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.

 

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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Foods that boost immunity

I’m assuming you’ve heard of the ol’ “an apple a day….” well it takes a little bit more than that but its a good start! Whether your sick or not, these foods are good to have in your diet to not only help prevent you from getting sick but keep ya healthy too.

Here are some foods that boost your immune system.

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Butternut squash- Very high is Vitamins A, C and E. Heart friendly, high in antioxidants and can help with inflammation.

mushroom

Mushrooms – Very high in protein, vitamin B and C and also full of fiber too. Mushrooms have beta-glucans which are known for boosting the immune system. Eat em’ up!!

oats .

Oats – Hello good fiber! Keeps ya regular….and they are yummy and you can pretty much add all kinds of things to it to make it taste however you’d like.

beef

beef – news flash, not all red meat is “bad” … if you get a good lean piece you really shouldn’t worry about the fat content in it since its the same healthy fat that you find in olive oil. Plus you need healthy fat so quit being a worry wart. Very high in protein (3 oz can yield about 20g + of protein), sinc and b- vitamins.

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chicken- Its first off one of the most leanest forms of protein next to fish, and its very high in a mineral called phosphorus. Phosphorus helps with many things including keeping  strong teeth, bones, supporting the liver, and kidneys. Along with phosphorus its also high in selenium which helps metabolic performance (hence why so many “clean eating” recipes have it .. due to its helpfulness with weight loss. )

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Yogurt – Aww the good ol’ beneficial bugs lol. So on yogurt it says “active live cultures” meaning live bacteria! … now your probably thinking “Ew, why would I want that?” Well, because its the good bacteria. Its the bacteria that keeps your intestine and digestive track balanced. Probiotics are the same thing but in pill form too if you don’t want to eat yogurt.

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Fish- Full of omega-3 fatty acids, reduces inflammation and is loaded with protein.

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Tea- green tea is amazing hands down! Can help you lose weight because its full of antioxidants. But any tea is good too. (except the store bought sugar loaded kind…stay away from that crap.)

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Chlorella- What is that your probably asking…. its algae! Yep, I’m one of those crazy people telling you to eat algae =P. It helps detoxify toxins in the body and there is chlorophyll in chlorella. Chlorophyll helps repair tissue, process more oxygen and cleanses your blood.

So with that being said, if you feeling run down, sicko r just under the weather since the sick season is here and/or around the corner. . . . load up on a few of these . it should help =)

 

Baked Garlic Fiesta Lime Tilapia

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You’ll Need:

  • Tilapia , I used about 8 pieces .. enough to fill the baking dish.
  • 3 limes
  • 1/2 purple onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fiesta lime Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • Fresh cilantro

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How to:

  • Preheat oven to 370
  • Cut up onion into pieces, mince your garlic and slice 2 of the limes into rounds.
  • Place tilapia into glass baking dish and season with Mrs. Dash.
  • Sprinkle garlic, and onions and the 2 cut up limes over top
  • Cut the last lime and only squeeze the juice over the fish.
  • Add about 1/4 cup water into pan to keep it from sticking to the pan (you also can use olive oil if you’d like)
  • Bake for about 40 min or until done.
  •  Garnish with cilantro and ………………. Enjoy!

Side note: I did add a little bit of garlic salt to it once it was all finished, but you don’t have to… I’m just a garlic freak.

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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!!