Thursday, March 31, 2011

That's What's Up Thursday


I don't even have words....

I'm tempted to take this picture to a plastic surgeon...
I'm going to point to her breasts and say, "I'll take a pair of these, please!" :)

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that
this is what a winning physique looks like.

IFBB Bikini Pro Amanda Latona - now that's what's up!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eau de Chocolate

It’s official – the prep gods hate me!! Sunday, I stopped at Walgreens because The Princess needed more paper for her school notebook and her desk at home. I ran into the store and of course, had to pass all of the Easter candy to get to the aisle where the paper was. On my way to the register, I may or may not have accidentally on purpose walked down the aisle to see all of the chocolate in pretty pastel wrapping! I didn’t slobber like I usually do….UNTIL….I got to the end of the aisle and saw the dark chocolate Peeps!! Peeps are my all-time favorite Easter candy…wait…that’s a lie…Snickers eggs are my favorite but Peeps are a close second! I reached out…just to touch one…but quickly reminded myself of my personal rule that once you touch it, you have to eat it!!! I whimpered, walked away, and left the store with 2 packages of college-ruled paper....BORING!
 Smelling candy just doesn't cut it!
Today, I received a phone call from one of my co-workers that someone was selling World’s Finest Chocolate and there were dark chocolate with almonds bars left. Luckily, I had three dollars in my wallet (which was a sign that I was meant to have the candy because I NEVER have money in my wallet!!) so I have three candy bars loungin’ my lunchbag. All I wanted to do was shove them in my mouth like the Cookie Monster does when he has a plate of cookies in front of him. Instead, I will be putting them in the freezer with some of the other goodies I’ve stashed for my post-show binge :)

Right now is the time in prep where I start having dreams about food and indulging in a RIDICULOUS amount of food porn. Did anyone of you see the Triple Layer Cookies and Cream Crunch Bars post on How Sweet It Is? I have to keep reminding myself that I want abs…..so chocolate and baked goodiesare a no-no!
Wait….
I smell chocolate…..
Maybe abs are overrated……

New Release Tuesday

Yesterday, I was playing on Facebook and I had BET's 106 & Park on. I wasn't really paying attention to the show - it was just on for background noise. Anyway, I found myself bobbin' my head and doin' a little shake to the video they were currently playing. The video was by Mindless Behavior....and the boys of Mindless Behavior are 5 years old...lol...I'm kidding...they're 13 but I was a little ashamed that I really enjoyed this song by these babies :) Don't tell anyone but I'm going to download it and put it on my ipod! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Have Jimjams!!

Before I dive into today's post, I want to say  a quick "Congrats" to Lisa over at Lisa's World! She competed last week in the OCB Green Mountain Thaw in the bikini division. You can read her recap about show day and see a few pictures here.

I receive the M-W's Word of the Day email every morning from Merriam-Webster. Today's word is "jimjams" and the definition of the word is jitters. Yep....I got them....but don't worry....I'm not freaking out like Chris Brown ;)

Tom has been obsessively casually mentioning to me that this is "crunch time". He's said it so many times that the last time he did, I told him that he was stressing me out! I also told him that if I hear the words "crunch time" again, I would kick him in the junk :) He grinned at me like the Cheshire Cat and said it again....lol...he's such brat...gotta love him!

Today is the three week mark and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I had a carb-up yesterday and let me tell you that I had almost forgotten how yummy sweet potatoes are! However, the carbs did not soothe the pain of the U of A Cats losing to the UConn Huskies last night. Ugh!!



I'm not sure if I'm happy with this week's pics or not. I know there's not much time left to make improvements so I'm picking apart every little thing...plus it doesn't help that TOM is here along with some bloat and extra lbs!!!



I keep reminding myself that this is the part of prep where things start coming together so I need to calm down and let my body do its thing. I'm crossing my fingers that my energy levels stay high and that I remain healthy. My office has been taken over by sick co-workers so I'm doing everything in my power to remain cootie-free!
As I stepped on the treadmill this morning for some fasted cardio (who doesn't love to start their Sunday off this way??? LOL!), the first song I heard was Winner by Jamie Foxx featuring Justin Timberlake. It was just what I needed to kick off the week ahead of me.

Three weeks....as much as I hate to say it, Tom's right....it's crunch time!!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday

Since I didn't share a new release on Tuesday, I thought I would share one today. I'm calling it "Flashback Friday" because this song was released in 2009 so it's not technically a new release.

The Princess and I blasted this song on our drive to school this morning. I love Alicia Keys and Alejandro Saenz...you put the two together and you have this incredibly beautiful song that just makes you feel good! I've loved it since the moment my friend introduced it to me last year.

I hope you enoy it and the rest of your day!!

Happy Friday!!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

That's What's Up Thursday


There's the saying that shows are won from the back. My back (and my butt!!!) wishes it looked like this back (and rock hard booty!!) so I could win or at least place in a show!! :)

IFBB Pro Gina Aliotti - now that's what's up!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Wind Beneath My Wings

I was sitting at my desk today, trying to figure out what I was going to write about when I saw that Donloree of Bikini or Bust had just published a new post. The “Be A Hero, Believe In Someone”  post is one you should definitely read. Donloree (don’t you love that name???) talks about a co-worker who was her hero. This woman became Donloree’s workout partner and motivated her to start and continue on the journey to becoming a healthier woman.
I loved this story! I love that women can be uplifting, motivating, and inspiring to one another. We’re not the friendliest creatures (lol!!) so I’m always moved when I read these types of stories.
Overall figure winner at the 2009 NPC Monster Mash
Donloree's post also made me think of my own hero, Genie or as I like to call her “Da Monstah!”:) I met Genie on the Oxygen forum when I stumbled upon her journal. The journal was about her journey to the stage and it was so fun to read. She was creative in the kitchen, a beast in the gym, and you could just tell that she was a good person to her core. I started to ask her questions about competing because at the time, it was just an idea that I was tossing around. She answered my questions void of bullshit and after a few exchanges, told me to email her at her personal email address.
She shouldn’t have done that…lol!! I think I emailed her for every reason under the sun! But you know what, she always replied like I wasn’t being a pest (when I was!) and that my questions weren’t ridiculous (when they clearly were!)
Lookin' all sassy with her hubby
Genie has been like a mentor to me and has taken such great care of me over the past year. She has helped me with suit selection, posing, and even hooked me up with a care package of cardio panties (that is a story for another day!).
I constantly look to her for guidance and direction and she has never let me down! Donloree wrote that that by sharing your journey with others, you can give them the ability to fly. This is so true. Genie has not only given me support, but the confidence & courage to step on stage.
While we have not met face-to-face YET, I consider Genie to be one of my closest friends. Her friendship means more to me than she’ll ever know. Just as Tara was Donloree’s hero, Genie is mine.
To Da Monstah, you are one in a million. Tom, The Princess, and I love you like you're a member of our family. To say “thank you” just doesn’t seem adequate – I hope you know how grateful I am for everything you have done. This quote is for you –
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
~John Quincy Adams~

Monday, March 21, 2011

Madness...And Not Cuz It's March :)

I chose the title of today's post because I was acting like a crazy biotch mad woman yesterday. The NPC San Diego show took place over the weekend and I had told Tom that I would use this show to gauge what type of physique they're looking for (since this is my first CA show - I figured this was a good idea). Anyway, I looked up the photos of the class winners for Class D & E and the competitors for each class. I then proceeded to start freaking out because I felt like the Marshmallow Man. I told Tom I wasn't doing the show because there was no way I could be as tiny as the girls who were showing up and I may or may not have started crying. After my husband told me to stop acting like a crazy person and that I was doing the damn show (his exact words!), I took some deep cleansing breaths and was good to go. Gotta love prep freakouts!


No, I didn't apply Miracle Gro to my scalp! I'm playing around with hair ideas for the show and decided to take my pictures with one of my wigs. What do you guys think? Too much? Be honest - I don't want to step on stage lookin' like a fool! :) It's weird to see myself with hair..lol!

I was squishy & bloated fuller in this round of progress pictures because I inhaled ate a burger (complete with bun!). Yep....there was a diet misstep this past week and the scale (and my butt!!) were evidence of the fact that I had a momentary loss of sanity. I was so happy with the progress I was making and for some reason, I decided to sabotage myself. What's done is done....this is a new week...no missteps....no burgers....mmmmm....burgers.... :)

I leave you with a picture that Tom posted on his facebook page on Saturday....the caption was "I got my tickets to the gun show! 4 more weeks!"

Friday, March 18, 2011

School Is In Session!

A week ago, Heather of Body FM: Tuning In wrote a great post entitled The Unexpected. The post was all about what she has learned since deciding to compete in her first figure competition. I loved reading about the unexpected things she has learned and it made me think about what I've learned since becoming a competitor.

In honor of Heather, here's my list of lessons!

Trips to the bathroom. I never realized how many of them I would make in a given work day due to the amount of water being consumed.

I had never heard of the term "food porn". I had no idea how much of this particular type of porn would consume my life while prepping :)

If I am going to indulge in food porn, the top three places to go are How Sweet It Is, Cookies and Cups, and What Megan's Making.

*random shot of my bicep :)

How cool I would feel the first time a bicep vein made an appearance!

That yes, Black girls DO need tanner...and lots of it!

How awesome I would feel when one of the guys at my gym told me he admired my work ethic and the brutality of my workouts.

My bedtime would change so drastically! 8:00 pm is the end of the day for me. That's right....I'm in bed by 8:00 pm and asleep by 8:30 pm!

That over time, "food is fuel" would become my mantra. Especially when eating the 4th meal of the day consisting of chicken breast and asparagus :)

That being called "skinny" would make me want to punch babies (lol...I borrowed that from Dane Cook!) and being called "lean" made me feel like I was doing something right.

Prep was going to be more than working out & dieting. It could, at times, be psychological warfare and I had to be a soldier & fight through it.


The first bite of Queso Ruffles right after a show is ALWAYS the best! :)

If you consider yourself a seasoned competitor or even a newbie, what lessons have you learned? I would love to hear them so please please share!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

That's What's Up Thursday


The first time Gwen Stefani appeared before my eyes, I was in love.
She was sassy, had style, and could sing her butt off.
She also had the best set of abs I had ever seen!!!

You know what else I love about Gwen - she doesn't lie about the work
it takes to have the body she does. In interviews, she's blatantly honest
about the amount of time she has to spend in the gym and the
type of dieting she has to do to look this good.
Check out this interview with Gwen where she talks about what it takes
to maintain her bod.
Her honesty is refreshing!!!

Gwen Stefani - now that's what's up!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back In The Day

A few weeks ago, Tom went up into our "attic" and brought down some items for me to look at. One of these items was a notebook of poems. I had forgotten about this notebook and it was like a "Back to the Future" experience while reading it!!

I remember wanting to be a poet when I was younger but I was so afraid of sharing my poems with anyone. My senior year of high school, we had to enter a local poetry contest as part of our AP English grade. The thought of writing something and submitting to strangers made me want to throw up. I asked my teacher to review three poems that I was considering for submission and she immediately tossed out the two I had hoped she would consider "winners".

My teacher chose the poem that I hadn't really wanted anyone to see but for some reason, had given her to read. She sat across from me, looked at me with tears in her eyes, and passionately told me that this was the poem that was going to win the contest.

Guess what?? My teacher was right. My poem won the Third Annual Young Writers Bilingual Poetry Contest!! As the winner of the contest, I was invited to read my winning poem and two others at the Tuscon Performing Arts Center on the last day of the Tucson Poetry Festival. I also had the honor of meeting Jimmy Santiago Baca and he told me I had a gift. ME!!! A gift!!! There are no words!!!

That was over 10 years ago and I had put that experience and writing poetry aside! But reading my poem reminded of how much I enjoyed myself that day and how proud of myself I was.

I'd like to share that winning poem with you - I hope that it touchs you on some level.

Shower

I rub the washcloth on my skin
Harder and harder
My skin raw
But I can not stop
I look at my dark brown stomach
The color is still there
Tears begin to well in my eyes
They fall on my cheeks
Brown cheeks
I rub harder
"Why won't it come off?"
I can't get it off
I am certain I am white underneath
I am like the blonde headed girl
Who called me nigger
I have her color somewhere
I must find it
Wring out the washcloth
Turn off the scalding hot water
Dry off my body
My skin is still brown
My efforts in vain
I walk by the mirror
I do not want to see
The dirty, ignorant black girl
That the blonde headed girl sees

New Release Tuesday

Hmm....I'm not sure how I feel about this song. I think it has to do with Nelly doing so much "singing" in it. I just don't know what's up with every rapper swearing they can sing like Joe or Luther Vandross :) I just don't love this song like I did the last one they did together "Dilemma".

Kelly looks so beautiful in this video but I always think that she looks gorgeous (no joke - I would tell anyone would listen that she was the prettiest member of Destiny's Child!!!). Her beauty just seems so effortless.

Watch the video and let me know what your thoughts are!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Here's What I'm Working With

Yesterday was the 5 week mark.....I'll let the pictures do the talking....


Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Heart Goes To...

Here's some things I fell in love with this week......


A girl can only drink so much water and Coke Zero. Both of these have added some yummy variety to my beverage line-up!


I don't really have much time to watch tv during the week but my mom & I have started watching this new show! Thank God for On Demand from Cox! We can catch the latest episode even though it's not on the day it aired! I love myself some cop shows and this one is moving up my list of favorites! Check it out!!



I always feel like I'm struggling to find a deoderant that REALLY works. I don't know if I sweat more than the average girl but for some reason, every deoderant I've used in the past didn't keep me from getting the occasional wet patch on my shirt (ewww...I know!). Anyway, I picked this one up this week and woo hoo, no wet spots! Plus the powder scent is subtle and not overwhelming like some others I've used!.



I am not a religious person (despite my upbringing) but I discovered this website this week while trying to find some guidance and direction. Through the writings & scriptures on this website, I have come to realize things about myself that need to be changed. I will be working on being a better woman, not only on the outside but also on the inside. 


I didn't just fall in the love with The Princess this week. But since I'm talking about what has captured my heart, I can't leave out this cutie patootie!


I also can't leave out Tom. We have been through so much and yet through it all, here we stand. We're unbreakable - period. Plus, the man is supa dupa fine. I mean, look at that smile and those blue eyes! :)

So there you have it....the things and people who have captured my heart! What about you? Have you fallen in love with anything new this week?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

That's What's Up Thursday


Just looking at her makes me want to put on some running shoes,
sprint around a track,and attempt to jump hurdles - despite the fact that
I absolutely hate running and I know nothing about hurdling!!!

Olympian Lolo Jones - now that's what's up!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Release Tuesday

Sara Bareilles is one of my girl crushes! She's so sassy and talented!! Her voice is yumminess to my ears.

This video is fun and full of cameos. I love the line "uncharted rhymes with farted". I also love Keenan's shirt! LOL!!

I think you guys will fall in love with this one!


Monday, March 7, 2011

You Like Him...You Really Really Like Him :)

Thank you guys for all of your sweet comments on Tommy's guest post! I think I'm going to try and have him do some training posts/videos in the near future. I might as well put all of those pictures & videos he thinks I don't see him taking while we're working out to good use...lol!

I wanted to quickly respond to the comment below because I've been asked similar questions recently.

By Amanda - OMG you look AWESOME !!!!! i'm dying to know how much were you lifting in all these photos? your hubby seem to be a sweetie (hahaha until he makes you do something you dont want to !!)

First, thank you Amanda for your kind words! Tommy is just like The Princess....he has the face of an angel but the heart of a devil ;) In the video clip and photos, I'm lifting....10 & 15 lbs....I know...I think I heard you gasp all the way over here :) Since I'm pretty muscular already, I've been lifting what is, FOR ME, fairly light this prep. The portion of the workout that you got a brief glimpse of was brutal, even with lighter weights, so that just goes to show you that you don't have to throw around ridiculous amounts of weight to get your workout on...at least that's what I keep telling myself ;)


Sunday marked 6 weeks out and I'm fairly pleased with the direction that I seem to be going in. I decided to pull out my old competition suit for this round of progress pics. I forgot how small that damn thing is!! Of course the man who lives at the end of our street was having a yard sale when we walked out to take the pictures....umm...yeah...awkward! Also, I can't stop staring at my butt in the pic above. It looks so bubblicious...I can't decide if that's a good thing or not!


So check-in went ok....cardio has been increased but no changes to the diet. This week, I'm going to focus on perfecting my I'm a dork relaxed pose and starting my list of all the things that need to be done before the show. I hope I have enough paper!

I leave you with this quote -

"If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat." - Herschel Walker

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Give It Up For My Man!!!

Lee Byrd Photography

Yep...that's me and my trainer aka my boooo (picture me singing that in my Alicia Keys voice...lol!). Tom and I have been together for almost 11 years and married for 6. Our training "relationship" got serious last year when he committed to helping me achieve my goal of stepping on stage as a figure competitor.

Ana C. Photography

Who else is going to look lovingly into my eyes while telling me to shut up, stop complaining, and knock out my last set of burpees? Yes, he's my husband but he sees the job of being my trainer as some serious business and he doesn't play around! With someone like that having your back, how can you lose?? :)

Anyway, Tom wanted to do a guest post and so I'm going to turn the blog over to him now. Be gentle with him... ;)

I will keep this short and simple since I have not been blessed with creative writing skills...  When I encouraged her to start her own blog, I did not know I was creating a monster!  I have not been able to make it to most of her workouts for her third competition, but I have to say she impresses the hell out of me every time I am able to train her.  So here are a few pictures from her biceps workout and a lil video (if it works?)

Start of the Superset

Git er' Done!




















Nice Peak! (my fav)

Here is a little video... (Hope it works)
Sorry about the writing in the middle had to convert video from a cell phone so the computer would read it!
video


She ended the workout (props to Genie) with a beautiful smile that quickly turned to a frown when I told her she did two extra sets so I could take more pics  :)
That is all, Thank you Babe for letting me guest blog, keep up the hard work, lets go kick some ass!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

That's What's Up Thursday


Look at this picture and tell me this woman isn't perfection.
That's right - you can't! And you know why you can't?!?!
Because everything about her is ON POINT!!
Her physique, makeup, hair, suit...all of it...perfect!!!

IFBB Fitness Pro Tanji Johnson
Now that's what's up!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Don't Hate!


The temperature when I left my office for lunch today...
Just one of the perks of living in AZ :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Release Tuesday

When this song came on during the Grammy's, I couldn't stop rewinding it - so grateful I had a dvr & had recorded the show!! I am a huge Dr. Dre AND Eminem fan and love when they create music together!

I love that this video shows Eminem's desperation for Dre to return to life (aka music) - I think many rap music fans felt the exact same way. I also love that it's obvious that Dre has been hittin' the weights during his time away from music. Watch the dips he knocks out - he is not playin' around!!!

I'm not sure who this Skylar Grey is....but I'm definitely going to find out more about her....I really like the sound & texture of her voice.

Enjoy!