Immunity Boosting Smoothies (PLUS: Crash Dieting Info)

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IDK about everyone else, but it seems like literally EVERYONE I know is sick. I’ve been trying my best to stay healthy this holiday season, which means ensuring I have high amounts of vitamin C and maintain a healthy diet. Believe it or not, getting enough sleep and eating the right foods can be extremely helpful to overall weight loss.  Oh and p.s. I still got sick anyway.

One thing I hear a lot of women say are, “Oh well, I’m starting smoothies.” First off, why? I mean, I can get behind of clean eating post-binge or a day of juice, but SMOOTHIES ALL THE TIME? Second of all, just because something is good for you, doesn’t mean it’s something you should eat or drink it all of the time or should make up ALL of your diet. This is my plea to you New Years Resolutioners, please avoid crash dieting. Did you know that according to an independent study, only 5% of people who lost weight on a crash diet actually kept it off?

Here’s my point:

Fruits and veggies are great to have, but they (especially fruits) ARE NOT VOID of carbs and sugar. For example, one banana has 27 grams of carbohydrates and orange juice has about 12g per 8 oz. That’s 39 grams of carbs with just two ingredients.  You know what? 1 Poptart has 38 grams of carbs. Not to say it’s more nutritionally sound, but think about it. If you’re daily intake of carbs should be  188, then you just jacked a significant portion of your carbs with a smoothie that is HIGH  in carbs and also LOADED with sugar. Now, don’t get me wrong here, veggies and fruits should make up a large portion of your diet, but please don’t think that binging on fruit is the way to be lean!   WATCH THOSE MACROS YO! Another issue with these smoothies, is that often people don’t add protein, and having significant amounts of protein aids in building lean muscle.

You may be thinking “Well that’s great, I’ll just buy a pre-packaged protein drink or juice.” Oh hell nah. Check the sugar on those bad boys. Granted while some of these are OK, be sure you are checking labels for sugar and fat.

Now that I’ve crushed your dreams, I’m going to bring you back.  Smoothies are great to supplement a good diet and when used in moderation.  If you’ve fallen off track, a veggie and fruit loaded smoothie is a great addition to a healthy balanced diet! I like to drink smoothies to get my veggies in because I just hate vegetables. I’m sorry. Fruits also function as immunity boosters and should be part of a healthy diet.

After doing some research, I decided to whip up this little creation to give me some Vitamin C and deliciousness.

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Immunity Boosting Protein Smoothie: 

1/2-1 cup spinach (I like mine frozen): benefits include immunity support (Vitamins A and C) and is extremely low in calories. It also contains 4g of fiber per cup.

1/2 c blueberries: One of the highest antioxidant foods in the world, providing immunity support. Also extremely low in sugar and carbs

A few mandarin oranges:  great for vitamin C and E which are great for immunities as well as skin health. (Use sparingly due to sugar)

Orange juice (under 8oz): Vitamin C and covering the taste of spinach. If you don’t have enough liquid, cut with water.

1 scoop Vanilla Whey: Because GAINZ.

Most of these fruits are relatively low in sugar, but serve the function of providing fiber and immunity support. Just add in a blender and blend that bad boy up!!! Use this drink sparingly in your diet. (I do about once a week).

Do you have any great smoothie recipes? Drop them in below!

 

 

GOALZ AND GAINZ: 7 Mantras for 2017

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2017 will be a year for leaner legs!

Hey. Sorry I haven’t written much. I’ve been busy eating sandwiches and playing with puppies. Pretty typical I know. I started this really lame post about New Years’ Resolutions, and then I changed my mind because I thought it was stupid. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own resolutions, whether its to get leaner legs or abs or something else, and have decided to share them with you.  Whether you are just starting your journey or are far into it, I hope you find some of this useful.

1. I’m going to draw new lines: I had this great talk with my uncle last night about boundaries and drawing lines. We were actually talking about work, but he said this to me and it stopped me in my tracks, “Sometimes we draw a line in the sand and say ‘Ok, this is what I can tolerate,’ and then that thing happens, we don’t die, and we draw a new line. Each time the line gets further and further and we find we can actually handle a lot.” In fitness we all tend to draw those lines, right? I once said things like “I have to have a glass of wine every night,” then I went to three nights a week, then one, then before you know it, I was four months in with not a drop to drink. Decide where your line is and set yourself up for success.  I will constantly find that line and push myself.

2. I’m not going to be afraid to look like an idiot.  I specifically remember when I first started my prep. I had just lowered my macros and was LOW on energy. Not to mention, it was 6am. I had to do box jumps, and I had only a few left. My legs were so shaky, I did the whole “start to jump and fall on the box,” routine. My last one, my foot went straight out from under me and I landed straight on my back. Um, embarassing.  In the past, I wouldn’t have even attempted this, but I know that it’s what I need to do to be successful.

3. I’m going to get rid of toxic people: Maybe this isn’t just about fitness, but for so long I’ve kept people in my life that were negative forces.  I had people question my goals, motivations, criticize the way I dressed or ran my life, or even made light of my fitness goals. When you do this, you’re not being “helpful,” you’re an “asshole.” If someone in your life is making you feel less confident or less worthy, it’s not your job to stick around.

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4. I’M GOING TO LEARN SCIENCE: As much as I like to think I know, I don’t know a lot of things in regards to science and the human body. I’m going to invest in myself, learn more about nutrition and exercise. I’ll also pass it on to you! I don’t claim to know everything, and neither do you. So whether you learn macros or refine your lifts, learn something!

5. I’m not going to let challenges derail me: There are so many times where I have one of those days where it’s never going to end. Especially in prep, when everything seems magnified, its easy to want to skip a day and drink some wine. There are days when I’ve cried in the gym parking lot and been so emotionally exhausted that I feel like I can’t go in. These days are the hardest, but I’m going to take challenges, turn them into problems, and find solutions.

6. I’m going to do more things I love: During my first prep, I did a lot of uphill sprints. They were lonely and they sucked. I know I’m going to have to do them again, but I have a goal this year to find cardio I love. My friend Rhonda does Zumba in prep. I don’t do Zumba, mainly because I look like an angry drowning victim when I do it, but I did find I love Title Boxing and Orange Theory.  If you’re new to fitness, be sure you engage in something you love. Remember resolutions #1 and #2, you may look stupid, but ask for help and learn a skill!

7. I’m going to search for the why: So many of us (including me) start these fitness journeys and we skip the hard part: asking “Why am I here?” Part of being successful is knowing why you want to eat poorly or not exercise. For me, it was a lot of excuses about being too busy, having old injuries, or just plain not wanting to. In reality, I was scared of something new, worried about looking stupid, and being afraid to fail. It sucked, I faced it, but now I do not allow myself to tell those kinds of stories.

I hope you’ve found these useful as you approach your new years fitness goals.  If you have resolutions or things to add, shoot me a comment on FB or drop in the comments below!

 

 

Tight Pants and Failure

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Right was my first “success” post with Sleek. Left was September. Proof that goals are a moving target! 

I’m not going to lie, this season has left me awfully uninspired.  If you haven’t heard from me, I’ve been a bit off lately. I’m like those last few seasons of LOST, just going through the motions with the occasional WTF moment. I haven’t really wanted to workout and really haven’t felt like eating clean. The holidays are here, and I often find myself being a grinch about the fact that I can’t have EVERYTHING I want, aka….alcohol and food.

I spent most of the afternoon reflecting on why I’m so pissed off. I put on my workout pants that I bought during contest prep, and it looked like a  “People of Walmart meme.” Too tight. Eek. Every time I wear a pair of tight pants it feels like a fucking failure. I’m tough on myself, but then I got to thinking that a lot of people probably feel this way.

Most of you follow this blog because you are hoping to find balance between fitness, food, and family. I get it. I was there. I used to have a trainer who would make me feel like shit every time I ate a cookie.  I eventually felt like such a failure that I just stopped trying. And when I say I stopped trying, I just mean in general. I let my appearance go, ate what I wanted, and embraced that crappy feeling. I drank wine at night. I searched job opportunities and didn’t go after them because I felt so crappy.  I’d occasionally get on the elliptical, but I’d watch someone super fit go by and think to myself,

“I’m not going to have that. I don’t look like her.” I wasn’t born with those genetics; that life is just not meant FOR ME. “

It was at the height of my negative self talk phase that I overheard a friend talking to a stranger. We were all swimming, and the woman asked her why I was wearing a one piece bathing suit. This friend replied, “Oh, she just got married and kind of let herself go.” Number one, that person’s role in my life has been changed. Number two, that was not going to be my story.

I’m telling you this incredibly painful story because I know there are some of you sitting there thinking that the life I have is not for you. You might be feeling like you let yourself go.  You are going to get on that elliptical, and think that there is no way you will ever accomplish what you want. I am telling you, you can.  For me, it was all about finding the right program. I found that Sleek Body Method was right for me because it was mainly women and it was a safe space for me to try things that I felt stupid doing. I was not surrounded by haters who told me I “let myself go.”  Understand this, we never let ourselves go, we just get lost sometimes. 

Fitness for me was a domino effect. The more you conquer things you didn’t think you could do, the better you feel. Maybe for you, it’s just getting to the gym. Or maybe it’s hitting that PR on a deadlift. You are going to have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Make some goals. Do something scary. I promise you won’t die. You are going to have to invest in learning about dieting, but once you learn it, you’ll be able to have everything you want (in moderation.) When I finally felt better, I went after the job I wanted and it’s literally my dream job. I love what I do and the people I work with. I have a body that I NEVER THOUGHT I would get.  If no one tells you this today, you can totally do this, and if you need help, I can get you to the right people. Set goals and…

CRUSH THEM.

-C

IIFYM tips from a Bikini Competitor, Wine Drinker, and Cheese Enthusiast

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Picture on the left: Doing weight watchers online, counting cheez-its, sneaking pillsbury cookies our of shame. **CRIES INSIDE**

Picture on the right: Doing IIFYM, still eating cheez-its. Eats cookies and owns that sh*t.

When I first decided to lose weight, I signed up for Weight Watchers online. What a cool program. The basis of weight watchers was to assign certain foods “points,” and your only job was to meet your points requirement for the day. Easy.  Not so much. It was easy at first, but I never knew what foods got how many points and so on and so forth. I never really learned why an apple is one point and why a pear is four.  Hello co-dependent dieting? Now I can never quit weight watchers.

I went on other diets, like having trainers write plans for me. 6 chicken breast a day, 5 cups of spinach, and sweet potatoes. Barf. Not sustainable.  This is about the time I learned about IIFYM. If it fits your macros is an awesome program that allows you to eat the foods you want, as long as they meet your “macros,” or macronutrient nutritional goals.  It’s like weight watchers, but rather than logging “points,” you are logging calories. This may seem overwhelming at first, but I promise you, this will not shackle you to an app or make you eat chicken until you die.

So let’s start.

What are macros?

Macros stand for macronutrients. IIFYM is similar to caloric dieting. You know those apps that tell you how many calories to eat per day? Well say I need to eat 1000 calories a day. That means I can eat two pieces of pizza and be done, right? No no no. You need to eat a certain amount of carbs, protein, and fat in order to properly lose weight. IIFYM believes that if you maintain these goals, you will lose weight at slow and predictable pace. Many people believe that IIFYM is “free for all” dieting, but you should remember that 80% of your food should come from clean sources (think the food pyramid, lean protein, veggies, fruit), and 20% is discretionary, meaning whatev.

 How does one begin this process?

It’s A LOT of trial and error my friends. Download an app like mymacros+ (in the app store) and start plugging in the foods you normally eat. My recommendation is to just eat normally and then see where you are falling. Are you eating a ton of carbs and not enough protein? (I was). You may find out you aren’t eating enough at all! Here’s a day when I was eating not quite right.

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I went over on fats, likely because I added too much peanut butter to my pad thai. Whoops. I will make an adjustment and try again tomorrow. It’s as easy as that.

I want to splurge. How do I plan?

Ah, cheat day. I was just thinking all week about how I practically want to drink my Uncle Lloyd’s chili cheese dip. The good news is, IIFYM allows you to have the foods you want. Although you have a daily goal, you also have a weekly goal. say you accidentally go over one day, just subtract how much you went over from the next day. Think about it like money, if you had a daily budget of $10 and a weekly budget of $70.00, and you accidentally spend $12.00 one day, you just need to use $8.00 the following day to keep you within your weekly budget. I suggest knowing what you want to cheat with in advance and planning around that.

But I love drinking, can I do that?

Yup, you can, but just remember that alcohol does slow progress in any diet. In some cases, I need the wine to deal, so you can calculate it from fat or carbs.  Check out my girl Tracy’s blog post to learn more about how to do this.

This seems like more food than I’ve been eating. Why?

Well, here’s why, although you may be eating a certain amount of calories, you may not be eating the correct macro-nutrients for your lifestyle. Some people slash carbs and are very successful in the short term, but this is not a healthy or optimal long term solution to weight loss. When your body is in starvation mode, your body will begin to eat lean muscle and hold onto fat. Not to mention too few calories can lead to devastating effects like low testosterone levels, decreased energy, and most of all, weight loss plateaus.  Lastly, if you are working out hard, you are likely burning a ton more than you put in.

I want you to know that I certainly am aware of how much work this is. Again, I’ll always direct you to my studio’s online training classes, as I think they are very helpful and can be done from your home.  I want to leave you with some final thoughts though, I want you to understand that changing your life isn’t easy. It is going to be a long road. I didn’t wake up one day and then get in a bikini competition. My success was made up of tiny decisions, day by day, that lead to success.

There will be days that are hard; you will fuck up; you will beat yourself up. But you must love yourself and your body enough to forgive any mistakes, find balance, and get back on track. Our bodies are incredible and the fact that every single part is working the way it is supposed to is a miracle in itself.  Treat yourself well, respect your body, invest in creating a lifestyle, and remember; nothing worth having ever comes easy.

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Bikinis and Business Travel: A Go To Guide to Eating Healthy on the Road

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You can get a bikini body by flexible dieting!  I traveled my entire prep. While my diet was more strict than the below, it is possible to compete and travel. 

As most of you know, a significant portion of my job requires travel. I love that my job allows me to see new places and visit new people, but let me tell you; business travel can wreak havoc on your system. From gym accessibility, late night dinners, and poor sleep, many travelers find it difficult to “find their groove,” when they are on the road.  When I first started traveling, I felt the challenges hard. I’d go to a hotel to find they had no gym or drive into a town with literally no restaurant. When we’d go to dinner, I’d scramble to figure out what I would eat or order to drink. I meet so many folks who just want some dang balance.  What I realize is that most of my followers are not competitors. You may count macros, or may not, but that shouldn’t stop you from making healthy choices. Here are a few of my go-to travel favorites:

Breakfast in a hotel: 

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Boring AF but it got the job done. 

Concierge Lounge: If you’re fancy and have status, they usually have free breakfast in the “lounge” area. Step away from the pastry table. Opt for a cup of oatmeal and some eggs or an english muffin and eggs.

Room Service: If you are in a hotel and need to order room service, feel free to order off the menu (they love this), but I always go for an English muffin, two cups of egg whites, and a side of fruit. The max cost will be about 13.00, but be careful for gratuity and delivery “surcharge.”

For a Quick Bite: 

If you can, please try not to default to fast food like Taco Bell and McDonalds. If you have to, try to get a grilled chicken sandwich, but ew.

Jimmy Johns Unwich: Beach Club, light avocado, no mayo, light cheese. BUT THE BREAD IS DELICIOUS! Did you know that they also have a thing where they scoop the bread out? You get the taste of bread without the guts. You usually have to call and ask them to “Scoop the bread.” It will add some more carbs but if it’s worth it splurge. They also have one of the fanciest nutrition calcs I’ve seen.

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Panera: Greek Chicken Salad with Double Chicken. Dressing on the side. Watch the fat in this bad boy. Also the “modern” greek has nearly 32 grams of fat. That’s my daily intake yo. Kill the Quinoa and extra nuts.

Most chains are pretty easy to navigate. Just google the menu online and make an easy choice.

Dinners Out:  

Remember what I say: Lean protein+clean carb=Winning

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Be careful of the “free additions,” like bread and chips. 

Sushi: Spicy Tuna or Salmon Roll. Always. As described by Livestrong.com,” The tuna, rice and vegetables contribute to the carb and protein content of the spicy tuna hand roll. One hand roll contains 9 to 18 grams of carbs, 1 to 2 grams of fiber and 6 to 15 grams of protein. The carbs provide your body with energy, while the protein helps repair body tissue and preserve lean body mass. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest, and getting more in your diet alleviates constipation and may reduce your risk of heart disease. Up the fiber in your hand roll by replacing the white rice with brown rice.” Stay away from anything that has cream cheese or says things like “crunchy,” or “tempura.”

Seafood: Stick with lean fish like tilapia and veggies. This is an easy one.

Steakhouse: Opt for a small filet and baked potato. Opt for the smallest filet possible (no bigger than 8oz) and swap out potatoes for veggies if you are watching carbs. If you’re post leg day, splurge for the potato with minimal topping. If you’re going to “go hard” on this meal, be sure to scale back earlier meals because this is high in fat.

Mexican: To be honest, usually I mexi-can’t because I freaking love chips so much and I don’t know. how.to.stop. But if you are so inclined, opt for a corn tortilla and chicken tacos. Fairly lean, but watch the toppings like cheese and beans.

Italian: Again. With the bread. Why. Italian is a tough one because it is so so carby. If you can, go for a salad, but if you must with the pasta, stay away from heavy alfredo or fried items like Chicken Parmesan. If they have butternut squash ravioli, Instagram that sh*t and tell me where to get it.

Drinking:

If you are a competitor, you know what I will say. Fun is not allowed. But most of you aren’t and are going to drink anyway. I’m going to switch to business mode for a minute to let you know that in any professional setting, you need to be careful with alcohol. Work drinking has caused many a job loss, and I don’t advise doing it to excess.  I know that peer pressure plays a role in this, but people will talk for a few minutes if you don’t drink with them, but if you are the drunk jerk at the Christmas Party, you will be the stuff of legends. Be careful. Especially if you are a manager of people. Ok, off the soapbox. If you are going to drink, stick to a clear alcohol with water or soda or red wine. No more than two-three over a few hour span.

 

So there you have it, some quick and easy, no-fail tricks for your business travel needs! What are your best strategies? Drop em below!

 

 

 

 

Offseason Woes and Adoptable Dogs

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Photo Credit: Darkwood Studios 

 

I want to tell you all something very honest. I almost didn’t post these.  A few weeks ago I was asked by the lovely David Carolyn to participate in a photo shoot with some adoptable dogs to benefit my favorite charity, Gateway Pet Guardians. I was super excited to do it, but to be honest, I struggled with the fact that I was in off season. I’m eating more food, trying to gain muscle to build on my progress from last year. I spend a lot of time preaching that you can’t be show lean all of the time, but I also seem to not be able to embrace the idea. I’m a fraud.  The second I gain, I immediately fall back on “Oh my god, dial it back, you’re out of control!” Am I really? No.  I’m still working out 6 days a week, enjoying the occasional cheat meal. I was hit with a hard truth by my friend who said, “Some girls don’t understand that in order to get leaner, you need to gain muscle, and sometimes, that means you have to look fluffy.” Oh lawd. Say it ain’t so. Competing is serious, and putting yourself out there to be judged for you body is super hard.

I want you to understand the hardest lesson I’m learning, and well, we’re learning it together: There are peaks and valleys in fitness. You can’t be show lean all the time. The important thing is to focus on progressing, little by little, every day.  Quite honestly, right now I’m enjoying life. I’m still a size 0. No one is dying. I don’t have abs right now and it makes me sad, but what also makes me happy is being able to drink some wine. (which I didn’t do before show) Priorities.

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Crushing Reality: You can’t be lean all the time 

Now back to the point:  I’m never going to turn down a chance to get a makeover and play with Gateway dogs. FO FREE (sort of, I paid for my hair and makeup).  These two dogs that showed up are amazing. Their names are Melanie and Little Debbie. Little Debbie and I are soul mates. I’m sure of it. She also represents my love for snacks.

You might be asking yourself why I chose to do this shoot. Well, because I am a firm believer that if you are given a platform, you must use it for good.  No matter how I feel, there are millions of dogs that will spend life on the street this holiday season, and their problems are much bigger than my gainz. Gateway is a very wonderful organization that does a ton for the St. Louis community, from free spay and neuter clinics, to education, to fostering and adoption. If you have funds or supplies to donate this holiday season, please consider them. Also, David is an amazing photographer and is extremely diverse. He’s a good person and donates his time to do this. If you have photography needs, buy them from good people like David.

I hope this blog helps you this holiday season, understand that everything is a balance. Eat the food. Lift Heavy. Adopt all the dogs. Prosper.

Love-

C

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Why Have I Stopped Losing Weight?

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A lot of you have written me about “breaking plateus” in fitness. We’ve all been there. One week you totally nailed your food and workouts. You step on that scale and BOOM. No movement. This happened to me when I was about 140 lbs, size 8. Know why I remember it? BECAUSE IT WAS TRAUMATIC. It took WEEKS, I mean WEEKS to figure out what the hell was going on. I cut alcohol, I increased cardio, I tried weights. NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING.   If you’re facing a fitness plateau, here are a few things that might be hindering the process:

*You might not be eating correctly: So you’re killing it with salads, fish, lean meats and protein. First off, why?  One issue you might be having is you are not eating enough food.  When your body starts to feel like it’s starving, it adjusts itself to regulate, meaning it is saying, “Hold on to this fat, because you’re going hungry!” (There’s more science to this, but you get the point) Make sure you are hitting all your macro nutrients. If you don’t know what yours are, there’s a free calculator here. Or maybe you are following your diet, but it is only about 50% clean food. Here’s the thing, IIFYM can only work to a certain point. At some point, maybe the last 4 weeks before a competition, you may have to get pretty “bro.” Oh and did I mention they took away booze? How the hell am I supposed to deal with life NOW?! I’m doing a photo shoot for charity right before Thanksgiving and am about to go on another cut. Goodbye booze, goodbye fun. The suffering is temporary.

Be sure you’re eating the correct foods in the correct amount, at the correct time, and for the love of god, EAT CARBS. They are delicious and without them, it is hard to build muscle. There are some times when it is appropriate to slash carbs, but 99% of the time, it’s not a good time.

*Your workouts aren’t changing: I’ve seen people drop a TON of weight just training on the elliptical or treadmill. They get on and go, and lose more weight than you can imagine. Here’s what eventually happens though; they hit a wall HARD. When your body starts adjusting to your workouts, it’s not working to burn calories. Sometimes it needs a shock to the system. This week, I slowed it down and did Hot Yoga and my poor body went into revolt. But most importantly, I saw changes.

Please don’t be a slave to the elliptical. Another important thing to know about cardio is that it won’t build the muscle up under the fat so it’s important to integrate some type of weight or resistance training into your workouts. Too much cardio=saggy butt.

*You’re not pushing yourself: THIS is the reason I have a trainer. My trainer Tracy makes me do the stuff I don’t want to do. For example, I do NOT like training triceps. Because mine are weak and take forever to change. Tracy makes me do em.  I don’t love in studio training because I get distracted, so I have an awesome app where she uploads my workouts. I can do them remotely and I get everything I need. I also try to switch up my cardio by going to classes at Title Boxing Club or Orange Theory. My point is you must make yourself uncomfortable. If you get through a workout and go, “Hey that wasn’t so bad,” it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Also, having an instructor will make you work the parts of your body you don’t like. I have a terrible time with triceps. If it was up to me, I’d train legs all day every day, but I’d look like a weirdo.

*You’re focused on the scale: I know I’ve pointed this out before, but the scale really is just a number. Make sure you have other benchmarks of progress like selfies or taking measurements. You’re going to need this when it gets down to the wire. I’m serious.  Battling the scale is a constant struggle for me. Again, I’ve included progress pics to hammer this into your head.

*You’re being unrealistic: Set benchmark goals. Get off instagram, and stop comparing. This is easier said then done for me. *Eats donut and cries over Paige Hathaway’s Instagram*  In that second progress picture, I was pretty f*cking happy. I had no goal to compete or to have professional photos taken; I just wanted to wear a damn tank top.  You have started this process, so your only competition is YOU.  Bodybuilding is an art,  it is about consistently and slowly making progress with what works for YOUR body.  Embrace your own struggle and own that shit.

Got any other advice for those trying to break the plateau? Drop it below!

Clean Eating: Nachos and Tacos in Under 5 Minutes

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A few weeks ago, I was at a business meeting and I ordered a grilled chicken wrap with fries. It was a cheat meal, but I was also about to go lift heavy AF as well. “YOU are eating THAT,” he proclaimed. Hell to the yeah. I eat IIFYM, which means if it fits my macros (a certain number of carbs, fats, and protein) I can eat it. Granted, when I’m competing macros can get pretty low, so I turn more “bro diet,” but during my offseason, I like to swap ingredients to make delicious creations. A great IIFYM strategy is to make all of your protein at the beginning of the week so that you have it readily available. I wasn’t traveling this week, so Sunday I decided to make pulled pork. Believe it or not, pork tenderloin is pretty damn lean, and also amazing. Here’s what I did:

1.5 lbs pork tenderloin

1 jar of gluten free BBQ sauce (found at schnucks: watch SUGAR and FAT content on these bad boys)

Line a slow cooker with a liner (or don’t but I’m not cleaning that thing). Add pork and sauce and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Pull apart. That wasn’t so hard was it?

Now you’ve got a protein for all week! Here’s a few delicious recipes (some more macro friendly than others) that won’t break the bank.

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1 taco (2 oz of meat) Macros are Protein 16.2 Carbs 15 Fat 5.0

 

Pulled Pork Tacos

4 oz. pork tenderloin

La Tiara Taco Shells (you can find these at most grocery stores AND these babies only have 4G OF CARBS. WHAT THE WHAT?!)

Lettuce

1 oz Fat Free Cheddar Cheese

  1. Cook taco shells for 10 minutes at 200F. Add toppings. Done

Next up is my favorite recipe I’ve made so far:

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The ones that look bad are always good, aren’t they? P: 43.5 C: 21 F: 13

Pulled Pork Nachos

Let me be clear here, these bad boys are better for a cleaner cheat, but regular nachos half close to triple the fat content.

1 bag Rice and Bean Adzuki chips (can be found in organic aisle)

4 oz pork tenderloin

.25 cup of 2% cheddar cheese

Throw on a plate and cook in the microwave Napoleon Dynamite style. YESSSS.

 

The next one is actually pretty clean:

This is actually an interpretation of one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If you’re ever in Dallas, stop by the Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum and get The Hot Mess. It’s a sweet potato loaded with the best pulled pork you’ve ever eaten.  Obviously with brown sugar and other dressings, it’s loaded with calories, so I’ll try to keep it clean 🙂

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This place is everything

The Not-So-Hot Mess 

4 oz pulled pork

4 oz sweet potato

  1. Cook sweet potato in oven or microwave as you prefer
  2. Fill with pulled pork
  3. Top as you like

Protein: 25.7

Carbs: 23.6

Fat: 6.1

Obviously there are a ton of other things you can do with your pulled pork, but these are a few creative options when you are feeling like you want to splurge. Add it on a wrap, add it on a bun, or heck, just slap it on some lettuce!

 

The most important lesson here is to know your macros. If you want to learn more about macro’s, check out this class by my trainer Tracy.

Got any other creative ideas? Drop them below!

 

Protein Ice Cream: So Good It’s Scary.

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ERMERGERD. TREATZ 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN YA’LL! I know there are a lot of you out there dieting and right about now you’re eyeing that candy jar thinking, “Just one…” I know I am. I can’t even keep it in the house to be honest.  Instead of candy , I think I’ll give kids life advice. Ya know, stuff like “Make sure you put at least 6% in your 401k,” etc. Ladies and gentleman, meet the most hated girl on the block. 🙂

Anyway, since you guys aren’t visting my house, I thought I’d give ya some advice via blog: Halloween doesn’t have to derail your diet! One of the reasons I love IIFYM, is that (1) you can have candy if you want and (2) there are plenty of hacks to make fantastic treats that won’t break the calorie bank.

So, who’s ready for ice cream?! Here’s my all time favorite ice cream recipe. Play around with your favorite toppings and stay lean all winter!

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Macros Roughly:  Protein: 17.0 Carbs:10.2 Fat 8.2 Total Calories:185.5 

This is all you’ll need:

1/2 scoop 1st Phorm Vanilla Ice Cream

1 tsp Buff Bake Snickerdoodle Almond Spread 

Ice

1/2 cup almond milk

Fat free whipped cream

Sugar Free Caramel

Blend protein, milk, and almond spread with ice. Add desired topping. Done.

That wasn’t hard was it? It would have taken you the same amount of time to make regular ice cream.  Don’t have time to eat healthy treats? LAWYERED. I ate this my entire prep up to like two weeks before my show.

So while everyone snacks on their kit kats, enjoy a huge bowl of this and thank me later.

Be safe!!!

C

Five Hard Truths of Extreme Weight Loss

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Starting weight-Mid Progress-Current (photo credit on right @TonyCurtis)

Well, I asked you what you wanted and here you have it. I tried to think of the best way to describe my journey, and I know a lot of my followers like discussing the tough stuff. From body image to learning acceptance, here are five hard truths I learned when dieting. Feel free to share.

1. I lost friends: When I took time off from drinking and partying, many of my friends did not stick along for the ride. When I wanted to do a show, there were some that questioned it. I learned about “complisults,” which are the old”compliment insults”. The “Oh I could NEVER do that or wear that,” or “you’re braver than me.” Whatever. What I learned is that people are like crabs in a bowl. When one tries to crawl out, they all grab and try to drag the successful one back in.  I have talked to men and women who have spouses who try to derail their successes or those of you who talk about friends who get upset because they won’t go out and get messed up. Understand this, you will never be a success in the eyes of a failure.  People simply are afraid because your successes are a direct spotlight on what they themselves cannot do. Cut your losses, move on. The people who are worth loving will take the high road with you, a much tougher road, but worthwhile. 

2. I faced demons: It was only when I really cut out alcohol and bad food that I realized how much I depended on it to cope. Just thinking about a stressful day at work makes me want bacon cheese bread. No shit, dieting is kind of like rehab. Your body wants to die and shake on the floor, and the only way not to relapse is to face all the crap that made you start the addiction in the first place. It is critical in dieting to understand why you are eating and face it head on.  It sucks, but its necessary.

3.  I learned acceptance:  Competing is a harsh sport. Being judged on your body is like OMG IM DYING.  I remember riding in the car on the way to my show and saying, “Well I don’t want people to judge me just on my appearance.”  My husband replied, “You know you literally signed up for  a show where people are judging you on your appearance right?” Oh yeah. My bad. When I received my judges comments back, they said things like “lean out,” or “be way leaner.” Being a formerly heavy, it hit hard AF. My default is to cry hysterically while running uphill on a treadmill, but it’s not healthy. Next time, I will try different workouts and tighten my food, but my package is my package.  You may look at a girl and say “Oh my gosh, I wish I had her arms,” but I guarantee she’s wishing she had your legs.  At the end of the day, whether you are in a bikini on a stage or in a suit in a board room, people will judge you. Deal with it.

4. Being unhappy with your appearance doesn’t change when you reach “goal weight”: I remember specifically saying the phrase, “I’ll be happy when I weigh…” DONT EVEN GO THERE.  Because you won’t be.  Another level brings another devil. Competing has given me some body image issues, I’ll be honest. When my abs left, I almost held a funeral. I know staying “show lean,” is what I want,  but it’s not sustainable. I’ve only gained 4 lbs from my competition, but my head feels like its 15. The fat version of myself would tell me to go jump off a bridge because I would have killed to have abs like EVER.  Offseason is meant to grow and rest, so I have to understand I’m not Beyonce right now.  In order to combat these awful feelings, I like to focus on other goals aside from appearance.  I set new benchmarks,  like perfecting boxing combinations, hitting PR’s in weightlifting, or trying a new activity.  I eat foods competing won’t allow; in fact, this week I had a butternut squash ravioli that would bring you to your knees.  Most importantly, I’m always f*cking Beyonce, are you kidding?

5. Losing weight is a journey, not a destination: You will never look exactly the way you want. If you pull up a photo on Instagram and say “I want to look like THAT,” you’ve already screwed yourself over. During my prep, my body changed  every two weeks. Some weeks I hated what I saw. I had worked harder than ever and NO CHANGE. Ever seen someone hold their own arm fat and cry? Come on over. I would beat the crap out of myself wondering where I went wrong. Hindsight is 20/20, and yes I did change, but you have to trust the process. Follow a plan and don’t focus on weight or “trouble spots.” My legs did not come in until the final week.

But I’m not going to be all talk here.  In an attempt to be as honest as possible with you, I am going to drop in UNEDITED and UNFILTERED pictures of my check-ins during prep. Understand that these were taken 1-3 weeks a part. (There are too many to include all of them) I didn’t have pics in the beginning, so the first is a picture of about my starting point. I also want to point out that my starting weight was about 135 and my finish weight was 124. Trust me, I still felt too heavy to go to stage (which is absurd) but I want to give you some perspective here.

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 I also want to point out that I would love to show you my progress from the back, but unfortunately some gentlemen (or not so much) seem to think this is for their personal enjoyment.  There are plenty of great, awesome guys that follow me, but the pervs have now ruined it for everyone.

I truly help these help you on your journey.  If you have any advice, questions or comments, drop them below.

Stay Awesome,

C