The Best Gift

Often times the best gifts aren’t material possessions, but rather meaningful words spoken from the heart. I’ve always considered myself old fashioned and sentimental. I love letters and kind gestures.

The best 25th birthday gift was a letter from my ex husband, who I shall now refer to as my best friend because ‘ex husband’ sounds derogatory, especially considering how thoughtful his letter was and the friendship we have:

“Hey Jess,

I wanted to say happy fucking birthday!  You are getting older and slowly realizing that you’re nearing thirty, which means you are closer to 40, and therefore, that much closer to death.

It has been quite the year for sure, around this time last year we were not doing so hot, but we were pushing along.  You were slowly realizing my life would be crazy busy, I was realizing my free time was running short, but we both tried to ignore the elephant in the room and passive-agressivley took it out on each other.

We were both sad, because we understood how much we had been through with each other but also felt that we were going different directions.  We grew with each other, we helped each other through thick and thin, and we were confident we could accomplish whatever we wanted.  However, I believe you always could do it on your own.  When we found each other you did not have a phone, a home, a family, or a credit score.  Today you are an independent woman who is planning her own vacation, but still cannot scrub mold out of her bathroom.  Moreover, I am so glad you can sit in a room with me without wanting to punch me in the face, I am glad we can still talk to each other, and I am glad that we were able to get through this past year without too much drama.  I do care about you Jess, I always will. I want to make sure you’re ok and taken care of, not like you need it, but I want the best for you.

Happy Birthday Jess, you deserve to take a break, relax, and enjoy yourself/those around you.  Although you still cannot drive, I think you are pretty cool.

Happy Birthday Jess,

P.S. I owe you a drink.

Derek Frank”

I teared up as I read it. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift. I never would have thought one of my most heart breaking experiences would turn around and put a smile on my face.

Here’s to the continuation of getting to know myself and unlocking parts of my soul I didn’t know existed. A special thanks to everyone who has been a guide in the process, no matter how big or small your role, I’m eternally grateful for everyone I’ve met and the part they have played in my journey.

~Jess

Love

love

This year has been intense.

I have experienced so much in such little time, good and bad, and I’ve dealt with it all on my own. Of course I’ve had the love and support of friends and family members, but I’ve come to realize I’m capable of being alone. In fact, I enjoy the time I get to spend with myself.

At first the idea terrified me, creating a new life, a new identity, and finding happiness within myself. So much happening at once: finalizing a divorce, surgery involved with donating my eggs, taking a career leap and learning a new role, my client passing away, travelling alone for the first time, adopting a dog from another country, all the while keeping myself busy with online school, training, partying and anything to quiet the thoughts in my head to avoid addressing the real issue: I still wasn’t finding happiness. I still wasn’t at peace. I still struggled with insecurities from my failed marriage, seeking validation in all the wrong places, from all the wrong people, using all the wrong methods.

Throughout the hardships and the mistakes I’ve learned so much about myself, especially my weaknesses and character flaws. Weaknesses are that I’m reckless, impulsive, and emotional, leading me to speak before I think, do before I think, and become insensitive to other people’s feelings. I used people as a temporary band-aid and in return, I was used. I refused to love me first, instead I tried finding love and validation from others, leaving me even more empty, broken, and damaged.

Then something beautiful happened. An experience so raw, terrifying, and honest that shocked me into changing my life, my perspective, and my overall relationship with myself. I asked myself the questions I had been avoiding: Do I even like myself? Am I a good person? What is my purpose? What am I doing to improve my life? Am I happy? How am I going to achieve happiness? What IS happiness?

I decided I needed to change my life. I could no longer wallow in self pity and pain. I needed to pick myself up, dust off that shit, and move forward.

In doing so, I made peace with my ex husband. Derek has been a huge part of my life, I love him, always will, he will always be a best friend and confidante. I’m blessed to have spent the time I did with him, and I’m eternally grateful for our experiences together. I also made the decision to get a second job for many reasons: save up for a car, save up for vacation, pay off debt, and to socialize myself because I have a tendency to become a hermit. Creating healthy friendships with others is second to creating a healthy relationship with yourself. The people I work with are amazing, and I truly feel by making the decision to work where I’m working, I am much happier, mentally healthier, and it was in my cards. Everyone is uplifting, hilarious, there to laugh and have a good time and make some money.

The biggest decision I made was to start loving and appreciating myself. To no longer look outward, but to begin looking inward. To accept myself for all my flaws, my experiences good or bad, to forgive myself for everything I did in attempt to self medicate: the promiscuity, using people, substance abuse, and lack of self respect.

I started to heal.

I have more good days, I find reasons to smile, and I do my best to find the positive in every situation. I can sit in silence without becoming uncomfortable with my own thoughts. I enjoy my solitude, I find it peaceful. I’m no longer terrified of being alone. I can enjoy the company of others without searching for their affirmations. Every day I’m learning how to love myself more and more, and as I do, my outlook on life and my relationships with those around me begin to change as well.

I am learning how to become love.

11 Signs You are a Lifter

gym

I thought I’d give another shot at a blog post since my last one was pretty well received. One topic that has been on my mind is the signs and quirks of a lifter. I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore power lifter, but I do lift none the less and share these characteristics with many fellow lifters in the gym rat community (Christ, lemme throw ‘lift’ in there a fourth time!). Some of these are more geared towards women, but I hope you enjoy!

1. You have replaced your purse with a gym bag – Let’s be real, a purse isn’t really you anyways. Totes? Clutches? Satchels? Foreign language to you. You carry around a duffle bag full of resistance bands, squat pads, cable cuffs, pre workout, shaker cups, and Quest bars. You would need a pretty big purse to carry all that around. Not to mention you have your lifting shoes and running shoes in there, and probably some rank ass gym clothes.

2. You constantly carry around a gallon jug wherever you go – Staying hydrated is crucial. You don’t even drink out of a glass anymore, you wanna know exactly how many ounces of elixir of life is going into your precious temple. 128oz to be exact…

3. People always ask what your regimen is – I still haven’t really perfected the cliff notes version of what I do. You basically say, “Lift heavy shit and EAT!” I know people are looking for a more in depth answer, but when you start spouting shit about macros and counting your carbs, proteins, and fats, people look like a deer caught in head lights.

4. You have more gym clothes than regular clothes – What’s the point of having regular clothes anyhow? Bring on the Nike Compression shorts, leggings, tank tops and muscle tanks. Comfort is key in the gym, why not outside the gym too?

5. Donuts and pizza are life – Let’s be real, if you’re not consuming one of these as a lifter, do you even lift?

6. Your social life revolves around your gym life – “Ummmmm sorry can’t go! I’m training legs today! What about after? Will there be food, cause I’ll be famished. Can I wear gym clothes?”

7. Your hands are calloused and your shins have bruises – Who needs lifting gloves? Wear those callouses with pride. Got some ugly bruises on your shins? Then you’re doing it right, keep crushin’ your PR’s. You’re single anyhow, ain’t nobody gonna wanna hold your hand.

8. Idea of a perfect date? Grocery shop and meal prep – “Dear Lord Jesus, please bring me a man who gets just as excited as me about going to Costco and meal prepping in bulk.” Naked Sundays and meal prep? Not if we’re cooking bacon!

9. Laundry seems to be a never ending task – This is the actual worst. Laundry never endsssss! You pretty much have a hamper of clean clothes that never make it to the dresser drawers. “They’re just gym clothes, it’s okay if they’re wrinkly” your lazy ass justifies.

10. You have the sickest lifting playlists – O yeah, some G-Eazy, Tech N9ne, Rittz, and bootylicious Dessert by Dawin. Need a good pump? Gangsta rap is where it’s at. Some old school shit like Ice Cube, N.W.A and The Beastie Boys does a body gooooood.

11. You have replaced your jeans with leggings and maxi skirts – Along with booty gains comes a life and wardrobe full of leggings, and maxi skirts. The circumference of dat ass won’t fit in a pair of jeans to save your life, and if you manage to squeeze into a pair, you’re left with a pancake booty and waaaaay too much room in the waist. Jeans are overrated anyhow, like #4 states, comfort is key, inside AND outside the gym.

~Jess

 

9 Signs You’re Single AF

fart

It’s been a hot minute since I wrote a blog post. Typically I would update with a fitness post, but I’m trying to keep that part of my life low key. I have a new coach and team who I’m really excited to work with, but I won’t be making any announcements for a few months.

That being said, I thought I would get in touch with my more comedic real life writing.

The past 8 months I’ve been single AF. At first it was a bummer, like, “What the hell is wrong with me?!” But now I can’t help but laugh a little. I’m no longer fighting the fact that I’m single, I’ll accept that shit with open arms. Sure, a giant California King gets kinda lonely when your dog has no concept of cuddling, but that’s more room to sleep like a fucking psycho in a straight jacket, waking up horizontal, diagonal, or upside down.

Here’s a few signs that you’re single AF if you didn’t already know, which I hope you do? These have been applicable for me, but may not be for everyone:

  1. You’re not even really sure what a date is – What’s a date anyhow? Do you go somewhere dressed up or dressed down? Do you have to spend money? Is dating simply spending time with someone? According to Dictionary.com, a date is, “a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged before hand with another person.” Still pretty clueless…. 
  2. Sure you have a Boyfriend, if we’re referring to your pet – Boyfriend takes up any time you would have for a real human Boyfriend anyways. He doesn’t talk, he just sits there looking cute, and he’s always fucking excited to see you when you come home. Sure he eats cat poop and you can’t kiss him, but some days he beats a real boyfriend anyways.
  3. You have no real food in the house – Your most commonly used apps on your phone are Door Dash, East 24, and Prime Now…. there’s no need to cook or have real food in the house anyways, you’re feeding one mouth, and you know exactly what you like, that delicious beef Pad Thai from that Thai place down the street…. brought to you.
  4. You spend all your time in the gym – No boyfriend? More gains! You’d think with that bangin’ bod you’re building finding a dude would be a cake walk, but alas, that’s where you’re wrong. Perhaps you need to wipe off that resting bitch face.
  5. Your couch has one spot that is “broken in” – Yup, that’s where you park your fat single ass, smoke a bowl, veg out watching comedy laughing to yourself while eating your body weight in almond butter …. alone. Probably a good thing you’re alone too, because if not, you’re sure to be alone after someone see’s that side of you.
  6. You get friend zoned by anyone you show interest in – You’re just a really “great friend.” *Rolls eyes* Okaaaaay. Your idea is to move on, but then you end up being best friends with anyone who has ever friend zoned you. How sick and twisted. A joke from the Universe ….. Thanks Universe.
  7. Your manager wants to play match maker – You’re sure they’re kidding, but you can’t help but get all nervous, blush, runaway and hide. Girl, that’s NOT how you get yourself a man….
  8. People say, “You’re single?! How?!” – One of my favorites. “I dunno! If I fucking knew maybe I wouldn’t BE single. Will you date me?! Didn’t think so……” The other side is, “It’s my choice, men are overrated.”
  9. You deleted all your dating apps – Well duh. No wonder you’re single. However, when you DID have all the dating apps and gadgets, everyone proved to be a fucking ass wipe anyhow, so you’re really not missing out on much.

I’m sure there’s PLENTY more signs of being single AF, but these were a few of my favorites.

The past 8 months I’ve learned so much about myself and have achieved a level of inner peace that I would have thought impossible last September. For those of you that know me or have been reading my blog for a while will know I recently went through a rough divorce. I can confidently say that I am healing and my ex and I are good friends, another thing I would have thought impossible. I genuinely want the best for him and we both talk regularly about what’s going on in our lives. We shared a lot of great memories and experiences and he will always be one of my best friends.

That being said, I’m glad he’s finding happiness and seeing other people! In the mean time, I’m embracing that single life. Crushin’ gym PR’s, crushin’ pizza PR’s, working 60 hour work weeks, staying on top of my classes, and checking off some items on my “Single Life Bucket List.”

~Jess

Why Compete?

I’ve been debating doing a competition for months now. To compete again or not? Am I ready mentally and physically? What are my resources and who would be my support system? Should I be going balls to the wall or should I play it safe and just do my workout thing and wait to compete until next year? Am I ready for a calorie deficit and bro foods? Do I even have the time between a full time job, online school, and being a dog mom?

Well I’m doing it and I’ll be stepping on stage in 9 weeks for Emerald Cup yet again. So why? Why compete? Everyone has a different reason. My reason this time is very much different than my reason 2 years ago. 2 years ago I was hungry for gold, I wanted that plastic trophy, I wanted the tiara placed on my head, competing was my waking thought, continuous thought throughout the day, until I laid my head down at night where I would continue to dream about the stage.

2 years ago my prep was awful and my motivation quite vain and juvenile. I started dieting on 1,200 calories in January, 4 months before the show. I didn’t own a food scale so I under estimated all my chicken and turkey, so if I’m being honest, I was likely consuming between 800 – 1,000 calories a day. I lost my period for nearly a year, I had rashes and bruises that wouldn’t heal, and life on the home front wasn’t as peachy as I made it look. Competing was tough on my husband at the time. When the show was over, he said he would leave me if I ever competed again.

Well, 2 years later and he has left me. Not by my choice to compete, but by actions of his own. So I’m free. Free to do as I please. Free to surround myself with who I want. Free to follow my passions again, and free to not give a fuck about what everyone else is saying, doing, or thinking. Now is the perfect time to set my goals and hit them hard.

So what’s motivating me this year?

I am in the pursuit of physical and mental strength. I’m focusing on me 100%, something I never felt like I was able to do, and if I did, I was considered selfish. I’m done telling myself “You’re not beautiful, you’re not intelligent, you have no direction, you have no goals, you’re doing absolutely nothing with your life.” I’m done allowing my broken marriage to continue breaking my spirit. I’m proving to myself, and only me, that I have drive, passion, focus, and it’s okay to think about me and it’s okay to tell myself I’m beautiful.

I have such an awesome support system, I’ve met so many cool people already this second time around. My coach is a bad ass, let’s me blow up his phone with 5 million questions, he’s feeding me lots of food and I feel great. I’m getting my meals and nutrition from Physique Kitchen, delicious steak, rosemary potatoes and the works! 4oz this year looks different than “4oz” 2 years ago. I haven’t been hungry and the muscles are poppin’!

One of the reasons this sport is so appealing to me is you have control, you become so in tune with your own body, you are your own science experiment, you are the potter and the clay, every day you are learning. This year I am less concerned with a gold trophy, even though I will work hard like I’m winning first place. No, this year I’m hungry for a good experience, knowledge, and mental gain.

~Jess

 

FitBliss Fitness – Check In #4

Yes! I’m stickin’ with the FitBliss Fitness program, I just haven’t posted a check-in on my blog in a while, forgive me!

I’m feeling pretty fuckin’ amazing truth be told. I’m getting stronger and stronger every week, have added more gym workouts, weights are increasing, and reps are increasing. To reward myself, I joined David Barton Gym in Downtown Bellevue! My dream gym, I am finally a member! I took advantage of the $0 enrollment $89 a month special. On the weekends I’m damn near the only one there so it’s my playground, and even during Prime Time on weekdays, it’s way less crowded than L.A. Fitness. I never have to wait for a piece of equipment or spot. Best decision ever! No regrets.

Lynndsey also bestowed upon me a calorie increase a few weeks ago, so my body is extremely grateful! Now I can go harder and fuel more. Which means more what? Pizzaaaaaaa duh!

My weight has stayed at pretty average 125 lbs. I don’t really pay attention to the scale since I’m shooting for strength, muscle, and transforming my body composition. My measurements have stayed consistent overall, but my waist is shrinking! I want to measure my BF% this week to get a better idea of where my body is sitting. As far as strength and composition, I’m very satisfied.

Small of Waist: 25.5 in
Waist: 27 in
Hips: 38.5 in
Right Leg: 22.5 in
Left Leg: 22 in
Right Arm: 10.5 in
Left Arm: 10.5 in

The past few weeks I’ve been debating whether or not I should compete this year. I’m not sure if I want to do Emerald Cup in 11 weeks or wait for a show in Fall. Emerald Cup seems so soon, but I am sentimentally attached to the idea of competing in what was my first and only show. I’ve also been entertaining the idea of competing WBFF. I love the body composition of WBFF competitors and their stage presence. More to come!

progress

Left: January 17th, 2016                        Right: January 24th, 2016

 

~Jess

FitBliss Fitness – Check In #3

Hello and good morning all! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season and enjoyed ALL the treats! I know I definitely did which is why there isn’t much progress for me this week as far as measurements and weight are concerned. However, I DO feel stronger and notice a difference with how I feel as well as my overall body composition. I also didn’t “gain” any weight so that’s a plus!

Here are my measurements as of Monday, December 28th:

Small of Waist: 26 in
Waist: 28 in
Hips: 38.5 in
Right Leg: 22 in
Left Leg: 22 in
Right Arm: 10.5 in
Left Arm: 10.5 in

According to my Woman Log, Aunt Flo will be in town beginning this weekend, which explains my cravings for all things fatty and delicious. I need to brainstorm a way to combat these cravings. I won’t lie, I haven’t been measuring my almond butter as accurately as I should!

To help ensure I’m staying within my calorie and macro allotment, I will
make the following adjustments:

  1. Since there is no way to measure my lightsfood at the Cafe where I work, I will be bringing my OWN meals for lunch.
  2. I will begin measuring EVERYTHING! No more guesstimation! I’m not doing the plan any justice by “guessing.”
  3. Plan my meals and measure my macros at least the day BEFORE! This allows me to play with MFP, add my treats when I know Aunt Flo is visiting, and set myself up for success to stay within my calorie and macro allotment.
  4. Schedule my workouts the week before and write them on my calendar! I will be starting school next week, so this will be imperative!
  5. Effectively plan my meals when I know I have social events to attend, always be prepared.

Just for shits and giggles, I’m posting this Snap Chat photo from Sunday’s shopping adventure. Plato’s Closet dressing room lighting on FLEEK!

Here’s to a week of crushing goals! Everyone have a safe and fun NYE tomorrow 🙂

~Jess

 

FitBliss Fitness – Check In #2

Checking in! First week of my program with FitBliss Fitness was IMG_3612
AWESOME! Not once did I feel hungry, I ate anything I wanted by exercising balance, I fit in most of my workouts and if I couldn’t make it to the gym, I made it up at home. I enjoyed pizza, burritos, chocolate and wine. What more could a gal ask for?!

In fact, I lost 6lbs since my first weigh in when I completed my application with FitBliss Fitness! Yesterday I sat at a nice 122lbs, the lowest I’ve seen my body weight since competing in 2014. My body is used to sitting at 125lbs average. With marathon training in 2013, my body sat at 119lbs. My ultimate goal is a healthy 115lbs, but I understand muscle weighs more than fat, and I would much rather take the muscle even if it comes with extra lbs!

IMG_3605
My abs are beginning to make an appearance again, my booty is a tad perkier, I feel STRONGER, and my hammies come out to play on occasion. Everything is looking a bit more defined, so I’m excited for week #2!

There’s always room to improve. Last week I was unable to make my gym workouts since my new dog son named Ruky flew in from Korea last Wednesday! I wanted to monitor him closely to see if he was house trained which he is! All he needs is obedience training. That being said, this week I will definitely hit my gym workouts. I also need to work on hitting my macros more accurately! Practice makes perfect.

Here are my measurements as of Monday, December 14th:

Small of Waist: 26 in
Waist: 28 in
Hips: 38.5 in
Right Leg: 22 in
Left Leg: 22 in
Right Arm: 10.5 in
Left Arm: 10.5 in

I will update my measurements next Monday, December 28th. 

I hope everyone has an awesome Holiday Season!

~Jess

FitBliss Fitness Check-In

So far the first week on my program with FitBliss Fitness has been great! I notice a huge difference in my body and overall well being. Last week I made a jump start by watching my eating habits and fitting in at least 3 workouts, so my body was prepared for the program. Lynndsey has been extremely accommodating of my busy schedule and has written me 3 workouts that can be completed at home and 2 workouts to complete at the gym on weekends when I can go in the morning. If I’m already hooked and thrilled on week one, I can only imagine how satisfied I will feel near the end of the program and for the rest of my life.

I have always been extremely prideful of my ‘athletic ability’ in the sense that I stay motivated, write my own workouts, count my own macros, and see results…. health has been a passion of mine since I met my ex husband and he opened the door to the wizarding fitness world for me.

But he’s my ex husband, freshly ex husband, and as I’ve stated many times before, after the divorce I became extremely unmotivated. I dove into a deep depression that crippled me, I fell out of the routine that kept me sane and brought me happiness, I mistreated my body with drugs, alcohol, and little nutrition, and I stopped loving myself. But I’m ready to move on with my life, pick up the things that made me happy, and learn something new about myself along the way. I had to swallow my pride when I made the choice to work with a coach, but I need the guidance and accountability, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

The best part is this program fits my life style. I don’t have to sacrifice anything, maybe a little time to train, but that’s balance. I can still eat the foods I love, go out on the town with friends, have the occasional drink or two, take Ruky for a run as my cardio day, workout from home and still get a few gym sessions in on early weekend mornings when no one is at the gym.

I’m already down 5lbs from when I filled out my FitBliss IMG_3429Fitness application! I’m discovering what works for me, where I’m strong, where I’m weak, what foods I can fit into my macros, what makes me feel good, and what doesn’t make me feel good. Last night I hoarded my macros so I could kill a whole Amy’s Pizza for dinner! I didn’t even have to starve all day! THAT is true happiness and a sense of accomplishment. Finally finding a healthy routine, balance, and physical and mental well being. I’m happy. I’m actually happy and I haven’t been able to say that with 100% honesty in a long time. I’m letting go of the things in my life that have been toxic for my soul, mind, and body.

Here’s to creating healthy habits for a life time!

~Jess

 

 

Day 1 – FitBliss Fitness Training!

Today marks the first day of my FitBliss Fitness Training program with Lynndsey Eldridge and her wonderful team! I’m very excited, I’ve been needing an ass whooping for several months now. I’m ready to grow, become stronger, create a healthy lifestyle again and be held accountable to achieve my goals. I will be documenting my journey on this blog as another form of accountability. I’ll try to check in at least once a week with updates on measurements, weigh ins, and progress pictures.

fitblissWho knows, maybe I’ll decide to compete next year?! Big goals underway….

~Jess