life

When I decided not to compete, I was pretty wrecked. But I know that my family has to come first right now. There were tears, and to be honest, for a brief minute I felt like a failure, and then realized that there must be something better waiting for me.

Since deciding not to compete, so many opportunities to live a FUN and active life with my friends and family have presented themselves. Two I am most excited about so far are Wine club, I’m a red wine enthusiast 😉 and playing in a weekly soccer scrimmage with my two youngest boys and hubby..I haven’t played soccer in over 5 years, so it will be a RIOT, guaranteed laughter, a great workout, and proper focus on my not so little family.

This year ‘feels’ different. I believe that there is a lesson in every opportunity, an open door after every one that closes.

This year I will embrace every challenge and scary opportunity that comes my way with my family and true friends closely surrounding me. Looking forward to every minute and truly enjoying every single ‘today’.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI haven’t said it out loud here, because I didn’t want to. It was scary. But for many reasons, I have decided not to compete. This year. I guess as time progresses, I will re-evaluate and decide. Since deciding not to compete, I had a period where I felt very lost, sort of like I had no direction, no purpose. Competing (for me) maybe because it was my first one, but it took a LOT of focus. In fact, it was the only thing I focused on for 12 weeks. When you have a family with 3 boys, and a hubby, 12 weeks is a LONG time. Anyways, I decided that this year I would change directions.

I am (admittedly) an all or nothing girl. I give 110% to everything I set out to do…which is both good and bad. I continuously work on trying to find middle ground…which is what I am trying to do this year…trying to keep the pendulum from swinging too far on both ends. I decided that this year, I am going to play, both with my friends, and with my family. Which means doing FUN, active things. I decided (and this is a biggie) that I am NOT going to diet. I am going to eat to fuel my body, AND my soul. YES. I said I am going to eat emotionally. I am going to eat chocolate, and drink wine, and eat birthday cake.

I am going to PUSH myself out of my comfort zone, and I am going to work REALLY, REALLY hard, professionally, and push myself really REALLY hard physically. Every workout will count. I will be present with my family, which means a LOT less iPhone time, a lot less Facebook and Twitter time…and another biggie, I am going to SLEEP. I have a lot of trouble in this area. I can always find something to do instead of getting to bed…but sleep is important. I am less tired, when I sleep (of course) but it makes for more energy at the gym…I am eating a LOT more, which ALSO makes for more energy and better training sessions. This is scary for me, because I do not know how my body will adjust. But I will trust that eating (mostly) clean, training dirty, and caring for my soul, will translate into a strong, toned body, inside and out.

I intend to be the best ‘ME’ ever this year….which includes eating chocolate. 🙂

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Switching focus this year. While I accomplished a lot last year, I found that there was and is a lot of ‘noise’….a Twitter friend had posted that they have a word for every year, and a theme song..(which I love). I can’t think of a theme song, but I can definitely think of a word…I keep coming back to the words ‘Quiet’ and ‘Balance’. So I will have two words….

There is so much out there that makes us feel pressured into a certain ‘ideal’, which for me, caused me to lose focus, and balance. So this year, my plan is to work on those things, and to be a little more balanced in my approach to life.

This year I will try to drown our the noise, and when I make decisions, I am going to think if my choice is one that will promote balance.

Do you have a word or a theme song? Would love to hear it….

I am really enjoying this off season and have learned a lot about what it will take to make it through my next prep for competition.

When I prepped for my last competition I felt anxious and nervous that my body wouldn’t do what it needed in order to make it to the stage. What I have realized NOW is, if I put in 100% which is what I intend to do, my body will be the best it can, and will look as it is intended to. My plan is not crazy, well, not to me. I am going to trust myself, take the lessons I have learned, and move forward with quiet commitment.

I intend to be gentle with my inner fat girl, and slowly wean off of her during the 20 weeks in which I intend to prep.

During my first prep, I had major issues with my love for ketchup and cool whip, which looking back seems so silly. I am starting from a much different place this time, and am really excited to bring some more muscle and a bit more size to the stage this time.

Still deciding on a final show, but there better be one in April, because that is when I intend to compete. I will be ready. I am arming myself with my support structure which is in place…my 2 home gyms which I intend to visit daily, and an arsenal of recipes that I have tested and tried over this off season which I LOVE, and that are squeeky clean.

I received so much support last time around, and I look forward to all the comments, love and support from anyone who chooses to read this blog this time around…Look for my posts weekly!

…and so it begins…round 2 🙂Image

‘Off-Season’ – inside out.

Posted: October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

For my friends out there who have competed in figure competitions, know how challenging off-season can be. Going from being on-stage to off-stage can be very daunting, as it was for me…

Feeling ‘fat’, struggling with my rapidly changing body – from being competition ready, to every-day ‘fit’. Anyways, I knew that I would struggle, but I had NO idea that this would be the outcome.

I’ve had body issues, like most girls do…for a REALLY long time. For a long time I just dreamed of being a certain weight, a certain size, taller, whatever. Having 3 beautiful boys caused my weight and body to change significantly several times. Each time we had a baby, it became increasingly difficult to lose the weight, but being as tenacious as I am, I did. It wasn’t easy but I was determined to, so I did. The outside, though, never changed what I felt on the inside.

Fast forward. I competed in my first competition in the summer, a goal I set for myself for my 40th birthday, but decided to do a test run a year earlier. Stepped on stage at about 110 lbs or so. LOVED my tiny little muscular body. LOVED it….I knew it would not be realistic for me to maintain that body, but I did enjoy it…

…and guess what. Not even THAT changed the way I felt on the inside. While competing did change my view on a LOT of different things, it did not change the way that I felt about myself.

…fast forward a little more, to a Liz that’s a bit curvier. About 12 lbs curvier…but that’s not all that’s changed…and not till I sat down to think about why I feel different did I figure it out….over the last year, the changes in my mind were slow and steady…I think I am finally figuring out who I am, who and what I need around me, and how important it is for me to be my authentic self, and to surround myself with people who share my views…but friends who will challenge me in a positive way.

This year, I have found so much wonderful. I have found a Liz who is strong, competitive…self assured. A Liz who is not afraid of new. A Liz who is not afraid to fail…which makes me not afraid to try. Failing isn’t bad. It means you tried. I found a Liz who LOVES her current curvy STRONG body. My body can lift heavy weight in the gym, which means I can carry my 3 ‘not so baby boys’ to bed when they fall asleep on the couch after a night of movies and popcorn…

Newest discovery…I can actually run, and completed my first 10k race with a pretty decent time. Confession? I didn’t think I could do it. Running scares me…more than competing in figure competitions. So I will do it again, because I think doing things you do not think possible, make you stronger.

So…all the while, I was trying to change my body to feel better on the inside. Silly me. You need to change your insides, to feel better on the outside. It only took 39.5 years to figure it out….no matter, I’m glad I finally did. Surrounded by a whole HEAP of wonderful WONDERFUL people (you know who you are) I found my happy.

It’s been 6 weeks or so since I competed…I secretly hoped I had seen the last of ‘fat girl’ but man, she is poking her head in my ‘bizness’ way more than I would like.

Coming off of a competition is not for the weak. It takes a lot of mental fortitude to see your body changing from that svelte vision on stage to the more ‘softer’ every day version, and to still strut that softer (muscle building) version with confidence and pride.

I write this blog as honestly as I possibly can. This bit is scary for me, the vision in my head of what I am ‘supposed’ to look like, doesn’t always match the image I see in the mirror. Which is stoopid. I know.

My goal is not ‘just’ to be in a healthy weight range…which is fine and GREAT. My goal is to be really, REALLY fit, and strong…with amazing muscle.

So I will fight.

…the urge to sleep in when I should be training.

I will fight…

…the negativity around me..

I will fight…

…with my broccoli and chicken 🙂 …

I will fight…

…the negativity within me.

Not only will I fight. I will REMEMBER…

…my self-worth is not tied to a number on a scale…

I will remember…

…what people think about me has nothing to do with me…

I will remember…

…perfection is not an attainable goal….EXCELLENCE is…

I will REMEMBER…

…every step of my life long journey is one to be cherished..

….ready ‘fat girl’? I am… 🙂

So, my first competition has come and gone…what’s next?

This was only meant to be the beginning of a new lifestyle for me. I am learning that I love and need to be challenged in life, so setting new goals for myself is not uncommon.

My latest goal is to cook something ‘Paleo’ for the month of July….why? Since competing, I have found that many of the foods I used to really enjoy do not taste the same to me, nor do they agree with me. I also would like to ‘just’ live life, and feel great. I notice that when I eat grains/bread/pasta etc…I feel bloated and tired.

Having done a LOT of research, while getting my brain to cooperate will probably be a little bit of a challenge, I know my body will thank me for making this switch.

Day 1 of my challenge, I made Egg cupcakes from the recipe book ‘Everyday Paleo’ by Sarah Fragoso. I substituted some of the ingredients..

7 whole eggs
1 cup egg whites
1 large sweet potato (grated)
3 oz turkey breast diced
2 cups yellow red orange peppers
4 cups chopped spinach
1/2 red onion chopped
black pepper

(I roasted the peppers, onion and grated sweet potatoes in the oven while I gathered all other ingredients…probably about 10 mins…to soften)

Spray muffin tins
Preheat oven to 350
Whisk eggs and pepper in a big bowl
Add chopped spinach
Add roasted veggies
pour into muffin tins (makes about 24)

They turned out great! Jeff tried it…the boys did not…lol…they stuck to the muffin tin a bit more than I would have hoped, so the next time, I will make them in the silicone type muffin tins….

Storage tip? Wrap in saran wrap or ziploc bags and freeze…

Check back for what I make tomorrow…avocado…mmm!!