Personal Health Intiative Training

Posts tagged ‘figureprep’

Body Lessons

It has been a while. I think I have not posted here for years. Maybe because I was discouraged from the last competition and maybe because I don’t feel that drive that I once did that kept me enthralled in a healthier lifestyle. But two weeks ago, I attended the Red Clay Writing Institute in Athens, Georgia and the workshop reminded me that I am a writer. I think that I forget! Not only do I want to write again, I am more willing to share some of the stories that have not been shared in the past. I have written a very short story about my first bodybuilding competition and those who have competed will relate. Here it is. My first post since October 2014.

Body Lessons

She stood behind the curtain backstage. As the MC called her name, she found herself shaking and thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” Her hand moved across the back of her suit as she made sure it was still in place. She looked down at her chest to see if anything was sticking out. The last thing she wanted to do was flash the audience. The MC ended his introduction and she stepped with one foot in front of the other until she was fully past the curtain. Good thing she had a little sip of wine because she was about two seconds away from passing out. The music was turned up loud and she looked out at the crowd but the only thing visible were the bright lights, the row of judges in the front of the auditorium and her boyfriend. Making her way across the stage in those five inch heels started to become easier with each step.
The first pose was one that she practiced over and over again with her coach. Left hand on her hip, right leg out to the side and a big grin with eyes on the judges. Her muscles flexed as she held the pose for a few seconds, but her face still looked relaxed. If only the audience knew how painful it was to hold those poses. She walked to the right of the stage and turned, showing her well-earned striations. Then she moved to the middle again with her eyes on the crowd. This was no time to be nervous. She had suffered through grueling workouts and walked a very fine line between fat loss and starvation for twelve long weeks. As she walked to the left, she thought about all of the food she was going to eat after the night was over. She turned around and showed off the v-taper on her lean back, and back around to display her six-pack abs. None of the women were as lean as her. After the T-walk on stage she went behind the curtain and her coach congratulated her. Never in a million years did she think that she would compete in such an event!
All the women went out together and followed the instructions of the judges. “Quarter turn to the right, quarter turn to the left, face the back, face the front.” They were up there for what seemed like forever. One by one, the award winners were called out on the stage and she heard her name. Fourth place! Not bad for a first timer. She was inspired beyond measure and she was inspiring others. Just a few years ago she was overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. The next day she talked to the head judge and asked for feedback. “You were just too lean. That was extreme. Nobody wants to see that.” Did he not realize how hard she had worked for her body? His words cut her like a knife. In her mind, her muscles showed her hard work and dedication that none of the other women had. But in his opinion, she should have been softer. Forget that! If she was going to do this, she was going to go all out. She could be “soft” by just not working out, but this was bodybuilding for God’s sake. When she was obese no one told her to lose weight so she could be healthy, but here she was talking to a man who promoted a healthy lifestyle telling her that she went too far. A Black man who should have been supportive of his Black sisters.
It was in that moment that she realized no matter what you do to your body there will be people who don’t like it. Too muscular? You look like a man. Too soft? You are fat. Small ass? Get some butt injections. Breasts small? Get some implants? Hair nappy and too Black looking? Get a relaxer to look Whiter. Bodybuilding taught her discipline and pride and she learned to love herself for who she was no matter what the judges thought or anyone else who decided to judge her body.

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German Body Composition: My Thoughts

It’s always a good idea to change up your training regimen every now and then because your body adjusts to a routine after a while and eventually it stops responding. Also, you just get bored of doing the same thing every day. If you plan to train for life, you have to find ways to make your workouts exciting. So in an effort to keep things exciting, I decided to try a new type of training called German Body Composition training for four weeks.

This training parameter originated in Germany of course but was made famous by Charles Poliquin, and is based on the German Volume training program. In German Volume training, the goal is to lift lighter weights, about 60% of your max, 10 reps for 10 sets. So ultimately, you are increasing the volume of your work. When you take a look at any GVT program, it is easy to be skeptical. It LOOKS too simple. Bodybuilders are used to doing a certain number of reps for 3-5 sets. But, let me tell you that it is tough! I was sore for days because of the workload. I also needed more recovery time during the week. I trained for 3 days in a 5 day period…so, 2 days on, 1 day on, 1 day off, etc…. My program was a little different because I added auxiliary work at the end of the workout and I still did cardio throughout the week. That is why the version I did is called German Body Composition training, because your main goal is still fat loss. With GVC training, the sole focus is muscle building.

If you are going to try GBC or GV training, stick to your basic lifts like squats, bench press, and dumbbell curls. You are only doing 3 or 4 exercises in one session. If you want, add auxiliary work such as ab exercises, or dumbbell rows for 3 sets of 10-12 reps. You will be so worn out by the end that you can’t do much more than that. Just think about it…you are doing 100 reps of an exercise in one session!! That is a lot. Here is an example of one of my workouts:

Leg Day

Squats: 10×10

Superset with

Lying Hamstring Curls: 10×10

Cable Leg Pull Ins (Abs) 3×10-12

Superset with

Seated Calf Raises 3×10-12

Needless to say my glutes were sore for a while.

Results

After my four weeks of high volume training, I feel stronger in the gym. I have more energy while still keeping my carbohydrate intake relatively moderate which keeps me lean. I also have more strength in my cardio training. I attend spin class regularly and have noticed that I have a little bit more endurance during the class. I also have more endurance on the treadmill and running outside.

So, if you want a change, or if you just want to challenge yourself, give GBC of GVT training a shot.

V’s Sweet Potato Cookies

These cookies are not like regular sugar and fat laden cookies. They are actually quite healthy and a great preworkout snack. I had a lot of cooked sweet potatoes that I needed to use before they went bad, so i came up with this recipe.
You will need the following.
2 cups of oat flour (I just take plain oats and blend them until they turn into a flour texture)
3 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 large roasted sweet potato with skin removed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of baking splenda
3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix together with an electric mixer or by hand. You can add a little water if the batter is too thick.
Make 12 cookies and place on a cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 350
Place cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes

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119 calories per serving!

New Recipe….And Change of Plans

My boyfriend’s birthday is Wednesday, and I wanted to get a cake of course! I decided to get a co-worker to make a mini-cake and cupcakes for him. I also put in a request for a healthier dessert option for myself (because I thought I was competing in June…more on that later). She made the most wonderful carrot cupcakes and red velvet cake and my special request for a pan of mini-dark chocolate cheesecakes made from tofu.

Since I run a library inside of a school that has a culinary program, I get to explore the wonderful cookbooks and cooking magazines that we have in our collection. I always try to find healthier options for desserts because I LOVE sweets. I came across a book entitled “1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes” by Carol Fenster and found some pretty awesome dishes. I wanted something, low carb, low fat, and low sugar. It took me a while, but I spotted a very simple recipe that fit the requirements. Mini-Chocolate Cheesecakes! They were delightful and still had plenty of flavor. (I also ate some red velvet cake too!)

So you are probably wondering why I am eating red velvet cake if I am preparing for a show…well I am not doing the show. I decided that right now, financially I am not in a position to compete and I want to make some more improvements before the next competition. I am also a tad bit burned out from dieting for 5 months. My body and mind need a break, and I am focusing on getting two other people ready for their competitions which is very exciting! I am still training and might do a one mile race in a month, just to have a goal to shoot for. When I am not prepping for a show, my approach to dieting it FLEXIBLE. I eat what fits in my macronutrient goals for the day. I don’t restrict certain foods but I strive to eat a well-balanced range of healthy foods, and yes, I do eat some “junk.” I just fit everything into my macros for the day. This is the only thing that works for ME long term. I don’t do well with bland restrictive diets. (A sure fire way to binge is to deprive yourself of certain foods unnecessarily.)

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Now, if you want to make a healthier dessert, and you love cheesecake, this recipe is a great option. Note*: You don’t have to use the Tofutti, you can use low fat cream cheese if you want.

CRUST:

1 package of Pamela’s Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Chunk Cookies

FILLING:

2 tablespoons of boiling water

6 ounces of 72% or higher Dark Chocolate

2 8 oz packages of Toffuti Better Than Cream Cheese cut into cubes

¾ cup of sugar OR the SPLENDA Baking combo equivalent which is what I used

2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2 large eggs

  1. Place a rack in the middle oven and preheat to 325. Grease a nonstick mini cheesecake pan or mini meatloaf tin, or mini brownie tin.
  2. Place the cookies in a food processor/blender and make fine crumbs.
  3.  Melt the chocolate in the boiling water and set aside (you may need to use more water…use as much as you need to).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and beat 1 minute, scraping the side of the bowl. Beat in the chocolate mixture and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Pour the filling into the molds, dividing evenly.
  5. Bake at 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are firm. Cool the cheesecakes in the pan for 15 minutes. Release the cheesecakes by pushing up from the bottom. Refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Take from 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes

In Between

I heard a message this morning that really made me think. We get so caught up in our daily lives and trying to get the dream job, dream house, dream car, and even the dream body, that we don’t enjoy the process. I have thought about this in regards to my prep for this next show and also my career. Of course, I have big goals and positions that I would like to see myself in.  Ultimately, I want to make a career of teaching others how to make healthy lifestyle changes, not just temporary changes for a show or an event. But, I realized that I am getting so caught up in reaching the end or dreading the beginning, that I am not truly enjoying the journey.

For the next 10 weeks until my next competition, I have a plan to enjoy the journey more. Here it is outlined step-by-step.

  • Share my experience in more details by writing in this blog
  • Record training sessions of myself and my clients
  • Implement a new training style for the first six weeks (German Volume Training…more on this in a separate post)
  • Read more literature on nutrition and competition training
  • Take my cardio outside on nice days, walking outside, or running at the lake
  • Include yoga back into my routine once a week
  • Include meditation
  • Pray for more patience and strength to enjoy each day

 

Don’t ever get so consumed with the FINAL result that you forget to enjoy what it takes to get there. If you enjoy the process, the task will be less arduous and stressful in your everyday life. If you want to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, don’t just think about that last day of the 3rd month, think about what you are doing to get there. What will your workout plan involve? What new and creative exercises can you add to your regimen, and what types of creative meals can you plan. How will you be a positive influence to those around you while you are pursuing your goal? Yes, it will be hard and yes, you may slip and fall….but just keep going and please enjoy the ride!!!

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”-Greg Anderson

 

 

 

Bread Anyone?

I have been very skeptical of trying this “low carb” bread by Julian Bakery. It just sounded too good to be true. However; when you look at the ingredients, you can see that the macronutrients are in exact alignment with what is needed for a cutting diet. 6 grams of carbs total with 5 grams of insoluble fiber, so the bread contains only 1 gram of net carbs. The coconut bread by Julian Bakery only has 1 gram of fat and is just 35 calories per slice. When I saw this in Whole Foods today, I just had to try it. Part of the fun of doing my own diet is that I can be creative! I need to experiment on myself first before I make recommendations to other people.

Well the verdict is….I love it! It tastes good, makes me feel full, and helps me psychologically get through a VERY strict diet. This bread is very expensive but to me it is worth it. If you cannot eat bread because of a gluten allergy or are on a cutting diet, you should give this a shot. You will continue to lean out while eating it. There are many different versions of their bread but this is the one I tried.

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You have to keep it in the freezer, but you can thaw it out in the oven and make a wonderful slice of toast for breakfast. I ate this with my bison burger and zero carb noodles for lunch today. It was delightful.

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Better Than Ice Cream!

Today after my leg workout, I went to Whole Foods grocery. Whole Foods is not a store where I do my weekly shopping but if there is a special item that I want, they will usually have it. For example, they have those lovely machines that will grind up nuts for you to make your own nut butter without the added sugar. They also have some meat and really fresh, local seafood that you will not find at other chains. Today I picked up some salsa and other seasonings and found a different type of almond milk that I wanted to try. The milk is made by the “So Delicious” company and has 5 grams of protein in one cup. One cup is only 40 calories, contains 2 grams of fat, and 0 grams of sugar, and only 1 carb. It also only has 95 mg of sodium….some meat products contain more sodium than that! I will be using this up until the last week of competition prep because it is DELICIOUS in my protein shake. It is better than ice cream!

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Here is my recipe for a delicious vanilla protein shake that will have you licking the cup when you are finished. (That might just be me because just about everything tastes good at this point). 

  • 1 scoop of Gaspari Intrapro Vanilla flavored Whey Isolate
  • 1 cup of So Delicious Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 and 1 1/2 cups of ice

Blend for about 60-90 seconds. If you have a blender that has different settings, use the “milkshake” setting or one that mixes at a medium speed.

Enjoy! You will definitely be sad when the shake is gone!

195 calories, 5 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat (Depends on the protein powder that you use).

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