Getting Sick While on Prep

I am a huge wimp. I firmly believe that God made man to become doctors to cure people so we can always feel 100%. When a cold comes on, I can’t get NyQuil in my system fast enough. My parents on the other hand are the kind of people who don’t even take a baby aspirin for a headache. 

But since I started this crazy fitness routine I figured I should probably toughen up a little. So last week when I started feeling sick, I gave myself a pep talk and decided to “push through it”. After all, in high school I swam doubles even with a cold. 

After a week with 9 hours of sleep every night, a perfect diet and even taking one extra rest day, I was still feeling really sick. 

As it turns out, I have a pretty severe upper respiratory infection. Yay. Bring on a 10-day round of antibiotics. Also had to take off the next 3 days (doctor’s orders). 

Of course, when it rains it pours. I am about to leave for a week-and-a-half work trip around central Florida, which means long days, little sleep, lots of tempting food choices and little to no gym options. 

So, I’ll just keep repeating the Serenity prayer (I am a Catholic girl after all) and do my best to get through these next 2 weeks!

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”

The most important part, is staying on track with the food choices. Diet is 90% of it. So, as long as I can stick to my diet while being sick and on the road, I’ll be fine.

Are Bodybuilders Really Athletes (Plus a Lesson in Patience)

When I was in high school, my art class was assigned a project. Through any art form we chose we had to create an image of either our greatest strength or our greatest weakness. I sketched out a rendering of a bracelet on graph paper. Using tiny glass “seed” beads, I spelled out the word PATIENCE. I got half way through creating the bracelet and decided it was much too time consuming and turned in the sketch instead.

Patience, as it turns out, is not my greatest virtue. And yes, I’m a millennial. Furthermore, all you boomers and Xers out there, feel free to judge.

I freely admit that I fit the stereotype to a “T”. First of all, I am not patient. Second, I expect instant results. Third, I don’t want to wait in line, wait for a movie to be released or even wait to find out the ending of a book. For instance, I sometimes read the last chapter first. In my defense, you never know when you’re going to drop dead, so really this is quite practical.

However, training to be a bodybuilder is all about the long game. Every morning for the past two weeks it’s been the same routine: I wake up and weigh myself. Then, I go to the gym. I lift. After, I come home and my abs are so sore it hurts to laugh and I look in the mirror and guess what? I still don’t have a f***ing six-pack.

Indeed, corporations, the media, consumers – they’re all about instant results. “Drop 20 pounds in 10 days!” “Cleans soap scum in seconds!” “Pay .99 a month to skip the commercials!” Everywhere we look we are told we can get instant results.

Becoming a Bodybuilder Takes Patience

Generally, becoming a bodybuilder (or changing yourself — mind, body or spirit — in any way, really) it’s about persistence. It’s about patience. It’s about consistency every single day. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. However, I didn’t realize how all-consuming “the grind” would be. Every workout, every meal, every hour of sleep means something. It ALL counts toward the end goal, which, for me, is 10 long weeks away.

Body builders aren’t “real” athletes….or are they?

I always sort of had the impression that fitness models and bodybuilders weren’t “real” athletes. That is to say, the competitions are more like beauty pageants than athletic endeavors. However, after starting this journey, I’ve got to give them more credit. I found this quote on Pinterest the other day, and I have to say, Ashley Horner describes the process in the the most accurate way:

“A well built physique is a status symbol. It reflects you worked hard for it. No money can buy it. You cannot borrow it. You cannot inherit it. You cannot steal it. You cannot hold onto it without constant work. It shows discipline. It shows self respect. It shows patience, work ethic and passion. That’s why I do it.”

Above all, wish me luck as I work toward this athletic achievement. In conclusion, grant me patience.

7 Things I Learned from NPC Bikini Prep

You learn something new every day if you pay attention. Ray LeBlond is credited saying this and to be honest, after a 3 minute google search, I couldn’t find anything on him other than the quote attribution. But just because he remains a mystery, doesn’t make the quote any less true.

This week, my first week on my fitness model journey, I definitely learned something new every day. Here are 7 things I learned from NPC Bikini prep so far:

  1. I get tired of chewing before I’m full. I felt like I ate a pretty decent amount of vegetables before starting this new lifestyle plan but I was wrong. There are So. Many. Vegetables. And they take forever to eat. I always thought an hour lunch break was to account for drive time, but now I’m eating at the office and it’s everything I can do to finish in an hour.
  2. Cutting salt is harder than cutting sugar. As it turns out, cutting sugar is relatively easy. I just don’t eat desserts, processed foods or fruit (for non-fitness friends and family reading this, don’t freak out, I won’t die of scurvy; I can add in fruits again after a few weeks). But food is really boring without salt. I wind up putting hot sauce on basically everything to make it edible.
  3. Progress photos are the key to success. I’m not sharing photos (yet) because I think I look horribly out of shape, but I take them because after 12 weeks I’ll do a side by side and share them. Anyway, if I had started taking bikini selfies 5 years ago I would probably not be as flabtastic as I am now because looking at them will kick your @$$ in gear.
  4. There will be recipe fails… My meal plan this past week called for egg whites each morning. Between getting up, getting to the gym for an a.m. workout, walking the dog, and sitting on early morning conference calls, I didn’t have time to make eggs every morning. So I found this recipe on Pinterest where you bake them in muffin tins in advance. But, because I have to leave out salt and cheese they tasted horrible (hello hot sauce). I’ve got to figure out an acceptable spice combo that will work because it definitely made mornings fast – just not delicious.
  5. and recipe wins! I made an awesome tuna salad for lunch over the weekend and some great tacos for dinner one night that tasted better than the ones I make with regular ground beef and seasoning packets.
  6. Cardio kills. Growing up, I was a swimmer. Then I became a runner and after college I started competing in triathlons. For me, it was all about the cardio always. However, when you’re trying to build, cardio is the enemy (apparently) because it’ll “eat away” at your muscles. So, now I have to limit it to 20 minutes of HIIT-type activities a few times a week. Maybe I’ll become the sprinter I always longed to be.
  7. I am mentally tougher than I thought. By no means was this week easy and in fact, I know it’s only gonna get tougher as the weeks go on, but I powered through it – every a.m. workout, every meal this week. And I’m really proud of myself for it. Thomas ate cheesecake last night and I didn’t even try a bite. #Dedication

So that’s it! The seven things I’ve learned so far during this NPC Bikini prep. More life lessons to come soon, I’m sure. So stay tuned!

lifestyle blog by a slightly snarky 30-something

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