4 weeks pp + Dego’s 1 month mark

last night i said i was going to get up at the crack of dawn this morning and not just get my treadmill interval workout in, but to pop up on my 5:30am class to say hi while i was at it! i made me some hot coffee and headed out, Beats and ipod in tow.

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i kinda forgot to factor in feeding my newborn before leaving though so i arrived way after class started.  it was SO good to see old and new faces all across the studio when i peeked my head in the door!  i caught up with some of my regulars after class finished and they only made me more anxious to put that mic on again.

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cardio killaaaaa. i was hoping to be cleared to lift this week, but my OB’s schedule is jam packed!!! huge bummer. still crossing my fingers to be worked in somehow. else i’ll just wait ’til next week.

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Chiso woke up and requested pancakes, so he got’em.  i made him a stack of my WW Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Birthday Cakes complete with dolphin sprinkles and he almost finished the stack by himself!  i gladly killed the rest. remember, you can also sub blueberries for the chocolate chips.

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who’s 1 month today? that guy! i asked Sonny does 4 weeks make it one month, or will July 17th make it one month… idk and too lazy to Google. close enough.  also up until today, smiles from Dego were only reserved for Chiso. i finally got mine :)

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our God is an awesome God.  i make an effort to praise Him for all things, both great and especially small.  after receiving and reviewing Dego’s newborn screening results in the mail a few days ago i began to thank Him repeatedly.  i was instantly reminded of the time in my life when my thoughts consumed me and convinced me that i was unable to bear any children, ever.  God has blessed us with healthy baby boy #2, and for that we give Him all the glory.

they willl find you

this is so funny because i actually remember doing this to my mom.  putting my face on the floor to see her feet while calling her name over and over again and everything.  well it’s payback time!  who am i kidding… once Chiso doesn’t give a flying hoot about my whereabouts i’m gonna have a mommy moment…

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grilled sirloin steak and taters for dinner tonight.  we’ve been outta sweet taters and they are exactly what i need to keep me feeling fuller longer between meals.  the steak was marinated in some Annie’s balsamic vinaigrette, pinch of sea salt and black pepper before i tossed it in my grill pan.  that delicious sauce is just Grey Poupon mild and creamy mustard (which is calorie free, sugar free, and fat free) sauteed with white mushrooms. it’s bananas!

Q: how do you like your steak cooked?  

blood = no bueno. can’t do it. well done, please.

le

 

8th month recap

group B-strep test is up next, guys.  HEY FIT FOODIES!  i’m gonna get in as much last minute preggo blogging as i can these last few weeks (or days, that’s cool too).  my 8th month has whizzed on by

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*bloop*

and i’m knocking on week 36 in like 2 days, praise God!

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O_o :P   >:( :'( :| #flipacoin

early AM workout classes & breakfast:

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so, getting up at 4:15am to teach my classes is only getting rougher.  but i’m hanging in there! that’s my automatic answer for my gym members every time they ask me how baby and i are doing, lol.  that’s really all i can say though, seriously.  sure i’d rather get those extra hours of sleep but i feel good after i get on up and most days and the urge to workout is still strong.

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mmhmmm, don’t forget that. aim to move every single day, even if it’s just walking around your hood.

i am asked how i am still doing HIIT training  this late in the game.  modifications! lighter dumbbells, monitoring my heart rate, using my knees instead of toes for pushups…just a few examples. see vid below!  plus i’m doing way more coaching/encouraging/motivating and ‘working’ the group exercise room more. the classes are NOT about me anyway- it’s all about the members!  i’ll do a quick demo of a high intensity/plyometric move though, then quickly modify it just so i can keep moving with the members.

 eating, on the other hand…. i know my appetite is flaky cause baby boy is growing rapidly and fattening up for his grand exit/entrance, but after breakfast and a small lunch (even after working out), i could honestly be done for the day.  the rest of my meals are pretty much forced since i’m still very active,  so WE need those cals and nutrients to keep coming. and they shall.  so i have my pre workout snack (usually banana w/ peanut butter) on the way to the gym, then tackle my real breakfast afterwards as usual.

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here are some breakfasts i’ve been rotating (clockwise starting from the top L):

1. spinach, tomato, and mushroom scramble (1 whole egg, 2 egg whites) with strawberries and blueberries

2.  4 egg whites over a whole wheat english muffin & topped with homemade guacamole w/ blackberries & a halo

3. spinach & mushroom egg scramble taco (La Tortilla Factory 80 cal light low carb, high fiber flour tortilla) w/ shredded part-skim mozzarella & pineapple salsa w/ berries

4. plain greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries and dribbled with maple syrup (also a great post-workout snack)

 

individual workouts & lunch/dinner:

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i have been enjoying taking classes to the fullest these last few weeks!  why?

  1. i’m not up there teaching so i can stop at any time :P
  2.  i get ideas and inspiration for new moves i can use later in my own classes and just experiencing another instructor’s style, music, and motivational sayings
  3.  group fitness is FUN and keeps me motivated!  i look forward to it. period.

i do a combo of the following every week:

  • TKB – turbo kickboxing
  • Zumba
  • Barbell Strength (Lifetime Fitness signature formatted class)
  • Step (don’t knock it lol! keeps my heart rate nice and steady… great cardio workout vs. the boring treadmill and elliptical)
  • Weights – since i’m not lifting crazy heavy, i’ll do a full body workout in one day most times using basic exercises for each muscle group. 3-4 sets of 12 does the trick. looking forward to getting back to my postpartum 6 Pack USA workouts though.

 

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lunches and dinners (starting clockwise from top L):

  1. homemade Chipotle inspired salad (i cut the chicken into chunks and marinated it in Weber Kick n’ Chicken seasoning blend)
  2. Kick n’ Chicken pan seared chicken breast with pan roasted brussels sprouts and grilled pineapple
  3. pan seared whiting (cheaper than tilapia at Walmart right now so i gave it a try) grilled squash, and fresh coleslaw
  4. salmon & avocado deviled eggs sprinkled with sweet & smokey paprika and black pepper with raw sugar snap peas and sliced roma tomatoes on the side.

 

the bump and i will be walking down the aisle in my brother’s wedding this weekend! can’t wait to party and celebrate gaining another sister. fun times ahead. and cake.

—–> if you are preggo and need help with staying on track (or starting) a healthier workout and nutrition regiment for you and your little bundle-to-be, please check out www.pregnantnotpowerless.com and sign up!  even if you’re not preggo but know a woman who is, please tell her about this awesome program created by one of my inspirations and fellow fit mom @babyfatboss on IG. follow herrrrrr! <——

#laterpost #flashbackfriday

i’m going through a period in my life where i’m letting go of something good to make room for something a billion times better.  why is that so dang hard though?  always easier said than done in my world. accepting change doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth, but i tend to take it to that level a lot every now and then.

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i stick to my 6 Pack USA workout plan for the majority of my workouts but sometimes i just go in and wing it.

today’s sweaty randomness: back, light triceps, cardio

  • machine shoulder press 4 x 10
  • lat pull downs 4 x 10
  • machine tricep pushdowns 4 x 10
  • hammer strength pull downs 4 x 10
  • seated rows 4 x 10
  • deadlift / overhead press combo w/ 45 lb bar 3 x 10
  • steady-state, fat burning cardio on the elliptical 30 min

before that though, i met with the ladies of Style to Envy for breakfast at La Madeleine and did my best to resist all their crazy delicious savory and sweet pastries.  i met Val and Nikki at the Blog Elevated Conference this past Sept. and we discussed a few collaboration ideas for 2014! looking forward to that.

Chiso worked up an appetite playing hard and requested pizza for lunch. soooo, since were in the vicinity, we chowed down on some Ruggles Green gluten-free cuisine.

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i had the Atlantic salmon salad with all the trimmings.  i actually forgot to ask for the dressing on the side this time and was too hungry to wait for a re-do.

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what a Hammy Mc Hamster! Chiso got his pizza fix and i finished what he left which was only one dang slice! and i have no idea where he got ‘eat everything but the crust’ from. he certainly didn’t learn that from Sonny or i cause we eat the whole thing. so yeah, i finished all his leftover crusts too. that dough is AMAZING.

*********************

 here is a lighter, low sugar pumpkin cake recipe i made a few days ago i’d like to share before Turkey Day:

madewithOveryummy pumpkin cake

the stuff:

  • 1 cup Stevia for Baking
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 can pure pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

  1. mix wet with wet, dry with dry, then incorporate together. do not over mix!
  2. divide batter evenly between two 8 in round pans
  3. bake for 28-30 min on 350 or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  4. let the cakes cool then pop them out of the pans
  5. top however you’d like! i used vanilla butter cream and the very last few pecans in the bag (i hope that explains the debris on the plate)  this time, but next time i’ll keep it super light and use sugar-free/fat-free cool whip. there are actually a few vegan coconut cream frosting recipes i’ve been seeing around.  that’s a great option too!

makes 12 slices (for 1, no topping): 137 cals, 6g fat, 18g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 3 g protein

hope you had a fantastic weekend. it’s COLD in Houston these days, brrrrrr.

t-4 days yall!!

le

all natural + BOO

image(1)there are so many cute Halloween snacks on Pinterest and IG and this is as creative as i could get this morning.  that rain pouring down outside explains that face-  it’s supposed to last all day here in Houston!

HHchi

a year ago today…whew.  now he talks back and can operate an iPad better than his grandparents.

anyway, we’ll be carving pumpkins indoors tonight then.

***because it took me all day to get this post up, i’m happy to announce the sun is now, in fact, OUT!****

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up early livin’ the FITzee lifestyle this morning and getting my workout in before the busy day begins.  so, how did i get that sweaty?  you wanted a cardio workout so you got it!

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repeat this 3x’s through, but in between each set:

  • run one full lap around your track (or time a 2 minute run at a steady pace through your neighborhood)

OR

  • 2:10 minutes on the treadmill at 6.5 mph.

leave a comment and tell me what a SWEATY good time you had doing this!

*********************

you should know by now that FITzee Foods meals are prepared with all natural ingredients.  why is this so important though?

because all-natural refers to food that is:

  • minimally processed
  • additive-free
  • chemical-free
  • no genetic manipulation
  • hormone-free
  • antibiotic-free
  • sweetener-free
  • food coloring-free
  • flavoring-free

i researched some of the more popular,  frozen, pre-packaged  ‘tv dinners’ and i’d like to show you something:

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(clockwise from the top left) Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Michelinas, & Smart Ones.

scary, huh :shock: .

processed foods have a completely different affect on my body, and you will notice a gigantic difference too once you start to eat whole, all natural foods on a consistent basis.  they slow my digestive system to a halt, they’re not as filling which intensifies my hunger or cravings ( usually with sweets/sugar), and they tend to bloat me from the high soduim or sugar levels.  besides, having to google ingredients before eating your meal kinda makes it less and less appetizing.  FITzee Foods keeps it fresh, all natural, and simple, but that means anything BUT bland, friends.  see for yourself just how flavorful and filling these meals are.

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now that’s an ingredient list i can dig and feel great about sharing with my growing fam bam. no additives or preservatives also means a shorter shelf life, so this is just a reminder to either refrigerate, freeze, or eat your FITzee meals immediately upon arrival.  if frozen, they are good for up to two more months.

you can check out the FITzee Foods Facebook & Twitter pages, or click here to order!

BE SAFE TONIGHT ;)

le

plateaus + 30 min shoulder workout

the holidays take forever to get here and then they are gone just like that.  *tear*

are you back on track from Thanksgiving yet? well how much more time do you need!!?!?! :shock:  i’m good (now), but  if  your body seems to have come to a stubborn halt, or if your results seem to be going in reverse:

*lift heavier

*do a completely different set of exercises for a particular muscle group

*add a HIIT workout into your regimen to shock your metabolism  (track sprints, bleachers, stair master, hill sprints)

*take a class at your gym! (spin, weights, kickboxing, boot-camp, yoga, etc.)

*do your normal routine in reverse order

  i chose a different cardio toy last night!  i know it’s super similar to my fave machine (the machine with the feet) but the stride is wider, and there is an incline function.  pick machines that use upper and lower body simultaneously cause that gets your heart rate up right away and provides a full body workout/warmup.  remember, the more body parts moving, the more calories and fat you burn!  you can do HIIT on that thing or steady state cardio, you choose.

i taught my Total Conditioning class this morning and burned about 700 cals, then hit the weights for a quick 30 min shoulder work out.  i must share this burn!!

tripleset  (using moderate to heavy weight)

seated rear deltoid press 3 x 12

seated lateral raise 3 x 12

seated front deltoid press 3 x 12

***

standing alternating forward dumbbell raises 3 x 24

standing dumbbell T raises 3 x 12

barbel upright row 3 x 12

***

25 heavy barbel shoulder shrugs 4 sets

early morning workout complete and i am done for the day at 7:30am!

we went to Ruggles Green again over the long holiday weekend and i finally ordered something different –  organic turkey lettuce wraps.

not bad!  i can totally make them at home though.  lean ground turkey,  black beans, carrots, red peppers, tomatoes, bean sprouts, and corn all nestled inside a thick leaf of crisp iceberg lettuce.

i ordered a 3 cheese kids pizza for Chiso as my former little garbage disposal has become extremely picky. wonder how long that’ll last…

it was a winner.

if he didn’t kill it, we would have.

 money well spent.  i ordered some of their famous butternut squash too as usual, and whaddaya know- he doesn’t like it anymore :roll:

so i handled up on that.

Sonny ordered what i usually get- the grilled fish tacos on corn tortillas.

‘pumpkin?  clearly it’s a basketball. ‘

he tried to bounce it and everything!!!

then….fro-yo time.  i mean it was right next door.

aaaaalllll those toppings and i never really step outside my comfort zone.

no sugar added vanilla frozen yogurt, mini dark chocolate chips, sprinkles, and whipped cream.  20 cals per ounce – my kinda cheat treat!

creating a fro-yo monster :)

remember that shrimp i bought that was on sale at the same time fresh salmon was?

i finally defrosted it and threw them in my grill pan along with some raw zucchini for dinner that night.  i sprinkled some more of that sweet smokey chipotle paprika and some dried parsley on them first,

and overcooked the heck outta them.  shrimp cook so fast it’s not even funny.  you’re supposed to do this for all proteins, but take them off the heat just before they are done, cover them with foil, and let them ‘rest’.  they will continue cooking from the residual heat.  so if you take them off when they are done, they will get chewy on you after they cool a little and they won’t be nearly as juicy.


Ogechi brought me those seasonings at the perfect time cause my HEB has been outta Mc Cormick’s smokehouse maple seasoning for weeks.

we don’t have our Christmas tree up yet.  i usually wait until the price drops a little before we go get one.  a real one!  i love how they make the house smell.  we were able to put up a few Christmassy items though.

Chiso did his own thing and wasn’t interested.

matter fact, all those boxes back there were on the floor by the end of the night.

thanks to my little elf!

le

journey to clean(er) eating

how it starts….

how it ends.

 i got the baby basket on purpose but i stuffed it full like i knew i would.  going in and coming out with one thing is a complete joke.  there is always something else we need!! or want.

the journey to clean(er) eating starts in the grocery store.  remember these tips when you go shopping:

MORE fresh fruits and vegetables

LESS processed foods (low to no)

lean proteins – chicken breasts, ground turkey, seafood, beef,

healthy fats – avocados, mixed nuts, olive/coconut oil, natural peanut butter

whole grains/fibrous carbs – oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, beans, whole wheat pasta, high fiber cereal

on Sunday’s trip, i got everything on my list plus a few more items:

oh and Ezekiel sprouted grain sesame bread. left it off the list, oops.  aaaand i did get a few indulgent items for Sonny for winning his show this past weekend… i know you see them :shock:  oreos, gummy bears, and cookies n cream ice cream.

i have always wondered why pumpking pie spice is so freakin high!!! this 1.12 oz jar is like 4.99. for no reason. this is what i’ve always bought.  i was on my way to get some magic pop when i passed a table of seasonings and saw a big bucket of this:

what! now 4.99 a  POUND is more like it!! i grabbed a couple bags. man i love finding great deals.

yesterday, i applied that same ‘squeeze the muscle with every rep’ technique to my upper body workout and man did it give me a good muscle pump.  try it!!

one of my fave exercises (i’m sure my class members HATE them by now lololol) are W presses with dumbbells.  make a W with your arms (similar to my pose above) holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand.  move both arms up / out simultaneously without going higher than your head with the weights. then, retract them back in towards your head.  keep your elbows in front of your body.  makes for great shoulder/collar bone/back definition!  the racerback style is my absolute fave to wear, regarding my tops, and this exercises targets that area nicely.

dinner that night was a baked sweet potato stuffed with seasoned chicken breast chunks, green onion, and topped with fromage blanc. french cheese!  i also had a side of steamed zucchini.

yum.

i found the fromage blanc at Whole Foods while looking for the quark that they didn’t have.  the cheese lady told me that fromage blanc was the closest thing to it.  i picked it up and read the stats,

and they were even better than the quark!  heck that’s better than sour cream and greek yogurt!  greek yogurt does have a ton of protein, but it also has sugar too.  anyway, awesome find.  HEB has it also.

today…cardio, legs, and stretching.

i could not WAIT to get home to dinner to make me a sandwich.   that was all i could think about.

i made a big pan of baked chicken breasts this morning, so all i had to do was cut it up and put my sammich together.  i seasoned each breast with something different (bbq, lemon pepper, garlic and herb, smokehouse maple, and montreal steak seasoning) and some dried parsley.  350 degrees for 1 hr.

finally!  seasoned chicken breast, avocado, tomato, almond cheese and Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter all on toasted Ezekiel sprouted grain sesame bread.  i also had half a sliced apple and some Justin’s maple almond butter for dipping.

lastly, i munched on some of that vegetable medley bagged salad with some roma tomatoes on top.

sooooo, turkey day is in like 2 weeks!!!

are you hosting, going to someone else’s house, or going out to eat for TG?  

le

stick to the plan

green tea! my ‘coffee’.

i sipped some on the way to the gym eeeeearly this morning. i drink more throughout the day with some of my meals as well.  be sure to switch to decaf in the evenings though so you can go to sleep at night.

it’s always so peaceful at the gym in the early mornings.

i did some cardio, abs, and some much-needed stretching.  working out super early means more family time after work. wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chi’s breakfast this morning- raisin Ezekiel bread, eggs, and strawberries.  what, no pancakes!?  trying not to burn him out on them lol. i still had mine though! anyway, Ezekiel products have become a staple in our home. we all love them.

i got my meals for the day going starting with some grilled zucchini.

i cut them long ways and seasoned them with lemon pepper, curry, garlic powder, onion powder, and liquid aminos.  then, garnished them with fresh cilantro!  ‘what can i do to season my food and not add calories’? fresh herbs work wonders.  also, mrs. dash also has a great low/no sodium line.  special seasoning post coming, so i’ll stop there!

i open some canned salmon and added a few ounces to each of my containers.  for fat, i used fresh avocado and pistachio nuts.  for carbs, i threw a bag full of La Tortilla Factory whole white-wheat soft wrap tortillas in my lunch kit. i take my condiments with me too- spicy mustard and my TJ fig butters.  i shredded a sweet potato, added garlic powder, onion powder, 1 egg white and pan (burned) fried the cakes on both sides.

for my protein, i mixed the canned salmon, avocado, a little goat cheese, and some spicy mustard together in a bowl, sprinkled some Mc Cormick BBQ seasoning on it and it was SO simple and good!!!!! no cooking required there.  i put some reduced sugar ketchup in my little dipping thingy for my sweet potato cakes.  no i didn’t steal it from a restaurant like someone assumed…  came from Ikea :roll:

after i assemble my lunch together at work, it usually looks like this:

or this,

or i’ll use Ezekiel’s sprouted grain sesame or cinnamon raisin bread and make a sandwich.

just some super quick ideas.

  i am currently in a maintenance phase after my competition last month and loooooving it!!!  a little too much.  i’m totally enjoying my food freedom, can you tell?  however, i’m still keep up with my workouts and staying active.  that’ll never change.

 Q: what is your current  
workout schedule?

A: goes a lil somethin like this:

less cardio, more weights.  only about 4 hours of cardio a week actually.  a couple weeks before my first show, my cardio capped out around 9-10 hrs a week.  i laugh in the face of four measly hours now, HA!

for my active rest days, i’ll either take Chiso out in the jogging stroller for a walk, or i’ll take a class at my gym for fun.  i love taking classes from other instructors!!  i get to experience their teaching style and i am always inspired to create different moves for my own classes.

other than growing these baby biceps, i’m content with my current size and body fat.  i have NOT been able to say that, well, ever.  every few weeks, i’ll sit down and come up with a new plan to switch things up to keep my body from plateauing.

welp, you know what this means.

empty jars make me smile. back to TJ’s.

happy weekend!!

le

2012 Space City Muslcemania Championships Show / 5th wedding anniversary

*****September 15th, 2012*****

GLORY TO GOD for allowing us to participate in this journey from start to finish. 

my first bodybuilding competition has come and gone! what a weekend/week to remember.  i’ve been trying to collect as many pics as possible from my friends, family, and even some of the professional photos but i am so backed up with pictures and posts i need to just POST something already!!!

THANK YOU to my posing coach, Christine Anderson of CAC and Food 4 Thought.  She is an amazing woman, exceptional teacher, and most important, a true pleasure to work with.   she is always on time, pleasant, positive, full of energy, and so very passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise with her clients.  i highly recommend working with Christine whether it’s your first or 50th show.  she is as professional as they come!  i definitely learned from the best.

Christine and i together at the dress rehearsal 1 week before i hit the stage.

i can’t speak for the other girls, but i was waaaay more nervous for dress rehearsal than the actual show!   i enjoyed meeting and making friends with the other competitors along the way.  i loved hearing about their ‘story’ and why they chose to compete.  that’s definitely what i get asked the most too.  as crazy as this sounds, it didn’t dawn on me that these girls were my competition until that day lol!  we all worked so hard for the changes we made to our bodies- it was an awesome thing to not only watch my own body transform, but to witness their progress too.

that following friday evening, Sonny and i attended the mandatory check-in meeting for all the competitors.  the administrators gave us the run down on how things would go on show day and other important info we needed to know.

we also got our spray tans done that night as well as our numbers, 21 and 23.  we had to wear dark, loose fitted clothing so that we wouldn’t mess up the tan job. it looks like our clothes are swallowing us.

i also met up with and chatted with some of the funniest and coolest girls i’ve ever met, seriously.  i expected show day to be SUPER long, but hanging out and laughing with these girls backstage all day made it fly by!  the entire experience was that much more enjoyable because of them.

Sonny passing his drug test with flying colors. too bad they don’t check for traces of popeyes chicken grease :shock:

show day!

 i know, i know. looks disgusting but it’s my big bowl of banana oats with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla creme stevia.  i ate it on the way to get my makeup done and hair curled.

it’s a miracle!  after 3 months of looking straight rough, i appreciated this makeover very, very much.  THANK YOU to Tinnell Sloan  for working every single ounce of her magic on me that day. i needed it.

ducklips = feelin myself.

headed to the venue, bright and early.

 but still late :roll:

we all got dressed and ready for the big group photo outside the venue…Sonny missed it by mere minutes!!

however he made it for the guys only pic. this picture SCREAMS hard work, doesn’t it!?  among other things, LOL

after that, we took individual portraits outside as well.

Sonny and his washboard abs waiting his turn for his solo shot.

Dani and i waiting to take our individuals! i met this fabulous woman at our first posing camp about 2 months prior.  we exchanged numbers and kept in touch and checked on each other throughout those crazy weeks of training.

after pics, we head back to the dressing rooms to change into our theme wear.  the order of events was posted right outside the door – Sonny started the show and i ended it, literally.  and this was only the morning show order of events, not the whole day like i thought!

in the dressing room joking, taking pics, primping, eating, and just waiting.

 i was an Olympic sprinter and Dani was a pin-up girl. my baton was around there somewhere!

i went out to take a quick peek and was able to catch Sonny heading out to start the show!  this was his club wear. super sharp;)

  when they finally called our class to come line up my heart skipped several beats.

as i watched the girl in front of me take a deep breath and walk out on stage into the lights, i said to myself in my head, ‘this is it, Leah, DO IT.’

the stage guy interrupted my thoughts and said ‘alright, go, go, go’.  i said a prayer and just went.

  

aaaaaaaaaand 1 minute later, it was over!!!

 

here are a few shots of my Nigerian soccer player doing his thing for the theme wear round.

way to sell it, Mr. E!

my gorgeous buddy Kaleigh (1st time competitor) and i after finishing up the theme wear -tall round. we did it, girl!!  we survived on Walden Farms products (sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free, gluten-free, EVERTHANG-free) to spice up our meal plans lol.

**intermission break **

 we were able to come out and visit with the friends and family that came to support us!  we are so grateful for all the cheers, encouraging words, pictures, videos, well wishes, presence, and love.  THANK YOU sincerely, family and friends!!!

being cheesy for a pic in my runner stance.  my cheeks were so sore by that point.

my bro, Chiso, and i!  during the break, i went home to spend more time with my little guy as i missed his butt so bad and we hadn’t even left for Jamaica yet.

@ home taking more pictures.

halfway done-  we then headed back to the venue for the evening show and swimwear/bikini rounds.

and we’re back!  all changed and ready to go….to wait some more.

the nerves were all gone at this point- i was just ready to get it over with more than anything.

 no vid for this round, but i do think it went WAY better than my theme wear round. i was comfortable and nerve-free by then.

there’s my front pose for the judges,

the back,

and the front again!  how’d i do?

2nd place – bikini tall class!!

this was certainly an added blessing.  my ultimate goal was to just get through this darn training journey and hit the stage for the first time and do my best.  i am so grateful and humbled.

that leads me to my next THANK YOU which goes to my extremely patient trainer, Travis!!!!  thank you for answering my bajillion questions, texts, emails, calls, and emails :lol: .  even when i was dog tired on the way to our sessions, i would always be pumped and re-energized after our workouts.  physically and mentally.  he encouraged and reassured me along the way and promised to have my body ready for this show.  he did just that!  i share this win with him in my heart as he contributed to making my first competition a very special one to remember.  he has plenty of clients but gave me his undivided attention and made my goals, his goals.  he’s an awesome, highly recommended trainer to work with!  good luck on YOUR upcoming show, Travis!

Sonny also brought home some hardware too- that’s my hubby!!! 2nd from the right in the striped bottoms. i am so proud of him.

ok back in the dressing room, i HAD to snap this of Dani savoring a snickers bar immediately after we were totally done.  she is going to kill me but her face is PRICELESS. but those abs though!!!

 ‘why wait?’

DON’T.

hahahahahaahaha

few more pics with the ladies before we parted ways for the evening. two bikini girls, two figure girls.

then i went to find Sonny so we could rep for anniversary #5! all natural, baby!

this girl here… my angel.  THANK YOU, Ogechi, for inspiring me to even start blogging in the first place.  you have been with me from the jump!  you have prayed with me, over me, and for me and i’m so grateful to God for blessing me with your friendship.  i was under the impression that Ogechi was all the way in Atlanta that day, but she surprised the heck outta me and was sitting in the audience for the evening show the entire time!!! her support means the WORLD to me and i love her (and her recipes i will be posting more of! ) so, so much. i appreciate you my dear sister and friend.

 what an awesome 1st experience, period.  so grateful to have done this with Sonny by my side and also celebrate 5 years of marriage and counting.

thank you for reading!

le

10 days to destiny

my last post was deleted completely and i almost cracked.  it’s not the first time that has happened, but when it does, my ‘make up’ post usually turns out better the second time.  and i remember to add a whole bunch of stuff i left out the first time. so, it’s all good.

so, HI :)

this post was supposed to go out on Labor Day, whoops.  speaking of LD, was there a party at your gym late-morning/early afternoon too!?  i think everybody slept in, then got up and went to the gym at the same time.  there were people EVERYWHERE on every machine.  that’s a good thing though as there are no holidays for your health.

oh and also, i have managed to go from an iPhone, to a brand spanking new Samsung galaxy s3, to NO phone in a matter of days.  gaaaaaaaaaaaah, having no phone is THE absolute worst thing ever these days.  especially when it’s your fault :roll: replacement phone is en route. i miss Instagram so much, lol!  IG on the PC is wack!

*update*

10 days, not weeks, left until the show.  i have always been a cardio horse, so these last few days of it will be a piece of cake.

 i actually gained some weight this past week (due to the carb loading, water, and gaining more muscle), but i still managed to drop a tad more body fat, whoop whoop.  last progress pic(s) until the show- no spoilers!

 currently at:

144lbs

10% body fat

few more progress shots before this morning’s workout (stole Sonny’s phone)

my meal plan is different all the way up until show day, so my trainer says to expect more changes and i will.

my abs seem to have disappeared for the moment, but it’s temporary bloating.  you know i asked!!

#backaction

even more reason to love my racerback tops now!

got my show suit, got my theme wear and now all i need to do is PRACTICE.  some more.  oh and get that other stuff done too of course: waxing, makeup, hair, and tanning.  my posing coach, Christine, sent out an email that included a checklist of everything i need to have done or do. all i can say is WHEW!  i felt this same feeling before my wedding, before Sonny’s 30th birthday party,  before Chiso’s 1st birthday party…  yeah, pretty much before any big event.  a feeling of suffocation, anxiety, and my mind racing a mile a minute… just ready to just get this the heck over with.  my life will then settle down a bit…until the next thing i get myself into.

now for some food porn!!!!

this was Chiso’s breakfast today- his current favorite.  banana oat pancakes, banana chunks, and eggs.

i packed a quick snack for him before i headed out too: roasted sweet potatoes, some ripe avocado, and strawberries.

while i was making breakfast, i got going on my lunches-  i munched on steak and potatoes for my low carb menu today.  i roasted my sweet potatoes last night (450 deg oven for about 45 min), so they were already soft and just needed to be reheated later.

i put my grill pan over super high heat and grilled my steaks which had been marinating in liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, and montreal steak seasoning.

i packed up meals 2 and 3 before heading out earlier.

however when i got home this evening, i got fancy!  this totally feels like a cheat meal, forreal.  i made garlic sweet potato fries instead of my usual roasted.  i told you sweet potatoes are SO versatile!

i cut them up, then i got crazy and used all this on them lol.  no added calories but plenty of flavor.  (the smokehouse maple seasoning does have sodium and sugar in it but i went super-duper light) i read about the butter flavoring and it’s pretty awesome and smells WONDERFUL.

end result:

POW!!!

grilled sirloin steak topped with avocado, garlic sweet potato fries, and fresh sautéed spinach.  i’ll be Instagramming this as soon as i get my phone back lol.

 it tasted as amazing as it looked!

*season the fries and pop them in a 400 deg oven for about 20 min.  spread them out so they cook evenly*

and i get to have it one more time for meal 6!! happy rest of your hump evening!!

le

____-free

posing practice, weight training, cardio, grocery shopping, church, and family time.

that was my weekend.  how was yours?

this particular trip to HEB was one to remember!  i have been hearing about Walden Farms this and Walden farms that in cyberspace recently.  Walden Farms products claim to be:

calorie-free

sugar-free

fat-free

carbohydrate-free

gluten-free

cholesterol-free

not ALL products are free of ALL of the things i listed, but just read the label to be sure!

my ears perk up when i hear  ‘____ – free’ regardless, but not once have i heard so many in the same sentence and referring to one product!!!!!  my curiosity got the best of me and i ordered the infamous Walden Farms pancake syrup online.  however, man, sometimes all you have to do is ASK.  ‘do you carry Walden Farms products?’ i asked the store associate.  i just knew she would look at me crazy and reply with ‘who!?’, but nope, HEB always come through for meeeeeee.

could that be?…no… calorie-free ketchup!? yeah it scares me too…i’ll go back for it later though lol

i read A LOT of product reviews (i do hope for the best that they aren’t fake or anything) and the Walden Farms dips (chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, etc.) aren’t sounding too good.  so, i left them alone for now.

there they are…in all their glory!  bbq sauce too!  WF is on a roll.

and dressings! so for those of you who like to eat salad with your dressing lol, you should give these a try.

this is what i got outta there with in addition to my fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins.  syrup (pancake and chocolate) sesame ginger dressing (which is nothing short of awesome) and more PB2- there was a 50 cents off coupon running and i couldn’t pass it up.

saturday morning, i made Chiso a bowl of oatmeal and topped it with fresh blueberries, chia seeds, peanut butter, and almond milk.

then i made some more of those oatmeal pancakes i had last week (i am HOOKED!!).  i made up the batter the night before this time and let it sit in the fridge.

 we had them again this morning. ready to try them?! here’s that recipe:

super moist banana oat pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (***you can use pre-ground oat flower, or ground them yourself in your blender or food processor***)
  • 2 egg whites
  • couple dashes of cinnamon (be generous)
  • splash of  real vanilla extract (OR you can use a couple drops of vanilla creme stevia if you want them sweeter!)
  • 1/2 a mashed ripe banana
  • 1/8th tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 heaping tbsp greek yogurt or unsweetened applesauce

do this:

  1. mix all the ingredients well in your blender or food processor!  *s/n: if the batter is too thick for you, add some unsweetened vanilla almond milk to stretch it.  i’ve been adding water to keep my nutritional stats the same for my competition diet though.*
  2. pour into a non-stick/sprayed skillet or griddle. you can make 1 big cake like they do at restaurants, or a stack. i like to do 4 mini cakes.
  3. 3-4 min on each side.
  4. you can add SO many things to your batter- the options are simply endless. top or incorporate your fav fruit or nuts and don’t forget that sugar-free syrup.  i also sprayed mine with some ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’.  this is too easy!!! i don’t even need a pancake cheat meal anymore!  tastes so darn good.  i’ll be adding some PB2 into my batter when i can have it again.  enjoy and get creative.

 (for the ENTIRE recipe)

bananapancakesnutritionalstats


   Chiso is a fan.

heck, oatmeal hating Sonny likes them AND the syrup too. jackpot.

About Time sent me some free samples of their whey protein this past week- chocolate and birthday cake flavor.  no carbs, no fat, no aftertaste, and all natural. hmmmmmmmmmm!  as usual, i will be trying, next month.

don’t wait til morning, go make some pancakes right now.  have a blessed rest of your sunday.

what is your experience with Walden Farms!? any products by them the world should know about? share!

le