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.



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10 Signs you are a Bikini Competitor

In the past 4 months that I have been preparing for my first bikini competition, Emerald Cup; I have picked up quite a few interesting habits! I decided to write a blog post about them, and after meeting and talking to several fellow competitors, I’m glad I’m not the only one experiencing these perpetual habits! Correct me if I’m wrong ladies, but this is what a majority of us are doing or feeling:

1) You look at food porn – Your Facebook feed is cluttered with not only buff people to motivate you, but food and recipes that you continue to hit ‘like’ but can’t eat! The more times you ‘like’ food photos, the more you’re gonna get in your feed! This is pure torture, but we must be masochists because we do it anyways. We also have boards on our Pinterest with HUNDREDS of pins of the foods we can’t have until post competition. Mac n’ Cheese casserole, hot fresh cinnamon rolls, ‘Slut’ brownies, ‘Kit Kat’ lasagna…. you name it, it has a special home on your ‘Secret’ board 🙂

hungry2) Your sense of smell is heightened – That’s right, your taste buds haven’t been getting any action so therefore you compensate through your third sense…. SMELL. You can smell pizza from a mile away, the fry oil from Taco Time is orgasmic, and don’t even get me started on the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies that come out of the oven at the Microsoft café…. seriously a death trap. I wonder how I’m alive still. I give my hubby a kiss after dinner, just so I can smell the salsa from his burrito…. does that make me weird?!

3) Your favorite part of the day is where you get to eat almond butter (or PB2) – Word. True story. Couldn’t be any truer. I just had my first meal of the day at 5am and I’m counting down the hours, minutes, seconds until I can smear some PB2 on my rice cake and stuff my face hole. Too bad there’s this thing called ‘moderation’ or I’d eat the whole sleeve of rice cakes and bust out the real PB. I crave FAT. I’ve got a whole stash of nut butters, but we’ll talk about that later 🙂

4) You chew a piece (or pieces) of gum for 2 minutes – The life expectancy of a piece of gum for a bikini competitor probably maxes out at 5 minutes. If you have lost your flavor, you are dead to us. We’re moving on, time for a new piece. Before you know if your whole pack of Extra Desserts Mint Chip Ice Cream is GONE, leaving you bloated wishing you had the real thing…. calculating how many weeks or days until you can splurge on all the tasty things you’ve been deprived of for months.

My cookie subscription came JUST IN TIME! Can't wait to try the Halo Halo flavor!

My cookie subscription came JUST IN TIME! Can’t wait to try the Halo Halo flavor!

5) Your Amazon Wish List is food
– Need I say more?!?! I have everything from limited edition pop tarts and oreos, nut butters, new flavors of protein powders, jelly beans for Easter, Stroop waffles, and so much more! Same concept as Pinterest, except I have Amazon Prime, so once I hit ‘order’ those bitches are coming in the mail in 2 days! Those 2 days couldn’t come any quicker. I’ve probably spent the same amount of time adding food to my wish list as I do in the gym. Better than going out and eating it though, am I right?

6) You have a fat stash of goodie post show (who doesn’t?!)
– I got the ‘Rewards Box’ idea from a gal on Facebook. GENIUS! Any time I come across a treat I can’t have, I buy it anyways. I have the satisfaction of knowing that once I step off stage, those goodies will be waiting for me and I will have a wide variety to choose from and share with my new friends 🙂 Wanna hear what’s in mine?! 6 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate PB Cups, jelly beans, Cadbury Eggs, Reeses Eggs, Peeps (I’m the only one who likes Peeps on this planet), White Chocolate Lindor Truffles, Limoncello covered almonds, Dark Chocolate covered coconut, Quest bars, Maranatha Almond Spread, Peanut Butter, and the Chicago Style Popcorn from Costco…. AND MORE! You name it, it’s in there.

7) You like watching other people eat food you can’t have (maybe this is just me?) – This very well COULD just be me….. I have developed a habit of collecting left over catering food from work, carrying it around ALL day to bring to my husband to watch him eat it and tell me how goooood it is. Treats range from cheese cake baked by co workers to brownies, chocolate oatmeal cookies from the café, to the ADDICTING granola from our Catering team. He tries to make me feel better and says it’s gross, but I know better, my third sense of smell knows better…..

8) Your life has become GYM, TAN, POSE!The monotonous routine of GYM, TAN, POSE, GYM, TAN, POSE has taken over your life, leaving you very little room or time for anything else. Priorities that were once there before have fallen to the wayside, good or bad. This can be a sad reality for some, which is my case. I have little time to spend with my husband, give attention to my dog or my cat, and I have to skip out on a lot of weekend family outings. As you can imagine, I have a lot of things on my bucket list for post comp! Walking my dog and taking her to the park more often, cooking something besides chicken and turkey for my husband for dinner, going out to Yogurtland with my step-daughter on the weekends….. one more week, I can taste the freedom! ….. and that juicy burger from Rock Bottom 😉

ashley9) You spend hours on YouTube watching the Pros: India Paulino, Amanda Latona, Ashley Kaltwasser etc. – “How do they move like that?!” you say, “How does she transition so smoothly?!” you think. I’ve spent countless hours watching videos of the Pros, pausing, rewinding, re-watching. Some of my favorites include Amanda Latona and Nicole Nagrani, just to name a few that have inspired me throughout my prep. I have learned so much from YouTube, but have also learned a lot from gals being gracious enough to teach me, watch me, and give me pointers. I’m lucky to know such great ladies!

10) Your waking thoughts, thoughts throughout the day, and thoughts when you lay down at night at all about your competition and journey – This describes the past 4 months to the ‘T’. Everything I do, think, eat, and plan is ALL related to my prep and how it’s going to effect me. I wake up thinking workout, tanning, posing, meal prep, macros etc. All day I’m pep talking myself up for my workout because I’m always so freakin exhausted after work. At this point, it take a lot of mental effort to get myself to the gym and push out a session. At night I’m thinking about the next day, or counting down the days until I step on stage and can enjoy that burger. EVERTHING – I – DO – IS – PREP – RELATED.


I guess you could call my dedication borderline obsession, and I couldn’t agree more. I have become obsessed, and it’s EXHAUSTING! I’m so thankful to be a part of the health and fitness community. The people I have met, spoken with, and have followed are extremely supportive and encouraging. I couldn’t have asked for a better support system, not just the people I have connected with through this experience, but my family who has shown extreme patience with me when I have been a raging B****. Saying I haven’t been pleasant would be an under statement! I can’t wait to give back my undivided attention and spend quality time this summer with friends and family. This has definitely been an experience! I can’t wait to check back in and fill you guys in with the deets post show!

Stay tuned! Thanks for the love and support 🙂




Update – 23 Days Out

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Damn, I have been M.I.A! This new schedule has me strapped on ‘blog time’! My new opening shift is SUPER busy, so I hardly have time to even check my personal email. On the plus side, time flies and I can plan my training after work down to the ‘T’.

I’ve been pretty consistent with my training. I feel like I’ve found the perfect balance! Gym, tan, pose, meal prep….. gym, tan, pose, meal prep… SLEEP! REPEAT! 23 more days, getting tight and lean.

No two-a-days, not enough hours in the day or energy pumping through my body for that. I’ve accepted it. I feel like I train so hard that I won’t need the extra calorie expenditure, especially since my diet has been on point with a few minor hiccups here or there. Instead of taking days off completely, I bought a Groupon for Get Zen Hot Yoga, a studio a 20 minute walk from my house. Last Sunday I went to the Restore class, very relaxing but the room wasn’t as hot as I expected. This weekend I plan on going to the Power class, I want to get my heart rate up and SWEAT!

Last weekend I had posing practice with one of Derek’s friend’s from NPTI school, her name is Nneka. She’s a member of the ‘Save Fitness’ team with Tanji Johnson and helped me out SOOOO much! She made posing look like a BREEZE! All I need to do is practice, practice, practice, but I feel so much more confident, she taught me how to transition into my poses smoothly. I’m so grateful for her help! I was so worried about my posing! She also gave me all the details on how I should deplete my water, I feel so prepared!


I bought my hair clip for the show! I found an amazing plumeria hair piece on Etsy! A woman from Maui makes them herself and bedazzles them in Swarovski Crystals, she shipped it at the beginning of this week, I should be getting it tomorrow! EEeeeeek, so freakin’ excited! Check out her Etsy Shop: Mauiblingbydeneen. She also has a Facebook page with more photos of her products. Just message her, she’ll send you photos of her current pieces and post them on Etsy for you to provide your payment and shipping information: Maui Bling by Deneen, LLC. I also picked out my nail polish, I will be doing my own make up and nails. I am debating having my hair done by my hair stylist from the salon I used to work at a lil’ over a year ago. She still cuts and colors my hair. I’m hoping she can straighten my hair to look super sleek, but also give it volume since I will be waiting all day to go on stage. I JUST Facebook messaged her! We’ll see how much she charges, how she suggests styling, and if she even has any appointments available that day! I also need to schedule my spray tan appointment for the day before! That is my goal this week!

I bought my half gallon jug for my depletion phase, my ‘Xpel’ water retention pills, and some treats for my ‘Rewards Box’! So far my ‘Rewards Box’ is full of Girl Scout cookies; Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, and Thin Mints; Peanut Butter Snickers, Mr. Good Bar, jelly beans, Cadbury Eggs, limited edition Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts, Caramel Almond Maranatha Spread (of course), Quest Bars, Cheddar and Caramel Popcorn from Costco, and I have Coconutter Spread from Sweet Spreads coming in the mail! ‘Maple Pancakes’ and ‘White Chocolate’ flavors…. YUMMM! Can’t wait to try them, bake with them, and make delicious recipes to share. That’s my next project: creating a Recipe book! I have SOOOO many ideas, I miss exciting food!

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My goal is to completely cover the bottom of the box! There are 6 boxes of Girl Scouts hiding in the upper left hand corner as well as Cheddar and Caramel Corn!

This weekend I have my second photo shoot with Amir! Finally getting my Belle_Vue Design Photos done. I feel like I am lean enough to do the suit justice! However, now it’s a lil too big in the booty, so I’ll have to pin it in a couple places to fit just right. I’m kinda nervous to be half naked in front of my friend and co-worker, but Derek will be there and it should be quick and painless, just a couple poses that I would be doing for the show. I’m excited to see what I look like from behind the camera!

Next weekend is the Tanji Johnson Vancouver Natural show! Ashley Luther (a gal I met via IG) and I will be carpooling together for the evening Finals show that starts at 6pm. I can’t wait to experience my first show, see all the competitors, enjoy all the booths, and FINALLY PHYSICALLY MEET SOMEONE who will be competing in Emerald Cup with me! The only two people I have met that are competing in Emerald Cup are Natalie and Nneka, it will be nice to connect with another who shares my passion! Ashley is super cool, we’ve been in contact since Christmas 🙂

3 1/2 weeks out! 23 days! Big goals to achieve from now until April 26th, and more goals to set afterwards. So excited at the endless possibilities….. Stay tuned! Big accomplishments and updates ahead!


Photo Update

Photo Update

Apologies for the very delayed photo progress update! These pics were taken this Wednesday, March 26th. Feeling like I’ve made pretty good progress, still plenty of slimming up to do in the leg area, work on popping that booty MORE (even though it’s already painful).

This weekend I have posing practice at L.A Fitness. I am going to work on this pose for the competition. I really like the way it accentuates the ‘shelf’, slims the waist, and elongates a shorter frame.


Also, if anyone is interested in discounted supplements, beauty products, Quest Bars, protein etc. go to and use my code: DWV946 for $10 off your first order. Made Quest bars affordable PLUS free shipping. Sweet. I’m so close to making a free order!

I’ll keep you updated on how my posing practice went!

Happy Friday, have a great weekend 🙂