Monday, June 29, 2015

And that's a wrap.....

Well, keeping up with the blog during show season clearly didn't work out.  Grad school has kept me on my toes along with teaching fitness classes part time plus training & life.  But, I thought I'd do an update to record my progress.  I share pics a LOT on Instagram and Facebook but not everyone is connected with me there.  (click the links to do that!!)

It's been a great season!  My first show was in April, second in May & the final one of the season was this past weekend.  Each show brought a new physique & I continued to make improvements each time.  My second show was smaller & I placed 4th in Masters 40+ so that was fun!

But now to the important stuff.  My transformation over the last year (that's what people really want to see!)  I started in April with Lori Harder's program & it got me back into weight training again. After doing that for a few months, I  jumped on board with Team Best Fit Body.  With their guidance, I got to where I was mid-June.  I am forever grateful & the flexible dieting has been a godsend for me.  I feel in control of my diet.  I never feel insane cravings or the feeling that if I don't eat all of something right now the aliens will steal it overnight.  (lol)

The piece of my puzzle that has always been missing is finding a local coach.  I have all but once worked with coaches in the Boston area.  My first ever fitness team was Cathy Savage Fitness & I will forever be grateful for that start.  I have SO many dear friends through that team. One of whom even traveled to Chicago for my second show!  Talk about bestie for life!!!!  Tidbit:  we met at Camp Savage in 2007 & have stayed close since!  Sometimes, she probably knows more than Kevin! lol

Back to the local thing...I have been following Layne Norton for some time now & came across a local (2 hours away!) coach who is personally coached by him.  I have followed her for some time now & chatted back & forth to gather more information.  I followed her clients too!  (sounds creepy, right?)  Perhaps but you have to SEE how they are doing, what do they look like after shows, are they training well, rebounding or properly reverse dieting.  Well, you know where I am going, right?  They do EVERYTHING right!!  They stay within a reasonable reach of their show weight, they eat to fit their macros (NO restrictions) & they look good.  Because, let's be honest, in all of this, we still want to look good!

While it was a sudden transition, I started with Alex the week before my show this past weekend.  She did my peak week which was VERY different from what I've done in the past.  It was great though & I came in looking fuller than ever with none of the previous show day issues (like cramping.)  I started my reverse diet yesterday as well.  What is that?  Well, after MONTHS of contest dieting (and it does get to low calories/fat,) it is CRUCIAL that you "back out" of that diet.  You don't go from low cals to eating "normal" overnight.  It's a gradual process of s-l-o-w-l-y adding back in macronutrients (protein, carbs & fat) so you don't gain a lot of bodyfat.  The beauty of reversing properly is that you can start to build a bit of lean mass in the process.  I will be photographing that journey for the blog too!  It's fascinating to watch!!

So the past year has been a fun trip for me.  I feel AMAZING & am in a very healthy, happy place now.  SO different from the last time that I looked like "skeletor" & rebounded horribly (which is why I haven't competed since 2008!)  I have regained my body after the miscarriages, infertility, etc that we had been dealing with since 2011 until last year when we made the decision to move on with our lives.  Wwe have a wonderful life & are truly blessed with what we are able to do.  And we have the doodle to keep us amused!!

Finally, the pictures.  The living proof that anything you set your mind to is achievable!  It was NOT an easy journey & yes I wanted to quit many times along the way.  But I remember a promise that I made to my Dad when Mom died (almost 9 years ago now) & that was to always stay healthy.  I'm back in a good place after things were out of my control for so long & I fully intend to stay here.

What now?  I start my journey with Alex at the reigns to  help me improve.  I need to bring in my legs, build out my back & grow some shoulders! It's an always evolving project & I LOVE it!  I like to call it my science project.  I will be taking the rest of the year off for improvements & will take the figure stage again next year (probably late spring, early summer.)  I am toying with the idea of physique too but really love figure so will stick with that just a little longer.  I do have some loose skin that continues to tighten up so I want to give that the time it needs.  AND I've been dieting since January for shows so my body/metabolism needs a reset (precisely what reverse dieting will do.)

I think that covers it for now but if you have questions, PLEASE leave a comment here or on my FB page!  I will respond (either there or via blog post if it's something others want to know as well!)

And if you for any split second, are curious about shows, flexible dieting, etc, do reach out!  I've actually helped several people recently get set up.  I am NOT an expert but I am learning & can help guide you!!!

Thanks for sticking with me.  The support has been amazing & truly keeps my fire lit!  If I can do it, ANYONE can!!!!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Let's talk about......

Admit it, Salt-N-Pepa just cued in your head ;) lol  I always want to have stuff on this blog that people want to hear.  I can babble on about anything but if you are reading, there's *something* you are looking for but I can't know what that is if you don't tell me.

So per my Facebook post, here's what you wanted to hear (in no particular order....)

1. My workouts & how much time I spend in the gym?

Without getting into my program specifics, I will tell you that I'm training 5 days.  I do body part splits meaning that I will train "parts."  For example, back & biceps, chest, triceps & core, legs are even split out into glute/hamstring & quad focus.  That changes every 5-6 weeks.  I am doing HIIT (high interval intensity) cardio 3 times a week & have a couple smaller sessions as well.  My gym sessions range from 45ish - 80ish minutes.  3 days longer, 3 shorter & one rest day.

Do I get tired?  Yes.  My training is hard & can be as hard or as easy as I want it.  And since I want to bring my best physique, I work HARD!  When I leave the gym, I'm pooped & if I had anything left to give, then I didn't work hard enough.

I am smart though.  If I'm supposed to do cardio post training & am feeling too tired, I will do it after work at home.  Cardio can be on machines at the gym or completed by doing circuit training (think Tabata style.)

2. How am I feeling emotionally & physically?

Honestly, I feel AMAZING!!!!! My prep is SO different than it was before.  Let me preface this with mentioning the first show I prepped for was awesome.  My body was a science project & I was put on several different "types" of diets to get ready BUT I felt pretty good leading into the show.  It was with the local coach that things went bad.  EXTREME diet, severe water depletion & diuretics.  BAD BAD BAD.  I rebounded, got depressed, felt get the picture.

Now?  I truly feel good.  Mentally, I have to work through training sometimes BUT I can do it & I can push a little harder every day.  Physically, I'm still hitting PRs (yes, at 10 weeks out) so that makes me feel pretty awesome.  I keep saying that I don't even feel like I'm dieting.  Why?  Flexible dieting.  We are permitted (within reason..using good judgement) to eat anything we'd like as long as we fit it in our macros (specific numbers for protein, carbs & fat we are "prescribed.)  So yes, I do have a piece of chocolate daily.  I had some pizza on Sunday with a giant salad.  The only thing I did cut out fully is alcohol (by choice.)

So yep, feeling awesome & leaning out right on track.

3. How to start?

This is SUCH a huge topic so I will cover it another time but easy place to start?  Clean out your cupboards of things that are just too tempting for you OR work on having only a portion of what you'd really like (I prefer this but if you can't do this yet, it's okay...toss it for now!)

And start moving.  Go for a walk....even if it's around the house!  Just move your body!!!!

4. How is this different from the last time?

This is the BIGGEST question that I get only because so many of you witnessed the last process.  The major difference is the diet.  We follow a flexible diet, nothing off limits (within reason), not given a list of foods that we can choose from, etc.  I eat 80% "clean" meaning unprocessed "good" choices but anything coming from a container is processed somehow (almond milk, protein powder, PB, etc.,) you get the picture so I don't focus on the "clean" eating term but just make good choices.  I still use some products from a line that I've used for several years but I also use other products that help keep me at my best.

So, that's that.  Did I miss something?  Want more about anything specific?  Let me know!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Putting it ALL out there!

I've been asked for pictures so I mentioned having a Bodyspace page now because I've entered the #200ktransform contest.  Well, I've not only uploaded current pictures there but also where I started last April.

Those who are close to me, know the struggles we've faced in the last few years with miscarriages, fertility struggles & such.  The stress, medications, surgeries, procedures, etc, truly affected not only my mind but also my body.  It was a mess.  No matter what I tried, I would find a good flow then lose it again (which means re-gain some weight.)  I supposed I just wasn't ready to fully let it go (cue the song.....)  At any rate, last April I signed up for Lori Harder's 60 Day Transformation contest to get in a new place mentally.  I also attended her Bliss Project with friends in Chicago.  *enter HUUUUUUGE mental shift*  Heather got her groove back!!

As that contest ended, I felt refreshed & wanted to truly start lifting again but started to feel that "stale" feeling I had.  With that, I left a team that I had been a part of for a VERY long time (almost 8 years) & while it was a hard decision to make, it was the right one for me.  Fast forward to a month later, signing up with Team Best Fit Body & the rest is history.

So as you look at my pictures, remember, everyone has a story, a journey if you will.  And we all have to fight to get back to our good place.  If I had to stop today & live where I am, that would be okay but I'm hungry for more ;)

Here's the link to my BodySpace Photo page.  Feel free to follow along!  I will continue to update there as well as here!!

Note:  I sat here staring at this for almost 10 minutes before hitting publish.  It's hard to face reality sometimes of where you've been BUT I know that someone (who may never speak up) will see this & think "wow, I really can do this too" & that will be enough for me!!!

Live well, friends!

Monday, January 12, 2015

12 weeks to go!

So, I'm slacking.  But only in keeping this thing updated.  Everything else is BANG on!!!

New protocols started last week for nutrition & cardio.  New training program starts on Saturday after I wrap up the current 6 week plan.  What I LOOOOOVE about the training is hitting the PRs in the last couple weeks.  KB (husband) actually stopped mid-cardio so he could spot me on squats.  That's support!!!

I've also found a suit that I'm in LOVE with.  It's simple but flashy with stoning & connectors in the right places.  And no, I won't be posting it just yet ;)  In time but if you have my number, I *might* text it to you.  (tease, I know.)

Last week, I was asked about prepping meals, how do I do it, do I spend hours, etc.  NO WAY!  I'm a fast & simple "dieter." I will cook up lean ground meat, portion out for meals & toss in cooked rice (brown or white) & frozen veggies.  Bam. I will also use dinner leftovers for lunches.  Prepping for show (or anything else) can be as hard or as easy as you make it.  I choose easy!  No, we don't have kids but we both work full-time (KB travels weekly for work) & I am in grad school so our extra time will not be spent with me in the kitchen outside of usual meals.

One other thing, I have joined the transformation challenge & will be updating stats, pics, etc over there.  Feel free to find me, friend me, etc over there.  My name on there is fitness_runner!  Current pics are there but since I have them out there, this week I'll post current (tomorrow is check in day) with where I started with this team in June.

Happy Monday!!! Make today great & don't let anyone say you can't!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Still there?

So tell me, what do you want to know?  I'll babble without suggestions too, you know but if there's something you'd like, let me know!!

More tomorrow....

Monday, December 15, 2014

Details please!

So, now that I've outted myself, it's time to get down to business.  I've been asked to detail what I'm doing. My diet, my training, my "maintenance," blah blah blah.

Let's start with what I eat.  Our team follows a macros based flexible diet.  It's often referred to in the industry as "IIFYM" which stands for If It Fits Your Macros.  What that basically means is that we eat what we want, make it fit into our numbers with 80% of our foods coming from a "clean" foods list.  Bottom line?  If I want a piece of dark chocolate, I can have it but it has to fit into my day.  What are macros?  They are specific numbers that dictate how many grams of protein, carbs & fat I can eat in a given day.

If you are interested in a jump start, you can visit our Team Best Fit Body & check out the 6 week nutritional program!!

Training?  I currently train 6 days a week doing body part splits (ie: chest & core, back & bi's, legs x2, shoulders, core & triceps.)  My cardio is only 3 days of 30 min HIIT (high intensity interval training.)  We also do a fun team challenge each week that is a short HIIT style circuit training.  I spend NO more than 70 minutes in the gym on any given day.  The myth in this industry is that you have to spend HOURS a day in the gym.  Yes, there are teams that do that but it's not necessary. If you are KILLING your workouts, making your cardio count & doing your best, that's all you need! I should add that I get all of training from my coach as well.

Maintenance?  Seems like an odd thing for a competitor, doesn't it?  Well, it's crucial to the process.  My maintenance plan is monthly chiropractic adjustments.  During these appointments, he also checks any twinges, soreness, etc that I've had.  It helps that my doctor also works out at the same gym & observes my movements there.  My last check-up included a comment that I'm moving well which made me mucho happy!

The other part of maintenance is taking my rest day, foam rolling DAILY (sometimes twice a day), stretching & monthly massage. I also try to fit in hot yoga once a week to help keep things loose.

How to make food prep easier?  I batch cook each week for lunches....meatballs, chicken breast or tenderloins, turkey burgers, etc.  So I'll portion out what I want for protein, toss in some (pre-cooked) rice & frozen veggies.  Easy & fast.  Snacks are fruit, protein shakes, plain greek yogurt, etc.  Dinner is always what I'm making for hubby that night with a salad & I add a carb if I need to for myself (sweet potato, etc.)  Breakfast (because I'm boring) is always 2 eggs, english muffin with a little bit of cheese.

I do use some supplements.  I take a joint supplement, BCAA/pre-workout, multivitamin, protein powder & a greens supplement.  I also take fish oils but currently they are on hold due to surgery on my hand this week (they thin your blood & can interfere with clotting.)

Disclaimer: my program is mine & geared for what my body needs (training.)  While many of our programs are similar, they are streamlined for us & that is the same for our macros as well so you won't ever see my exact training/macro numbers.

That should cover it but as always, I'm open so if you have questions, feel free to ask & I will be happy to address them!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Well, since I'm competing again.  I thought it was time to dust this thing off.  That & peer pressure (the good kind) has won! lol

More details shortly but as of Saturday, I'm 16 weeks out!  Game on!!