Saturday, 21 June 2014

Advancements & Alcohol

Yesterday was Day 3 of IIFYM for me since my competition.  I was invited out to a friend's dinner party and had no idea what I might wind up eating.  So I saved a good 900-1000 calories for my time out, with plenty of fat and carbs left. I figured that while I may not be able to keep my macros exactly within 5g of my goals, I should at least be able to keep from going too overboard on the calorie side of things.

Enter beer.

Well, sufficed to say that when I finally entered what I had consumed last night into MyFitnessPal... it was well over what I had anticipated.  And the funny thing is that if I had just stuck to the food and maybe 1-2 beers, I would have probably been pretty close to my target macros.

To be honest, I really needed a night out.  Tracking is great to build an awareness of what you are consuming, but spending time with friends and enjoying life is important.  I probably could have enjoyed life a little less and felt a bit better this morning, though.  But am I overcome with guilt or remorse?  Nope.  I had fun.

Thursday, 19 June 2014


I'm loving IIFYM so far.  I know it's only day 2, but hear me out.

I packed healthy food with me when I went out flying early this morning and was back at the hangar by about 1:30pm.  My office is right next to the coffee room, and guess what was sitting in the coffee room when I headed up to my office?  Two boxes of Tim Horton's donuts.  Of course.  So I whipped out my handy MyFitnessPal app and took a look to see if I could fit one in.  And guess what?  It worked!  I had to adjust my dinner and the meal I had been about to eat, but I was just glad I could fit it in.

Came home from work and had a steak and a beer.  And then I made homemade ice cream (just greek yogurt, cherries, sugar-free vanilla and 1% milk).

What a delicious day.

I have several things planned for this weekend, so I'm not too sure how this is going to go.  I was invited to a friend's place for dinner tomorrow night (which will involve drinks as well), followed by a BBQ (and drinks) on Saturday night, and a toddler's birthday party Sunday afternoon with my girls.  Busy weekend ahead!  Although I'm going to try not to fall back into my binging, I will likely just try to moderate myself a bit and let loose.  Life isn't all about getting ripped ;)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Today was the first day since my competition that I actually stuck with my new diet plan.


Really, this new plan is not all that hard to stick to.  Especially after the contest diet I was previously on.  This was my "diet" dinner tonight:

Not bad for a diet plan, hey?

I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the next year.  While I know I will have days or even weeks that I'm not entirely sticking to my plan (and gaining at least a bit of weight), I'm really more concerned with developing a healthy relationship with food at this point.  Here are my day end stats.  Pretty happy to have fat, carbs and protein within 5g of my goal.  And well over my 20g minimum of fibre.

This could be the start of a great adventure!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Coconut Pineapple Muffins

I made these muffins this morning for Father's Day (my husband always says he wishes I baked more muffins and things), and they are quite delicious.

This is taken from the original recipe I found here:

I just added pineapple and made muffins instead of a cake.

12 eggs
2 cups coconut milk (I used light)
4 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
2 cups coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups chopped pineapple
Coconut oil for greasing tins
Shredded coconut for muffin tins

Preheat oven to 350c.  Grease muffin tins with coconut oil and sprinkle with coconut.  Scoop the mixture evenly into 12 muffin tins.  Bake at 350c for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Approximate macros per muffin:

Calories: 210
Fat: 9.6 grams
Carbs: 23 grams
Fibre: 9.4 grams
Protein: 9.6 grams


Last Place

Well, the results are in.  I officially took last place in my class.

Funny thing is... I'm fine with that.  I always thought the chance of taking last place would be about the most terrible thing that could happen in a competition.  Especially after all that work.

But there were some ladies up there who obviously worked very hard and probably really deserved to place.  And, to be honest, I didn't really put everything I had into this competition.  I simply had too much else going on between work, kids and household stuff.

I'm happy with where I placed, and am really looking forward to seeing my photos from the photo I did last Sunday.  Looking great in real life doesn't always equate to looking good on stage.

I'm still working on getting my eating back on track... it's been a real struggle this past week to keep from binging all the time.  But it's slowly getting better.  My next goal is to have a good, healthy relationship with food.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Dreaded Post-Show Binge

After my show yesterday, I decided to take one day to eat whatever I liked, but with one caveat; I had to record every last thing I ate.  I had it in my mind that it wouldn't be too bad.  I'd maybe be a couple hundred calories above my maintenance calories or so.  Really, I could probably get away with eating whatever I wanted for awhile without gaining too much.

Well, it's 8:00pm and I'm already 1200 calories above my maintenance calories (which are substantially higher than what I've been eating the last few weeks).  I had a feeling I'd wind up binging and eating everything in sight, but I have just never recorded an entire binge, honestly.

To put things into perspective, I'm about 130lbs right now.  And 3500 excess calories is supposed to roughly equate to one pound.  So, if I was to continue to allow myself to eat what I wanted, without any kind of tracking system, I'd gain approximately 2.4lbs this week, and 28.8lbs by the end of August.  So back up to basically my post-pregnancy weight in less than 3 short months.

A good experiment.  Interesting to see just how easily weight gain can happen.  And I already have quite recent experience with just how difficult it can be to lose a few pounds, so I'd rather not have to go through that unnecessarily.

So tomorrow I start following maintenance macros.  I'll be shooting for 198g of carbs, 130g of protein, 65g of fat and 20+ grams of fibre.  That puts me at 1900 calories.  Within those boundaries, I can eat what I like.  This actually offers me a lot of flexibility.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the summer, and this is a great time for me to kick back and enjoy life a bit.  Flexible dieting affords me that opportunity.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

6 Days Out!

6 days out from my first figure competition!

I guess technically it's not my first competition, but it's my first time trying to walk in heels on stage (I did bodybuilding last time - here's a picture from June 2012):

This competition has got me thinking a lot about mental health and how hard competitions are on a person.  My husband pointed out to me the other day that I'm pretty well in the best shape of my life and am constantly talking about how my butt is still too big and is never going to fit into my suit.  And my (almost) 3 year old has started telling people "Mommy's so hungry".  Not really a healthy mindset to pass on to a toddler.

So what happens if, after all this time and effort put in, I wind up in last place?  I'm still in the best shape of my life, but that's got to be tough on a person's mental state.  Maybe it's self-preservation and maybe it's just me being pessimistic, but I'm not truly expecting to do well in this competition.  If I do, great!  But I'm more in it to get a bunch of super-ripped pictures to look back at 30 years from now and say, "Wow, look at me 30 years ago!".  I'm getting in shape and making memories.

This competition prep has been extremely hard on me for a multitude of reasons.  I'm beginning to think that I was insane to think that I could do a contest prep with two kids under the age of 3 (not to mention a full-time career and all the other things I tend to try to do with my time).  I also believe there is a healthier way to do this contest prep, but I simply don't have the knowledge or experience to do it on my own.

Post competition, I will be immediately switching right into maintenance macros and working at maintaining what I've worked so hard to build for the remainder of the summer.  Come fall, I'm going to devote my time to some serious building.

I'm excited to see what the future holds.  One more week...

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Muscle Gains

I have been questioning whether or not I'm ready to enter another competition quite a bit.  Because I am still about 10-15lbs above my previous "off season" weight, it is incredibly hard to tell whether I've gained muscle, lost muscle, or maintained muscle.

So I've started looking at my previous weight training records and comparing them to now.  I use the app Gym Buddy to track my workouts, so I have a record of all my workouts in the last 3 years.  Just today I've discovered a handy "One Rep Max" graph in the history section of the app... here are a few results from major exercises:

So I may not be able to tell how my muscles look underneath that last layer of winter padding, but my strength gains certainly tell a story.  I'm looking forward to seeing some definition as I lean down!

Now I just have to learn to walk in heels...

Monday, 3 February 2014

Cutting and Custom Diet Plans

I've been experimenting a bit with diet plans and am about to start a slow cut in preparation for the competition in June.

Basically, I'm planning on following the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) plan for at least the first part of my cut and see how it goes.  It winds up being very close to the diet plan I was on in preparation for my last competition, but it a little easier to adjust myself as necessary.  I will also still be training under my previous (and only) trainer, although I'm trying to work toward being a bit more self-sufficient when it comes to doing these shows.  I do realize that I desperately need the advice, support and coaching of someone experienced with competitions, at least for now.

The website I used to find my starting macros is this one:

I chose "suggested" fat loss as a goal and increased my protein intake to 1.25g per pound of body weight (as per this article on cutting:  

I'm currently using MyFitnessPal to log all my meals and monitor my macros.  I basically messed around with the custom settings on MyFitnessPal to get my goal macros as close as possible to my results with the calculator (there is a hack to change macros by grams as opposed to percentage, but it doesn't work on a mac).

And my results?  I'm going to be shooting for:

95.5g of carbs
187.5g of protein
60g of fat
30g of fibre

For now, I am shooting for 4 weight training sessions per week and 3 cardio sessions.  Thankfully, roller derby starts again tomorrow, so that will count as 2 of my 3 cardio sessions.  For the third, I usually try to take my girls to the running track on Sundays (it's a real workout for me if I can persuade my toddler to get into the backpack-style Ergo carrier for at least a couple hard laps).

Looking forward to this new challenge!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Another Competition?

Originally my plan was to compete again in November 2014 at the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic, but I've recently started thinking about competing earlier.  I have not lost much muscle since my last competition (June 2012), and may have even gained some (although it's hard to tell at the moment).

Building muscle is the most time-consuming part of any competition.  It can take years to get a good muscle base in order to compete.  For my first competition, I trained hard and build muscle for a good 9-10 months before leaning out for the show.  To build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus, albeit a small one.  So it likely didn't hinder my goals that I was eating too much, but also weight training hard for quite awhile this time around.  I have some extra fat to shed, but I believe the muscle base is mostly there.

I have about 20 weeks until the Northern Classic in June, if I chose to compete earlier.  I ordered my shoes and started taking my diet plan a little more seriously.  I'm basically sticking with my original diet plan, but tracking my macros and trying to somewhat merge them together.  Worst case scenario, I won't get lean enough by that time (I'm not willing to go to extreme measures to drop the fat), and I'll do the show in November.

I also have a suit lined up that I will most likely buy.  A friend is selling it for a very reasonable price.

I'm feeling quite optimistic about this idea at the moment.  I am ready to start taking my diet and training more seriously again and get back into shape.  It doesn't hurt that a good friend is getting married in July and I'd like to fit into a cute bridesmaid dress!

And so it begins!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

No Excuses

It's really easy to skip a workout due to any multitude of reasons.  I do it all the time.  But which "reasons" are really just excuses?

Take kids, for example.  My gym doesn't have childcare on weekends or holidays, so I definitely can't take my 2.5 year old with me, but what about the baby?  I decided to give it a try on Boxing Day and ran it by the girl at the front desk.  She was fine with babies in carseats or equivalent, just not kids running around getting into things.

I decided to do lower body, as upper body would've been more difficult to find safe exercises to do with the baby.

I got a killer leg workout, during which my baby fell asleep!  So I decided to prolong my workout rather than waking her up.  If she had been at home I would've rushed home to her and likely cut my workout short.

The next day, I went to the walking track with some family members and the girls.  If I go alone, I'll usually alternate between the two girls in the carrier (with the oldest I can run without worrying about jogging her around too much), in the jogging stroller, and the oldest running alongside.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to not be able to make it out for a workout.  One of my resolutions is to look critically at whether my "reason" is really an excuse.

Happy New Year!