Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone had an epic week. I posted yesterday about physique progress and the physical part of where I am at right now in my contest prep. Today I wanted to focus on what else is going on, including the mental and emotional parts.
It comes as no surprise that a lot of people struggle with some kind of method of covering up their anxieties or other emotional discomfort in some way. Food is a really common way to do this. Food takes our mind off a lot of things that we might not feel like dealing with in the moment. I know I was guilty of this. However, not being able to turn to food has forced me to deal with some things that I had been masking.
I am really fortunate that I have met a few really cool people in the last few months that share my passion for fitness and this lifestyle. For the first time in my life I feel like I have some positive people in my life and I actually feel worthy of good things. I have felt so good and happy, which has caused me to take a look and finally do something about a situation that was bringing me down and putting me into a continuous cycle of being in a funk. Sometimes we have these comfortable behaviors that we know aren’t good for our emotional and mental health, but we get stuck in them because they may remind us of what we were used to in the past. Unfortunately, though we know we deserve so much more than what we put up with, it can still be really hard to let go and move on from them.
So I’m going to cut to the chase now and get right to it. There was a guy that I met last year that I fell really hard and fast for because for the first time in my life I thought I found someone who had everything that I wanted. We had similar interests and got along really well and made each other laugh. I found out shortly after that we just weren’t on the same page and I could have stopped there and walked away, but I wasn’t confident enough to do it at that time. I was scared that I might not find someone I liked again. It felt like the small amount of time we spent together made it worth all the pain and suffering that I would go through after reality set back in. I valued him as a friend, but I wasn’t and still am not even sure that he even viewed me the same way. Anyways, to make a long story short, I decided to take a huge step for me and finally walk away from that situation. It might not seem like much to most people, but it was very freeing for me to make a decision purely putting myself first and doing what was best for me in the long run. I feel that it was blocking a lot of good things from coming my way in life, and I feel like I can finally breathe. Sure, I am going to miss this person a lot, but nothing is worth feeling like you don’t deserve what you want or that you just aren’t good enough as you are.
Rant over. If you read that, thanks. I hope everyone has an awesome weekend and does things that make them happy. 🙂 Life is meant to be enjoyed!
I’m enjoying this structure and challenge that each day being on prep brings. There are so many challenges that I am trying my best to adjust to not only physical, but mental challenges as well. I’m normally a pretty disciplined person, so the strict diet isn’t terrible for me. However, I do notice my thought patterns more apparently, and can see the way I think about food more clearly. There are times that I want to eat because of discomfort I’m feeling, but I question myself. I also find myself a lot more irritable toward other people and their negative habits, which is the main thing that I am trying to work on. I’m trying to channel all of that toward just doing better for myself each day and as motivation to keep pushing myself harder, because I don’t want to be average.
The average person may have a goal, and talk themselves out of it the next day. People can be so passionate about something and then not care the next minute. It seems that people do not understand what a commitment is nowadays. It means going forward no matter how you are feeling or what is going on around you. You can always find a way to make something happen if you truly care about it. It is perfectly okay to question yourself, but it isn’t okay to give up, unless you realize that the goal is something that would cause more harm in your life than good. If your goal is driven by your ego and has no real meaning to you, then by all means, reevaluate. Anyways, this is just my opinion, and a lot of people may disagree with me but that’s how I feel.
I’ve been experiencing some ups and downs, but I have been trying to have a better attitude and use this structure that I have in my life as a platform in other areas of my life as well. I like being organized, and each day I pick an area that I want to work on, and I focus on that. It can get lonely being so focused on something that not a lot of people around me understand, but for the first time in my life probably ever, I am pretty alright with myself and who I am as a person. I want things, but I don’t need things.
A lot of people might not want to do what I’m doing. A lot of women might not want to look like what I’m going to look like, and that’s fine. A few years ago I probably wouldn’t have went for it either, but you live and you grow! Life is all about making gains, not just in bodybuilding, but all areas! I went off on a bunch of tangents in this post, but I hope everyone has a great and safe New Year’s Eve and an awesome New Year ahead ❤
I was having an interesting week last week and I was questioning my intentions for being so motivated toward this goal. I wanted to make sure my motivations were coming from a good place, and I put some thought into it and this is what I came up with:
-I’m looking for something within myself. I want to know what I’m capable of and uncover strength I didn’t know I had.
-I want to be more of a part of a lifestyle that I already love so much and want to learn as much as I can.
-I want to inspire myself and others and show that people can follow through with their goals no matter what is happening around them. Too many people talk themselves out of their goals.
-I want my body to reflect the lifestyle that I live
-I want to be around similar minded people that want similar things for themselves
-I want to focus all of my energy on bettering myself
I was bored on what was supposed to be my rest day and I decided to focus on hamstrings because they were the only muscle on me that wasn’t sore that day. I didn’t think I was actually going to be sore from this workout, but I actually was, so I decided to share it in case anybody wanted to give it a try. This can be done without a gym, but it most effective with ankle weights and dumbbells.
~Standing Hamstring Curl with ankle weights
(Make sure you have something to hold on to to support yourself and keep your balance)
I did high reps on each leg mostly for endurance because the weights weren’t heavy. It was still challenging because it really allowed me to focus on the negative and on keeping my toe pointed and glute squeezed throughout the entire exercise, which created a really nice burn.
~Stability ball hamstring curl
~Stiff leg deadlifts with dumbbells
~Floor Glute-hamstring raises (I put my feet under my couch for these)
*I did 4 sets of each exercise because I wanted to focus on high reps that day for endurance
So, a lot of exciting changes have been taking place for me lately. I just wanted to share my progress and what I have been doing differently recently that has been making a HUGE difference in my energy and my training. I was in an accident back in January that left me with 3 herniated discs in my neck and a pinched nerve. Since the accident, I have had a lot of setbacks, discomfort and struggles with my training. The pinched nerve left me with a weaker left arm, which has been frustrating during lifting.
I recently switched from PT to Chiropractic therapy, which has made such a difference in my energy and comfort levels. I finally feel like my CNS is communicating with my body a lot better, and I’m not in as much pain. I don’t feel as restricted in my lifting, even though I am still mindful and careful.
I felt ready two weeks ago to increase my training volume and intensity, and I got a lot of motivation back that I was missing SO much. I feel strong and capable for the first time in a long time and I am BEYOND grateful. I decided to start training for a competition, which I never thought I could do before. I have been doing a lot of research on nutrition as well, and I have changed my diet a lot as a result even though I was already eating pretty clean. I started recording everything and paying closer attention to my macros. Some of the biggest changes I have been incorporating that have been the most helpful are drinking at least a gallon of water a day, adding more essential fats into my diet, getting more sleep, changing up my splits and having less protein shakes/bars and sticking to mostly whole foods. The last has made a huge difference in the way my body feels. I try to stick to one shake a day (right after my workout) and I try to avoid quest bars, which has been the hardest! I didn’t think I would be able to hit my daily protein goal without multiple shakes/bars a day, but it hasn’t been as hard as I thought. It just requires more meal prepping and food shopping.
I will definitely be posting more on my progress because I have a lot to share about 🙂
So, since I’ve been doing more Kick-boxing, my training has changed a lot. I don’t focus so much on lifting heavy weight, but go for reps instead most of the time. I need mobility for kick-boxing and my goal is to get more lean. I lost 3 pounds last week and I’m enjoying the journey, even though it isn’t always fun. I feel depleted some of the time, but it is going to be worth it in the long run. I had a great leg day and I figured I would post my workout in case anyone felt like changing it up a little bit. I didn’t really superset because it was my 4th workout of the day and I felt depleted. I did 5 sets of each exercises except for the dip machine glutes and abduction and stuck to 20 reps.
~Straight leg dead-lifts
~Leg press/ single leg press
~Prone hamstring curl
~Glutes with dip machine
A lot of people don’t know how much protein to take or when to even take it. Protein is essential to muscle growth and recovery. Generally, when trying to put on muscle (or make gains), people should be eating at least a gram of protein per pound of their body weight. This should be strategically planned throughout the day, not all at once. 30 grams at a time is pretty ideal within 3 hour increments, but it also depends on preference. It can seem so simple, but it is important to get your protein from a variety of different sources. The goal is to get as many different amino acids as possible for growth. The majority of protein should come from whole-foods, but having a protein powder supplement is essential as well because they are much more functional at certain times and are faster acting and absorbed. Some proteins digest quicker than others. Instead of just taking standard whey protein after a workout, I make sure to have a protein that contains both whey and casein. Whey gets those aminos to the muscles quickly, while casein is slower digesting and delivers aminos to the muscles for a longer period of time. So, many people already know this, but I just figured I would set the record straight for those who do not, or are just getting into lifting and so on. Now go lift!