take it in stride

decisions, decisions.  this year has already started out with way more than i ever thought i could handle.  the major issue being my career!  I’ve been in the IT industry since i graduated 8 (WOW :shock:) years ago.  i’m an IT contractor, but let’s just say i’m on an extended holiday vacation right now lol.  which means…… i get to spend more time in my sanctuary (my kitchen!!!!!) creating new recipes galore, playing, teaching, & showing my little big boy new things, sprucing up my wifely duties big time, and finally, putting maximum effort towards the multiple personal projects God has dropped on my heart. finding balance is hard as crap sometimes! however, i find so much comfort in the fact that He not only tells us what He wants us to do, but He makes a way for it to be done.

standing still

 HELLO!  He won’t leave you hanging and clueless….  but if you don’t move, He can’t work.   remember, ‘ALL things work together for the good of those that love Him!’

fitness inspiration

you’ve only got ONE.  He has given me this precious time, and i’m going to ENJOY and cherish this blessing.

now let’s talk about food.

i finally got that red velvet pancake recipe up, and i made my little guy a mini stack of them yesterday for breakfast.

20130108_104011

i can’t even begin to tell you how gratifying it is to see him stuff his face with VEGGIES!  cause he still hates them.  anything green goes on the floor.  good thing beets are UBER good for us!  they are low-calorie, no fat, high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and help fight various types of cancer.  i’ll certainly be making some type of spinach cakes next lol.  i’m gonna get them into his diet however i can.

20130108_105927

this photo was pre-walden farms syrup…they look so dry!! but i promise you they are moist and fluffy on the inside. Chiso doesn’t appreciate my fanciness yet as he slid the whipped cream right off the top and pushed the chocolate chips around before making a pile of them in the corner of his high chair table.

Q: how do you roast your beets?

A: in a pan:)

20130108_200558

that’s it! i avoided them for the LONGEST time at the store..i mean they just look so dirty and hard to prepare.  i cut the tops off (someone told me you can save them, cook them, and eat them, but i had already tossed them in the trash) put them in a pan, and shoved them in a 450 degree oven.  in about 45 min, they were soft to the touch, and the peeling came right on off.  beets have officially been conquered!

this morning i made us some cinnamon oatmeal pancrepes.  why crepes? cause i added too much almond milk!  you can compensate by adding more dry ingredients, but i kept it as is and went for it.  i have FUN in my kitchen.  sometimes it’s a great success, sometimes it sucks.  flip a coin!

IMG_20130109_090201

since they are thinner than pancakes, my recipe made a ton.  i ate some flat, and i rolled some too. no pics of those yet though, lmbo.  i’d love to stuff them with something the next time, and i will. so sit tight.  i topped the flat ones with sugar-free cool whip, strawberry slices, and cinnamon.

so, salmon went on sale at HEB this past week and i didn’t say a word.  ironically, i got so many PM’s from friends letting me know about it  though LOL!!! thank you guys so much!! i’ll say something next time, i promise!

20130107_191008

red bell peppers were also on sale, so i snagged some of them too.  i made a huuuuge filet of salmon when i was prepping at the beginning of the week, and here are just a few of my meals.

20130107_191026

honey mustard smokehouse salmon with steamed okra and red bell peppers.

the salmon was cooked at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.  i squirted it with some Bragg’s liquid aminos, then seasoned it with Mc Cormick Smokehouse maple seasoning.

20130108_200541

since i have beets at home, i wanted to make one of my fave Cheesecake Factory Salads: the beet, goat cheese, and candied pecan spring mix salad.  what a combo!  i was looking for regular old goat cheese when i came across this gem!  it’s so sweet, creamy, and SOUR. the best part!  i don’t really do candied nuts, so i figured the sweetness will come from the cheese, and i can keep the nuts roasted and unsalted.  i’ll be making that tonight, can’t wait!

20130108_204923

last night i was browsing Instagram (fitfoodiele) and got inspiration for my final dish of the evening.  i took some scrambled egg whites with spinach, garlic powder & onion powder, incorporated some shredded salmon into it, then stuffed all that into my bell peps.  i topped them with the honey goat cheese and baked them in a 405 degree oven until the peps were tender but still crisp, and the cheese was lightly browned.

20130108_204854

i didn’t think the cheese could get any creamier or tangier…oh but it DID.  steamed okra and corn on the side!

hitting the gym today for my 2nd leg day this week and ready to get my squat ON.

a quick announcement…..

for my Houston readers, i am excited to announce that i will be instructing at 24 Hour Fitness again!!  the Katy Bella Terra Super Sport location is launching a free weekend of Les Mills, Cycle, Zumba, and recently added, Total Body Conditioning classes!  i’m ALWAYS raving about this class and how much it has improved my cardiovascular & muscular strength and endurance.  now, you can come experience it for yo self, with ME!!!!  check out the schedule and join us!

*Total Conditioning @ 11am with Leah on  Sunday, January 13th*

le








updated oats & flashbacks

i am all over the place today and don’t even know where to friggin’ start! ok how about with….breakfast:

20130104_082945

i’ve been saying i’m gonna post my updated morning bowl of oats recipe and i need to do it already. less talking and more action is what i’m putting into 2013.  i mean really.

20130104_082931

this particular bowl was made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, real vanilla, vanilla creme stevia, and topped with bananas, chopped almonds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon <3

fitfoodiele’s BBO (basic bowl of oats) 

the stuff:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

bring the almond milk to a boil, add the vanilla, then add the oats. stir them around until every oat is wet lol, then turn your burner on low.  after 3 minutes it’s pretty much done!  i like mine not too lose, and not too tight.. so if a little liquid left is left that’s cool wit me.

**this is THE most basic way to make the oats…like ever.   when i post recipes in the future, this will almost always be the very base of the recipe…before i go crazy and start adding stuff all willy nilly.   sometimes i like to use 1 cup of almond milk + 1 cup of water which makes for one big huuuuuge bowl of oatmeal.  you know oats expand  in volume and soak up alotta the liquid it’s cooked in, so it’s like you’re eating more but really, you’re not.  i usually add a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon in there too- i like A LOT.  now, the toppings are endless i tell you, ENDLESS.  i usually do bananas (as if you didn’t know lol) but apple chunks and raisins, and blueberries work well as far as fruit goes, and all kinds of nuts pair well too.  my fave are almond, pecans, and pistachios.  a lot of people throw in a big scoop of nut butter (PB2, the real thang, almond butter, etc.) which adds incredible flavor. add what ya like!!!**

20130104_082920

here’s the break down on the types of oats so you won’t be in the bulk aisle lookin’ clueless:

old fashioned – not that great for smooth pancakes UNLESS you grind them first.  even when making a bowl of regular oatmeal, they don’t soak up much liquid, and take the longest to cook.

quick cooking / rolled oats  (1-3 minute cooking time) – these are pressed old-fashioned oats into thinner flakes which makes for a quicker cooking time, hence the name.  they work best for pancakes IMO. makes a huge difference in the texture of your cake.  buuut again, if you grind them up first, it doesn’t really matter now does it!

steel-cut – chopped up oat groats. (oat groats are the real whole oat, hulled and unprocessed). they produce a rougher, chewier bowl of regular oatmeal and take as long as old-fashioned oats to cook…maybe longer.

instant – i don’t do instant and you shouldn’t either :shock:

20130104_120446

after breakfast, i hit the gym and worked on my core, glutes, and ended with a little cardio.  you remember that ab machine that looks like a little tire wheel with two handles on either side? we had one of those growing up lol! the thought of my parents attempting to use that thing back then is HILARIOUS to me now.  matter fact, i don’t even remember anybody using it correctly, ever.  i like the cooler looking one above- i saw somebody else with one and grabbed one too.   i did 5 reps of 10 of these and was feelin’ it by the 2nd set, MY GOODNESS.

20130104_143911

then, grocery shopping! yeah i had a pretty awesome day! got lots of fresh produce and restocked Produce Island (e.g. my kitchen island, even though you prolly figured that out).  i have a lot of work to do in my test kitchen this month:)

20130104_144437
aaaand of course i restocked my snack corner too. all good stuff, i promise.

sooo, yesterday i made nachos for lunch. not just any nachos though, 

20130103_122416

grilled, JUMBO shrimp nachos!!!!

20130103_122407

i marinated the shrimp in liquid aminos, smokehouse maple seasoning, fresh chopped cilantro, and black pepper for a few minutes first,

20130103_123544

then went to work with my grill pan.  before i started that, i sliced up  some of my low carb La Tortilla Factory soft wraps, put them on a baking sheet, and cooked them until they were crispy.

20130103_122423

then…the magic happened.

20130103_125656

semi-homemade chips, shredded kale, chopped roma tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, shredded almond cheese, and SCRIMPS! i only had one small corner of almond cheese left and nachos MUST HAVE CHEESE! i scrounged up what i could, but they were still so good!  next time, way more cheese. way more.
20130103_125733
i also made some homemade guacamole:  avocado, tomato, cilantro, liquid aminos, pepper, and lemon juice.

KILLED IT!

20130102_093601

so i taught my very first class of 2013 this past Wed- i subbed a weight’s class for another instructor and got my burn ON baby! 

20130103_064658
i also realized that this is the beginning of my 5th year as an instructor. MY how time has flown. i have super-duper BIG news for my Houston area readers and gymers- just you wait!!

all these progress and throwback pics on IG have me going back looking through my own photo archives these days!  i came across this one from Sonny’s frat brother’s wedding in 2011.  

177

fluffaaaaay!  and look at my posture:( however, my boobs were so heavy from breastfeeding.  i was darn  near hiding behind Sonny!!   i felt and definitely looked self-conscious and unconfident. i said on IG that Chiso was less than a year when we took this, but i later realized that he was 4 months old at the time.

20130101_124212

now, it didn’t take me an entire year to trim down to this size, but it’s something very gratifying about being able to look back to see where you WERE.  one bikini comp down and a current, consistent exercise/nutrition off-season regiment and i’m grabbing a fist full of that dress behind me cause it won’t stay up on its own these days!  i can finally say i’m content with my body; i’m staying right here. HEY Chiso, dang!!!!!!!

20130101_124209

never, ever limit exercise to physical benefits only; i tell people this over and over again!  exercise reduces stress… it’s an escape.. it’s a form of therapy.  along with looking fitter, it makes you FEEL better emotionally too.  i even sleep better!  this is why i was ITCHING to get back into the gym after having to sit down and recover from my dental surgery.  all of  those reasons above!

so, other than the physical benefits, WHY do you exercise?  (2013 gym newbies AND veterans!)

le

my 14 week transformation

 remember this?  boooo… *throws a tomato*

- June 2012 -

Chiso had just turned one a month prior to my decision to compete in my first bikini competition.  my weight fluctuated give or take 5-10 lbs in either direction depending on what i ate since i had given birth.  heck, even pre-prenancy.  in a way, i was honestly sorta proud of my post-preggo body…i mean the few extra pounds that i did gain melted off rather quickly and i was back to my pre-preggo weight pretty fast.   but, i was still unsatisfied with myself to say the least.  i still didn’t have my goal body.

i’m 5’10 and my starting weight according to my home scale was:

161 lbs.

21% body fat

per my trainer’s scale:

156 lbs.

21% body fat

translation = fluffy!

two weeks into my training, i had my very first progress check.  even after just a full week of clean eating, i saw changes instantly and got so excited i made a post about them.

- JUNE  23rd. -

156. 5 lbs.

19.88% bf

20120623_084322

 – JUNE 23rd -

however, i was still super sloppy fluffy and had a lot of work to do. plus a horrible, horrible tan.

20120623_084336

- JUNE 23rd -

  i was still breastfeeding at the time, hence all that boobage.  heavy boobs reeeeally gave me awful posture, but having a great, supportive regular and sports bra helped.  i’d rather just lose body fat though, wouldn’t you?!

- JULY 7th. -

153 lbs.

18.5% bf

each progress check was done early in the morning- can’t you tell?  and hey now, after two more weeks, you can see i’m a little tighter, specifically in my mid section.  the slim waist i never thought i was built to have was slowly appearing!  i was easily fitting dresses that were purposely hidden in the back of my closet cause they were too uncomfy to wear anymore.  my pride would not let me get rid of them.

20120707_080805

- JULY 21st. -

152.5 lbs.

16.2% bf

the july 7th pics look pretty similar  to july 21st, huh!  i did 50 billion comparisons between them to make sure they really were different.  i thought my trainer had sent the same pics twice for a second there, but my polar heart rate watch gave it away.

 20120707_080813

- JULY 21st. -

thigh gap was getting wider and they were slimming right on down.

- AUGUST 4th -

147.8 lbs.

13.5% bf

awww yeeeeeah, big difference there, huh!  why? carb cycling.  yep, i did a post on that too, but there are so many awesome informational sites on the net that go into greater detail as to how it all works.  it’s very simple though. don’t over complicate it.  i had  three low carb days followed by one high carb day and repeated that over and over again for a few weeks.  i was able to lose fat while keeping my muscle!  seeing progress like this lifted my butt outta bed every morning to do my cardio.

20120818_081010

- AUGUST 18th.  -

142 lbs.

11.11% bf

by my next progress check, i had found my show suit. i had just finished posing practice with my coach, so i took my pics in it.  i was down 2% lower in the body fat and lost another 5 lbs from the carb cycling.

20120818_081024

 – AUGUST 18th -

i’ve got wings!

 – AUGUST 18th. -

4 weeks away and ashy.  it’s important that i note that i was not only feeling slim at that time, but i felt STRONG, mentally and physically.  in the past, i could easily drop a few pounds after exercising my face off for a few days and heavily restricting my diet of carbs, sugar, and fat.   i often felt lethargic, super tired, and moody though.  i didn’t understand how women could diet down to a size they wanted without feeling…well, BAD.  this was totally not normal! if i had to feel that way in order to achieve my goal, i felt it was worth it.  it was a very sad situation and a screwed up, unhealthy relationship with food and fitness.  after i hit my ‘goal’ weight (yes i said weight and not body) i would eventually let those foods back into my diet.  why?  well cause i craved them terribly, that’s why!! which equals instant weight gain.  you better believe i know better, now. there IS a better, healthier way.

- SEPTEMBER 1st -

144.4 lbs.

10.6% bf

why did i weigh more here?  water, water, water weight.  i was drinking over a gallon a day at this point…or trying too, lol.

 two weeks left until show time and not able to fit a single thing in my closet.

- SEPTEMBER 13th -

137 lbs.

8.7% bf

two days out here and super slim after peeing my heart out and getting rid of all that darn water.   my diet on this day and show day was full of carbs though which helped my muscles to fill out and ‘pop’.

i ended up at 138 on show day.  hadn’t seen the 130’s in this decade!

the big day!  September 15th.

23 lbs and 13% body fat lost in 14 weeks.

 alriiiiight, time for just a few questions i’ve received up to this point:

Q: did/do you take supplements?

A: no. no protein shakes, no fat burner pills, no powders.  i started and finished this journey completely natural.  the only ‘supplement’ i took every morning is the same thing i’ve been taking for the past two years- my generic prenatal pills.

**i’m not taking shots at or discrediting anyone who used those items along their journey to the stage.  could i have improved my results with them? possibly!  i wanted to remain natural though because i was also nursing Chiso heavily at the time. we are just  now in the weaning stages (any day now) but i never had to worry about him ingesting anything questionable and having a bad/allergic reaction to it.

Q: will you compete again?

A: absolutely! i know the experiences hereafter aren’t guaranteed to turn out as amazingly cool as my first one, but that’s ok!  i loved seeing my body change and transform in addition to all the information and knowledge i soaked up along the way.  i still keep in contact with some of the amazing competitors i went through this journey with at that.

Q: how was it competing at the same time as your husband?

A: *blank stare* :shock: i don’t think i wanna do that part again!  the sugar withdrawals made me … how should i say.. hard to live with? lol.  sharing my food with Sonny was never a problem before, but because everything had to be precisely measured, ‘no you can’t have even a spoonful.’ *straight face*. omg i was so mean!  it’s just that when i have a goal and already racing against time, i don’t want to be up on stage telling myself  ‘see!? if only you hadn’t eaten (or not eaten) that  _____’. i wanted to do everything right the first time.  which is also why i didn’t cheat on my diet-  no nibble, no bite, no taste of anything that was not on my meal plan.  i wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night!!  if we both compete at the same time again in the future, i’ll definitely know what to expect…

Q:  how are you adjusting to off season?

A: weeeell, if you follow me on Instagram (fitfoodiele) then you’d know that off-season is going great!  i’m maintaining my current weight and body fat until my next competition.   i’m also experimenting with building a little muscle too.  i’m feeling solid, slim, and strong, not overworking myself in the gym, and enjoying my food freedom to the absolute FULLEST, lol.  i still eat 5-6 meals every 3 hours all day long, and i workout 5-6 days a week including teaching my two gym classes.  i’m following 6 Pack USA for my current workout and nutrition plan- the same program Sonny used to get ready for his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd show.  read more about 6 Pack USA below.

progress instacollage!

what did we learn here?  CLEAN EATING AND WORKING OUT guarantees successful results.  depending on what you got goin on in your life determines how fast you get them though.  remember,  just like you prioritize anything else, fitness has to fit in there somewhere too.  you should never, ever, be too busy to take care of yourself.   now whether you want to use powders, pills, and all that extra stuff is up to you!  just know you don’t need it.  some might argue that those things repair joints and aid in recovery etc., but adequate rest can do the same thing.

  6 Pack USA offers both personalized workout & nutrition plans specific to your fitness goals.  before competing, i knew how i wanted to look, and i had the exercise part down!  i even ate what i thought to be healthy and was spot on, however, my portion sizes were not specific to me and the results i desired.  even though i was a group exercise instructor, always active, ran 5 and 10k’s often and worked out hard 5-6 days a week, i couldn’t out train my diet.

Sonny used 6 Pack USA for his nutrition and workout regiment for his competitions and currently.  his results were phenomenal!  see?

sonny progress 6 pack

2 month progress shot from June 10th – Aug. 21st;  26 lbs  lost using 6 Pack USA.  yes, 8 weeks.

1hdhere Sonny is competing in our first show on Sept. 15th in the male model swimwear round.

hdr7

ripped, front to back!

sonny fort worth

he then went on to win 1st place in his second show in Fort Worth a couple of weeks later.

20121117_172300

and at his final show of 2012 in Las Vegas, he place 8th out of 54 men at Fitness America Weekend.  his first international show up against regional winners from all over the world!

if you are interested joining 6 Pack USA, please contact either of us directly via email and send us your contact information:

Sonny.Egwuatu@6packusa.com

or

Leah.Egwuatu@6packusa.com or le@fitfoodiele.com for any fitness or nutrition questions, advice, or tips.

we can also be reached by phone at (281) 912-3804.

whether you want to set a goal to compete in your first bodybuilding competition in 2013 or to live a healthier, fitter, lifestyle, 6 Pack USA can make it happen.  if you have any more questions for me concerning my journey to the stage, ask away!

le

HEB meal deals + banana french toast

it’s cooooooold.  Houston finally got with it and the temps have dropped.  enjoy it while it lasts.  this morning though… i did NOT wanna get up.  you hear me?   4:15am came way too quick and my bed was way too comfy.  i admire my members for just showing up to class like they always do.  THAT is true commitment and dedication if i ever saw it. cause ummmm, if i didn’t have to be there today…. yeah :shock:  watching them file into the studio one by one, collect their equipment, and wait in anticipation as the clock winded down to begin class gave me the energy and inspiration i needed to give them nothing short of my absolute best!!  and that cup of coffee /green tea combo didn’t hurt either.   let nothing stop you from remaining consistent and making progress. nothing. especially something as petty as the weather!

20121211_073602

after class i did some upper body (shoulders + chest),

20121209_155200

took a pic of my polar HR monitor :lol:

20121211_073949

zipped up my Lululemon, 20121211_083539

and headed home to take more pics and make breakfast!  saturday i saw all this french toast on IG and it inspired me to make some of my own.  i had some again this morning with my egg white omelette and they hit the spot.  carbolicious.

20121208_101553

i used sesame ezekiel sprouted grain bread and made a sliced banana sandwich first,
20121208_101514

then, i dipped the entire thing in a mixture of:

stuffed banana french toast

the stuff:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3-5 drops of vanilla creme stevia
  • 1 tbsp coconut crystals
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites

do this:

  1. combine all ingredients into a bowl big enough for your sandwich to fit in.
  2. mix them well, then dip your sandwich in on one side for 2 seconds, then flip it to the other side for 2 seconds.
  3. immediately transfer it to a medium heated no stick pan and ‘fry’ it until brown on one side.
  4. flip it and brown the other side!  plate it up however you’d like and top it with more cinnamon, walden farms pancake syrup, and fresh banana slices.  i even shot it with some ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ spray a few times.
  5. NOM.

20121208_101500

i like mine crispy!20121208_101445

@  HEB this past weekend, i took advantage of one of their popular meal deal specials.  i got the two-step gumbo and the BBQ shrimp mix for free.  yep, i had some help.

20121208_161003

 it’s not considered clean, but it’s all natural, decent nutritional stats, and quite good!

stats (per 1/2 cup): 60 cals, 1.5g fat, 470 mg sodium, 9g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein

IMG_20121208_162949

to the gumbo mix, i added 1 cup of water, another cup of low sodium chicken broth, a bag of frozen okra, cut up two roma tomatoes, some fresh cilantro,

20121208_162716

and even though it didn’t really need it, extra seasonings!  just a few dashes of my sweet smokey chipotle paprika, black pepper, sriracha, and 2 squirts of liquid aminos.  it all came to a rolling boil, then i let it simmer for about 20 min on low so it could thicken up.

IMG_20121208_190919

i THOUGHT i had some shrimp leftover from last week’s kale tacos, but nope…all gone.   wish i had realized that before i went to the store!!  i ended up using some of the bbq tilapia that you’re gonna read about in a sec.   so if you have some, you can totally add shellfish, crab, sausage, etc. because gumbo just ain’t gumbo without it ;)

i added a scoop of brown rice on top and Sonny mixed it all together before he gobbled it up.

20121208_162610

when you buy the gumbo mix, you get this free.  i got to sample this stuff on some steel head trout while in the store which is what sold me on it!  i believe the cooking demo lady used olive oil to thin it out though:(  but it was soooo good. when i got home, i took 2 tablespoons of the shrimp mix and added 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to make a creamy marinade for my tilapia.

stats: (per tbsp) 25 cals, 1g fat, 1g sat fat, 340 mg sodium, 3 carbs, 2 sugars

IMG_20121208_164315

loved it!!! yes, almond milk!!


IMG_20121208_160153

oh yeah, while i was @ the store, i came across these guys.  can you read that sign?  it says purple sweet potatoes are higher in nutritional value than the traditional sweet potato.  who knew? i didn’t.  a friend of mine advised that i check out an Asian market  for these babies though cause that 2.98 a lb is a little too steep for me.  can’t wait to try them!

now for my last unexpected purchase!  i’ve been drinking almond milk for like the past 3 years now and i have no plans to go back to dairy milk anytime soon, or ever.  but when i tell you i almost slurped down this whole box, you better believe it.

20121208_155243

it was worth the gas and bloating :lol:

20121208_155154

 Chiso hasn’t been a fan of drinking milk solo, so i’ve just been using it to make his oatmeal instead of water so he can still get his vitamin D and calcium.  after i let him sample a little of this Horizon Organic Vanilla milk @ the store, to my surprise, he asked for more immediately!  actually i’m not surprised cause it’s a little high in sugar (22g) and it’s vanilla flavored. lol.  however, it’s all natural, and still loaded with nutrients, so it went in the basket.

20121208_150922
he tried to tear that box open after it was empty.  score!  if only he loved his veggies the same way…

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

the saga continues

so dramatic.

my expectations for carb cycling are pretty darn high, and i was honestly expecting a huge change in my body, instantly.  we always want things when we want them!!  i really have noticed a few changes after almost two cycles, but i figure i’ll just wait until my next progress update (1 more week) to see the full effect it will have on my body. deal?

oh, and btw- thursday, my 1st high carb day, was pretty darn fab.  i purposely took about 45 minutes per meal to eat. NICE AND SLOW. lol.  i enjoyed my fruit, and i hit it hard in the gym that evening and worked on my shoulders and a little back.

but now it’s back to another fruit-less three days.

i came across an old Academy Sports and Outdoors ad i did about 3 years ago.  yes, my expression looks as if someone just cut the cheese.   i don’t know what the heck their selection process is with their pictures, but i was just grateful for the opportunity :lol: . anyway, i brought this up because those were my abs before giving birth.

and these are my abs now.

i admit, i thought my body would change for WORSE after giving birth… i didn’t think it would ever be the same again.  women were designed and made for childbirth!  treat your body right and it will show you just how AMAZING it can be.   even after Chiso has plenty of siblings, i know that i can get right back to where i am with a little hard work and commitment and so can you.

getting there, week by week. did i mention i have 7 weeks left?!

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

kickin and pushin

who left their gym clothes at home yesterday? i could have kicked myself.  i was driving to work when i realized what i had done. guess where i went on lunch break:

i’ll never have enough workout gear, so no biggie there!  no excuses…nothing will keep me from my workout date.

my colorful ensemble!

  i can feel my husband giving me a side-eye through the screen, but i could have gone to lululemon, sooo…. :-?

now shoes, on the other hand, those are deal breakers.  i would have just had to go back home for them. striking a pose before i went to kill it- upper body and cardio that night.

update:

currently @ 152 lbs and 18% body fat after two more weeks.

yeah i thought my body fat went down a lot more too by now, HMPH.  i’m losing weight for sure, but my trainer says i burned a little muscle too, bummer.  this means i need to make sure i am staying inside my fat burning zone during my cardio sessions.  it’s honestly hard for me to stay there cause i just want to GO GO GO all the time and burn up everything.  i have to remind myself to stay focused and concentrate on burning fat.

been working on my posing and walking every chance i get. i hope it shows! these progress pics help me tremendously though- i see so many things i need to fix asap.

no cheat meal(s), no processed snacks, no white sugar nothin for 4 weeks straight now. wow is all i can say.  it’s ALL God. i have never, ever, in my entire life gone this long without those things.  when i’m tempted, i start praying lol!!!! i’m so very serious though.  somehow i look up minutes later and the craving is gone and i’ve moved on to doing something else.  i was talking with Sonny the other day about just how much my/our lives revolved around food!  for any special occasion, milestone, celebration – WHATEVER – we go eat.  bored and nothin going on?  we go get fro-yo.  before Chiso was born, we would randomly wake up in the middle of the night and go get some fries or ice cream or something sweet.  gosh i miss being able to do that! with the way the weeks have been flying by though, it won’t be long before i can enjoy those things again.  my mentor reminded me that ‘the body always craves what the body can’t have.’ unfortunate truth. UGH.

i came to terms with having a thick waist and being shaped like a boy a few years ago.   i am happy to report that this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

this is my first time wearing this dress since 2010 @ my mom’s graduation.

matter fact, i almost sent it to Goodwill this past year.  it just wouldn’t zip up anymore and i was tired of sucking it in.  i was sooooooo uncomfortable that day.  not only were my feet hurting, but i couldn’t even breathe right cause the dress was so tight.  i was trying to be cute – you know how that goes :roll:

alright now!  it’s pretty comfy these days as are my jeans and other bottoms.  found it in the back of my closet and wore it to church this past Sunday.  old dress turned new again!  competition or not, i love these results and i plan to commit to eating 85% clean after this is over with.  life is just too darn short not to indulge every now and then.  no food will ever be off-limits in my book.

kissy break during the ‘photoshoot’- you know he was wasn’t too far away:)

finally, i miss eating my fav foods these days for sure, but i miss cooking new things and meals just as much if not more.  i see TONS of inspiration and ideas on Instagram and Pinterest every single day and i have collected and created a nice log of cleaner and leaner recipes (breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert)  over the past few weeks that i add to daily.  i cannot wait to get back into my kitchen and get creative and test out these recipes…and most important, EAT them!!  september will be a great month. a really, great month..

i’d love to place in this upcoming competition…i think about the day of the show often.  overcoming the entire journey leading up to stepping on that stage is what i will be the most proud of, though.

le