Sunday, March 23, 2014

Refresh

Although it can be scary sometimes, change is a good thing. It's an opportunity for growth, new experiences, and sometimes, a different outlook. Times are always changing, and in order to keep current and fresh, it's important to change too. You may have noticed my blog has a different look and feel. I've been feeling for awhile that it was time for an updated, cleaner, simpler look.

I've been wanting to expand the blog text area, remove the busy-ness of the background, and remove some of the side gadgets. In short, to remove the distractions in order to highlight the content.

Welcome to Figure Girl World 2014!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Saved By The Bell Fashion Flashback

I've posted several blogs about workout clothes, so when I came across a post about the workout fashion of Saved by the Bell today, I felt I had to share it with you all.

How many of you watched Saved By the Bell when you were growing up? (Or have seen re-runs of it - you youngin's, you!) It was one of my favorite shows in the 90's (ahhh ... 90's ... how I miss you so!). I love the clothes they all wore on the show - they were so fashionable! Now when I watch it, I have to laugh at how much fashion has changed since then - and how some of it's coming back into style again!

Check out some of the pictures!

Matchy-matchy spandex, slouch socks, and high tops

Remember the thong leotards?!
Even better, they made a workout video! I love everything about this video - from the cheerleading-type moves to the fashionable outfits to the mini trampolines. Here's your entertainment for the day. You're welcome!

 

Do you see some of the 90's trends coming back? Did you own any clothes that looked like these? (I know I did!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Endless Rut

This past weekend, on the way home from the Arnold (look for the post on that soon!), J and I were talking about my goals for this year and for the future. I was complaining that I miss doing many activities that I used to do, and feel frustrated that I can't start new activities that I've been wanting to do.

What do I mean by all this?

In order to be an elite level athlete, you must "give up" some activities in order to focus on the one main goal, whatever that may be. I put "give up" in quotes because technically, you're not really giving up an activity; you're just postponing the time when you can actually do it. But it can be frustrating as well, not being able to feel well-rounded all the time. To some people, that's not a big deal. To others (like me), it can feel confining and frustrating at times.

I'm so much more than just a figure competitor. I'm an athlete. I'm a bookworm, a crazy cat lady, a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter, a friend, an instructional designer, a writer. But when I'm in prep, most of the other things in my life fall to the wayside so I can focus exclusively on bringing the best physique possible to the stage. I realize I need to do this in order to be at the top of my game, but honestly? I really miss things like yoga, skiing, hiking, and krav maga. I really miss going out to eat with J. I miss having a surplus of energy to spend the day playing tourist in our nation's capital. I live in this beautiful city that has so much to offer, and all I do is go to work, go to the gym, and then go home and sleep. I feel like I'm missing out on so many experiences.

Is it worth it? Usually I answer "Yes, of course! You can't beat that moment on stage!" Sometimes I answer, "I hope so." And other times I answer, "I don't know. Is it?" Lately, I've found myself answering, "Yes, but I really miss doing other activities." Greatness is found in routine, but sometimes it just feels like an endless cyclical rut.

I'm not complaining, nor am I hinting that I'm going to quit prep. Not at all! But I am being honest about feelings I have during prep. It's not all sunshine and roses, "everything is going great!", glitter and ponies. Sometimes (most of the time), it's doing what I have to do in order to reach the ultimate goal of looking fabulous on stage. And I do want to look fabulous! It's just that sometimes ... there are sucky parts of the journey, there are whiny moments, there are tears, and there are feelings that life is passing me by.

I genuinely love standing on stage. I love getting all dolled up and feeling like the most beautiful woman in the world. I love knowing that I have the knowledge and the power to transform my body.

In times like this, when I start to feel smothered by routine, I give myself a pep talk. I remind myself that I'm not meant to be "normal" and prep isn't meant to be easy. It's for a short period of time that has the potential to bring great rewards.

In the words of the Greatest Bodybuilder of All Time, Arnold Schwarzenegger,
"Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach."
I guess skiing can wait until next year.

Do you feel confined and frustrated during prep? Or do you thrive on the structure and routine?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rebuilding

Every year, the body goes through changes, and things that used to work no longer work. And things that have never worked suddenly do work. This is one of the most beautiful and frustrating things about the body. Every year, prep is a new challenge.

This year has been especially challenging for me. I've been unofficially prepping for several weeks now, but feel like I've made zero progress because the scale has barely moved. And when it does move, it bounces around, which can really wreak some havoc on my mind and positive attitude!

Last year, the theme of my prep was "positive attitude." This year, I feel like it's "rebuilding." Because I took two months off, I've had to spend some extra time rebuilding what I'd lost. My body composition changed (which was to be expected), so I've spent the first part of prep not losing weight, but building back up and getting leaner at the same time.

Wait. What? Building muscle AND getting leaner at the same time? How is that possible?

It's possible if you follow the right plan for your body. Since J knows how my body functions and what works best for it, he designed a program to help me rebuild muscle while starting to drop some body fat. Which means the scale hasn't budged much. Which means I've been frustrated because prep has never been like this for me. Prep has always meant "getting lean" to me, so when I don't immediately see that happening, I get worried and frustrated.

Thankfully, J was finally able to explain in terms that I understood (prime example of the difference between male and female communication), and I feel a lot better about how I'm progressing.

I'm impatient by nature, so of course I want to be lean yesterday, for pete's sake!

I'm about 15 weeks out from Jr. Nationals. We just recently changed my training to add in a few more sets, reps, and plyos, so the intensity is picking up! I'm actively working on having patience, and I keep reminding myself that the scale is just an indicator of weight, not of body composition. I feel silly, because of course I know all of this, but sometimes my emotions get the better of my logic. (Does that ever happen to you too?)

Do you get impatient with prep? Do you find that your body goes through changes every year? How do you cope with it?