One Year, My How Time Flies…

Holy shit.

It’s already been a year, my how time flies.

It’s kinda crazy how we are constantly changing as human beings, making mistakes, learning from them, growing, and changing our perspectives and the way we look at things.

I started this blog to document my bikini journey to the stage, to hold myself accountable, and to inspire others. I started this blog in hopes and dreams of making it big and becoming a sponsored athlete. My waking thoughts until the moment I laid my head down at night were glitz, glam, photo shoots, a perfect body, and a career in being a fitness model.

For the longest time I was trapped inside my own head, completely lost in myself, and I turned the very thing I loved into an obsession that would tear me apart physically and mentally.

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This is me 5-6 months ago. Hungry, unhappy, and erratic. April 2014.

The dream wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I sacrificed friends, family, happiness, and myself for 2 minutes and 47 seconds on stage and afterwards I said to myself, “That was it?!” I didn’t feel those anxious butterflies, I didn’t get those endorphins or the adrenaline rush, I didn’t get that overwhelmingly ecstatic feeling that I’ve heard about from so many fellow competitors.

The best part about that day was meeting all the great uplifting gals back stage, and the relief that it was over and I could eat that god damn greasy burger, pretzels with queso, and fries piled high.

After all was said and done, I couldn’t even have peace after that! I suffered from ‘post comp’ blues all Summer! What the hell! This ‘thing’ wasn’t gonna let go. I felt like a freakin’ bloated whale carcass! Another 3 months of body issues and internal drama with my self esteem.

FINALLY. I finally found happiness in not giving a fuck. Not giving two shits how many grams of fat I had that day. You know what fat does? Keeps you fuller longer and provides you with energy at your mundane desk job or hours spent studying. Not giving a flying fuck how many carbs I went over. You know what carbs do? Provide you with energy for those strenuous workouts and long distance runs.

Point is. I’m happy now. Truly 110% happy with where I’m at mentally, physically, and how I’m achieving my fitness, work, school, and life goals. That’s what it’s all about people.

You know what the funniest part about all of this is? Now that I’m truly happy, and promoting a realistic healthy life style, I feel like my ‘following’ or ‘stardom’ has definitely gotten knocked down a few pegs. Sure, maybe it’s my lack of selfies or douche-bag-trainer-posts but what the hell. At first it ‘hurt my feelings’ that people weren’t worshipping my ridiculous abs or telling me how shredded I am but the truth is – I AIN’T FUCKING SHREDDED NO MORE! I don’t need to weigh 110 pounds consisting of only bone, muscle, and failing organs to gain approval from the internet.

Update

This is me today. Healthy, strong, and happy. September 2014.

This is me, uncut, raw, and real. Take it or leave it.

From now this blog is just gonna be an ebb and flow of my thoughts, fitness related or not. You can choose to keep reading if you like, but if real life thoughts aren’t your thing you can move onto the next blog, I ain’t crying.

For those of you who have been reading, thanks. It means a lot that some people find interest in my sporadic posting. I hope we can have another year together! If not, I’m fine flying solo.

Have a great night, and thanks for reading.

~Jess

Photo Shoot with Amir Zahed April 5th

Hey Guy!

Here are the rest of my photos from my shoot with Amir at the beginning of April, 3 weeks before my competition. So happy with how they turned out! Amir has helped me out soooo much during this entire process, huge shout out to your great work!

These photos are definitely motivation to kick my ass back into high gear. I CAN look like that again, and I can do it so much healthier this time around. It’s summer time and I want to feel comfortable in my own skin and flaunt my hard work. A rockin’ bod shouldn’t be a temporary goal, something you achieve, walk out on stage and completely kiss goodbye a mere 2 days later. Maintaining a tight physique is a full time job, a commitment, you can’t cheat… it WILL show.

These photos serve as a reminder of all the hard work I have put in for 5 months. They remind me that I can achieve anything if I put 110% of my heart and soul into it. If I want something, I can have it, I will make it mine.

~Jess

 

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Post Comp Festivities Hangover….

Dear mother of god…..

I am FULL. I literally feel like I’m ripping at the seams. My SKIN HURTS from gaining my water weight back, I feel puffy, I’m tired, my eyes feel swollen shut. I do NOT feel glamorous.

I knew this would happen though! I refuse to get depressed, I refuse to catch the ‘post comp blues.’ It’s my own damn fault. This morning I thought I would be healthy and have a smoothie for breakfast. I get to work and Lazaro has his delicious Peanut Butter Nutella Cheesecake as promised and OF COURSE I had to have a slice! 9:00am rolls around and I feel an ever so slight hunger so I eat a pop tart, make that 2! According to myfitnesspal, I only have 250-300 calories left for my ‘reverse diet’ IIFYM plan…. ughhhh.

IMG951977I knew this wouldn’t be easy. I knew this would be hard. I know it’s only been a day and a half, but I already feel like a lost puppy.

I’m free! What do I do with myself? Yes, I AM free, but I feel like I need a new goal. I’ve been living the past 5 months following a strict diet and workout regimen, it literally became my entire life. It’s an odd sensation…. not feeling obligated to my workouts or diet plan, not having every second of every day planned. I feel free, but in a way I feel empty.

Even though my journey to the stage had it’s ups and downs, I was a crabby hot mess, downright depressed some days, and so self critical, the overall experience and knowledge gained was worth every second of it. I also enjoyed getting all dolled up, spray tanned, and primped for my big day. I loved meeting all the girls, everyone was so genuinely nice, and it just felt so NATURAL. Emerald Cup was awesome! It was a great show to watch and be a part of.

3 years ago I worked at the Courtyard Marriott, the host hotel for Emerald Cup every year. I was so inspired by all the competitors who came to check in. They all looked so fit, so amazing, and even though I’m sure they were starving and cranky, they were upbeat and treated the Front Desk kindly. I was so inspired! For years after that, I started reading FitnessRx for Women, started weight training, and always had the thought of competing in the back of my mind. I FINALLY grew a pair and asked my husband to train me, I know that bodybuilding and aesthetics is really not his thing, so it was scary asking him.ecup2

He’s been extremely supportive this whole time, even when I’ve been BEYOND a bitch! We hardly had time for each other this entire process. He is a full time student at Seattle University and owns his own professional training business, and I was constantly meal prepping, cleaning my dishes, doing laundry cleaning my gym clothes, writing my workouts, creating my meal plans, spending hours upon hours researching, doing my workouts, tanning, posing practice, etc. It was exhausting for both of us, it quickly became an obsession.

If I choose to do another competition in the future, I would do things very differently. I would take less time to prep (12 weeks opposed to 5 months!) and I would MAKE time for my friends and family. This is a tough sport and requires so much energy and dedication, but that doesn’t mean that priorities should be set aside. There can be a healthy balance, it’s just a matter of taking the time to find that balance and being consciously aware of how you’re effecting the people around you.

I would hate to completely give up competing. I definitely want to take a break and mentally regroup and take on a new goal. Competing in Emerald Cup was an amazing experience, I’m so happy I FINALLY did it! I have wanted to do Emerald Cup for years, I finally did it and I did extremely well, I’m so proud of myself 🙂

Once again, thanks to everyone who have supported me through this entire process, it’s been unreal!

~Jess

Less than 24 Hours……

Shit just got real.

In approximately 24 hours or less, I will be standing on stage showing off my physique and 5 months of grueling hard work. Like I’ve said many many times before, there are good days and bad days. Some days I felt downright weak and mentally drained, losing sight of WHY I was going through with this and putting my mind and body through so much stress.ecup

When I started this journey to the stage, I had every intention of winning. I was going to place 1st in my Class. I was going to become sponsored, earn my Pro Card, and become a media sensation in the fitness industry. My goal was to win and make a career out of this sport, paving my way to fame and notoriety, and finding a way out of my ‘customer-service-slacks-and-blazer-desk job’.

Reality began to sink in a month or two later and I become more set on the idea of placing Top 5 in my Class. I have a banging body, excellent trainer, the ability to gain muscle quickly, and the will power to say ‘No’ to treats at work…. why not?? That seems feasible right? After all, I’ve been scoping out the competition from previous Emerald Cup’s, I think I might stand a chance.

Another month went by and I hit a plateau. I wasn’t losing weight, I wasn’t seeing any progress and I was picking apart every aspect of my body anytime I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. “My ass isn’t high enough OR big enough, why the hell do I still have a crease?!” “Is that cellulite or does the lighting in this room suck?” “Why won’t my obliques come out and STAY out?!” “I shouldn’t have eaten that peanut butter……” and so on and so forth. I was getting real sick and tired of being so damn self critical! I wasn’t giving myself any credit for the progress I had made, it’s like my progress up until my plateau was completely invalid.

Piece of advice: Don’t pick yourself apart. Compliment yourself, and give yourself credit where credit is due.

You are freakin’ beautiful, no matter what anybody says, no matter what the judges say, no matter what you place or what’s written on your score card. The only person’s opinion that matters is your own. At the end of the day, your happiness is all that matters, and the experience you gain through this journey. The journey isn’t over at the end of the show, fitness and health are a life style change and the great thing about it is how versatile it is.

After I had stopped stressing about my body and everything I thought that was wrong about it, after I had accepted, “Yeah, this is my body, I better start loving it because this might very well be my stage package…..” …… I started seeing progress! I started seeing the results I wanted! The amazing thing about our bodies is that they can hear what you’re thinking…. they know what goes on in our heads and we can’t psych ourselves out. I’m extremely proud of where I’m at today! I am a firm believer that there can always be improvement, but for my first show, I’m beyond happy with the package I’m bringing.

I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how I place, I’ve already won and gained such a new perspective on fitness, nutrition, and training. I’m a freakin’ strong person for having the will power to tough it out day after day, week after week, month after month. I have COMPLETELY transformed my body. I was happy with my body before, but I am utterly impressed with the next level I brought it to while training for Emerald Cup this year.

It’s been tough. It’s been really REALLY tough. There have been days ended in tears, countless hours and weekends spent away from family, birthday and holiday celebrations missed, and friends put on the back burner for so long. I’m ready to step on stage, show the judges, audience, friends, and family what I’ve been working so hard. Bring it on Emerald Cup! You have been in my waking thoughts for months, as well as my dreams at night.

So ready to make this happen.

~Jess

Update – 9 Days Out!

Good Morning Fit Fam and Followers!

EEEEEEK! 9 days out, is this real life?! Can time move faster!?

I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. I am feeling a million different emotions; excitement, anxiety, nervousness, confident, a lil’ doubtful but I keep pep talking myself, and very very thankful that I am on the home stretch of this very looooong prep. All my hard work is going to be on display for friends, family, and fellow competitors to see. 9 days to add the finishing touches, 9 days until I can enjoy my reward meal and reflect on the experience.

Top 5 Bikini Class A Gals. I will be meeting them all in 9 days!

Top 5 Bikini Class A Gals. I will be meeting them all in 9 days!

I have been very good about collecting all the information I need, creating a ‘To Do’ list every day, and planning every meal and workout up until the competition day. Last week’s intensive workouts left my body aching. The pool at my gym was closed all week last week, so I had to make due without it. The pool opens today which I’m very excited about! Cardio without the impact, swimming will definitely tone up my package giving me a leaner look. The Competitor List came out last night, so I’ve gotta perfect my look because the competition in my class will be TOUGH!

This past weekend I went to the Vancouver Natural with a gal I met on IG, her name is Ashley and she is competing Figure in Emerald Cup. She’s a really cool chick! It was fun going to the show with a buddy, I’m glad I got to experience one before competing in one. Unfortunately I missed the Bikini pre-judging, Bikini was in the morning show and we ended up going to the night show instead. Tons of fun though, great experience! It was definitely a smaller show from the looks of it, Emerald Cup will be MUCH larger.

Dexter Jackson up close and personal guest performance at Vancouver Natural

Dexter Jackson up close and personal guest performance at Vancouver Natural

I’ve been practicing my posing every day, and guess what? 30 minutes a day really REALLY helps! I’m feeling more and more confident, adding more sass, turning my hips more, hitting my poses strong and mastering my transitions. I’m so thankful I got a Mac Book so I can video myself and play back my routine, it definitely helps to self critique, post online and get feedback.

This weekend is Derek’s birthday! He’s turning 26 this Friday, April 18th! OLD FART! Haha, just kidding 🙂 Saturday night we’re going out to Lot 3, so bummed I can’t drink with him to celebrate. On a positive note, I’ll look smokin’ hot in my itty bitty dress! This weekend I plan on getting my hair cut and picking up make-up samples for the competition, as well as fitting in a couple more tanning sessions and possibly picking up some cheap competition jewelry if mine doesn’t come in the mail soon. I’ll begin depleting water this weekend and exfoliating my skin for my spray tan appointment. Just a few more intense workouts then I can relaaaaax for PEAK WEEK!

I’m so thankful that I’ve had the help from fellow competitors and family to guide me through this entire process! Everything from posing practices, depletion methods, make up advice, meal prep ideas, and moral support. I love being a part of this community, people are so supportive and want to see you succeed! I’ve been extremely blessed during this entire process, despite the down days where I feel so hungry, emotional, and exhausted.

I have even gotten a head start on my IIFYM – Reverse Dieting Plan! I’ll provide the breakdown, I’m very excited:

1) April 27th through May 10th (2 week period) – 
1400 calories a day
50 minutes of cardio 5 days a week
2 weight training days

2) May 11th through May 24th (2 week period) –
1600 calories a day
40 minute of cardio 4 days a week
2-3 weight training days

3) May 25th through June 7th (2 week period) –
1800 calories a day
30 minutes of cardio 4 days a week
3-4 weight training days

4) June 8th through June 21st (2 week period) –
2000 calories a day (will assess my caloric needs)
20 minutes of HIIT cardio 3 days a week
3-4 weight training days

I am feeling extremely prepared 🙂 Bring it on Emerald Cup! Gimme a crown and fat juicy burger!

~Jess

 

 

Post Competition Goals

Post Competition Goals

It’s Sunday! Last day to relax and prepare for the crazy week ahead. Putting off my workout…. snuggling with my cutie 🙂 My stomach doesn’t feel so great, too much coffee and not enough food perhaps. Ughhhh, feeling ill. So naturally I’m posted on the couch surfing the net, reading inspiring blogs by fellow competitors, and attempting to write my own. I figured I might as well write about the topic that has been on my mind for the past few weeks: post competition goals.

It’s no lie that a lot of priorities that were once front and foremost in my life have fallen to the wayside since training for this competition. My every day has been consumed with training, writing my workouts, prepping my food, calculating my macros into myfitnesspal, loads upon loads of laundry, tanning, posing, researching, buying extensive amounts of shit like my suit, heels, protein powder, supplements, NPC card, registration, tanning, accessories, etc. I’m excited to just BE and enjoy myself, my friends, family, and time.

Here is a condensed list of all my post competition goals:

1) Spend more time with my family – This is obviously numero uno. Countless weekends I have had to decline invitations and had to skip out on spending time with family so I could fit that workout in, burn those extra calories, or meet up with someone for posing practice. This competition has definitely consumed my waking thoughts and every ounce of energy and time that I have. Although my dedication can be viewed as admirable, I view it as an obsession at this point, one that is making me tired. I have learned a lot through this process, including how I should rearrange my priorities.

2) Spend more time with friends – This definitely falls under number one. Same idea. I have put them on the back burner, and it’s really not cool. In fact, some days I feel like I have no friends, people have invited me to go out numerous occasions and I have denied every opportunity, now people don’t even extend the invitation. I might even need to find new friends, it’s been so long since I’ve just ‘hung out’ with someone. I can’t wait to do this again! Go out dancing, see the movies, plan a girls night, happy hour, cooking FOOD, EATING FOOD!

3) Working out how I want to work out – Every workout I plan now has a specific goal. Make that larger, make this smaller, trim that in, shave that down, blah blah blah. I want to workout just to have fun, feel good, and try something new and exciting! Some of my goals include:

-Getting my ass back, possibly making it larger and higher. It kind of deflated through this process, I’m super bummed about it 😦

-Pick up swimming. I feel freakin fantastic when I get out of the pool! I love it! I hate getting IN the pool, but I know I’m gonna feel super
awesome later. I wouldn’t mind working on technique and speed, possibly mastering a flip turn (?)

-Lift some SERIOUS weight. I like lifting, I like feeling and BEING strong. I feel like such a pussy trying to squat in the squat rack on minimal
calories, I feel weak.

-IIFYM! Hell yeah, the perfect way to diet and properly fuel your body for intense activity while remaining shredded! Bring it on!

-Do another half marathon. I felt amazing last year training for my half marathon. I had so much fun running, felt energized, loved the mental
and physical benefits, and I could eat whatever I wanted! In fact, it was encouraged to carb load! I was eating bagels and muffins when I would
normally NEVER eat those prior to marathon training!

-I want a workout buddy. I have ALWAYS wanted a workout buddy, but I haven’t been able to have during training because a) No one wants to
workout for whatever reason b) Even if someone did wanna workout with me, the honest truth is: they would slow me down.

4) Spend more time with my dog – I don’t walk her nearly as often as I would like to, and I would love to take her to the dog park more often, especially with the sun coming out! Look at her, she’s so darn cute! I love my lil’ shiba and she deserves more quality time with her mama.

5) Enjoy my summer! – I FINALLY have my dream schedule at work: 6:00am to 2:30pm. Some people claim that’s too early, but I’m a morning person so it works PERFECT for me! I’ll be off at 2:30pm when the sun is blazin’, I’ll be working on my tan by the pool…. THAT’S RIGHT! The pool will be open and I’m right across the street from it! Too perfect, SO STOKED!

6) Become certified, teach TRX classes – Derek’s partner extended the offer of paying for my certification so I can begin teaching TRX classes at their fitness studio. We begin after my competition! They are hoping to bring in the female demographic and I am more than willing to gain experience and help out. The studio is a 10 minute walk from my work too!

7) GET A NEW GYM DAMN IT! – This needs to happen. I am SO over L.A Fitness! I’ve been saying it since I started this blog. I want to become a member of Iron Works right up the road from my house. Endless plyo equipment, countless TRX straps, so much space, so many possibilities! They also have tanning, so I would be able to cancel my Seattle Sun Tan and kill two birds with one stone.

8) Create a recipe ebook – I have developed a new liking for cooking and baking during this competition prep. I have created some pretty delicious food that is prep approved, and have a zillion ideas for healthy food that is unfortunately NOT prep approved. I want to create an ebook with all my recipes, take pictures, and provide nutritional information. I’m so excited to start using variety in my cooking, put my crockpot to good use, and feed my husband!

I’m sure there are plenty more I have forgotten to mention, but these are the main ones that keep playing on repeat in my head. I’m super pumped for this competition, I’m excited to get up on that stage, show off my hard work, meet people who share my passion, meet people I have been speaking with via social media, hopefully place well, and enjoy a hard earned meal. I have learned so much in 3 1/2 months, but I deserve the time off to relax and reflect. It’s been a looooong journey, and I’m finally in the ‘teen’ days! This is it! It’s almost over! Time to show them what I got 🙂 Huge thanks to my followers and the people who have supported me the whole way through ❤

~Jess