Do heavy weights make you “bulk up” ?

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GOOD GRAVEY NO! ..sorry I get this question probably once a week. Lets say it again, Lifting weights WILL NOT make you look like a man. Alright, hopefully I got my point across.

Now, let me explain why. First off women don’t have as much testosterone as women, hence why when they workout and lift weights you see their progress much faster than women’s. For a woman to “bulk up” she would probably have to workout for endless hours (an amount that isn’t ideal to be doing in the first place), have a dramatic change in diet, probably be taking a testosterone booster and it takes YEARS to build that kind of muscle alone .. much less for a girl. Genetics also play a role in this as well. . . so if you start lifting and you think your getting “too big” .. then cool it on the weights , but seriously do not worry about it until you get there ok… quit using it as an excuse lol.

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So what happens when a woman lifts heavy weights then? Well yes, you get that toned look that so many women strive to have but yet still worry about looking “like a man” … so quit your belly aching and start lifting heavy!

You shouldn’t be lifting anything more that you cant lift either, your last reps should be hard but not too hard that you almost break an arm or leg =) Maintain your form to ensure you wont get injured.

besides, look at wonder woman … she obviously lifts heavy.. and she’s hot! =D hahahhaha

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Tip of the Week #19: Get your beauty rest!

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We all know were supposed to get at least 8 hours of sleep right? But why? How will that help your health and weight you might ask… Here is how:

  • Decision making becomes a blur– Since you aren’t getting enough sleep you ability to make clear decisions is effected. Your willpower is low. Then you may reach for a “pick me up” aka caffeine or something else that’s a “feel good” food or drink to make you feel better from being tired. When you seek out these foods that usually aren’t the best choices, you body tends to crave those junk foods in the long run. Hence how late night snaking becomes an issue, usually your either bored or tiered.
  • Hello hunger hormones – Leptin and ghrelin are the two hormones that either tell you your hungry or full. With lack of sleep the hormone ghrelin (the hormone that tells you you’re hungry) is produced more throughout the body, thus increasing your appetite. Ghrelin tells you when your full, and when you haven’t had enough sleep or a lack of sleep, it doesn’t function properly as well and doesn’t tell you full, leaving you to eat more. Talk about a recipe for disaster. And if you really want to get into how hormones play an effect, cortisol (your stress hormone) is effected and its a big triangle you don’t want to mess with.

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Tips to get more shut eye:

  1. Do your best to stick to a schedule, even if its the weekends or you have the day off from work, your body will get into a natural rhythm and start to automatically wake and fall asleep at the same times.
  2. Turn off lights, tv, computers, phone and anything else that produces a light.
  3. Watch what you eat for your last meal or at night time. Foods thatare spicy and/or can cause heartburn tend to keep you awake. Along with caffeinated teas, coffee, alcohol and sodas.

 

Post Competition Blues and Bouncing Back!

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This is going to be another one of those “not normal” blog posts from me. Im not going to be explaining about the benefits of a certain food or a new workout. . . but instead its going to be a realization to myself and just an girl putting it out there with no shame since most wont (or don’t like to talk about this subject).

So in my last post (I DID IT! My Journey through my First Fitness Bikini Competition )I mentioned that its been a tough time for me with the fact of my binging after the show and now, getting back on track. Even though its embarrassing to admit I couldn’t stop stuffing my face, even when I felt sick and miserable, I know I’m not alone. Many people (women and men) have this issue and in quite honestly are either in denial, or haven’t admitted it to themselves yet. I have learned that this is also VERY common among people who do competitions or compete too.

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So during my entire prep, I was constantly thinking about food, what I needed to eat, what I couldn’t eat and what I wanted to eat once my prep was over. I made a list of everything wanted to eat and it was always changing. The fact that I really hadn’t had anything relatively unhealthy in a super long time didn’t help my situation either. I had driven my mind into this “I’m going to get to live a little after my show” mindset when it all reality I wasn’t living after my show. Looking at it now, I was only harming myself not only physically as an easy 20 lbs came back on but mentally too.

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Most people don’t realize that competitors cannot keep that level of physique 24/7 all year round, not only is it super hard but its not necessarily healthy either. But on the flip side, people don’t realize how easy it is to gain it all back too. People seem to think, oh your thin, fit, (enter whatever word you want here) you can eat whatever you want. WRONG. When you’ve constantly been dieting, restricting certain foods and most likely entire food groups at times … and then you re-introduce them.. Hello! recipe for some weight gain!

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SO with this all happening, I was beginning to get down on myself… I wasn’t the inspiring, energetic, and love for health and fitness person that I have ideally thought I’d grown into. I was ashamed of what I had done (nutritionally wise) and I quite honestly was embarrassed and felt sort of like a hypocrite. Here all my friends, family and people were reaching out to me, telling me congratulations and telling me how inspiring my pictures from my show were …. meanwhile, I couldn’t stop eating and beating myself up for it. My discipline had almost gone completely out the window, yes I was trying to get back on track, but then I’d get distracted my doughnuts at the grocery … and it would all go downhill. Whether it was something bad happening, stress, boredom or just wanting sugar… the binges happened more than I’d like to admit. Constantly telling yourself “ok tomorrow is my day” and “I can do this” only to turn around and mess it all up with a PB&J is not only exhausting in a mental state but you get to a point to where you feel like your failing . . . over and over. There were literally times I would look down at all the food I’d ate, almost not remembering eating it all. . . and it scared me because I thought I had “fixed” myself with this dark side I never wanted to see again. (thankfully I never starved or purged during this time .. but I did cross my mind and that’s when I knew I  needed to fix this, and fix it fast)…  knowing that I was still struggling to find that peace within myself, along with a balance I started wondering where my “inner fit girl went” and wonder if she’s coming back any time soon. I was embarrassed that my clothes didn’t fit me well, I started wearing baggier clothes to work and the gym because I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin anymore.. even though people told me they couldn’t tell I gained weight, I could tell and that’s what ideally I was focusing on (the negatives).  This is what I’ve learned is called Post Competition Blues.

A friend who has pretty much been there since I started competing mentioned to me that I seem to have a hard time letting the “fat girl” of me go. I still hang on to her. Which in all honesty pissed me off at first, then made me cry because she was absolutely right. I’m slowly learning to live in the now, realize how far I’ve come and learning to not look back, because that’s not the direction I’m going.

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After a few heart to hearts with some amazing people on my team and my coach, I admitted I was waiting for that ah-ha moment to drive me back into doing and living the life I’ve grown to love. It had been about a month since my show and I already know what shows I’m shooting for next season. With my weight not stabilizing (partially because I continued to have smaller binges) and still being heavier than I was when I first started with my coach was a wee bit of an eye opener. I started realizing that I was only focusing on ALL the negatives that not only go with post competition but with prep as well. I felt fat, not in control, and I was looking at another prep as a daunting experience instead of embracing the challenge. Weight loss really isn’t about “weight” its about a mindset (which I ironically have preached before) and had obviously forgotten. Its a challenge of you vs. you and to see how you can push your limits. To show you have none and to prove to yourself that your capable of anything you put your mind to whether its weight, a job or anything else.

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I don’t know if this journey scares me or if I thought it was over since I accomplished this huge goal I had for about 2 years but my coach made it pretty clear that its just started and were only at the surface of my potential .. I just am having a hard time seeing it. He continues to be so supportive, understanding and inspiring in ways I have never really experienced before. I was joking with a friend that if I was him, I would have given up on me by now, but he’s relentless and that’s enough to keep going forward. Mentioning to me some things that resonated pretty well were, what does Amanda look like at 100% .. I gave 90% last show (which he was right in saying. . .I cheated on my diet here and there, I’m only human and ill admit it. I’m not perfect) Along with “why does this have to be the end of the story” .He sees that people look up to me and my story on facebook, here and instagram and there is that fact of sure I was that “fat girl” ( I hate that word btw … fat .. but were using it anyways) but I’m not anymore and whether or not I choose to take on this role of being the “fit girl who once was fat” or not…  is that its already chosen me in a way. Almost every day now, I either get a question about nutrition, or someone asking or help or people just telling me how inspiring I am. I don’t really know where my head was these past few weeks (blocked by all the sugar most likely)  but he’s right, my story isn’t over. Sure this last goal or competition took longer than I “planned” for it to but the key was, I didn’t give up (even when there were MANY times I wanted to haha) …

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So that being said, I refuse to give up on myself because that is not who I am, nor who I’ve become. I will continue to find myself though this journey, slowly building myself up, fixing myself on the way and learn to grow form the inside out. Yes, I will fall, but I’ll get back up. yes I will probably want to quit at times and yes, it will be a tough journey but this is my story and no one else holds the pen except for me.

Follow your dreams. be true to yourself. and remember you’re beautiful no matter what.

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I DID IT! My Journey through my First Fitness Bikini Competition

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Sorry this post has taken me so long to write, I’ve been going through a little soul searching after my show (which I plan on doing another post on that next … but its been an interesting ride , that’s for sure! )

BUT anyways…. Well…. I DID IT!!! And holy crap was it hard! Probably one of the hardest things I’ve done so far, and funny thing is I cant wait to do another!!!

How was it? Really fun yet stressful and exhausting too. But it was all worth it, wanna know why???? Because I placed Top 5 in both the classes I entered in!!! =)

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So going into this competition, quite honestly I wasn’t expecting to “win” anything because in my mind, I had already won with myself losing 85 pounds. And my thought process was if I won something , then hell, more power to me! Ideally my goal was to make it to a competition and I had done just that.

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Back stage during the show, fixing up spray tans and getting oily and ready to step on stage I was actually pretty calm. I have a  major in theatre so the stage isn’t really scary to me it was more of the omg I just don’t want to trip on my heals or forget my poses/transitions (which I did  hahaha).

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During first callouts, when they called my number I almost remember looking down at my number to make sure that was in fact the number they were calling. As I walked forward the look on my coaches face was priceless, as he nudged my posing coach and automatically grabbed his camera. That moment right there is one of the reasons I’m going to do another show in the future. You could see that he was very proud and excited that they called my number, especially since it was my first show. Then the second class I entered in they had called out 4 numbers and then who’s do they call next? MINE! so I made 1st callouts in both the classes I entered in! (first call outs a pretty much placing the top 5) – which was funny at the time because I didn’t realize that’s how it worked so I thought they were just calling my number to call my number hahaahah.

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As time goes on, and people start coming in the door for the show, we all start talking about the treats we brought for afterwards. Some made cupcakes and such…. I made a little something called slutty brownies. what are slutty brownies you may ask? Amazing!! …one layer of cookie dough, one layer of Oreo (I used cookie dough Oreos) and a layer of brownie. yummmmmmmmmmm and boy were they good.. but they made me sick =(

As the “show” started, (they do pre judging in the morning and then a “show with music and everything towards the night for an audience) My boyfriend and his family came, my aunt and my father came to support me… unfortunately bikini goes on stage last so I got to mingle with them a little before and during the show and you could tell they all were very proud of me.

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My aunt mentioned going to dinner afterwards so I’m back stage thinking about food haha, Evans dad was randomly taking pictures of the “hot” girls and my dad was joking with Evan the entire time about needing to workout , or maybe just needing a beer instead haha. After the show, besides eating 3 of my brownies, a red velvet brownie another competitor made and a macaroon…  we went to Hacienda ( I decided Mexican food was much needed) and I downed 2 chicken enchiladas and a chicken taco… topped with chili and cheese and everything haha. Then when we got home I had a few Oreos dipped in almond butter, a sandwich, and some fig nutons. By this time I was definitely in a food coma.

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The next morning, sine the family has made bbq ribs in front of me like 3 times during this prep I told Evan that’s what I wanted for dinner so he prepared that all day. In the mean time I ate a pumpkin pop tart, a small bowl of spaghetti, 3 waffles with a massive amount of fruit on top and by this time I was sick. .. And by the time the ribs and bbq was read it was all I could do to down one fricken rib.. I felt bad since he cooked all day and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat any of it….

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quite honestly I wasn’t planning on eating all the things I did, I wanted to still keep my hard work at bay but since I basically had some issues with binge eating before (which is what my next post is going to be about ) it was almost like I couldn’t stop. It almost got to the point of embarrassment with how much food I consumed and I wasn’t proud of it at all, yet I still kept eating. . . . as the water weight came back on and some extra weight as well from all the crappy food .. I started feeling lethargic, unmotivated and questioning if this competition was a good idea …

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As these last few weeks pressed on a kept in touch with my coach and telling him how much I’ve gained was a wake up call in itself. I told him I needed more goals to shoot for because a part of me had been prepping for sooooo long for this competition that I almost felt like a “what’s next” moment and didn’t know exactly where to go. But with that being said, I’ve learned my lesion and man , oh man, cardio is SO much harder when you have crap in your system .. it literally does NOTHING to fuel you for a intense workout.

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So all in all, I had a blast, was it worth it still after the aftermath of binging. yes, because I’m still learning to love myself obviously.. and I’m still working on processing how I see myself as well… I know I’m not perfect, no one is. Its your choice to either learn and grow from certain screw ups .. or you can let them overpower and consume you. But untimely its all up to you.

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Tip of the Week # 18: Quality vs. Quanitity

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When it comes to the food you put into your body, its more than just “calories in and calories out”… The food you consume is either going to benefit you nutritionally or its not, its either going to give you energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and everything else or it may make you feel lethargic, worn out or give you a sugar rush that will most likely die within a few hours. So when picking out your food according to price vs. nutrition is a huge thing that a lot of people have a hard time doing.

All the time I hear “eating healthy is expensive” Yeah sure, some of it can be, not gonna deny that. But… I dare you to go to your produce isle and look at how much a bag of 10 potatoes is, or how much a bunch of spinach or romaine is…. a bag of potatoes is about $4 (and there usually are like 10 potatoes in there!) Then go over to the lettuce options you have (not he pre-packaged pre-made salads the actual bunch of leafs… they usually are about $1 $1.50 each bunch ) If your buy 2 or 3 of those, make your own salad mix A. you usually get more than the pre-packaged salads and B. its usually half the price. Key to buying healthy foods is to know where you can save money.

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Now that I got that rant off my chest with a little example were gonna discuss how quality is so much more important to quality. Sure have a few cookies or a pop tart here and there but not every day. Your goal is to get healthy right? Well here are some things to consider when you reach for that junk food.

  • Fake sugar and sugar in general – Now I’m not saying a little sugar is bad. Sometimes you need a little to keep your sanity hahaha.. and sugar from things like fruit aren’t as bad as your actual table sugar…. When you eat sugar or too much sugar is spikes your insulin levels .. which can result in diseases like diabetes and whatnot. When  you insulin levels are spiked you body is constantly trying to “burn that sugar off” first. And with that insulin being spiked your body is going to have a  harder time getting to that fat burning zone. Needless to say sugar any kind, fake or not, your body isn’t used to the amount we normally put into it  now-a-days. Do you really think our systems as humans were meant to eat potato chips, Oreos and sugary cereal all day? or at all for that matter? Limit your sugar intake and you’ll see a change, guarantee it. (I’ll do a post on how to curn sugar cravings and other options you can use that are better than sugar soon if ya’ll would like.)

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  • Ok so as we talked about Oreos and Cereal …. lets take a look at that. So  yeah its yummy don’t get me wrong and like I said, enjoy a fricken oreo here and there (you need to find a balance) but do NOT eat the whole pack in 2 days haha. So when looking at cereal, have you actually looked at the ingredients in Captain Crunch? (I’m picking Captain because its one or was, one of my favs =)) Besides looking at how many calories are in the food and calling it done, I want you to grab a box of a sugary (usually Kellogg’s) cereal and go over to Kashi cereal. Look at the ingredients on the bottom of the nutrition panel. Do you recognize everything in the Captain Crunch? Do you in the Kashi? I bet there is less in Kashi as well. Now…… here is where people don’t realize. . . . yeah Kashi is $4 and Captain is probably $1 .. $2 I don’t know.. So with that and looking at the ingredents, I bet one of the first few ingredients in Captain is “Enriched Bleached Flour” .. Yup! Its exactly what it sounds like, I might as well go grab my flour, bring it down to the laundry room and make my own. sad to say but yes, its true… they bleach it. and I bet the ingredient sugar isn’t far behind it on the list. On the flipside, Kashi probably says something like “Whole Wheat rolled Oats” or something. Now that should like something healthy right ? … and it definitely doesn’t sound like a chemical shit storm… Pay attention to ingredients and look for as minimal as possible.

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  • Lets talk about nutrition (the main point). So which do you think will fill you up faster? A burger from a fast food place? Or a salad? Well the thing is, they both “fill you up” just depends on how long your going to stay full for, which is going to provide your body with the nutrients, vitamins and fiber your body needs to run at top notch and which one is healthier (because being healthy is the main goal here). If your keeping track of your calories (which you should be because you’d be surprised how much you actually eat sometimes). You will notice how easy it is to get up to 1800 calories by eating crap foods. I mean good grief, 2 chips ahoy cookies is 150 calories alone, and between you and me… I cant just eat two at a time, its usually like 4 or 5 ( which equals 300+ cal) haha. Whereas, if you were to cook up 4oz of chicken and some fresh broccoli or whatever veggie you’d like .. the calories is going to be around 180-200 in that. So now that you see you would get to consume more food by eating healthier foods, you have to stop and think about which one is going to “fuel” your body. 4 cookies or a piece of chicken and veggies. The choice is yours but I think I made my point… plus I don’t know about you… but id rather eat a lot, then only have a small amount of food and feel groggy all day.

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  • One more point, sure at first eating healthy sucks (been there, I used to live on ramen, Tostitos pizza and all kinds of horrible things that I usually don’t eat now .. only for a treat do I do that)  But once you start getting used to it, its really not that bad. You start to get creative in the kitchen, you get a fun cookbook, you start to have fun looking for different spices and herbs. Learn to make it fun, get the whole family in on it and don’t look at it as a chore, your taking care of yourself. I personally like to think that my body is the only one I get, I either spend the money on fresh food or I will spend that money at the dr. later on in life. You’ll also notice a significant change in things like energy, sleep patterns and much more.

Plus I saw brown rice, dry beans and frozen veggies at the dollar store … so don’t tell me its expensive, you’re making excuses.

And don’t feel like you have to do everything at once, I didn’t, take baby steps.. this way you don’t quit or get overwhelmed.

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2 Weeks Out!!

Man o man! Its coming up fast! Not going to lie, I’m a bit nervous but yet I’m excited as well. I’ve been basically preparing for this for a year and I’m only 16 days away from it. Here are my update pictures =)
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Also I must say .. I almost hate my cardio as much as I hate my fish but the combo is helping my stomach get flat. SCORE!

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These past few weeks have been rough, my diet continues to get harder, I keep getting more and more cardio added on, but …. Ive come to realize that its what I asked for, and will it be hard.. hell yes it will, but it will be worth it =)

Its time to get out of my head even when its screaming at me to stop … my heart is what keeps me going. The only excuse you have is the one you make!

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OOOHHHH also I got my jewelry!! and my mom just highlighted my hair so its all coming together quit nicely I think =)

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Reality weight loss shows inspire me …

 

So Extreme Weight loss with Chris Powell AND The Biggest Loser started up again, and let me tell you, I’m such a sucker for these types of shows. Now before you judge, yes its a love/hate relationship for the whole way they do these types of shows and no I don’t see it as ideally “realistic” , nor attainable for the average person.

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Now back to the show! I’ve been looking for something to inspire me so I would have a want to blog but I’ve literally just been so burned out and exhausted lately with this whole prep that any of my free time is either going to the gym, extra sleep/relaxation, prepping my food, gym bag, or even just doing chores around the house. This did it =)

Both shows have their ups and downs, I really like that with EWL (Extreme Weight Loss) is more of a one on one approach and Chris really gets to know the person hes working with. The few episodes I saw recently were based in Colorado (which I thought was pretty cool since that’s where I live =)) As I’m watching them doing the stairs at Red Rocks just the thought of having all that weight, with the sun beating down on them … It makes you realize your stronger than you think.

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Now! with the Biggest Loser.. They have 2 new trainers which I must say the new guy trainer is VERY yummy hahah. But that’s besides the point. This season they are taking a bunch of athletes that have basically let themselves go and transforming back into the athletes they once were. This factor kind of touched me in a weird way because no I don’t really see myself as an athlete, but throughout this prep I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve realized that I pretty much have had some kind of disorder towards food and body image for a very long time. And with such a strict diet throughout this prep,  I still have some of those tendencies (mostly wanting to either skip a meal or binge), which is hard to admit, but at least I can recognize it now and I know what to look for within myself to not let it take over.

How does that relate? Well since I probably haven’t had a piece of cake within a good year … after my show I plan on living a little because if you have ever done a fitness/bodybuilding competition or read into what goes into it… its tough stuff, its not as easy as it looks and you basically are only eating to survive and giving your body the only nutrition it needs. … technically its hard to live everyday life during prep. I’ve been joking with my family that I’m going to eat an entire rack of ribs, a pumpkin pie and fro-yo after I complete my show…. along with a list of a million other things, and the fact that my body is handling dairy again isn’t helping either lol. So as I’m planning on indulging a little after my show, the Biggest Loser made me almost scared to, not as in omg I’m not even going to have my doughnut that I’m planning on having … but it brings that reality of damn I have worked my ass off to get where I’m at and I cant go back to either being so strict of not having cake at a birthday party but yet I don’t want to go too crazy and eat everything in sight.

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Along with the fear of even gaining back 20+ lbs (which I mean I know I’m going to gain some weight back because no one can stay competition weight .. its just not realistic nor really possible or healthy) My coach has been having the hardest time tricking my metabolism and getting me to be able to drop weight since I have some major metabolic damage from dieting for so many  years. When you diet for such a prolonged period of time your body becomes accustomed to it, therefore this is usually when you have to mix things up (diet or exercise wise) … but since I’ve been doing this cycle for a good 3-4 years there isn’t much left to try for me. I’m already low carb, low fat, water galore and we cant lower my calories any lower because well anything below 1200 isn’t healthy.

With that being said its kind of cute because he keeps telling me to not go too crazy and rebound after my show. And in all honestly.. if I ate everything or even half the things I want to eat right now I would A. puke my brains out and B. feel like utter shit … which isn’t the goal. The big picture goal was to lose the weight, feel confident, feel comfortable in my own skin and love myself. Yes, I’m planning on going to VooDoo Doughnut after the show and yes, Evan is going to make me ribs but .. after watching The Biggest Loser where these athletes were at their prime, they were on top of their game and they accomplished “their goal” and then once it was all over, they let themselves go. I don’t want that. And luckily he’s willing to help me after my show to do a reverse diet to help fix my metabolism … kind of nervous as to what that will look like but everyone I’ve talked to that’s done a reverse diet they were very happy with the outcome because it makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight along with being able to have some fun with food too.

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So I guess not only watching these show makes me ball my eyes out because I love their stories and the emotional side that goes along with healing process through weight loss.. but it made me see the big picture of … its easy to gain it back so be careful but learn to lighten up a little. =)

Ps I also started buying a few treats I plan on having after the show!! I cant believe I have 18 days!!