Great Thanksgiving and Great Workouts!

I hope everyone else’s Thanksgiving was as awesome as mine! I had a really great time with family that I hadn’t seen in 15 years! Great grandparents, great Aunts and Uncles, cousins, second cousins, halves of this and halves of that…. WHEW! Hard to keep track of the family tree, especially since I’m so “new” to it. If you know anything about me, or have read past posts, you’ll know that I was adopted at age 7, and lost all contact with my biological family until the summer of this year. I definitely have some history, good, bad, ugly, and just plain bizarre. I might write a book about it one day!

Anyways, I met a lot of relatives and had an awesome time! There’s so much that I’m thankful for this year, and one of the number one things I’m thankful for is reconnecting with my biological family. They are all so kind and gracious, so quick to call me family and accept me back as one of their own. They have been looking for me for years! I honestly never thought I would see them or hear from them again. I am definitely blessed beyond measure.

I would say there were about….. 20 people there, it was a very big group! Kaienna made friends with my Great Uncle Scott’s daughter named Nora, I guess that would make her my second cousin? I think? Kaienna is 4 years old and Nora is 5 years old. They had a great time! Kaienna was glued to Nora’s hip all night, they played together really well. My Uncle Rob was there and he brought 2 types of beer that he brewed, both were absolutely delicious AND potent! I was very impressed, he’s also a really funny cool guy. My Great Aunt Cheryl was there with her fiance Barry and his 3 kids, as well as her 2 kids Ryan and Amber which would make them my second cousins again? There were just a lot of people! I don’t want to embarrass myself and continue listing everyone, just in case I forget some people.

The food was GREAT! I only had one round of dinner since I had such a small breakfast and I’m sure my stomach has shrunk over time. Mind you, it was a very large plateful! There was turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, marshmallow coconut candied sweet potatoes, cranberry and pecan fruit salad with whip cream, dinner rolls, and this delicious broccoli, egg, onion, cheddar casserole….. mmmm good! Whew, my belly wasn’t quite ready to pop until after dessert. I had some of Aunt Cheryl’s pumpkin spice, walnut bars with whip cream. Soooooo good! It had a light fluffy texture and she added just the right amount of spices, ’twas amazing! Man…. after dessert I was about to POP! Good thing I was smart and wore stretchy yoga pants.

After a full day of drinking, eating, laughter, meeting new relatives, and great conversation, we headed home around 7:30pm. We rented Monster’s University and enjoyed a slice of my leftover apple pie before turning in for the night. It was a really great day, I can’t stress how perfect it was given how crazy my past has been. Unfortunately I was unable to get any pictures, but that’s alright, I was too busy soaking in and enjoying the moment.

In case you were wondering, YES I did workout Thanksgiving day and YES I did work out today, the day after the carb-load feast! Yesterday’s workout was designed to boost my metabolism for hours after working out, so I could burn more of that Thanksgiving meal. HIIT, cardio, plyos, you name it! I wanted to back off my legs today since Leg Day on Wednesday killed them and they seemed to hurt WORSE this morning! Today I did a mile warm up and did super sets of triceps, shoulders, and chest. I was short on time so I was unable to fit that 15-20 minute run in afterwards like I usually do. Tomorrow I will be adjusting my pre-written workout to use resistance bands at home since Derek will be training clients in the morning and will need me to stay at the house to watch Kaienna. Tomorrow is core, back, and biceps!

Today was the last day of my David Barton Gym 2 week trial membership, I’m pretty sad about it, but I’m also thankful to be getting my basketball court back at L.A. Fitness for sprints! I enjoyed my 2 weeks there, now I’m even more motivated to smash Emerald Cup and earn my PT cert so I can work there one day. All of the people there are so friendly, very personable, and not once did I feel like they were after my money. I can definitely feel their passion for bodybuilding, health, and fitness. I got to meet a couple of really cool people too.

I wanted to address something in this post that I’ve been thinking about today. The definition of ‘bodybuilding.’ People typically think of bodybuilders as cocky juice heads who pick up heavy things and put them down. People think they strictly lift weights, bulk up, and smash things. I want to redefine what bodybuilding personally means to ME. To me, bodybuilding is an art, it takes true perseverance and dedication to rock at this sport. It doesn’t mean you strictly lift, or you have to take roids, or you have to take supplements, powders, and eat hardly anything. It doesn’t even mean you have to win! It means that you’re an artist and you can take control and sculpt your body into ANYTHING you want. You can push your body to the limits and literally create something. It’s so freakin’ cool! Creating a beautiful shape isn’t even the limit, you can push beyond that and make your body perform to the max, push past any resistance, create mental strength as well as physical strength.

I can’t wait to see where I can take my body, watch it transform, watch my mind transform as well. I will never mistreat my body, I won’t pour crap into it, I won’t starve myself, I’m going to do this the healthy way. People are going to notice that something unique, and it’s going to be because I trained different. Yes, there are going to be rough patches and I’ll mentally and physically be at the lowest of lows, but I’m going to get up so high too and that’s worth it! The diet WILL be crazy, but I’m not going to be malnourished, I will give my body what it needs. People will recognize the difference, and hopefully I will love this sport, rock at it, and continue performing with my own style.

Whew…. sorry for the rant, but that’s what I’ve been thinking about today after meeting some really cool people at David Barton. I wish I knew more people and could network better, this is something I love and I wish other people loved it as much as me. We’ll see what the future holds! Have a great weekend everybody, stay tuned! XOXO

~Jess ♥

 

Productive Hump Day!

Today was VERY productive, regardless of how late I actually slept in. I know, I know! I said I would get out of bed early to take on the day and have that many more hours blah, blah, blah. I ended up getting out of bed at 9am, enjoyed my coffee, read up on my social media and left the house for the David Barton Gym at 11am. I missed my bus! I literally watched it leave me…. boohoo. The next one wasn’t going to come for another 16 minutes, so I decided to walk there. I beat the bus too! Typically I like to take the bus since 8th street is so damn busy, but in this case it seemed fitting to walk on my day off. Pretty stressful walk! Half the time there weren’t any cross walks or pedestrian lights, so it was a gamble not getting hit by cars coming on and off the freeway ramp. I like to live on the edge…..

Leaning out!

Leaning out!

Had a KILLER workout! Loved it, hamstrings are on FIRE! Incorporating the HIIT cardio plyometric body weight exercises was a plus, just what I needed. Really trying to lean out and keep that bulk at bay. Not to mention, the more out of breathe I feel, the harder I feel like I’m working. I feel I get the best results that way.

After killin’ it at the gym, I went and tanned at Seattle Sun Tan and I actually didn’t burn! Feel like I have a pretty good chance of getting a base color going without frying my skin first. After I went tanning I took a pair of Lululemons I scored at a consignment store into the Lulu store to get hemmed. Finally! I’ve been wanting to do that, I probably never would have if I didn’t do it today. I took the bus home and took Keyda for a walk BACK into Bellevue, this time going down 12th street. I took her to a park for a brief moment, but the owner of another older dog asked me to ‘call my dog’ because his dog likes doing her own thing…. too bad his dog was following mine, not the other way around. That sorta put me in a stink mood. She’s a good dog, sheesh! It’s a public park, other people are going to have their dogs off leash too….

Keyda and I walked back home and stopped by Whole Foods to pick up some apples for the apple pie I’m bringing for Thanksgiving at my Great Grandparents tomorrow. Right now my pie is cooling down, I hope it’s good! I forgot to peel half the apples, so hopefully the skins don’t make a huge difference…. OOoops! I’m excited for tomorrow! Going to stuff my face and spend time with the FamBam! You can bet I’m waking up bright and early to workout too. I actually rearranged my workouts so better suit my mass consumption of Thanksgiving food. Instead of doing chest, shoulders, and back tomorrow I’m picking up the pace and sweating more with cardio, core, and glutes. Yippeeee, make room for mashed tatters!

Anywho, I better call it a night, Happy Thanksgiving everybody! XOXO

~Jess ♥

 

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday everybody, it’s a short week, thank goodness it’s Thanksgiving in T minus 4 days! I’ve been looking forward to this week all year, love me some Turkey, stuffing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pecan and pumpkin pie, eggnog, Sparkling Cider, and all the goodies!

That being said, since it is Monday and knowing my track record for skipping out on Mondays and sleeping in…. you can bet I did the same this morning too. I might just stop setting Monday as the beginning of my workout week. This week I am working out Tuesday through Sunday, and will be taking NEXT Monday off as well. Mondays I like to recover from the weekend and start off the week well rested. What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Fresh outlook….

Anyways, I wanted to update you guys on my decision about getting a David Barton Gym membership. I discussed finances with Derek with Christmas coming up, our desire to go on a vacation next year, and all of the items I need to make this competition happen like ridiculously high heels, sparkly glittery suit, tanning and spray tanning, hair, make up, and registration!

The answer is apparent, I will NOT be getting a David Barton Membership…. YET. I also won’t be joining a team. I’ve decided to do my first competition on my own and see what opportunities lie ahead after the competition is over. Who knows, maybe I’ll earn my training cert and be able to train at David Barton Gym and workout there for free! It’s a beautiful facility and a great goal to work towards. I really love fitness and hope something great can take off. This could open a door to a whole new realm for me; I am just going to be patient, work my ass off, and hopefully talent scouts will see that and offer me something amazing!

Favorite Magazine! Cover Girl Ashley Kaltwasser is an inspiration

Favorite Magazine! Cover Girl Ashley Kaltwasser is an inspiration

I have always been so intrigued with the fitness industry! Anytime I have downtime my face is in a magazine like ‘FitnessRx for Women‘ or ‘Muscle & Fitness Hers’ reading up on the latest fitness and health articles, I’m on YouTube getting workout ideas from Zuzka, I’m writing my workouts, I’m blogging about my meal plans and workout plans to be held accountable, or I’m at the gym getting my sweat on! I even follow a couple hundred Fitness Instagram accounts to get ideas for workouts, recipes, and to get motivated to kill this competition. I follow all the IFBB Bikini Pros looking at their progress over the years in competing and seeing the changes in their bodies and getting inspired to make changes in my own. You could say I’m some what of a freak! I love it!

Ahhhh, I’m feeling so motivated right now! I can’t wait to kick tomorrow’s ass! I posted my workout for tomorrow above. I’m so excited for Wednesday too, it’s all MY day! No work, no obligations….. I’ve got a date with gym, gonna set an intention for my workout and destroy it! Gonna tan and get rid of this pasty complexion, it’s killing me! This week I’m eating clean until Thanksgiving Day! Right after that I’ll be eating clean again until whatever Christmas parties might roll my way this year.

Much needed 5 day weekend ahead, I’ve worked really hard and have taken a lot of stress lately, you can bet this mini vacation will be well spent. Happy Monday everybody, getcha’ sweat on today and plow through that Turkey on Thursday! XOXO

~Jess ♥

Decisions, decisions…

*Le siiiiiiigh* I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday! BOOHOOOO! 2 more days?! IS THIS REAL LIIIFFFFE! 

Today definitely broke my back. Didn’t stop moving, literally… I worked late and JUST sat down to eat Turkey dinner and write a short blog.

O yeah, I didn’t tell everybody! I’m living off Turkey for the next few weeks! It’s Derek’s and my tradition to cook a turkey a week before Thanksgiving to feed us for a week. It’s a great story every year, because for some reason we forget that it takes a looooong time for the turkey to thaw. Of course we go all out and buy ourselves the 22 pounder for just us.

It started about 4 years ago when we first got together. We were so broke and could hardly afford to eat, so his mom suggested buying a turkey, cooking it up, and eating it all week. We thought this was a great idea! Little did we know it took DAYS to thaw! UGHH! We weren’t home to keep an eye on it either to butter it every hour, our schedules were different. We made it a party the following weekend and had a couple friends over and cooked it all night until about midnight. We feasted and passed out. Delicious times.

wild rice

Now we cook one ourselves every year and feast for weeks! I’d say that’s a great diet too, lean turkey meat, haha. We also make this amazing stuffing! I’ll include the recipe, it’s so good! It’s Wild Rice Sausage Stuffing. Make sure you use spicy Italian sausage too! The mushrooms soak up the flavor and create a hearty flavor with the wild rice. Mmmmm, you could even add chicken stock to add a little more flavor.

I have some good news! Well, kind of good news. At this point it’s just an idea until I go over finances.

In a recent post I mentioned that Tanji Johnson, Founder of ‘Save Fitness‘ reached out to me about joining her team for Emerald Cup. She sent me Membership Options and break downs I’ve been reading over and tossing ideas back and forth. I ALSO got in contact with a Membership Advisor at David Barton about Membership Pricing and Specials. Currently they are running a $21 initiation fee in celebration of their 21st Anniversary; opposed to the $400 fee. The deal runs until next Wednesday, November 27th.

Since I work for Microsoft, I would only pay an $89 monthly fee, opposed to the $109 monthly fee. I was looking for something less than the triple digits, so this is great news to me! I have to discuss with Derek this weekend though before I can finalize anything.

Here’s my dilemma though, I can’t join a team AND have fancy ass expensive new gym. I can’t afford both right now. So do I join a team with a renown athlete? Do I go with David Barton Gym who has clean, excellent equipment, and a great facility and classes? These are all just questions, I very well might not be able to have either.

Here’s my thought. Go with David Barton Gym, treat myself. The gym is my Zen, my Sanctuary, my home away from home where I blow steam. Once I compete in my first competition, I will have MORE opportunities offered and I won’t feel obligated to a team I joined before I started competing. I dunno guys, input and feedback would be GREAT! They both seem really awesome!

Well I gotta get some shut eye! Waking up bright and early for a date with the gym. Core, back, biceps, and cardiooooo! Seriously though guys, have any of you tried one of my workouts? That’s why I post them! G’nite ya’ll! XOXO

~Jess

 

Fitness Consultation

I’m very excited! I have a fitness consultation this Saturday at 11am at David Barton Gym with Natalie! I actually knew her from 24 Hour Fitness back when she worked Front Desk there and I worked out there. Right before I left 24 Hour Fitness to go to LA Fitness, she was working on earning her PT Certificate.

Ironman 2013 Bikini Cateogory Winner: Natalie Lo

Ironman 2013 Bikini Cateogory Winner: Natalie Lo

She is now a trainer at David Barton Gym and doing really well! She placed Top 5 for Ironman 2013 in the Bikini category, so I have a ton of questions for her! I also need my measurements taken and I need to find out what my Body Fat % is. She invited me to her legs class Saturday at 9am too, so I think I’m gonna take advantage of that! Yesterday was legs day for me, so I’ll be stretching plenty until then so I don’t embarrass myself!

Here are a couple questions I had for her:

1. What Bikini Category will I be competing in?
2. When should I begin strict dieting?
3. What is the best macro ratio for pre-comp prep?
4. Do the judges look for a specific weight/measurements for my height?
5. I want to focus on legs and booty, what are some great squat forms and how much weight/ how many reps should I be performing?
6. How do I find posing classes? Where did you find your competition suit/heels?
7. What is the best way to become a sponsored athlete?

I’m sure there are plenty more of questions! I will be brain storming until then! If any of you have any advice, it would be MUCH appreciated.

~Jess ♥