Why Do I Want To Compete

It’s funny how I can’t recall one person asking me why I wanted to run a half marathon when I was training for it. Or I have never thought to ask friends why they want to compete in Crossfit competitions or Super Spartan races. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I want to compete in this bikini competition. Is it because it’s basically being judged on your look? Maybe a contemplation for another day, before I get to far into it? I originally planned to write this post after the competition, but today seemed like a good day.

I first decided I wanted to compete in September last year. Original thought process was “that would be cool to do one day”. And it went on the bucket list. But ya see;  the thing with me is sometimes I become fixated on things and I have a  hard time letting go of them. This became one of those things that stuck.

So why compete? Why not? Why be ordinary? Why not do the things that we think are impossible? Why not dare to be extraordinary?  We don’t all have to be extraordinary by selling our worldly goods and moving to India or jumping out of airplanes. If you do those things and they make you happy, then amazing. But for me, smaller odder goals are my thing. That new song about being the life of the party and take your shot, it might be scary…. Exactly. Maybe it’s the scary that attracts me to doing things like this.

I did it to push myself. Doing the uncomfortable makes us grow, makes us learn about ourselves. I never want to look back on life and say I wish I tried this, or I’m too old for this now or whatever lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about not doing the things we never did. Bring myself to that “edge” as my yoga teacher calls it. Nothing wrong with pushing yourself to the limit. As long as you don’t stay there I suppose.

To self observe, to learn about myself. I remember telling a friend I wanted to compete when I first started thinking about it and was told to make sure I don’t take it out on my kids. I was a little offended at the time, but the more and more I’ve read about people not handling the process, well I understood it more. Lowered calories/carbs, excessive training, meticulous food intake, no alcohol, dehydrating practices or heck even the excessive peeing from crazy water intake would have an effect on anyone. The things I’ve learned about myself are incredible to see. Again, probably another blog post.

To prove something. To break the mold of the “typical” bikini competitor. We see them typically as young, childless cardio bunnies, who eat only chicken and broccoli. Well I saw them that way I guess. I wanted to do it another way.

  • As a vegetarian. I have been a veggie for 19 years and get asked ALL THE TIME, “how do you get protein?” Let me tell you something, all veggies are sick of this question. Especially athletic ones.
  • As a mom. I have two children, 1.5 and 3.5 years old. Being a role model is important to me for my girls. Not role modeling ab out having a lean body. Being a role moel for ssetting goals and sticking to them. Persevering through tough times and being humble when they are good.
  • As natural as possible. Non GMO soy products, no funky heart racing preworkouts, no fat burning pills, and aside from the occasional Quest bars that had sucralose in them, no artificial sweeteners.
  • As a “if it fits your macros” counter. Again another blog post, but google macro counting, it’s pretty cool. I basically ate oreos my whole prep until the last few weeks. Not a lot of them, but better then the none most get. Ha ha. This kind of has a second point to it. I wanted to make sure I maintained a healthy relationship with food. Not look at a carb and cry how it will make me fat, or have an accidental slip on my diet and starting thinking of ways to negate it. I’ve read over and over again how competitors have many eating disorders.

Prove to me? Prove to you? Not sure exactly. Just to see if I could do it differently. Following the road to competing but on my own path, on my own journey.

And finally for the athleticism of it. I enjoy working out. I love weight lifting. Maybe not cardio so much to be honest ha ha ha, but I have become one of those people that loves fitness. It’s exciting, and I will try any type of it once at least. Even if it includes doing deadlifts 3 days a week……… Don’t lie to me, aint nobody like deadlifts.

So on the eve of the eve of my competition I’ve had a nice reflection of why I have done all this. Tomorrow I get my tan and go for my weigh in for Saturday. It’s been one incredible journey. No matter what happens Saturday, first place, last place or flat on my face, I’ve done it my way, learned a lot along the way and am ending with self respect, self love and a whole lot of pride.

(Don't mind the black and white, my suit color is a surprise until show day. You're welcome to guess the color!)

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bikini

Life Isn't About A Flat Stomach

Most may know that I am preparing for a bikini competition. I am 5 days away from stepping on stage in front of a lot of people, amongst a lot of other women in some tiny pieces of cloth. I get asked a lot lately; why? Why do I want to compete. I want to write a blog post about why after my competition, but some of it is explained here.

This morning I went for my very first consult for breast augmentation. (A boob job). I’ve had two babies that I breastfed for over a year each, significant weight loss and I’m fastly approaching 30. My girls are not the same as they once were. This is for me, has nothing to do with competing, society’s view of me or so on. It is for me and how I feel in my body.

Anyways, I went for my consult. I waited 4 months for this appointment, after being waitlisted basically. While there I asked about a small amount of skin above my c section scar that I’m not even sure I wanted to have surgery on. It bothers me, maybe not enough to consider surgery. I’m very proud that my body grew and nourished two babies. And even though my births weren’t the way I wanted, proud that I was able to have them surgically and walk away from it. Take care of my babies while healing from surgery. “Scars are only reminders that something tried to hurt us and we didn’t let it.” I had my babies, even though they may have been too big for my body and I’m still here. Take that mother fucker.

The doctor was a jerk and told me I needed a tummy tuck and reconstruction of my stomach muscles. The skin was only a small part of it. The reconstruction would allow my stomach to be right flat, even after eating a full meal. What. The. Fuck. Look at these pictures.

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I think I look pretty damn good. Not to be egocentric or anything but again, self pride for my hard work. It's also not super flat. I even told the fucker I was stepping on stage in 5 days. Now don’t think this really rocked my confidence about doing this competition. I’m stronger then that to allow an external force (especially a person I don’t know) take my pride, self love and confidence away from me. Instead I was upset for two reasons. The way he treated me was atrocious.

The second, life isn’t about a flat stomach. Do we really need to have flat stomachs after eating? Aren’t our stomachs designed to expand for reasons? It’s people like this that are distorting the view of the world and creating the idea in people’s minds that we have to be this tiny tiny little thing. I knew competing, this tiny body isn’t something sustainable. I honestly don’t believe in 6 pack abs or a super flat stomach being something that’s maintainable year round. Whether it be for your physical or mental health. Mostly because a lot of people have an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise in order to maintain it. Or unhealthy relationship with their bodies in order to maintain it. It’s kind of disturbing.

I am very confident in my body. Of course I have days where I think I can’t do this. Or my body isn’t as good as the girl on Instagram I will compete with or I could be leaner, tighter etc. But I also know how hard I’ve worked, how good I look and I will be on that stage even if I’m a whale compared to the next girl. It’s my journey and I will do with as I please.

That said, imagine the other mother walking into that office. Not as confident. Walking in there because she doesn’t feel that way and is looking for something to make her feel better. She goes for boobs, asks about a small amount of skin and is basically told she’s a wreck and needs an overhaul of her midsection. Told if she does this she can eat a meal and not worry about her stomach showing. WHY?!?!?! Why is a flat stomach so damn important? Why are we chasing this? If the majority of us don’t look like this, why do we let the select few tell us we should? If you are a healthy weight for your body, are not sick, eat relatively well within reason, have a healthy relationship with food or our bodies why do we always need to loose 10 lbs or obtain the flat stomach?

I will get more into why I wanted to compete in another post, but it wasn’t about the abs or flat stomach. Cool side effect maybe, but I know they will go away after show time. I will bring calories back up to give me energy to sustain my busy life. To fuel my workouts properly. I will eat more carbs, enjoy the glass of wine with my friends, pie for Thanksgiving and they will fade away. If they stay for a while, then cool too. Maybe I’m talking out of my ass, but I think life isn’t about a flat stomach.

100 Calorie Protein Brownie

For a while I've been seeing the Jillian Michaels brownie floating around the internet. First I will say, Jillian I love you. Okay that's been said, now I can say, um your 86 calorie brownie is great and all, except so small! And no protein! Sure if I broke my brownie into 16 pieces instead of 9 bigger ones they would only be 50 calories! But when I want a brownie, I want a damn brownie! So here it is. 100 calorie protein packed brownie that's bigger then 1/16th of a pan!!!!

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brownies 031

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa (45g)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (60g)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • stevia to taste ( a little goes a long way)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, I used pink himalayan
  • 2/3 cup 0% greek yogurt (140g)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (Like me throwing in my fall themed recipes here?)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips. (45g) I used regular old semi sweet, but use dark or whatever you like.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Boil some water in a small pot on the stove, with a larger metal bowl overtop. See the picture below.
  3. Spray 8" pan with non stick spray.
  4. Mix cocoa, protein powder, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
  5. Mix the egg white, vanilla, stevia, greek yogurt and pumpkin in another bowl.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in the bowl over boiling water. You can also do this in the microwave, but you can risk burning the chocolate, plus it cooling too soon before mixing. But do what you like.
  7. Once the chocolate is melted, turn the burner off and quickly add the egg white, pumpkin, yogurt mix to it. Mix well.
  8. Now add the cocoa, protein powder mix.
  9. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Ever damn brownie recipe will tell you "don't over bake". So check at 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle and should come out clean, if not it needs more time. But dont go over 20 I'd say. They can be dry from the lack of fat in them.
  11. Cut into 9 pieces and enjoy!!!

Macros for real sized brownie piece (Sorry JM): Cal 100, Fat 2.3g, Carb 8.5g (half JM's tiny piece I might add), Protein 10.4g, Fiber 2.9g

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brownies 007

Sorry it's blurry, but the best picture I took to describe what I'm doing here. Small pot with boiling water, larger sized bowl overtop so the steam from the boiling water is heating the chocolate. This will prevent burning the chocolate.

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brownies 024

Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes, say that 3 times fast! Let me welcome September 1st with Pumpkin! Days of leaves turning, children heading to school and warm and delicious fall foods. I've never been one to go crazy for the pumpkin spiced latte like some, but pumpkin everything else, bring it on!!! These protein pancakes also have NO protein powder. I realize some people don't use it/have it, so I tried making this without.

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Sept 1 2014 089

Here is what you need:

  • 2 tbsp cocoa (10g)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4  tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • stevia to taste. liquid or powder, a little goes a long way.
  • 1/4 cup puree pumpkin. Not pie filling!
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, plus a splash more for the topping
  • 1/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

The mixin':

  1. Put oats in food processor or blender until a flour like consistency. (Tip: I like to blend a bunch at a time and keep in a jar)
  2. Mix oats, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl mix stevia, pumpkin, egg whites, 1/4 cup almond milk and lemon juice.
  4. Heat non stick pan to medium.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  6. Put mixture in pan. The batter is a little thicker and will need to be spread by the spoon, or add more milk to make it runnier.
  7. Flip when starts to bubble.
  8. In a small dish mix greek yogurt, stevia and dash of almond milk. Heat in the microwave for a few seconds (tip I got from one of coaches recipes!)
  9. Put topping on pancakes and enjoy!

Makes 4-5 pancakes.

Macros for entire recipe: Calories 299, Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 34g, Protein 27g, Fiber 10g!!

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Sept 1 2014 096

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Sept 1 2014 094

Protein Crepes, Sweet Or Savoury

I found this amazing recipe on Pinterest and now I can't find it again! I feel awful not pinning back to the original source but I promise I searched and searched for it! You know how Pinterest is, see it once and don't pin and never see it again. If I come across it I will edit this post. Anyways, I found this recipe and I loved it so much I wanted to share it and how I used it. It's for crepes. Sweet or savory. They turned out nice and hardy, touch enough to handle like a tortilla for my lunch even!

Here is the sweet recipe:

  • 1/4 cup egg whites (two egg whites)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder. I used allmax natural vanilla.
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup (21g) flour. I used barley flour but refer to my Different Flour, Differnt Folks post about the one best for you.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • Couple drops of vanilla stevia, because I wanted them sweet that day.

Macros: Calories 167, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 17g, Protein 23g, Fiber 3g.

Here is the savory recipe:

  • 1/4 cup egg white (two egg whites)
  • 1/2 scoop plain protein powder. I used allmax natural unflavoured.
  • 1/4 cup almond milk.
  • 1/4 cup flour (21g). Again I used barley.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder.

Macros: Calories 171, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 17g, Protein 24g, Fiber 2g.

Directions:

  1. Heat a pan on medium low, use a non stick pan.
  2. Mix ingredients together. Batter will be runny and that's what you want.
  3. Pour a batter into the middle and swirl the pan around to spread it out quickly. Spread less for a thicker crepe, good for holding heavier ingredients like you would a lunch wrap.
  4. Flip when the edges start to crust a bit.
  5. Fill/top and enjoy. There is a few options for what to do withe them below.

Boston Creme Stack

Crepe and posing 008

Crepe and posing 008

Boston Cream Stack (Taste just like a Boston Cream donut to me)

Make some smaller crepes,so you have a few more of them, layer stevia sweetened greek yogurt in between the layers and top with chocolate almond butter (or nutella).

Macros with 87g greek yogurt and 8g chocolate almond butter: Calories 345, Fat 8g, Carbohydrates 32g, Protein 36g.

Crepe and posing 009

Crepe and posing 009

Strawberry Jam Roll

Strawberry Jam Roll

Make into few bigger crepes, fill with stevia sweetened greek yogurt, top with warmed double fruit low sugar strawberry jam.

Macros with 1/2 cup greek yogurt 116g and 2 tbsp double fruit low sugar jam: Calories 274, F 1g, Carbohydrates 31g, Protein 35g.

Crepe and posing 016

Crepe and posing 016

Vegetarian Wrap 

Vegetarian Wrap

Make into two thicker pancake like crepes and fill with veggies and protein of choice. I used Gardein seven grain vegan chicken tenders, avocado, tomato and romaine lettuce.

Macros with vegan chicken tenders, avocado, tomato and lettuce. Calories 338, F 11g, Carbohydrates 30g, Protein 33g.

Stay Bitchin',

Love Jen, AKA The Bitchin' Housewife

Protein Banana Mugbread

Yeah that's right, I said mugBread. Like banana bread? Because it taste like that. Uh huh, I created single serving banana bread, so you don't have to bake a whole damn loaf, wait an hour for it to bake, hour to cool and then resist eating more then a slice. Not to brag, but this is pretty amazing and the texture is spot on. Who am I kidding, I'm totally bragging. But this is my blog and I can do what I want. :* I love banana bread, LOVE banana bread. And based off my last post of my Protein Strawberry Shortcake Mugcake, you can gather, I'm pretty in love with mugcakes right now.

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posing 029

So here is what you need:

  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein. I used Allmax natural vanilla. (15g)
  • 3 tbsp Barley Flour (21g). Coconut flour, whole wheat flour etc would all work too, macro numbers would change slightly.
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder.
  • 1/4 cup egg whites or two egg whites.
  • 1/4 cup almond milk.
  • Vanilla Stevia, could also use regular stevia to your taste with vanilla extract.
  • 3/4 over ripe banana (70g)
  • 1 tbsp enjoy life chocolate chips (15g)
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posing 035

The "baking":

  1. In a bowl mix vanilla protein powder, flour, baking powder, egg white, almond milk and stevia.
  2. Add most of the mashed banana. I added 50g. Save a bit to top with.
  3. Add half the chocolate chips.
  4. Spray your mug with non stick spray. I forget to mention my mug is a soup mug. Try and use a bigger mug!
  5. Pour mix into mug. Chips will settle at the bottom and that's okay.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes 15 seconds. This was perfect for my microwave, but check half way through. (also a good time to add a few more chocolate chips into the mixture!)
  7. Take cooked bread out, turn upside down onto a plate, top with remaining chips and banana.
  8. Enjoy the hell out of this!
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posing 030

Macros: *Note the carb may be higher then most mug cakes, this is due to the banana, hence why I'm calling it bread. But trust me they are so worth it baby.

Fat 7g, Carbohydrates 42g, Protein 25g, Fiber 6g

Signature

Signature

My Journey To Fit & Healthy

I get asked a lot about how I lost the weight or started eating healthy and so on. So I thought I would write my story so far. I'm going to go back 4 years. Pregnant with my first. I gained 60 lbs, had a large cherry pepsi almost everyday, ate all my cravings and wasn't that active, despite having a personal trainer even.

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After the birth of my first, an emergency c section, I thought I had to loose the baby weight. I was breastfeeding and ate the My Fitness Pal recommended 1200 calories plus 500 for nursing. That didnt last long, I hated it. I tried eating relatively clean with cheats here and there, did the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and a few other videos and lost the weight by 3/4 months PP.

I wasn't too happy with my pre baby weight though, so of course not happy with it then. Never did too much extreme to change it though. The summer of 2012 I trained for a half marathon and ran it at 7 weeks pregnant with my second. Never really shifted my body composition much. (So there goes the cardio looses fat rule!)

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I got pregnant with my second when my first was 17 months old, just two months after I finished breastfeeding. I started becoming really interested in food, healthy eating and holistic type nutrition. I began reading a lot about foods through the internet, books and so on. Especially interested in food knowledge now because I was responsible for feeding my child and I want her to grow up healthy.

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I sadly had another emergency c section. I gained a healthy 26 lbs with my second pregnancy though. Most lost before 6 weeks pp. I was breastfeeding and eating a lot. I forgot how hungry you get after having a baby!!!!

The first picture here on the left is at about 6-8 weeks post partum. I was proud I looked like this so soon after baby by the way. Body pride all along the way. This I believe to be key. Love your body at each stage. Learn to find something about it that makes you happy.

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I spent the time from Mid June to September doing basically cardio. I research more this time and found HIIT to be how to loose that stubborn fat the fastest way. Before googling exactly what that is, I must caution you to actually read about it's benefits and suggested usage. I did it every second day, sometime third. Do NOT do this type of training daily. Sometime I did some HIIT and then a long distance run after it too. I am a runner after all.

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treadmill

In my head I had a a number goal. Which I never had before. I wanted to get to 125. Every time I was dying on the treadmill, I just kept thinking, "you can do 10 more seconds. This is for 125" I also had my sisters wedding coming in September in Cuba and wanted to be a hot mama. So I bought and hung in view a motivation bikini. These goals were strong motivation for me. Two kids, one of which was extremely colic and a husband working away mostly I had to dig deep for the motivation some days. Some days running on that treadmill in the basement at 11 pm was my stress relieve.

I reached my goal in September, got a gym membership to change it up (AND DAYCARE!) and stopped cardio and started lifting weights. Mostly high rep, low weight stuff, I was a) scared of getting hurt and b) healing a diastasis recti. Please google Wendy Powell and her Mutu System to find out all about this.

I loved my body in Cuba in November. Still at 125, two months later, and proud as hell to walk on the beach with my two kids. Even post a picture of me in a bikini on Facebook and Instagram when I got back!

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Then I got into heavy weight lifting. And my love of weights began. First goal? Be able to squat with the bar on my shoulders without the pad. I had to build those muscles to be strong enough so it didn't hurt. Second goal? Build my ass I lost from all that cardio. Okay this might have been my priority in September, but was really serious about it now.

This is also about the time I started really thinking about bikini competing. A goal to obtain in 1.5 years. By my 30th birthday. (July 2015) Give my body time to get ready, and also because I was still breastfeeding and planned to until my second was at least a year old. I didn't want to risk getting my body fat too low and loosing my milk before we were both done. I like to make assumingly crazy goals and try my best to achieve them. See above about my half marathon!

I then heard about a competition November 1st and thought to myself, "you can do that. You've been training hard, made great progress. Worst that can happen is dead last, but it's still a win to try".Okay in reality worst that can happen is developing an eating disorder, body viewing issues, a destroyed metabolism, hardened relationships from grouchy hangryness and post show depression. But all things I've researched intensely to be mindful of and avoid as much as possible.

Bringing me to my believes. I still believe in being as healthy as possible, eating whole nutrition rich foods and paying attention to my body and what it needs. I don't like taking fat burners, artificial sweeteners or other strange things filled with chemicals that aren't good for you. All supplements and foods as natural as possible. And vegetarian. Did I forget to mention I don't eat meat?

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I didn't want a coach for contest prep, because I was sure I would never find soemone that believed the same things as me. One that wouldn't starve me on 800-1200 calories, wouldn't tell me to take fat burners or make me do hours and hours of cardio each week. There are things such as macro counting, smart ways of doing cardio and natural supplements that can do the same job without ruining your body. Again please research all of these.

Had some trial and error with macro counting myself. Especially hard figuring it out while breastfeeding, but if you refer to my It's a Lifestyle, Not A Diet Post, you'll understand some things take some time. And they are worth figuring out. Plus of course, the time will pass anyways, make it worth your while and try. Below is a picture of me from about April to June with macro counting, lifting weights and zero-minimum cardio. I of course went over macros a lot, cheated on them lots and so on. I'm human, forgave myself and moved on.

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June 29th I started with my coach. One I researched a lot and read every post on his blog to make sure we viewed how this should go as the same. When I started with him I was basically the exact same weight as I was in September. See the difference in my body though? Weight isn't everything. I gained lots of muscle, leaned out and remained the same weight. This picture is from November to April but the above one shows me in June too. All the same weight.

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Now it's almost 7 weeks later and I'm amazed at myself and what I've accomplished. All my muscles I've spent the last 11 months building are coming out as a I lean out. Here is the difference in the last 8 weeks.

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And 3 weeks.

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And for shits and giggles the difference since starting with coach 7 weeks ago.

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I can't wait to see more. Knowing stage weight isn't something I want to keep obtainable forever too. It's just that, stage/competition weight. I was really happy at 125 and will likely go back up there afterwards. Maybe more to bulk in the winter and grow a bigger booty and shoulders. ;)

The whole process has been trial and error over the last 15 months. Food wise, exercise wise and mentally wise. But I think being told what to do and not knowing why or how it works is something that just never works for me. If I invest the time to research and try different ways of doing things I will find my stride. Which I believe I have. Which is how I hope most people view it for themselves. Find your own journey, in the healthiest way possible of course. Last picture July 2013 - August 2014. The journey may be long, but it's worth it.

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Thanks for reading and good luck in your journey!