muscles & fro-yo

i’d like to introduce you guys to my fit friend, Tasha.

Texas shredder 2013.1

thank you, Tasha, for proving yet again that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to!  she is living proof!  after seeing some of my journey last year, she was further intrigued by the sport of bodybuilding.  so, she went for it!  why? because she CAN!  Tasha overcame the physical and mental challenges of the competitor training journey and ROCKED THAT STAGE.  i’m super proud!  please read her advice and overall first time experience:

What made you compete?

I, like many others, was just going to the gym with no any specific goals but just to be healthy. I’d go
and do maybe 30 minutes of cardio then get on a few weight machines that I thought I knew how to
use, and then just leave. I liked the idea of having a more muscular physique but had no idea what it
took… then someone randomly asked me if I ever thought about doing a fitness competition. I promised
them that I would consider it and the first people I contacted was Leah and my cousin, who
also competes and is currently my trainer. Both of them gave me lots of insight and encouraged me to
compete, so I decided I would give it a try.

What did you gain from the experience?

It’s funny because I went into this thinking all I would gain was a nicer looking body and lower body
fat percentage but I gained sooo much more. Competing has given me a sense of accomplishment.
Competing is a major commitment and I was able to set this goal that was so far out of my comfort level
and accomplish it. Although I am very personal, it’s still a great feeling to show people my competition
pictures. It’s the product of months of work and dedication. My friends and family have also been
really supportive of my decision to compete, even more than I would have imagined. That feeling of
overwhelming love and support has actually been one of the best experiences from competing. This is
what kept me motivated.

Do you have any advice for first time competitors?

There are 2 things I would share with first time competitors. The first thing is that competing is both
physical and mental. The physical part is expected, but the mental not so much. The mental part was
actually as hard as the physical for me. You will doubt yourself and your progress, but keep with it! This
is when a good support system will be needed to help keep you focused. The second thing is be careful
not to compare yourself with others. It’s okay to use other people as inspiration, but remember that
every body is different and we are all at different points in our fitness journey. Your progress is based on
how much you improved from where you started, not only if you look like anyone else.

le tash

excellent advice, Tasha.  thank you so much for sharing your experience, insight, and HOT pics with my fit foodies!

i love the fro-yo combo below and get it pretty much every time we go. usually no sugar added vanilla, cake batter, or no sugar added chocolate as far as the fro-yo goes. most of the time it’s worth the tummy after-bloat and overall fluff dairy tends to give me, but now….ooooh but now, my prayers have been answered.

IMG_20130428_230351i recently discovered two new flavors at Red Mango that are both dairy-free and sweetened with all natural, zero calorie, STEVIA!  dark chocolate and raspberry sorbetto. have you had them yet?!  they are both fantastic.

IMG_20130426_150454

15 and 10 cals per oz.  YAAAAAS. let me know what you think!

fro yo tips:

  • look up the nutritional stats online before you visit 
  • check for speciality options e.g. dairy-free, sugar-free, no sugar added, low fat, etc.
  • fresh fruit and nuts preferably for toppings
  • live a little. it’s dessert. dessert is fun and to be enjoyed. so do so in moderation!

there are a bajillion self-serve fro-yo places these days, huh!  one on every corner seems like. so….who’s the BEST in your opinion?

 you know who’s got my vote!

le

winner winner chicken dinner


glory to God, Sonny won 1st place in his division at the Ft. Worth MuscleMania bodybuilding show this past weekend!! here’s Chiso congratulating him and apologizing for sleeping through the entire evening show in mommy’s arms.  630-930…what a nap :shock:

i’m pretty proud of this guy.

i was screaming as loud as i could!!  great show and amazing jobs done by all.

here are Sonny and some of the other competitors soaking in their win.  cloud 9 status!

Chiso clearly just wanted to play with that ball, but we got a good family shot outside the venue during intermission break.  immediately following the show, Sonny’s team went to dinner at Blue Mesa  to celebrate their accomplishments, weeks of hard work, dieting, and training.  both of our phones were almost dead after our long day, so my camera flash was toast.  horrible lighting for these next few pics, ugh.

along with Sonny’s show day meals, i prepped all of mine for the trip as well.  and this meal was not apart of the plan lol! neither was the pizza Sonny brought me from backstage earlier.  nevertheless,  i started with a  dinner salad of field greens topped with tomatoes and red onion.  balsamic vinaigrette was on the side.

Sonny got the Perfect Tortilla Soup which had chicken, tomatoes, jack cheese, smoked chiles, and fresh lime in chicken broth.

CHIPS. sweet potato, tortilla (blue and flour).  and honestly they were nothing to write home about.  it’s just that they were in front of me and i was hungry!!! snacking ensued. excessive snacking.

having no flash totally took away from the dish, but it was way tastier than it looked.  i got the Spa Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas with asparagus and grilled sweet potatoes.  the Spa section on their menu was detailed with nutritional stats and lighter options.  i totally appreciated that.  why don’t restaurants just do this for the entire menu?  we’re prolly better off not knowing in some cases!

Sonny asked the server for the dish with the most food and variety like he always does and ended up getting a sampler platter.  like he always does. lol.  the Mesa Sampler came with a carmelized onion quesadilla, mixed nachos, and chicken taquitos.

so on the way back to our hotel WE wanted something sweet and went through a Mc Donalds drive through in hopes to get some ice cream.   the machine was already closed down for cleaning for the night.  that has happened to us SEVERAL times… we should know the darn schedule by now.  so we ended up at the next best thing… actually it’s prolly the best thing lol.

we split a whatasized vanilla shake and i’m pretty sure i slurped down 70% of it!  i hadn’t had one in YEARS.  it was…. incredible.  Sonny mentioned going to In-N-Out burger too (hey we don’t have one in Houston) but i had to put my foot down and call it quits.

we got some rest and headed home the next morning, but not before grabbing breakfast.  i took a selfie of my abs before we left though and i wasn’t surprised that they were still flat.  after i eat crap, it pops back up to say hello on me 3-4 days later.  for a while i had myself fooled!  the symptoms may be delayed  (bloating, gas, bubble guts, pimples, fatigue, flat muscles, heaviness) but they ALWAYS come.  always.

Sonny wanted to start breakfast with a BANG but Ihop was the  best option that popped up on our GPS.  i was somewhat relieved and i’m also glad there were no Shipley’s around :shock:

now THIS is a breakfast of champions.  ^^^ there’s one right there, tee hee.  Ihop always did have crazy portion sizes.

Sonny smashed a steak omelette topped with cheese and tomatoes,

and a stack of what Ihop is famous for…. mmmmmm.

we got Chi a kiddie sampler of baby cakes, scrambled eggs, and turkey bacon which he did NOT like and took off his plate immediately.  i’m not a fan of the texture of turkey bacon either…i don’t blame him.

 

time to get back on track.

after examining this pic closer, that totally looks like a bug in my oatmeal!!!!! LOL. i remember seeing it after stirring my bananas in though and it was definitely an oat.  i think.  i hope.

i also got a spinach, mushroom, and tomato egg white omelette that was pretty amazing.  i’m am in complete love with their Simple and Fit menu. look at all those options!!! the website is super user-friendly. seriously, GO IHOP! 4 thumbs up from fitfoodiele.

the oatmeal came with butter, brown sugar, and milk on the side, but i didn’t use them.  you know what i used!  packet of stevia from the stash in my purse.

didn’t bring any Walden Farms syrup with me, but they did provide sugar-free syrup.  again, GO IHOP!  HEB sells Cary’s syrup as well, FYI.

we hit the road and made it home safely, thank God.  THEN i hit the gym solo to get a head start on that vanilla shake before it did too much damage lol.  Saturday was a full rest day and i did absolutely nothing for the first time in a while, so i was ready to go and pump some iron.

one of the bodybuilders gave this advice to the crowd at the show:  ‘it’s not about who can squat the most.  it’s not about who can bench press the most.  eat right, squeeze the muscle with each rep, and train hard.’  it was short, sweet, and really hit home.  during that workout, i did my best to squeeze my glutes, hams, quads, and calves with each rep. i felt and saw a difference immediately.  oooh it burns. STILL feeling it.

i did legs and cardio and got up outta there.  will be switching up my routine next week though-  time for something new.  next i hit up the store cause my Sunday just ain’t right without some grocery shopping.

CONGRATULATIONS SONNY!!!!! XOXO

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

competition eve

i’m getting used to not doing morning cardio already lol!!! my last cardio workout was wednesday, so thursday i went and got a pedi for the first time since this past April.

i have always been uncomfortable with falling asleep in public places, especially when i’m travelling alone. i don’t see how people do it. i just feel so vulnerable and i’m sure people have been taken advantage of in those types of situations.  however, when i tell you that this is the first time i have ever dozed off during a pedicure and plain did not care, you better believe it.  i got the works- massage, wax wrap thing, salt scrub, yeah all that. it felt that darn good and was well worth the wait.

golden toes! they will match my show suit perfectly, you’ll see!  i would have gone for the french tip (or whatever it’s called) but ummmmmm, i can’t get that done on my toes for the very same reason i didn’t include my left foot in the shot. HAHAHAHA

this morning’s breakfast: 1 egg + 2 whites, banana pancakes, and a bowl of oatmeal that isn’t pictured.

this is prolly THE saddest breakfast shot i’ll ever take but i don’t regret posting it.  every meal isn’t a pretty presentation although most times that is what i strive for, even if i don’t take a pic.  i remember trying to WOW Sonny when we first got married with my food creations and presentations.  i really do enjoy them. it’s all apart of my cooking/kitchen experience lol. ok ANYWAY,   i burned my omelette at that.  i cut it up, added some fresh cilantro and dijon mustard and enjoyed every bite.  i used to put one egg white into my pancakes, but one morning i tried leaving the eggs out entirely to see if it would still cook and hold together ok.  and it did.  i added water to the mix instead.  i just wanted a bigger omelette, that’s all.  that way, it seems like im eating more food.  get it? and besides,  after putting ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’  and Walden Farms pancake syrup over them, the consistency doesn’t even matter anymore.   still the yummiest, cleanest pancakes ever!  but if you’d like them to look prettier, add the egg.

  i really thought it would be hard for me to just sit down and do absolutely nothing today, but that feeling passed rather swiftly  :lol:

i also woke up with something extra-

lots of HAIR!!! and a headache as my scalp is super sore:(.  i normally don’t get my hair done, done unless there’s a huge event happening. aaaand well, this one calls for it.  i’m ready to whip it all across the stage tomorrow!

i picked up a slab of salmon yesterday in prep for Sonny’s last meals before our show.

i used some Walden Farms (calorie-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, etc) pancake syrup, Mc Cormick smokehouse maple seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried parsley.

12 min in a 450 deg oven. cooking salmon could not be any easier.

or any tastier.

i paired it with lime brown rice and steamed asparagus just before Sonny drowned everything in sriracha (hot sauce). sweet, salty, and spicy.

only thing left to do for the show is tan. that will be done tonight and again tomorrow (touch ups). oh and my makeup as well- bright and early!

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

wackday

wednesday was one of those days.  when i don’t get enough rest my world comes crashing down.  i wanted to say screw this whole competition, quit, and eat an entire papa johns pizza. :evil:  i want to eat an entire pizza every day, but that day i threatened myself out loud.  it just got worse and worse as the day went on.  i worked out with my trainer that morning, and i somehow hit the gym in the evening for round two.

i took a pic just so i could remember this very day and my mood at the time.  i can laugh at it now, but i’m pretty positive i’ll feel like this again or worse in the next few weeks as my journey to the stage draws near.  and come on, a journey wouldn’t be a journey if it didn’t have a mixture of good, bad, high, and low days.

keep. pressing. forward.

that was prolly my worst workout of this entire journey though.  i could barely get my heart rate up to my fat burning zone, and i literally struggled to keep it there, which is always relatively easy.  after my last meal that night, THANKFULLY Chiso calmed down enough to go to sleep early with me even though he took a late nap.

Thursday was a new day. a better day.  a high carb day.  i DID get some good rest the night before and felt tons better, mentally and physically.

Chiso wasn’t the only one enjoying fresh fruit that day :)

this is just some of his meal… sweet potatoes, avocado, and his fav, strawberries.

i got in some posing practice that night after my cardio.

POW, stick that hip out there!

i can be silly/goofy/flirty, but being serious/sexy/flirty WITHOUT laughing and feeling like an idiot is the tough part.  how i will ever manage to sell it and make it believable on stage is beyond me, but i have 3 weeks to figure it out.

i feel wack taking these pics of myself but who do you think i am, june ambrose!? i need a picture snapping assistant.  sometimes.

this will be my final pose before exiting the stage. :shock: kidding.

i didn’t even think to bring my show suit with me-  my coach said i should be practicing in it or at least less clothing from here on out though. she’s absolutely right cause i could not see my body the way i needed to.

some days i feel way too skinny, some days i feel like i could maintain this weight.  either way, Sonny reminded me that if i do fall off the wagon after this competition, i now have the tools and the knowledge to get my body back where i want it to be. well, what could i say after that lol?

i made more banana pancakes this morning cause they make me happy.  and i need all the happiness i can get!!!!

  i think i have made/eaten them for the past week and i can’t stop.  until i can add more crazy ingredients to my batter, i’ll have them just like this up until the show.  so YES, more pics of pancakes are coming, you’ve been warned.

have you made these pancakes yet!? what did you put in yours?

*****HAPPY FRIDAY*****

le

1 month out

less than 1 month away.

show suit? done.  themewear?  being worked on and almost done.  there is still so much more to do, ESPECIALLY posing practice.  most of the rest will be knocked out the week of the show though.  hair, nails, waxing, tanning …girl stuff.

*update*

142 lbs

11% body fat

my cardio hours are gettin on up there… i’m at 9+ a week.  i like to do a little every day- that works for me.  however i know some competitors who can’t get to the gym as often as they like and will do double or triple duty at once. omg!  i would hate to do it that way…but i would if i had to.  shows just how much determination they have to reach their goals though.  super admirable.

i’m having VIVID dreams about the things i plan to eat after the show.  i woke up earlier this week dreaming i was stuffing a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing into my mouth.  it was so real.  however my sugar cravings are actually under control and don’t bother me anymore.  i still want the fatty, greasy stuff though, and i will be having papa johns as one of my post comp meals!!! i went to my sis-in-law’s graduation dinner last night (CONGRATS MICHELLE, OTC!!!!!!) and the food looked and smelled absolutely wonderful.  see?

there were egg rolls…

there was cheese dip…

can’t have dip without chips…

and BREAD.

*faints*

all within arms reach.

my bro ordered somethin i’d prolly get myself- a cheese stuffed portabella mushroom topped chicken breast.  FOODGASM.  however, i wouldn’t have gotten double potatoes for sides. who does that!?

 i ate my meal in the car on the way and that helped tremendously.

i will NOT be messing these abs up.  YOU HEAR ME!? i’m screaming at that nightmare cupcake, not you.

that’s all i got. i’m tired. night.

le

goodies

so thankful for encouraging friends!got this in the mail today from a dear friend of mine and it was RIGHT on time.  today is low carb day :lol:  thanks, BM ;) love you, girl!

july was a BLUR. hey, august.

there are a bazillion products i cannot wait to try next month. next month…NEXT MONTH is my show!!!!  burnout is not even the word these days.  i have been trying to run outside more for my cardio cause even the smell of walking into my gym sometimes makes me sick to my stomach, sad, and a tired, defeated feeling comes over my entire body.  yes, all that happens at once!  nothing a rest day can’t fix though…i’m definitely waving my white flag and in need of one.  i am still learning to listen to my body and not overdo it.  over time, i have learned to distinguish the ‘crap i don’t feel like going to the gym’ feeling vs the ‘i have absolutely no energy to lift a THING today’ feeling.  there is a huge difference.  when the only thing i can take away from my workout is the fact that i can say i went, that’s not good enough.  i’m doing more harm than good by forcing my workout rather than just sitting down somewhere, resting, and hitting it hard the next day.i posted this earlier today on IG- another instagrammer mentioned how her abs stay flat even after a satisfying meal and i LOVE that and couldn’t agree more.  it’s all from simply keeping your diet clean.  before, i’d either be a bloated mess all over or mushy in my midsection from high sodium, sugar, and additives hiding in processed and restaurant foods.  my tummy stays the same all day long- flat.

what’s happening this week? finding a SUIT and themewear, that’s what.  i have been googling to the high heavens on what colors pop, what shade is best for my skin, etc., aaggggggghhhhhhh!!! my posing coach, Christine, simply said ‘go with your first instinct.’  simple as that. so, i will.

i visited a shop by referral from Christine, grabbed a handful of suits and tried them on.  those things are pretty darn tiny.  talk about ‘barely there’, my goodness!  stepping outside my box, big time.

i am such a BOY with this kind of stuff.  there is so much more to be done. hair, nails, waxing, tanning, etc,.  this is a pretty darn expensive sport.  and i didn’t even mention my training yet! (workouts, meal plan, and FOOD).  i discussed with Christine the best portion of the show for me to enter seeing as how i have about 5 weeks left.  she advised me to stick with Bikini.  so, Figure will just have to wait as i don’t have enough time to put on THAT much muscle.  so, if there’s a next time, i’m comin for ya, Figure!!!

so i have said already how excited i am to get back in my kitchen and make and EAT up some stuff.  i see new products every day on instagram, blogs, and foodie mags,  and i went online and finally ordered a few that sparked my interest and my taste buds!  i was supposed to stop looking at these sites before my comp, i know.  anyway,  i’ll pass on bargain shopping for clothes, but not food!  it really is cheaper to order some stuff online.  and there are always coupon codes, free shipping, and other deals that help.

via IG (instagram), @powercakes gave out her coupon code for saving 5 dollars on your first www.IHERB.com purchase. SWEET DEAL!  i just used mine AND got free shipping since my order was over 20 bucks.  now, if September would just get here already i’ll be one happy fit foodie.  look what i got:

soups, stir-frys, and spring rolls OH MY!! these are kelp noodles.  i loooove thai crystal noodle soup and pretty much all type of soup.  and noodles.   i have so many ideas for these puppies.  and hello, 12 calories per serving! I KNOW!!  kelp noodles are raw, gluten-free, fat-free, rice-free, low in carbs & calories, full of minerals and ready to eat.  have you tried them?

been hearing SO much about this stuff.  what sold me? ‘tastes like cheese’.   well we’ll just have to see then, won’t see.  after reading reviews, customers raved how great this stuff is sprinkled on air popped popcorn, over soups and stews, and even encrusting proteins in it.  i’ll see what i can do.

so splenda’s rep has gotten worse and worse over time.  it’s been known to cause/increase the risk of cancer, weight gain, bloating- man too many negative things to name.  just red flags everywhere.   i actually swore off the stuff a few months ago (Sonny chunked it. all of it.), but i walked past the above pic in HEB and the mocha part sucked me right back in.  however Sonny threw it right back out.

  then i heard/read about Stevia.

zero cals, non bitter, all natural.  i bought the granules from HEB before i discovered there was a liquid form!  so, i ordered some.

vanilla,

and

chocolate!

no sugar alcohols, bitter after-taste, and calorie free. stay tuuuuuuuned.

3 more things- look, i had a lot to say today.

1.) when i visit food blogs, i look for specific things. fantastic, enticing pics draw me in first and foremost, but what i always end up looking for and totally appreciate is nutritional stats!! people can say they don’t count calories all day long…but come on..you have to have SOME kinda ball park figure to make sure you’re staying on track, clean diet or not.  SO, one thing i plan to execute after this show is including the nutritional stats to my recipes.  sure, there are a crapload of web apps these days that you can just type the ingredients into yourself, but i dont want you to have to work so hard when you come visit me!

2.) although i have no plans to ever fully commit to a 100% paleo, vegan, vegetarian, or even clean diet (only 85% and i meant that), i can’t get enough of their deserts!  there are sooooo many ways you can ‘indulge’ and satisfy your sweet tooth without eating the full fat and calorie laden stuff.  i am on a mission to create cleaner deserts as well as incorporate more natural, raw ingredients.  working on cleaner pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, and pudding recipes all day every day.

3.) i’d tell ya what i’m having for dinner but you already know. :roll: just got through putting some of my meals together for tomorrow .

i’ll tell you anyway.  marinated sirloin steak, french cut green beans, and brown rice.  after i nuke one, i add low sodium worcestershire sauce or my mustard, and some fresh cilantro.  yum!!

 Chiso is keeping busy in the midst of all this madness.

happy friday in advance!  nite.

le

6 weeks out – update

no morning run today.  i slept in and do NOT feel bad about it!  i was up late last night prepping meals for the week and needed the extra sleep.

  i worked out with my trainer saturday,

shoulders, legs, and stairmaster = sweaty mess.

i actually don’t mind the cardio at all- even when i don’t have my ipod.  i’m up to 7 hours of it a week, which is just an hour a day. (weight training and ab work is not included in that though).  after i get nice and warm (at least 10 min into it) i don’t feel a thing.  i do try to keep it exciting and use several machines.  20 min here, 20 there, 20 somewhere else, and i only start counting again when my heart rate reaches my fat burning zone.  no cheating on my diet OR workouts!!

*update*

after 3 successful rounds of carb cycling and two more weeks out the window:

146lbs  (lost 4.7)

2.7 % body fat lost, which brings me down to 13%.

i always kept a light sweater with me at all times cause i get cold easily.  however, 68 degrees for our home temp is now unbearable.  Sonny is convinced that the house must be this cold in order for him to sleep. *side-eye*  i’ve been going to bed in thermals recently- long sleeve tops AND bottoms in the middle of a Houston Summer!!! however it makes sense- less body fat and weight, less insulation.

i missed Chiso’s stank butt so much this weekend! i surprised Sonny with a short and sweet getaway for his birthday (post coming), and Chi spent some good times with his grandparents :)

what can i say.. this has been the toughest week yet and it’s only gonna get tougher.  after 3 rounds of carb cycling, i’m in the middle of my fourth.  per my trainer, no changes to my meal plan this week since my body is responding so great to the carb cycling.  i just keep thinking over and over again how little time i have left. i’m 100% dedicated to reaching my goal, i can do this, and it will all be over soon.  in that order. lol.  at this point i’m craving things i don’t even normally eat- frito pie, doritos… churros…   and my obsession with food network is about to ruin my life.  if i’m not watching it on TV, i’m on food blogs all day long.  food is SUCH a huge part of my life. i’m a FOODIE.  makes me wonder if i’ll do another show after this one to be completely honest. the urge to binge only comes around full force when i’m watching Paula Deen put 42 sticks of butter into her upside down apple cake.  outta sight outta mind really works best for me at this point.

anyway, i have these guys (thick cut sirloin steaks) marinating in some Braggs liquid aminos, green onion, cilantro, and montreal steak seasoning, and will throw them on the grill tonight when i get home.

on a lighter note, i must express how much i LOOOOOVE the Instagram community, WOW!!! if you aren’t following some of these crazy inspirational, motivational,  health and fitness role models, then just looking through their pics is still worth every second of your time.  they are REAL, hard-working moms and dads doing the healthy thing, sharing recipes, fitness tips,  and reaching their goals one day at a time.  after this show i cannot wait to get crackin’ on some of these recipes!! look’em up:

fitfoodiele :lol:

fitfoods

livefiteatclean

powercakes

onefitfoodie

c_fitnessjourney

eatclean_behappy

fit4aprincess

MyFitnessLife24

kristfitj1210

fitandsexy_fe

healthygirll

instagramfitness

mattyb2126

myhealthydish_

there are waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many more, but take a peek at these guys and girls.

enjoy the rest of this blessed day!

le

progress through your process

i feel like i owe double posts for not speaking in 7 days straight :( it’s been an eventful week over here.   Chiso and i took a walk in the neighborhood tuesday evening, and wed. he woke up with a fever and a rash :roll:  oh, and he’s teething again.  needless to say, we took a trip to the Dr. and all is finally well, thank God.

speaking of God, ever hear a sermon and feel like it was tailored JUST for you?  i’m nuts over all things food and cooking, so this made complete sense and keeps replaying in my head:

‘if you’re  a true cook, then you know you must wait until the water is boiling before you add in your grits.  God has PLENTY of good stuff waiting to pour into us, but He won’t give it to us until we are bubbling and ready to receive it!!!’

if you don’t grow during your process (whatever it may be), something is wrong.  you mature and change over time for the better.  however, you must commit and put in the work.  stay positive and keep moving towards whatever you are working on!!!

UPDATE: *stats taken on 7/20*

151 lbs.

16.2% body fat

6 weeks in,

8 weeks left,

and time is FLYING.

my scale said 148 lbs this afternoon (sunday) and it’s definitely because i added sprints to my training this past friday and saturday.    sprinters are able to keep their muscle but blast off fat with High Intensity Interval Training.  a mixture of both steady state cardio and HIIT is an awesome combo and will get my body where it needs to be.

last night, my man and i stepped out to the movies for the first time this YEAR now that i think about it.

s/n: yet another item of clothing i hadn’t worn in ages- these pants are 3/4 and i’m really glad i held on to them!  6 weeks ago, i was in 7/8’s. ok anyway, we saw Dark Knight and it was long.  we are pretty tall and we need our leg room.  we both had to stand up and stretch several times!!

 gaaaaaah that popcorn smell smacked me right in the face when we walked in.  i saved my ‘dessert’ from the meal i consumed in the car on the way to the theater, and whipped it out to snack on during the movie. so not the same.

some alone time was great, but i would have rather watched Spider Man or a comedy!

good times!

today, we hit the gym together for some upper body and cardio.

Sonny never fails to remind me why we work out separately LOL.

i’m working my way up to un-assisted dips, but he convinced me to do them without any help.  i know i’ll appreciate it.

later.

yes, that’s as far as i could go down, lololol. give me some time.

did some bicep exercises as well then hit the elliptical machines.

sonny on his weapon of choice… it’s either this or the stairmaster for me when i’m in the gym.  it’s waaaaay easier to get my heart rate up and keep it there when i run outside, though.

pressuring me to hurry up and finish!  just 5 more minutes!

so what’s new in the nutrition dept?  my trainer has introduced me to zig-zagging, also known as,  carb cycling.  i’ll expand on that soon, but beef has been incorporated into my meal plan for the next two weeks, whoop whoop!  gives me a little break from chicken and tilapia, not that i needed it.

i marinated the sirloin in some liquid aminos (found at good ol’ HEB), green onion, and a different seasoning per steak (lemon pepper, smokehouse maple, garlic and herb) and prepped our meals for the next few days.

hope they taste as good as they look! i’m so ready to see the change carb cycling brings.

p.s. check for the abs post tomorrow.  sweet dreams!

le