Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm Not Fat, I'm Festively Plump

After the holidays, I'll have to come up with a better excuse as to why I look and feel like a roley-poley because there's nothing "festive" about the offseason weight gain. Workouts have been going pretty well, but I honestly can't say I've been making all that much progress in my 5x5's. Lately I seem to be distracted and unable to focus on much of anything. This whole year has been kinda tough on me in a lot of ways, and it all seems to be rearing it's ugly head now. It's been taking a lot of energy for me to get my head into my workouts. It's like, I'm motivated to train and look forward to going to the gym, but it's so draining to get myself completely entrenched in the workout like I'm typically able to do. For whatever reason, I feel like something is missing, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

Sometimes I think I'm bored and need a change of pace, and I consider making a drastic move to somewhere warm...I mean, hell, technically I could find work in my field just about anywhere. Sometimes I wonder if I'm burnt out already with my job and need an entire career change, but I know that's not it because I still enjoy going to work (even though I get stressed and frustrated sometimes). Unfortunately, this whole void-thing is something I've become fixated on figuring out, and it's become pretty consuming and draining, and of course, is taking away from my workouts. Last offseason, I had this incredible fire to make a good first impression as a bodybuilder. Now that I've done that, I guess I feel lost as far as being goal-oriented. I mean, I should be able to put on enough muscle to make me a middleweight next year, but the reality of the situation is that I'll be a very small middleweight. And it certainly won't be enough to make me any kind of standout bodybuilder (not that I'm assuming I'll ever be a standout athlete, but what's the point of doing this if you don't have some sort of big end goal, right?). Hell, I worry if it'll even be enough to make any noticible difference in my physique. I know this sport is a marathon, and it takes time (translation: years) to build the look I want, so I have to be patient. But it's so hard sometimes to stay focused and fired up in the moment when the end goal seems so far away and just plain out of reach.

Well, looks like I've just played my own counselor role and sort of figured out what part of that missing link is. Now, if only I can figure out how to fill it (and I don't mean with cashews)....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Check Your Ego at the Door, Sucka

This time last year, I was posting here all the time and felt like I had so much good stuff to say (relatively speaking, I guess). But since Nationals, it's like pulling teeth for me to put anything together for a semi-decent post. Even though my offseason diet is on track, not having a set training program in place has really fucked with my head. I've had some anxiety about going back to the 5x5's this week because I know that I can't just pick up where I left off 8 months ago in terms of the weight I was using, especially not for squats and deads. I need to redevelop proper technique and build things back up again, and that's going to require a bit of humility. After a lot of thought and switching things around for the past couple of weeks, here's the split I have finally put together for myself:

Sunday: Quads
Monday: Delts/Chest (emphasis on delts)
Tuesday: Cardio/abs
Wednesday: Back
Thursday: Hams
Friday: Cardio/abs
Saturday: Arms

I never really liked combining body parts (other than arms, that is), but I'd tossed around the idea of doing that for a while so that I could give myself two days off from training each week. I figured that, since delts are easily my best body part and are very easy for me to hammer away at, I would pair them with chest...since I need to start being more careful with my chest training to preserve this several-thousand dollar investment I have in it. I'll still do standing bb presses for my shoulder 5x5 exercise, but I'll toss out the incline bb press 5x5 for chest and only do two exercises of 3 or 4 sets each at max intensity--just enough to stimulate the muscle but not damage the twins.

So, I'm writing this on the heels of one of the best back workouts I've had in a while. I've been doing my PT exercises religiously for the past two weeks, and I am noticing some slow improvements coming along. I keep telling myself that I have to be consistent and patient, and the injury will heal. Plus, I go back to get worked on again this Saturday. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, tonight's workout....started out with dead lifts. I didn't put up anything impressive, but I listened to my body and didn't push my luck. I let the correct muscles work to move the weight up instead of trying to get it up with brute force. We followed with close grip pull downs and then wide grip pull downs. Again, I pulled back on the weight in an attempt to re-learn how to feel that connection and burn in my lats. I need a wider back, and this is the only way it's gonna happen. We followed with three sets of heavy t-bar rows then three sets of 1-arm db rows, and finished with a little FST-7 on the assisted pull-up machine for shits and giggles. I can already feel how fried my back is. I got that taxed nervous system fatigue going on right now, and I love it. Last night and tonight, I really began to feel like my strength is coming back, so I'm hoping and praying that my body and head are ready to settle in to some big training in the months ahead.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Elephant in the Room

Or rather, in my case, on the treadmill. Since part of my offseason cardio now includes two 30-minute HIIT sessions post-workout, I have decided to try to go back to my running days in an attempt to rekindle some sense of athleticism. Ironically, I used to be a fairly decent runner, both in endurance and speed. By no means was I Flo-Jo or Prefontaine, but I would consider myself an above-average runner. That's not exactly the case nowadays. I literally sound like an elephant on the treadmill during my minute-long sprints (and I use the word 'sprint' very judiciously, as I'm not exactly moving all the fast despite that my body thinks otherwise). Yes, I am "That Person" that everyone dreads when they get on the treadmill. I will say, though, those workouts definitely spark my metabolism because I'm freaking starving when I'm done with them.

My workouts continue to be pretty good. I still feel like I'm working on building my strength back up, though. That could also be becasue I'm still feeling really scattered in my workouts, with no real way to track progress yet. So, I finally took initiative today and printed out a new template for 5x5's and will go back to old faithful until we devise a new plan for me. I'm going to have to be careful with squats and deadlifts, since I've fallen into the bad habit of compensating for my injury. My plan is to use my warm up sets to really focus on re-establishing good technique. I know this will mean I'll have to pull back on my weights altogether for those exercises, but it'll ultimately be worth it. I was able to solidfy the techniques earlier in my offseason last year, and it made a world of difference. It wasn't until close to the end of the offseason, when my injury reached its worse, that progress came to a screeching halt (probably due, in part, to the deterioration of my form on those exercises).

One thing I love about this sport is that every year I seem to learn new things about my body and what works best and what things I need to avoid. No matter how long I've been doing this or how well I think I know myself, I always manage to learn something new. I probably couldn't see it 6 months ago, but I'm sure that a good percentage of why I stopped making good progress towards the end was due to a breakdown in my lifting form because of my injury. And that only motivates me even more to do exactly what Mike tells me to do and make rehabbing my ham/glute a priority...because I really can't wait to get back to squatting and deadlifting for real. Not being able to train the way I want to certainly made me realize that I do this sport because I genuinely love to train hard...looking great on stage and having fun competing are fringe benefits.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Making Some Adjustments

Yesterday, I made the trip down to Long Island to see a doctor about my hamstring/glute issue, and I feel like I've made more progress in that one visit than I did in the several months I wasted earlier this year trying to figure out what the problem was. Mike gave me more feedback than I've received from anything or anyone else during this whole process. It seems that I have multiple injuries going on there...he seems to believe that I do have a pulled hamstring, and the numbness I'm feeling is typical of sciatica. He also mentioned that my spine has very little mobility and the left side of my lower back is in constant spasm, probably from the hamstring pull and sciatica. He ran me through some basic movement tests, discovered that I can't even squat correctly with no weight, and then did some work on me. I won't even begin to try to explain what he did because I would fail miserably at giving it any justice. Then he ran me through a series of exercises and stretches that I need to do every other day by myself. They weren't painful, per se, but they were definitely uncomfortable.

I was supposed to go meet up with one of my girlfriends afterwards and train at her gym in the Bronx, but she had to cancel because of a family emergency. So I figured, what the hell, I'm about 15 minutes away from Bev's, I'll go train there and wound up getting in a great arm workout.

Today marks the official beginning of my offseason, as I've been given a diet/cardio plan and started it today. I got things going with a decent quad workout this morning. Of course, I wanted to start out with heavy squats, but I figured it would ultimately be in my best interest to pull back on the weight and fix my technique, since I've gotten into the bad habit of favoring my left leg (which makes for a rather comical range of motion for anyone who knows proper squatting technique). I did 3 sets at 155 and started to really lose my form again towards the end of the third set, so I dropped the weight down to 135 to make sure I got 10 clean reps. Then I went over to the leg press and got to work. At this point, I was hoping to have a more structed training program in place to start along with my offseason plan, but I still haven't been able to put one together. I wind up just going in the gym and hammering away on whatever body part is on the menu with the only goal being to make myself sore as hell. This often includes drop sets, supersets, random rest-pause sets, and some one-and-a-half rep sets...and in my world, that's just too scattered, and I don't feel like it allows me to track my strength gains or overall progess. Hopefully by the end of this week, I'll have put together something a little more structured.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back Under the Squat Rack

I know I haven't posted since I was in Florida just before Nationals, but it's been a crazy week and a half since then with getting back to work and then Thanksgiving. Not to mention that I've had so much stuff going on in my head about pretty much everything, from how things played out this year contest-wise, to what my plan of attack is going to be for the offseason, what shows will I do next year, and then of course, all the other stuff in my personal life that I pushed aside in the last few weeks of prep. I have kept meaning to get on here and just type away with whatever came to mind, but there was just too much stuff jumbled in my head for me to even begin to write it all out.

On the whole, I would say that my first year of bodybuilding was a success. No, I didn't win any shows. Hell, I can't even say that I made any impressive placings. BUT I was very happy with the final package that I put together. I knew before I even committed to switching to bodybuilding that I would be small to begin with. I knew I'd be a lightweight this year, and I knew that I would be a tall, skinny one at that. So, my feedback after Nationals was no surprise....I need to fill out my 5'3 frame with more muscle. Ideally, I would like to be at the top end of the middleweights and weigh in around 123 or 124 (which would put me at 10 lbs more than what I weighed in at for Nationals-114.6). Unfortunately, I need to have patience for that because it's not going to happen in the next year. I feel like it's reasonable for me to think that in 2-3 years, I can achieve that goal. That being said, my plan of attack for the offseason? EAT and GROW! Within reason, of course.

One thing I will say is that this year only fueled the fire that much more for me to grow and make changes. My back width continues to be something that I need to work on. And I HAVE to address this hamstring/glute issue...which I am happy to say, I've already taken the steps to get that going agian. I have an appointment with a rather well-known sports doctor this weekend and will hopefully have a better idea of what's going on down there. The unfortunate thing is that he's 2 and a half hours away, but I don't care. I want to know what's wrong and what I need to do to fix it. If that means driving 2 and a half hours to do it, well, then, that's what I'll do.

Anyway, I got back from Florida on Sunday afternoon and by Monday night I was back in the gym training legs. For now, I've been doing 60 minutes of cardio per day to try to taper down into offseason mode and try to minimize the intense post-show weight gain. I have been following the protein/fat diet but am adding in more food whenever I'm hungry, which seems to be quite often now that I'm back to training heavy again. So the offseason journey has begun yet again...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2 Days Out

As I type this, I'm sitting in my hotel room in warm, sunny (well, it was sunny earlier today before it got dark out lol) Florida after finally weighing in...114.5
I cut things WAY too close for my liking (at 5pm I was still 117), but I made it. Today was miserable. By the time I got to weigh-ins at about 9pm, I hadn't had anything to drink all day except sips of water to swallow my pills, and I hadn't eaten anything since 2pm. I knew it was only water, but that shit would just not budge! Anyway, the stressful part is over, and now I just need to eat and start filling out becuase I'm flat as hell from trying to suck down.

I gotta say, I genuinely have no expectations for this show at all. There seem to be quite a few more lightweights here than I originally thought, and we all look, well, "light" I guess. Except for a couple of girls, who are barely pushing 5 feet tall and are pretty thickly muscled. Anyway, I'm just so excited to even be here in the first place that anything else that might come along is just icing (mmmm, icing).

I was thinking today while I was waiting to board my flight that it was exactly one year ago that I was sitting in that exact same airport waiting to fly to Atlanta to watch Nationals...I NEVER thought I'd be here this year competing in it. That in and of itself is such a good feeling. That being said, I'm gonna go lay in my huge, plush, king size bed and relish in that for now :0)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Playing Catch-up, Then Heading to Florida!

I just wanted to post quick before leaving for Nationals tomorrow morning since I haven't posted anything since just prior to Eastern USA's. It's really just been a rediculously crazy week and a half. I had a good time at Easterns and really appreciated all the support I had that was a great feeling. I weighed in at 114.6--perfect. I have to admit, I was initally disappointed with my placing and am a little embarassed that I made that so apparent that night. But then I finally looked at my pictures at the end of the night and instantly felt 100 times better. I couldn't believe what I looked like, and I was ecstatic at how everything came together with my physique (especially at the night show where I was much harder and sharper). It was exactly how I wanted to look, and I couldn't have done a single thing differently.

After the night show, I definitely went out and ate quite a bit and enjoyed myself, maybe a little too much. Because, here I am, 24 hours before the early weigh-ins for Nationals and am still 5 lbs over where I need to be. I know my body pretty well and am certain that it's just water that I'm still holding. So, I have no doubt that I'll make weight, but I'm afriad it won't happen Thursday night and I'll have to wait until Friday morning. The plan is for me to continue with the protein/veggie diet tomorrow and limit my water in hopes that I'll drop that last little bit of bloat. When I make weight tomorrow night (see, I'm trying to be positive here), I'll go back to the fat loading that I did last week and proceed the same way up through pre-judging.

The last two days have been very stressful for me with work and trying to get everything ready to go for this weekend. I'm not a good traveler at all, and I have a lot of anxiety about getting to Florida and making sure I have everything I need. I know everything will ultimately work out, and I keep trying to remind myself of that because this is an experience that I really want to genuinely enjoy. I have a couple shoots set up for when I'm down there, too, which should be fun. For once I'll have some professional shots while I'm in contest shape, like everyone has been harassing me to get. Alright, it's about time for me to chow down on my last meal for the day and then head to bed. This time tomorrow night, I'll be stepping on the scale at the Westin Hotel and see 114.9 staring back at me....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Second Guessing

Well, I started this blog as a place to talk about my diet and training and all the mental crap that goes along with it, and that includes all the positive and negative stuff. And today, with one day to go, I'm wondering what the hell I'm doing with myself. I felt great yesterday after having fat added into my diet. I felt pretty rested and relaxed and felt like I was getting tighter (if that makes any sense). But then last night I didn't sleep well, and when I got up to weigh myself this morning, I was up to 119. Now granted, I won't have a problem making lightweight this weekend, but in typical Melissa fashion, I'm super stressed about making the 115 lightweight cutoff for Nationals next weekend. Everyone's asking how I look and if I'm ready, but to be honest, at this point, I can only say "I don't know" because I can't even look at myself. I have absolutely no ability to be objective now, so I just don't look. I don't think I've looked at myself since Wednesday morning. I know most of what I'm thinking is completely irrational and rediculous to a large extent. And I know I should just be excited for tomorrow, and I am, but this crazy, overwhelming obsession with trying to be "perfect" seems to be superceding everything. This is one of those times when I wish I could just step back and enjoy the results of my hard work and be proud that the time's finally here.

So, I've decided to spend the first half of my day at work in hopes that it'll keep me occupied (clearly that's not working since I'm typing this while I'm at work). This afternoon when I get home I'm forcing myself to take a nap, even if it means using tylenol pm or something to help me get to sleep, and then tonight begins Adventures in JanTana. Hopefully by then, I'll be in a better place about how I look.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Thoughts From a Depleted Soul, Part Deux

I'm apologizing ahead of time for the rambling, scattered nature that will ultimately be this blog entry. My head is all over the place for a number of reasons, namely that I'm starving but mostly because I'm so FREAKING EXCITED for this weekend. My emotions have been up and down all week and seem to change with by the hour. Sometimes I feel like I'm gonna go great and sometimes I feel like I'm gonna get my ass handed to me. If only I could figure out a way to remove my brain for the next few days...

I have reached a point in this diet that I never thought I'd get to...I actually dread my meals. And not because I'm not hungry, but because eating them only seems to make me feel even more hungry. For the first time in my life, I get absolutely no satisfaction from eating. In fact, I would venture to say that my time doing cardio has become more enjoyable than anything else, yes, even eating. I think it's because my cardio time is truly the only time where my brain shuts off, and I literally don't think about anything. I wind up becoming completely absorbed in whatever magazine I'm reading or tv show I'm watching.

Which, by the way, reminds me that I think I've come across my new favorite "reality" show....Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew. Now, before anyone starts thinking I'm some crazy sex addict, allow me to explain. My interest in the show has more to do with the ADDICTION part than the sex part. I also really liked Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, this show's apparent predecessor. Anyway, it's so interesting to me because my career experience has proven that real-life rehab is nothing like what these two shows portray, so I find it rather amusing to watch based on that fact alone. Plus, I think Dr. Drew's kinda cute...with those little glasses and all. Ok, now that I've explained myself, feel free to go ahead and laugh at me.

As I'm bringing this to a close, I have a mere 3 cardio sessions left this week (tonight, tomorrow morning, and tomorrow night) and a final workout tomorrow night. Then it's time to relax and pose, pose, pose on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, I'm off from work tomorrow thanks to all the Veterans out there, so I'll use that time to get some things ready for this weekend, and then it's back to work all day Thursday and only in the morning on Friday. I also have to think about getting stuff together for next week's trip to Florida, since I'm flying out early Thursday morning and have to work for the first half of the week (boooooo). Oh yeah, and the racing thoughts begin again....

Friday, November 6, 2009


Now that I'm down to just about one week til showtime, I'm starting to get antsy. But if there is one thing that I've really come to learn in the past year and a half, it's how to have a little more patience. When I started this journey, I was antsy to pack in as many calories as possible, antsy to put on as much muscle as possible, and finally antsy to start my contest prep. I was so ready to get the ball rolling that I had considered doing a show earlier in the year. But I kept telling myself to be patient, let my body progress and build muscle so that it stays when I diet down. And now that I'm one week out, I'm seeing that having a little patience pays off. I really feel like I've held on to the majority of the muscle I've put on, sans maybe a little bit up top.

I'm glad I didn't rush into contest prep earlier this year. Maybe it wouldn't have made all that much of a difference, but I stuck to the original plan, and in 7 days, it'll be time to close it out. I've been patient for the past year and a half, so what's 7 more measly days? Technically I only have 4 more workouts. Hell, tonight will be my last full back workout for two weeks. I won't start counting down cardio sessions until Sunday, as there are still too many left to make it sound optimistic at this point. No plans for this weekend other than training and relaxing because you know I'm not trying to catch that damn swine flu. And then it's just time to cruise through next week...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

If I Wanted a Pet, I Would Have Gotten a Puppy

Instead, I came across the third, yes THIRD, mouse in my apartment this year. Now, let me just say for the record, I am a very neat and clean person. Even in my current pre-contest state of not caring about anything, I keep my apartment clean, so there's no garbage, crumbs, rotting food or whatever to attract any kind of rodent or insect. After two interesting mice experences in the late winter and another just a month or so ago, I attempted to set up a force field to keep the mice out (traps and poison galore along with filling in every crack and hole I could find, or so I thought). Just last night, I decided to check one of the traps in the spot where I think they are coming in through, and sure 'nuff, there's a dead mf'er. WTF!!! Unfortunately, I have a crippling fear of mice, and since it was around midnght when I found the little bugger, well, let's just say, as I write this about 14 hours later, it's still there. But not to worry, I have a very specialized rodent eliminator coming later tonight to deploy his special corpse removal services. In the meantime, I went back to Home Depot to restock the anti-mouse arsenal with more poison, traps, and hole-plugging foam. I swear, the next time I see one of those things, I'm just gonna shoot it...then maybe my landlord will call in a REAL exterminator to address the problem.

Enough about the rodents that seem to be taking over and on to better my prep. I had a good leg workout again on Sunday (or rather, mentally I was in a good place). I threw in some walking db lunges, which I haven't done in a few weeks, and that really tore up my glutes. Hell, they're still sore. Then yesterday, I got the opportunity to head down to Bev's and train shoulders for an Iron Asylum video. It was awesome, but we'll see what the final product looks like. I'm not exactly a smiling, cheery person these days, and that apparently came across in the training video. And Dave totally called me out on the fact that I could have smiled more during the video. Oh well, I'm sure I'll be smiling plenty on the 14th. Then there was the interview...let's just hope I don't sound like a complete idiot. Either way, I had fun doing it, and it was just a good day all around. I'm just counting the days down until showtime and getting more and more excited.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So Close, I Can Taste It

Wow, two weeks out, and I just can't believe it. So, let's cut to the chase here. My weight this morning was down two pounds to 118.4, so there's no doubt I'll make lightweights at Nationals. Dave's feedback to my pictures? That I'm looking "super ripped." I mean, really, that's all I have to hear to make me know that I'm right on track. Out of nowhere at the end of this legs are really starting to dial in, hams and all. Seeing that, seeing lines I've never had before, finally seeing quad development that I just knew was in there, gave me such a feeling of accomplishment. For once I actually looked at myself and thought, "Damn, girl, you look GOOD." And while winning is always top of my list (I'm obviously an extremely competitive person, and as far as I'm concerned, why train and diet so hard if I'm not going out there with the goal of winning?), I will still walk away from this preceeding offseason and current prep knowing that I've made amazing changes in my physique, regardless of where I place at Easterns. I know that I can only control what I look like, and thus far, I've done everything I can to put myself in a position to look the best I ever have.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hot Mess Express

Next stop, Eastern USA's, bitches! Just got home from a pretty decent chest and ham workout, relatively speaking that is. At this point, I can only base the quality of my workouts on how I feel mentally because there's no such thing as strength these days. Every cardio session, every training session, every day that goes by I know I'm one step closer to getting on that stage, and I can't wait. Yeah, I'm tired and hungry, and generally rather miserable in demeanor, but there's definitely a fire inside that's going for broke here. My new sense of motivation in the past few days? My quads and hams. Any time I wonder why the fuck I'm doing this or think about how badly I want to eat, I strip down and step in front of the mirror and see that my legs still aren't where I want them to be. Don't get me wrong, they're coming in, but it's not what I want....yet. I know I'm going to have to suffer to get there, but I'll do whatever it takes. There's no turning back now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Last Supper

Or rather, the last cheat meal. Yup, my cheat meal has officially been taken away. Ironically, I'm not as upset about it as I thought I might be (no temper tantrums, at least). At this point, I'm so focused that I don't care what has to be done to get me in shape over the next three weeks. After not losing any weight this week, major changes came my way...cardio went up 15 minutes to 125 min/day, and I'm at 4:1 protein/veggies:protein/fat days. I say, whatever, bring it. If I'm gonna do this, it's gonna be good, right?

This weekend was good for my mental game, too. I guest posed at a local show and got great feedback. But the biggest thing for me was how I was going to FEEL about actually being on stage....I knew this would tell me a lot about whether or not I made the right decision to switch to bodybuilding. I was SOOOO nervous backstage, but as soon as I stepped out there under those lights, it was game on, and I had a freakin' blast! After the show, I went out to eat and got to hang out with Kevin English and his girlfriend and two of their friends, which was very cool. Kevin is totally down to earth and just plain funny (they all were, actually).

Also, this weekend, I had a really good heart-to-heart chat that helped refocus me and bring this prep back into a more positive light. Considering where my progress is at right now, I definitely needed to redirect my thinking about things, and this talk helped do just that. In fact, the talk was so good, that I managed to eek out what I would consider a decent leg workout on Sunday morning (for 3 weeks out, that is), and I'm actually really sore today. Right now, I am just breaking things down one hour at a time and trying to keep my stress level low, a rather novel concept for me that actually seems to be working. I've done really well in keeping this prep drama free and keeping my focus on where I want to end up, so the next 3 weeks are truly going to be tunnel-visioned.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Four Weeks Out

And down four more freakin' pounds! Yeah, I couldn't believe it when I stepped on the scale yesterday morning. I knew with the changes that Dave had made that I would drop a significant amount of weight, but certainly not that much. I figured at this point it would be tough for me to lose even 2 or 3 pounds at a clip (apparently there's still plenty of fat to lose). Unfortunately, I still don't like how my legs look (though they are noticably tighter), but Dave says to "STOP PANICKING!" so if he's not worried, I know I shouldn't be. Plus, my cheat meal hasn't been cut out yet...hell yeah!

I'm at the stage where I'm questioning things all the time (which I guess really isn't a stage, per se, since I'm ALWAYS questioning myself). I wonder if I should make a last minute decision to stick with figure. Then I think, fuck that, I'll do just fine in bodybuilding. It's back and forth all the time, mostly me worrying about being too small and skinny-looking. But I've made my decision, and I'm not one to go back on it. I know that if I find bodybuilding doesn't work for me, I can always go back to figure.

Workouts aren't much better than "eh" lately, and ironically, I look forward to my cardio because I just zone out--of course, the fact that I'm still under 2 hours of cardio a day has contributed to this. Overall, I like the path that I'm on for the 14th and am trying to enjoy the changes that are starting to happen almost daily now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random Thoughts From a Depleted Soul

As I mentioned in previous posts, I've scheduled some days off from work and some time in for a little pampering as the show approaches in an attempt to keep from completely burning out. I gave myself a nice 4-day weekend this past weekend, and today, I splurged on a deep tissue massage. I had gotten one earlier this year, and knew it would be painful, but daaaaaaamn, it was brutal this time around. I had this adorable little English girl who just tore up my my upper back. But I needed it badly. You could actually hear the knots moving around and releasing in the left side of my upper back. I don't know if it was the pain or the noise or a combination of both, but it actually made me feel neasous. She did the rest of my body over the course of the next hour, and it was well worth the investment. I was so relaxed and my muscles felt so much better after releasing all the tension. Of course, now, 12 hours later, I'm sore as hell. I've been drinking tons of water like they say you're supposed to after a deep tissue massage in order to get all the toxins out.

Normally I train back on Wednesday nights, but I figured that would be pretty counterproductive after the massage, so I hit chest and hams instead and make up back on Friday. My workout was pretty good, and I can tell that my recent attempts at extra rest have made somewhat of a difference. My strength is going down, but that's not surprising with the changes that were made for this week. One surprise with these changes, though, is how freakin' flat I look. I know I'm losing the weight because it's plain as day, but I'm so smooth and flat. I try not to look at myself too much because then I freak out. And as a good friend always says when I have these moments of panic so far out from a show, "It's a good thing the show's not today." As for Monday's shoulder workout, those seem to be my "ego workouts" lately, as my strength has stayed throughout, and I can always get a good pump. Of course, my ego is quickly deflated once the leg workout rolls around again.

So, it's looking like we're going to get freaking snow in the next couple of days here. What the fuck? It's only October. I HATE the snow. I'm sure I've said it a thousand times before in this blog, but I really can't stand it. It's messy, cold, and just freaking miserable. It slows everything down, and sometimes it causes me to miss a workout when my gym closes because of it (though I have been known to brave a blizzard in my little rice burner to get to a gym that is open so I can train). Anyway, just the thought of impending snow makes me anxious. Freakin' northeast...I'm movin' to Cali.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Post From the Cave

Also known as my bedroom these's dark and quiet, so lately I've turned to napping in here on Sunday afternoons between trips to the gym. Things with prep are, well, they're going. I mean, really, how good can my workouts possibly be at this point, and how realistic is it to say that I feel fantastic, not tired or hungry? I'll never understand how people can say they feel great through their prep...I've tried this year and genuinely felt damn good for quite a while, but now, with 5 weeks to go, I'm just plain hurtin'. Despite feeling run down, my motivation and excitement for the show only increases each week. Dave is dropping the hammer this week, and I should hopefully see some drastic changes by Saturday....enough of this bs with my fatty legs. I want to see some separation, and this week's changes should bring just that.

This morning's workout was hams and quads, and I had no idea what I was going to do for the workout until I was literally in the gym doing my first ham exercise. Now, I NEVER train hams before quads, but having recently been told that they need to come up, I decided to flip the script and train them first, making them the focus of my workout. I pulled back on the weight and really tried to focus on squeezing and getting a good mind-muscle connection, as I have struggled with that quite a bit since this nagging ham injury has progressed. I still can't feel anything in my left ham, which is really scary when I think about it. So I just don't think about it....I got plenty of other stuff to fill my brain with. Anyway, I did a total of 14sets for hams, including lying db curls, one leg standing curls, and a superset of seated curls and stiff leg dead lifts. Then it was on to quads where I did 5 heavy sets of hacks, 3 sets of presses (2 of which were rest/pause sets), and finished with 4x15 on the leg extension. Starting with hams really allowed me to isolate my quads better and not use my hams to assist in the movements. I had to back down in weight on my quad exercises, but I think I hit 'em pretty good. Yesterday's arm workout and Friday's chest workout were both decent. I moved quick and got a good pump. They felt like productive workouts, relatively speaking.

On a non-prep note, this weekend was alumni weekend, and it's the one opportunity that I get every year to see all of my college roommates together. Unfortunately, one of them couldn't make it because she had family and work obligations that she needed to take care of. But the remaining 4 of us got together, and it was like no time passed...even though it had been a year since I'd seen a couple of them. It was great to spend time with them because these girls knew me long before I got wrapped up in the world of dieting and competing. They know ME. They have seen me at my absolute worst and associate me with more than just bodybuilding. So hanging out with them was a welcome break from being mentally enmeshed in prep. Of course, they ask me how it's going and when the show is, but it's never the focus of the conversation. It's amazing how we were all so much alike 7 years ago as seniors in college, and now we couldn't be any more different. A teacher, an attorney, a corporate America slave, and a PO...yet we still can't seem to get enough talk time in when we get together. All in all, it was a great weekend with them, but sometimes it's sad that we don't see eachother more often (granted, it's a known fact that I am the most disconnected from the bunch, as I am HORRIBLE at keeping in touch with people).

I'm off from work tomorrow, yay Columbus! I don't have any crazy plans, but I do have some errands/chores and whatnot to catch up on. So, I'll probably take advantage and sleep in a bit and just ease through my day. But for today, it's back to the cave I go!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Breakup and Other Stuff

My posting is likely going to become more sparse as the next few weeks go by, not only because I'm busy, but simply because it takes too much mental effort to type anything. The foggy-head feeling is pretty much a daily occurrence, and I'm feeling like a rickety, 90-year-old woman when I wake up in the mornings. Not to mention that I regularly look like the Crypt Keeper now...somthing that's new to me this year. Usually my face doesn't get drawn until the last week or two, and even then, my eyes don't look all sunken in like they do now. It must be part of this whole getting old thing, which is about to happen in 10 days....FML. I just keep trying to convince myself that I look better at 29 than I did at 19, which is probably true, but almost never makes me feel better.

Enough whining, here's what's been going on. I lost another 2.5 lbs this week, so no changes were made to the cardio or diet, meaning I still have my cheat meal (oh, the little things that make me happy during prep). My trip to Bev's on Saturday was MUCH needed, and we had a good time. I also got to meet with Steve to have him take a quick look at me for some feedback and was told nothing that I didn't really already quads are behind my upper body as far as fat loss goes, and I need to bring up my hams and calves. Now, if only I could get on stage in pants, I'd be golden. Sunday I did things exactly as planned and was able to get in a good nap in the afternoon. Except I was partially paralyzed when I woke up, courtesy of the morning's leg workout.

I knew it would only be a matter of time before "The Breakup." I told my training partner that I needed to start doing my own thing for the next six weeks. It's time for me to hunker down and not worry about anyone else besides me during the workouts. I don't want to have to bother with anyone else's schedule now, as my own is getting pretty hectic. It sounds silly, but I don't want to have to worry about what exercises someone else wants to do or dragging someone else along so I can pose, do cardio, extra sets of hams, or whatever. I'm going into 100% selfish mode. Fortunately, he understands and we'll hook back up after my show. Not to mention the fact that I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to listen to me bitch anymore, no matter how much he says he doesn't care (he's a bad liar). In the meantime, this Crypt Keeper's got some work to do.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I have been so busy and all over the place lately that it'll be amazing if I can string together some coherent thoughts for this post. Work continues to get increasingly busy every day, and I've gotten to the point where I wish people would just stop admitting to me that they're fucking up. Damn it people, I'm giving you a 16-week pass to run free while I diet, and you're coming in to see me and TELLING me about how you're screwing up...since when is being truthful part of the deal?

Anyway, my weekends are now officially completely booked until my shows, which means I can't rely on them for catching up on sleep like I normally would like to. I'm trying not to think about it because it starts to stress me out, but telling me to not think about something is like telling me not to breathe. I know, I know, I shouldn't stress--stress releases cortisol, cortisol makes you hold onto fat, blah blah blah. The good thing is that it's forced me to take time off from work in order to get some relaxation (you know you desperately need to take time off when your boss strongly advises you to do so). My problem is that I come home and think of the millions of things that need to get done because I've started to let them go as dieting progresses, like cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, changing my sheets, cooking food, packing food, laundry, getting my oil changed, and the list goes on and on. You think reading that sentence was overwhelming, you should try actually being in my head right now.

So, to try to combat this, I'm taking a little road trip tomorrow. I'm heading down to Bev's on Long Island with one of my girlfriends who competes in figure. It'll be a good way for me to get a change of gym scenery and also be able to relax by NOT being around here and worrying about the bazillion things I should be doing. And then I can head home to have what will probably be my last cheat meal until after my shows. I have begun to mentally prepare myself to have tomorrow be my last cheat meal, since last year it was pulled at 6 weeks out. Of course, there is a glimmer of hope that it won't be because I'm making much better progress this year at 6 weeks out than I was last year....the caveat is that I also have to be a lot tighter this year. So, I've just accepted that tomorrow could possibly be it for the cheat meal for a while. Sunday's plan is to train legs in the morning and finish my cardio at night, with LOTS of napping in between.

As far as training this past week goes, my legs are just now feeling like they're recovered from Sunday's workout. I can tell that all the cardio and the lack of calories is cutting into their ability to recover properly. The rest of the workouts this week continue to be pretty unremarkable, and to be honest, it's probably pretty pointless for me to even mention much about them for the next few weeks because I know they're only going to get worse. Ah well, the price you pay for dieting for a show. It certainly does make me appreciate the strength I have during the offseason, though.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Too Many Pairs of Black Pants

...And none of them are fitting me anymore. I'm getting to the stage in my diet (quite a bit earlier than I would have thought, actually) where even my small contest prep gym pants are getting big on me. I was considering going out to buy a couple of cheap pairs, perhaps from the Children's Place, until I did laundry the other day and realized that I own at least 10 pairs of black gym pants in a range of sizes and styles. How could I possibly justify buying MORE black gym pants? But I may not have a choice in the next few weeks...I was down three pounds this week, yeah, THREE. It seems that about every other week the weight just falls off, and then I have a week where I lose maybe only one pound. Either way, it's progress in the right direction, and I'm loving it. Workouts this week were mediocre, but that could also be due to my messed up work schedule and trying to jam in workouts wherever I could. I know it's been a screwy week when my Friday night chest workout is the best workout of the week. I'm also not too happy about the fact that I didn't get a chance to practice my posing at all this week until this morning. I made sure to get some good time in front of the mirror working on my mandatories and my routine. I'm down to 7 weeks left, and I don't want to look like a complete novice up there with my presentation, so I'm going to work on adding another day or two of posing into the mix.

Anyone who's even remotely interested in the sport of bodybuilding knows that this weekend is the big Olympia weekend, and I already resolved myself to the fact that I'm probably going to be glued to my computer for all the updates, videos, and play by plays. Last night I managed to be able to stay up long enough to see Iris Kyle edge out Heather Armbrust, which I was very disappointed about. I'm always a big fan of seeing an underdog (so to speak) take down the reigning champ. But it was a good fight among the top 6, and I enjoyed watching them all. I just couldn't hang for the men's pre-judging, though, and fell asleep sometime long before Cutler made it out on stage. I'm making sure I'm up for tonight's men's finals and the figure finals. There's nothing like watching a show like this (even if it is only on webcast) to keep the motivation going.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Trying to Get Caught Up

So, I was really hoping to get back onto my regular schedule this week so I can try to pull myself back together, but that hasn't happened (at least not the way I'd like it to). I discovered on Monday that I would have to work late tonight, which would mean that I would have to figure out how I was going to fit today's shoulder workout in. So the plan was to train quads and hams together Monday night and take an extra hour for lunch today to train shoulders. I got all my cardio in before work in the morning. Even though I'm pretty tired, it all worked out and everything got done. In fact, Monday's leg workout went surprisingly well. We did supersets for everything, and the workout looked like this:

Squats ss with Seated Leg Curl (5 sets with a rest-pause on the 5th set of squats)
Lying Leg Curl ss with Hack Squats (4 sets with a drop set on the lying curls)
Extensions ss with Stiff-leg DL's (4 sets with a rest-pause and then a drop set on the extensions)
Walking DB Lunges (3 sets)***These totally put us over the edge

I wasn't too sore yesterday but today was an entirely other story. My legs were so sore that it was tough to train shoulders, if that's even possible. But my shoulder workout went surprisingly well considering how bad I am at adapting to changes in my routine (1. I trained during lunch, 2. It was rushed, 3. I trained at my shitty gym because it's closer to work)...In my world, I had all odds against me for a good workout. My strength was pretty crappy, but I was moving faster than I typically do, which left me with a great pump. I even had enough time to squeeze in calves, which I usually do with quads on Monday.

After today, I should be back on track. Tomorrow is cardio only, and I'm desperately looking forward to this weekend because I have NOTHING planned other than training and my cheat meal. A couple days relaxing on my couch and following the Olympia coverage online will be good for me in more ways than one. I was looking at my calendar last night and realized that I only have two weekends entirely to myself during the next 7 weeks of my prep. The others either involve people coming to visit or me working at shows, all of which will be lots of fun, don't get me wrong. But I'm getting to the point in my diet where it's a struggle for me to enjoy certain things because I'm just tired all the time and would rather sleep. But I've also made sure to plan ahead and take a few days off from work here and there to recover. Hopefully that helps a bit.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Well, surprisingly, I'm still alive after one long ass weekend working the Species Booth at Team U. I got to the city at 5:30 Friday night and worked until around 10:00 and then drove back up here. By the time I got home, packed my stuff for the following day and finally got into bed, it was almost 2am. I had to be back at the venue at 8 the next morning, so I was up at 5am and on the road by a little after 6...ugh. I rearranged my training split so that all I had to worry about on Saturday was getting my cardio in, which I literally dragged myself through after an epic morning of more prejudging. Unfortunately, I missed most of the female bodybuilding but I got to catch some of figure and was able to see some of my friends that were there competing. Now, it's a known fact that I don't function well on very little sleep, and 3 hours of sleep is really pushing it for me. By 2pm, I'd already taken a hyperdrive, drank a large DD coffee, and then two VPX Redlines...none of which was doing a good job of keeping me awake. So, I trudged across the street to a New York Sports Club and did my cardio.

I was lucky enough to get hooked up with Dan Ray for a little photo shoot after I was kind of coaxed into it by a third party. So, I showered and met up with Dan at 5:30, and did a quick shoot. I'm such a spaz and so uncomfortable in front of a camera. I've always hated taking pictures, and even with Dan's cool, nonthreatening personality, I still had a hard time relaxing. Proof that he really is a good photographer? He made my stiff, unnatural poses somehow look good, and there were actually a few shots in there that I really liked. It's funny because, I love being on stage, and you can take all the pictures you want of me when I'm up there, but beyond that, I HATE the camera.

Anyway, during my cardio, I wasn't feeling well at all...light-headed, foggy, and just really irritable. I was able to catch a 15 minute nap before meeting Dan and got some more coffee and was able to pull it together for the remainder of the night. I got to hand out trophies for the women's bodybuilding and saw some old friends who came down to watch the show. It was ultimately a fun day, but I still new something wasn't right with me physically. Fortunately, I was allowed to leave a little early and was home by 1am. I was starving and decided to have my cheat meal. After finally falling asleep around 2, I woke up an hour later to SEVERE cramping in both quads. It was so bad that I actually yelled out in pain because it woke me up. I could barely even get up to walk and started to panic. Because I was still half-asleep and not realzing what was happening, I called a friend and freaked out. He calmed me down, reminded me that it was probably from the lack of water all day and all the stimulants, and then told me to mix up some salt water and drink it, and it helped within minutes. Less than 45 minutes later, I'm back in bed and I can feel it the cramping coming on again, so I ultimately took some advil and made a mix of crystal light and salt and sipped on that until I could finally fall asleep around 4:30.

This morning, I rolled out of bed and somehow made it to the gym by 10 where I went through a horrible arm workout and some cardio. Still feeling sick from a combination of the lack of sleep, the cheat meal, and being horribly depleted, I came home and slept for the rest of the afternoon until I had to get up for more cardio tonight. It'll be an early night for me in hopes that I'll feel better tomorrow so I can pull out a better quad workout this week.

On a lighter note, I have officially become addicted to HGTV. It started as a fluke one night when I turned it on before going to bed. But it has since carried over into being my newest obsession when doing my cardio. I particularly enjoy House Hunters and Income Property, for those of you who are also closet HGTV fanatics. Now, I don't own a house, nor do I even plan to buy one in the near future, but there's something about these shows that just draws you in. It's like MTV Cribs for the 35-plus crowd (I know, I'm not quite part of that crowd just yet, chronologically speaking). Speaking of which, House Hunters is about to start...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cool News

I just got confirmation today that I will be guest posing at a local show here at the end of October. It's a small INBF Pro Qualifier, but it's got some sentimental value to it because I won the overall for figure and bodybuilding at this show in my first year competing. So, it'll be fun to get back on that stage (even though it's technically in a different venue). Plus, a lot of my friends around here will get to see how much I've progressed since I first started competing in 2005. At that point, I'll be 3 weeks out from Easterns, so I should (should being the operative word here) be comfortable enough with how I look to get up there for guest posing. Plus, I know it'll be a good way for me to shake the cobwebs after not being on stage for a year and a half.

Midweek Madness

Right off the bat, this week has started off crazy busy. Sometimes I feel like I can't keep up with everything, and the thing is, none of it is anything major. It's just a bunch of little things that keep piling up that I can't seem to get the time to take care of....trying to get my car fixed, get my car inspected and oil changes, get a new watch battery (the control freak in me HATES not having a watch), gotta cook food, do laundry, blah blah blah. This usually happens to me every few months, where all these stupid things get me stressed out. Plus, work is getting back to being a little unmanageable, and I feel like it's one crisis after another....why can't these people keep it together dammit?!?!

Anyway, things have also been a little tougher on the prep end of things, but it's nothing I wouldn't expect at 8 and a half weeks out. I had an awful leg workout on Monday night. I was by myself, and my left hamstring was acting up again, leaving me more exhausted from fighting the pain than the actual weight itself. But I muddled through what I thought was an unproductive workout, only to wake up sore as hell Tuesday morning for hams....that deep sore feeling is always a little vindication for a workout that I think sucked. Surprisingly, my ham workout went much better than my quad workout. I have been slowly re-incorporating (is that even a word?) stiff leg dead lifts with very light weight into my workouts, and it seems to be paying off.

My body appears to be readjusting ok after my f'ed up cheat meal (as Dave assured me it would). I finally feel like I got the crappy food out of me. The water retention's gone, and I'm starting to tighten back up again. At this point, I would be ok if my weight stayed the same this week, just as long as it doesn't go up.

So, it's looking like I'll be working at the Species booth on Friday night and Saturday this weekend for Team U. I always look forward to that stuff because it's such a welcome break from my job here (god knows I don't do a very good job of leaving my work stuff at the office). It's just a good distraction, and I love the energy at the shows (yeah, I know, I'm such a dork).

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Can you please tell me WHY people can't wait for you to bag your groceries before they start ringing theirs up and sending them down the belt? Don't get me wrong, I'm always in a rush to do something or get somewhere, but really people, can't you let me bag my 50 bottles of Clear Splash water and 8 bags of salad in peace. This morning at the store, I had barely even gotten to the bagging area when the woman in line behind me started ringing up her crap, and then got all huffy when the machine kept telling her to wait until the bagging area was clear. Serves you right, biatch.

Well, after getting good news from the scale yesterday, I received even better news from Dave...NO CHANGES this week! Love it! Unfortunately for me, I got a little too excited and went a little overboard with my cheat meal last night. Usually, I keep the foods clean and measure everything out (I know, I think I'm legitimately OCD and ED), but not last night. I had so much anxiety about how much I'd eaten that I was having a hard time sleeping and actually sent Dave a freak-out email at 4:00am. Good thing the man's used to dealing with crazed athletes. He laughed at me, told me I was fine, and to just stick to the plan. I'm trying not to worry about it so much, since I am still 9 weeks out, and I know damn well that all the worrying will do is release cortisol, and then I really won't progress. So, I popped in a movie and tried to go back to sleep, which didn't happen until sometime around 5:30 or 6:00.

When I finally pried my eyes open this morning (MUCH later than I usually get up), I felt like I'd been out drinking the night before, minus the good stories that used come with a night of partying. Even my training partner told me I looked like hell, and he rarely says stuff like that to me, even when it's the truth. This weekend seemed to fly by, and I'm not particularly looking forward to my week ahead at work. I guess the good thing is that I'm off on Friday and will be in NYC on Saturday working at the Species booth for Team U, which is always a fun time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Moving Right Along

Holy crap, I can't believe I'm 9 weeks out already! Even though there are days when I wish that time would go by a little quicker (like when I'm starving 45 minutes after eating a meal), I also can't believe that I'm right in the thick of my contest diet. It's going to be over before I know it, which is kind of depressing. Anyway, my weight is down another two pounds this week. This was a pleasant surprise this morning because I honestly didn't think I'd lost anything. Even though I'm still having so much fine this time around, I'm starting to become immune to seeing the changes that my body is making. So it's times like this when having a coach is key. I'm also starting to feel like my body isn't recovering as well as it was early on in the diet, which is to be expected. It's not bad by any means, but I have that fatigued, sluggish feeling more frequently, and believe me, I get plenty of sleep. On the whole, I'd say my workouts are becoming more mediocre than anything. No more going in and setting the world on fire, but still getting a good pump and keeping the majority of my strength up.

I had a bit of an unfortunate week this week. Work has started to get rediculously busy again, so I can feel that overwhelming anxiety building. But I also discovered that some fucking asshole in my parking lot at work hit my car and didn't leave a note. I came out from work late Tuesday night to find my passenger side rear quarter panel scratched and dented in. I had almost the exact same thing happen to me this time last year, only the girl was nice enough to leave me a note. When I took my car to get the estimate, I discovered that the money I'd set aside to compete at Nationals would now have to be used to get my car fixed because it's going to cost me $1,000. I was crushed at first, but have finally accepted that it's probably for the best...the trip to Florida had the potential disaster written on it for a number of reasons. This way, I'll put my focus on Eastern's, see how I come in, and then assess my next step from there. I mean, really, who the F do I think I am trying to get on the Nationals stage for my second show as a bodybuilder? I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew, and I know damn well that this isn't a sport you can rush progress. So, for now, I've got a one-track mind for Eastern's. That being said, it's time for a little cardio.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Much Needed Heart to Heart

The cliche says, "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours." I think it's time for me to have a chat with my butt to help it better accept this concept. More specifically, my ass seems to be holding on to this fat for dear life. I think it's secretly afraid that if it lets it go, the fat won't come back. Well Ass, I can assure you that if you let this fat go for now, it will most definitely come back, I promise. Don't get me wrong, I'm continuing to make good progress, but I feel like my upper body is still quite a bit father along than my lower, and it's frustrating. But, in all honesty, I shouldn't complain because, here I am at 10 weeks out and I'm still only doing 75 minutes of cardio (those that work with Dave know that this isn't a lot, yet) compared to the 100 minutes I was doing at 10 weeks out last year. And my diet rotation has remained the same for the past 4 weeks. Overall, I continue to have a decent amount of energy and am still really enjoying this process.

The remainder of this week's workouts were decent, with chest on Friday, back yesterday, and then arm's this morning. Last week, I tweaked my back doing heavy T-Bar rows and was in a fair amount of pain for a couple of days (which was a big part of why I took heavy squats out of my quad workout). But by the end of the week, it was feeling fine, so I thought I would try to hammer some heavy T-Bars out again yesterday. Either I wasn't entirely healed or I simply re-injured the same thing, but the pain was back and I couldn't move the same amount of weight that I usually can. At this point, my plan is to keep heavy squats out again this week and also avoid T-Bars during my back workout next Saturday....hopefully this will help. This morning's arm workout went well, too. We cut back on the volume, but added in some drop sets and some rest-pause stuff. I have come to love my arm workouts lately, but mostly for asthetic reasons....they are always the morning after my cheat meal and I'm full and vascular, so I love looking at myself during the workout (and any bodybuilder that says they don't do this or enjoy doing this during prep is just downright lying).

Speaking of looking at myself in the mirror, I've stuck to the plan of posing 3x/week so far. And as I've been told several times before, it's definitely helping to make me harder. But I really need to learn how to squeeze my quads, hams, and glutes--especially since that area needs the most work on bringing out the small amount of separation that's there. I know, I know, I will get in touch with a posing coach...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Should Be Sponsored....

By Dunkin Donuts. It's a little sad when I go to get my coffee in the morning before work that the people that work there have my coffee ready within seconds of me walking through the door (not that a large black coffee takes long to pour). But what's even worse is that they have even begun to notice that I'm dieting and have begun to point out my weight loss on a regular basis. A couple have jokingly asked for diet tips (uuhhh, don't eat the doughnuts?), which I've told them I will gladly offer in exchange for free coffee. Now, I'm not usually a big coffee drinker in the offseason, but when I'm dieting, I loooooove the taste of it...probably because just about anything tastes good when you're starving on a contest diet. So, my little daily slice of heaven during prep is my morning cup of DD (and sometimes my afternoon and evening cups).

This week has brought the return of a more positive attitude for me, and it seems that my workouts follow suit. Monday night's leg workout was initially set up to be a disaster since I had no idea what I wanted to do other than avoid squatting for a change. Well, I avoided them for my quad workout, at least--I wound up sticking them in at the end of my ham workout Tuesday morning. I know, I'm so sneaky. Anyway, the quad workout was completely different than anything we've done in a while and looked like this:

Extensions: 10x10 with the same weight

Leg Press: 3x20 SS w/ Smith Lunges: 3x15

Hack Squats: 2 Rest-Pause sets followed by a high-rep set (Rest-Pause: Plate on each side for 10 reps, rest 20 seconds then attempt 8 reps, rest 20 seconds, then attempt 6 reps)

Now, don't get me wrong, when we were done, I was tired, but I didn't feel completely maxed out and actually considered throwing squats in there. But I opted to back off since I knew I had 30 minutes of cardio left to do still. When I woke up Tuesday morning, I was sore, but nothing horrible, so I proceeded on to my ham workout. I mixed things up a bit there, too, by adding in high rep stiff-leg dead lifts. That movement typically wreaks havoc on my left ham, but using very light weight and focusing on squeezing my hams and glutes made it VERY effective, as I found out when I fell out of bed Wednesday morning. Yesterday, I thought someone had taken a freaking sledgehammer to my legs while I was sleeping. I have not been that sore since before starting my diet, and I loved it!

Last night's shoulder workout also went really well. We've been starting with 5x5 standing military presses, but I think that after this week, I'm going to take them out. I just don't seem to have the strength to do them properly anymore, and I'm going to wind up hurting myself trying to push weight that I can't handle. Training shoulders has been one of the highlights of my week lately, as I continue to see increasing detail in them every time I train them. I have vascularity and separation that I've never had before.

I have to say, I am continuing to feel really positive (for the most part) through this prep. And I'm convinced that it has so much to do with resolving a lot of personal issues that I was struggling with in the months leading up to my prep. It's amazing how certain situations and relationships can have such a negative impact on every aspect of your life. I have always been good at compartmentalizing things and keeping my training separate from everything else in my life, or so I thought. But it's not until recently that I've realized that it has been affected indirectly by negative situations I've put myself in. I'm definitely a little gun-shy and nervous that this feeling is only temporary, and it's only a matter of time before I'm sucked back into being miserable and cranky. And that may be true, but for now, I'm trying hard not to worry about 15 steps ahead (like I usually do) and deal with what's in front of me at this moment. Of course, being that the end of the week is quickly approaching, it's entirely reasonable for me to worry about the cheat meal that lies ahead on Saturday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

You Mean You Don't Eat Chocolate?

This contest prep is a funny thing, you know. It brings lots of weirdos out of the woodwork. Yesterday, I went to the "Vacation Gym" to train since I seem to get really good back workouts there. Well, I wasn't even two sets into my first exercise of pull downs when some older guy, let's say mid-50's, tries to "work in." Apparently, he felt that since we were using the same machine, it would be ok for him to talk to me....and stare at my bubbies. Now, I don't mind giving you the generic answer about my training and diet, but for fuck's sake, have enough respect to look me in the eye when you talk to me. His ogling was so obvious and obnoxious, I couldn't hold back. I politely (sort of) asked him if he would stop looking at my chest because I felt it was inappropriate. That seemed to shut him up and help him figure out that he should move on to another machine. Fastforward to my next excercise, and I'm on my last heavy set, and some other older guy, now we'll go with mid-60's, starts talking to me in the middle of my set. I couldn't hear a damn word of what he was saying because my headphones were so loud...which is a good note for the average gym-goer to remember: if YOU can hear the music from my headphones, then chances are that I can't hear you.

This morning's coversation was really the icing on the cake (mmmmm, cake). I was approached by a woman in the locker room first thing this morning who actually said I looked like I should be in a magazine or on TV....ok, lady, why don't you call my "agent" and tell him that. Without exaggeration, she gushed about how great I look (I hope the judges agree with her in November) and then asked if I workout a lot. So after I give HER the generic answer, she replies, "So you mean, you don't eat any chocolate?" Umm, unless you count chocolate Isolyze, then no.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the compliments. But what gets me, especially about a woman like today, is that 6 months ago you still probably saw me every day in the gym and were probably disgusted with how "bulky" I looked. You probably thought that I wasn't training hard and was eating crappy foods. It's no different than the overweight women at work who asked me back in the winter if I'd stopped training and are now telling me how great I look. Again, thanks for the compliments now, but really, it's tacky to repeatedly comment on someone's weight gain/loss.

Moving along...I'm five weeks into prep and still feeling good, relatively speaking. Granted, I feel like I'm on a contest diet, but I'm genuinely still enjoying it. Enjoying how I look and the changes that I'm seeing weekly. I hit a little bump in the road at the end of the week in that I seem to have come down with a sinus infection/bad allergies, but I've been resting all weekend and am starting to feel a little better. This past week brought good progress again, having lost another 1.2 pounds and a noticable change in my physique. One of the things I was blessed with genetically is a small waist, which seems to get smaller and smaller each week (something I'm NOT complaining about at all). I've got one more notch on my weight belt before I have to drill another hole, and I don't know how that's going to happen since I don't have access to anything that's powerful enough to cut another hole into that thing....where's a hot handyman when you need one? I only hope that my back and shoulders have grown enough to really show off a decent V taper with my small waist. Maybe a little chocolate will help them grow...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Not Fat, I'm Big Boned!

Ok, so everyone speculates about why obesity is a problem for the majority of Americans. Well I have the's because there are personal trainers out there (namely in my gym) who are out of shape themselves and wear Hershey's Chocolate Bar t-shirts while training clients. Now, maybe this is the cranky, hungry side of me talking but I mean, really, does that make any sense at all? And as paying client, why would you trust someone wearing a candy bar t-shirt to get your fat ass into shape? I mean, that's right up with with Pizza Night and Bagel Morning at Planet Fitness....clearly we're weight and health conscious here.

In case you didn't get the memo (and in that case, you should probably check your fax toner or spam box), I'm hungry and cranky. This week I started to feel the effects of the diet with lower energy and increasing hunger. It's not horrible by any means, but I do enjoy myself a good bit whining. My quad and ham workouts this week were pretty good, but last night's shoulder workout was questionable. I had no strength and felt sluggish during the workout. I was tired all day and had a shitty attitude going into the workout, which is almost always a garaunteed recipe for a less than stellar workout. But I have a sneaking suspicion that some of this sluggishness is due to a pending visitor. Please, who doesn't love a little oversharing here and there?

Work has been behaving itself lately, which has eased my brain for a bit. In fact, I'd almost go as far as to say, I've been a little bored (but that's what happens when your partner in crime goes on vacation for a week). Of course, that could change at any moment, so I should be careful what I say. So far, this weekend is looking like a rather quiet one, which I intend to take advantage of to catch up on sleep and just rest. Here's to hoping for good news from the scale Saturday morning.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

12 weeks out

4 weeks down and I'm still hanging in and feeling pretty good. I dropped another two pounds this week and continue to get tighter and it! Unfortunately, as is so typical for me, my upper body and lower body look like they belong to two completely different people. My upper body is pretty hard and I'm getting veins in my lower abs in the morning already. But my legs and my ass are still just a fat mess. It's a tough pill to swallow because I know how difficult it's going to be to get my lower half in shape.

Workouts for the rest of the week last week were still pretty good, but I can feel the diet starting to catch up to me. I start off really strong in the workout but my strength drops off toward the end, and I even start to get the sluggish, foggy feeling. I have this obscene fear about cutting back more volume on my workouts because I'm afraid I won't get enough work in to stimulate the muscle. Damn, I sound completely crazy.

Now that I'm really settling in to dieting and the routine of prepping again, I amaze myself at just how routine and robotic I can become. Before long, my posts are all going to be the exact same (I feel like they're already getting there). I'm still making an effort not to be overcome with crankiness and a miserable attitude, or at least not subject the poeple around me to it. Fortunately, I have a certain few people who will NOT let that happen, at least not this early on. Another good thing is that work has slowed down and become a little more manageable, which was a major contributing factor to my original anxiety about prepping. I wish I could say I've stuck to my guns about not doing any overtime during prep, but that has not exactly been the case. The only thing I can say about that, though, is that I'm lucky enough to be able to work with such a great partner. So, for now, things overall are going great....let's just hope they stay in order for the next 12 weeks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nice Stems

This week continues to leave me with great workouts and obvious progress in my physique. Monday night's leg workout went really well, and I had minimal hamstring pain. I think I found a decent remedy to that....2 advil prior to training. I've never been much of a pain medication person, but I've been known to do whatever it takes to have a good workout. Anyway, my strength was spot on, and I hammered out some really good sets of squats to start. We did our "pared down" extension workout, which surprisingly didn't leave me as sore as I thought it would. I always feel like the workout wasn't effective if I'm not crippled the next two days. Bright and early Tuesday morning (or rather, dark and early) was my usual hamstring workout, which I seem to finally be getting the hang of by keeping my volume low. It's definitely killer to train quads at night and follow it up with hams just 8 hours later in the early morning with only one meal in between. But I'm making it work.

Last night's shoulder workout was also really great. We started off with 5x5 standing BB presses with the same weight, and believe it or not, I seem to be getting stronger with those. Don't ask me how that's possible on a contest diet, but I did 100 lbs for 5 on my last 2 sets, which I don't think I've ever done. We followed with 3 sets of DB presses, then 3 drop sets of DB laterals. By the time we got to rear delts, I was cooked, but we did 4 sets of bent over DB laterals, then 2 sets of high rep reverse cable flies and finished with 2 high-rep sets of machine lateral raises. I was completely shot, and when I tried to work on my posing, I wound up spending more time whining about how tired I was and the stupid toe cramp I had than actually posing. So I said "F" it and headed home. Today was cardio only, and I'm beat. It's looking like an extra early night for this chickie.

As far as the changes I'm seeing in my body, they seem to be coming pretty quick. I'm tighter and tighter each week, and I'm slowly getting more and more vascular (for me, that is). Even my legs, which NEVER seem to show changes until the end, are showing signs of a little bit of separation. So far, everything has been on point with the diet, and I've been sticking to the step mill primarily for my cardio. Now I can't wait to see what the scale says this weekend (note the sarcasm).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Great Weekend

Although it didn't start out that way, this weekend lent itself to some great workouts and just an overall boost in my attitude toward prep. Friday, my training partner had to bail at the last minute, so I trained by myself, which is not usually a bad thing. But I hate chest, and I'm usually pretty beat come Friday night, so it's always good to have him there (among other reasons). I also needed to find someone else to take my pictures, which I strongly dislike considering it's still early in the diet, and I'm self-conscious about how I look. I wound up heading out to my "Vacation Gym" to train, where a friend of mine, who is also a bodybuilder, trains, and he was able to take my pictures. Bonus for me was how impressed he was with the changes I'd made in the offseason...he hasn't seen me since I was doing figure.

I was still pretty cranky when I woke up Saturday morning, particularly when I got on the scale, and was not in a great frame of mind to train back. But when I got to the gym, I got in a zone and had another amazing back workout. I am shocked at how strong I still am, and that just seems to keep the fire going to keep training my ass off. Then I practiced posing for about 20 minutes afterwards, and later in the afternoon, I went back to the gym for my 55 minutes of cardio.

Got my changes for the week and my cardio is surprisingly still the same, but I'm down a protein/fat day, which isn't horrible. I like that my cardio isn't adding up quickly so early on like it did last year. I'm sure that's what's helping keep my strength up. But I have no doubt that will change in the weeks to takes a lot of cardio and very little food to get the fat off this ass. Anyway, this morning was arms, which I did solo again and had another great workout. Usually I feel awful the morning after my cheat meal, but that wasn't the case this week. I also usually look pretty bloated and gross, but I was harder this morning than I was yesterday or Friday. I cleaned up my cheat meal this week, and I think that helped me not feel so sick. As much as I wanted to have the cheeseburger and cake, it's just not worth it to feel how I felt last Sunday. Plus, I'm guessing my lack of progress this week on the scale was due, in part, to that cheat meal. So I just assume keep the cheat meal clean.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Only A Matter of Time

...before the cranky, dieting biatch in me came out. And that time happened to be yesterday. I officially had a canary at work because some fat idiot used up all my mustard, and I had nothing to put on my bland chicken and green beans. I bet whoever finished it had a nice, mustard-covered hotdog...bastard. Then, last night I stopped at the grocery store in search of raw cashews for the second time this week, only to find that there were NONE. I'm convinced that there is another person in my area that has the same problem that I do with raw cashews. And when I find out who it is, they're going down. So back to the crankiness....when I was leaving the store (did I mention that I was without my cashews?), two people were backing out at the same time and not only did they nearly hit eachother, but they also almost took me out. Being the short-tempered Italian that I am, I yelled at both of them and then proceeded to my car, without my cashews.

Unfortunately, last night's leg workout didn't help matters. I felt good going into it, but my left ham just wasn't having it. I knew right from the start that I was going to be fighting that pain more than the actual weights. I tried not to get too upset because my strength was there, which was good, but it's just frustrating when you know an injury is holding you back. I mean, I think I'm the only person I know that's able to squat 195 with just my right leg...because I've gotten so good at compensating for my left ham. Anyway, I was up this morning at 4:15 to train hams, and since I was feeling much better than I did last week, I decided to do my cardio post-workout instead of later tonight after work. I pulled way back on the volume, since last week's workout didn't go over so well, and it seemd to be much more effective this morning. Overall, I'd say I'm still feeling really positive about things and just happened to run into a cranky day yesterday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

14 Weeks Out

Another great week...I lost 2.8 lbs this week and am down to 136.8. It's hard for me to believe that, right now, I'm two weeks into my diet and only two pounds heavier than my heaviest offseason figure weight, and it looks so different on me. I am a VERY competitive person and have a tendency to compare myself to others(I know, you're surprised, aren't you?), so I've been doing a lot of worrying lately about how I'll stack up come November. But something weird hit me today that made me realize just how much progress *I've* made in the past year, and I'm sure that will only become more apparent as the diet progresses. In a strange comparison, I look at this kind of like when I was studying for finals in college. I was the big dork who always did things ahead of time and studied along the way throughout the semester. Then, when finals time came, and all my roommates were pulling all-nighters to finish projects and spending hours on end in the library cramming, I was sitting back watching tv or, better yet, NAPPING! Basically, I've always made sure to do my work along the way so that when push came to shove, I was always prepared. And that's how I feel about this prep. I busted my ass for the past 13 months of my offseason trying to change my body, and now that dieting time is here, I feel like my work is done, and all I have to do is watch my body change and see the results of my hard work (and of course, get the fat off my ASS!)...not that dieting is easy, because Dave makes sure that it's not :-P

Anyway, finished this week with pretty good workouts, relatively speaking. Considering last night was chest, and I just looooove to train chest. And usually I really do love my Saturday morning back workouts, but for some reason, I couldn't get into it mentally today. I was really distracted and just not focused. Regardless, I'm really happy with my progress this week and am looking forward to my cheat meal tonight! Speaking of which, I still haven't figured out what I want yet....excuse me, but I have some planning to go do.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Keep On Rockin'

Week number two is coming to a close, and I'm still hammering out good workouts. Last night was shoulders, and we killed it. I decided to change things up after last week's shoulder workout tanked, and it was much more effective this time around. Our workout looked a little like this:

Standing Military BB Press (5x5): 95/5, 95/5, 95/5, 95/5, 95/5
One-Arm Hammer Press: 45/10, 50/8, 55/6, 35/15
DB Laterals: 20/12, 20-10/10-12, 20-10-5/8-12-10
Bent-Over DB Laterals: 35/12, 40/10, 45/8, 45-25/8-15
Reverse Pec Deck: 60/12, 65/10, 65/9
SS with
One-Arm Cable Laterals: 15/12, 15/12, 20/8

My shoulders were so pumped, and I was already seeing some vascularity in them (considering how fat I still am). I felt strong and still had good energy. Then I posed for about 20 minutes. I've been good about putting in the time to practice posing, I'm just worried that I'm practicing complete crap. I HAVE to get on the ball and get in touch with my old posing coach.

I'm definitely finding that my efforts to keep myself feeling positive about prep is translating into better workouts and what appears to be good, steady progress. I know I shouldn't waste time speculating about my weight loss this week, but I do, so get over it. I figure I've probably lost about a pound this week. I have a tendency to get frustrated when I see other girls that work with Dave losing weight at a much quicker, steadier pace than I do (by doing less cardio), and I can't help but wonder what I'm doing wrong. I also have a tendency to compare myself to top-level competitors, which is completely rediculous....I'm mean, let's be serious, I'm barely an average competitor.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Strawberry, Banana, Orange, Oh My!

I have officially found my new favorite flavor of Crystal Light. The unfortunate thing is that it doesn't come in the convenient individual packets, only the small containers that make 2 quarts worth. The other night when I was food shopping, I was desperate for a new flavor of CL and saw this one. My friend though it was a questionable combination, but when I'm dieting, pretty much anything tastes good. I took the plunge and bought it, and it's freaking awesome....hopefully they'll have the individual packets soon though because I keep over-flavoring my water. It's also pretty good when you mix a small amount of it with the Strawberry/Banana Chain'd cuts the sourness of Chain'd Out a little bit. I know, I know, I have this stuff down to a science here.

Anyway, workouts this week have been pretty damn good. Last night's leg workout was awesome. We did a pared down version of the "Extension Workout" (see, I'm slowly learning to decrease my volume here). This morning (at 4:30am, mind you) was a really good ham workout. But me and my fucking bright ideas....I decided to train on an empty stomach and then do my 55 minutes of cardio right after so that I wouldn't have to do it after work at like 8pm. Normally I like training on an empty stomach (even when I'm dieting), but by the time I got halfway through my cardio I thought I was either going to puke or pass out. And the drive home was a little scary because I knew something was wrong. But as soon as I got home at 7, I ate my first meal instead of waiting until 8:30 like usual and felt a little better. So, I've decided to suck it up and do my damn cardio AFTER work on my late nights because I refuse to have my first meal at 4am and try to stretch the remaining 4 meals throughout the rest of the day.

Just about halfway through the second week and I'm still feeling really good about this prep. I'm still excited; though, I have had some freaky contest dreams (which I don't usually have ever). I know that I just need to focus on myself and my own progress because I can't control who shows up or what kind of shape they're in. If I start worrying about who will show up, it'll be a miserable four months. I'm hoping that by keeping myself excited about it and enjoying the process, things will progress much more smoothly. In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out what I want for my first cheat meal this weekend. Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

One Week Down

Lost 3 pounds this week...down to 139.6. Feedback from Dave about my pictures was positive, and he added 10 minutes of cardio.

Overall, I'd say it was a good first week, despite a really crappy chest workout Friday night. I couldn't put up any weight last night, and forget about squeezing out an extra rep or two. Nope, that shit just came crashing down again. I'd start the set feeling strong, and then before I know it, I'm stuck at the bottom of the rep. I'd like to think that my body is still adjusting to training on lowered calories. But it can't be all that bad becuase I had a rediculously good back workout yesterday morning and was able to move pretty much the same weight that I usually do, and even a little bit more on some exercises. I trained with my girl, and we usually move almost the same weight, but I was hurting trying to keep up with her. Anyway, we pushed eachother and both had a great workout. This morning, I trained arms by myself and ultimately got in another good workout again. As has been the pattern, I started off strong with each set but quickly fell short as things progressed. The strength is still there, just not the endurance. After the workout, I posed again for about 15 minutes and ran through my routine a couple of times (if I don't, I'll freaking forget it because I'm a complete scatterbrained spaz). I still have to go back and do my cardio later on, so in the meantime, I'm thinking a nap sounds REAL good!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Put The Breaks On

Well, tonight I was smacked in the face with a reality I should have expected and prepared for. Lower the workout volume, dumbass! Yeah, I know I mentioned this in a previous post, so there's no excuse. I had planned on keeping the volume high like I usually do for as long as possible, but apparently "as long as possible" means five days into the diet. I started off with 10x10 side raises on the machine and then moved on to DB presses. Normally, 40's go up for 10 with no problem. HA! Not tonight. I struggled to get 8, and with no carbs, there is no squeezing out those final reps....the weight just comes crashing down. We went on to do 4 sets of bent over DB laterals, then 3 sets of a SS of reverse pec deck and rear delt pulls on the lat pull down machine (that's just the dumb name I gave them b/c I don't know what you'd really call them, but they work, so whatever). And since I'm a stubborn biatch, I just had to do more. So we did two sets of behind the neck presses on the smith machine SS'd with db laterals (top half only). We finished with a few sets of calves, which I HATE training. I am cursed with fucking cankles, and it's so gross.

After we trained, I posed for 15 minutes, and I have to's really disgusting to practice posing when I'm still so out of shape. I know I need to do it, but I can't even take looking at myself (eating disorder/body dismorphia at it's best, people).

As far as my diet goes, right now I'm at 2pv/2pf days. Today was my second pv day, and I was freaking hungry! I thought I'd feel ok for at least the first couple weeks, but as I write this, I'm so hungry. All my meat sources were cut back by .5 ounces, and my eggs were cut back from 6 whites to 4. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I'd take an extra ounce of chicken two extra egg whites right now. I've officially dubbed this the "Melissa Sucks Diet." Honestly, though, I'm complaining, but I can't wait to see what the final result is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Flip the Switch

It amazes me sometimes how I am able to do this. I've spent that past several weeks freaking out about whether or not I'd be able to get into a contest prep mentality. And now that it's here, I think I can safely say that I've never been so excited to be doing this. I'm looking forward to my workouts and not dreading the increasing cardio. I've worked with my coach before and have an idea of what to expect as far as the changes that will be made and how (shitty) I'll feel as the weeks go on. Of course, being the eternal pessimist that I am, I am fully expecting my attitude toward all this to change any day now. One thing that has helped is that there finally seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel with my current job stress.

So, now that the diet is here, I've changed up my training split a little bit to accomodate my new work schedule and also try to make the most of my energy during my workouts. Split now looks like this:

Sunday: Arms
Monday: Quads
Tuesday AM: Hams
Wednesday: Shoulders
Thursday: Cardio only
Friday: Chest (blech)
Saturday: Back

I'm thinking that somewhere at about 10 or 8 weeks out I will probably combine quads and hams into one workout to allow for another rest day. This will depend entirely on how much cardio I'm doing at that point though. For now, this is where it's at.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Game On

Official starting weight: 142.6. Yesterday, I got things going with an awesome back workout. I only threw in a few different things, but DAMN my back is sore today. I love it. There's no better way to start things off than with a workout like I had yesterday. 40 minutes on the stepmill yesterday afternoon, and that was a wrap. This morning was arms, which also went well. I felt strong and got a great pump. I finished things off with about 15 minutes of posing. For now, my plan is to start with 15-20 minutes 3 times per week until I get with a good coach. Once I get better with my posing, I'll start to add it in more frequently...there's no point in practicing too much if I don't know what the F I'm doing. I'm heading in to work for a couple hours (yes, AGAIN), and then it's back to do cardio this afternoon. I'm happy that I'm starting things in a pretty good place mentally, but as anyone who's dieted knows, that will start to change daily. For now, I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and not get ahead of myself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coming Unraveled

So, umm, yeah, this whole posting more often thing clearly didn't happen this week. My worst fear about switching units at my job became a reality this week....things got so out of hand at work that it impacted my workout, both menatlly and time-wise. All my workouts have managed to get done, but there was no rhyme or reason to my schedule. For the past 3 weeks, I've put in over 50 hours at work each week, and if it keeps up like this, it's going to be a looooong miserable prep. I guess I shouldn't complain because I know there are people out there who have no work right now, so I should be grateful.

On a funny, not directly related to training, note, I had to dig out my old suit to wear to court this morning. Let's just say, I bought this suit six years ago after I got my Masters and started going on my first job interviews. I was also about 25 pounds lighter. The skirt fit ok but was tighter than I remembered around my ass and quads. The funny part was the jacket....FAT GUY IN A LITTLE COAT! I had to jam my snausage-arms into the sleeves, and I thought my shoulders and back were going to bust open the back seam, a la the Hulk. And you can forget about buttoning the jacket, the new twins were having none of that.

Well, it's hard to believe that tomorrow is officially my last day of the offseason. I know most people start their prep on a Sunday, but I have this rediculous supersticion about starting it on Saturday. I don't know where it came from or why I continue to do it that way, but it's always how I've done it. So, I decided to *cough cough* take the day off from work tomorrow and train in the late morning and then go out to lunch with a friend, where I'll have my last cheat meal.

Holy hell I don't know why I have so much anxiety about starting this prep. I think I just have such high expectations for myself, and I'm not all that sure that I'll meet them. And next time I post, I'll be officially into prep. It's so weird because I go back and read old posts and it felt like this time would never come. Now it's here, and I'm being a crazy idiot. Fuck, if I'm having a mini meltdown now that I'm only just starting prep, imagine what's going to happen the day after the show...I think I might spontaneously combust.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Think I'm Developing a Sleeping Disorder

Can't sleep, again! Only now it's 1:30am and I have to be up in just a few hours...FUCK! I don't know why I can't sleep becuase I was exhausted at like 10 last night and fell right to sleep but woke up with my mind racing. I can't believe I'm freaking out about starting this diet. What if I don't have the time to get all my workouts/cardio in? What if I can't make it through mentally? Things just got flipped around at work and I was unexpectedly part of that change. My entire caseload got switched, along with my schedule....great, the week before I'm supposed to start my diet. And then what if this fat doesn't start coming off? I was looking at pictures of me from last year's figure shows, and I can't believe how small and NOT muscular I look! What if I look like that again this year? All this hard work for NO progress? I know I'm going to get my ass handed to me at Nationals and was originally planning on doing it for shits and giggles. But now I wonder if I'll even have any business getting on stage for the Easterns. Then there's the whole posing thing. Basically, I suck at it right now. So not only will I look like a skinny, wet rag on stage but my posing will be equally crappy. No wonder I can't sleep right now....

Well, guess I might as well talk about last night's workout. We did arms and decided to switch things around. Usually we superset a bi and tri exercise, doing about 4 exercises for each. Instead, we did two sets of supersetting bi exercises followed by two sets of supersetting tri exercises. First was 5 sets of standing EZ bar curls supersetted with incline db curls. Then we did 4 sets of machine preacher curls supersetted with standing hammer curls. I couldn't believe how freaking fried my arms were. For tris, we started with 5 sets of skull crushers supersetted with one arm cable pressdowns and then did 4 sets of EZ bar cable press downs and one-arm overheard DB extensions. Son of a bitch my bi's were already sore by the time we got done with tris and my tri's are now equally sore. Tomorrow's legs, which is also contributing to my sleeplessness....I dread every leg workout and how much pain my hamstring could potentially cause. Ugh, and I'm still wide awake at the end of all this....guess I'll go back to watching bad middle-of-the-night TV.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

This morning's back workout was actually sick. We didn't do anything different or out of the ordinary, but I had good energy and felt strong overall. I moved some good weight, and I'm starting to feel it already. And as planned, I went in to work for a few hours afterwards to tie up some of the loose ends from Friday....but not until after we went and threw down at the diner. Well, I was actually pretty conservative considering how much food I can typically pack away. But, as I have done many times before, I managed to pretty much eat my training partner under the table. He's pretty sure that it's a genetic malfunction since my brother can eat me under the that's someone who could probably be a competitive eater, that crazy mf'er!

Anyway, this week, I've been given strict instructions to just eat (which was more than accomplished this morning) and do no more cardio than 30 minutes 3 times. Then we drop the hammer. I'm going to make an effort to post even more frequently through my prep but we'll see how that works, especially once the cardio gets high. Plus, the next several weeks are already looking busy and seem to be filling up quickly which gives me a lot of anxiety. A big part of the reason why I chose to prep for a late fall show was because I'd planned on being significantly less busy at the end of the summer and into the fall. But that's not really looking to be the case. I know you can't prep in a bubble, but it's nice to try and limit the stressors.

Oh well, last year was probably the most emotionally stressful and draining preps I've had so far, so I feel like if I was able to get through that, I'll be just fine this year. Even though I know damn well that things never work out to be that simple. I can honestly say that I had one of the more successful, enjoyable, and LESS stressful preps two years ago before the 2007 Eastern USA's. I trained with my partner through the entire prep (usually I go my own way for the full 16 weeks), and I really was able to keep things simple. Like I've said before, I want to enjoy watching my body change and see what the last 12 months of hard work have done.