Monday, May 25, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude #6

My heart is very full today, so I have a long list of things to be grateful for this week:

Memorial Day:

In cemeteries across the country flags adorn the graves in honor to our brothers and sister in arms who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Memorial Day is not just a day off nor is it tribute to those who have served. It is to honor the lost. I know it is all over social media today and my words are only background noise to all that has been published today, but it is my blog so I will restate some of those thoughts.  Freedom is not free. There are thousands of men and women currently still fighting for our freedom. The war is not over. There are still men and women dying everyday for the luxuries we enjoy. We must remember the lost, we must learn from the past, we must stay connected to the most important cost of war.

Today Rob and I went and did the Memorial Day WOD at our cross fit gym; "Murph" 

1 mile Run
100 Pull ups
200 Push ups
300 Air squats
1 mile Run

We ran the last mile together, as we rounded the last turn we started naming all of the service members that we knew who gave there lives in service to this great country. It was a really nice moment between us. 

This week I am first and foremost grateful for them:

1. Daren Hidalgo
2. Luc Gruenther
3. Eric Ziegler
4 Luke Johnson
5. Warren Sneed 
6. Mark McDowell 
7. Jorma Huhtala 
8. Roslyn Schulte

9. I am also grateful that Rob and I were able to attend the Wings of Blue Suit ceremony today. It is so energizing to watch the Wings of Green get their Bluesuit after a year of training. I clearly remember how amazing it felt to finally put on our Bluesuits after a year of very challenging training to become first a skydiver then a jumpmaster. The look of joy on their faces brings back a flood of positive memories and you can't help but be right there with them in their special moment. 

10. On Saturday we went to a fun 40th Birthday party at a roof top bar. Our friend went all out to celebrate her 40th in style. She just competed and won several awards at this past Body Building competition. She looks amazing and has everything going for her. She had a lot to celebrate. I hope I am as put together as she is, to rock out for my 40th in a similar way. It was also nice to get dressed up and let loose a little after a few months of sober/clean living. I was definitely a bit of a light weight when it came to the wine. But enough of that, I am looking forward to getting back into the gym and working towards my new goals. 

That is all I have for now. Have a great 4-day week! What are you grateful for?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My First Bikini Comp

So I thought I would provide the gory details of competing in my first bikini competition. I say my first because I really do hope to do another one although the thought of going through the entire process again sounds a tad overwhelming right now. I figured now is a good time to talk about the experience rather than during the actual prep because I anticipated being in a cranky mood…and I was.

I have been lifting weights consistently since last August when I came off a summer of training for the Ascent and completing my yoga certification. Needless to say I was lacking muscle when I started. I hired a coach initially to help me build muscle and get my diet on track. Shortly after I got on with her team

(JAKT MUSCLE), I got engaged!  Thus my focus shifted from competing to looking good for my wedding. I got on a lifting program which she switched out every eight weeks. However, I since I was worried about getting “too big” for my dress she kept the cardio up for me which probably hindered my progress in gaining muscle.

After our honeymoon I got back on a strict diet. I had definitely gained a couple pounds of fat and needed to work hard to lose it. My body likes to hang out around 122-125 when I lift weights. 120 ish when I run a lot and destroy all that hard earned definition. I do not lean out or lose weight easily so I had to do two a day cardio sessions to help me trim down.

Each week she cut my calories and carbs little bit more. Let me tell you when you are working out very hard and used to a certain amount of calories it REALLY takes the wind out your sails. I expected to be tired and grumpy but I failed to anticipate how exhausting it would be. It was exhausting both mentally and physically. I am usually pretty high energy. I love to work out, make Rob dinner, clean the house, grocery shop etc. but all I could do was food prep and workout. My brain was not firing on all cylinders that is for sure. The last two weeks were the worst. Trying to gut out two hours of cardio on very few calories started to get to me. I almost cracked several times. Junk food started to sound amazing as I craved sugar and carbs constantly. The final week (Peak week) was exhausting but it was also fun to see little changes in your body everyday. The worst day I had was the day I had to cut the salt. I put salt on EVERYTHING! Not only did it make my food taste awful but it left me even more tired than I already was. I granted myself the privilege to lay on the couch after my cardio and take a nap. It didn’t seem to help much. I woke up just as grumpy and declared to Rob that I was done with this and just wanted to get pregnant. He patiently listened to my concerns without trying to talk me out of anything. He just let me sort out my own feelings, well-played husband, well-played.

But enough about the bad…let me tell you about the good, show day!

Yes I was depleted and tired and dehydrated but that didn’t matter because it was time to show off all my hard work and finally step on stage.

My jitters were apparent as I hardly slept at all the night before. When we arrived the next day we stood in line for our final tan touch up then went to the main area to get our hair and make-up done. I can honestly say that I have never had so much makeup on my face in my entire life. Well, there may have been a wannabe gangster faze in junior high when I experimented with lip-liner and painted on brows but even those times did not trump this experience.  

We waited what seemed like forever, got oiled up, pumped up, ate some honey then finally it was our turn to line up and take the stage. When we were moved into the pump up room I notice the tan on my back side had gotten messed up. I started to panic a little, as little things such as this can be distracting to judges, and all your hard work can be negated in an instant.  

My coach, Evie, came over and threw me at the oil booth and yelled at one of the tanning artists to fix it. Then she threw me back in the lineup just as we were about to exit for the stage she pointed at me and said sternly “Don’t for get to smile, when you smile you are a rock star.” I thought to myself I am a rock star! I am just going to pretend I am one for these few minutes on stage. So I smiled and tried to make eye contact with the judges and something must have shined threw because I managed to get in the first call outs after we had all gone through our individual posing. To my surprise I placed in all the categories I entered. The biggest surprise to me was that I placed in the Open which had the largest group of women and was the most competitive.

I think Rob enjoyed the whole experience as much as I did. I could see him from the shadows taking pictures and smiling. The other girls on the team who were sitting in the audience took pictures of Rob taking pictures of me because they thought he was so adorable. He was super supportive throughout the entire process. I was definitely grumpy and lacking energy for at least three weeks. I barely made him dinner or cleaned the house, practically all my energy went to completing my workouts and getting my food prep done.

My prep was in line with traditional body building methods to include, water loading and dehydration there at the end. I ate lots of fish and spent a lot of time on boring cardio machines, but it worked! My coach knows her stuff. She knows how to read and plan for certain types of physiques and she did a great job.

The next day my Mom, Rob and I went to Broadmoor and splurged on a big brunch. It was a welcomed event after feeling so deprived for so long. However, I did my research and know that it is very common to gain back the weight and more if you are not careful so I am working hard to stick to a reverse diet so that I do not balloon past my pre contest weight.

Rob surprised me with a congratulations present of quest bars and these yummy B-12 chews that I munch on daily as a little fit treat to keep me sane. He knows me so well

All in all it was fun. I like challenging myself and working towards fitness goals. This was always something that I wanted to do since I was in college but never thought I had the confidence or discipline for. It turns out when the prospect of getting up on stage in the tiniest bikini you have ever worn starts to become a reality it helps to keep you focused.  Now I am going to work a little more balance into my life and work towards new future goals…

Happy Training!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude #5

So it has been a few weeks since I posted, in a large part due to being busy but mostly because I have had ZERO energy. As I mentioned before I was working towards the goal of competing in my first bikini/fitness competition. Let's just say it has been all consuming! Between the grueling workouts and lack of food it has left me with having to prioritize working out, food prep, time with my husband & work in that order. There has been little time for much else.  I was hopeful the end result would be positive, and it was! It was a lot of fun to see awesome changes in your body and know you worked so hard to achieve them. Later this week, I will post about my entire experience if you are at all interested. 

Rob and I have stayed pretty busy between work and fitness. He has been of course putting in long hours at his job, but this week he got the opportunity to complete the Accelerated Freefall Instructor Course (AFF-I) for skydiving. He started it last year but never got to finish. This week he finally finished it! I am so proud of him. Being an AFF-I is a really awesome accomplishment, it means you have achieved enough experience and skill to teach others how to skydive. The AFF-I course is extremely challenging as you essentially have to deomnstrate that you can fly to a student and save their lives if necessary. This is often done at low altitudes close to your own pull altitude. You have only seconds to think then act accordingly. You have to stay calm when the pressure is really on. My man is the man.

Without further adue here is my gratitude list.

1. My husband; the guy has been a trooper with this whole fitness thing. I take that back, he has been a champion. He has put up with a house that smells like fish and a kitchen that is perpetually dirty. I had to work last Sunday and was stressed about getting my food prep done so he did it for me. Packaged up my little mini meals so I had food for the next day. What a sweetheart! He also made up a fantastic fan club the day of. He was my cheerleader the entire time.

2. That Rob got the opportunity to finish up his AFF-I. Here is a badass video of him killing it on one of his evaluation dives. 

3. I got to partake is a glorious cheat meal at the Broadmoor today with my Mom and husband for a late Mother's Day brunch & post fitness comp celebration. Mmmm crab claws. 

4. We received a letter from our Compassion Sponsor child today and she is doing well and thriving in Togo. She shared a verse with us Psalm 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD"  Truth! 

5. That we get to live in this country. Summer is almost here and there is no better place to be than Colorado.