2-Year Battle

I’ve always been active, I played sports growing up but obviously that all changes when you have kids. I managed to maintain a fairly active lifestyle when I moved to South Carolina in 2013, after having Vela. I invested in my first gym membership, and even though I had a little experience in training I didn’t have any knowledge of weight training, and most importantly: no knowledge about nutrition (the base of all our goals), and how to properly fuel your body for such activities, and battling eating disorders. Sound like a hot mess? Well I was. I’m going to do my best to show a breakdown down of my progress throughout the years, because just like every single real person out there our bodies fluctuate; we learn new things and implement them.

Version 2Here is a photo of me 2 years ago, post-baby and hustling in the gym. I had struggled a lot with bulimia/binging and purging after I had my kids, something I may or may not go into later. I went from weighing 120 lbs. in high school then blew up to almost 170 lbs. when I had Warren. I lost 40 of those lbs., but then got pregnant again and maintained 135-140 lbs. during the second pregnancy. Gradually, I started to gain weight and I didn’t know why or how then (I do now, obviously). At this point, I was either eating very little (cottage cheese and a handful of Wheat Thins), or overeating/binge eating junk food. I had a love hate relationship with food that was sickening. At my lowest once again, I weighed 125 lbs again. YAY… but I was unhappy. I was tired all the time, I was literally sick. I developed IBS at age 20, had chronic migraines – I was always sick. I was allergic to almost everything (I wasn’t allergic to anything prior to my poor eating habits). I was in and out of the hospital for reasons unknown. On top of my poor nutrition habits, I was overworking my body. I worked out 3-4 hours a day, every single day but Sunday. When I got home from my the gym, I would still be on the go and working out when I got home. I was skinny-fat for who much I worked out. I knew nothing about body recovery, or cared for it. All I knew was: I want to be skinny, I want to fit, I don’t want to be fat. Was this me being a healthy role-model to my children? Hell no.

Fast forward 1 year, we had moved back to Kansas City. I gained a lot of my weight Version 2back being near my family (Laotion food is so hard to resist!) and always having gatherings that of course, aimed around food. I was still working out, but that this point time was the only thing stopping me from working our 3 hours a day. I worked our 3-5 times a week, lifted weights but didn’t have a plan as far as working out. Let’s just say I did a lot of squats (and I’m telling you now that more squats don’t equal bigger booty; pancake butt stage) I was pretty fluffy, still binging and purging but wasn’t in starvation mode. I was eating whatever I pleased, and kind of tracking my food – calories, but not macros. I weighed 160 lbs. again, but eh – it was just muscle gain *eye roll* it was more of an excuse for my weight gain. At this point, I definitely put on muscle but I wasn’t leaning out. I was 29% body fat. I was still eating poorly, and compensating my poor eating habits with hard workouts. Still unhappy, still not accomplishing goals.

Version 2Present. I have a better understanding for nutrition, and training with a certification in the works, helping and coaching others to a healthy lifestyle… after my long constant battle. I’ve overcome a lot of battles with my binging and purging, but I am careful because I do prep for shows. I have to keep myself aware of thoughts, and habits; not all my goals are aesthetic. I’m thankful my husband watches my eating habits, because he has seen me struggling and fluctuate for years. Food is fuel, not a way to reward yourself for emotions. I am now 140 lbs, post-competition. I’m pretty content for a base/normal weight. I have more expectations for myself with the future competitions I compete in, but for now I am happy with this progress. I’m sitting at 14% body fat as of today. I work out 5-6 days out of the week, cardio intervals 3 times a week for 45 minutes, weights 4-5 days a week, HIIT/Plyometrics once  a week. I eat consistently now, 2-2.5 hours, track my calories and macronutrients. I prep my meals so I’m not tempted to grab something “convenient” aka fast food. I am balanced, for the most part. I eat healthy foods, not entirely clean but healthy. I don’t restrict myself or do crash diets. I still have goals to achieve that I am working towards, but right now I am happy with where I am and how far I have progressed past unhealthy eating habits and overexerting my body. I will eventually reach them, but there is no point in tearing my body apart now to only receive short-term goals that may harm my body in the long run. I know the importance of working my body, but also allowing it time to recover. It took a couple of years for me to learn, but I am glad I know now how to properly train.

Depleted/Dehydrated/Zombie-Feels Free Prep

Is it too late for to post my Women Crush this week?! I’ve posted about her before (her 16 week post baby photo); I am so grateful to be in touch with someone so hardworking, real, and supportive. She recently shared this photo with me so I, of course, had to share in light of the show I am competing in this weekend. What I loved most, and admired more about the competition she competed in was the way she prepped. Yes, she looks BEAUTIFUL but more importantly, she didn’t have to diminish her health to get there. Many girls who compete in the bikini category become so depleted and “starved” if not trained the right way. Unfortunately, some even develop eating disorders/body dysmorphia.It is “normal” to feel depleted or like a zombie but Maree was able to use superfood nutrition, and an active lifestyle to get where she needed to be for her show. She had balance. She wasn’t starved, she had energy, she didn’t have the hormonal mood swings that we experience because she was able to do her show a HEALTHY way. For goodness sakes, she got to eat chocolates and drink the day of her show! 😂😍 Who doesn’t love that? 

Secret: She’s the one who helped me create these challenges I offer to help reboot your health based off what she did for her show. 

Road trip: Midway USA Championships

If you have been following me on my other social media handles (Instagram or Facebook), you would know I am competing in my first bikini competition tomorrow. It’s about a 3-hour drive from where I live, and I’ve got a hotel reserved from me and the hubby in Wichita, Kansas this weekend for this eventful experience (oh dear lord, pray I don’t fuck anything up!) I’ve never been to Wichita, let alone been on a road trip alone with my husband so pray he survives my 90’s to early 2000’s playlist, my snoring, and my car sickness – my mom can vouch how much I hate car rides!

I’ve always had a great following for my health and fitness lifestyle, but I haven’t been open about my progress, and received so many kind words from my friends and family. Before spontaneously prepping for this show:

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Before prep
I weighed almost 160 pounds. I was 23% body fat at 5’1″. I was incredibly unhappy, because I had spent years and years and years in the gym and staying active and these numbers didn’t change after I gave birth to my two littles. I was tired of feeling fat, being bloated, and in this plateau. At one point after having my kids, I dropped down to 11% body fat but I was still unhappy – I still felt like I didn’t achieve anything. I would also add that I was completely unhealthy in how I lost all that fat.

I took 15 weeks to prep for this show, which is about a moderate amount of time; not too long, but not short time either. I was so worried I wouldn’t reach my goals, I was worried about winning. But wait. Why was I so worried about winning?

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3 days ago
I already have. Ladies and gents… It took 15 weeks for me to lose 20 pounds. It took 15 weeks for me to lose 10% body fat. It took 15 weeks for my abs to show. It took 15 weeks for me to be comfortable in my skin again. I am happy with my 15 week progress, how is that not winning? I have all these goals I reached in just 15 weeks, so why would I go into this competition, my first competition, worried about a trophy? This competition, I am going to be in the mindset that I did all this shit and I accomplish this list of goals I’ve had since I was blessed with my two children. I’ve already won. I finally pushed my body, and saw what I needed to do to get where I wanted to be versus dreaming. I did it.

My experience with prepping for this show has taught me so much, and has changed my mindset on goal-setting. People keep dreaming, wishing, and talking and hardly any of them are working, doing, and achieving! My aesthetic goals were definitely a mental challenge; I had been a different mindset when I was not on prep (stuck in my plateaued state versus prep-state), and I hope anyone who has goals they want to achieve know that nothing is impossible. The only thing stopping you from your goals is your mindset.