Here I Go

So, here I go. I’m heading up to Dallas today for my competition. Some days it has seemed so far away and other days I can’t believe how the time has flown.

I’d like to say that I’m going to win, especially since I have so many great friends and family members supporting me, but it’s not like that with physique competitions. It’s not like a race where the first one that crosses the finish line is the winner. It’s a little more subjective than that. There are judges that have their own idea as to what the perfect package is, within the given criteria. They each have their own ideas about what good glutes, quads, back, shoulders, etc. look like. You can train, train, train and still not have the right package for the particular judges in your show. It’s kind of a hard line to walk because you don’t want to over-train and be too muscular or too lean either.

Although there will be quite a few other ladies in my category on Saturday, my biggest competition during this prep has been…myself. I’ve stressed a little too much, which has stalled my fat-loss progress as well as increased inflammation. I’m very hard on myself too. I have made mistakes, but I know everyone does. I lost my patience several times due to the stress I was putting on myself.

I had to apologize to my kids last Monday after I lost my patience. I had had a really bad night of sleep. Wyatt woke up incredibly whiny and nothing would make him happy. He was like me, except I was the one trying to make him happy- and I couldn’t- which really made me inpatient. Devin came downstairs kind of grumpy too because it was a Monday and she had to wake up earlier for school. I told the kids they had better just eat their breakfast and stop whining or I was going to lose it. Several days later Devin asked me if I was still grumpy. Sigh- so much for hoping they wouldn’t remember that morning.

I was talking to Devin the other day about the competition after one of her soccer games. She asked me if I thought I was going to win and I said I wasn’t doing it to win. That sounded completely foreign to a little girl that strives to score as many goals as she can in every soccer game she plays. She asked, “If you don’t want to win then why are you doing it?” I told her, “Of course winning would be great, but that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m competing to try to make myself better.”

Winning is nice, but there’s so much more to competing than a glass or plastic trophy. Only the “winners” get one of those, but everyone who makes the journey to the stage is a winner. I think I’ve listened more to my body and learned more about myself during this competition prep than I have before. I have been tired, I have been sore, I have woken up when I didn’t want to and worked out anyway. I’ve also been uncomfortable, but honestly I haven’t really been hungry. I haven’t eaten to excess like I used to. I’ve made homemade pizza for dinner for my family, and eaten chicken breast on leafy greens with a little bit of Udo’s oil and mustard instead of that yummy looking pizza. I’ve argued with Wyatt over what shoes are okay to wear in PE at school while doing dips on the edge of my coffee table and gotten him to eat a few more bites of his breakfast between cycles of Tabatas.

I’ve also become painfully aware of how the stress that I put on myself has sabotaged my efforts. Within the last week or so I have caught myself worrying about things like business decisions that need to be made, how my daughter’s dyslexia is affecting her, my son’s immaturity in his kindergarten classroom that is constantly getting him in trouble. They’re not minor things, but the way I worrying about them isn’t going to fix them- it just messes me up. Just breathe and keep moving forward I tell myself- if I take time to worry then nothing will get done anyway, and I’ll have more to stress about. It’s not like by worrying about these things that I’m formulating a plan to deal with them. No, I’m just giving myself an ulcer. So I’ve really learned to relax a little more these last few days.

It really has been like a science experiment. What foods make me feel the best? What exercises get me the best results? I haven’t done any extreme dieting or used any crazy fat burners- just eating real food. I have had to experiment with my carbs, proteins, and fats these last few weeks to trick my body into getting rid of this last bit of fat, but not to the extreme that some do though. My coach stresses that we do this the right way and that’s why I’m glad to be a part of this team.

As far as weird cravings, I have thought a few times about a Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a pumpkin latte or a peppermint mocha from Starbucks, but other than that I haven’t really had any extreme thoughts about all the food I’ll eat after my competition season is over, like some do. Instead, I will let myself have a little more choices in food, and a few more treats, especially a glass or two of wine. I’ll even be okay with gaining back a little of the weight. I’d like to think that I set myself up for success a little more with this prep then I did my last two. That being said, here’s my package.

Oct 24- week of show

For better or worse- my stomach and glutes may not be as perfect as the rest of the ladies, but they are mine and I have trained them hard. These pictures were taken yesterday to send to my coach. I looked a little different this morning and by the time I hit the stage Saturday evening nutritional changes will have caused me to lose even more water weight. I will have another coat of base tan on as well as two or three coats of stage tan (yes, I’m that pale) that will make my muscles really pop. My hair and make-up will be done and I’ll look a lot different from this picture. But no matter what the outcome, I know that the journey to the stage has been the biggest part of this competition, not the few minutes that I actually spend on stage. I’ve given it my best and I’ll feel good about myself no matter what.

I’ll take pictures throughout the day and post them on my Facebook page. Please feel free Like my page if you want to follow along. The competition doesn’t start until 4:00, but I have to be there and ready to go by 11:00 for registration so there will be a lot of sitting around. Just know that I don’t expect to bring home a trophy…and I’m okay with that because I’ve already won.

I hope you enjoyed my musings on the ups and downs on the way to the stage.

Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you.

Jessica

It’s Flu Season- Don’t forget to take your…Vitamin D?

I’ve listened to a lot of lectures over the past few months, hundreds actually. Some of them were diet and nutrition related and some were business related. The diet ones ranged from talks about macrobiotics, to veganism, to Ayurveda, to primal and Paleo. All of them had great points, but what they recommended varied wildly. It was confusing at times to sort through and figure out what worked for me.

One of the things that most of them agreed on was the importance of vitamin D. It was kind of surprising actually. Through one of the lectures, I learned about a doctor that did a study using vitamin D with his patients in the mental ward of a hospital. The doctor was trying to show how the vitamin D helped brain function. Then a bad flu swept through the rest of the hospital and no one in his mental ward got sick.

It makes sense if you think about it. We get most of our vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. But if you’re North of Flagstaff, AZ or Atlanta, GA, the sun is not strong enough for about 3-6 months of the year to give you the vitamin D that you need. That just happens to be the 3-6 months that we label as “flu season.” When you take a look at those closer the equator who get more sunlight year round, there is no flu season, it’s just a little here and there year-round.

Plus dermatologists have us so scared of the sun that we are afraid to go outside at all without slathering on the SPF 70, which prevents absorption of the vitamin D. I’m not saying that we should all lay out until we look like leather, but going outside for a few minutes a day without sunscreen won’t give you skin cancer.

Of course, skin color affects your absorption of sunlight. Those with fairer skin, like me, have lower resistance to the sun so during the hot summer months all we need is anywhere from 10 to 20 mins a day. Those with darker skin may require 30-45 mins a day because the darker skin, with more melanin, is like a natural sunscreen.

Vitamin D doesn’t just help your immune system. It plays a big role in many or our physiological functions, like supporting the thyroid and preventing osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, depression, and many types of cancers.

Even though vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and we have been warned over and over that too much fat soluble vitamins can cause toxicity, none of the speakers I heard were aware of anyone having any problems with that. The recommended dose for adults is 2,000 IU, but many have taken 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day for the darkest 3-6 months of the year with no toxicity problems. The recommended dose for kids ranges from 1,000 IU to 4,000 IU depending on who you’re talking to.

Found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, vitamin D is hard to come by unless you want to eat a lot of fish or take cod liver oil supplements. Milk, eggs, and some yogurt and cheeses are actually fortified with vitamin D, but for someone with a vitamin D deficiency drinking 20 glasses of milk a day is just too much.

Even though many of the lecturers were not big fans of supplementation, they wanted to get all of their vitamins from food, they did recommend supplementing vitamin D. Just make sure that you’re getting it in the form of D3, not D2. I myself use supplementation in the form of D3 along with a few others. I found a liquid D3 that I drizzle on my kids’ breakfasts. I actually used to give Wyatt a fermented cod liver oil, which was completely nasty and I felt bad giving it to him so as soon as the last bottle was out, I switched to fish oil that has very little flavor and the vitamin D drops. So far so good with the supplement. Besides some seasonal allergies we’ve done pretty well.

I hope this information helps you as you’re manning your battle stations for flu season.

On another note, I will be starting a weekend challenge tomorrow. If you want to join in on that Like my Facebok page and check under Events. My newsletter with my workout of the month will be coming out this weekend. If you would like to receive my newsletter click here.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica

No More GAPS

When we first started this diet several months ago, we said we’d give it a try to see if it was worth it. In order to really give the diet a try we needed to do it for about 6 months.  Both my parents and in-laws even helped follow the diet while he was visiting them over the summer. It’s been a long six months, but we’re at the end of that time now. Wyatt has made some improvements, but it wasn’t a night and day type thing where I could point to the diet and say for sure that he would have progressed without it. It’s also hard to say if he was just naturally progressing, it was the diet, or it was the supplements that I have been giving him along with the diet. Because of all of this, we’ve decided not to continue.

Plus, it’s hard to keep him on his diet while he’s in school. GAPS requires 100% compliance so if his teacher forgets that he can’t have the classroom goodies, then it’s done. That’s happened a few times. Also, he went to a friend’s house down the street to play for about 45 mins and because it was such a short period of time I totally forgot to mention that he is on a special diet. That just happened to be the time when his friend’s dad went to Sonic to grab everyone dinner. He didn’t want to leave Wyatt out so he went ahead and got him the chicken strips with French fries, and a cherry limeade. Wyatt usually tells everyone that he’s on a special diet, but the temptation was too much for the little guy. He was more than half-way through the dinner when he mentioned to them that he was on a special diet. The mom brought him back to me along with what was left of his dinner and was so apologetic. We had already decided that we were going to take him off of the diet so my only concern at that point was how his little system was going to react to foods he hadn’t had in so long. I was worried about cramping, gas, etc. But he had nothing. The only thing he kept telling me was that the dinner was, “So, so licious!” (Sigh!) So much for making a last change in his taste buds. I guess that was a pipe-dream.

I have to admit, I’m not sad about moving on. I was getting pretty tired of cooking everything from scratch, it was exhausting actually. I do believe that home-cooked meals are the best things for my family, but his choices were so limited that making dinner just wasn’t fun anymore. Wyatt ate everything pretty well, but Charley and Devin weren’t happy with the tastes and textures of the foods, and they weren’t even GAPS 100% of the time. I actually got to buy the reheatable rotisserie turkey breast and rosemary potatoes at the grocery store the other day to have warming in the oven on a busy night. That’s about as close to fast food as we’ve been in a while.

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We’ve been slowly adding foods back into Wyatt’s diet for a few weeks. He’s tried rice, corn, potatoes, and maple syrup. So far so good- no reactions to any of the foods. In fact, yesterday we made him some popcorn balls out of air-popped popcorn and his special marshmallows. Devin wasn’t a fan so we made her some popcorn balls too, using maple syrup. Unfortunately, the recipe for Devin’s popcorn balls turned out more like caramel corn because it didn’t stick together like a ball. It was still really good so she didn’t mind.

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I learned a lot from having Wyatt on this diet so I’m glad I did it. I’m not sure Wyatt, Charley, and Devin are as enthused. Wyatt still has his list of foods that he wants to try when he can, “…muffins and cereal and crackers and cookies…” We’re not quite up to all of that yet, but he’s excited to get to have more foods.

So I’m eating less and less foods while Wyatt is getting to eat more and more. Oh well, that’s how it’s going right now since I’m two weeks out from my competition. More updates to come later.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica

We All Have the Same 24 Hours

Busier

I have heard forever that we all have the same 24 hours. It frustrates me sometimes because over the last few years I have met some women who are so organized and accomplish so much that I think they must have been given an extra couple of hours every day to get it all done. They make Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in “I Don’t Know How She Does It” look like a couch potato.

The truth is that they are much better at time management than me. They also have enough focus that they can stay on task to conquer goal after goal. They get their workout in, get their food prep, drop the kids off at school, run multiple successful businesses during the day, and work their schedules so that they can pick the kids back up in the afternoon and still get business done while they’re running them from activity to activity. It’s amazing to watch sometimes…and a bit intimidating.

Another thing they know how to do is say, “No.” Just because they can do it all doesn’t mean they’re going to. Their kid may be in soccer and take piano lessons, but they told her she couldn’t do ballet too, because that would be too much. These women know their limits and they don’t want to be martyred moms.

It’s especially frustrating because I get all of these good ideas and I set out on accomplishing them all at once then I get so overwhelmed because I’m trying to do everything that I end up doing nothing. It’s been the same thing over and over and I’ve finally learned my lesson. I’m trying to get one thing going at a time now. No more running wildly at an objective. This is me sometimes, including the wild bug-eyes.

frazzled mom clip art

Since we now have less than 90 days to the New Year, I don’t want to slack off. I’m working on making my list of objectives and action steps for each objective. Then I’m figuring out how long each action step will take and fitting it into the pockets of time in my life right now as it is. My mornings and evenings are busy with kid’s activities so ideally I’d get most of my work done with clients during the day. That’s not always realistic because my clients also have day jobs, or else they wouldn’t be able to pay for my services.

Right now I am working on my online program. I have been meaning to make some videos for a while that explain how to do the various exercises I use in my challenges and other workouts, but I just haven’t done it. I’ve kept making excuses as to why I didn’t have the time, until this week.

I sat down on Monday and starting making a list of the exercises I wanted to video. Then I started doing it. I used my iPhone in my house to film them. Each video was between 30 and 90 seconds depending on if the exercise had modifications or not. Then I had to sit down and edit them. That’s where I made a completely bonehead mistake.

I used an app on my iPhone to edit the videos and assumed that the videos were saved in the app. Because there were so many of them I didn’t want the videos to take up so much of my phone’s memory by being saved in two places so I deleted the originals. Then when I went back to play the videos in the app I got an error because the videos were no longer available. Ouch! I tried several different suggestions to get them back but nothing worked.

I deleted 26 of the videos before I realized what was going on. So that meant I had to rerecord 26 of them. Just when I thought I was flying through my action steps on the way to the completion of an objective I completely messed myself up. I wasted a little bit of time being upset with my bonehead move and then told myself that I couldn’t do anything else about it so stop stressing. Thursday morning I went through and recorded those exercises, along with a few others I thought of along the way for a total of 66. Now I’m in the process of editing them. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for when I post them. I’ll link to the videos there to explain workouts and upcoming challenges.

I think my final product is going to be better off for it, but that was still the hard way to do it. I felt like I wasted so much time doing that and I don’t have a lot of time to waste. As the mom of young kids I’ve learned that I can’t be super strict about my schedule or else it’ll just get messed up. But I also can’t be completely lax about it either or else nothing will get done. It’s kind of sickening to get thrown off by something I did instead of a kid related task.

Oh well, it happened and I’m back on track. No more beating myself up. I only have 24 hours in a day, and I need to be sleeping for 7-8 of them so no more time to waste. So, I’m going to be watching a little less TV and spending less time on Facebook, other than to post my daily tips for the next 90 days and maybe see all the cute pics of my nieces and nephews. I love the feeling of being productive, don’t you?

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica