Favorite Exercise of the Week – Pistol Squat

I have developed a certain fondness for the Pistol Squat!

I really love how minimalist this exercise is. The pistol squat can be done virtually anywhere! Not only that, but I love the burn, the soreness, and the muscle this move creates in my legs. You don’t need a squat rack to get beautiful gams and a lifted butt. This exercise is guaranteed to leave you feeling sore, satisfied, and stronger after much practice and refinement.

Give it a shot this week!

While you’re at it, check out this article from Bodybuilding.com that breaks down all the variations of the Pistol Squat. These are NOT easy, I will tell you that! Don’t be disheartened though, doing a perfect pistol squat one day is an excellent goal 🙂

~Jess

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

Why I like at home work outs…..

So as many of you may have noticed, I haven’t been too consistent with posting workouts.

To be honest, I haven’t really been writing my own workouts, I’ve been doing online workouts from home. They are just as effective, and much more conducive to my current life style. Between work, school, and being exhausted from work and school, all I want to do is be at home.

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I’m lazy.

I don’t want to take a bus ride or shuttle to the gym, I don’t want to be stuck in traffic or in the rain, I don’t want to haul my big ass duffle bag with EVERYTHING-I-OWN-IN-IT, and I sure as hell don’t want to be tapping my foot waiting for the asshole in the squat rack to finish curling and texting.

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Working out at home is juuuuuust fine with me. In fact, I’m more than okay with it.

I’m actually going to invest in some equipment! I have a few resistance bands and a pilates ball, but I want to get a 25lb kettle bell and thicker mats for my wood floors. I’ve even been playing around with the idea of a T-Grip bar.

As much as I do love at home workouts, I also miss the tight muscle mass and strength from weight training. So I’ve decided that I will start training with weights at the gym 2 days a week. I’ll divide these days into simple Upper Body and Lower Body days with a little bit of ab work and cardio thrown in the mix.

Today will be my first day back at the gym in 2 weeks! I’m taking the Microsoft shuttle to Downtown Bellevue despite the rain and traffic. I packed a much lighter gym bag and I have my workout written and my mind mentally prepared. All I have to do until then is keep myself awake, energized, and motivated! If I wanna look like Lara Croft by next Friday I better hit the squat rack and work on these gams! Thankfully I have a body that builds and retains muscle very well, so a couple days in the gym lifting weights WILL make a difference.

laracroftI’m kinda nervous to walk into the gym today, isn’t that the weirdest thing?! The gym was my entire life, soul, the very thing that I breathed day in and day out. Sometimes change is needed to rekindle a passion that was and is always there. Sometimes you really just need a break from even the things that are good for you. Absence makes the heart grow fonder right?

Anyways, I hope you all try this workout and tell me how bad your legs hurt. Hopefully you can walk by Halloween!

~Jess

PrettyFit!

My first PrettyFit pack arrived in the mail yesterday! So excited! I received a lot of awesome goodies that I’m excited to try out. ImPrettyFit is a monthly subscription pack that includes supplements, health snacks, and other fitness gear based on your healthy life style. This month I chose the Bikini Pack and this is what I received:

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Everything in this month’s pack totaled to be worth over $100! My favorite items so far are:

  • Shred Her by NLA – All natural fat burners, 60 capsules included! This bottle alone is worth $39.99. Clean energy, no jitters, and full of great ingredients that don’t damage your metabolism. So far I like it, but it’s only been one day!
  • MateFit 7 Day Mini TeaTox – So far this product is awesome, I not only love the taste, but I love how it instantly ‘de-bloats’ you. Conveniently Aunt Flo is visiting this week but this tea is keeping me tight, lean, and ‘deflated’.

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Each pack comes with a ‘mini mag’ that breaks down the ingredients of each product, explains what each product does, and gives the retail value and WHY they chose each product. They even included a Glute and Ab workout that I want to try this week! I’ll share it with you in another post later this week, so stay tuned!

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This specially designed kit contains 2 different types of 100% natural teas to help you look and feel great by both boosting your metabolism and helping you detox.

I haven’t tried everything in my pack yet since I just got it yesterday, but I’m excited to try the Optimum Nutrition Green Apple Amino Acids. I’m a huge fan of the Optimum Nutrition Amino Acids, I currently have the Watermelon flavor in my cabinet that I like to take before my workouts. I love the surge of energy I feel with these aminos, the best part is being able to use as much or as little as you want based on how strenuous your workout will be. I bet Green Apple will be bomb 🙂

Stay tuned for more updates! I’m extremely happy with my switch from Sample Society and Ipsy to a more fitness focused monthly subscription. Sure it might be more expensive, but I will benefit the most from this type of subscription. Plus I can let you guys know how I like what I get and can recommend more ‘fitness and health’ supplements and products in the future, sorry for throwing you a curveball with beauty reviews! Although I won’t completely nix those!

Each purchase you make with PrettyFit will donate to Vitamin Angels; a non-profit organization that provides essential vitamins and minerals to expectant mothers and children in need.

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I hope you all have a great night, check back in later this week for updates on the rest of my treats from PrettyFit! I can’t wait to see what they have in store next month….

~Jess

First Week Back in the Gym!

Hey Guys,

I feel like I’ve been a little M.I.A this week. The workplace was a definite MADHOUSE all week and I’ve been trying to find a healthy balance between working out and coming home, sitting on the couch watching TV, eating endless amounts of food….. Good news, I’ve eaten almost all the sugar out of the house so next week should look much MUCH better as far as my diet is concerned.

POST COMP

1 Week Transformation, post comp shape is deflating!

I’ve been eating really well at work this week, even though I haven’t gotten into the groove of hitting my macros accurately. I had delicious sweet BBQ Chicken or Steak salad for me at lunch. One day I had an apple and split a Theo chocolate bar with Lazaro. The chocolate craving has been STRONG this week…. yesterday morning explained all of that though. I’m going to be very blunt here….. for 5 months of my training my period completely stopped, so having it back is an utter relief!

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New workout buddy, Katniss!

The gym has been pretty great this week too! I have a new workout partner who I’m trying to catch up to speed. She’s keeping up really REALLY well, I’m actually very impressed. Her name is Kat and we work together, we were friends long before she got a job with me at Microsoft. This week we started the 4 week Erin Stern training program. Successfully completed the first week with a couple workouts left for this weekend.

I really enjoy the structure of the training plan, but to be honest I’ve been modifying exercises to increase resistance/difficulty or increasing reps, adding drop sets, etc. I haven’t been wearing my Polar watch this week so I haven’t been able to calculate my calorie expenditure. Next week I will start wearing it again to see how hard I’m working and determine if I should re-write some workouts, workout longer, etc. It felt really great to be back! I’ve been so embarrassed to talk to anyone because of my weight gain. I keep thinking to myself, “They are gonna be so disappointed in me. They saw me a week ago and I looked so cut, and NOW I look soft everywhere.”

You know what though? I truly enjoy sporting a softer figure. Of course I have goals and areas of improvement, but I’m so happy to be back on track to living a normal life and finding a healthy balance. I can indulge when I want, I have choices, I have freedom. Some times I still can’t believe I can say ‘Yes’ to anything I want to eat. Haha, I think I’ve gone a little overboard with saying ‘Yes’ these past few weeks, but I’m working on self control and moderation. With that being said, if you have a myfitnesspal account, you should DEFINITELY add me and hold me accountable! You’ll notice I’ve been extremely inconsistent, too embarrassed to admit to the internet world I’ve eaten 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this week…. YIKES! Next week marks a fresh start, and don’t worry, I won’t be saying ‘Next week….’ at the end of next week 😉

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I can’t wait to get back into full swing. I definitely felt MUCH stronger this week, I put those extra calories from last week to good use. I was happy with my squatting weight. Even though I was able to increase my weight, I’m still too embarrassed to tell you how much 🙂 I have a couple goals I want to share with you guys so you can hold me accountable!

1) Complete the 4 Week Erin Stern Training Program – I will be using my body space as a guide for this training plan, however, body space isn’t very ‘user friendly’ so I won’t be tracking my workouts on their site. I will try to share my workouts as often as possible throughout the week! Please, please, please hold me accountable as much as possible, my readers truly motivate me to work harder every day! Without my readers, follower, and supporters I feel I wouldn’t have done half as well as I did during my competition training. You guys have been the best 🙂

DRESS

The lil’ black dress EVERY girl needs, I plan on rockin’ this one for my birthday

2) Lose Weight by my BirthdayREAD THE REST! I really hate the way that goal is worded. I don’t believe in losing weight, I believe in burning fat, building muscle, and changing body composition. I also really don’t enjoy setting specific dead lines for such goals, especially when the deadline is CRAZY soon…. but my birthday is in 4 weeks, and I would like to shed some post comp fluff, show off the muscle that I KNOW is hiding underneath so I can rock a cute black cocktail dress, look good, and go dancing with friends 🙂

3) CONSISTENTLY HIT MY MACROS! – I felt and looked my best when I was following IIFYM early in my competition prep. I was hitting my numbers consistently, allowing myself more calories overall, building muscle AND leaning out like crazy! I became miserable when I thought I needed to completely eliminate Quest Bars and nut butters, the 2 things that honestly kept me sane during the early stages of my prep. I didn’t understand why I needed to eliminate certain foods if I was accurately hitting my macros. This time I’m gonna train and eat how I want. IIFYM is so flexible, there’s no reason to binge or be miserable if you’re following this meal plan.

4) Begin running outdoors this Summer – The sun is beginning to come out more often than not, so I need to take advantage of the good weather and get back out there hitting the ground running. Is it sad that running up 5 flights of stairs at work leaves me completely winded? I feel like my cardiovascular capacity has decreased considerably. I’m my happiest outdoors running, I need to get back on it! Mapmyrun app and I are gonna be best fran’s again 🙂

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So excited, the trail looks amazing!

5) Register for Summer Blast Half Marathon at Redmond Watershed (Saturday, August 23rd, 2014) – YIPPEE! Local half marathon that only costs $41 if I register before July 25th! I marked the event on my calendar and it appears that weekend is clear, and if I begin training at the beginning of June after my 4 Week Trainer program is finished, I will have a sufficient 12 week training time period. Way too perfect….. destiny is telling me I need to register. Hello carbs! Hello bagels, cream cheese, and pastaaaaa!

6) Continue my Zuzka workout videos – I stopped doing my Zuzka workout videos as often during competition prep, but I miss them so much! I felt like her videos challenged not only my lean tissue development, but my cardiovascular strength as well. Her videos are so fun, quick, effective, and can be done at home if I’m truly too lazy to take the bus into Bellevue and drag my ass into the gym. I love how lean my legs get from all the burpees, jump squats, and every form of lunge she makes me do. Her exercises target EVERY muscle of the body. Even my arms and back get lean! Not to mention her abs are killer and she sure knows how to set mine on fire.

Whewwww! Those are my goals thus far! Quite a few of them, but a really great start 🙂 So excited for this summer….. it’s gonna be phenomenal!

~Jess

Bodybuilding.com – Erin Stern Elite Body 4 Week Daily Fitness Trainer Day 1

 

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Bodybuilding.com – Erin Stern Elite Body 4 Week Daily Fitness Trainer Day 1.

 

Next goal!

I’m gonna take advantage of my Bodybuilding.com profile and take on a new challenge. Next Monday I’m gonna start the Erin Stern 4 week trainer program to reset my body.

I’m really excited to start eating better, flush out my system from all the crap I’ve consumed over the course of 7 days, get back in the gym and shock my body with some new muscle building workouts, and build a healthier stronger body. This week has been extremely rough on my body as well as my mind. Putting on 14 pounds post competition has really wrecked havoc on my mental well being as well as physical well being. I broke a lot of ‘Post Comp Rules’ and it’s only my fault.

#1. I headed straight to the salt and junk! – I had every intention to ‘Reverse Diet’…. that idea went out the window this week!

#2. I weighed myself a few days after competition. – BIG NO NO! Of course I will put on weight after the competition, in fact, I weighed more than when I started training for Emerald Cup!

I’m excited to say the least! I will keep you guys updated with my progress and let you know how the program goes!

~Jess

 

 

 

Product Review: Sweet Spreads Coconutter

sweetspreads

Stars: 5/5

Cost: $12.99 for a 15oz jar

Pros: Absolutely delicious, all natural, gluten free, no additives or added sugars. You can put this on virtually ANYTHING! Amazing flavors, awesome customer service, and quick delivery! Sweet Spreads has 6 different flavors: White Chocolate, Maple Pancakes, Vanilla Cupcake, Cinnamon Roll (I want to try that one next!), Chocolate Brownie, and Dark Chocolate Mint. I bought the White Chocolate and Maple Pancakes and had it on my door step in 2 days! Try it on mug cakes, pancakes, cookies, ice cream sundaes, you name it. Great company that I enjoy supporting.

Cons: None whatsoever 🙂 Happy customer who will be ordering again in the very near future

Enjoy!

~Jess

DISCOUNTS!

DISCOUNTS!

Time to stock up on Questie’s….. use my code for discounts at iherb.com!

Code: DWV946 for $10 off your first order AND free shipping 🙂

Sorry I’ve been M.I.A! I’ve been busy killin’ it in the gym getting super shredded!

24 days!

~Jess

Turkey Omelet

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Looking for a quick, delicious, protein-packed breakfast? You can easily pack this Turkey Egg White omelet for lunch as well.

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup liquid egg whites
-4oz ground turkey
-Cayenne and/or chili pepper
-Red Pepper flakes
-2 tablespoons Sabra hummus to taste

Directions:

-Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium in saucepan
-Pour 1/2 cup liquid egg whites into pan, once egg whites become less transparent and more white, sprinkle spices
-Pour 4oz cooked ground turkey into the center and fold when completely cooked to resemble and omelet, forgive my poor omelet folding skills!
(I always keep prepared ground turkey on hand during the week for omelet’s, burritos, salad topping, etc.)
-For extra zest, flavor, and excitement, top with 2 tablespoons of hummus, or as much as your heart desires!

ENJOY!

Nutrition: Calories- 303 Carbs- 5g Protein- 36g Fat- 13g