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 .

 

 

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Lemon & Garlic Kale Chips

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So with my diet being pretty limited to veggies and meat mainly haha, I’m always looking for new ways to spice it up!!! So I made KALE CHIPS! … (even my boyfriend liked them… which was a surprise! ) <— ps. I love when he likes my health food hahah.

Ok enough bibble -babble! On to the Recipe!!!!

Its suuuper simple too. YAY!

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • A bundle or two of fresh kale, washed and chopped.
  • 6 Garlic cloves, chopped. (or more if ya want… I’m a garlic freak so if you ever ask me… you can never have enough garlic!!!)
  • 1-2 tbsp. Sea Salt (one if you use one bunch, 2 if you make 2 bunches worth)
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon juice or one whole lemon freshly squeezed.
  • 1 tbsp. Black pepper

 

How to:

  • Wash Kale bunches and chop off ends, and then chop into “chip” size pieces.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325
  • In a large bowl mix all ingredients. (Olive Oil, Lemon, Salt, Pepper)
  • Place chopped up kale into bowl and mix around so the oil gets all over it all and you can even let it marinade for a while if you’d like. ( I let mine marinade for about 15 min)
  • On a baking sheet, spread out kale pieces onto sheet and then sprinkle the chopped up garlic cloves on top.
  • Bake for about 15-20 min until the kale pieces seem crispy at the end.
  • Let cool, and ENJOY!!!

Note: it helps if you every once in a while toss the leaves so some don’t end up burnt.. ( you know the ones on the sides of the pan) . …. lol.

 

Garlic and Herb Tuna Salad

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Had this the other day and it was delish!!! … after eating though, I could have gone without the dressing … but its all about a learning experience and seeing what works for you too. But anyways! Here is the recipe!

 

1 cup spinach and baby greens mix

50g (5 slices) cucumber

1 oz avocado

1 packet of tuna ( for this is used Tuna Creations Garlic and Herb flavor but lemon pepper is yummy too! ) =74g

1 oz chopped orange bell pepper

2tbs Walden Farms Chipotle Ranch dressing <— this is what I felt like I could have done without because the avocado acted as a dressing… but its all up to ya’ll.

 

Nutrition Breakdown:

Calories- 250

Protein- 17.5

Carbohydrate: 13.4

Fat: 14.5

 

ps. follow my instagram! I post all kinds of motivational stuff, quotes, recipes, and other stuff!! @amanda_fit_

 

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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Things to Jazz up a Smoothie!

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I don’t know about ya’ll, but I like smoothies, especially when I can put all kinds of goodies in it and have it still taste AMAZING! They usually are grate for the morning when your in a rush to make something and you can just pour a bunch of berries into the blender add a little ice and almond milk and Ta-da !

Here are some ingredients you may have used before but there are also some others that most people wouldn’t think of putting into a smoothie! Happy Blending!! =)

Fruits – pretty much any but here are some favorites.

  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • cuties (tangerines)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • dragon fruit
  • kiwi
  • pear
  • pineapple

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Veggies

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Any greens
  • Carrots
  • Greens powder mixes
  • Algae
  • Beets
  • celery

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Fats

  • Chia seed
  • Flax Seed
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil or shreds
  • Nut butters – almond, sunflower, peanut, hazelnut etc..
  • shaved almonds or nut pieces (walnut, pecans, pistachios)

Protein

  • Protein powders (vanilla or strawberry is my favorite)
  • Tofu

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Other

  • yogurt
  • Almond / Coconut/ Hemp/ sunflower seed milk
  • cocoa or cocoa nibs
  • Spices – ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
  • pumpkin puree ( unsweetened)
  • Stevia – this is a miracle worker lol… if something isn’t sweet enough this is a sugar substitute that’s calorie and carb free and its from a plant!
  • Oats or oatmeal
  • Cereal and granola
  • Grits and quinoa
  • Dates, dried fruit, cranberries, raisins.

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Be someones Inspiration

So… Not sure how to even start this blog post, but I’m just going to say this.

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You are going to have people that support you and anything you can possibly dream up..and then there are those that .. well, just don’t get it. They either think you’re annoying for posting how awesome you feel after your workout, or seem to not want you to do well. ( or they don’t want to see you doing better than them as it seems).

Going from being bigger (see how I didn’t say fat ) to now being pretty fit I get a lot of inspirational stuff from tons of people, this is the part I LOVE and in all honesty, keeps me going at times. The letters I get from people I don’t even know, friends from high school and college, family and everyone asking for help or even telling me to keep on keeping on. lol. I love the random snapchats of peoples “healthy meals” they send me, I love the gym selfies telling me ” killed myself at the gym” … and I love that more and more people are realizing instead of being “annoyed” or seem put out by someone’s choices to be healthy ..but to learn how to embrace them, praise them for their hard work and maybe even join the club. I feel like we judge each other too much sometimes and I don’t see why we cant all just be ourselves.

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We as people like encouragement,  to be thanked and rewarded, to have that person by your side no matter what. Why not be that person, to be the inspiration. Sure my journey is my journey and will always be, I will always be pushing myself to new limits now..  but when you start changing other peoples journeys and they start looking up to you or they decide not to give up because you’ve inspired them. THAT right there my friends is what its ALL ABOUT and it’s such an amazing thing I cant or don’t know how to even explain it.

 

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And its kind of ironic too. Now that I’m not “big” anymore, I still have feelings of not being accepted. This is my own struggle which I battle all the time and an still learning how to handle. But its the opposite now. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and that people are looking at me because “I’m fat” and I don’t know what I’m doing… I have people look at me in the gym and assume “oh this is easy for her, she probably been small her whole life” I see them watching, staring or whatever you want to call it… but guess what it doesn’t matter….. I’m at the gym for me, the gym is my “me” time. Blare some music and do your own thing, don’t worry about what others are doing, how much they are bench pressing because … Who’s journey is this again ? Yours. LIVE IT.

There are those people that don’t know me and see the possibilities they themselves can make or have if they believe in themselves. There are those who do know me and basically have watched this whole process take place (and boy its been a few years- so don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t “come off right away” it wont… it took time to put it on, its going to take time to take it off. ) But to learn that piece of acceptance of yourself, to actually learn to love yourself and fall in love with the process that is taking place. To not be scared to fail, and learn from that failure, to get back up when knocked down and to not let other peoples opinions flood your mind with negativity … because guess what, they’re only one thing –  an opinion.

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And for those that “don’t get it” or annoyed with you and your journey, guess what, its not their life nor their journey so it doesn’t matter! They don’t need to understand why you are the way you are, if you are true to yourself and just focus on you and what you want out of YOUR life.. life will be amazing. People will walk  away, others will stay and enjoy the ride with you. =) promise you this.

Stay Strong my Lovelies! – always remember two things :

  1. Your stronger and more powerful than your think. Mind. Body. Soul.
  2. You’re beautiful, no matter what! =)

 

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Meal Prep 101

 

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So I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how to meal prep…. therefore! I’m going to show you how easy it is, the trick is to do it all at once.

Meal Prepping is a great way to stay on track, especially when you are low on time and just want to grab something fast. Our first instinct is to go to fast food or something simple when were in a rush right? … So this way, you’ll already have it made and set to go so therefore your diet and all the hard work you’ve already put in with trying to eat clean and workout doesn’t go down the drain.

So what it basically is, is preparing everything you’re going to eat for either that week or more (depending on how much you cook). I like to do my meal preps about every week or even twice a week depending on what days I have off work.  In a nutshell- its cooking in bulk and eating left overs….

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First things first though, you’re going to need a good variety of Tupperware.

Then, you may be asking…. “but what do I cook???”

Well pretty much anything that your diet calls for… My meal preps usually consist of these things:

– LEAN PROTEIN ( chicken,  catfish, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, beef (shoot for the leanest you can find) , turkey, game meat(deer, elk) protein powders … eggs and egg whites would be good too. Hard boil them, it will make it easier too. )

– VEGGIES ( pretty much all is accepted. I like salads with different green blends, mixed veggies (frozen or fresh) zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus…. you get the drift…)

– COMPLEX CARBS – Yams, sweet potatoes, brown and wild rice, quinoa, couscous, Oats, Whole wheat bread, beans.

– FATS (almonds, cashews, pistachios, avocado, coconut, walnuts, peanut and almond butters, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils and oil based dressings. )

– FRUIT – obviously you don’t have to “cook” these..  (pretty much any, Berries, apples, banana, peach, pear, orange, strawberries …etc. )

DAIRY- I don’t eat dairy for the most part, it makes me sick… every once in a while Ill have a Quest bar which has Whey protein isolate in it and I seem to do fine. If your going to add dairy, pick these! ( Low fat mozzarella, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (shoot for plain and add your own goodies!), low-fat milk and creamers for coffee and whatnot  )

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Now that we’ve got the basis of whats pretty much “healthy” and whatnot, how much do you cook? ? ?

Well that all depends on how many days your prepping for. You can do an entire week or a few days. Up to you. Best part of this way of eating (notice I didn’t say diet) is that you DONT STARVE and your constantly eating to rev up that metabolism to ultimately .. lose weight or gain muscle. You ideally want to eat every 3 to 4 hours so that makes about 5-6 meals a day. Now these meals .. since there are more than your average three, are going to be smaller in size, but that’s ok because every 3 hours your going to eat more.

Here is a basic every day meal plan for me currently.

Meal 1: Oats with 1 banana

(this is the time I workout usually)

Meal2: Protein Shake with a piece of fruit

Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal4: 4 oz fish, Big salad with as much veggies as I want. 2 tbsp. oil based dressing  (you can add in a complex carb here if you’d like )

Meal5 : 4 oz turkey, 1 cup veggies (add carb if wanted)

M6: Protein Shake

SO in example I really only need to “prep” 3 meals per day. The oats and shakes take like 2 minutes for me to make on the spot … So when prepping keep in mind how much you actually need to make. Now I’m not saying to follow THIS plan, this is just an example .. Do what you want, make it fun, add in some fricken cottage cheese ( man I miss that stuff haha) and make it YOUR meal plan and make the food towards Your Goals!!

So basically cook like your having a party or barbeque haha. Light up the grill and grill up some chicken and turkey burgers, meanwhile while that’s going, cut up salad and veggies and also have either some rice on the stove or a few sweet potatoes in the oven. Its really quite simple, just start cooking and see how it ends up. Use different spices so things don’t always taste the same or seem bland. (I like Mrs Dash a lot because its salt-free yay!)

Put it all in Tupperware and you can even mark what day they are for on the containers if you want. The more organized you are the easier it gets. Preps usually only take me an hour (that’s 4% of my day) .. You have time, just find or make the time =)

Also, get creative, find new recipes and learn to have fun with it =)

HAPPY PREPPING!

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ps. I do a lot more “prepping” and what not on my instagram! FOLLOW ME! @amanda_fit_