and my enthusiasm for training is back with a vengeance. I'm keeping my diet tight, while slowly increasing my macros. I've made a slight bump from where I was the last few weeks of prep and as my body responds I'll further increase. I added in some of the things I was craving..Fats and sugar! So increasing my fats a bit with nuts, PB2 (this bitch ain't fuckin around with real PB!) and adding in some fruits which is a nice treat. And no, before you ask...I have NOT weighed myself! I'm still a bit..ummm, fluffy if you will lol But, my body is stabilizing so I'll get a better gauge of where I am holding at in a few weeks.

I am again going to be navigating my own off season and I'm looking forward to it. I have read/followed John Meadows and I'm going to be applying his Mountain Dog program to my training. The progress I've seen others make (and John himself) is incredible, also it's VERY different than any way I've trained in the past so I'm really looking forward to seeing how my body responds. As I said, I will be slowly increasing my macros...With the intensity of my training, I'll definitely be needing the fuel to help with not only gains but recovery. And no, there will be no fuckin cardio!

As far as "What's next" and competition plans....I'm in full off season mindset now. After speaking with the judges, they confirmed exactly what I knew I needed to work on so it's nice to get that confirmation that I can objectively assess my physique. A few people have urged me to compete in the fall, but I don't compete just to compete, just cause I can..The goal for me, it to always bring a better, more improved package to the stage and IMO taking a few weeks off, then going right into prep for fall is NOT going to accomplish what I would like to. Between my off season last year, then a long prep, my body needs a break and that's what I'm giving it. I learned a TON during the last year and I'm excited moving forward.

So the quest begins for bigger, thicker Nicole for 2014!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Team U Recap

I have so many thoughts going through my head that I really don't even know where to begin...

I had a lot of doubts throughout the course of my prep, I was playing in uncharted waters with a new coach and a fresh approach so the learning curve was a steep one. As the weeks ticked by and my prep began to come to a close, I actually had a calm confidence about the physique I was bringing...The one I had worked so hard over the last year to build and shape. With each passing day during the final week, I was getting harder/tighter and dropping weight..With that said, Thursday (the day I left for Jersey) I was in the best shape of my conditioning was unlike it had even been in the past. I was hard...Pec/delt striations, vascularity in my lower abs and even glute/ham separation...I was on point and couldn't have been more excited. Now, fast forward to pre judging on Friday afternoon and I'm disappointed to see that I had softened up, especially my lower body. All of the conditioning I had the day before, even earlier that morning, I had lost, I was watery. Anywho, it is what it is and the show must go on...So, my class was up and we each had our 45sec routine. I went out to center stage, with a smile on my face and hit my poses. As they called us our for comparisons, I was not surprised that I didn't make first call outs, but when the second group of girls came out, I soaked it up and enjoyed the moment.

After pre judging was over, I am not going to bullshit you, of course I was disappointed...that is the competitor in me. Knowing I could have been better sucks, but at the end of the day the judging was over and I missed my mark. With that said, me and my girl went for a little quiet time to wrap up a long day at the diner. I had myself a serious moment with some french toast, bacon, fruit salad and a brownie sundae...and who knew that was exactly what my body needed?! Yep, I looked a million times better than I did only a few hours before that...I've always been one to fear over eating or doing something 'risky' before a show, but clearly my body responded well and I can only assume if I would have had that sort of meal (ok...maybe without the sundae lol) prior to pre judging, my conditioning would have been much different. That is the beauty of this sport, the body is a fascinating machine and it's always teaching us something new. 

Obviously, not being in the first call out made it clear that I was not placing in the top 5 so no routine for me at finals....not that I had it prepared anyway LOL! While it's a bummer not making top 5, it did mean I had ZERO stress or anxiety about my lack of routine..So, when introduced I went out for my last moment on stage and hit my pose with a big smile on my face...I was proud of myself and worked so hard for this, I wanted to take advantage of EVERY moment I had under the lights. The work was over, I did I all I could do and now it was just time to have a fuckin blast and that I did! I watched some of the other routines as well as some of the Men BB as I NOM'd some brownies, then went out to dinner to celebrate with good food and good friends. And for those who care...I had chips w/ salsa, buffalo wings, cajun pasta w/ garlic bread and dessert...Yes, this bitch KNOWS how to celebrate =)

My "contest prep" was a journey that I embarked on a year ago, when I kicked off my figure heels and made the switch to Women's Physique. In that time, life had thrown so many curve balls my way..There were highs of banging out PR after PR and lows of depression and topping the scale with a 50lb weight gain. There were moments when I thought competing was totally off of the table this season, so not only to be able to step on stage but to do it at the national level was a dream come true. 

Overall, my first national show was an experience that I will never forget. Even though, things didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, I can honestly say that I have never had more fun over a competition weekend. Did I come in as conditioned as I would have liked or as well as I could have? No, but at the same time I made significant progress from my last show and I brought my personal best to the stage. In looking at the big picture, I can whole heartedly say that I am proud of a person and as a competitor. Anyone who knows me, can speak to my quest for perfection, that I am hard on myself, expect much from myself....all very true, but in this sport when our time on the stage is a few minutes at best, I sure hope you get more out of the process than a placing. The fact that this is the first show that I've done where I didn't leave with hardware, but it ranks as the BEST experience in my competitive history pretty much says all you need to know about where I place value in the sport. The things I learned about myself, about others, the friendships and relationships that have been made, strengthened or discovered is priceless.

Now that Team U 2013 is a wrap, I have a few shout outs.....

*Colette and Heidi for making me beautiful. Seriously, I am a girl who lives in gym clothes and wears just enough make up to look awake lol but these two incredible women made me look and feel gorgeous. They are truly artists at what they do. It takes a village to make me a girly girl but you ladies made it happen..My tan was FLAWLESS, my make-up was jaw dropping. Not only did they make me beautiful, but they made the process so much fun...I can't imagine stepping on stage without these ladies doing what they do behind the scenes.*

*Mike Carrubba and Champion Performance. It has truly been an honor to have the support over the last few years from such an amazing group of people. The team at Champion has supported and encouraged my lengthy off seasons, taking the time to switch divisions and has allowed me to develop and grow into the competitor that I have become. There is no question, I would not have been able to take the stage this season without Mike and the crew at Champion in my corner. Thank you for believing in me, I'm proud to be a Champion Performance athlete.*

*My gym family at Body D. I've trained at many gyms over the years and not too many are competitor friendly, most tolerate but don't necessarily encourage or support bodybuilding. The people who work at and/or train at my gym have been so incredibly supportive throughout my journey..whether is was crushing PR's in the off season or hammering out step mill sessions, the sense of support and encouragement is amazing.*

*As I said, this "prep" was really a transformation of my life over the last year and it would not have been possible without the incredible people who have shared in my journey. Chris, Deb, Travis, Dave, Tori, Lance, Herb and Jill...Whether it was listening to my crazy rants (and there were plenty), talking me off the cliff, offering advice or perhaps a different perspective one way or another you have left a lasting imprint in my life and on my heart...You have showed what real friendships are all about. I am thankful to have you in my world. You have helped make me the person that I am and this experience would not have been possible without you all.*

And saving the best for last...
My family <3
Family are the people who love you unconditionally. Those who see the good, the bad and even the ugly, those who are my strength during my moments of weakness and who believed in me, even when I gave up hope and doubted myself. Rosie and left and right arms. My life changed the moment you two walked into it and I will be forever grateful for all that you have given me. You are my strength when my face is in the dirt, you pick me up and drag me along but only til I'm strong enough, then you kick me in the ass and tell me to get it together and that is priceless. I love you both with all my heart and I thank you for sharing in these adventures of ours...Yes, OURS. We are a team and this is an experience that couldn't have been possible with anyone else by my side. WE are just getting started xo

If you managed to survive this novel, Kudos to you! And for those of you who are all about the pics, I leave you with this....Until next time :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Here we gooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just wanted to drop a quick little update as my prep is winding down. I'm just a couple of days out from Team U and putting the finishing touches together. Things are moving along and I honestly couldn't be happier with the physique that I'm bringing. My weight is still steady dropping as I'm getting tighter, checking in with my coach daily and he is very pleased with how things have shaped up. Nothing gives ya a little extra oomph like your coach saying "WOW!" when you check in *happy dance*

So, now I'm getting myself packed up..stressing a little as I'm always afraid I'm not prepared or Imma forget something...I've got countless lists and post-its EVERYWHERE! Tomorrow will be a busy day...dropping off my doggies at my parents house in the morning, getting in a light cardio and posing session then hitting the road for Jersey! I'll get settled, go to check ins, get my tan on, and just relax for the evening before the circus gets underway on Friday.

As you can assume, it will be a crazy busy weekend..I'll do my best to check in via FB/cell but you can pretty much assume, Imma be MIA! I'm sure my friends will keep everyone posted and as always, you can check out RxMuscle for their coverage throughout the weekend. 

I'm looking forward to having a hell of a good time this weekend with my best friends, they are all going to be there to share this moment with me and I couldn't ask for more. I want to thank EVERYONE for their support...every text, email, message, comment etc..It's really amazing how many people have reached out to me. I am shocked at how many people have followed my journey over the years, especially this last one and how many people can relate to my random babbling and unfiltered nonsense ;-) 

I'll have a full post show recap but until then.....

Here goes nothing........
Let's do this shit!