The Key To My Success

This blog is a bit of an update of my off-season progress and success.  I am writing this mostly because the most positive yet critical text message was sent to me from my coach yesterday.  Yes, I am once again working with Mutant’s big Ron Partlow.   As I’ve said in previous blogs, Ron is absolutely one of the best contest prep coaches.  He is not only a great coach that walks the talk, but he’s an honest coach with a no bullshit approach.  You either listen or you don’t, it’s that simple.   After the June Provincials, I reversed dieted out of my show to avoid rebound and to build my metabolic capacity.  I did this on my own until Ron and I started to work together in September.   Ron provided a new plan with more calories and a new breakdown of my workout.  In September when we started he told me to continue adding calories weekly and keep adding calories until I reach the total calories he had on my plan.  With this he also instructed that I still try to have at least one good meal (my cheat) or even 2 per week.   In order to do all this I had to continue to implement what I consider The Key to My Success which is my DISCIPLINE combined with my food scale and continuous hard work in the gym.

The key to my success truly is my discipline.  I am rare, I’ve been told that. I never ever used to walk the talk.  I have always known the basics of staying lean but never followed thru like I do now.  My background in personal training has helped me tremendously in the gym, there is no doubt.  I never back down from a personal strength goal, I train hard and heavy in the gym every single time.  But I don’t believe my strength in the gym is what has been my success.  It really is my discipline with my nutrition.  I will say the famous quote, “YOU CAN’T OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET!”  You can’t!  I’m living proof of what it means to be disciplined.  I use my food scale daily.  I know EXACTLY how many calories I eat everyday.  I know all my macronutrient breakdowns and I cycle my calories based on my training days.  I have listened to my coach and I have applied my knowledge as a nutrition coach.

Right now in my opinion for my body type I am eating a lot of food.  It is not just the calories, it is the macronutrient breakdown of the food and the timing of the food.  I eat 6 times per day regardless if I am training or not.  My food is weighed and measured for every single meal.  This includes measuring my milk for my latte.  I time my food with my workouts.  I schedule my high calories on my training days and lower calories on my non training days.  Sounds easy and it is if you actually listen and follow thru.  The best is I eat at least 250g of carbs…yes you heard me!  I don’t shy away from carbs if I want to grow!  I eat them with every single meal and I eat them before bed!  The key is my discipline.  I never ever feel deprived.  I eat clean food 95% of the time and I always schedule at least one cheat meal per week.  Yes, I call it my cheat meal.  My term, my way.  The key to my cheat is I don’t binge.  I don’t need to when I eat so much damn food on a regular basis.  I use food as a tool and even the cheat is a tool.  The day I go out and enjoy food with my family is the day I have no care on how many calories I take in.  I just know that one meal, that’s right, one meal won’t hinder my progress.  In fact, it does the opposite if you use it to your advantage.  I always schedule a huge workout on the day of my cheat and I only eat the one meal.  Maybe that day I only eat 3 meals on my plan and then my cheat but that is ok.  I don’t OVERFEED!   Why would I?  What is the point in working my ass off to be so focused and disciplined and then eat my face off to work my ass off all over again.  It makes no sense.  I simply want a night out with friends or family and a moment in my life without a food scale.

I keep it together and I am so proud of myself for that.  I listen to my coach and I follow his plan with all my goals in mind.  I’ve been back competing now for 2 1/2 years and I have had Ron by my side the entire time.  I am accountable to him and myself year round, not just for contest prep.  I believe to be the best I must hire the best and follow thru to the best.

This is a big year for me.  I am training for the Nationals.  Ron knows this and he also knows that I can do this.   I’ve been on the National stage before but many years ago.  I did well for my first National stage appearance back then but I want to be better.   There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best especially at this stage in my life.  I am a mother and I am about to turn 39 in a week.  I never ever thought I would be competing at this time in my life and be in the shape I am nearing the age of 40.  I work hard every single day and I won’t deviate.  I won’t waste my time or Ron’s.  He’s a busy guy with many clients.  I want to prove to myself and to him that my condition in this off-season will pay off with showing my condition on stage in 2014.

My Key to My Success is my discipline, no doubt.  I own it!

I have made one promise to myself.  I will work hard and diet hard to be in top condition.  I am fierce and I believe in myself.  That’s all I need to be successful 🙂

2014 will be amazing…..

 

 

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My life as a Mother, trainer, motivator and competitor!

“I’m too busy, I’m too tired, my kids are in so many activities, my husband is away…” I hear this all the time.  The EXCUSES in life that seem to be the reason why so many people can not stick to a plan to change their life for the better.  I thought it would be fun to describe my day as a mother, trainer, motivator and competitor.

I’m a mother and wife first no matter what.  Somedays it seems that I may always be focused on myself but in reality it’s to better myself for them.  I truly believe that if I feel better about myself and if I feel better in general I am a better mother and a better wife.   That being said, here is a brief breakdown of my life.  No matter what day of the week it is, I’m busy.  It’s my life and I accept that.  I find the balance.  Somedays are worse than others.  Somedays are truly amazing.  I get exhausted, sick and angry just like everyone else.  I am not perfect but I strive to be better everyday.  I always say “I love you” and my kids and hubby don’t go a day without my love and support.

Its 515 AM and my alarm goes off.  I’m always the first to rise no matter what day of the week it is.  The latest I sleep in on a weekend is 6 AM.  My body is used to the early mornings so unless I’m out really late I am up early in the morning.  I make my way down the stairs and start my day.  My morning is the same routine every single day.  I NEVER ever skip breakfast.  I start with my supplements taking all my vits/minerals and BCAA’s and glutamine.  I make 2 protein pancakes, one for me and one for my hubby.  I finish this off with a latte that I make as well.  Saves on time and I can control my sugar and calories making my own latte.   In between making pancakes I am prepping my meals that I need for the day.  It is all about using my time wisely in the morning.   By this time I’m sitting to eat at 6 AM.  I open my computer and start with answering as many emails as I can, responding to early morning txt messages and finishing off with checking all my social media sites.  I give myself a half hour and that can also mean working on my hubby’s business stuff.   It seems hectic but I get the job done all while chit chatting with Corey and listening to the news on TV.   Once 630 hits, my hubby is out the door off to work for his 10-12 hr day or he is headed out of town to return unknown.   The day he is away, it is the same routine minus the one pancake.  I don’t really change anything.

It is 630 AM and hopefully the kids are up and ready to eat.  They are up early enough to help out a bit in the morning.  My kids are fairly independent being 12 and 7 years old but I do like to help with making their breakfast and lunches.   We clean up and have to be up the stairs to get ready by 7AM.  Trying to get myself ready and helping my 12-year-old out with her pre teen issues like her hair takes time!  My 7-year-old is pretty easy but I love to curl her hair every second day so I make time for that too!  We have to leave the house by 805 AM so Maddy, my 12-year-old, can hang with her friends before the morning bell.  I don’t have to rush for her but I think it is important to do for my kids as much as possible.  I do find that it can be quite hectic but I also know how I feel if I arrive just in time for clients. I feel rushed and my day almost feels off.  Getting Maddy to school to be with her friends is part of the balance.  Brooklyn, my 7-year-old, she is always on time.  It actually benefits us to get Maddy to school early.  Brooklyn and I sit in the vehicle and chit-chat about her life, take pics or whatever before school.  It is our time alone.  It may only be 15mins but its 15mins every single day that I NEVER EVER MISS.

Now my day begins.  I am the trainer!  I am the motivator!  I am the competitor.  Balance, it is all about balance.

I start at 9am with PT clients and end around 230ish.  Through out this day, I have back to back clients, I have to eat and I have to train.  I do it!  I don’t make excuses, I just do it.  I will eat my food cold, on the run, finish a workout early to eat.  I train, I train hard if I have limited time.  If I have extra time in the day, I do my HIIT cardio then.  I only do 2-3 days of HIIT right now anyways (off-season) so it really is quite simple to get it in.  My weight lifting never ever gets put aside.  I will split if need be and I will train in my home studio if I have to get my workout in.  My goals, my balance.  Just got to do it!  I plan!  I know my schedule and I always schedule myself in.  If I have to make time for clients, I move my training around (off-season only).  During contest prep, I switch priorities to myself and I always train first and then it is clients the rest of the day.  It is not just PT clients that I’m dealing with.  There are days where I will put my phone down while training a client to then pick it up and see dozens of messages that I have to get to.  I leave my door open 24hrs a day for my clients.  Having support is vital so I always ask that if they need me to contact me no matter what time of the day it is.  I will ALWAYS get back to them even if it is to say that I will get back to them later.  I have nutrition questions daily, PT questions daily and people looking to hire me.  I answer it all and this too must be balanced.

If I have cancellations I use that time to plan for the next day, do data entry for Corey’s business or run errands.  Don’t forget I have to find time for grocery shopping and running another business!

It’s 230PM and I’m off to pick up Brooklyn and Maddy.  After school activities begin around 330.  Its meal time for me snack time & homework time for them.  I’m prepping what may be needed like veggies or extra protein.  I do all of this prior to their scheduled activities.  This way my food is prepped and I always have food for Corey and the girls.  We dont’ stop at subway to eat.  We don’t stop anywhere during the week.  There is the odd time where my kids will ask for a frozen yogurt right after school or a bagel from Tim Horton but other than that we eat at home.  I plan, we eat.  Once again I find balance.  Usually through all the chaos I am still answering my txt messages.  I do plug  in my phone and turn off the volume for an hour after school if I can.  I need to most days plus it is my time to chat with my girls.

It is around 630ish pm and I’m eating and maybe Corey has made it home or maybe he is still out-of-town.  We are usually out at basketball practice at least twice a week during the week and the rest of the time my kids are outside playing and I am finishing up dishes etc and prepping food.   We eat whenever, there is never a set time in our house.  I make sure the girls eat when they are hungry.  They don’t have to wait for their dad and I don’t make them wait for me.  Weekends, we try to eat at least one meal out all together (that is usually my treat meal) and on Sundays, 90% of the time we eat supper together.  We may not all eat the same food but we sit together as a family.  Our lifestyle is fast paced and Corey is never home so eating together as a family is rare.  We do other things to spend time together which again is balance.

I mentioned that we don’t eat the same.  This is true and I need to say this because this seems to be another reason why some can not stick to their plan.  I make what I make for my goals.  I make what my kids like and what my hubby likes.  For the most part it is the same but Corey does not like all the veggies I do so I cut up different ones for him. Maddy and Brook are the same.  They have their likes and dislikes.   Does it make it more hectic to cook so many different meals?  Sure, but I would rather eat different and feel great than eat stuff I don’t like and feel like crap.  Not guilty, crappy.  They are my goals and I have to eat for my goals.  I don’t like to eat pizza but Corey does.  That doesn’t mean we don’t order pizza.  I order for them or I make a pizza but I make my own meals.   I do this for balance and because I don’t believe that everyone in my family has to change their life to accommodate mine.  I believe this is balance and everyone is happy.

It is around 730-8pm before we start getting the kids ready for bed.  Brooklyn reads every single night before bed and I must be part of that.  It is rare that I miss her reading.  Maddy has her own rituals at night but basically she pulls out her phone or iPad and settles for the night.  It is probably 9pm before either kid is asleep.  If Corey is home he shares in the bedtime prep but if not, it is all me.  Once  kids are in bed Corey and I are making our last meal.  He has a pancake and I like oats and protein powder.  We may actually turn on the TV and watch our favorite shows on the PVR.  This comes along with answering txt msgs and any emails that I have.  Sometimes I use the last hour of my day to plan for the next day.  I used to keep my phone on til 9 or 10pm but now I having to turn it off earlier.  My life can be hectic but I find balance.  Balance means turning off my work and being a mother and a wife.

My life is busy.  I have good days, I have bad days.  I am not a machine I am human.  I laugh and I cry and I get angry I get sick.  I yell at my kids and my husband.  They yell at me!  I cook, clean, do laundry.  I plan, train and motivate.  I am focused, determined and disciplined.  This is my life, my plan, my balance.

I love my life.  I love my family and my clients.  I love my training.  There is nothing I would rather do.  I balance it as much as I can.  It is rewarding every single day even on my bad, hectic days.  No matter at the end of the day I feel rewarded.

I make no excuses.  I strive to be better every single day.  If I fall I get back up.  There is no secret, no easy way.  You either want it or you don’t.  You make the choice.

I have made the choice.  My choice…my life…my goals.  I choose to be happy and to love my life and my family and be passionate, what is your choice?

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Grab the shovel!

It’s that time of year again, the first snowfall.  Welcome to Alberta!  I’m that person who does not really enjoy winter because of the cold and snow BUT I try to look at the positive in any situation.  The only positive that goes along with a lot of snow is the exercise involved in shoveling it!

Grab the shovel and get outside!  Warm up first and then begin the dreaded workout.

There are many benefits to snow shoveling.  It is considered a high intense activity which means it will raise your heart rate, can burn anywhere between 300-500 cals per hour (depending on the individual, time and amount of snow) and its an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family!

There are a few things to consider before grabbing the shovel.  If you are a non exerciser or someone who has cardiovascular risk factors, caution should be considered.   It is an activity that requires a warm up just like any other exercise.  The warm up is designed to increase blood flow to the working muscles so a jog on the spot is good, shoulder rotations, squat on the spot or even just a small walk around the perimeter is good.   Proper lifting techniques are a must.  Lower back pain or tightness during and after shoveling is quite normal but if you lift improperly you put yourself at risk for back injury.   Always lift with your legs and try to keep the shovel closer to your body.  Extending the lever (shovel) out too far can put strain on your back.  Don’t load too much on the shovel especially if the snow is wet and heavy.  Like every exercise, technique is a must to ensure proper form and to avoid injury.  Shoveling the snow should not be a race!

As much as I dislike the cold and snow, shoveling snow is beneficial to our bodies.  Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is good for our mind, body and spirit.  Shoveling is an excellent cardio workout along with a great upper / lower body workout.  Don’t make the excuse that you can not exercise today because you are snowed in or because the roads are bad.  Get up, get the shovel out and enjoy the outdoors 😉

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Do you have the support you need?

Support, what does that mean to you?  I know what it means to me.  In the sport of bodybuilding and competition support is vital.  They say it is important to surround yourself with like-minded people who share similar interests.  However, I think the most important aspect that comes from your support network is UNDERSTANDING and POSITIVITY.  I have been very lucky to have many supporters through out my career and throughout my competitions.  I have also had my share of negative “haters” which most I have either kicked to the curb myself or I they have learned to shut up or walk away.

Why have the support?  Well, during contest prep you become so involved with your diet and training that it consumes you.  You don’t always have time to just go and hang with your friends nor do you have the energy.  You can not always just go out and eat at your favorite restaurant or enjoy your friends birthday party.  You have to have those that surround you support your goals, not make judgements and to most of all UNDERSTAND AND REMAIN POSITIVE so that you can continue on your journey.  Supporters are not negative and they keep you motivated and inspired.  During your worst days, these people will pick you up, maybe cook for you, train with you or just come and spend time with you.

What is the best support?  Mine is my family and closest friends that never judge and push me to work harder.  I also have a coach for my contest prep that lives for bodybuilding and truly understands every aspect of what I go thru during prep.  It’s important to have that kind of support/trainer/coach so that you never feel as though you are going thru your journey alone.  I always feel like a priority with my coach Ron, even though I know he deals with so many clients daily.

I have been lucky to have so many supporters so I feel like it is probably one of the most important aspects of any training program whether it be for contest prep or a newbie in the gym.  Goals are set and having positivity, continuous inspiration and motivation around you is vital to the success.  If you have negative, stupid haters that have no idea, no focus, no discipline, and no understanding then chances are they will knock you down to the point where you will want to quit!  NEVER on my watch!

It is so important to me to be there for each and every single client that I have.  I want all of them to feel important and feel as though they are never alone on their journey.  Even when I take the summers off from personal training so that I can be with my family, I make sure that all my clients understand that no matter what, I am available.  Today’s social media has allowed us to be in continuous contact, allowing us to support one another no matter what we are doing or where we are.  I have been extremely lucky to work with clients that have set huge goals that are motivated to succeed.  I can honestly say I have seen many start with unbelievable support, to have some of those supporters walk away just because they have no open mind to change and no understanding.  It is OK to have those people walk away.  Maybe one day they will understand or set their own goals…tough to say.  Either way, getting rid of negative support is the right thing to do!

So at the end of the day, no matter what goals you set for YOURSELF make sure you have the support you need in your network of friends and family.  Those who truly support your goals will be there no matter what.  They will not judge…they will be honest…they will love you…they will be positive but most of all they will UNDERSTAND.  Think about it, do you have the support you really need?

Do it!  Believe it!  Dream it!  Never quit and don’t back down! 🙂

 

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Its been a while….time for an update!

Wow!  It’s the end of July and I have finally sat down to write.  So much has happened in my life since I last posted anything.  I wanted to be a motivator and write something everyday but life happens and work happens.  Even though this blog site is part of my career I have concentrated so much on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that I almost forgot about the most important form of social media I have…my blog!

Back in January of 2013, I started my contest prep for my bodybuilding shows that occurred in June 2013.  I was so excited to get started after a fantastic off-season!  I hired Ron Partlow once again and together we worked hard building my best bodybuilding physique to date.  I had some bumps along the road, I’m not going to lie.  I was injured in the beginning of prep, a small injury to my quad that quickly went away after working with my chiro and doing ART (active release technique.)  About 8 weeks out I was sick for about a week which was probably the worst week of contest prep to date.  I managed it and was a bit nervous that it put me behind but I listened to my body and Ron and I got thru it and came back to the gym strong and determined to kick ass.  My first show was June 8 which I placed a respectable second.  I was very pleased with my physique and could not wait til the following week June 15th where I was able to show case my best package, with an unbelievable side chest, ham sweep pose and back pose that people still talk about today.  At this show I placed second and I could not be happier with the results!

June 15, 2013 Women's Lightweight bodybuilding 2nd place

June 15, 2013 Women’s Lightweight bodybuilding 2nd place

It’s now 6 weeks later and I am doing incredible!  I’m proud to say I did not rebound!  My coach Ron never ever had me on low calories and did not have me doing endless bouts of cardio but I still decided weeks prior to my show that there is no need to go crazy with food after.  I rebounded really bad way back in 1999 gaining almost 30lbs maybe more the WEEK after the show.  Not this time and since I’ve been under Ron’s watchful eye I have yet to rebound.  I did decide to create my own plan after this show and focus on the knowledge I have gained by working with Ron plus I am currently enrolled in a nutrition certification that is basically university level that has taught me so much.  I chose to reverse diet and in my opinion has been very successful.  It is not for everyone but I am disciplined and set goals so to me it is not difficult.  Since the day of my last show I have added increments either carbs or fats plus include a good hearty meal out at least once or twice per week and reduced my cardio to max 4 days per week aiming for 20mins-30 mins HIIT each time.  I can honestly say I am very happy and as strong as ever in the gym!  🙂

People have asked what my next show will be and I have set my sights on Nationals….date to be determined!  I am anxious to see a couple of friends compete at the 2013 National bikini/figure/physique show in August followed by the North Americans where my coach Ron Partlow and “steel sista” Liza are set to kick ass!

With my goals in mind I am set to work hard this off-season.  I need to tweak and build and maintain a healthy physique.  I plan to train hard and train smart to avoid injury.

June 8th 2013 Women's Master's bodybuilding 2nd place

June 8th 2013 Women’s Master’s bodybuilding 2nd place

I want to be the best I can be…Do It!  Dream It!  Believe It!

Stay focused and determined, be consistent and get the job done!

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Great workout! BACK ATTACK

Back attack!  I love training back and after a week of suffering from a cut to my finger and not being able to train to my full potential in the gym, my back workout was amazing!  I was strong with every movement and felt a great pump afterwards.

I always start back day with wide grip pull ups:  4 sets of 8-12 reps (or failure).  Next I decided on the lat pull down machine by HAMMER STRENGTH…love that machine.  Personal best on that movement: 3 sets of 8-10reps.  I thought about incorporating a Tbar row but the area was being used so I decided to do inverted rows on the smith machine.  I don’t care what anyone says, bodyweight exercises are the bomb, especially when doing negative (eccentric) reps : wide grip 3 sets 10-12reps, overhand grip.  Next up one arm DB rows…getting stronger here too!  It was a bit of a challenge to use my straps and grip with my sore finger but I managed.  My right side is a bit weaker so it’s a challenge anyways : 3 sets 8-10reps.  My next movement is one of my favorite cable moves and that’s the cable row machine.  Pounded out the weight here being careful not to over do it and make sure that only my upper back was working.  All too often people load up the weight and pull with their lower back and this I don’t recommend.  It’s not always about the load!  SAFE training..EFFECTIVE training will yield results!  : 3 sets 10-12reps (failure with drop set)  My final exercise was standing, wide cable lat pull-down.  By the time I got here I was exhausted!  So my plan was to do as many in my set to failure..turns out that was 3 sets of 10-12 but barely any weight!  BAM done and I felt wicked…and was starving!!

After my workout I completed my 30 mins cardio, nothing crazy and then fueled up with chicken, rice and veggies 🙂

My workout was a success and I feel great!

I hope you all enjoy a great workout like I do!!

DFP_2782

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It’s Contest Prep time!

DFP_2775

It’s contest prep time!!  I wanted to start my countdown the week I started dieting for my show which was Jan 19th but life and career have been very busy.  I always say it’s never too late so here I am blogging about my prep in week 3.

I decided to add another show to my goal so I am planning on hitting the stage June 8th in the open class masters division and then hitting the provincial stage June 15th in womens lightweight bodybuilding!  So far my prep has been great!  I am still working with Ron Partlow for all my contest prep nutrition, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He guided me to my best showing at the Alberta’s last June so it was a no brainer to continue with him.   Right now my diet is not crazy, it is pretty close to what I was eating during my 12 weeks up to diet day minus the cheat meals and a few calories.  I can honestly say it doesn’t feel like I’m in contest prep mode only because I am disciplined to begin with and it has become habit and a lifestyle for me.

For about 12 weeks Ron had me train my butt off to gain some muscle which I believe I did.  I think this years prep will be amazing and I am excited to see my body transform into the best condition yet!  I focused on high volume, high intensity training and limited my cardio.  On Jan 19th high volume and high intensity remain with only one slight change and that’s adding cardio.  Cardio will be 4 days a week at 30mins, nothing crazy!

During the last couple weeks diet has been bang on but I have suffered two minor injuries.  Last week I may have strained my hip flexor area which is good now but set me back a week from leg day.  I knew something was not right in that area so I rested, iced, rested, got out my foam roller and rested some more.  I feel like its almost 100% but I am training safe…I don’t want to be sorry.  My other minor injury was a cut to my middle finger.  It sounds harmless but it is deep and it is right near my nail which makes it difficult to grip as the pressure makes it really sore.  Back day, actually any day that required a grip, was a challenge.  This week it is much better and today I will try another high volume back day and see how it handles the pressure.  The one thing I will take away from my minor injuries is that I must listen to my body.  Training safe and effective is the only way, the smart way!

I am nearing the end of week 3 and I feel great!  Diet is bang on, changes are already happening and I am focused!  My prep will consist of 21 weeks!  To me its no big deal, 3 weeks have come and gone and it doesn’t feel like I’m dieting!  Those crazy, tired days are still far away so until then I will train as hard and safe as I can and focus on my condition!  I want to be better…I was amazing but I can always be better so that’s the plan.

There is no easy way, no short cut, just plain old hard work and discipline!  Train hard and stay focused 🙂

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