Saturday, December 31, 2011

::Another Year of Opportunities::

Hello Everyone! Happy New Year!!!!

I hope that everyone has enjoyed time spent with their families during the holidays- I know I have. With New Years Eve in mind, everyone has their plans of celebrating with friends and family tonight, but I would like to take the time to reflect on the accomplishments of 2011 I have done, and the goals I have for 2012.

At the end of January 2011 I started my contest preparation for my first NPC competition: Fox Cities Showdown where I would compete in the bikini class, and my brother would compete in body building. My social life came to an end, and my priorities revolved around the lifting, cardio, constantly improving my body, cooking, posing practice, working two jobs-oh and being a full time student.

In Feb I started this blog. It was my sister, Amanda's idea for me to do this. She thought it would be a good way to record my thoughts and emotions during the prep for my first NPC show. It is almost a year and I am still writing, and people are still reading. I like documenting my success and struggles with being both a college student and competitor. It is also nice to have so many supporters and followers. Thank you!

I continued to work hard every single day, and by the time April came along, I decided to compete early, in NPC MN Army National Guard Gopher State where I took 2nd place and qualified for nationals at my first NPC competition. I'd like to thank my good friend, Jerome Dinh who supported me along the way and encouraged me to do this show. Another thank you to my partner in crime, Sara Lynn who guided me through my first show and helped make it a memorable experience. GO TEAM SARA!
At this show I also made some more great friends. {Lori, Mo, Tasha, Lucy, Willie, Tina....thanks for the memories<3}
Jerome at I after I earned my 2nd place trophy at Gopher State

Just four short weeks after that, April 30th came along and I made it to my goal of competing in the Fox Cities Showdown with my brother. We both earned a 3rd place trophy in this show. This was an unforgettable experience that I was able to share with my brother and I will never forget it. I am so proud of you, Joshua. Thank you for believing in me. Another shout out to Demetruis for putting on a kick-ass show!

My brother, Josh and I
3rd Place trophies

At Fox Cities Showdown, I made a life long friend, Diana Kersten. I am so thankful I met her. We have shared so many memories together already, and she has been there for me though the great times, and struggles. She is an amazing individual, and I am looking forward to continuing on our fitness journey together.
Diana and I at Fox Cities Showdown

In June 2011, another successful semester wrapped up for me in college. I did well in all of my classes, and was excited to only have one more year of schooling left. I had a few more weeks to complete my last NPC show for the year, NPC Army National Guard MN State which took place on June 4th. Diana and her daughter also came to this show for support.

MN State: 2nd Place Bikini B
SARA JEAN Bikini Princess shirt custom made from Ken and Miss Fit clothing :)

I took 2nd place at MN State and I knew that it was time to give my body a break from competing, and to focus on other things in life. I moved home for summer to live with my mom. I had the opportunity to spend more time with my family. I always enjoy summer time and being able to reconnect with family and friends back home. I worked as a nanny for the summer for 2 great kids as well.

Inside WI Sports magazine article

In July, my brother and I were featured in our first magazine, Inside Wisconsin Sports and they wrote a story called Building a Bond about our relationship and shared passion for bodybuilding and fitness. It made me feel very proud to see myself in print.

Quad progress: July 2011
I added 3 inches to my quads

I still went to the gym everyday and worked know me...NO EXCUSES ALLOWED. I made some great gains in the summer, and saw noticeable size added on my quads, and also started adding more to my upper body.


Summer came to an end, and my final year of college would begin in September 2011. In this this semester of college, little did I know, I was going to have the time of my life and I was going to make some amazing, life long friends. I made friends a priority this semster, aside of school, and decided for the first time in 5 years of college, I was going to live a little.

Halloween 2011

I went out on the weekends, and went to hockey games with my friends. Thank you to my room mates: April, Brenda, Grace, and Candace showing me what it is like to experience college.

Emily and I...we love going to our hockey games!!!

I also had the opportunity to train every day with my good friend Corey. I learned a lot more variations to exercises and increasded not only my strength, but also added a substantial amount of mass to my upper body. I was very proud, that by the end of the semester I was successfully benching plates-something I never would have imagined myself doing. Thank you Corey for believing in me! You will be missed!

In October 2011, one of my photos was featured in a newspaper in Ohio titled: 5 Exercises to take the Gluteus to the Maximus. That was quite a surprise to me, and I was excited to see myself in print again, especially it being in a different state.

(Note: Date on photo is not correct)
At the end of October I began my 8 week placement in a classroom teaching 2nd graders. This was an amazing experience where I was able to apply so much that I have learned from my education professors and my own peers. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with this same group of students in the spring for 18 weeks for my student teacher placement.

Thanksgiving project I did with my second grade students.
Just as the year was wrapping up, I was surprised with being featured in a Golds Gym advertisement. I had no idea this was happening and I was very proud when I saw it. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be doing this. If someone would have told me two years ago that I would be in a Golds Gym ad, I would have laughed in their face. Heres to show....never say never!

Golds Gym advertisement
I also ended the year with purchasing my very first "real" car. For those of you that know me, I have never had a reliable car that lasted more than a year. Knowing that I have freedom again is unexplainable. I am very, very thankful.

Looking back on the year, I am very proud of everything I accomplished. I am enjoying the journey that I am on, and all of the wonderful opportunities I have been given. I am looking forward to what 2012 has to bring for me. I have one more semester left of college and then I graduate, hopefully some competing...maybe at the national level, and looking for a full time teaching job. I am going to continue working hard in every area of my life, and hope for the best. I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you everyone who believes in me.

-Remember to :NEVER: settle for good enough-

Have a safe, and very Happy New Year!!!!!! I am staying in tonight so I can start the new year off right with my two a days :) Super excited!
<3 SJ

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

{Looking Ahead}

Hello Everyone!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your families. I was so happy to spend quality time with my loved ones. You cannot ask for a better gift than that!

I have a lot coming up and I am planning everything out so I can accomplish all of my goals for 2012. I will be spending 18 weeks for my spring semester student teaching in a second grade classroom. That is going to be my #1 priority. I am really looking forward to learning from my cooperating teacher and touching the lives of children every day. I am hoping after I graduate I can find a job teaching summer school right away, and then look at a full time teaching job for the upcoming school year.

It has been going back and fourth in my mind about competing again. I know how much I love doing it, and the feelings it brings to me are unexplainable. I had just been given some recent news late last week that I have Celiac disease which means I cannot have gluten anymore. For those of you who are not familar with it, there are a lot of foods that contain gluten in it (the doctor gave me a nice 5 page list of DO NOT EAT). My body has a difficult time digesting it and it makes me feel sick. When I got this news I was sad because I only looked at the negative aspects. I just thought about all of the foods I could not eat. I looked around the kitchen and knew I was not going to be able to enjoy any of the delicious holiday treats my mom made, or the Christmas dinner at my grandparents. On Christmas day I  packed up my chicken, green beans, and sweet potatoes so as my family enjoyed the delicious meal prepared for the holiday, I was going to have to eat what I brought because I knew it was safe. We live in a society today where so much of our lives are based around food and eating. I know I continue to face challenges with it every day, but if I continue to plan my meals ahead like I have learned to, I will be just fine.

I then thought about the positives about making this permanent lifestyle change. I am going to feel a lot better, and I am going to be making better choices for my body. A lot of the foods I am allowed to eat are similar to the way I eat when I am getting ready for a show. Since I will really have any temptations when dieting because my body will no longer let me eat those foods anyway, I thought how hard can it really be? I know they make a lot of gluten-free products but I am probably not going to tempt myself with those for the time being.

Everything happens for a reason, and God gives you obstacles to test your strength.This is just a little bump in the road, and if anything it should push me a little further in the right direction to meet my fitness goals since I have one less disraction.

Keep pushing forward. Write down your goals, and make yourself accountable for every single one. If you truly want something, you will make it happen!<3 SJ

Monday, December 19, 2011

::She's BACK::

Hello Everyone!

I am sorry that I have not posted in so long. I have just about finished another college semester. One more to go and then it is graduation time! I had 18 credits this semester and an 8 week placement in an elementary school teaching second grade. I learned a lot these past 16 weeks about what it takes to be a great teacher, and the opportunity to apply it as well. I am looking forward to touching lives and making a difference this spring in my 18 week student teacher placement.

This semseter was a complete change from spring. Instead of having the constant stress and worry about my body in prepping for shows I was able to focus more on school, learning, my students, rebuiling old friendships, and creating new ones. Don't get me wrong, I was still killing it in the gym every day, but I had a different outlook on everything. I had the opportunity to train with some of my good friends and learn more about reaching my goals. Thank you Corey for kicking my butt in the gym everyday and pushing me futher that I knew I could go. (Good Luck with your internship....the SC won't be the same without you!) I have put on a lot of muscle since summer, and continued to increase my strength weekly. I am lifting more than I ever thought was possible.

For the first time in the five years of college I had fun, went out with friends and partied, and had experiences that every college student should have. I made and learned from my mistakes, and contitnued to grow into the person I am today. These experiences gave me a dose to fill in what I thought I was missing out on. I had an amazing time with my four wonderful roomies April, Brenda, Gracie, and Candace. Thank you girls for teaching me how to live life a little more, and shared so many unforgetable fun memories together.

As fun as this semester was, a part of me was missing. I miss being on stage and working towards my fitness goals. I have a lot of plans for the future in that area of my life, and I am ready put that foot foward again taking it up another notch. I am not committing myself to another show that I will annouce, because I know my #1 priority this spring needs to be student teaching. This does not mean I am not going to try my best to make it happen. I know I can do anything I put my mind to, as I have said and demonstrated so many times previously. The fire has been ignited inside me again, and I am going to keep pushing forward and not look back. I am looking forward to spending my weekend nights doing extra cardio in the gym, prepping meals, and making sure my posing is perfect for my next stage appearce. Stay tuned for my upcoming plans as I continue to move forward to Nationals.. I am very excited to see what happens next!

I am looking forward to moving home on Wednesday to see my family and spend a month with them. Have a blessed holiday with your families as well!. <3 SJ

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hey! Someone forgot to mention that part...

Hello Everyone!

Hope that you are all doing well! Sorry I have not posted in a while-life has been crazy with the start of another semester. I am in my final year of college, and my final semester of classes before I start my semester of student teaching. This is a very intense semester but after each day ends I am that much closer to becoming a teacher. It is very exciting and I know that I am going to learn a lot this semester.

After dieting for 22 weeks this spring, I am now taking a year off to gain strength back and make some big changes before I go on stage again. I am in my first 'off season' right now and it is a lot to get use to. I spent so much of my semester last spring leaning out, and watching my body make improvements each week. Everyone always talks about what an accomplishment it is to do a competition-which it is, and how proud you will be of yourself for how far you have come-which I was, but no one tells you that you are going to have to watch your hard work disappear as your enter your off season.

I understand that I need to put on size in order to grow, but I have been having a very difficult time with that realization. I cannot wrap my mind around not looking contest ready. Last year at this time I had a high level of confidence and never doubted myself or the way I looked. Right now I am really struggling with this, and I am hoping to gain back the confidence I had and know that I cannot worry about what other think because those that are not in the sport do not fully understand what a body goes through from being 'on' season and 'off'.

It is very frustrating also because I have been eating clean and started doing cardio again now that I am back at school and have access to a gym in more easily...but no matter what I do the scale does not move and my body does not let me lean out again like it did in the past.
I just want to give a heads up to my fellow first time competitors that this may be something you will go through too- and it is okay because many, especially females that I talk to have battled these same feelings. You cannot think about how you look right now, you have to think about the changes you want to make for future competitions and what you need to do in order to get there.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend and just remember- Do your best, forget the rest :)

Back to homework...Xo SJ <3

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pick one thing..and do it WELL!

Hello Everyone!!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful summer. I apologize for my lack of posts and updates this summer. I have been staying very busy the past few months.  There have been lots of obstacles that have been pushing me back which have resulted in a new plan to follow. My summer has been filled many wonderful things such as spending time with my family, having the opportunity to work out at Gold's Gym{aka my second home...I LOVE it there), and visiting my college town a few times. On the other hand, my car died, i'm not getting as much as work this summer as I was hoping for, and I have been having a lot of medical problems the past 3 months that made me realize that I only have one body and putting my health first is the most important thing I can do if I want all of my dreams and goals to become a reality.

I made the decision that I am not going to commit to doing another competition anytime soon. I plan on taking a good year off at least so my body can regain strength. As much as I love being on stage, it is not worth it to me to put my body through so much to continuously do regional level shows when qualified for nationals after my first show.  I learned the hard way that dieting for 22 weeks and doing 3 consecutive shows was not a very nice thing to do to my body. I was in my own world and only focused on my fitness goals so I was not able to how my choices were going to impact my future.

Looking back on the past year, one of my professors said it best when he told me to, "Pick one thing, and do it well." He sat down with me and listened to my hopes and dreams and was very impressed by my drive and passion. He also made me realize that I am a college student right now, so therefore I need to make sure my priorities are straight. If I want to shoot for the stars in the fitness world, then I should go ahead and do that, however if I want to do well in school I should really put my energy into that. If i put the same burning desire I have in the gym as I did in learning I could do the impossible with my knowledge. I agree completely with everything he said and I am now looking back on it as a good lesson learned.

I would never take back this past year, but I know that I did some things that I wish I would have done differently.This past year I lived and breathed training and prepping for my upcoming competitions. I barely saw any of my friends or family, and I wasn't willing to make time for something if it was going to take away from my training. All of my goals on my "goal wall" were fitness oriented with nothing else in mind. I did not think there was anything else to life, and I shut out the rest of the world. I know I can do the unthinkable and I shouldn't put all my eggs in one basket when the sky is the limit.

In doing Gopher State, Fox Cities Showdown, and MN State this spring, I gained a lot at each show whether it was more experience learning how to get my body where I need it, being on stage, or making lasting memories with new friends backstage. I am so happy I was able to accomplish so much this year, and I am very proud of myself for being able to manage a full course load in college, working multiple jobs, and being able to place top 3 at each of the shows.

With my final year of college approaching at the end of the month it will be time for me to create another "goal wall" to hang up while I reside at school. I am going to keep my health at the top of the list, making sure I kill it in the gym everyday and get my meals in, but I am going to make sure that I also kick ass in school. I will graduate Spring 2012 with a major in elementary education and a minor in environmental education. I want to open more doors for myself so the thought of grad school is in the back of my mind. I have a lot of energy and passion and I want to change lives. I believe I can do more than I would be able to inside the four walls of a classroom. I would really like to study health, fitness, and nutrition so I can combine it with helping children who are obese. Obesity is a rapidly growing problem in America, and I want to find solutions to help those children in need. I know that I can make a difference, so now the wheels inside my head are turning for the next big step.

As far as my competition schedule goes, I am going to keep training and making the changes that I want to see before doing another show. I will do either Junior Nationals or USA'S as long as I am still qualified when I feel that I am ready. I really want to work on adding some size to my upper body and improving all around as a competitor as well. Even though I am not going to set foot on stage for a while, that does not take away from the fact that I am still going to be going in the gym everyday with the desire to succeed. I will stay healthy and get all of my meals in so that I can be ready to come back with unannounced with a BANG! :) This new plan is NOT me taking the easy way is simply me adding new goals to the list that require a plan B :)

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer and I will be sure to update as school is approaching. I am looking forward another year. This year is going to be even more amazing because I now have my best friend there to share the journey with me. No one can make me smile or laugh the way you do, Mitch:)) Counting down the days to see you again <3

Stay tuned for what's next :)) Have yourself a beautiful day!
<3 SJ xo

Thursday, June 23, 2011

::Loving Life::

Good Morning Everyone!!!!!!

Sorry I have not written in a while I have been very busy and life has been pretty uneventful for the most part. I am home for the summer and I am car less it has been a little stressful. I am lucky enough that my mom is willing to share with me all summer (so that I can work) until I have enough money to buy one of my own. I am enjoying my nanny job this summer again for 2 kids that I also watched last summer. The weather has not been cooperating for any swimming or fishing yet, but we have still had lots of fun doing arts and crafts, bowling, going to movies, and playing games. The summers I get to nanny are always a lot of fun!

It is a very different feeling for me to be in an "off season" season, what's that? :) I feel like I spent my entire spring semester prepping for the competitions I did, and now I have a little more freedom. After MN State I took sometime to enjoy foods that I have not had in months. My favorites were bananas, milk, and yes some homemade treats from mom too! It is scary once you let yourself enjoy other foods for a while because it is amazing the damage some of them can do to you. Granted I am aware that I cannot look stage ready year round, but it is still sad to see some of it fill in. Another problem I have encountered are food allergies. Since I deprived my body from certain things such as dairy, gluten, and fruit for so many months my body did not know what to do with them once I put them back in. I find out Friday, but I either have some or all of the above allergies. Keep your fingers crossed that it is nothing serious.

My training has been going exceptionally well this summer. I am very lucky that I do not have to be to work until 11am, so after I drop my mom off at work the morning is mine. I head straight to the gym and I have been getting some really good workouts in. It feels great to be strong again with the mindset of building more muscle. I miss working out at the gym at school, but I am really lucky to have a nice gym back home to use also. There is more variety of machines at this gym so I can mix up my workouts and try new things as well. So far it is going amazing :) I am still doing cardio right now because I know the success it has given me in my leg and glute development. I am still walking on an incline of 15 for 30 minutes after my lifts, and in the evening I go for an hour power walk with my mom.

My diet is going well. Until I find out what I am allergic to, I am keeping my diet similar to how I had it for contest prep, except the amounts are greater since I am trying to build. I am going to gauge it week by week because if I start getting too lean (which always seems to happen) then I will increase calories.

I have a few ideas for my next goals but until I fine tune them, and decide which direction to take I am going to make you wait to find out what they are.

It is really great to be home for the summer and spend lots of time with my family and friends. I missed them all this past school year, and its great to make more memories again.
I hope you all have an amazing day!!! Never give up on your are in charge of the outcome :)

XO SJ <3

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bikini Barbie

Shirt design Ken at MissFit clothing made me...he promised me a shirt this time if I took top 3 :) Thanks Ken!!!

Hello Everyone!!!

I hope that you are all doing well! Sorry I have not posted anything yet from the show...things have been a little hectic for me.

June 4th 2011 was NPC Army National Guard MN State Championships hosted at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN. It was my third show that I competed in the bikini class. I was very excited about this show because a lot of my friends were competing in it with me.

A big THANK YOU to LORI SCHOPF for doing my hair and make up!!!!
{this picture was taken before pre-judging}

My friend Lori came over Friday evening to practice doing my hair and make up. She did a wonderful job and I was excited to see the final product in the morning. I also got my spray tan done Friday night by Jacque Combs: Muscle Glam Custom Spray Tanning {who also blinged my bikini and back-stage flip flops}. She did an amazing job and I will definitely go to her again for all of my competition spray tan needs.

Lori and I at the night Show

The competition was held at Mystic Lake Casino. The venue was beautiful and it was very convenient because the hotel and the competition location were all in one building so we did not have to travel anywhere. It was a very neat experience competing here. Pre-judging started by 9:00 and the men went on stage first. I was so excited to see all of my friends and make new ones as well.

My good friend Jerome and I. This was our third show together. CONGRATS ON TAKING YOUR CLASS JD!!!!

After pre-judging I came out into the lobby and saw my good friend Diana Kersten and her daughter, Maria. I was SOOOOO excited and happy to see them. They are like family to me, and it meant the world they came to support me. They were both wearing pink shirts to match my bikini and show their support. It was wonderful. Maria gave me a tiara and said the Bikini Queen must have one. :) What a sweetheart!! I love you both very much!!!! Thank you for all you have done for me and continue to do.

 REMINDER: CHECK OUT DIANA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY!! Diana captured all of the amazing competitors from the weekend from pre-judging and the night show :)

Maria, me, and Diana after pre-judging
<3 you both very much! Thank you for your never-ending support and kindness <3

Here are some more pictures of friends from the show:

Laura, Me, Nick
Congrats to both of you! You looked amazing!

My buddy Christie Mader :)
CONGRATS ON FIGURE OVERALL!! I am SO proud of you!!!

Me, Julie, and Heidi!!
Heidi: Congrats on placing at your first show!!!
Julie: Thank you for all of your support!!

Me and Maria
::My Mini-Me::

I ended  up taking 2nd place again. I am very proud the results. I had a very competitive class, and everyone looked beautiful. You ladies are all winners to me and I am so proud of all of you!!!

Christine Bongiovanni (MN show promoter) and Me
This was right before she send me out on stage for the night show. I love this part :)
Thank you for putting on an amazing show!!!

TOP 5: Bikini B
We are all winners!

SO PROUD of you, Tasha!!!!
2nd and 3rd place Bikini B
Celebrating with our delicious cupcakes!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Just a side I am sure many of you heard several stories which may have been true or not, Lee and I have decided to go our separate ways, and I wish him the best.

Well, another show is in the book. I am very proud of myself, and how far I have come. Looking, back a year ago, I never imagined myself setting foot on stage, and I have not only done it once, but three times since April. I have put my heart and passion into my training every single day, waking up at 5am every day to do fasted cardio, setting aside my friends and family to get my training in, and spending countless hours in the kitchen cooking and prepping my meals. This is only the beginning of my for me in the future. I will be back for more!!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on my journey!!!!
<3 SJ xo

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Photos by Diana Marie: Fitness and Glamour

Hello Everyone!!!

My amazing friend Diana and I at 2011 Fox Cities Showdown. I am so thankful to have her in my life. She did an amazing job with the photos today!! Thanks again Diana Marie Photography!!!! <3

I hope you all having an amazing week. Today I had a very busy, and exciting day! My friend Diana Kersten drove all the way to visit me at college for a photo-shoot. I always wanted to do a photo-shoot in the gym on campus because that is was the magic happened for me. I was in there every day, often 2-3 times day and it is where my life was changed. I am so thankful she was able to do my shoot in there because they are memories I will ALWAYS have and want to remember :)

Diana did my hair and makeup and surprised me with a few fun things to wear for the shoot. She is an amazing photographer and the whole experience was unforgettable. We arrived at the gym and there were just a few regulars working out there so we had a lot of freedom to be creative and take our time with the shoot. The UWSP Strength Center student manager Andrew Booth was very accommodating to our needs.

My roomie Tyler and I

My roomie, Tyler who sometimes works out with me was there for the warm up part of the shoot and I got a few pics with him just for memory sake. He always has to spot me on my shoulder exercises because I dislocated my shoulder over winter break so I wanted to get a few shots of him spotting me...just like old time sake :)

After I was all warmed up, Diana followed me around to various machines and the free weight area where I went through some basic exercises I normally do when I lift so we could capture what exactly I do when I am working out. It was really nice how she let me do my own thing, and then gave suggestions and fun ideas too. We were a great team!! We did several outfit changes in the weight room, and after being there for a few hours we decided it was time to move on to something new.

We went back to my apartment to look over some of the pictures, and so I could get my meals in...all that posing makes a girl hungry! :) When we got back, a pink package was waiting for me in my mailbox...I knew exactly what it was. I ripped it open and inside was my hot pink sparkly bikini that Jacque Combs custom bling-ed for me!!! I tried it on right away and it looked amazing!! The bikini is the most beautiful thing I have ever worn, and I cannot wait to rock it Saturday at MN State Championships!!!!! (Thank you Diana and Jacque for the most beautiful bikini EVER!!) After prancing around with the biggest smile on my face in my new barbie bikini, It was time to take more pictures. Diana touched up my hair and then we headed down town so I could get some glamour shots to add to the portfolio in a fun  black dress I purchased from Victoria's Secret last fall.

There was a ton of photo opportunities downtown for us to take advantage of and we were lucky to have such amazing weather :) The sun was shining, and the wind was blowing perfectly. As we were taking some pictures, two gentlemen came up to us and were very excited {go figure haha}. They were asking about the shoot and didn't believe that I was a competitor until I stood up and he saw my legs and was in shock! haha It was quite the reaction. They were so excited they had to get their picture with me and joined my fan page right away. It was really neat that they were so supportive and excited about my journey. I love inspiring others.

We ended our shoot around 6:45 pm and then headed back to my apartment to pack up my life to move me back home to live with my mom for the summer and continue my nanny job. It was sad leaving my apartment, my roomie, and the strength center. So many memories were made this year, but I know great things are to come.

I got home around 9pm and I was greeted by my mom with open arms. She was SO happy to have me home again. I have not seen her since I competed in the Fox Cities Showdown so it was so wonderful to see her. 

Tomorrow will be another busy day. I have to make sure I have everything packed for the weekend and I need to cook all of my chicken and tilapia as well. I am going to spend a lot of the day with my mom and sister which will be very nice. We are going to spend a lot of time outside and in the evening we all have hair appointments so that will be a nice bonding time as well. I am so excited to get my hair highlighted and trimmed again :

Friday morning Lee is picking me up bright and early :-) I am VERY excited to be him...5 weeks is too long!! We are going to have our 5 hour adventure to MN where the greatest weekend of all will begin!!! I am looking forward to it!!! :-) I cannot believe I am almost there. Show number three...I am so proud. I cannot believe how much I have accomplished in this past year. I have so much to be thankful for. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me!!!

I hope everyone has an amazing night!
<3 SJ xo

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

::SJ's Southwest Shrimp 'n 'Shroom Specialty::

::SJ's Southwest Shrimp 'n 'Shroom Specialty::

Ok Everyone...another recipe using Mrs Dash: Southwest Chipotle. I spent the weekend alone so aside from training, I did have much to do at school so in between doing lunges in my apartment all weekend I decided to do some creative clean cooking :-)

You will need:
1 George Foreman grill
1 small frying pan
Olive Oil
Mrs. Dash: Southwest Chipotle
Sliced Mushrooms
Pre-cooked Shrimp

Make sure shrimp is thawed out. Brush olive oil onto the grill and place shrimp on it. Sprinkle seasoning on the shrimp. Close grill and cook 4-5 minutes

While the shrimp is cooking, put sliced mushrooms in the frying pan with just a drizzle of olive oil. Add water to help steam the mushrooms faster. If you like things spicy, add some more seasoning to the mushrooms as well.

Combine the shrimp and 'shrooms together for a few minutes.

ENJOY! Note: This was so amazing that I made it 4x already since Saturday for my roomie and I!

~*~ For the Birthday Girl!! !~*~

Hello Everyone!


 I would like to dedicate this post to my #1 girl, Angel Sigman. Tomorrow is her ***Birthday*** and I want to wish her the most amazing day ever <3

I was introduced to Angel  last fall through our mutual friend JD, and I am so thankful to have her in my life. She is an amazing woman who will blow the world away with her accomplishments. She is one of the hardest working people I know and she is striving to achieve the same goals as me.

Angel: You are exceptional. Every single day you make me laugh and smile and you give me a good kick in the butt when I need one :+) I have never had a friend like you before, and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Each day our friendship becomes stronger as we push each other past our limits and excel above our expectations. You keep me going, and together I know we will be an unstoppable team. I know you are a far away from me now, but God has a plan. He gave me a wonderful friend, and someday we will get to take on the world together :) I cannot wait for you to move here so we can go to the gym every day together, take Freckles the dog for walks, I can cook you all the amazing meals I send you pictures of, and we can prepare for future shows knowing we have each others support.

I cannot wait to compete in the 2011 NPC Army National Guard MN Northstar with you. It is going to be awesome standing next to my best friend with our hot pink blinged-out bikinis :)

Counting down for you to come visit me this summer!!! <3

Have the most beautiful birthday ever, girl!! You deserve it!! Thank you for being the wonderful you!!!!!

::Having a friend like you is the greatest gift of all::

<3 Always- SJ Xo

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Southwest Chipotle Shrimp Salad

Southwest Chipotle Shrimp Salad

You will need:
1 George Foreman Grill
Olive Oil with a brush
Mrs Dash: Southwest Chipotle seasoning
Sliced cherry tomatoes

Turn on grill until it warms up and is ready for use
Brush olive oil on the grill
Place shrimp on the grill and season
Close grill and cook 4-5 minutes
Make saladThis meal is quick, easy, and something I can enjoy even when getting ready for a show. Who said cutting had to be bad? :)


Saturday, May 28, 2011

1 WEEK TO GO: Blinged and Ready!

Hello Everyone!!!!!

Happy Saturday to YOU! I hope everyone is having a wonderful memorial day weekend! I am spending the weekend working, training, packing up my college apartment, and catching up on some much needed rest. It is amazing the things you can accomplish when you do not have TV or Internet :)

This past week was very productive. I was able to work 40 hours at my campus job, get all of my lifts and two-a-day cardio sessions in, and do a wonderful job staying on track with my diet. Thank you to everyone at the Cardio Center for covering shifts for me so I could get my lifts in! I really appreciate it!!!!! {Allie Bean, Matt, and Steph!}

Dr. Ryce and I made Grilled Salmon on the :Foreman:....brush some olive oil on, sprinkle on MRS DASH: Southwest Chipotle...cook about 5 MIN and ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

My friend Tyler moved in my apartment for the summer to sub-lease for me so I could hopefully have enough money to buy a car at some point {thank you DR. RYCE!!!!}. It is nice having someone else around for a change. He joins me for a.m. cardio, lifting, and we have been making some delicious meals...grilled salmon....egg white omelets....coco oats...shrimp...just to name a few :) Cutting is all what you make of it! :) Thanks for being a great pal. I know I can always count on you and it means a lot that you are looking out for me!!!

The bikini I am wearing for MN State! My iron sister Diana bought it for me, and my girl Jacque bling-ed it up for me!!!! TEAM EFFORT!! THANK YOU SO MUCH LADIES!!! I am VERY appreciative <3

I am VERY excited for 2011 NPC Army National Guard MN State Championships! Everything is coming together nicely :) Thank you everyone who has been a part of my journey and making everything a success for me!!!

Jacque surprised me with these beautiful flip flops that she whipped up for me last night :) Thanks for taking care of me girl!! Can't wait to rock these! :) <3

 I am so blessed to everyone who has been there for me. Sometimes it is hard doing so much on my own so when people reach out to me to make my life a little easier it makes a huge impact. Going to college, working multiple jobs, and training consumes my life {and isn't cheap!}. I like being a hard worker knowing I am earning the outcome of the actions, but it means a lot when I get a break and someone reaches out a helping hand. I am so grateful and appreciative of all the little things {and BIG things} people are doing for me. Thank you for believing in me <3  Someday I will repay all of you back :) You have my word! ,<3


 With it being Memorial Day weekend I also wanted to thank those who are serving our country. I would like to personally thank my cousin, Jesse Metko, and my best friend {Combat Barbie} Bree Brooks. Thank you for what you have done, and continue to do! Jesse I hope I get to see you this weekend while you are visiting WI, and Bree I am counting down for you to come home safely so we can have an amazing summer!!!

My Cousin Jesse and I when he visited WI last August. Thank you for serving our country!

Enjoy the weekend!!! Be safe!!!!

Xo SJ <3

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anyone Can do ANYTHING!!!

Good Evening Everyone!!

Hope you had a wonderful day!! I woke up at 5:25 a.m. [pretty standard by now], did interval training on the StairMaster and then headed home to eat my egg whites and oats {Mmmmmm! I get so excited when it is time for oats!!!}. I cleaned my apartment with my new roomie, my workout pal Tyler and then headed to work. It was a fabulous morning at work. My favorite person came to do cardio, Elio. He is like a grandpa to me and is always supporting me and always wants updates on my training and life. [I am going to miss him when I go home for the summer and he switches gyms. It wont be the same without you!!!!] 
Elio and Sara at CC

He always reminds to smile and remember to have PMO on life (Positive Mental Outlook).  He also told me to stay away from negative people who complain and to not let those people fog my brain. He has the best advice :) Never forget it!!

A note from Elio I have taped to my mirror

Spring Semester Grades were posted today which was also very exciting! This past semester was a crazy one with 17 credits, working approximately 20 hours a week, having practicum every week for my minor, and training for not 1, not 2, but 3 shows in a row. I ended up earning a GPA of 3.5 and I am VERY happy with it! I ran over to tell Elio while he was over on the treadmill and he gave me our usually ::fist pound:: handshake we have. He was very proud and told me "I am a very special person with a lot of drive. Any man would be lucky to be my father." It put tears in my eyes and made me happy he was proud of me and sad at the same time because I really wish my dad was still around. I wish he knew how hard I was working in every area of my life. I think he would be proud. Wherever you are Michael Robert Lindbom, know you have a daughter and 2 other children that are doing amazing things and you are sincerely missing out on it. {his loss}

Since I cant change the past, I know I can just keep working towards my future. I used my emotion from earlier in the day and had a killer chest workout tonight with my roomie and did some cardio after. {Thank you Miss Allie Bean for coming into work so I could get a workout in!} Now I am eating my tuna and it is back to adding to the bikini fund.

Hope everyone has a beautiful evening!!!! Thanks for stopping by!


<3 SJ xo

Monday, May 23, 2011

12 days and Counting!

Hello Everyone! Happy Monday to YOU!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I was happy to have my first weekend without worrying about school.  I was fortunate enough to get quite a few hours working up until I leave for MN State Championships. My co-workers are understanding that I need money for the show and they are more than happy to take a break starting their summer hours. Teamwork :)

A few days ago I was sent the one of the pictures of my brother and I that is going to be in our feature story in the July issue of Inside Wisconsin Sport magazine. I am very excited to see the issue when it comes out!!!

Josh and I from 2011 Fox Cities Showdown: watch for this picture in July issue of INSIDE WI SPORTS magazine!!

12 days until NPC Army National Guard MN State Championships! I am really looking forward to the experience of this show. I get to see so many of my friends both on and off stage and spend the weekend with my boyfriend, Lee. It is going to be a blast! The Wednesday before the show my good friend [Iron Sister <3] Diana Kersten is driving to school to do a photo shoot with me in the gym I workout in on campus. I am really excited for it because this is where I trained all year and it will be nice to have pictures in that special place. After the shoot she is helping me pack up my life and move out of my apartment and bring me home too my mom. My mom has off that week so I get to to spend Thursday with my mom and sister which will also be wonderful. I hope the weather is nice so we can go on some nice long walks together. Thursday night I am getting my hair cut/highlighted again for the show, and they have appointments as well so it will be nice bonding time!!

Friday morning Lee will pick me up by 10am and we will head to MN!!!! Once we arrive at the venue we have to check in and receive all of our info for the weekend. My good friend Jacque Combs is going to be doing my spray tan for the show. {Cant wait to see you Mizz Bling!!!!!<3} My  bikini <3 friend Lori Schopf is coming over to practice my hair and makeup for the show as well. It is going to be a very busy day, but a lot of fun!!!!!!!!!!

Before I get too far ahead of myself I need to focus day by day on my diet and training so I can make sure to come in my very best Saturday morning for pre-judging. I had a bit of a scare last week because my body was not cooperating with the changes I was wanting to make. I was holding onto a lot of water and had a constant bloat. With some advice from Lee I was able to make some small changes that had a big impact. I cut my carbs down for a few days and increased my cardio [that was not fun...haha] and this morning when I hopped on the scale I was at 125.6 which is pretty close to where I was for my last two shows. I feel much better now that everything is coming together!

I wanted to share a new product with you that I tried over the weekend [thanks Angel for the amazing suggestion!!]. In the same aisle where you buy Crystal Light there is a product called MiO. It has no calories/sugar/carbs and it is amazing. I didn't think a few drops added into my water would have the impact that it does! I have the Strawberry Watermelon flavor and I am really enjoying it. Angel likes the Berry flavor best! I add about 4 squirts of it into a shaker cup size of water. It is convenient because I can carry it around with me to work or the gym and it is easier than having all of those individual packets to worry about!!! Try it out and let me know what your favorite flavor is!!

MiO Water Enhancer: Strawberry Watermelon
I hope everyone has a GREAT day!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for stopping by-
<3 SJ xo