What’s Next?

Much has happened since my last blog post and I’m kickin’ myself in the butt a bit for not having posted in a while….but such is life. So here I am, ready to get back at it and  share my journey of transformation.

So what’s new? Well, I now have another competition under my belt. I stepped on stage at the WBFF Central Championship in Kansas City in the Diva Bikini division. Although I didn’t place, it was another great experience and I met so many fantastic and inspiring individuals. I took a lot away from the competition and have a running list of what I want to improve upon for my next show.

I’ve learned that it takes time and a handful of competitions for your body to really peak at it’s best. Just like any sporting competition/event, you don’t usually perform at your best every time. It takes continual practice, and a little or a lot of tweaking, whether it be diet or prep. Drastic changes can happen even with the slightest alterations to your training or diet. For me, chewing even 1 piece of gum can blow me up like a balloon so it’s very important that I stick to my diet 100% leading up to my comps.

Towards the end of my prep, carbs are at an all time low as with energy levels. Workouts become harder to get through and the intensity at which I’m performing has diminished quite a bit. This is inevitable. The only way to get through it is by putting mind over matter. The mind is a powerful thing and we must use it to our advantage. At times, I’ll find myself thinking too many thoughts of doubt and I’ve learned that as soon as those negative thoughts come into my head, I must stop them dead in their tracks. I believe that a lot of what happens is a result of negative or positive thinking. Many athletes will visualize themselves from start to finish in an upcoming race. By putting yourself in that mindset and believing that you will succeed, you begin to live it out and your actions follow. It’s my plan to continue to use visualization as a technique in my training. Visualization can be used for many things in life, give it a try and if anything, you’ll find that it’s a great way to unwind and relax.

The day prior to my comp and the day of are always the most trying times for me – from travel to the event, photo shoots, check ins, and final preparation, and the comp itself, it’s a whirlwind and at times exhausting. Making complete sure I’m armed with my meals and that I’m getting them in at the correct hour is essential. I found it difficult to get my meals in between all of the hustle and bustle and because of that my body paid the toll. You wouldn’t think it, but when you aren’t eating every 2-3 hours as you have been weeks leading up to your competition, it has an adverse effect on your body by bloating. I looked tighter the day before my comp than on the actual day of.  When your body is in a resting state for an extended period, I believe that it can take on a softer appearance. Although there is a lot packed into the schedule during a competition, there is also a lot of waiting around thus it’s important to keep the blood pumping and it helps to perform simple exercises with a resistance band to appear more vascular.  There are many other techniques that I personally haven’t tried, like drinking wine or popping in a few pieces of chocolate or candy right before you go on stage to fill out your muscles. For me, wine and candy is out of the question due to my intolerance to fructose. It’s really trial and error to figure out how your body is going to react and sometimes it could be very detrimental for some, especially in my case.

There is still so much to learn and for me that is the most exciting part. Without continual education and taking chances, how would we ever get any better at the things we are passionate about? My journey has really only began. So what’s next? I’ve got my sites set on a couple of comps in August and September. What I have found is that If I continue to set goals for myself by committing to compete in a certain competition, I’m much more apt to stay on track otherwise I feel like I’m in limbo. For everyone it’s different but for me, that’s what keeps me going.

Stay tuned for details on what show I’ll be competing in next…till then, happy training. 🙂

PS. It’s a little known fact that fitness & bodybuilder competitors rid themselves of any visible hair before a comp as it helps muscles to look more defined. Never, EVER use Nair on your stomach or anywhere for that matter. I learned the hard way and 2 days before my comp by totally burning myself. Not really sure what I was thinking?!  Thank goodness for stage makeup & for professionals who know what they are doing!

Cravings

Each of us at some point while dieting, have probably fallen victim to a little thing called temptation – whether it’s salty, sweet or chocolatey. With dieting, comes the restriction of certain foods which in turn only makes our cravings for those foods that much stronger.

Giving into such temptations can be all too easy sometimes but knowing when to get back on track can be the hardest part. It’s important to remember that even if you indulge,  don’t beat yourself up over it – just get right back on track.  If you continue on a course of giving into those temptations, it will only wreak havoc on the goals that you have set out for yourself. So be mindful of what it is that you have set out to do!

Being in the midst of competition dieting, I know cravings all too well. Some days I’ve had cravings for foods & combination’s of foods that I’d never imagine myself eating, well, ever. So how do you keep cravings at bay?

Here are some tips for staying on track:

Drink Water! Often times we confuse hunger with being dehydrated. Especially if it’s not meal time yet,  grab a glass of water before indulging. Then, wait 10-15 min and if you are still hungry, opt for a clean, healthy snack option – try a handful of almonds or celery & 2 tbsp. of natural PB. Greek yogurt w/ a dash of cinnamon is also a great choice!

Give your water an extra kick by adding a splash of lemon, a cucumber slice or some berries to it. I’ve also used flavored tea packets. Stay away from adding artificial sweeteners to your water – instead stick with natural sweeteners!

Always Be Prepared – Whether it’s at work, a social function or if you are just out running errands, always be prepared. You never know when unforeseen circumstances come up that may hinder you from making healthy choices. When I leave the house, I’m always mindful of what I’m doing, how long I might be gone and whether or not I may need to pack clean eats. Hey, if I can carry a lunch pale with 6 Handi Snack bags filled with chicken breast & green beans through an airport scanner, then so can you! I got a lot of weird looks when they went to investigate my bag, but in the end, I was sure glad that I had it since we ended up having to spend 15 hours WAITING in an airport!

Convenience is key for all of us especially with how busy our days can get. Here is a great solution for packing your clean meals for the day  – it’s called the 6 Pack Fitness Meal Management System & you can get it here. It even comes in pink! 😉

Keep Junk Out of Sight – Plain & simple, if you know you are going to be tempted by such foods, by all means – keep them out of sight! If these things are not available to you, then I promise you that they won’t even be missed & temptations will vanish. With that being said, when going to the grocery store, try to stick to the perimeter of the store. Stay away from the middle aisles which are filled with processed foods.

And last but not least, we’ve all done it – do not go to the grocery store hungry. You will be much more likely to give into temptation. Stay away from those Debbie Cakes!

Be sure to check back for some of my quick & easy solutions to preparing clean meals!

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Sneak Peak

So you may be wondering, what in the world is this competition that I’m training for?

Well, in short, it’s the WBFF Central Championship on May 21 at The Midland Theatre in Kansas City, MO. I will be competing in the Bikini Diva category & I’m stoked to be stepping on stage for my 2nd time! The Arnold was just a warm up, this is the main event! What is even better is that I will get to share the stage with so many other inspiring, beautiful women whom I’ve connected with along this journey. Gotta give a shout out to all my Omaha & KC girls!

Experience it for yourself – tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster, just click here. Preliminary judging is at 10:30 am and the main event is at 6:30 pm.

It’s expected to be a sold out show, with only 100 VIP tickets (to get those seats up close) & 1,000 total tickets. I guarantee you will walk away inspired! 🙂

Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect to see. It’s sure to be a rockin’ good time!

 

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Who needs fructose anyways?

As if competition dieting wasn’t restrictive enough, add a food intolerance on top of that, fructose intolerance.

After many visits to the doctor and multiple tests, I was finally diagnosed with fructose intolerance. Whew, what a relief! Finally an answer to why I had been having stomach aches and digestive problems for most of my life. Even as a little girl, I can remember complaining of ‘tummy aches’ after eating well, almost anything. For the longest time, doctors quickly passed me off as someone who just had IBS, which doesn’t come as a surprise because of the lack of knowledge and awareness at the time.

It has been nearly 4 years since I was diagnosed. There is still so much that I have had to learn on my own simply because fructose intolerance is not as prevalent as some of the others. Makes me wonder how many are being misdiagnosed like I once was?

It’s always interesting to try to explain to people why I can’t eat hardly anything off the menu at restaurants or have to kindly pass on certain dishes at social functions, family gatherings, etc. It’s not that I’m being picky, believe me, I’d eat most of the food if I could! So let me try to break it down…

Fructose intolerance aka fructose malabsorbtion is a condition in which a person lacks the protein needed to break down fructose, so the body cannot absorb it. So because my body cannot absorb it, it goes all the way down to the lower intestine, a place where fructose is NEVER supposed to be and what happens from there, well, you guessed it…to put it simply, all hell breaks loose.

So what has fructose? A whole slew of things that you and I would never think of.  And through trial and error, I have been able to eliminate all problematic foods from my diet: that’s fructose itself (in processed food) as well as fruit, fruit juice, jam, any artificial sweeteners (soo bad), HFCS (High Fructose Corn Sryup…the worst!), and fructans which are just as bad and if not worse! Such fructans include wheat, spelt, kamut, and all onion stuff basically. I have to be a serious detective when it comes to reading labels because wheat, fruit products and artificial sweeteners are hidden in just about EVERYTHING. Fructose is not an essential nutrient, meaning everyone can live without fructose, so ‘fructose deficiency’ does not exist.

What I have found is that if I stick to a “Gluten-Free” and “Wheat-Free” diet and stay away from fruits and most veggies, I’m good to go. So what in the world do I eat then? A lot of chicken breast, fish, leafy greens, zucchini, squash and green beans. Yum. So now you know more than you probably wanted to know about my digestive system. Cheers. 🙂

9 Weeks Out

Arnold Amateur 2011 | Brittany I am officially 9 weeks out from my next fitness bikini competition, the WBFF Central Championship in Kansas City on May 21 –  I couldn’t be more excited to step on stage again and so close to home! After taking a little much-needed time off after the Arnold Amateur from training and diet, I’m ready to hit it hard for this next competition.

Competing at the Arnold was such an awesome experience and I still can’t hardly believe that I got up on stage in front of hundreds in none other than a bikini and 5″ heels.  Although I didn’t place, I conquered a MAJOR fear that has been present since a very young age, and that is, being exposed to the world in a bikini. Never before have I had the confidence in myself or in the way that I look to be seen in such attire. I’ve always been the one at the pool or lake still adorning my cover up while others freely let it all out with such care-free attitudes. Friends would say I was ridiculous and looked great, but yet I continually convinced myself that they were wrong. It’s interesting when I reflect back on the sports that I’ve been involved in: dancing at age 4 till I was 18, swim team during my middle school years, cheerleading and cross country throughout high school, and now fitness/bikini competitions – interestingly enough, all of which physical appearance and image play some sort of role. Why is it that I still engaged in these types of activities, even with such a strong dissatisfaction towards my body? That answer, a passion. A passion to continually better myself, my health & well-being.

That passion is what has gotten me to where I am now, but with that has come a new-found appreciation for myself and my body. Amazing things happen when you really treat your body good, give it the clean, whole foods that it needs, commit to regular exercise, and most importantly, be backed by an amazing support system of mentors, trainers, friends & family! Without those people by my side, especially during some of my tougher days, I wouldn’t be where I am now. By keeping my goals and the other women involved in the fitness & bodybuilding industry in mind, I stuck with it because I knew if they could do it, so could I! These are the women who I look to with such admiration and respect, women who are out to inspire and change people’s lives through their own stories about fitness & health. Although the journey isn’t an easy one at times, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

So here’s to the next 9 weeks – armed with new knowledge, tools & resources to achieve my goals and kicking butt at the WBFF Central Championship on May 21!! I’ve got a Pro Card heavy on my mind… 🙂

xo

Brittany