Sunday, February 27, 2011

[Big Changes]

9 Weeks Baby!

Last week marked some big changes for me. I stayed on track with my diet and got my butt out of bed every morning for empty stomach cardio and then I lifted in the evening and did another round of cardio. My weight was dropping daily and the lowest number I saw on the scale was 132!!!! Very motivating to see my hard work is finally paying off! A fellow competitor friend checked my body fat for me and I am finally at 10%!!! Another very exciting number for me to see! I have the most work yet in my legs and triceps because that is where I am holding fat, but I have 9 weeks to fine tune.

Everything was going perfect last week until I got sick with strep throat and a terrible cold so it knocked me out from going to the gym for a few days. The hardest part is staying out of the gym but I knew my body needed rest so I made sure that I took care of me first. 

Tonight was the first night since Wednesday that I was able to get a lift in. I am still feeling under the weather, but I was feeling ambitious so I went in for an attempt of am arm workout. I am not sure if I was more excited to lift or to jump on the scale to reassure myself that i did not gain any weight or ruin progress from last week. Sure enough...weight is still on track and I got a successful arm workout in. I am going to gradually bring my cardio back in once I am feeling better. I know I am on schedule, if not a little bit ahead, so instead of being harsh on my body I have the option to take it slow. Just have to stay focused :)

Tomorrow is a new day, and the start of a new week where many wonderful things can happen:)

Thanks for stopping by-
SJ xo 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Avoid Temptations:

Yesterday after my long 10 hour day volunteering out at the kids camp I came home to eat, lift (delts) and get my cardio in. After following my foorprints in the dark on my walk back I realized I had no food ready for tomorrow and I had to get to the store. For those of you that know me...sometimes my car starts annnnd sometimes it doesn't but I knew I needed egg whites and few other things so I ventured out.

I made it to the store and I walked in and the first thing I saw was the easter candy section. Bright colors and chocolately goodness surrounded me. I took one look at it imaging eating something sugary and delicious and then I instantly snapped out of it. The few seconds of enjoyment I would get out of eating sugar could potentially ruin the awesome progress I have made this week. I walked on to the produce section to pick up my spinnach, mushrooms, onion, and yams then grabbed my eggs and was out the door. I was very proud of myself for not even giving into the smallest temptation. Those things can wait for me in 9.5 weeks when my show is over. Im not going to let anything get in the way of my goals :)

It was a good thing I didnt give in to my temptations because this morning when I woke up to do cardio session #1 I hopped on the scale to see 132....yup 132. First time in a LONG time I have seen that number on the scale. I am very proud of where I have some so far and I am going to continue busting my ass until showtime... and even after that I am going to keep on goin strong.

Never give up on your dreams. Even the little challenges you come to during the day can make a huge impact.

SJ xo

*February 23rd*

7 Years Ago Today...

I came home from school to a half empty house and a crying family. The man who use to call himself my father walked out on us. No one ever saw it coming, and I still do not understand it to this day. His unfortunate actions made me a stronger person with the fighting will to get through anything. I am so thankful to have a wonderful mom, sister, and brother that are there for me no matter what. When things get difficult the answer is never to walk away from the problem, but to take responsibility and find a solution.

This is always a difficult day for me so please, keep me an my family in your thoughts and prayers. If your parents are still around, tell them you love them and appreciate everything they do for you. Id do anything for one last conversation, one last fishing trip in the boat, one last hunt in the woods, one last wrestling match with my dad videotaping, one last hug from the man I use to call my father.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Recipe of the Day: Ground Turkey Salad

Ground Turkey Salad

I made my ground turkey (93% lean or better) with taco seasoning. I have removed this meal option from my cutting diet because ground turkey, unless it is very lean has more fat it in than other protein options such as chicken or tilapia, but it very delicious. I will definitely be eating more of this after my competition. :)

I eat 4oz of ground turkey and I put it on 2 cups of fresh spinach.
You can make this meal more exciting by adding in more vegetables: green and colored peppers, red onion, mushrooms etc. In my off season I have added 1 slice (cut into small squares) of Arnold Whole Wheat bread. (I would not do this again while cutting because I want to avoid flour.)

This meal is a tasty treat to look forward to during the day and it is very filling especially if you add lots of fresh veggies!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Why I do it :)

:10 Reasons Why I Do It:

My goals that I have taped on my bedroom wall for daily motivation
1. Working towards my goals is something that I can earn and no one can take it away from me. The hours I put into lifting, cardio, and in the kitchen are all worth it in the end because I am that much closer and no one can stop me.

2. Self Confidence: Never in my entire life have I had so much confidence. This lifestyle is something I chose, and I will always thank my brother, Josh for inspiring me to make that change.

3. True Friends: This journey has brought some wonderful people into my life that support me every step of the way. These individuals are amazing, and I could not make it without them. Thank you if you are one of those special people.

4. Inner Strength: Not only am I physically a stronger person, but I am also much stronger in the inside. The dedication I have to this sport cannot be accomplished by  just any one. They have to really want it, and I do. When my friends ask me to go out at night or go out to eat my answer is always "no" because I know the direction I want to take my life and sometimes that means sacrifice.
5. Inspiration: Many have told me that my progress has inspired them to change their own lifestyle and that means the world to me. I love helping others, especially when it revolved around their health and happiness.

6. Stress Relief: The hours I spend in the gym are the BEST part of my day. Setting mini goals with my lifts and accomplishing them each week makes me feel great. I love seeing how my body changes through the dedication I put into it. I am really proud of how far I have come already. I would never get through my day if it was not for the Gym :)
7. Rewards and Personal Achievement: I really enjoy being rewarded for my hard work. Whether that reward be small like a personal change I see in my body, meeting a goal that I have set, or a larger goal such as the recognition I earned from "Fitness Amateur of the Week" or modeling for various local and worldwide companies (Bass Fury) it makes me feel great knowing I did it. Never did I think I would have come as far as I did in such a little time. I went from having really no apparent muscle tone to putting on over 10 lbs of muscle in just 6 months. I have added size and defintion everywhere and I cant wait to see what happens next.

8. Improve Health and Quality of Life: I am more active now than I have ever been in my entire life. I love the positive changs I made for my body because I am going to forever benefit from my lifestyle change. You cannot put a price on your health and it is never too late to start making that change.

9. Role Model: I feel that both my brother and I are great role models for my family. I also feel that I am set a great example to my friends and other peers on the college campus. In the future when I am an elementary teacher my choices in diet and exercise habits will influence my students to make healthy choices for themselves too.

10. Proving Others Wrong: I have had my fair share of "haters" and each week when I make progress and see changes, I love proving to those individuals that I can do anything I put my mind to. When someone says I cant, I just like to show them "Oh Yes I CAN!" :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

10 Weeks til SHOWTIME

Hello Everyone and HAPPY THURSDAY! :)

Sorry I have not written anything in a while I have been extremely busy. I had to reanalyze my diet since I was not making any progress as far as dropping weight so I changed up when I was eating certain foods and what was being eaten. So that means no more protien pancakes (sad), only 1 scoop of whey and that is before bed time, and lots and lots of chicken and brown rice :)

Plan B is into effect and since this week I have finally seen 133.9 on the exciting! I have not been that low in a very LONG time! I was stuck between 136 and 137 for so long it is nice to finally see some change. I stepped up my cardio and I am getting in my "empty stomach a.m. cardio" in along with my p.m. cardio before bed. Training is going good and I am keeping my strength on my cut as well which makes me happy. I am noticing changes in my body and it is tightening up a lot. I am excited to see what the future brings to me. 

HARD work always pays off in the end! Just gota keep on truckin along :)
Make it a GREAT day!!
SJ xo 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Made it to FRIDAY: Eye on the Prize

"Excuses only please the ones who make them"

I survived another week of cutting and made it to Friday. It was a long week pushing through my diet and training...and school, work, and studying of course. 

Every day by about 3pm I am just drained as my carbs end for the day and I know I still have a lot more to accomplish before I can go to bed. I have yet to drop any weight this week, but I can tell from the mirror that I am definitely leaning out a little more each day. I still know that I have a long ways to go before going on stage which will keep me motivated.
Speaking of motivation....Here is the trophy that will be given to places 1-3 at the competition I am doing. All I have to do is take a look at it and know how badly I want to be holding one of those at the end of the day on April 30th.

I get to go home for the weekend for the first time in 6 weeks. I am looking forward to it. Time to put my crank my will power up a notch because i'm sure mom will have sugar-filled temptations around the house. Just have to remember what is more important....eating a cookie or holding up that trophy in 11 weeks :) Cannot let sugar win and take over my dreams. Eye on the Prize :)

Have a SUPER weekend :)
SJ xo 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recipe of the Day: Lemon Pepper Tilapia

Lemon Pepper Tilapia
1 tilapia fillet
Mrs Dash: Lemon Pepper seasoning
Fresh Lemons

Preheat oven to 350*f
Spray Pam on tin foil and place fillet on top of it.
Spray Pam on the fillet and then put on Mrs. Dash: Lemon Pepper seasoning
Slice fresh lemons and place on top of fillet
Cook for 25-30 minutes or until preferred taste

Depending on which meal I eat this, I may eat it with 1/2 cup brown rice and 1 cup green beans.
If it is in the evening for meal 5 for example I will just eat the tilapia on a bed of spinach (1-2 cups)


Everyday is a Challenge

Wake up to the sound of my alarm clock, it is 5am. I take what energy I have and get myself out of bed and into my workout clothes, put my contacts in and look in the mirror. Posted on my mirror I have a note that says 11 WEEKS OUT to remind me why I am dong this. I  put on my jacket and boots and walk to the gym in the dark and cold. Its morning cardio time whether I want it to be or not. I swipe my card and head over to the scale to see how my cut has been affecting my weight. Another morning of seeing 136 on the scale. I can feel and see the changes my body is making and how I am leaning out, but I have yet to cut more than 5lbs.

The first ten minutes or slow on the bike seem to drag on by as I can think how I wish I was still in bed or how badly I want to eat my first meal but I get past it and I peddle harder. My ipod helps me get through my workout, and after every mile biked, I feel one step closer to my goal. I usually bike or 30-60 minutes depending on how much time I have in the morning. My foot is still giving me trouble so I really only have the option for cardio and that is to ride the bike. I cannot wait for it to finally heal so I can teach Zumba again and reunite with my good friend the StairMaster again :) 

After cardio I put on my jacket and boots and walk back home where I will get to enjoy meal 1 for the day. Lately my #1 choice has been my protein pancake (see post for recipe). It is warm, filling, and delicious. My college student day is now starting at about 7am. Homework, studying is done in the morning before class, and I look at my schedule to make sure I have enough meals packed for my time on campus, and also plan when I am going to lift. Sometimes I lift during my open hours between classes and other times I have to wait to face to dark and cold again and walk to the gym in the evening and battle for machines with all of the athletes that think they walk on water.

Being a competitor and a college student is a challenge every single day. I watch friends and peers stress over their course load, and their job(s) if they have one and I think to myself, do they even realize what is on my plate? Do my professors realize it? When I am walking down the street I watch people having fun and talking with their friends and all I can think about is "How much longer til my next meal? What is that meal going to be? Oh my gosh its only 3pm and I am done eating carbs for the day. When am I going to lift? Am I going to have to fight a football player for the squat rack? When am I going to have time to cook and pre-measure all my meals for the next few days and write that term paper?  Ohh how I wish I could eat some chocolate right now. What time is it?..its 9pm already and I have to be up at 5 to do this all again" the list goes on and on. All while this is going through my head I still have to try to get through class, work my jobs, and try to maintain social relationships with others.

It is really difficult to find people that understand me and are willing to 'put up' with my lifestyle. Typical college students usually go out and drink, eat fast food because it is usually more affordable, stay up past 9pm, and sleep in on weekends. It is even harder trying to find someone that I can even imagine dedicating my own time to and forming a relationship.

"Do you want to go out to eat" 
"I cant go out to eat, I am in training" 

"Oh well do you want to grab a drink" 
"I have not consumed alcohol in almost a year. Obviously if I cannot eat shitty food I cannot drink."

"Want to go to a movie later tonight?"
"No I cant, I have to pack my meals for tomorrow and get to bed early so that I can do my first round of cardio in the morning"

"Oh I bought you a candy bar, I thought you could use it"
"Save it for 11 more weeks. I cannot have sugar."
"You look great, I think you can have just one"

THEY DONT GET IT!! The list is endless. Every day is a challenge, but I face it knowing that it will be worth it in the end. And I now I will never, ever give up. The individuals I have that are really supporting me, and the people I have found to be true friends are amazing and I could not do this some days without them. Every day I just have to remind myself of my goals and how badly I want this. I have the worth ethic and passion to make it happen, just have to take it one day at a time.

Well time for cardio, homework and well, you know the rest :)
Good Night- SJ xo

Monday, February 7, 2011

Recipe of the Day: Protien Pancake

Protien Pancake

5 egg whites +1 whole egg
1/2 cup oats
Vanilla Extract

Put contents from blender into a large frying pan. Cook on one side until it firms up and can be flipped. Serve with sugar free syrup.
I look forward to my protien pancake every morning when I wake up :) You can experiment with other flavors as well. During the fall I was adding 1 tbsp of pumpkin to the mix for a new taste.


Preparation is Key

Here is to the start of another busy, but exciting week. I am 11 weeks out from competition and my third week into my senior year of college. Monday is always crazy with having 5 classes from 9am-4pm with only enough time for me to grab two meals during that timespan. Good thing I am prepared for the week and have my meals pre-made and ready to go.

Here is what is on the meal agenda for today:

Meal 1: I had a protien pancake (6 egg whites, 1/2 c oats)

class for 2 hrs

Meal 2: egg white omelet and 1/2 cup slow cooked oats

class for 2 hrs

Meal 3: 1/2 cup oats mixed with 1 protien shake (1 scoop Supplement RX whey: chocolate)

class for 1 hour

LIFT (chest day) and CARDIO

Meal 4: 4 oz ground turkey 1/2 c brown rice and spinnach


Meal 5: Egg white omelet

Meal 6: 1 scoop whey +1 scoop casien

Sometimes it gets hard between classes knowing my next meal is going to be a cold one it is important to know that in the end it is going to be well worth it.
No excuses :) Time for class :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Recipe of the Day: Egg White Omelet

Egg White Omelet

5 egg whites + 1 whole egg
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 cup spinnach
1/4 cup green beans
1/4 cup mushrooms

I enjoy eating this for meal 5 because it is at the end of the day and with not being able to consume any more oats or brown rice for the day, all of the vegetables help keep me full. There is also a lot of flavor in it, especially with the red onion, so it keeps you satisfied and not thinking about cheating. 


Day 1: 12 weeks out

This starts off one of the most important weeks of my life. 
Hi My name is Sara Jean and I am a college student and an NPC competitor. I am 12 weeks out from my first NPC national qualifier competition. I got into body building last May after watching my brother compete and win his first show in the teen division. I was inspired and knew this was something I wanted to do. I immediately decided to start training and get on a clean diet to help with my progress.
 These pictures were taken before I started training in May, middle of June, and then again towards the beginning of July. I went from a size 5 to a 0 in less than two months time!!!

I was seeing amazing results and it motivated me to continue working hard. At the time I was lifting 6 days a week (Legs/Shoulders, Back/Bi, Chest/Tri) and doing at least an hour of cardio a day which was usually hitting the StairMaster. I also went to Zumba classes twice a week at the local YMCA.

Originally my goal was to compete in bikini but after only training a few months I knew my body wanted something different. I had the ability to lean out very quickly and I was putting on muscle mass. I knew it was going to be a lot more work, and I knew I only had until April, but I was going to compete in the figure division.

So now here I am...about 8 months later. I have come a long way in a short period of time and I can only wait to see what the future holds for me.

Here is a picture of my legs at 12 weeks out

My goals are:
1. Win April 30th at my competition
2. Go to Nationals
3. Earn Pro Card
4. Become a sponsored athlete
5. Become a fitness model
6. Train my own team of competitors

In this blog I am going to track my progress, training, and diet for my first competition to help others out there and inspire them as well.

My current lifting schedule includes:
*I do 4-6 exercises per group and I have changed my reps from 10-12 up to 20 to make my lifting more aerobic as cardio is limited for me due to my foot injury that occurred this winter.

Sample Diet:
Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 1/2 cup oats, cinnamon: BLEND and make 1 large pancake. (1 multi-vitamin, 1 fish oil, 1 calcium citrate)
Meal 2:1/2 cup slow-cooked oats with cinnamon and vanilla extract, 6 egg whites
Meal 3: 4 oz lean ground turkey, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup spinach
Meal 4: 4 oz chicken, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup spinach
Meal 5: Egg white omelet (5 egg whites, 1 whole egg, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, green pepper)
Meal 6: 1 scoop casien + 1 scoop whey.

I hope you enjoy following me on my Journey