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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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!!

7 weeks out! (Bikini Comp)

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Holy Moly time fly’s. 50 days and it will all be over …. kinda sad to think about it that way.. but that’s ok! I plan on taking my off season to kick some more booty and come back in full swing and hopefully do a few next year! Yep! That’s right ya’ll get to see me suffer with my chicken, gallons of water and piles of veggies some more in the future lol. (this way I can post some blogs for ya’ll thinking about doing a competition as well =))

With that being said. I’m 7 weeks out  .. here are my progress pics! I can say I finally am starting to feel like im beginning to look like some of the other bikini girls on the team.. which feels good haha.

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So along why my super low carb diet I have these days he gives me either called cab-loading or re-loading days and they sound amazing and super fun at first because you haven’t had carbs for sooo long haha… but only 3 meals in and still having 3 more to go being stuffed, this is when things get difficult haha. Not only is the extra carbs there but it about doubles my calorie intake that I’ve grown accustom to so its a little sad when I finally get a chance to down some brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato ect .. and I cant fathom eating any more ahaha.. I know I know one min I cant wait to eat , not I look at food and just feel full hahha. I’m a whiner…

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So some ideas for blog posts since I know ya’ll wanna know more than what’s going on with me haha. Let me know what you think! AND I’m willing to take suggestions too, just leave them in the comments below!!!

  • healthy protein bars
  • more workouts
  • what to expect when signing up for a bodybuilding competition!
  • mind over matter – controlling cravings
  • why do I binge or over eat?  – looking at the physiological side of it.

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Breakfast Oats

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You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup dry instant oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup red Raspberries
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • Chia and/or hemp seeds to sprinkle

Annnnnnd any other goodies you’d like to add would be juuuust fine!

Prepare oats to package, add goodies and milk and enjoy – cool thing about oats it you can pretty much put anything on it …

Other goodie ideas:

  • any fruit (blackberries, apple slices, banana, pear slices, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, ect)
  • Spices (pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, vanilla extract. )
  • Milks (cows, hemp, almond, rice, soy)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia, hemp, flax, pecans)
  • chocolate chips – yep! you just read that right hahaha

 

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I survived Week 1 ! ( 15 Weeks Out)

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HAHA, I like the title of this blog post …. Ok so you may be asking, How did it go? OMG.. talk about some up’s and down’s haha.

  • Diet – I’ve never ate so much food in my life. Its funny when people think you don’t eat and you’re starving yourself to get to this competition weight .. ( even my parents kind of gave me the look of “are you eating?” a few times since I’ve started this goal). When you actually eat whole complete foods and start eating what your body needs to survive instead of things you “want” or “think you need” that’s when you start so see some huge changes. When you actually start focusing on the nutrition side and meeting macronutrients, you’d be surprised how much food you can actually consume and how little or filling an appropriate amount of calories can be and feel. I’m currently carb cycling and hoping to learn more about this ( wanting to do a blog post on it too, but not till I fully understand it since I don’t want to put out information that isn’t correct to you guys) so my calories kind of go up and down. One day it will be around 1700 cal with higher carb down to 1350 cal with higher fat …. its seriously a science and I’m lucky I have a coach through this because I don’t really know what to look for or know what’s working and what isn’t yet.

What kinda of food am I eating? ? TONS of protein haha.

  • Protein – chicken, turkey, beef, shakes
  • Carbs – Oats, Banana, Brown and white rice, Quinoa, Potatoes and Sweet potato
  • Veggies – Kale, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, romaine and spinach.
  • Fats- mostly almond butter and a little bit coming from my dressing for salads , some avocado, some raw nuts like almonds or cashews.
  • Other Items – Low sugar ketchup (so happy I can have this haha, I’m a ketchup freak and I found one that has only 1 g sugar and 5 calories …and he said go for it!) … he’ll probably take it away closer to comp though, mustard, salsa, any spices (Ms. dash is a staple since its salt free), stevia, tea, every once in a while I will drink a cup of black coffee with stevia but its just not that same as a Starbucks haha , BCAA, lemon juice.
  • water water water- a gallon a day I try to shoot for.

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Pretty simple, yet can be boring at times. I understand sugar addiction even more now and never realized how much I crave bread. Everyday its something random that I’m craving too, one day its fruit, anther I seriously just want a cookie lol.

Things I have been using to bust the cravings…

  • Gum, Deserts gum is amazing haha.. but I have everything from minty, fruity, to cinnamon roll flavor.
  • Tea- you should see how many tea boxes I have right now, ridiculous.
  • I have a few different flavors of BCAA (branch chain amino acids) that help me when I want something sweet
  • Using different seasonings and spices, like I stated before, I have about every Ms. Dash made, and I have tried some weird concoctions on some things you wouldn’t think taste good but do… like tomato, basil, garlic flavor on a cut of steak… waaa?? … I’ve also accepted my “desert time” is in the morning with my oats and banana hahha.
  •  I have gummy multi-vitamins too, I usually try not to take them too often or I rotate them between my days since your body has a harder time digesting a gummy rather than a softgell (plus they have a little more sugar too) but on my lower carb day … it definitely keeps me on track and from losing my shi*.
  • When all else fails… Win and doubt, add more veggies…

So now this next part I thought wasn’t going to be the hard part… HA! I was wrong!! O so wrong!!! Workouts. HOLY SHIT. pardon my language … but Holy…

These workouts are probably the most taxing and difficult workouts I’ve ever done! I figured since I usually spent 2 hours in the gym every day I would have had this part down, I was more nervous about how the diet was going to change. . . . Ha! Rude awakening let me tell you!!

So when I met with my coach to go over everything … he kinda looked at me and was like “lets see how hard you work!” … oh sweet baby Jesus please save me came through my mind…. haha

Its amazing  how a few little tweaks and upping the number or sets and reps and lowering the weights can make THAT much of a difference in not only the difficulty and intensity along with the changes I saw within just the first week!

What do the workouts look like? Its a rotation of 6 days a week, weights and HITT cardio. with 1 rest day (which is low carb day and you’d think I would look forward to rest day, but since I don’t get my endorphins pumping and then with low carbs – which I can see why its low carb since your body mainly needs that “fuel” for your workouts … its just a rough day in general.) … and I may have snapped at Evan ( my boyfriend) a few times and its only week 2…ops! He’s a keeper if he lasts till October.. =)

 

last week :

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This week:

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What I’m noticing with my mentality and overall mindset….

So as I’ve wanted to give into my cravings or wimp put on a few sets of a certain exercise. …. you almost have to pep talk yourself back up. Its so much of a mind game than it is a “prep” its crazy that I’m actually having a struggle with this because this is like the NUMBER ONE thing I honestly believe has a major impact on your life in general. I’ve written a few blogs on the power of positive thinking, and always try to see the positive side to everything. I love motivational speakers, quotes and if you ask me what the big “secret” is … I will always say “You have to believe in yourself and that you can do it.. no doubts” But omg, I almost feel like I wasn’t ready for this next level of belief I guess. I have so much coming towards me all at once that everything I do or don’t do is going to affect my future. And that realization is a bit scary, not going to lie. But a quote I absolutely LOVE and I keep telling myself … “How bad do you want it?” The rest of the quote is below but when I feel like things are too hard, or I just want to be done or quit (Yes, I’m admitting I’ve wanted to quit a few times… Hell I’ve been at this for a year now and I’m only human)… I always ask myself this. And along with that I remind myself … “if it excites you scares the crap out of you at the same time, its probably something you should do”….

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With that being said I’m still going strong and I will do my best to keep you guys updated on everything.

I feel like I’m on the right path, I feel like everyday more and more people come to me and either share their success with me and tell me that I’ve helped them or inspired them and that is like the #1 reason I love what I’m doing. This makes me want to push myself harder than before and its weird because I get that drive from not only making myself better but from you guys. So keep sending me your crazy gym and food prep snap chats because I love them. =)

Some opportunities that have came my way… not sure where they will lead, but anxious to find out!

  • I moved jobs into a supplement store, leading me to meet tons of new people with experience doing what I’m on track to do. Whether they have competed, helped people get to compete or even just meeting people who are just starting out on their weight loss. I always get the “you probably don’t understand” look for the more overweight crowd and when I show them a picture or tell them my story, I can tell it has an effect when I mention to them if I can do it so can they, they just have to believe they can… This is also how I meet my coach. =)
  • I have been offered and audition for a supplement company to be a model and rep their products when I finally get down to that weight and “look” – they even might come to my show and support/watch me!
  • I’ve been asked numerous times if I’m a trainer at my gym, and then the manager asked me if I would like to be one and even offered to pay for the schooling to get a personal training certificate.
  • Tons of people have commented on how much progress I’ve made just in the last few months … ad to keep going.
  • This blog was nominated for an award that sadly didn’t get, but still being nominated is something huge in my mind.

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So what do I want o do? HA I have no clue, just following life where it leads me …

  • personal trainer
  • coach for competitions
  • personal and competition chef
  • fitness model and/or rep
  • competitor ( pro card? )
  • registered dietitian
  • weight loss and health coach

some of those ideas seem so far fetched in my mind right now (but looking back, being 210lbs.. I would have said standing on stage in a bikini was far fetched ha.. ) , but I know if I keep pushing myself towards this, it may become a possibility …. I just have to believe it is .

 

 

Tip of The Week #17 Have some Patience!

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Today were going to talk about a little thing I like to call patience. …. I have very little as does the rest of this “on-the-go, need-to-get-sh*t-done” society. But its going to play a huge role in your weight loss and getting to where you want to be so pay attention!

  • Look, I get that you want a toned tummy and a lifted butt…who doesn’t? … but its not going to happen over night. You didn’t gain that extra 50 lbs ( or however much you’d like to lose) over night did you? I’m assuming that answer is a no. Nor did you gain it in a month either. It took time to put the weight on, therefore its going to take time (usually a little longer sorry to say) for it to come off. That’s just how it works. Accept that its a process or journey you’re on and its going to take time …. period.

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  • You are not superman or superwoman either! …. most people don’t realize that with media how it is, people want it to be fast like it was for The Biggest Loser contestants… its not going to happen. If you want to do this ( lose weight) the right way, you will not be spending 5+ hours in the gym, and eating very few calories, that’s only going to hurt you in the long run. 1-2 lbs a week is usually a good estimate of how much you should be losing, if your on the higher end of the weight spectrum, you have more to lose so more might come off at first where as someone who doesn’t have as much to lose is going to have a slower weight loss. When you lose weight too quickly its either a sign of malnutrition and/or water loss and possibly muscle loss too. Plus, you want to lose it slower because not only will it stay off longer, but when you lose lean muscle mass, your jeopardizing your metabolism making it slow down, hence making it harder to lose weight.

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  • I wrote another blog post about being positive (read it!!) link here:    The #1 Weight Loss Secret!!!     You cannot call yourself fat anymore. Its not doing anything for you or anyone else accept bringing you down. You need to find something you love about yourself first and foremost. You need to love yourself and have and take pride in yourself too. You need to have this weight loss goal for YOU and you alone, any other reason isn’t going to get where you want/need to be. Sure there can be an event or something your trying to get ready for but in the whole scheme of things, it need to be for you and your health. And for peats sake, be positive and quit putting yourself down.
  • Visualize yourself thinner, this can be hard. If you have to dig up old photos of you when you were thinner, heck paste a picture of your face on the body you want… whatever works for you. I like to think about the figure I’m trying to archive when I’m about to fall asleep. Find what works for you. I also have a vision board where I have tons of quotes, a calendar to keep me on track and pictures of fit and healthy bodies.

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  • Keep going!!! Ok so say you started eating healthy and maybe working out a little, some weight loss has occurred but you haven’t seen too many results. So knowing patience is the key…. keep going till you see those results you want. And results aren’t just measured in weight loss either. It can also be gaining strength, more energy, the way your clothes fit, how you feel when you eat healthy/unhealthy, muscle definition etc. So focus on the little results your getting while shooting for that main goal. It will only happen the moment you decide NOT to give up.

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  • Start small and move up from there. Most people want a 180 approach and it just isn’t realistic. Some people can do it, but very few. When people try to change everything all at once they get overwhelmed and frustrated.. leaving them to quit and give up. So start with small things, maybe its to eat healthier, or to be able to run around the block without stopping. Whatever it is, start changing things slowly and you’ll be more inclined to stick to it and make it last. It is truly a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, you cannot go on a “diet” and lose the weight and then go back to your old habits. That is why diets DONT work. Now I’m not saying you cant enjoy a handful of chips or a yummy piece of cake here but the majority of your diet is going to be healthy clean food.

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On a personal note, people don’t realize this has taken me a good 3+ years to get to where I am now. It takes time, once you learn to accept that the better off you’ll be. … so chill out. haha.

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