Sunday, November 29, 2009

Off Season Struggles

I made it through last week on track, Monday until Friday afternoon that is. It all fell apart when I decided to bake the kids some banana bread and banana cake on the day that I was allowed to have a cheat. I ate WAY more cake then was necessary and even took it out of the freezer and ate more that was not quite frozen yet. The problem was the kids took off to their dads for the weekend and refused to take it with them :S Thats when I thought putting it in the freezer would be a good solution...NOT! It may takes even better partially frozen...not good! After that debacle I had plans to meet a girlfriend for drink and apps. My plan was just to have a few nibbles but again probably had more then necessary. 

I wrote that first paragraph at the beginning of the week and ran out of time so saved it as a draft. Just reading over it now I am sad to sat that it hasn't got much better :( It seems like every day is a struggle right now and I know that I am at the point where if I don't smarten up I am going to pay the price.

 I got dressed to go out to dinner last night and my jeans that I bought pre comp were so tight it was uncomfortable :( They are my first pair of Sevens and the only jeans that fit me right now, or used to anyway. Well, there is also the pair I stole from my daughter but they are uncomfortable now too!  So...I got undressed & cancelled my dinner plans. I wasn't hungry and didn't want to put myself in another situation where I may overeat. I know how wrong this was. Off season is short and I should be able to enjoy it by socializing with so many friends that I 'ignore' when training..

 Right now I am sitting at the weight I consider reasonable for off season & those jeans are tight but I can still get them on and if I wear them long enough they do seem to loosen up. If I can lose a few pounds or even stay right where I am I should be okay. That is why I NEED to get a handle on this has only been 3 weeks since my last show and I still have 4 to go before I start dieting again.

Sooo here we go is a new day and a new week. I WILL eat clean until Friday. Then if I so choose to have my clean Friday cheat I will enjoy it guilt free!

I think I am going to try those jeans on every day to keep me on track. Good plan?

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Year as a Team O'Brien Girl

It was exactly one year ago today that I decided to go ahead and pursue one of my  life goals to compete in figure.

I had just returned from Amsterdam where I ran my 4th marathon and decided to contact Team O'Brien.  Marathons were good for goal setting and travelling but it was time for a change. Time to tackle a new goal!

I was at a wedding in September when I heard that Mindi had a studio in Burlington and was quite excited about the possible opportunity to work with thee Mindi O. I met with Mindi and Dennis on November 20, 2008 and haven't looked back since. 

These took these photos...

Pretty scary!!!

But after 4- 5 months of following Dennis' nutrition and Mindi's training programs I stepped on stage like this...


I left that first show with 2 trophies and the opportunity to move on to level 2.

The 2nd show was planned for September so I had a bit of an off season. There were some bumps in the road and I wasn't focused on my training but lessons were learned and I came back even more determined to succeed at the level 2 show in Ottawa in November.

Again I left with 2 wins!

And qualified to move onto level 3 ...Provincials!!!

I can't thank Mindi and Dennis enough for helping me to reach one of my life goals. I always said I wanted to do 'one show' ...and here I am 1 year and 4 wins later :)

 They are an amazing team of fitness professionals! So amazing in fact that I have since gave up my job at a fitness club and have joined them in working at their studio :)

It's funny how much can change in a year... I walked into that studio for the first time one year ago and now I have my own key!

Thanks again guys....looking forward to another year!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Post Comp Week

Last week I was living in post comp hell...the little guy to the right best describes how I felt! With a week to 'relax' from dieting and no workouts to do I felt totally off again. I am hoping with every show I do this will get better. The plan was to have cheats Saturday after the show and Sunday. I can even say that I didn't go too crazy on these days. I arrived home late Sunday night and had an early client Monday morning. Therefore there was no time to prepare anything. Groceries had not been bought, food had not been cooked, etc...then when I went into work and Dennis told me not to worry about dieting this week and to relax. I knew I was in trouble. This girl obvi hasn't learned how to eat relaxed yet! If anyone has any tips I would love to hear them!

 After a few clients I went to Costco with the intention to stock up on chicken. I left with chicken and a box of fresh cookies, the 'chocolate lovers pack' even :S One of my most fav treats is the white chocolate macadamia nut cookie and there was a whole row of them!

The rest of the week kinda went like that, start every day with good intentions and plenty of prepped food but blow it somewhere along the way. I would think, well this is my only week to relax so I better eat it now. Soooo wrong....I know. The whole week I felt tired, sluggish, grumpy and almost fluish . I was puffy and bloated and couldn't even enjoy my victories.

The good news is that week came to an end and come Monday morning I was right back on track.This is an improvement from show #1 where it lasted about 8 weeks! It helped to have a yummy new off season to follow...I am ENJOYING my clean food again :)

It also help to know that come Friday and Saturday night I am allowed 'clean cheats'. Mindi was quite clear that those cheats will not be dessert of any kind. I know this is better for me as I have learned that once I indulge my sweet tooth I can't seem to stop. Once I get the sugar out of my system it is pretty easy for me to stay on track. If am going to cheat, or want to, at that point it is normally fats like nuts or nut butters. During the prep for my first comp I had to take the walnuts right out of my diet because I couldn't have them in the house!

Workouts have been going well this week. I am doing a 5 day split w 45 minutes of cardio on each of those days. Saturday I will go to 'Leg Camp' for an extra blast.  

My next show is April 3 which is only 19 weeks away. We are thinking that I need about 14 weeks of prep so that means my off season comes to an end December 26...looks like my last clean cheat may be Christmas day! Pretty good timing I must say.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Night Show

After the pre-judging wrapped up my daughter, her friend Angie, my brother and myself headed back to the hotel. I forgot to mention in the previous post that my awesome little brother made the 6 hour trek to Ottawa by himself after work Friday so he could be there to support me! Sorry Ryan! I can't thank him enough and I am thinking it is about time I got my butt to some of his motocross races dontcha think? We may have  also made a lil pit stop at the liquor store to get a few bevies to celebrate after the show ;)

I munched on some more dry oatmeal (yum?) and got in about a 90 minute cat nap. I awoke groggy and in the need of Starbucks! The girls had just returned from a mini tour of downtown Ottawa and I sent them out for a grande americano (black of course). I didn't realize until the next day but the hotel Starbucks had closed and they went in search of another one that stayed open longer. They apparently told the barista that I needed it REALLY bad! LOL...I found this out the next day when we hit up the same Starbucks :) Gotta love em!

I sipped on my americano as I touched up my tan and the girls tried to fix my hair ( damn extensions! My hair needs to grow FAST) I wish I would have realized how important hair is in competing when I chopped it all off about a year ago! Then it was back to the venue...the crew dropped me off and then headed off to Pizza Pizza...what? At least they didn't do it before they dropped me off I suppose!

So backstage I go where Mindi touched up my makeup, glazed me & bit my bum again ;)

A quick pump up and the masters short class hit the stage. They brought  the 10 of us out, had us do our quarter turns and then sent us backstage. They then called out the 3rd place winner...not me. The 2nd place winner...not me. At this point you never know whether this is good or bad...then the first place winner...ME! Yeah! We got photos taken with these HUGE trophies and were awarded medals. Then we went backstage and handed the trophies back so they could be used in the photos for the next class :) My daughter was quite disappointed that the trophy was not coming home with us... although I think we may have had trouble fitting it in the car with us 3 girls anyway! I don't have any personal photos of this because my daughter decided to make a video  which I will upload when I figure out how!

Then came the masters tall class. While they were doing their thing I switched my numbers and got ready to hit the stage with the level 2's. Again they brought all height classes out together...the 9 of us did our quarter turns and were sent backstage. Then they called out the 3rd place winner..not me. The 2nd place winner...ME! Sooooo happy! We did some photos and the 3rd place winner and myself were sent off while the overall winner was awarded some prizes and had more photos taken.

Then it was backstage again where all us girls shared our goodies. I have to say I really love this sport and am impressed by how nice everyone is to each other. There were hugs all around and everyone congratulated each other on a job well done. Even though we are competing against one another on the stage you would never know it by the interactions backstage and in the dressing room. We all know how much dedication it takes to get there and there is a mutual respect.

Now was the long awaited time for celebration and for that we (Myself, Ryan, Taryn, Angie. my fellow competitor Erica, her brother and Mom) chose the Lonestar Grill...after a LOOOONNNGG wait we finally got a table and were served nachos and salsa. Erica and decided to share a plate of nachos and a share plate which consisted of taquitos, quesdilla spinach dip and flat bread. Yum!! I may have also washed it down with a mango margarita :)   

With a full belly I headed back to the hotel to have a very overdue shower and return to my normal colour! I then threw on my jammies and my brother joined us for a cocktail. After 1.5 I was sound asleep! Not quite the party girl I used to be!

I am off to work now but will post soon on 'Post Comp Week'. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Arrival and Pre-Judging

Sorry for the delay in blogging but my daughter had all the pics on her camera and we were having trouble connecting!

The weekend began like this... I awoke VERY early Friday morning anxious and ready to start my day but had to wait around for my hair appointment at 9:30 :( The girls and I finished packing, (discovered my son had ate all 24 of my green grapes!), loaded up the car and were on the road to Burlington by 8 am. We dropped the car off at at Canadian Tire for an oil change and hiked it across the parking lot to the Burlington Mall where I was getting my hair done.

Here I am waiting with extensions in hand. I believe this is about the time that my darling daughter informed me that my 2 spray tans had resulted in me looking like an 'Oompa Loompa' (sp?)..and.judging from this photo I would say she is right...oh my!

Here is Sam working his magic. After the first show I told him that I don't want it too curly as it results in a huge mess for me to deal with in the morning but he seems to have trouble leaving it straight...aarrgh.

Anyhow here is the finished product. The girls took some photos so we would know how to fix it after a nights sleep. I was assuming at that point that I would actually sleep!

Now we are off to pick up the car and hit the road...

 We hit the road about 12:15 which should have put us in Ottawa shortly after 5 pm. This would work out well because registration was from 5-8 pm followed by  an athletes meeting at 8:30 pm. We were making great time and should have arrived about 4:30 or earlier until we missed the cut off to Ottawa! As we were approaching the 416 that said 'to Ottawa' I asked my daughter/navigator  (who was talking on the phone) if I should take it....she snapped back "NO! We take the 417!" in her lovely teenage voice and I listened :S

After about 45 minutes without seeing anymore Ottawa signs and plenty of Cornwall signs I decided something was wrong and fired up my blackberry GPS which promptly told us to get off the highway and make our way to the 417. We listened and followed plenty of VERY slow drivers through backroads on our way to the 417. I make have sworn a few times at this point ;)

We arrived in Ottawa around 6:30 and made our way to registration. We then found our hotel, had a bite to eat, threw on some tan and headed back for the meeting. Once again...we were lost and made it to the meeting a few minutes late...

The parking lot was full and this was the only spot I could find! Obviously the principal wasn't going to be there on a Friday night but the girls found this funny enough to be photo worthy.

Back to the hotel to apply another coat of tan and hit the hay. I needed to recruit my daughter and her friend to help get the spots I couldn't reach :S Poor girls!!.Taryn informed me that for all this trauma I had the choice of years of therapy or a REALLY nice present from Ottawa. She insisted that I would be getting off easy with the present as years of therapy would be much pricier :) Can't blame the girl really...can't say I would have been eager to rub brown goop all over my naked Moms butt and back at the age of 16!

After the tan tried I practiced my poses...

We watched a bit of tv and I took 2 'sleep- ease' to make sure I got a good nights sleep. Didn't 2 am I took another one...didn't 4 am I decided I may as well get up eat & apply some more tan. I brewed some coffee, ate my cold steak and sweet potato, got my tan on and waited to call a cab.

While I waited I reviewed the program...

And tried to get my abs to come out...

About 6:30 am I made my way down to the lobby, found a cab and was off to see Mindi at her hotel where she did my makeup.

Mindi and Dennis were a tremendous help and support this weekend and definitely went above and beyond what should be expected from a coaching team. While Mindi worked on my make up Dennis found and made me some oatmeal (very dry according to Mindi's orders;)) I threw my suit on and we were off to the venue.

A quick make up touch up, glaze, posing run through, pump and we hit the stage. I had 2 numbers to keep track of for each of the classes I was in...first up was Masters Short in which there were 10 girls. I couldn't figure out where I stood according to call outs. I was actually was feeling a bit discouraged as I didn't make first call outs as far as I could tell. Apparently I was in a shadow and got overlooked at first..this always seems to happen to me. Then they go..oh crap...look at her...haha. I need to try to avoid this in the future as it messes with my head!

Then came level 2. This was strange because they brought all height classes out together. They thought that because there were only 9 of us that it would be more competitive that way and would avoid bringing several small classes out. I get the concept but it left us even more confused by the call outs. The poor judges were judging overall as well as the individual height classes for advancement to the provincials.

Pre- judging wrapped up and Erica and I had a seat in the audience  and watched Mindi's question and answer session, and prodded Dennis with questions about how he thought we did. He was just as confused as we were and he is a judge!

I this point I realized  my body was finally ready for sleep and headed back to the hotel for a catnap.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ottawa Bound!

I awoke at 5 am this morning STARVING and ready to get at my carton of egg whites! I would have loved to sleep longer as I didn't get to bed until after midnight and have a long drive ahead of me but my body was just not cooperating. Oh well, hopefully I can crash early tonight at the hotel!

I have all my food packed up,  just have to finish packing my clothes and should be ready to go. Finding 'normal' as in' non workout clothes' was rather tricky as everything I tried on practically fell off of me. My skinny jeans don't look so skinny anymore...haha. I guess it has been a while since I've had the opportunity to wear something other then workout gear...between training myself and others it seems there is little opportunity to get 'dressed up' in jeans :) Don't get me wrong..I have NO problem spending my life in lululemon I just often find that when it is time to wear something else either it no longer fits or my daughter has decided that it now belongs to her and I have to go on a hunt!

I went for a couple of spray tans yesterday to spare my daughter a few coats of the Jan Tana as I am sure she will not be thrilled to be painting her Mom :S I also got my brows , nails and toes done...thanks Kara!! This morning I have a hair appointment where Sam will touch up my colour and put in my hair extensions...while he is doing this I am hoping my car will be getting its oil changed as I ran out of time to do that yesterday. Once all of that is done we are OTTAWA bound! It should take about 5 hours if all goes well. Travelling with me will be my 16 year old daughter Taryn and her friend Angie. Taryn is quite camera happy as most 16 yr olds are these days so I just have LOTS of pics to post of our journey.

I am feeling good and ready for this show. Need a little more practice on my lat spread as I seem to be having trouble opening up my back but other then that should be good to go! Pre- Judging is at 9 and the night show is at 6 pm which is kind of nice. I am not sure how to post  blog updates from my phone but will try to  do so through twitter and facebook.