Monday, October 29, 2012

Unpublished post from last year...This ones for you GG!

It's been almost two weeks now since my competition and I definitley struggled adjusting to my post competition life. It's a very weird transition going from weighing your food everyday and your life revoloving around baggies of food and going to the gym 4 hours a day to having the freedom of and off season. Some people don't take "off seasons" but I strongly believe that your body needs it. Nothing too extreme of course of else you will experience the sensation of the dredded yo-yo diet but for my it's really just about balance.

I like to balance my off season but eating lots of fruits and veggies and treating myself to dinners with friends and family but still order my dressing on the side. It's habit now and when it comes to training I enjoy training on my own. I understand that it is impossible to maintain my competition weight and I don't feel like doing 2 hours of cardio a day when I'm not required to. It is also important for your body to have a break phyiscially because if you don't when you go to increase you workouts and your cardio your body won't repsond because you have continued to work it as hard as you were in the weeks leading up to the competition. 

I know my body the best and what I need to do to get it to where I need to and this second prep really helped me understand that. My training programs right now I am designing and I have decided that I am going to do 4 days of heavy weights and 2 days of light cardio. For my next competition I really want to have added some serious muscle and keep my cardio down now so that when I go into the month before BC's in June I can really lean out. I feel confident in my plan and I will start easing into my contest prep in terms of meal plans and training at the beginning of March. This will put me 16 weeks out from competition and loads of time to train. 

The last few weeks have been quite a rollercoaster minus my ups and downs for training I have been going through a lot outside of my fitness bubble. The weekend after my competition my boyfriend and I went on a little 5 day get away to Victoria to visit my bestie Jess and her husband Rob and to scope out Victoria. The weather was gorgeous and we spent lots of time wondering around downtown, driving around and scoping out golf courses and fine dining. It was great to spend time together and it was the first time we had gone out for a romantic dinner since we started date. No bagged chicken allowed. We also took in and eat several cupcakes from my favorite cupcakery, Pink Sugar on Fort street. They are dairy free and egg free and freaking delicious.

When we got back from Victoria, Brett was schedule to have his wisdom teeth pulled and that went well and is recovering well. But after Brett's surgery, I got news that my grandma wasn't doing well and that my dad had planned for a music therapist to come in on Tuesday night and play the guitar for her and my whole family. My family and my dad's brothers family all arrived at the hospital at 4 o'clock and it was a room full of tears and hugs. My grandma had been uncoherient for a few days but she knew we were there because we would all take turns sitting with her and holding her hand. Meghan, the music therapist showed up a little after four and brought her guitar and a book full of songs. My grandma was a huge hockey fan and she started with a classic, "The Good old Hockey Game" and we were all crying and smiling and remembering. She continued playing and we all continued enjoying the music and took turns sitting with her. It was a beautiful thing to share with my family.

....that's all I wrote that day...and never published this. My grandma was my world and this competition is for your GG! Love you my special one and miss you every day.



Always, always, follow your heart!

As I look at my calendar and realize that in less that 12 days I will be gracing the Massey Theater in my 2nd Sandra Wickham. Surreal is the only world to sum up how I'm feeling. It doesn't even seem possible that I have put my blood, sweat and tears into training for the past 10 weeks and in less than 2, I will know if it's all paid off.

After cardio and posing this morning I feel amazing about everything and know that I worked really hard and had fun through out this process. A lot of people complain about not want to go to the gym but also bitch about how they wish they were "skinnier" or in better shape. The reality is if you eat well and go to the gym you will feel better and your clothes will fit the way you want them to. Training isn't always easy, but its my choice and I have loved my prep this year and I am very happy I took the time off between shows. I've come back stronger mentally and physically.

The hardest part of prepping that people don't understand is the competition withdrawl as I like to call it. It occurs the morning after you hit the stage and can last up to weeks! Being mentally prepared after your first competition is even more important.  The morning after the competition is when the real withdrawl kicks in. You can sleep in. You don't have to train. You don't have to cook any chicken and you can just relax! It's a very weird feeling.

I remember after my first competition all I wanted to do was binge on all the foods I couldn't eat during my prep but now I love what I'm eating and what my body looks like that I'm not really craving anything because I know how it will affect my body. Don't get me wrong, I will be having a reward post competition but nothing crazy. I am going to take my time and enjoy sharing a few appy's with Brett and the team. Binging isn't good for your body or your brain. When you binge, your mind instantly feels guilty and this can lead to bad habits such as taking laxatives or throwing up what you ate. This is not healthy. Everything is about moderation and I plan on tracking my post competition eating because I plan on maintaining a post competition weight of 8-10lbs of my current weight. It's amazing how good I feel and even though I'm a little tired which I will fully admit, I am loving every minute of the journey and have fun each time I hit the gym and enjoy every meal. Even if it's TILAPIA!

Another thing I've realized is that some people are constantly complaing about competiting. I don't see the point in competing if you're not going to enjoy it. You have to have fun with it. Competing is one of the best experiences I have ever had and I have met some amazing people over the past 2 years and have also had the opportunity to share my journey with everyone which has also been something I've really loved. Writing was never (as still probably isn't) my strong suit. Mainly because I never proof read these posts before I publish them because I get into this crazy flow and write what's in my heart.

I have learned so much about myself over the past two years and learned to love myself which is a constant battle. Sometimes its really hard to stop and look in the mirror and love what you see. You will all think I'm nuts when I tell you that when I look in the mirror I don't really notice a change in my body, but when I look at my before and after pictures, I almost surprise myself. It's increbile to see how much my body has changed. Having that feeling of disbelief has helped me understand to some extent what some women feel after they loose a significant amount of weight. They still see their old self. The one they didn't like. It doesn't matter how many people tell you that you look thin or amazing, you still feel like the person before. You only have one life to live and living the best one possible is all that matters.

Some people think they have to lock themselves up and throw away the key or turn down every social event when they are training or working towards a goal but this shouldn't be the case. Yes, going out for dinner with me during my contest prep can see annoying but atleast I'm out! Give me some credit and support that I am training my ass off to be the best that I can be. People will always have their own opinon and say "one bite won't kill you" or "you can have a sip" but that's not the point. The point is that I want to be number one and I am putting all my energy into that. I'm sure I've driven some waiters crazy but it's what I have to do and I don't mind.

When you are choosing to live a cleaner lifestyle or working towards a goal eating out can be very intimidating and I can understand that. You get to the restaurant and look at the menu and your eyes start glaziing over and you get overwhelmed. Yes, everything declicious jumps out at me to but then I remember my goal and think how can I make this work. I usually go for salads with the dressing on the side and if I am really close to my competition I won't even look at the menu and just ask if they can cook a chicken breast plain and steam some seasonal green veggies without oil or butter. Yes, it sounds crazy but on Saturday night I was out with Brett and another couple and it's exactly what I did and they were more than accomodating. It's sometime Jessica taught me. Never be afraid to ask! It is a restaurant after all...

It's really hard to believe that I only have one Saturday left and then I will be on stage. I sit here just staring at my calendar and all the appointments I have. Wednesday I get my hair done which I am really excited about. I can't wait! It's been too long. Only 10 weight circuits left and 20 hours of cardio. Cray Cray! I love keeping track of my process and looking back I realize I am so close...check out all the work I've done...
12 more sleeps.

Thank you for everyone's support! I hope to you will follow my journey on November 10th as I will be bloggin through out the day and will be posting a video blog of my day the following week.

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat!

Nic out.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I have the pulse of an athlete...the Doc said so!

Well, the last 3 and a half weeks have been full of hurdles. First I lost my job, then I had surgery, my partner had a health scare all while training. I feel like I've learned a lot about myself and that I am very lucky to have such amazing friends and family. I've also learned that Brett and I will be able to work together to overcome any changes we face and have become closer because of everything hat has happened over the last month.
The one thing I have learned is that positivity and the fake it till you make it attitude has defintely helped. Competing and having an outlet to help drive me each day and to push me to be the best has also helped. Working towards a goal at this point is exactly what I need to light a fire under my butt and with less than 18 sleeps, I am dreaming about each day and everything I need to do before I hit the stage.
This week I had my stitches out and the scar isn't that bad and I'm getting my suit!!!! Don't get too excited people, you will have to wait for the big reveal on November 10th to see the chosen color. I have to keep some suspense! Next week I'm getting my hair did. It doesn't look so bad when I have it down thanks to the hair craze "ombre" but when it goes back into a ponytail...hello roots! I love getting my hair done. It is the one thing I really consider a treat for myself.
This weekend my boyfriend's parents are coming over for a visit and dropping off our new wheels, an 88 Volvo = sweet stuff! It will be nice to see them and have a visit. I haven't seen them since we were in Phoenix! Oh Phoenix how I love you. I wish I was laying by the pool right now....Anyways....
I posted something the other day about my blood pressure being 90/44 with a pulse of 35 and a few people were quite alarmed and I decided that when I got my stitches out I would check with the doctor. I explained to him about my training and my meal plan and he said that I had the pulse of an athlete. He said that if I had a pulse in the 30's and was 80 it would be alarming but with everything I'm doing it's understandable. That being said, he then wrote up a doctors note for me to go have my blood tested....EWW!  I'll be pushing that to tomorrow...
The days are slowly counting down but it's important to still enjoy the journey. I have come so far and at some points I didn't think I would be able to get here but through perseverance and a great support system I have pushed myself to where I am today.  Training can be lonely and yesterday it took me an hour and a half to get to the gym but as soon as I was there and plugged in to my music, it's like I'm transported to this different place and everything washes away. I get into this deep zone and I'm committed to my workout, to each movement and taking my time to ensure I did my best. At the end of the day that is all that matters.
I am a very competitive person by nature but when it comes to competing, you can only compete against yourself. If you cheat, you are cheating yourself. If you miss a workout, you are cheating yourself. If you nibble on this and that, you are cheating YOURSELF! I am very supportive of all my friends that compete and I love meeting everyone and that it just part of the journey and at the end of the day, I've done all I can do and I have to leave it in the judges hands. I am doing this for me. Because I love the challenge and the discipline and I LOVE fitness. To see how far I've brought my body over the last 9 weeks is amazing to me. I fit back into my jeans and clothes just fit better and that means more than any number on the scale. And more importantly, I feel AMAZING and I wish that for everyone. It may not be competing that makes you feel that way, but I hope that whatever it is, cooking, shooting hoops, yoga, that you have something that makes you feel this good.

Here's to the final 3 weeks!
Nic Out


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Let the craziness begin!

I don't know what was going on with my body yesterday but I felt like I was in a daze. All day I was a hot mess. I somehow managed to get my workouts in and couldn't wait to hit the sac.  It's officially been a week since I got my stitches and they are healing really nice and they come out on Monday. When I was at the gym last night I felt like my body was telling itself that I was really to start uping my weights again and just giv'er. My boost of energy must have come from my BCABBA membership that I got in the mail! Another slap of reality! Check it out....
Tonight I am going to increase the weights and start doing my normal workouts again along with my HITT cardio. I'm going to ease into it until I feel totally recovered but I have learned to listen to my body and every workout from here on out are all last chance workouts. This is the home stretch. With less than 23 days I will be back in Vancouver and gearing up to hit the stage for the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic. Word is that this year the show will host more than 300 athletes! The world of bodybuilding and competing is really starting to take off and it's exciting!
In my daily haze yesterday, I could really tell that the competition is right around the corner. With the lack of energy and constant trips to the bathroom you know you are close. I've even considered setting up camp in the bathroom or sporting some jokes! I am in the bathroom every hour. This could be the result of the 4+ litres of water I'm consuming.
Right now I feel like I am in a stable routine here in Victoria and have mixed feeling about heading to Vancouver too early. My parents are moving into their new house next Friday and I don't have a gym that's familiar and it will be a lot of change to digest and I feel more comfortable with my environment here. I did find a gym that is 24 hours that is clos-ish to my parents so it is an option but it would also be super hard to leave the gym I have here in Victoria. There are a few other people competing and it's nice to see that I'm not the only one doing two a day workouts. Seeing other competitors helps push me to keep going and it's a get group of people to chit chat with because we are all going through the same thing.
I am really looking forward to my workout tonight but sometimes I find myself I little too chatty and then never finishing my whole workout or spending too much time at the gym. I can't help it though! It's so nice to get to talk to people who are passionate about fitness and are doing the same things are I am. I will admit that I am so lucky to have Brett because his support is unconditional. He never judges me for my strange eating or going to the gym twice a day. He is my rock!
Brett has not only been my rock through this last season of prepping but also towards my recent layoff. It's almost been three weeks since I lost my job and it's been really hard for me to accept that I don't have a lot to contribute to our relationship right now. Before, I was the one supporting us while he is attending school and now I feel lost. With being a very type A personality, sitting around is very difficult for me. I think I am starting to drive him a little crazy because I don't feel as confident now that I am not working. I love being busy and being able to contribute to our relationship and support him while he's in school. All I can do right now is drive him to school and bake lots of cookies and keep the house clean. It's been a very hard adjustment but he keeps telling me that I will find something even better but it just won't happen over night. In the meantime, I can just be the best partner I can be and help him as much as possible. That's all I can do.
Confidence is definitely something I've always struggled with. I was bullied through school, was never the cool kid (even though I thought I was) or the one the boys chased, had a tough time with exams and learning, was cheated on in a previous relationship but all that changed when I found fitness and competing. That is way I cherish it so much because its precious to me. It's something that has allowed me control over my confidence and how I feel. I am the only one that can determine the level of happiness and the people I surround myself with. With my experience and everything I have accomplished I know I have a lot to offer a partner and an employer. I just have to relax and I will find something great. I just need to trust in my abilities and do everything I can to remain positive and exert my confidence because I have worked to hard to let it go over something I had no control over.
I have definitely learned a lot about myself over the last three weeks and I do believe that everything happens for a reason and hopefully I will soon find out what that reason is. For now, I am going to stay in Victoria, train really hard for the next 3 weeks and be the best partner/friend/person I can be. I have come so far to give up no. Giving up is not an option! Not for me.

Have a great Thursday!

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat.

Nic out

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nuts for nutrition

Last night I was refilling my mason jar with almonds and caught a glimpse of the nutritional information. People always say that certain fats such as nuts and avocado are good for you but they weren't specific with the portions. The rule of thumb I've always gone by is 10-12 almonds is around 100 calories but I was shocked to really read the label on my Costco Whole Almonds...
Nutrition Facts: Per 1/3 cup...or 50g 
Calories - 290
Fat - 25 g
Protein - 11 g
Surprised? I will admit I was too and I wanted to see what a 1/3 of almonds looked like. Here is a photo with my amazing photography shows a 1/3 of a cup or 35+ almonds...I lost count but that's a lot of nuts!
Don't get me wrong, I am a strong believer that good fats are an important part of any meal plan but it's important to eat them in moderation. If you have man hands vs someone with small hands - each handful of granola or nuts will differ. My recommendation would be to make your own granola, this way you know everything is unsalted or pre-measure your food into baggies. The last thing you want to do is sabotage a good day of cleaning eating without understanding the facts.
Nutritional information can be daunting and change drastically depending on what you are looking at but I always like the sugar to be in single digits, fat to be less than 5 and high protein low sodium. Its also important to look at the amount. Is it half the pack or 1/5 of the pack.
Here is a challenge for those looking to mix up your routine...go to your cupboard tonight and pull 3 of your favorite snacks. From each container take out what you would normally eat (be honest are only cheating yourself) and put in on the counter. Do this with eat item. Then look at the box and measure out how much you eat. Grab a piece of paper and write out what the calories, fat, sodium, sugar and protein is for each of your items. You might think next before purchasing one of your favorite snacks. Maybe opt for an option that has less sugar or pick a new snack all together.
Things to avoid are those silly pre-packaged "100 calorie" snacks. Dump one of those little packets out on the counter and look at it and ask yourself if it really all that satisfying. Wouldn't a big bowl of fruit will a scoop of vanilla yogurt be more filling and satisfying? What about a bunch of veggies and two tbsp's of hummus? Think about all the other amazing things you could eat instead of a few pretzels...really those snacks are about as appetizing as the snacks you get on an airplane....
I decided that since I'm asking you to do this challenge that I shoud do it too but since I don't have any snacks of my own in the house, I'm going to use some of Brett's...Stay tuned!

Have a great Wednesday and have fun with your snacks!

Nic out!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yes, I love Whole Foods that much! Don't judge.

As most of you know, on Wednesday, I had a small chunk of skin cut out of my back (right near the shoulder blade) to have checked for malenoma and will have to wait 12 days for the stitches to be removed (BARF). The surgery was done exactly a month out from the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic. This with other things going on in my life has taken away from time I could be spending in the gym but has also given me more of an appreciation for what I can do. There are so many people that have struggles in their life that don't allow them to get in their car, drive to the gym, train really hard and drive home. The fact that I have the ability to train is something I have learned to appreciate even more since Wednesday.
Going to the gym always puts me in a better mood. Even when I really really don't want to go, I feel better once I'm there. Right now I should be jacking up my cardio and getting my weight sessions in but I haven't been sleeping very well the last three nights because I can't find a comfortable position and I find myself a little on the dizzy in the mornings. I've gone to the gym twice and walked on the treadmill for an hour just to burn some calories but I find I fatigue quickly. My body is telling me to take it easy. But my heart is disappointed.
I have worked SO HARD the last 8 weeks with my 5:15 am and 5 pm gym sessions, eating well and getting lots of rest that it is frustrating I can't be doing what I feel I need to be doing this close to competition. For me this is not just a hobby, this is something I am passionate about and being a competitive person I don't want to be at home sitting on the side lines. I want to be where the action is. At the gym. I want to be running stairs, squatting a heavy set and SWEATING! I love sweating. It's the feeling of accomplishment. It's sexy to sweat.
I'm going to give myself to Monday and then I'm going to start doing some band work and light weights and when I said light I mean the 5 pounders....My water jug probably weights that much. It's all about having a plan and I did have a plan for myself ahead of time but I have to listen to my body and I still have time. If I give myself until Monday that leaves me more than 3 weeks to tighten up and kill some major cardio and weights.
I should be getting excited and I have lots to look forward to. Focus on the positive. Yesterday I sent my old suit to Colleen (The Suit Lady) who will be making my suit for the competition. Last year I picked a pre-made suit at the Olympia and Colleen altered it for me but this year she is making it from scratch! I got to pick out everything for the suit from the connectors (the bling for the straps) and the color....which will remain a surprise until I hit the stage. My makeup with Jordan K is booked and we discussed the look I'm going for.. Barbie of course! And I've decided on how I am going to do my hair...well Brett decided what he thought would help me win. Love him!
Now is the fun part of all the hard work but its also the time to push hard. The meals get tighter and the workouts getter harder and that requires a lot of mental strength because your body is low energy but you have to push everyday to win and picture yourself on stage.
For those of you who have followed me for awhile you know I am a stronger believer in visualization and I am starting to mentally prepare myself and everything for the day of and how I will look on stage, my posing and having FUN! That is what this is all about for me is having fun. Yes I am very competitive but it doesn't mean I can't make friends and be friendly backstage. You can't take life too seriously. Some of the girls do but I am who I am and I will befriend anyone back stage! Just come say hi!!!
I'm also excited to see my B3 girls and a bunch of other girls who I have made friends with. It will be a backstage possy - you know who you are! Positivity only!
I am still looking to find work in Vancouver but I have had a few bites and will be over in the next few weeks to do some interviews. Keep your fingers crossed people! Brett got into his program for January which is amazeballs and we are looking at an amazing apartment in Vancouver right near WHOLE FOODS! Holla! I better make the big bucks....I'll be shopping at Save-On and maybe buying the occasional treat from Whole Foods. It is one of the reasons I'm stoked to be moving back to Vancouver. Yes, I love WF's that much.
The building we are looking at renting has an amazing gym in it and it will be great to train whenever. I can literally just take the elevator down and be at the gym = Amazeballs!
Anyways, I have lots to be thankful for and hopefully the results will come back negative from my surgery thing. I've got to stay positive and be thankful for everything even these life lessons. What I've realized is that these types of situations make us stronger and appreciate what we are able to do on a daily basis and how much effort some people go through to do simple tasks through out the day.
Be thankful for everything! Happy Saturday.

Eat. Train. Sleep. Heal. Repeat.

Nic out!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nothing will stop me...Today is Your DAY

The last few days have been a roller coaster and staying positive has been difficult but today I finally feel like myself again. On Monday, my company made a lot of changes and due to these changes my position no longer exsits hence my one month paid vacation. I was not the only person affected and I know that their must be others that are in way worse positions than me. Talk about a change in plans. After several cry sessions, Brett and I have nailed down a plan so that he can focus on his studies and I can pursue new career opportunities.
Brett, my family, my GBF, friends and all my followers have been so supportive and I couldn't ask for more. The flood of comments and well wishes hasn't gone unnoticed and I definitely appreciate every message. Even thought these changes has nothing to do with my performance but he performance of my company, it still affects me. I have been down in the dumps the last few days and it has been emotionally draining. Trying to find a job, moving back to Vancouver in the next week, moving in with my parents who are then moving into their new house in White Rock, and on top of all of this training for Sandra Wickham...
The reality is, I need a few days to let everything sink in and feel what I was feeling but I feel a lot better today and I am 100% committed to doing as much as I can to support Brett, find a job and train to the best of my ability. This competition is very important to me and I have put a lot of time and energy into training and eating well the last 7 weeks that I would be disappointed in myself for giving up.
Ever since I lost my job on Monday and reached out to people in Vancouver I have had a few doors opens. I am a good employee with a great work ethic and need to get past the part that it was my fault. These things happen.
Last night could have been a turning point for me. I went and did a crazy HITT circuit on the treadmill and sweat out a lot of negativity and was working so hard I wasn't thinking about anything. With a clear head I went home and looked into some new opportunities that had come up. I also had a great talk with my GBF Jill who pointed out that I am not only on a paid vacation but I should look at it like I am getting paid to train! She was right. I have all the time I need and want to be able to eat well, train hard and rest. I want to have a trophy and I want to hear them call my name for 1st place!
One thing I also use to do to help keep me on track were post it notes. My sister knows more than anyone how much I love a post it. I also asked Brett if it would be okay to put my giant vision board up in the kitchen and he said "do whatever you need to do." He is just the most amazing guy and has definitely been my rock through this whole thing and supports my crazy passion for competing. I'm a lucky girl.....Please don't think this photo is's what works for me. Its a good reminder for me that I can do it and I WILL DO IT! No excuses.
Yesterday I tried really hard to have a good day. My childhood best friend Julie happen to be in town for a few days and we spent the day being tourists in Victoria and doing some shopping but I just couldn't kick being sluggish and feeling like a piece of crap. All I kept doing was talking about what had happened and how I was feeling and being such a Negative Nancy. Luckily she is still in town and I can make it up to her because today is her last day before she goes back to Vancouver. I am taking her out for breakfast and then a walk along Dallas road. It will be good times.
This morning I was up at 4:45...yes drive my friends to the airport and on the way home I was alone with my thoughts and plugged in my iPod and put Today is Your Day by Shania Twain on repeat. That one song speaks loudly to me and it reminds me that all I can focus on is today and that today is what I make of it. Finding something that grounds you or helps you focus can make all the difference when you feel like you are in a tough spot. It doesn't make everything better but it makes you realize whats important.  Yes, the last few days were hard and I found myself depressed and sluggish but I got my glow back and a few people at the gym noticed this morning and said, "you seem yourself today" and it's true. I won't let this bump in the road throw me off course. I will find a job and I will push myself everyday to train hard.
This experience will only make me stronger and I grow from it and be better because of it. There really is no other way of looking at it. In fact, I feel silly crying so much the last few days but much better that feeling sorry for myself is out of my system.
Onward and upward! Have a great Thursday :) Oh - and if you know of anyone that's hiring in Vancouver - drop me a line!

Train. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Nic Out xox