Saturday, May 25, 2013

Metabolic Damage- My Story

So here I am another week or 2 since my last update and this time I am going to be even more brutally honest with what’s been going on with me and how I feel. I have been telling you bits and pieces along the way but maybe not the whole story.

It’s no secret that I am struggling and also that I am beating myself up about it. Today I am 15lbs heavier than I was when I stepped on stage in November and I am discouraged, disappointed and frankly more than a little embarrassed. I know I said it many times during the prep that the stage ready body is not something anyone can maintain all year round so I was prepared for that and I know that I have likely increased my muscle mass since then but that is not all of it; this I know.

Immediately some of you are probably thinking change your diet, work harder, that’s the key; there has to be something I am doing wrong, right? Well that is the part that disappoints and discourages me. If I were doing something wrong; it would be an easy fix but I eat as clean or cleaner than ever, I work harder at the gym and I am getting stronger and fitter with each day (one positive at least) but I just don’t reap the lean looking benefits any longer.

So why not?
Well I have been reading a lot, talking to doctors, naturopaths and others in the fitness industry and it seems that my body has decided to be rebellious and hold on to everything that I feed it. Metabolic Damage; isn’t that just wonderful. Doctors’ appointments have determined that I have high cortisol levels, adrenal fatigue, an acidic body and very low iron levels.

My story and struggles however don’t just begin with the training for the fitness competition; I do believe that I had issues before I started training. It’s just now they seem to be much worse.

When I first began this journey it literally took me forever to lose 1 pound of fat and to notice any really difference at all even in inches lost. That’s more than a little strange! I mean I was throwing around heavy weights at the gym which was a change from my normal regimen so I should have been seeing results. I talked to my doctor but he didn’t seem to think it was a big deal and then suddenly one day it started to happen. My body reacted; Phew!

I put so much of myself into preparing for the stage; so much time and energy and I felt on top of the world honestly until it all came crashing down post competition and now my body just feels drained and fat. Despite how hard I work, despite how much I rest and what I eat there seems to be nothing I can do to change it. Add that to everything else and here comes the stress factor which increases my cortisol and fatigue and so the cycle continues.

As you all know I love fitness, I love being healthy and I love lifting weights. I am all about challenges, setting new goals and seeing what I can do and what my body can accomplish naturally. So I work to get this lean looking body, step on stage, love, love , love it and bam returning to normal is harder than getting stage ready in the first place…wtf!

I don’t blame anybody; it is just my bodies’ reaction. I didn’t go all out and binge for days after the competition, I didn’t lose my period for months like a lot of women, and my calorie intake was low but high in fat and protein. I had little to no carb intake however which I may want to do differently next time around because I WILL do another show someday! My training was intense but I had loads of energy for it. I was getting up at 4:30am to do a 20 minute interval workout, an hour of weights at night coupled with another 30-40 minutes of cardio and I honestly felt better than ever.

So the last several months have been a major struggle for me. I had intended to compete on May 19, 2013 in the NPAA show in Calgary but I had to change plans and work on body recovery first. A huge blow but one that I am coming to terms with gradually; I picked up training for FemSport instead. A goal and one that keeps me determined and focused on getting stronger and better; no dieting required.

I still haven’t found a solution or a balance and I am still not recovered but I am working on it. I have been told it takes time so I am learning to accept it and be patient with myself. I rest when I need to, I eat when I need to, I have a cheat meal every once in a while and I know I’m healthy. In fact my lifestyle hasn’t changed much from where I was pre-competition; it’s my body that has. I want to feel normal, to feel lean, to look at myself and be happy with where I am; knowing that my hard work is paying off. Unfortunately I can’t diet or train out of where I am so right now I have to accept my heavier self and not stress over it but be patient.

It’s embarrassing some days to go to the gym and have to face so many people who know where I was yet who don’t know what I have been going through. Little do they know. It’s a tough road but I am working through with determination and I am NOT giving up. I want to continue to inspire and motivate people to live the healthy, fit lifestyle.

Fitness is my passion and will continue to be. Clean eating and training are the key but right now my body needs time to respond as it once did. I currently work out 5 days a week for approximately 1 hour each day of entire body workouts and I eat clean which is normal for me. I rarely feel hungry which is bothersome because it makes me concerned that I am not eating enough. I have to make a conscious effort to eat every 2-3 hours and to incorporate healthy carbs, proteins and fats into my daily regimen. I am also always tired.

It is so easy to get discouraged and the mental spiral just stresses me out which makes everything much worse. I am concentrating on my improvements in strength and endurance and on training for FemSport which I am enjoying and doing great with.

My current motto: Stay strong, focused and determined; continue with the healthy, fit lifestyle and the rest will eventually work itself out.

*me now*

Until next time;






Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fitness while Travelling

I got approached a few days ago from Mike who wanted to write a guest post for FitGirlsRock in regards to fitness while travelling.

Fitness is not something a lot of people take the time to do while on vacation and not something a lot of people research before leaving for vacation. My husband and I always check our hotels before we leave to see what sorts of fitness amenities are offered.

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Anyway without further ado; here is Mike's article:


Staying Fit on the Go

Even though traveling has always been a pretty stressful experience, new airport policies have made the experience even more stressful. If you add in the extra money being spent, the time away from home, and the long layovers at the airport, the experience can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, many people understand that the best way to reduce this added stress is to exercise, but sadly, people do not know how to participate in any type of exercise routine when they are traveling. However, by researching your hotel and airport before you leave for your trip, you can determine if you will be able to exercise while you are away.

Workout at the Hotel
Each hotel will have different amenities that it will offer its guests. From free breakfast to free Internet access, you will find lots of things that will make you want to stay there. However, you should not neglect the fact that you will need to exercise during your trip. On a recent trip to San Francisco I was wondering how I was going to be able to balance my work schedule but still be able to get a nice workout in.  After brainstorming a few ideas, I began to browse a few review sites in order to find more information on some possible places I could stay.  I was provided with various lists of hotels in San Francisco, along with a ton of information on each individual hotel.  This made the process much easier and I was able to pick the hotel that would directly fit my traveling and fitness needs.   
If your hotel does not have any type of exercise facility, then you may have to get creative in how you will be burning off some steam, possible a light job or even a walk outside could do the trick. Also, some hotels will offer better exercise equipment than other hotels. In addition to this, some of these hotels will even offer exercise classes. The exercise classes will be very attractive because they will allow guests to socialize with the other guests, and they will also allow the guests to have a more structured workout.
Workout at the Airport
With the many screening policies at the different airports, you may find yourself spending a considerable amount of time there. By spending so much time there, you will also realize that your stress levels are at their highest when you are waiting at the airport. Luckily, airport officials recognized this as well. As a result, some airports began offering their passengers the opportunity to exercise while they were waiting to board their flights. The San Francisco International Airport and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport both offer different types of exercise amenities for their passengers.

Traveling is definitely a stressful event, but you can take steps to eliminate this stress. If you do thorough research and determine if you are able to exercise during your trip, you will probably         eliminate a lot of the stress that you will encounter. Therefore, whether your trip is for business or  pleasure, exercise will allow you to have an enjoyable time.

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Thanks Mike!
You can find more of Mike's blog posts at:
http://mikemanningmusings@blogspot.ca

Until next time,




Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Weekly Update

Hello All,

I figure it’s about time for another update on me and my life. Although; things haven’t been overly exciting, I guess there is always something to tell.

First and foremost, I have to start by pausing with a moment of silence and prayers for my family. We just recently lost a cousin of mine who had been suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease; also known as ALS. It has been a very sad week for us all, especially because she was still very young; only 31 years old. RIP Lisa xoxo

Lisa will be missed dearly by all who knew her and remembered fondly for the kind, young lady that she was. Gone but not forgotten!

Times like these always make you take a step back and look at the big picture. Remember we only get one life to live so do what makes you happy; try not to sweat the little things and love with all your heart.



As for myself, I have good days and bad days; still struggling at times with low energy and being tired but I am pushing through. I have another doctor’s appointment coming up to discuss my blood work results and I am going to ask for a hormone test.

I have talked to several people recently who have experienced a hormone imbalance which could also be a cause of some of the symptoms I have been experiencing. We will see what happens. I hope to figure this out soon and work on a path to getting and feeling better.

My training in this last week or so has been outstanding. I noticed a significant difference after I took a more relaxed approach to training last weekend and spent more time outside with some bodyweight workouts and cardio. It helped because I felt a little more refreshed for my first training session back at the gym this week and have been beating some personal bests again ever since.

**Box Jumps (new record): 50 in 52.5sec
**Dumb Bell clean & press (new record): 60lbs both arms (see video post from yesterday) and 65lbs right arm only

We have recently been focusing my training more on exercises which incorporate a mixture of both endurance and strength; meaning that I have been doing a lot of exercises that get my heart rate up but also include some muscle building activities.



This type of training regimen is really designed to help prepare me for the upcoming FemSport competition that I will be participating in on June 22.  Exercises include timed bench jumps and inverted rows, Olympic lifts for time, heavy tire rolls, running stairs, chin-ups, sled pulls, clean & press, lots of jumping, bike and treadmill intervals, etc. I am enjoying it immensely so far; my body, on the other hand, feels like it is always sore. No, I’m not complaining; I love it!



My eating remains the same (all clean, whole foods) and I have been consciously trying to eat more throughout the day. There is a concern that I may not be fueling my body enough compared to the intense training that I am doing. I find though that it is tough to eat more when you are just not feeling hungry. Another work in progress!

I tried some new homemade protein bars and they were a nice treat. My husband loved them and I will admit I made them more for him then me. My hubby by the way is also doing fantastic with this lifestyle now as well and there are noticeable improvements in his strength, muscle definition and overall leanness. I am very proud of him.

My trainer, Andrew, competed in the NPAA show last weekend and got first place as well as another pro card to add to his list. Way to go Andrew; you are an inspiration!

Any who, that’s about all for this update

Until next time,



Friday, May 10, 2013

Personal Best Dumb Bell Clean and Press

Last night I made another personal record on the dumb bell clean and press.

I finally, after trying for months, accomplished the 60lbs on each arm. I actually was able to get to 65lbs on my right but not on my left...YET; I will get there though.

Here is a video of my 60lbs per arm

video
Until next time.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Homemade Protein Bar Recipes

My husband has been asking me to make homemade protein bars for a while now. So a few days ago I decided to try a couple of different recipes.
#1) Homemade Protein Bars:
2 cups gluten free oats
4 scoops chocolate protein powder (gluten free)
Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
½ cup raw chopped almonds, ½ cup natural peanut butter and 1/3 cup water

Mix all ingredients together, spread into pan and refrigerate
#2) Homemade Banana Chocolate Protein Bars:
1 mashed banana
11/2 cups gluten free oats
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2-4 scoops of gluten free protein powder (I used 2)
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup organic unsweetened coconut
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup water
½ dark chocolate bar (Lindt 90% dark chocolate)

Mix all ingredients except chocolate together and spread into pan. Melt chocolate and spread over mixture. Place in freezer for approximately 2 hours.
Results: Both are very yummy options, however while I prefer #1; my husband prefers #2. It is nice to have some variety so having both options available is ideal. We are currently enjoying them both J
Try them out and let me know what you think.
Which do you prefer?
Enjoy!
Until next time,