I am writing to you from good ‘ole Indiana before I head back to Boston this afternoon. Boy it is good to be HOME in the midwest.
Even though I am quite allergic I have loved seeing my doggie, Buster Woody, hanging with my mom and Dad and April.
This week was chock-full of life. Last week feels like an entire month considering big decisions were made, I traveled, I laughed, I taught nine classes and started a new project.
The week began Sunday with some much needed posing practice and my friend Brittany taught me a few new things!
Monday I spent the majority of the day with Jess McDougall of Jess McDougall Creative to work on photos for my new tank tops and crop tops that are on sale now! Click here to buy your Dare to Move tank!
Working with Jess is always fun, creative and inspiring. I always say, she is a dream worker! None of my projects would be possible without her!
Monday morning I took a long shower before the shoot (where I do all my deep thinking), and realized that I would love to publish a mindset book, full of all the mental strategies I have used in my twenties to help me “dare the impossible” and get through the ups and downs of life.
I want share my mindset tricks for self-love and self-acceptance, as many women I work with constantly struggle with body image and confidence.
On my way to the tank top shoot I asked Jess if we could take some raw up close shots of my body (ones that wouldn’t be edited much) to see if we could get the right vibe for this book.
Without hesitation, she said, “ok!” when I arrived and next thing you know we had the shots I needed for this book I hope to publish in May.
As of today I am 4 weeks out from my NPC Natural Indiana bikini competition… and I just ate a waffle.. 🙂
These were taken last Sunday at the start of five weeks out. I am very shocked at how many calories my body can now handle, compared to last prep. However, I do still need to lean out more for the show! Bring on the tilapia!
In the nutrition section I share with you my most recent tilapia creation… make sure you check it out!
At the end of the post make sure you check out some unbelievable and incredibly inspirational progress stories from some of my clients!!
Monday: REST (Cyc Lean)
Tuesday: Deadlifts and Front Squats
I only had 225 calories Tuesday morning before teaching a 50 minute Barry’s class (where I only demo, I do not lift) and then deadlifting. I felt less energetic without my normal heavier breakfast, but 3×3 with 225 pounds still went up.
I did 4 sets of 8 front squats and that was about all I had time for before teaching a Cyc class.
Wednesday: Chest and Back
Warm-up (two rounds):
*TGU 1/side (advanced, add a press at every level)
*2-2-2 Heavy DB push presses (beginners stick with 1 set of 2-3 reps)
Chest (3 rounds):
*heavy chest press 6 reps (advanced trying heavier weights for the first time, 3-2-2 cluster)
*explosive (clap) push-up for 5 reps (beginner: do them on your knees using a bench)
*single arm shoulder press with opposite foot elevated 6 reps (advanced trying heavier dumbbells: 2-2-2)
Back (three rounds):
*Seated cable row HEAVY AF for 4 to 6 reps. (May need to do a warm-up set to figure out what have enough)
*Lat pull down for 8 reps (advanced: cluster wide grip chin-ups 3-2-2)
* renegade rows, 5-5-3-3 reps (do five with one arm, then switch then 3 reps then 3, stay in plank for the entire set if possible)
Thursday: banded deadlifts, reverse lunges and hypers
Literally all I did were those three exercises, three rounds of each exercise with incredibly heavy loads.
I could barely walk on Friday.
For a little finisher I did some standing back tucks and that hip extension was a burner after all the glute work!
When I come home I love working out with my mom and try to teach her new circuits and exercise variations for her to practice on her own when I am not there.
She loves learning new drills.
My mom and I trained together with her boyfriend at Lifetime Fitness, my old stomping grounds.
We did box jumps and push presses (4×4) of each to warm up.
Then we did 3×3 heavy deadlifts (I stuck with 225 pounds) and my mom beasted 135 pounds!
After heavy deadlifts we did some speed work (8 sets of 2, every 30 seconds).
Finally we did some foot elevated single-arm presses, farmer carries, step-ups, and reverse hypers.
For the reverse hypers we used a band around our feet, locked in place by our bodyweight (see below) to engage the abductors while also stressing the glutes.
I like doing these because they make it easier for me to remove my back from the exercise entirely. I sometimes find myself compensating in regular hypers with my low back when I get tired.
If you look closely at the end of the video above you will see my squeeze until I shake an tremble!! OH THE BURN!!!!
Our other circuit included barbell glute bridges, banded hip extensions, and face-pulls.
My mom hip thrusted 200 pounds for the first time!!!
I added a 35 pound plate to my banded hip extension to turn it into a good morning type of exercises because the band was not at thinks I would have liked.
Sunday: chin ups and squats 5×5 of each and power walking (and gymnastics)
This week was so crazy I don’t really remember much of what I ate, except my three go-tos: oats and egg beaters, spinach protein shakes and tilapia.
However this week I are more halibut to shake things up.
I bought “nacho cheese” seasoning and added that to my halibut with paprika before baking it…. UNREAL. Try it yourself!
One day I tried the same nacho seasoning and paprika with fat free parmesan cheese on Shritaki noodles (10 calorie yam noodles) and it was OK, but not something to write home about. It definitely did not taste like mac and cheese, as I had hoped it would.
My latest protein shake has been a little different than my plain Tripact protein powder and spinach. Last week it was:
- 1 scoop chocolate Tripact
- 1/2 scoop of Quest Peanut Butter protein
- 1/3 banana
- 1/2 bag of spinach
SO GREAT!!! Try it!!
While home in Indiana I went to Ocean Prime with my Dad and Step-Mom April because their wine is now sold there. I had a few sips of the wine– super spicy and rich (read about it here), oysters, lump crab meat and brussels sprouts.
Low calorie can be tough sometimes, but I still have time on my side before the competition so the fact that I ate some extra things which I wasn’t quite able to track perfectly doesn’t stress me out. Last time I was 5 weeks out I went to Chicago and ate an entire pizza….
This coming week will be back to plain protein shakes and tilapia! Woo! Oh the joys of competition prep.
What I am Reading:
***My faves: #1, #6, #10 #11
1. A case for Clean Eating via Tanner Baze
2. Waist Trainers via Girls Gone Strong
3. Auto-Regulation and Percentage-Based Training: The Hybrid Approach via Muscle and Strength
4. The Key to Breaking Food Obsession: Exposure via JillFit
5. 15 Fitness Tips for Women via Smoot Fitness
6. 9 Tips to take you from Lean to Shredded via Anyman Fitness
7. How to answer the most common nutrition questions like a boss via Precision Nutrition
8. How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics via Bret Contreras
9. The Top 5 Ab Training Mistakes via Strong First
10. Working Out Causes Weight Gain via Precision Nutrition
11. How to not F Up Your Diet on the Weekends via Show Me Strength
Sara’s before and week 12 comparison!
Sara is still continuing the Dare to Eat program. So far Sara has lost 15 pounds. Everything from the way her jeans fit to the way her rings now feel loose on her has changed. She runs for exercises, coaches cheerleading and even tumbles for movement. Despite a lot of craziness in her personal life Sara has stayed committed to this goal for herself. She checks in daily and even sends me photos for accountability if she isn’t sure how to track something. I am so proud of her!! Keep it up!!!
Krystina’s Bikini Bod!
WAY TO GO KRYSTINA!!!!!
Kimberly’s Before and week 12 progress!!!!
Kim lost 11 pounds in the 12-Week Dare to Eat Program! Te coloring of the photos is a bit different but her clothes feel more lose on her and she has been able to keep up her horseback riding and exercise the entire program. Her biggest struggle was eating out at restaurants but what she came to realize is that she and her husband needed to work on better habits of preparing food because when they took the time to do so they both made better nutrient decisions and saved money. It was important that they practice taking the time to cook food at home and not falling into the easy (and expensive) habit of eating out.
I am so proud of you, Kim!
Kellie’s Before and Week 12 progress!
I am so proud of Kellie! She lost seven pounds in 12 weeks!
The inches lost around her waist are incredibly evident and her biggest win from the Dare to Eat Program was learning that she didn’t have to do a million workout classes (or at least the 160 classes challenge) she used to do to try and lose weight.
She joked that her husband thought she was crazy sometimes when she measured her wine glass pour, but she felt confident in her ability to choose to indulge in wine, as long as she knew how much she was drinking.
She never missed a check in and her results speak to her commitment!
Here are her unique answers to the Week 12 Questionnaire:
- What has helped you find success the most throughout the entire 12 weeks?
Breakfast! If I start my day with a breakfast high in protein, it sets my day up for success. I typically have egg whites in the morning to get the most protein. Also, using my scale. I have learned so much about portion size after getting my scale and weighing my foods. A high protein breakfast along with portion control has been the key to my success.
- What was the hardest part for you in the beginning, middle and end of the program?
Beginning: trusting I can do this. Believing I would not starve to death!!!!
Middle: trusting it is worth keeping it up until the end even though my pictures did not show the differences I envisioned in my mind.
End: trusting that I can keep this thing going on my own.
- What would you change about the program if anything?
I can’t think of any change that is needed. I liked the program. It worked for me. I got into a good nutrition groove, exercise groover, and I felt I could always ask you questions via email and get speedy responses.
- Why do you like flexible dieting?
I guess because real life happens. I loved having you as my cheerleader when I had bad days and you were more forgiving than I was to myself!!!!
- What would you say your “secret weapon” for fat loss has been?
High protein breakfast, monitoring my portions by weighing or measuring out my food, and planning out my meals beforehand.
- What surprised you the most about losing 11 (7) pounds?
I feel proud of my accomplishment. It really was not impossible and really did not rock my world too hard. When I was in my groove, it actually became routine and easy! The challenge when when I fell out of my groove with traveling or events such as wedding receptions, parties, etc.
- What is your next goal?
Ideally, I would like to be 110 lbs. This is what I weighed before I got pregnant with my second baby. I am so close! I know I can do it and then I want to maintain my weight. I want to keep focusing on protein and portion control but be a little more easy on myself with not having to plan so much and just to go with the flow and make wise choices as I go
I am so stoked for you Kellie! Keep it up!!