Saturday, March 17, 2012

{Never Settle}

Hello Everyone!

Today marks SIX weeks out for the FOX CITIES SHOWDOWN!!! Sorry I have not written in a few weeks. My life has been a blur to say the least.  The past two weeks were my lead teaching in the second grade classroom. I would wake up every day at 5:30a m, get to school by 7am, and stay at least two hours after my students went home. After I got home it was usually 6pm or later and I would go to the gym for my lift and cardio, tan, then go home to prepare for another day. Even though it was extremely busy, I still enjoyed every minute of it. It felt great to have responsibility of the classroom, and to have the chance to try new learning methods with my students.

The past month I was really brought down by the guy I was seeing. It was really stressful and not good for my self esteem. Being the person I am, I don't put up with b.s. from anyone. I took a step back and thought about it. I am not the type of girl that needs a man in my life...especially not one that was emotionally abusive. I did what was best for me and I found a new home, and got out of an unhealthy relationship. If someone doesn't appreciate you or support your goals, they are not meant for you. Do not let yourself be brought down by the negativity of others. Surround yourself with those who are supportive and love you for you. I may be contest prepping while living on a couch for two months but things could be losing a gym membership :) So I am very thankful for all that I have. Just a speed bump in my journey...on to bigger and better things.

I am really happy with the work I am putting in at the gym. Last season I never had energy and didn't put forth near the effort I am this time around. I am still lifting 6 days a week, and I was in the gym every night with my beastmode: ON and I am ready to rock.

Here are my training splits:
Sunday: Hammies and Calves
Monday: Back and lunges
Tuesday: Chest
Wednesday: Shoulders and traps
Thursday: Arms
Friday: Quads and Glutes
Saturday: OFF but I am a :FREAK: so sometimes I get bored and do a full body workout.

I am really happy with the progress I have made on my upper body as far as adding size and the craziness of my quads. I am really excited to see how it will all come together and look on stage!

I have still been doing 40 minutes of cardio after my training. I have been mostly doing it on the treadmill inclined at 15 with a speed of 4.1 mph. Today I decided to make the choice, no matter what, from now until the show I will also do fasted cardio. I did this last contest prep but now with teaching and the gym not opening early enough, its not an option. But guess is an option. Either I purchase another gym membership at a facility that opens earlier or I have some fun running around at 5am in the dark :) No excuses. It's happening. 30 extra minute of the am :)

I have changed a few things about my diet, and made it a lot more structured and repetitive so I can closely monitor what I need to add or take away to make the changes I need to before show time. I have cut out rice cakes and I am strictly eating brown rice for my carb source. I bought a rice cooker (which I am LOVING by the way) and it makes my life a lot easier. I also took a break from my love of green beans and switched to broccoli. I felt like I was eating extra almonds throughout the day, especially at school so now I put my serving for the day in a bag and I tell myself "There you go...this is all the almonds you get today. When they are gone...they are gone" :) So far...its working.

I am happy with the way my body is looking for 6 weeks out. I know I am not there yet...but I am getting closer each and every day. I need to learn to follow my heart and not second guess myself. I did it on my own last season, I can do it again. Each week I can tell that I am leaning out as I see new changes on my body.


I am really happy right now with my dedication both in the classroom and in the gym. I know that I am doing a great job teaching second grade, and I have had positive feedback from my university supervisor, school principal, teachers in the building, and Mrs. S, my cooperating teacher. I applied to teach summer school in the district, and I am really hoping that all works out for the best.

I am really thankful for all of the support I have. SO many do things that help me get through each day. I am so blessed to have supportive friends and family. My mother sends me motivational cards each week to remind me to keep up the hard work and she sends prepped meals back to school with me to make my life easier. My sister and nieces send me mail and pictures to hang on the refrigerator so everytime I eat, I am reminded of my love and support back home. My friend Diana checks in on me everyday to send me love and support. I am so thankful to have her by my side as we go through prep together!!!! (PROUD OF YOU!)  My friend Cassandra stays up late and keeps me company messaging me when I work late or lesson plan and sends me fun mail to keep me in happy spirits (PROUD OF YOU TOO CHICA!) My friend April visits me in the gym and says hi and roots me on when I am struggling through an intense workout. Mrs. S does everything in her power to make my student teaching experience the least amount of stress so I can make my competition goals happen. There are so many of you do things each day without even knownig. I am so blessed to have all the support. Thank you, everyone <3

Remember to never give up on your goals. You may come across a bump in the road, but it is only a tiny obstacle in the larger picture.
Keep working hard!
XO SJ <3

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Hello Everyone!

When you do all of your contest prep on your have to do this.

I hope you are doing well. Yesterday marked 8 WEEKS OUT from the NPC FOX CITIES SHOWDOWN! I cannot believe how fast time is flying by during contest prep. I am enjoying every minute of it, smiling over my accomplishments, and learning from my struggles. I never thought that I would be able to accomplish this journey this semester with student teaching, and I am doing more than accomplishing it, I am kickin' some serious booty :)

My beautiful Mother, and Me at FCS last year :)

I wanted to take some time to thank a few people. First, I would like to thank my Mom, Denise Lindbom. She is such a big support to me. I am so thankful to know that even though I am away at school, she is still rooting for me and doing what she can to make this a smooth process. Every time I go home to visit, she has the kitchen full of foods that I can eat and stay on track. She also always sends me back to school with more cooked-up chicken so I have one less thing to worry about for the week. She mails me inspirational cards, and we talk on the phone daily. Thank you, Mom. I love you!

Diana and Me last year at FCS! :) This is the day we met! <3

Diana Kersten- You are my iron sister and a wonderful friend. Thank you so much for supporting me DAILY. You make me smile and laugh throughout the day, and I appreciate everything you do for me. Even though we have only known each other for just under year, you are so close to me at heart. I am so proud of everything you have accomplished, and I cannot wait until April 28th!!! We are going to blow the roof off :) Thank you for being my guardian angel here on earth, and helping me each day get closer to my dreams. Keep on rockin', Dirty Diana!

Corey Pedri- You are one of my best friends. Even though you are not with me this semester (because you are off kickin some booty at the Mayo!), I still take everything you taught me this fall, and apply it at each workout. I go into ::FREAKMODE:: every single would be proud! I seriously would not have made the progress I did in my "off-season" if it wasn't for you and the hours you spent lifting with me, and teaching me new exercises to add to my routine. Not only were you a great motivator in the gym, but you always supported me, and picked me up when I needed a boost. You are a great friend, and I am so proud of you! Thank you for helping me get closer to my dreams. Wherever you end will always have a special place in my heart.

Mrs. S- You are the most amazing Co-operating Teacher I could ask for. I am so thankful to be completing my student teacher placement with you. You support me both in teaching, and my passion for competing. Thank you for accommodating me throughout the day to ensure that I can get my meals in, and also for not keeping me late at night because you know that I need to get to the gym. Your are understanding, patient, and supportive. Thank you for all you have done!

I am actually loving cardio. {weird...right?} Sometimes I walk up the stairs to the cardio area with a " we go again" type of feeling, but then I am quickly reminded why I am doing it. As I am givin' 'er on the treadmill, elliptical, or stair-master, I jam out to my Cardio Cutting Playlist and envision the stage. I think about the feeling I get when I am there, and great it is going to feel when I get to show off all of my hard work. The feeling is indescribable, and I cannot wait to experience it again. Sometimes the songs will come on that I practice my posing to, and I almost want to turn around and flip my hair and look back, but then it hits me that I am in a gym. On a treadmill. In clothes....not on stage in a bikini looking back at the judges :) ::Living, Breathing the DREAM. Every. Single. Day::

This was the first weekend that I did not go home to visit my family for at least a day, so I was able to do fasted cardio in the mornings. This has not been part of my plan so far this contest prep, but why not get ahead when the opportunity is there? I have done two a days on the weekends when I am at home with my mom, but I just have not done the cardio part fasted. I really enjoyed it, and it was a great start to my day. 

After getting some suggestions, and downloading some songs that I have been meaning to....I updated my playlist:

Firework.......Katy Perry (This was my ultimate favorite song last contest prep)
Circus..........Brittney Spears (For you, Angel!)
Ni*** in Paris......Kayne West and JayZ (For you, April! We love dancing to this one!)
Girl all the Bad Guys Want.....Bowling for Soup (I still think they need to re-write this song, hardbody style)
S & M.....Rihanna (always pumps me up!)
Bad Girlfriend........Theory of a Deadman  (Reminds me of someone I know haha)
SOS.......Rihanna (<3 her!)
Sexy and I know it!......LMFAO (For you, April!!!!!!!!)
Dirrty.......Xtina (Think you would like this one, Durtyyyy Diana!)
Can't Hold us Down....Xtina
Superbass.....Nikki Minaj (Hey JT BIGBACKMONEYYY! This one is for you, pal! SUPERbootyBASS!)
Push it....Salt n' Pepa
Set Fire to the Rain...Adelle (There is just a lot of heart  and emotion in this song so I like it towards the end of my cardio session)
Waka Waka.....Shakira  (Mizz Heather ZUMBA Wanta!)
Can't be Touched (For Corey...from my Freak Mix!)
Sound of Madness (Also for Corey...thanks for all the songs before you left!)

I enjoy having songs that remind me of others while doing cardio because it motivates me to push harder because I know they are counting on me to word towards being the best! I really do not think that I could go a day without out. It is hard to imagine what other teachers do at the end of the day to relive stress...the gym helps me and I couldn't survive without it :)

Another aspect to cardio that as made it easier, is I recruited one of my buddies from the gym to compete at the Showdown. He will compete in the Men's Physique  B Class. It is somewhat comforting to look over and see someone else givin'er on an incline too :) {Keep up the hard work, Mr Peters! I am proud of you}

 I love going to the gym every single day. I think about it periodically throughout the day, visualizing what I will do that night, and what exercises I will do for each muscle group. Last week I had a bad cold that hit me pretty hard, but I only had to take one unscheduled day off during the week to fully rest/recover (which was actually much needed because I did full body last Saturday instead of taking the day off). The lunges have still been added in every other day for extra glute work, and I bumped up the weight from 75lbs to 100lbs now while doing them. {I always enjoy a challenge!}.

I also added in last week, an extra 100 squats with 100 lbs on Friday nights....and let me tell you...I can still feel it today with it just being a couple of days ago. I will push it to the next level in every area to ensure I am satisfied with what I will showcase on April 28th. 

I have not lost strength for the most part, other than the fact I am not able to bench plates anymore. I am doing more dumbbell exercises when possible instead of barbell because I do not always have a spotter. I have a bad shoulder, and I do not want to risk injuring myself for lifting too heavy without a spotter. I know my limits.

PS- I am still LOVING my Vibrams!!!! I have noticed significant difference in my leg development/definition since I have started training with these shoes.

My diet is going super. I am on track, and I have not made any significant changes yet in my contest prep. I am still consuming the same foods (egg whites, chicken, tuna, salt free rice cakes, sweet potatoes, green beans, raw almonds, natural peanut butter etc). The only changes I have really made in the past week was switching out less carbs, and eating more healthy fats instead. I am really thankful that I have Celiac Disease and I think that it is truly a blessing in disguise. The foods I once craved, I am now unable to have so it makes it so much easier this time. Yes, I know they make Gluten-Free options, but I do not like to make exceptions. I also do not want to torture myself if I find something that looks good. I will wait to look more into these options once the 8 weeks have passed. I am not really craving anything like I was last season

I was at a plateau the past couple weeks with my weight, and I was feeling discouraged. I know it is just a number, but I like to use it for guidance during contest prep. This week I plowed through that wall and I dropped 4 lbs. Some of this could just have simply been made with the slight tweak in my diet with lowering carbs, but either way I can see significant changes in my body.  I am tightening up, and really feeling good about how I am looking at this point. 

My friend Docta Ryce tested my body fat for me, and I am very happy with the results. I know these tests are not super accurate, but it is still reassuring to see that each area has decreased, and I have made progress in the past two weeks. 8 weeks out and I am at 13%. I know what work has to be done to get to my goal.

Basically everything is going pretty good for me. I am enjoying every second of student teaching, and I am learning a lot! These next two weeks are my "full time" weeks to teach the second graders. I am very excited because we are starting our Natural Resources unit and Introduction to Mammals which both tie in nicely with my environmental education minor. I have a lot of great ideas and resources that I am excited to share with the kids! Looking ahead to summer I am finishing up my application to teach summer school in the district I am in right now (CRAZY! I can't believe first application to teaching in the "real-world" aka a big girl job) haha I am so excited!! There is an environmental education related program at the intermediate level (3rd-5th grade), and I am really hoping to get in there. I really have a passion for introducing students to the out doors and increasing their awareness and environmental sensitivity of the world around them.  Keep your fingers crossed!!!!!

I have been looking ahead to the future as I am coming to an end in my college life as a student with graduation approaching quickly....and many new beginnings to come. I feel for the first time in my life, things are going in favor for me. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I have been working hard in every area of my life and I really believe that things are unfolding. I have faith that I WILL graduate with a full time teaching job. I am working very hard, and it shows in my teaching abilities both in and out of the classroom. I also have faith that I WILL take my fitness career to the next level with the upcoming year. I will be out of college and will have the perfect opportunity to be established in a career, and have the money to achieve those goals as well. I have it listed on my goal wall that I WILL be an IFBB Bikini Pro and a sponsored athlete by the time I am 25...CLOCKS A TICKIN' SJ! :)

BELIEVE it and you will ACHIEVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a fantastic week!!!
<3 SJ