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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Rise & Shine, It’s Cardio Time!

I anticipate it every morning and sometimes it can be the most irritating thing ever, the sound of my alarm clock waking me from a deep slumber. I have mornings every now and then when I wish that I could just hit the snooze button and just drift off to sleep, but what gets me up is knowing how great I feel after a morning cardio session.

Morning cardio sessions have become a part of my daily routine and when I’m not able to get it in, it’s like my whole day has been set askew. As hard as it is sometimes to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 am, put on my gear & drive to the gym – there is no better thing than feeling the energy being exuded from every person there. Every morning I retreat to my usual treadmill with my favorite tunes in ear, where I can look out at the skyline of Omaha & watch the city awake. Okay, I know the skyline isn’t much to look at, but nonetheless, what a beautiful sight. Some mornings I can’t quite muster up as much energy as I’d like, but I still crank out that workout knowing how great I’m going to feel when I’m done. Getting in my cardio in the AM really sets the tone for the rest of my day – it allows me to have a clear mind, be on top of my game & use my creative juices, a must when you are a graphic designer!

There are so many benefits to doing cardio in the morning upon rising and I can certainly attest to that. Not only does it keep you energized throughout the day but if burning fat is your goal, then this is a must! By performing cardio first thing in the AM on an empty stomach, your body is able to burn up that last bit of glucose & then pull fat out of storage to be used for energy which is key!

When you eat, your body converts the food into a usable state to be absorbed by the body. Protein builds tissue, fat and carbs are either burned for energy or stored as body fat. Your body uses glycogen and oxygen in the cells to make energy. Glycogen is made from converted glucose, and glucose comes from the carbohydrates that we eat. When you don’t eat before cardio, you are not adding any new nutrients to be converted to glucose thus not hindering the body from tapping into that excess fat storage. So if your goal is to burn fat, don’t eat before your morning cardio session!

Things to keep in mind to make morning cardio a breeze…

  • Prepare – set out your gym clothes and any gear that you need the night before, that way you don’t waste any time rounding everything up that you need for a successful workout.
  • Hydrate – Make it a goal to guzzle 16 oz of water upon waking. Water is essential for fat loss, it kick starts your metabolism and it flushes out all of those unnecessary toxins….and it’s so refreshing! Don’t go to the gym without your water bottle in hand!
  • Music – Create a playlist and listen to tunes that really get you going. You will be surprised at how quickly you can get through your workout if you just zone out & let the music take you away.
  • Goals – Always keep your goals in mind! If you have a goal in mind, you will be less likely to give up. Once you reach that goal, set a new goal for yourself. Verbalize that goal, write it down, visualize it & believe it. Anything is possible, so believe in yourself!

And as my good friend Heidi always says “Own It. Work It.” 🙂

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