Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Things I Like About Me

I've decided to link up with Elena over at Just Be Enough and participate in "Things I Like About Me". I, as I'm sure most of you do, have a tendency of pointing out my flaws or the areas that I am lacking. I believe this is a great way for me personally celebrate what makes me unique, what makes me proud, what makes me feel awesome, what makes me Tenecia!

1. I won't back down.
*I often call myself a pitbull. If there is something I believe in, I latch onto it and will not back away from supporting it.

2. I expect the world of my friends because they can expect the world from me.
*I have always been VERY selective of my friends. It's hard for me to trust others but when I do, I do it whole-heartedly & passionately. I am fiercely loyal & supportive of my friends. I don't feel like there is anything wrong with me expecting the same from them.

3. I am not afraid to take off my earrings & bracelets and fight dirty.
*Seriously. Do not piss me off. Do not harm, disrespect, or talk sh!t about anyone that I love/care about. I will take off my earrings and it will be on!

4. I am not afraid of saying "I don't know".
*Yes, I'm a librarian. Yes, my brain is full of random bits of information. Yes, I know what reference resources will help you answer certain questions. BUT, there are questions that I don't know the answer to and I'm woman enough to admit when I don't have the answer. 'Nuff said.

5. My arms.
*I lift hard and I lift heavy. My arms can wrap themselves around The Princess and show her that I love her to the moon & back. My arms can lift my daughter's wheelchair in & out of the car without assistance. My arms can carry multiple bags of groceries in one trip from the car to the house. My arms look great in sleeveless clothing. #yeahisaidit

6. My tattoos.
*Each one tells a story. Each one is marker on the map of my life. Each one is a piece of my soul.

7. I would rather be told that I'm intelligent or funny versus pretty or attractive.
*I have this thing about looks...I have always felt that mine were big deal...I was ok with that. However, I always felt like my level of intelligence was slightly higher than those around me. I hope that doesn't sound cocky but it's true. Then you add to that my ability to tell a joke or make you laugh with my sarcasm. That's a deadly combo, folks! :)

There you have it. The things I like about me. I think everyone should take a moment, embrace what you like about you, and share it.

So, what's on your list?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Release Tuesday

Do you remember when I told you that Lil Wayne was my ghetto boyfriend? Well, here's another reason confirming our relationship! Yep, we're going to have babies with six packs and iced out!

I love this song and the fact that he collaborated with Bruno Mars!! Bruno is doin' the damn thing right now so it just goes to show that Lil Wayne pays attention to what's popular and knows what artists to align himself with.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mindless Ramble

I don't have anything substantial to write about tonight but I thought I would share a couple of the random thoughts that have been going through my head....

In the past few weeks, I have discovered Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree. It has now become my obsession. I have no qualms about saying forget my protein shake, I'm having Ghirardelli's for breakfast! I realize that when prep starts I will have to give up this candy but to be honest, I'm not quite sure I can do it. I envision doing the ugly cry as Tom pries the bar out of my hand #scary

Why does Dana Linn Bailey insist on photoshopping her head onto my body?!?!? No joke - this is getting a bit out of control! lol!

Seriously, I'm a huge fan of DLB and was excited about her making her pro debut this past Saturday at the Desert Muscle Classic just up the road (ok...2 hours north on I-10) in Mesa, AZ. If you haven't had a chance to check out the pictures from the show, you can find them here.

There's a lot of talk about what exactly is the look of physique - I'm not sure what the answer is but I do know that I enjoy seeing DLB every time she steps on stage - she's a force to be reckoned with!

So there you have it. I have an obsession with dark chocolate and want to have the physique of DLB who obviously does NOT eat candy bars for breakfast or sip Rolling Rock beer with lime & salt while blogging (I'm not saying that I'm doing that now....stop rolling your eyes...I can feel your judgement all the way over here!)...

I think we can officially say there is no hope for me & I've lost my damn mind! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

That's What's Up Thursday


The first word that comes to mind
every time I see this woman is

Her fitness routines are filled with moves that require
 incredible amounts of strength yet
she makes them look effortless!

Her physique is one I envy & admire.
Her quads!
Her shoulders!
Her biceps!

IFBB Fitness Pro Oksana Grishina - now that's what's up!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fire Burnin'

Cue the Sean Kingston...."fire burning!"

Yesterday morning I did the Butt Building Workout that was recently featured on FitTalkNews and let me tell you, it was no joke!! I did a couple of modifications based on time, space, and what was available when I got to the gym so this is what my workout looked like:

Barbell Squats
115 x 8 (2 sets), 135 x 8 (2 sets)

Barbell curtsy lunges
45 x 8 (2 sets), 65 x 8 (3 sets)

Step-ups (with dumbbells in each hand)
10/10 x 12 (2 sets), 15/15 x 10 (2 sets)

Stiff Legged Deadlifts
115 x 5 (2 sets), 135 x 5 (2 sets)

My glutes were ON FIYAH and it was clear to me as I walked to the locker room that I was definitely going to feel it the next day!

Because I'm a glutton for punishment & I want my buns to stop sagging, I decided to visit the StairMonster for a lunch date! I have dubbed the steps leading to the Gold's Gym the "Steps of Doom". Take a look at them!

I curse them every time my legs are sore! There's an elevator that you can take to get to the gym but I just can't bring myself to take it. Instead, I focused on my lime green Nikes and cursed every rep I had done earlier in the day!

I read somewhere..I can't recall exactly where...about challenging yourself on the StairMill by skipping every step. Again, I'm a glutton for punishment and decided I would give this a shot. I'm not ashamed to say that there were several times that I felt like throwing up, crying, hitting the end button, or combining all 3 and calling it a day. The end result of this 45 minute StairMill workout:

Excuse me while I take a photo while gasping for air
I am in a world of DOMS today but I swear my butt looks tighter than it did yesterday. At least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself after each time I cringe from moving my legs :)

Monday, February 20, 2012


First up, decisions about shows! It occurred to me that I've been posting about my off-season quite frequently but I have yet to post about what 2012 shows I'm doing this off-season work for!

My tentative 2012 show schedule looks like:

NPC Terminator   July 14   Tucson, AZ
NPC AZ Open   July 20-21   Mesa, AZ
NPC Pacific USA   August 18   San Diego, CA

I say that this schedule is "tentative" because each week I keep changing my mind! Tom is to the point where he just nods when I start talking about show! I do know that I will definitely be doing the NPC Terminator show again this year since it's in my hometown & I gotta represent! I will probably do a 16 week prep for the show which means I would begin prep in about 4 weeks...eek! I still have to have a talk with The Boss so we'll see when my actual prep start date is.

I also made the decision to change my hair! Yep, I gave up trying to grow out my hair and went this morning to have it chopped. I'm rockin' this look again...

Expressing my dislike for unsalted rice cakes :)
I need to be honest here. I was starting to feel blah...average...blah some more with my other so-called 'do and I was ready for a change. This mohawk type look is one of my favorites that I've rocked and I've been itchin' to go back to it. Who knows? I could go back to the bald's will grow back :)

And the last decision I've made is to join Christie O. over at Average Moms Wear Capes in starting my week off in beast mode and maintaining that EVERY single day! Check out her Beast Mode Monday post and decide what you're going to do this week to be a beast.

I'm going to own the weights...I'm going to conquer the StairMonster...I'm going to prep my food...I'm going to stop complaining about being squishy...

My beast mode theme is:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This Is How We Do It!

Yesterday, I was able to take a day off from being Super Librarian 
(ok..not "Super"...just "Librarian"
 so I spent the first part of my day at the gym with Tom :)

We decided to put this video together to provide you with a visual of 
how we're implementing Operation Build-A-Back! 
I hope that you enjoy it!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chelsea's Perspective!

I am guest posting today on Tenecia's blog! As you read this, think to yourself how you may inspire someone in your life because that is what Tenecia did for me. It could be a word or two of encouragement to someone about something they are working towards. Go ahead and find a way to encourage somebody. It may mean more to them than you know!

First, I need to answer a question about the picture she posted. What do I think of that picture? EEK! I think, "Marshmellows! It's a Kenny Sandwich!" That's Kenny in the middle. Another Fire Fighter/Engineer that works with our husbands. That picture can't even get out, but it was my husband that was looking at it and told me to send it to Tenecia!
1. Bad angle! Bad angle! Never pose from that angle again! I am mortified, but I gotta own it. It's me!
2. I look so chubby!
3. I have no idea what I weighed in that picture, but I really hope that I can stay were I am at NOW, and maintain a more fit look.
4. My husband and I giggled at the picture. We had a blast that night. Even though I looked chubby, the night was so fun!

Tenecia and I are kindred spirits. We are fire fighter wives. We are mothers. We have careers. Our husbands work for the same fire department. I am positive we share a similar sense of humor but I am certain she has me beat in the fashion department and can rock more shades of Mac that I can. I also think we are athletes, too.
Our story could start from the way beginning, where I say, "Once upon a time, Tenecia and I met because our husbands worked together and my first memory of us hanging out was at a tailgate party where my toddler son tugged on her earring. She was so sweet and said she was used to her daughter doing that," but I am going to just start my story right in the middle of an NPC show we went to a few years later in February, 2010, and I'll start it right in the middle of a conversation we had. We were watching and commenting on the competitors. We were truly enjoying the show.

Here is a picture of us the night before my transformation started to take place and I notice that I appear to have lost weight in my face in the past couple of years. My face looks so different now:

Chelsea: "Do you want to do a competition?"
Tenecia" " I am thinking about it."
We keep watching the show.
Chelsea: "Ha ha ha! Oh my gosh! Look at that guy on stage!"
Tenecia:  Says nothing at all. She puts her hand up to her mouth. I look at her and her eyes say it all.....
The guy on stage must have taken some ecstasy before going on stage because he was doing inappropriate things. Kind of like an Elvis Presley gyration, only in a teeny tiny bikini bottom, as he makes his way into a back bend. Is this a standard pose for an NPC competition?? I think NOT!! It was hysterical. Absolutely hysterical.
We laughed. I wasn't sure if this was normal or not, but my instincts told me NO.
I went home and thought about training for a show. I thought about it for a long time and decided I would do it. Life got in the way though. I started training for a November show. I felt ready to do it, then I had a death in the family right 3 weeks before a show and had to travel north, then I got in a roll over car accident 3 weeks later, then rehabbed my body back from some major injuries. I still wanted to do a show. I was going to do one. It just took a little longer for me to get on that track, but what kept me motivated along the way was Tenecia. At time time, I also was still nervous about doing a show so all of the life events happening were okay. In the process, I lost some weight, I worked out, I blogged, I learned new habits.
I went up to Phoenix to root on Tenecia at one of her shows in 2010. I missed her first show due to some babysitter issues, but I made it up for her second show:

Here is a picture of me in the crowd watching Tenecia on stage:

My motivation came from within, but I didn't do it alone. There were days when I wanted to quit and I would get a text from Tenecia. She would send me a picture of what she was eating or she would say, "Git it!." I remember sending her an obscene t-shirt telling her she was Fvcking Fabulous. I liked it so much, I bought myself one. She would give me a shout out before she was about to go work out or before I would head out to workout. I would text her a picture of what I was eating or a picture of me flexing my bicep or something silly. It kept me going. Not only was I not going to let myself down, I wasn't going to let down one of my fabulous supporters.
So, I worked out. I followed a meal plan. I pulled muscles. I tweaked ligaments. I threw my back out. I limped around. I took ibuprofen. I thought about quitting. My nerves got the best of me at times, but then I would get a text from Tenecia, "So excited to see you on stage!" and I would think, OMG! my next meal is in an hour and a half! Where's my running shoes? I need a bandanna to catch that sweat because I am going to run my ass off! Where's my ipod? I need some new music....Oh, Let me find my high heels! I need to practice walking in those things! 3 year old has them in her closet!
There are some invisible gifts in life. You just never know when someone is going to inspire you when you reach out to them, or when someone suddenly appears in your life and you find yourself giving them support as well! You may also not be aware as to what kind of impact you may have on a person when they have a goal they are trying to reach. Support in any form is welcomed. At least, it is in my book. Sometimes, the support brings greater meaning to that person than you realize. Even if it is something that seems so small or silly.
Tenecia brought that to me. I got on the stage. I did it! Here is me walking out on stage at the Fitness Arizona competition:

Since that time, I've kept the fluff off. I am in an off season now. I am eating better. I am balancing my life and enjoying a more fit mind and body. I am contemplating another competition in August, and have signed up for a mud run next month and a mini triathlon in July. I should also note that the bikini competition I did was the first time I have ever wore a bikini in public! I had someone ask me why I didn't just wear one to the beach? Why did it take a competition to put a bikini on? I am not quite sure, but the thrill and joy of accomplishment was totally worth it!
Thank you Tenecia for that little push. I needed it. Friends can really help motivate!

Make sure you check out Chelsea's blog Git It Girl!! She's the perfect combo of sweet, sassy, and comic relief!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Release Tuesday

Imagine me sitting here making a heart with my hands....that's how I feel about this song...and the lead singer....and this band....yep....I got nothin' but love for Train :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Face-to-Face with the Old Me

Chelsea and I have been friends for quite some time…possibly 5 or 6 years. Charlie, her husband, was Tom’s, my husband’s, senior firefighter when he started working for Tucson Fire Department. From the first time we met, we were instant friends. We laughed, joked, and just enjoyed each other’s company. She and I have stayed in contact over the years even when the guys have worked at different stations and we’re always super excited to see one another.

One social event we both were at in 2009 was a wedding for a fellow firefighter. Of course we laughed, drank, and had a fantastic time. Someone asked to take a picture of us and a couple of weeks ago, I saw that picture for the first time.

I’m going to share that particular picture with you shortly but I want to give you a bit of background before I do. When I left the house dressed for this wedding, I felt pretty sassy. My wig was fabulous, my eye makeup would have made an MAC makeup artist proud, and my dress was fierce. It’s amazing to me that what I felt that day is not what I see when I look at the picture below.

I look at myself in this picture and I KNOW that I’m broken, sad, and I just want to hug the woman I see in the picture.

I was unhappy. I was sad. I was depressed. I was a mess. I dealt with all of these feelings and others but eating and drinking. Crying and sharing my feelings was not an option for me. Eating a box of Little Debbie Zebra Cakes was but allowing myself to embrace my emotions was not. I often felt like the body I was living in had let me down so I had no desire to take care of it. It seemed pointless to me.

As the end of 2009 approached, I began thinking about the milestone birthday (30th) that would take place in the next year. I decided that I wanted to do something big for my birthday – something just for me. It was then that I decided that I would do my first figure competition. I checked the website for NPC shows in AZ and discovered that my 30th birthday would take place 6 days before the NPC AZ Open competition. There it was – right before me – the ultimate challenge.  I would have to transform not only my body, but my heart and mind in order to step on stage but I decided that I was ready to make the change.

When I stepped on stage that day in July, I was a new woman. I had made a physical, mental, and psychological transformation. I made the decision to become a better me and I have never looked back.

So to those that are struggling with becoming a healthier, happier version of yourself, I want to tell you that it’s possible. I am living proof that it is. I will not lie to you and say that it will be easy because it won’t. There will be those that doubt you…heck…you’ll doubt yourself but you have to keep pressing forward. You know that you desire & deserve better and you need to go out there & get it. 

I've invited Chelsea to write a post about her thoughts about the infamous marshmallow picture (our nickname for it) and I'll share that with you before the week ends! As you can see, we're not the same ladies we were 2 years ago!

NPC Terminator show, 7/16/11

Celebrating Chelsea's 40th birthday a few weeks ago

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Response to Work "Gifts"

A question that I keep getting from my co-workers is "When's your next show???". I feel like wearing a button that says, "My next show is ____" and I'll just write in the dates of my shows as I'm prepping for them :)

Now that it's common knowledge that I'm in off-season and my diet is a bit more relaxed, I have been receiving more offers of food, invitations to go on snack runs, and gifts magically appearing on my desk.

Today, I came into work to find three of these bad boys on my desk......

I may have screamed asked "Who left these here???!?!" to which I received no reply....there was dead silence in the room....seriously, I could hear crickets chirping!

Damn it, people! I'm trying to stay lean! I'm trying to still be able to fit into my date jeans! I'm trying to not throw up when I see myself naked in the mirror!

So, here's how I feel about your chocolately coconut slattered fat inducer gift.....

No, that's not chocolate on the corner of my mouth. My breath does not smell like coconut. Shut up! Stop judging me!!
*runs out of the room*

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Release Tuesday

When I find a new song/artist, I feel like I've found a treasure. K'naan is my latest pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Check out this collabo with Nelly Furtado - it's definitely being added to my playlist!

Monday, February 6, 2012

And Now A Message From The Trainer

It's been awhile since Tom has written a blog post
and he told me this morning that he wanted to 
do one today. This, of course, was after he
tried to murder me at the gym :)
 I hope you enjoy the post.
P.S. If I had known he was going
to take pictures during the workout, I
would have tried to look like
less of a hot mess!!!

The look of…
Weakness or Strength
Defeat or Domination
Despair or Euphoria

Like I’ve said before I am not gifted in the way with words like my better half is, so excuse my writing skills and grammar!!!

I am writing this guest post after training (checking her hot bod out in the process) her this morning.  If you didn’t know, I work at a fire station and I love designing killer workouts that drop many people to their knees and leave them sore for a week!  Pushing our bodies to the extreme is something I’m addicted to. And the old saying “If you’re not sore, you didn’t work hard enough” thrives inside me.

This is the kind of workout that I’ve been designing lately to SHOCK the body… 2-3 sets to find a weight that you can handle 10-12 reps with good form to failure. Now the real work starts!!! Pick a number - today we used 50 reps.  Perform the exercise until failure… maybe 10,11, or 12 reps… only 10 seconds of rest and begin again to failure, so on and so forth till you hit your desired rep number. By the end you are literally doing 3 or 4 reps!  We did four exercises today and I managed to snap some pics of the agonizing workout.

The look of....

The look of...

The look of...(boobies...I mean...uhh...)

The look of....

So at the end of the day she could have settled with weakness, settled for defeat, leaving her in a state of despair; however, my wife doesn’t do that.  She fought that workout with strength, total domination, and left in a state of euphoria!  Proud of you babe, and I just wanted to share a little thought with your bloggers (I think that’s what you call em???)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

An Off-Season Lesson

I'm still getting used to this off-season's really the first time I've not been focused on a show date in almost 2 years...crazy! Anywho, one of the lessons I'm learning during this time is I've missed my junk-in-the-trunk :)

Yep, my bubble butt is making a return :)
I've never had a flat butt (thank you, genetics)....more like a bubble butt...I never really gave it much was just always there. That is, my bootay was always was the reason it took 5 billion tries to find a pair of jeans that fit....but as I began doing figure competitions, it slowly starting disappearing.

One of the pieces of feedback I've received from the judges is I need to round & tighten my glutes. I've dedicated one workout a week specifically to this goal and today was the day the glutes workout was taking place!

It started home gym Desert Sports & Fitness....if you're ever in Tucson, you know where you need to go to get your workout on!

I warmed up for 5 minutes on the Cybex Arc Trainer at the highest resistance and highest incline that is possible on the machine. If you don't know what an Arc Trainer is or have seen one but never tried it, you need to take this cardio machine for a test drive. Check out this video from AZ Pro Physiques about the Arc Trainer.

After 5 minutes of hell hard work, I went in search of piece of equipment I hadn't used in quite some time. I found it in the room where the group fitness classes are held, in the corner, waiting for me to come out & play.

The box!!!
Let me just tell you that box jumps are no joke!! I'm not the best at plyometrics! I struggle through them every time and today was no different. I did 4 sets of 10 and my legs were definitely feeling it by the last set! I knew I was struggling when I almost fell off the box because I hadn't jumped quite high enough!!! #teamklutz

Here's what the rest of today's workout looked like:

(with front foot on box/step)
4 sets of 115 x 8 (each leg)

Leg curl
50 x 20, 65 x 18, 80 x 15, 80 x 12

Leg extension
50 x 12 (2 sets), 70 x 10 (2 sets)

Leg press
180 x 12, 270 x 12, 360 x 10, 360 x 8

135 x 10, 185 x 8, 205 x 8, 225 x 5

I wrapped the workout a 2 mile run and as I got off the treadmill, I knew that I was going to be in a world of hurt in the upcoming days. No worries, I'm starting to enjoy DOMS ;)

If you're interested in more exercises geared towards building & tightening your glutes, check out the "Build Your Glutes, Yo" post over at One Fit Foodie and "Build Your Best Butt Now: Interview with Bret Contreras" over at Mother Fitness

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Skinny on Being Skinny

The back of the book reads, "The truth is, skinny girls live by a set of Skinny Rules, whether they realize it or not. And now dietician and nutritionist Molly Morgan has collected their 101 secrets so you can free your inner skinny chick and lose weight - without dieting!"

What book is this, you ask? The answer is......

I saw this book on the New Non-Fiction display at the library branch I work at and you know I had to check it out! It is not my goal to be "skinny". My goal is to live up to the wonderful compliment Keelie from Sweat = Success gave me. She called me "shredded & sassy" and while I want to look like the picture below year round, I still had to read more than the cover of this book!

The first rule is "Believe You Can Be Skinny". My initial reaction to the rule was "seriously?!?!" but as I read on, each rule has several paragraphs explaining the rule, I realized the rule wasn't completely off-the-wall. The rule is about your frame of mind. It's about being positive about losing weight. The idea of the rule is to continually remind yourself that dropping and keeping off weight is possible.

Skinny Rule #9 is "Call on a Co-Pilot". The rule encourages the reader to have a co-pilot or support system. Your co-pilot will help keep you accountable as well as provide support when you need it. Muscle & Fitness Hers published a brief article on their website along the same lines - you can find it here.

Skinny Rule #30 is "Train Like A Pro Athlete". Adopt the work ethic of a pro athlete. Pro athletes make working out and proper nutrition top priorities and essential parts of their day. Commitment to training is required every day, year round. This is not a part-time, one season type of lifestyle. No excuses are allowed!! Donloree of Bikini or Bust wrote a great post about being sick & tired of excuses - it's a must read - check it out here!

Skinny Rule #77 is "Bring It with You" and yes, it's exactly what you're thinking. Bring your food with you! You are not crazy to bring along your healthy meal. Your body requires the right type of fuel and having the right options readily available is a must. *I'm not afraid to admit that I've pulled out a ziploc baggie containing chicken breast & veggies out of my purse while at a staff meeting!

Let's get down to the nitty gritty - answering the question of is this book is worth your time or not! While I wasn't too thrilled about seeing "skinny" every other word, I think the book is worth reading. Most of the rules are common-sense and practical ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle. If you're not new to healthy living, the book is a nice reminder of some of the things you should be doing but may be forgetting like rule #2 Hit the Pillow or  #52 Don't Forget the Magic Meal.

So there you have it, a book recommendation from your friendly librarian :)