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!