It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking.

It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than it is to think your way into a new way of acting. – Founder of Habitat of Humanity.

I love the featured image, as it’s one of the first moments I had launching myself out of an airplane solo. So close to getting that sky diving license! I digress….but I promise it relates! Because to do that, you have to act your way into a new way of thinking. =P It takes a lot of mental work! I would like to use this post as a follow up to my previous emotional blog post. Did I completely lose it or what? This is what happens when you’re calorie depleted, if you wanted to know! haha! I went to bed that night so negative about the “prep” that I’m currently up to the knees in. Physique competition training is beyond mentally exhausting. We all know how to exercise. But a competition like this is really just all mental. And it hit me harder than a ton of bricks yesterday.

A few ways I pushed through that moment:

Friends and family – They are so good at knowing how to be supportive of any decision I make but also providing motivating words which revitalize me and remind me of who I am and can be.

Faking it – I had my outfit, food and work stuff prepped for the next day like nothing was to change. I woke up with my energy feeling like a 5 out of 10, but I went through the motions… “faking” like I was still a “competitor.” The least I could do was step foot in the gym. Even if I don’t try, I’m still there right? WELL… that’s when endorphins kick in and then you end up having a KILLER workout! So there it is… act your way into a new way of thinking!

Respect – If could split myself into two people: Person # 1, who is super motivated and ready to take on the next day, and Person #2, who is a drag and just wants to eat and have more free time to do nothing… I would NOT let person number #2 influence person #1. Why should person #2 self destruct and take person #1 down with her? That’s disrespectful to all the hard work she put in. If you wouldn’t do it to someone else, DON’T do it to YOURSELF.

You can accomplish anything in 12 weeks – Surely this isn’t nearly as bad as bootcamp or grad school. Get on with it. It could ALWAYS be worse. Maturity comes when you postpone immediate pleasures for long term values. 

People have accomplished more than you, with LESS and complained LESS – Haven’t you seen Million Dollar Baby!?

You are not your emotions – That person inside of you can be a complete winey bitch. That isn’t you self loathing, it’s your hormones. Whether they’ve got you spilling over due to low calories, low carbs or just pure stress… that is not YOU talking. See this post about me being Emo. If you can’t get out of your mind, get into your body (always, alwayyyyys works).

Countdown – My husband and closest friends are big on countdowns. We have a cruise set up just two weeks after the show!! It’ll be an amazing gift at the end of all of this. And having that to look forward to and countdown to helps tremendously!

And those were techniques I used to keep at it. I am officially past half way and counting. I’m proud of the work I’ve put in and ready to hit the stage at 100%.

Cheers!

– BnG –

 

To Compete or Not to Compete

I’ve gotten through the hardest part of this prep. It’s been 5.5 weeks of training THROUGH Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 

But I sit here on Monday, January 2nd with second thoughts. Why on earth would I look back now when I have just 6.5 weeks left (almost HALF way), and this second half will be tough no doubt but without the strain of the holidays goodies and get-togethers. 

What happened today of all days that I hit a weakness and wanted to give up? Today that itch is really scratching and it’s making me nervous.

My first mistake was this morning when I dug through all my pictures from my first show (last year). I placed second in the Open Figure. Just one place shy of getting my Pro card on my first show. It was until that moment on stage that I told myself I’d never do it again.

After the show I found myself looking at my stage self and wishing my shoulders were more defined, I had more veins popping, etc… I should have been more than happy with it. But all I was, was critical of my hard earned physique that got me second place.

So, this morning, after getting up at the usual 4:20am for the weight training and cardio session, I tore through photos and started comparing my “6 weeks out” photos from then and now. Nothing different. In fact, I must’ve been feeling pretty miserable because I actually thought I looked less ready this time, this far out when all this time I felt I had a head start. (??) 

In these moments, I asked myself (AGAIN), what I was getting out of competing? If I’m going to look exactly how I looked the first time… then what’s the point? I certainly don’t have the adrenaline of doing my first show lighting my way. If I could walk off stage last time as critical as I was… and I was in the same boat right now… what’s the point of all the misery?

So why did the idea of doing a second competition come about? I had mentioned competing one more time because of getting that close to a pro card. But the idea was to do it in the SPRING. But as I looked up shows for the Spring, I saw one for Feb 18th (OCB). I shook my head at it because it was during the holidays and you have to be NUTS to give up your happiness (ahem, Buckeyes, neighbor Gene’s coffee cake, Jim and Mary’s cooking😳)… for a show?! No thanks!!!

Then one morning my husband comes home from working a 12 hr night shift. Somehow he pulls energy out of nowhere and wants to work out! He’s so pumped he tells me he wants to do the Feb 18th show and to tell my coach RIGHT NOW so we could get on board the gain trainnnn! 😂oh boy. He hadn’t done a show before and I got excited he was wanting to do one with me. It can’t be that bad if we do it together right? Which means a spotter! And no distracting treats in the house! Yesss! 4 to 6 days later, he threw in the towel because he was told to consume 4 times the amount of food he was used to and it was physically making him ill. I wish I had that same prescription (or do I? I’m not sure). But regardless, I don’t blame him AT ALL. 

So see… at this point, I don’t want to disappoint my coach I used the first time around. Kenny (my coach) had just earned his PRO card THAT weekend and he was willing (and super excited!) to work with me again and I didn’t want for both of us to up and quit his already worked up plan. So I stayed the coarse. 

Not because I wanted to be on stage, or win a pro card, or have that “figure physique” for like a week… but because I didn’t want to be a quitter. 

I cannot believe I’ve gotten this far based off of my motivation being truly 80% “not wanting to be a quitter.” It’s borderline insane. If it weren’t for a refeed on Christmas… 🤤(THANK GOD) I truly don’t know if I would have made it this far.

SECONDLY, nothing good comes from establishing a poor relationship with food. I now remember who I was back in my first prep. I now remember why I said in the weeks leading up to the show that I’d never do one ever again. I hate that I want all the things I can’t eat so badly when I never wanted them before prep. It’s about to get real scary post show. Pray for me 😜.

THIRDLY, I’ve already said this briefly but I feel the need to reiterate… if I was going to quit, it should have been during the HOLIDAYS!! 😡😡😡

So here I am. I’m thinking because I’ve had the last four days off of work to be surrounded by these devilish foods without a distraction, that I’m at my tipping point. 

I told myself I’ll wait until the end of the week once I’m back to crushing it at work and in my distraction filled routine, to see if I still feel the same.

I hate quitting. I know I can do this. I would be crushing the training regardless. There’s just something about the drag of food owning you, your time and your happiness. I feel so selfish. I’m promising myself right here that I will never do another show. And I make that promise even if I snatch up a Pro Card. 

Any other blog post I would normally share would be filled with motivation, and words of mental toughness. But let’s be real… we all feel really weak sometimes. Sometimes we need to re-evaluate why we do the things we do. Why so much pressure? Who’s putting on the pressure. We can’t live in pure comfort because you get no where fast with a plan like that. But on occasion, we all need to release our inner turmoil. Thanks for reading! Means a lot! 😉

Cheers 

-BnG-

    If You Lose the Mental Game…

    “If you lose the mental game, you lose the physical one.” Kevin Gianni 

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    For those of you who do not know, I work in Health Care. I am a Pathologist’s Assistant and it is my job to dissect all of the surgical specimens that come from the operating rooms, in search for cancer (for diagnoses and staging) and disease. I am a solo PA and dissect each and every organ/biopsy that comes out of three separate hospitals. It sounds daunting… but I love it. What I don’t love are legs. Yes, you heard me. Legs… digits… genitals… eyeballs. All of these have one thing in common.

    I see on average, approximately 3 legs a week. These legs are from patients ranging in ages from 27 to 80’s. Legs, digits and transmetatarsal amputations are mostly received for diabetes, majority of which, is Type 2. Many people are susceptible to Type 2 diabetes through genetics. Diabetes complications include nerve damage and poor blood circulation. This leads to the dying of tissue (or ischemia), because it can no longer receive proper nutrients. Poor lifestyle habits are the leading cause of diabetes.

    You can combat this gangrenous disease (if you start early enough) with two things:

    Maintain a healthy diet.

    Exercise. 

    Look at it this way: Exercise and exorcism both refer to ways of getting rid of something — belly fat or Satan. Therefore belly fat is Satan. Okay, sort of flawed logical sequence, but you get what I’m saying! I once heard from a Doc I work with that “For every one hour you exercise,  you extend your life expectancy by two hours.” How does that sound? If you’re not making time to exercise, then you ARE making time for disease. If you’d like proof, visit your local Pathology Lab.

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    Start with SMALL changes:

    Stop thinking bread is just bread. It’s not. It’s actually sugar.

    Stop dieting. It’s a lifestyle. Try eating only healthy foods during work hours.

    Change out a few items the first week. Then a couple more the next.

    Allow yourself cheat meals occasionally. Twice a weekend works for me.

    Take the serving size OUT of the bag and put it into a serving dish. Put the bag AWAY.

    Don’t obsess over food. Obsess over movement. Take a walk with a friend!

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    This all seems like common sense, but we obviously still need to work on these things. Preventative maintenance is key, and allows you to live more freely and fully. People don’t realize that their junk food & ill-mobility habits lead to serious future mobility limitations, blindness, dying of extremities (to include genitals – yes we receive dead penises), kidney failure, etc. Sure, always making good health decisions is a mental game. You can encourage yourself through positivity, by educating yourself and immersing yourself… or you can lose yourself physically. STOP! Stand up, start small and get moving!

    Your Body is Your Temple.

    -> And I’m always here to help! <-

     – BnG –

    Coffee and Ketosis

    It’s Sunday morning. How many of us are waking up, to a freshly brewed cup of Joe? Millions. Let’s make it count.

    Let’s discuss this beauty of a concoction that I like to whip up on non-workout mornings. But first, I’d like to explain why this is something I choose to start my day with on non-conditioning days. So, In the most non-sciencey way possible:

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    Your body gains it’s energy from the cell’s mitochondria. This mitochondria creates ATP (energy) with the help of either GLUCOSE or KETONE BODIES.

    GLUCOSE is associated with CARB consumption.

    KETONE BODIES are associated with PROTEIN + FAT Consumption.

    Ketone bodies are said to create a more efficient energy supply, because it leaves less “garbage” behind in the form of free radicals. This allows the brain to return to it’s normal state between membrane potentials. This here, allows us more light-bulb moments! YES!

    Naturally, when we wake up in the morning, we have no stored carbs to burn energy, so the body will burn off excess fat (YAY). In this ketotic state, the brain can switch protein intake into glucose in order to function. It’s important to note here, that I drink this coffee-concoction to add an influx of additional proteins and fats so that my body doesn’t try to “eat my muscles” for fuel. We’d like to keep these hard-earned babies around! Now suddenly you’ve provided the brain with some fuel, have a clear mind and are a fat burning machine! Psychologytoday.com puts it perfectly in their article, Your Brain on Ketones, that the brain is placed in a “better environment for neuronal recovery and repair.” –> without all those free radicals we talked about.

    >>This means PUT DOWN THE BAGEL. Let your brain do some clear thinking and burn some fat! <<

    Now, I stated that I drink this tasty morsel on non-conditioning days because post-workout is an opportunity to eat a HIGH carb-HIGH protein meal. This helps with fast muscular recovery. Recover faster – faster gains. I will touch on that in a different post.

    NOTE: Ketones are the by-product of ketosis and over long periods of time can cause a buildup in the blood and cause ketoacidosis (acidic blood), being toxic. This is most dangerous for those with diabetes or who are pregnant.

    Let’s get to this amazing concoction, shall we?!

    Place freshly brewed coffee in blender.

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    Add a tablespoon of organic coconut oil. Fat Source.

    Some people use unsalted grass-fed butter.

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    1 scoop of good quality whey protein. Protein source. 

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    Cinnamon to taste. Add any spice you’d like.  

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    This blend is still hot and trust me, it will try to explode out of the blender.

    Hold tight and PLEASE use a paper towel to contain the explosion through the air hole!

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    Mmm, see how frothy that is?

    Cheers – to Brains and Gains! 

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    Disclaimer

    Done is Better Than Perfect

    You know how when you hear something for the first time, it comes up at least two more times right away? Almost as if to say, “Hello… I’ve been here this whole time. You’ve just never paid attention.”

    The beginning of this week began with that annoying alarm in one ear screaming, “GET UP! It’s LEG DAY!” Being Monday, it takes me a bit longer to shimmy zombie-like out of bed. My first thought – just get there, at least that’s something. Something’s better than nothing right?

    You all know how this works. That little line helps you to get dressed, get in the car and at least warm up at the gym. Then BOOM. What a GREAT workout! So glad you got up right?

    Later this same day I was geeking out on podcasts during my drives to and from work, as usual (I travel throughout the day as well). The steady inflow of information makes me feel as if I’m actually being sneaky during work hours, and being paid to learn what I want! Yes please. So then I hear a story from the Podcast “The Side Hustle Show” – where Lisa Cartwright mentioned that the ticket to making tons of money off of self-publishing to Kindle is: Done is better than Perfect. Again, I hear this same mantra two days later, from Ankur Nagpal’s “Monetize What You Know: Proven Course Creation Best Practices” podcast.

    Wow – this was so strange to me at first. Many of us strive for an OCD level of performance or to create a perfect product or image. This fact, came into my lungs like a bit of fresh air and escaped leaving me so relaxed, and hell… reignited. What happens when you stop critiquing everything you do, because it’s “not good enough yet?” Or if you stop saying, “I could never do that as well as someone else,” and “There’s already tons of people out there doing that same thing, and better.” – WAKE UP.

    It was as if I was 7 again and my parents were telling me “You can be anything you want to be.” This is when I realized, this is what life’s about. In the past year, I had been living by this notion without knowing it:

    Before dawn workouts – check

    Carpentry – check

    Jiu Jitsu – check

    Gardening – check

    Podcasting – check

    Website – Why Not!? Because, getting something done is better than perfect. Just get it started. Do what you feel uncomfortable doing and you will soon find yourself cruising through that next project. It may not be perfect, but it’s yours, and you’re better for it.