Archive for November 2016

Post Thanksgiving Accountability Week!

I think I am still full from Thanksgiving.

And the day after Thanksgiving.

And the day after the day after Thanksgiving.

Can anyone relate?!

Today, I finally said ENOUGH and cleaned out all of the Thanksgiving treats that were leftover: sweet potato casserole (with so many delicious pecans and marshmallows on top), pumpkin pie with that buttery, flaky crust, leftover candies from an edible candy turkey that I made with my niece, oh and don’t forget the cookies. Two kinds. Both amazing.


I really don’t feel badly about any of the treats that I enjoyed this past weekend. They were all delicious. Typically I treat my body very well with whole foods low in sugar and high in nutritional value, so going off the rails once in a while is fine with me. I’m working on being kinder to myself in all ways, and this is one of them. Hopefully you’re being kinder to yourself too. What’s done is done. Time to move on.

I thought that this week, we could all join forces to stay accountable together, so beginning tomorrow I am hosting a FREE accountability group until Friday for anyone that wants to participate. If you’ve ever been interested in joining one of my 6-week macro groups, you’ll get to see some examples of the content that I post in these private groups.

Here are my personal goals for this week to help me get back on track:

  • Drink at least a gallon of water per day
  • Take all of my supplements each day: multivitamin, fish oil, probiotic, vitamin C, magnesium
  • No diet sodas
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • At least 3 servings of greens per day
  • Workout 5 days, for 60 minutes each
  • No treats!

If you want to join me in this push to press the reset button, add yourself to my group. Click here. We’ll all get started together tomorrow!

Reverse Dieting 101

If you did not have a chance to read my post from last week about Sally’s 1200-calorie diet, make sure you check it out to give you a background on this topic.

We saw last week how Sally was experiencing symptoms of a damaged metabolism after a few months on her 1200-calorie diet, a weight loss plan that could be considered a “crash diet” for her height, weight, age and activity level. Sally is probably a great candidate for reverse dieting which I will discuss today. We all know what a diet is, well reverse dieting is essentially the opposite. When you reverse diet, you SLOWLY add food back into your daily plan in order to SLOWLY restore your metabolism to a healthy level.

The key is SLOWLY. If Sally, jumped to a 1700-calorie diet from a 1200-calorie diet, she would probably gain weight very quickly, get very frustrated with the process, and retreat back to her 1200-calorie ways. This is a very common occurrence for people who do not reverse diet correctly. The best way to handle this is to add about 150-calories at a time to allow your body to get used to the idea of more food. Essentially, this allows your body to start to trust you again. If you think about it, Sally’s body thought that she was starving because of the crash diet she put it on. If she immediately adds 500 calories to her day, her body may think that this is a fluke occurrence and CONTINUE to hold onto this food too, resulting in quick weight gain. As I mentioned last week, this is NOT SALLY’S FAULT. Sally thought that she was eating enough food for her body type. She is a part of the thousands, tens-of-thousands, hundreds-of-thousands of people who are misinformed about what is considered a healthy calorie defect for their body.

If you calculated your BMR last week, you may have been surprised a what you found what your calorie target (if you laid in bed all day). If you exercise 3-5 times a week, you should take that number an multiply it by 1.5 to give you a rough idea of how many calories you would need to maintain your weight.

My BMR is about 1380. Currently I teach 3 spin classes a week AND weight train for 1 hour 3 times a week, so I multiply my BMR by 1.6 to give me 2208 calories a day. When I was training for my bikini competition, I was eating about 1900 calories a day (and working out even more), so I am still reverse dieting to get back to my 2200 calories to maintain my weight. Is reverse dieting easy, NO. Is reverse dieting worth it, so you can eat SO MUCH MORE FOOD. YES. The key is SLOWLY increasing your calories. In a world where we all want everything, now and fast, this is the reason most people quit and just deal with their current diet.


People that are successful at it find that their workouts are so much better because they have ENERGY. They sleep better and think more clearly because they are FULL and nourished from the inside out. They are HAPPIER because they are not starving. They feel in control of their life.

To read more about reverse dieting, check out this article.

This is one of the services that I will be offering during my macro group which will start in January. More info to come on that later in the weeks.

Take care of your body. It does so much for you.

The #1 Way that Women are Destroying their Metabolisms

How many calories do you need to eat each day for your body to work the way it’s supposed to?

1200? 2000? 4000?

The answer is simple. It’s DIFFERENT for everyone. This is the #1 topic that I educate my clients on when I coach them in my macro groups. Proper nutrition. nutrient timing, and EATING for your activity level.

If you’ve ever looked at my social media, you’ve probably thought, “That girl eats a lot!” YES! I love to eat. I know a general range of how many macros (proteins, carbs and fats) I need each day to feel full, satisfied and to maintain my weight.


Let me teach you how to figure out how many calories you should be eating each day. Get out your notepad and pen. Go on. I will wait.

First let’s calculate your BMR. BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and it’s the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting). This is important to note because even digesting your food takes energy. Protein specifically takes more effort for your body to digest than carbs, so your body works hard even to do something as simple as digestion. Essentially your BMR is the amount of calories your body NEEDS even if you just laid in bed all day.

BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

Let use an example of Sally who is a 175-pound woman, 5 foot 4 inches tall and is 43 years old. Sally is deemed “obese” based on her height and weight, but we will come back to this later.

Sally’s Example: 655 + (4.35 x 175) + (4.7 x 64) – (4.7 x 43) = a BMR of 1515

Like you, Sally does not lay in bed all day. She is a working mom of two kids. She works all day, runs errands, cleans, feeds her family dinner, bathes her kids and puts them to bed each night. Even at her desk job, she is always on the go, in and out of client meetings. Sally also exercises 4 times a week, taking 2 spin classes and 2 group weight lifting classes.

Sally is following a new diet, where she is eating 1200 calories a day. She’s been following it for a few months now. She is hungry a lot. She started to see results in the first week or so, but now she has plateaued. She is feeling weak, more irritable and tired, and she is craving salty and fatty foods. She is having a very hard time getting through her workouts. This is a sign of metabolic damage.

Sally has a BMR of 1515 if she laid in bed all day, but Sally’s life is very full AND she is an avid exerciser. In reality, Sally should be eating about 1700 calories each day to LOSE weight. Remember that Sally falls into the “obese” category. Many of you may think that she should eat LESS to lose weight, but since Sally is heavy, her body works even harder to perform the simple daily tasks that we all take for granted: walking up the stairs, shopping, cleaning, etc.

It is NOT SALLY’S FAULT that her metabolism is damaged. Perhaps like you, Sally thought that 1200 calories was what she was supposed to be eating. My Fitness Pal, and the article she read in last month’s fashion magazine and her friend’s diet all TOLD HER that 1200 calories was right for her. As a result, Sally has damaged her metabolism because her body THINKS that it is starving. Her body is holding on to all of the food that she is eating, because it thinks that she won’t be eating much anymore.

Does this sound familiar?

Next week, I will address Reverse Dieting and how to restore Sally’s metabolism (and yours) back to health. Please feel free to contact me for any one-on-one help, and I will tell you more about the online support group that will start in January that will help us all get focused for 2017.


Bikini Prep – Show Day Recap!

October 29th, 2016 is a day I won’t soon forget.

After a pretty decent night’s sleep, I woke up at my usual 6am to start my day. Even though my child sleeps well past 6, enjoying regular 12-hour sleeps each night, I am usually up before her and enjoy a few moments of silence on my own. Justin arrived home at 4am that morning after a long flight home from FL after a tough loss, so the house was very quiet.

I went downstairs, and had to remind myself NOT to drink my usual 48 ounces of lemon water like I do religiously each morning. On show day I was only allowed to “sip water as needed.” I reviewed my checklist to make sure I had everything: bikini, shoes, jewelry, cooler of 4 meals for the day, lipstick, hand wipes, $5 plastic e-z pee so that when I used the restroom I didn’t ruin my spray tan (yes, there is a market for everything in the bodybuilding world), ipod with my pre-loaded “pump up” playlist, earbuds, phone charger, sewing kit (you never know), business cards, and a host of other things that I packed “just in case.” I reviewed my timeline. I wrote out the exact times that I was supposed to eat the meals that my coach laid out for me. My first meal was set for 7:45am, 4 hours before I took the stage, and it consisted of 2 slices of bacon, 2 whole eggs, and 2 rice cakes with jelly. YUM. Needless to say, I was looking forward to it. I could also have 4 ounces of coffee, so I sipped on some coldbrew from Starbucks that I got the day before. WHY THAT MEAL, you may be wondering? It’s all strategy. SOAK up the water. Any remaining water floating around in my body that was not being pulled inside of my muscles would be directed that way with the series of meals that I would eat on show day. At 8:15am, I kissed my family goodbye and made my way to the venue.

I arrived early and started the glam process at 9:15 with hair and makeup by an awesome show vendor named Shawna Pringle. Shawna is no newbie when it comes to these types of events, but she is usually on the stage rather than behind it. She is an IFBB Physique Pro and an all-around badass. In 2014, she started her makeup business. She is also a pro at making women looking their best on stage. I was with her for about an hour, and I was really pleased with my stage face and hair. I felt beautiful.


Make up and hair post GLAM session


“Go Time” Playlist

At 10:15am, I headed back to the tanning pod to get a couple extra layers of spray tan added to my already dark skin. While in line, I had my second meal, 3 ounces of salted white fish and 2 more rice cakes with jelly. After I was finished, it was time to get suited up. I knew that I was not going on stage till around 11:45am, but I felt like time was going by really quickly, so I made sure to be ready by 11:15am. I had my Snickers bar, also part of the strategy to bring the extra pump to the muscles, did some wall squats and kick backs to bring some blood flow to the booty, and cued up my playlist. I will say that the BEST thing I packed in my bag for show day was a killer playlist to get me focused. I was in a room with all of the competitors during the pre-show. I could see all of my competition around me. I would have been very easy to look at some of the other women and start comparing myself to them, but the playlist helped me to stay in my zone. I turned up my tunes, and tuned everyone out. I focused on me. I stayed in the moment. I reminded myself how hard I had worked for this moment. I remained confident in my work, in the package that I was bringing to the stage. I got a quick hello and kiss from my hubby. I got some motivating words from my coach, and it was showtime. I was ready.

My coach, Joe Bender

My coach, Joe Bender

The hubs

The hubs

At 11:45am they lined us up in numerical order. There were 10 total competing in Novice Bikini, and I was number 62. As we walked on stage, I ended up in the middle of the stage, since the numbers ranged from 58-67. During the 5 minutes on stage, the judges never moved me from the middle. I had learned enough in the past 5 months to know that staying in the middle was a good thing. I felt strong and happy. I could see my family and friends. It was hard to smile that long with all of the bright lights in my face, and my mouth was quivering a little bit even though I didn’t feel nervous on the inside. Maybe it was the Snickers. Lord knows I had not had that much sugar at once in months. When our time was up, we all walked off stage. I thanked God for getting me through it, grabbed my robe and called in Justin and Joe to recap. Joe told me I was in the top 2 since I wasn’t moved from the middle. I was overwhelmed with joy. I could see the pride in my husband’s eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I was so incredibly happy. So much hard work. So many sacrifices. It had all paid off.

I went out to the auditorium to see my family and friends. Over 25 people came to support me that day. My good friend Sophia even flew in from Chicago. I felt very loved. We laughed and hugged and talked about everything that had just happened. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

A couple of hours passed where I could sit with my family and watch the other competitors perform their 1-minute stage walk, which is when you pose to a song of your choosing and enjoy your 60 seconds to show off all of your hard work during training. It was amazing to see such strong bodies of all shapes and sizes take the stage. You got to learn a little more about each competitor when their bio was read. I later found out that the girl who took 1st place over me lost 100 pounds recently, proving the point that you can get fit at anytime of your life if you really want it.

It was almost my turn for my stage walk. I used the Calvin Harris and Rihanna song, “This is What You Came For.” It was really fun. I didn’t do anything perfectly during my walk, but I was okay with it. The walk was for fun and to show off my personality. I tried to stay in the moment and enjoy the present.

It was soon time for awards. The 9 other girls and I lined up back stage. They started calling out the numbers, 5th place, 4th place, 3rd place. This was it. 2nd or 1st. One was mine. When I heard my name for 2nd, I was disappointed for less than half of a second. Then I remembered that my GOAL was TOP 5, and I had achieved my goal. I DID IT!


After lots of hugs and pictures and congrats from family and friends, I headed home with Justin to see Gianna. I gave her a big spray-tanned hug. After all, she is my motivation for setting these big goals. I wanted her to know that anything is possible. That it is OKAY for me to take time for myself to work on goals and dreams that I have. It makes me a better mom and wife when I take care of me too. After a long, hot shower where some of my dark color when down the drain (at almost a week later, I am still orange and peely), we enjoyed a great night IN with our homemade pizza (the BEST in town) and some Levain Bakery cookies. The taste of those treats was sweet, but the taste of a completed, crushed goal was much sweeter.

What’s next for me? Some time off. My starting weight in June was 136, with 18% body fat, and my stage weight was 129 with about 14% body fat. My goal is to hover around 133 over the holidays while I make some muscle gains in the gym. In the spring you’ll find me back on stage somewhere, but for now, you’ll see me enjoying more of a social life. Prep life is fun, and I am definitely hooked, but now it’s time for family, flexibility, and rest.

Thank you for your support and for following me along this journey. I hope that I’ve inspired you to set some big goals for yourself along the way. Don’t let fear stop you from reaching your fullest potential today. Anything is possible.