Saturday, January 28, 2012

{Obstacles make you Stronger}

Hello Everyone!

From Oppermacher apparel photoshoot. Photo by Diana Marie Photography.

I hope that you are still on top of your new year’s resolutions and working hard! I did not get a chance to write last weekend as I was moving back to school for my final semester of college.  My winter break ended, and I was very satisfied with how it went. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and close friends, and spend hours every day at the gym. I lost 9lbs January 1st-January 21st. I was very happy with the progress I made.

 l started student teaching on Monday, and it is going great! I love every minute of it, and I have an awesome mentor, and I look forward to learning from her so I can continue to become an even better teacher. It is going to be a very busy semester, but a great way to end my college career.

Onto the details of prep…

Now that I am back at school, and teaching, I had to drop morning cardio because I have to be at the school too early in the morning and the gym does not open in time. I do cardio when I am done lifting until I burn 500 calories. I have mostly been sticking with the incline treadmill walking but I mix it up with intervals on the Stairmaster and on the elliptical as well.

I injured my shoulder earlier this week so I could only lift legs. After that occurrence I bumped up my cardio to burning 700 calories for the session to make up for it.

I am doing a good job staying on track with my diet and getting my meals in. I am basically eating egg whites, chicken, or tuna for protein sources and plain rice cakes for carbs. I eat green beans with every meal and consume almost 1 lb. every day. They are a great filler and keep me tied over until it is time to eat again. It is a challenge getting my meals in at school while teaching but tuna and ricecakes have been a savior for that. If I have a cheat meal it basically consists of me eating more rice cakes (flavored kinds :)) my new favorite is White Cheddar!!!) or I let myself have a Lara bar (an gluten free treat that is basically made amazing up of: dates, nuts, and coco powder). I am not going to change anything yet as I am still seeing progress.

I was killing it in the gym every day until my recent shoulder injury. I took Tuesday-Friday off of lifting anything on my upper body and I just trained legs and glutes. It kills me to have to take off lifting, but I do not want to injure myself more. Now that I am back on campus, I have been doing a lot of lunges with the 50# chains around my neck. I do 100 minimum a day. I love my lunges :)

Chest: 33inches (same)
Waist: 26 inches (down .5 inches)
Hips: 34 inches (same)
Quads: 22 inches (down .5 inches)
Biceps: 11.5 inches (same)
Calves: 15 inches (same)
I have only dropped .5 inches in my waist  and quads since my last measurement, but I know if I continue to work hard, it will slowly come off. 

Tonight was my first full body workout since I injured my shoulder. I did 5 sets of 10 for each of my muscle groups, 100 weighted lunges, and 700 calories burned for cardio. I'm baaaaaaack!!!!!

I am satisfied with all of the areas in my life.I am feeling great about my body again and how hard I have been working in the gym. I am so happy to be student teaching right now, and every day is a reassurance that I made the right decision for my future. I am so thankful to have an amazing family and friends that support me always.

Have a super week!!!!!! No excuses….:)

<3 SJ

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just when I thought my life couldnt get better...BAM! :)

Hey Everyone!!

A little surprise I got on Monday when I went to the gym. Nothing like a little added motivation!

2 weeks down...15 to go until I step on stage again. A lot has changed in the past week that I am excited about! The exciting news of being in Gold's Gym advertisements was an exciting moment for last week. This week I was asked by a Wisconsin based athletic apparel store to model for their website and advertising. The company is called Oppermacher and is based out of Stevens Point (small world!). They sent me a lot of awesome clothes, and I am excited to try them out and promote a great, local business. Please go on their Facebook page and LIKE it. I appreciate the support!!

Clothing that I get to model for Oppermacher

My body is responding well to the diet, and I have already made a few changes in it. I am leaning out, and still hanging onto  my strength.


I am continuing my two-a-days for cardio, and I am still enjoying it. I created another "Cutting Playlist" that helps get me through every session. It amazing the difference meaningful music can impact your workout.  A lot of the songs I listen to are from my good friend and lifting partner, Corey, from last semester. He made me some CDs to download onto my ipod with songs we use to lift to in the gym.

Some of you ask what gets me through my here is my current playlist:
All I do is Win......DJ Khaled
Black and Yellow....Wiz Khalifa (this one is for you Mo baby!)
Look at Me Now....Chris Brown
No Hands......Waka Flocka (My lil nacho burrito, April!'s out fav dancin song!)
Pursuit of Happiness....Kid Cudi
Teach me How to Dougie....(haha this one is for you, Corey! No one can dougie like you! cracks me up every time)
Transform Ya....Chris Brown
Up and Away....Kid Cudi
Wake up and Fight....Shinedown
Hips Don't Lie...Shakira
Shake.....Ying Yang Twins
Waka Waka....Shakira
Gasolina......Daddy Yankeee (Can't forget the lil Zumba in me)
Evacute the Dance Floor.....Cascada
Push it...Salt n Peppa (haha Diana....this is only for the sexy people)

Sometimes I go to shuffle and listen to other random songs to mix it up, but these are the main ones that have been keeping me fired up. For cardio I am still sticking to the treadmill maxed out to an incline of 15 walking 3.5-4.2 miles per hour. In the morning I do it until I have burned 500 calories (which takes me about 35 minutes on average) and in the evening I do another 30 minutes after I lift. I also did a lot of shoveling this week, and did it with a smile on my face. Nothing I like more than a reason to burn more calories...natures free cardio. THANK YOU! Life is all what you make of it so I take every situation and turn it into a positive.

I am still killing it in the gym during my lifting sessions. I have my days split into: Quads and abs, Chest, Back, Shoulders/Traps, Hammies and abs, and Arms. I am still hanging onto my strength and feeling satisfied after every workout.   I am lifting heavy and sticking 5 set of 10 right now (it's workin', Oz!). It is nice to work out at Gold's, but I am excited to go back to the Strength Center where they have more than one squat rack (haha) and the little things that I like...the chains I wear when I do lunges or the chalk so I can have a better grip when I lift heavy.  The Strength Center will always be my favorite gym. That is where I have spent the most time and have the most memories.

Since I have been home I have also been training my mom and teaching her more about lifting weights since it is more beneficial then just doing cardio on its own. She is doing a great job also, and I am very proud of her! Go, Mom, go!!!! :)) xo

I have already switched it up since last week. I am experimenting a little and I am doing lower carbs with higher fat. My diet is currently made up of egg whites, chicken, green beans, almonds, and the occasional salt free gluten-free plain rice cakes. For how little carbs I am consuming, and for how many hours I am spending in the day, I am not hungry between meals. I eat a ton of green beans (literally almost a pound a day to be exact!) and that keeps me satisfied. 
There is is...favorite meal! Egg whites and french cut green beans seasoned with Mrs. Dash seasoning: table-blend

I am still loyal to my Extra Dessert Gum: Strawberry Shortcake flavor. I chew it every single day in the gym (it helps me get through cardio!). I am doing a good job, and staying on track. Today I had a "cheat" meal since it has been two weeks since I have had one. It wasn't so much as hardcore cheating, just mixing it up. I made grilled Caribbean Citrus salmon with green beans (of course!) for my mother and I after our workout this afternoon and she made me some homemade rice krispy treats (one of the only treats that is gluten-free without buying special ingredients). The salmon was amazing...not going to lie. I enjoyed every single bite. The rice krispy treats were good but unfortunately I got a headache after eating them. I am not use to consuming sugar, and when I do, it makes me sick.

Overall, I would say the diet is going well, and I am staying positive and not letting it negatively affect me in any way. I am in control :)

15 weeks 1 day out
 I am feeling great with where my body is currently at. I am leaning out as planned and I am seeing changes each day...nothing too drastic yet but enough to keep my motivation levels high.
Here are my measurements:
Chest 33.5 inches (same)
Waist 26.5 inches (down .5 inches)
Hips 34 inches (down .5 inches)
Biceps 11.5 inches (same)
Quads 22.5 (down .5 inches...they are huge...they can afford to shrink a lil haha)
Calves 15 inches (same)
I am making changes  for the better, and I am happy for where I am at with being 15 weeks out.

I am still enjoying winter break and the opportunity to spend time with my family and friends. I only have a few more days left back home and I will return back to the apartment on Wednesday the 18th. It will take a few days to get settled and prepared for my 18 weeks of student teaching. I will want to get a schedule together for work, training, prepping meals, posing, and of course school work. I am going to miss seeing my mom every day, and all of the people who have surrounded me this past month. I always enjoy making new friends at the gym and gaining more support. There are always opportunities to look forward as I continue on my journey.

Tomorrow I will wake up and go to my best friend, Brooke's apartment so she can do my hair and makeup for my photo shoot for Oppermacher tomorrow. She also did my hair for the FCS last April. It means a lot she is always there to help me out. My iron sister, Diana (Diana Marie Photography) is going to be helping me accomplish this task as well and go to a gym and a few other locations with me to capture some good shots for the company. I am so thankful to have such wonderful friends!

Have yourself a wonderful, evening.  
Remember...train like you're in 2nd, Compete like you're in 1st!
<3 SJ XO

Saturday, January 7, 2012

1 week down...16 to go...but who's counting :)

Hey Everyone!

I hope that your 2012 is off to a great start and you are sticking to your resolutions! I have added motivation after seeing myself on a few more advertisements for Gold's Gym. You never know when you are going to be rewarded for the work you put in.

On January 1st I began my contest prep which means: two a days, lots and lots of chicken, water and green beans....oh and goodbye to my social life (outside of the gym).

I took some time off from doing cardio while I was trying to build muscle because I know that my body has a tendency to lean out quickly so I started doing it regularly again on the Sunday, January 1st....2x a day. I am  not going to lie...the first few sessions were never ending and I was not looking forward to it. Now, with being a week in, I hop on the treadmill, max out the incline, and off I go without even thinking about it. I am back to the point where if I am not hitting cardio twice a day, I feel I always make sure I get it in. I walk 3.5-4.0 mph at an incline of 15. I do this for 30 minutes each session, and I am going to do it 6-7 days a week. Last spring, I did my morning session of cardio on an empty stomach, but this year my schedule is different so I am eating one meal before I go (usually 1 cup of egg whites).  Since I started my contest prep early, if I do not see the weight loss changes I want to by the end of the month, I know I have time to switch it if needed. I also do not eat any carbs before my cardio session. I'm already starting to get looks from some of the other members and even workers at the gym thinking I am the crazy person who comes to the gym twice a day...little do they know :)

My training is going well. I know that as my prep continues, I will lose some strength. I still have a fair amount of energy in the gym, and I am satisifed with my work done. I still had had my strength for my big lifts...squats (185#), deadlifts (150), military bb press (90#), and bench  (135#) this week, and did not have to decrease the weight which made me very happy. I will not be discouraged once I have to drop down though because I know it is part of the process and my energy is exerted elsewhere. I am have a 5 split during the week, and then on Saturdays I will do a full body circuit as well.

Ahh..the dreaded diet :) This can be the biggest struggle during contest prep, but mine is going surprisingly well this time around. I remember last year I did not have as good of will power in the beginning and found myself upset over the foods I was watching everyone else eat. This time around, I could care less about food. I am getting my meals in and not letting it negatively affect me. It might also help that I now have celiac disease, and I am allergic to mom's cookies and treats around the house, but there are still other options I could easily "cheat" on, but I simply chose not to. If I cheat, then I have to do more cardio, and I definately do not want to do that :) I'm in the right mind set, and no one can influence me to make a mistake. I always tell will be beat by the one who doesn't cheat. I am not going to let that happen.

I am slowly leaning out and noticing more abdominal definition and striations in my chest and delts. I know I made choices this fall that were not wonderful for my physique, and I am paying for that this time around with cutting, but I know I will be back in no time :) I have faith. Last year I was ready for Gopher State in less than 8 in retrospect I could have that  body (except with 10 lbs more muscle this time around) by the end of February. Pretty exciting if you ask me :)

Here are my current measurements. I will take them each week as I progress in my prep:
Chest 33.5 inches
Waist 27 inches
Hips 34.5 inches
Biceps 11.5 inches
Quads 23 inches
Calves 15 inches
Am I happy with these numbers? Some yes, and others not so much. Well the beauty of it is, that I can make the changes I want, and that is definately what is going to happen.
NOTE: I will get bodyfat percent measurements done when school starts up again and I have access to those resources.

Since it is still winter break and I don't have much going on besides planning my gym schedule and meals, I have had some time to spend with my family and friends. For those of you that were not close to me last spring, or who forgot....once I am in contest prep mode...I basically do not have a social life. I suppose if I really want to, I could. It is just easier for me to stay in my own little world focusing on my workouts, posing, and prep. I have limited free time, and do not like to be around those who will negatively influence me. I will not go out on weekends to the bars or stay up late in general...weekends are spent doing extra cardio, cooking, and practicing in those 5 inch clear heels. When I do have free time, I usually just like to spend it alone...sometimes with family or close friends but I cherish the quiet time...and this spring with student teaching I am sure that will be limited. Please do not be offended or upset if I do not answer my phone the next few months, or if I seem distant. I will be back once I have met my goals and I am satisfied with my accomplishments.

Well that's all for now. I hope you have a wonderful day :) Stay tuned for updates on the following week!
Thank you for the support!!!

<3 SJ