Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wordless Thursday :)

I know most bloggers do a "Wordless Wednesday" post but I can't do what everyone else does, can I?!?! :) With that in mind, I present to you my version of "Wordless Thursday"!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Prep 4-1-1 and a Winner!

Last week was filled with random awesomeness and a side of "ain't that some shit!"...let's recap what took place but only the good stuff, shall we??

The Princess enjoying an Eegee's!
The Princess was due for her annual appointment with her pediatric neurologist so last Monday she & I trekked to the northside of town, met with her doctor, endured some medical tests, and then heard the words that we long to hear "She looks great and we'll see you guys in 6 months". There was a visit to the Pima County Health Department's shot clinic for immunizations and three shots later, we were ready to have some real fun! DSW, here we come! I didn't find any shoes but The Princess spotted some neon blue Nikes that she just had to have. Since I'm a softie and I felt guilty about the fact that she got 3 shots instead of the ONE shot I told her she needed, I bought her the shoes. Hey, don't judge me! :)

Nerd alert!! The Endeavor flew over Tucson this past Thursday and I swear, everything in the city stood still as it passed over our city. It was the most amazing thing, I kid you not. There are a ton of amazing pictures of the shuttle as it flew over Tucson but the above picture was taken my one of my amazing co-workers from the balcony of our library. #sofrickingcool If you're interested in seeing some of the pictures that were featured in our local newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star, check out their "Endeavor flies over Tucson" gallery.

Prep is moving along...slowly...but it's moving. Saturday marked 7 weeks out and there were no jumps for joy when I saw my progress pictures. TOM was making its presence known and I felt large & in charge! :) Feedback from The Boss #1 was not what I was expecting given how I felt - she told me that I look "itty bitty" - score! I have also been practicing my posing and tweaking a few things here & there. No workout or diet changes so I'm going to keep doin' what I'm doin' :)

And now for the real fun - announcing the winner of the giveaway! Rafflecopter had the honor of selecting the name and it was.....


Congrats, Shea! Please email me (teneciap at gmail dot com) your mailing address by Wednesday, September 26 so I can get your supplements goodies to you!

Thank you everyone who entered the giveaway! I will be holding another giveaway in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Muscle & Fitness Goodies & A Giveaway!!!

A short time ago, I was contacted by Muscle & Fitness (insert giddy screech here!) and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of the sample boxes from their Supplement Sampling Program. Of course, I said yes (because what normal person would say anything other than "hellz ya!"?!?!) and a few weeks later a box of goodies showed up on my doorstep!

Before I tell you about the supplement box I received, let me tell you a little bit about the program. You may sign up to receive 5-7 samples of different products each month. The cost of the membership is $15 a month or $11.25 with an annual membership. Shipping is free and members receive $15 off any $75+ order from the Muscle & Fitness store when they join. If this sounds like something you might be interested, you can find additional information about the program at the Muscle & Fitness Store.

Let's talk about the sample box I received, shall we?!? :)

The box I received contained the samples that were mailed to members for the month of August. Included in the box were the supplement samples, pamphlets advertising certain products, and a postcard describing the samples in the box and what they are used for. I really liked that the postcard was included because I hadn't heard of some of the samples and it was nice to have a "Cliff's Notes" version of what they are & what they do.

The first supplement sample I tried was the MHP X-Fit Trainer. I received two packets (Cranberry Orange & Citrus Lime) of this particular sample and decided to try the Cranberry Orange flavor first. X-Fit Trainer is a pre-workout supplement that is said to, among other things, increase energy by 79% and improve mental focus & maximize workout intensity.

It was a "Workin' On My Wheels" workout the day I decided to try this and I knew that I would need all of the help I could get in order to kill my workout. The instructions on the packet state to take it 30 minutes before training and since the drive to my gym from my house is 25 minutes, I took it right before climbing in the car to leave. I'm not a huge fan of cranberry so I was a little concerned about how the drink would taste. I was pleasantly surprised when I sipped it and it reminded me of a less sugary version of Hi-C. Score!!

I did feel a slight tingle before & after my workout but it wasn't anything crazy. As I began my workout, I felt more focused on the exercises, reps, and my form. This is not to say that I'm not usually focused on my workouts when I do them but this was different. I didn't feel like I could push ridiculously high weight but did feel like I could knock out more reps  than normal during certain exercises. It's funny because when I got to the end of my workout (including a 3 mile run) despite being sweaty & stank  slightly smelly, I still felt like I could keep going.

A few days after trying the Trainer sample, I used my usual pre-workout supplement and I was disappointed. I just didn't feel the same way I did when I took Trainer. I hate to say this but once I finish the container I have of my current pre-workout supplement, I think we're going to break up...shhh...don't tell ;)

The next sample I tried out was Image Sports SAAs with Energy. This sample could not have come at a better time because I had just been reading an article entitled "7 Exciting New Supplements" in the September/October issue of Muscle & Fitness Hers. One of the new supplements that is mentioned in the article is silk amino acids. These amino acids are said to more than double exercise endurance while at the same time increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat (pg.68).

The packet states that you can take these amino acids before, during, or after a workout. You may also take it on a non-training day, first thing in the morning. The amino acids I'm currently taking do not dissolve well in water so I brought a spoon with me just in case. The powder mixed well with my room temp water so I never had to take my spoon out of my backpack!

Half-way back to work & still hadn't taken a sip!
The watermelon flavor was very subtle and for that, I was eternally grateful! Watermelon is not one of the flavors at the top of my yummy list so I stalled a little after mixing the drink before sipping!

I am intrigued by this particular type of amino acids and will be having The Boss #2 do some research to determine if I should add it to my supplement "Power Pack"!

Tom was eyeballin' the Bullnox sample so I begrudingly graciously let him have it. I asked him to share his thoughts on it and this is what he wrote up:

"I have tried over a dozen pre-workout supplements in the past from popular (N.O. Explode, Super Pump, Neurocore, Jack3d, 1MR, White Flood, nanoVAPOR, hemorage, etc) and some not so poplular (noxipro, NO ignite, anadraulic state GT,  and a few others).  I can definitely tell which pre-workout supps are for energy, focus, and pumps…   Just a quick back story on my review of Bullnox.  I work out at the Fire Station every shift and my captain received the same sample pack (1.5 servings).  We are not new to pre workout supps, so he took the whole packet.  After about 10 minutes he was flush red and ready to workout, however he could not focus and had cold sweats…  After about 20 minutes it subsided, and he was able to start his workout and said it was a good and very strong preworkout supplement.  With that in mind, I used about ¾ of the sample at about 4am.  Got the usual burning sensation on tops of hands, feet, scalp, and redness in the face.  Had a great back workout with a decent pump which I normally do not get from Jack3d and 1MR.  I would compare it with a mix of Superpump and a super concentrated preworkout.  Overall a great product and will definitely try again.  Taste was probably the best I’ve had for sure, mixed very well and left minimal amount of residue in the cup."

If you've made it to the bottom of this endless post, congrats! :) Guess what?? The folks at Muscle & Fitness sent me an additional sample box and I'm giving it away to one of you! Tell me you're excited about that?!?!

All you have to do to enter is tell me what supplement you would love to try that's available from the Muscle & Fitness Store. That's it! Easy peasy! The contest will end at 12:00 am on Sunday, September 23rd so get your entries in now! Winner will be announced Monday, September 24th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received these products free of charge and received no compensation for this review.
All opinions expressed are my own (and Tom's)!

New Release Tuesday

I have always been a H-U-G-E fan of Alicia Keys! I remember the first time I saw the video "Fallin" and all I could say was "Damn, that girl can SANG!!"

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and it's the MTV Video Music Awards. I'm anxiously awaiting Alicia Keys performance and after what seems like forever, she takes the stage. She begins singing and I start to frown. This is not the Alicia Keys I love. I'm wondering what the heck is going on...what is this song...who is the person at the piano...Tom & I look at each other confused...what the what?!?!

I decided to look up the song she sang on youtube and guess what? It's really good but you wouldn't know it from the performance she gave.

So....if you watched the VMA's and felt the same way I did about the song....give it another chance...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Attempt at Balance!

I'm fairly certain that every figure competitor has struggled with finding balance while prepping for a show. Prep, often times, consumes every aspect of your life. Before you know it you have turned into a chicken-eating, protein shake guzzlin', weight lifting, focused, anti-social being!

I have worked incredibly hard to find balance as it pertains to my family but during my last prep, I realized that I was not doing a good job creating balance between prep and my social life. I became aware of the fact that it had been months since I had left the house to hang out with friends some place other than the gym! It had been forever & a day since I had gone to a restaurant with a friend  to enjoy their company & a meal on a plate and not in a plastic Ziploc container. I had sacrificed my friendships (unintentionally but it still happened!!) in pursuit of a top 5 placing and a trophy. Right around the time I decided that this needed to change, my friend Mimi sent me a text asking when she was going to see me. This was the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and spend some time with a friend I sorely missed!

photo credit
We decided that we wanted to go some place that we could wear our "fancier" clothes to and after a short text exchange, Union Public House was deemed the spot of our date :) Mimi had been to the restaurant before but I had never heard of it. A lot of new restaurants have opened in Tucson recently and I know nothing about most of them because I have been prepping for the past decade few months.

A little black dress, Jessica Simpson pumps, and a Wonder Woman clutch made out of  duct tape!
We arrived separately and found each other at the hostess' stand. The hostess asked us if we wanted to sit inside or outside on the patio and when we told her that it didn't matter to us, she seemed a bit annoyed. Uhh...sorry..I didn't realize that us letting you decide which open table to fill was an annoyance! We were sat at a table inside and promptly began chatting with each other & catching up.

Mimi told me that the Crisp Pork Belly appetizer was a must so we decided to order that along with the Pub Chips. The appetizers were tasty despite the blue cheese sauce being slightly thick & cold.

Caesar salad with shrimp
Nicoise salad 
For our entrees, I ordered a Caesar salad with shrimp and Mimi decided to go with the Nicoise salad. Thumbs up for the entrees and the booze!

Me & the radiant Mimi!
The service was not what I expected for this particular type of restaurant (we joked that the waitress was scared of me because she would practically run up to our table, ask a question, then run away) but bottom line, I was just happy to see my friend!

photo credit
Uh oh! They gave me a hard hat!!
In addition to spending more time with my friends, I am making a conscious effort to do more in terms of giving back & community service. I, along with some of my fabulous co-workers, decided to lend a hand and support Habitat for Humanity's Rainbow Build here in Tucson. Yesterday, we gathered at 6:30 am (goodness, that's early for a Saturday morning!!) and joined with other local volunteers to build a home for a local family.

The home we worked on!
Some of my wonderful co-workers!
We had a wonderful time assisting in building a home for a family that would not have been able to see their dream of home ownership come true if it had not been for the assistance of the Tucson chapter of Habitat for Humanity. At the end of the afternoon, I was exhausted and completely filthy but my heart felt so full.

Just a glimpse of what I looked like at the end of the afternoon :)
Those of us at the build could not help but share with one another how awesome it was to see members of the Tucson community join together for such an incredible cause. I know that I said more than once how I couldn't think of a better way to start my weekend!

For me, balance is about stepping outside of the "figure competitor" shell I often inhabit. It is about ignorning my set eating schedule, not worrying about cardio & workouts, not hitting a pose every time I pass by a mirror. Balance is about spending quality time with the ones I love. It is about  seeing the world that is outside of my treadmill and gym. It is about supporting and serving those in my community. I haven't quite mastered it but the balance I have found thus far feels damn good!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

That's What's Up Thursday

photo credit

Can we just take a moment to really
take in this picture?

Pay close attention to the shoulders. Make sure
you R-E-A-L-L-Y look at incredible muscularity
of the quads. Observe the look of confidence on her face
and the Colgate smile.

This woman is a new pro and she is already givin'
the veterans a run for their money! She is just incredible!!

IFBB Figure Pro Kamla Macko - now that's what's up!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Release Tuesday

I love all things Linkin Park...but you guys already knew this! You should know that I'm pouting that the band will not be coming to AZ during their U.S. tour but I still love them.

I think my favorite lyric from this song is "Imma be that nail in your coffin...sayin' that I soften...I was duckin' down to reload"...can we say "gangsta"??!?!

You need this song on your "Imma Kill The Weights Today"'t thank me... ;)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reenergized & Ready to Conquer!

The last few weeks have been a bit difficult for me in terms of prepping for my next show. Oh, you didn't know I was prepping for another show??! I must have forgotten to mention that but yep, I'm currently in prep for the NPC Western Regional that will be taking place in Phoenix November 9 & 10.

The prep has been difficult for reasons I have expressed during past preps so I should warn you that I'm going to sound like a broken record here! I shared with you the feedback I received from the head judge at the AZ Open show in my Determined vs Unrealistic post. The p-word or physique was the one word we were trying to avoid hearing and yet, it made an appearance in the head judge's reply to my request for feedback. When Tommy the team made the decision to compete in another show before the year ended, a discussion took place about what would need to be done to make the judges think "figure competitor" not "physique competitor" when they saw me on stage. It came down to one thing - I had to lose muscle.

For those of you who might be newer readers, we've been down this road before. After the 2011 Orange County Muscle Classic, I was told that I would need to come in smaller (less muscular) if I wanted to continue to compete in figure (physique was being introduced at the time). I went back & forth about the sacrifices I would have to make in order to "drop size" but decided that I wanted to do it. I shared that I wanted to be able to look back at this time and say that I did everything in my power in order to be successful. More than a year later, I still feel the exact way.

Competing is a beast. It is not for the indecisive, weak, or faint of heart. At times, you have to make choices that you may second guess later and that's the point that I was at the last few weeks. I was second guessing my decision to sacrifice even more size in order to continue competing in figure. Sacrificing size, for me, means minimal weight training, additional amounts of cardio, and a diet that often lacks flavor & excitement. It doesn't seem like a big deal when you type it out but when you're living it week in and week out, it can break you down.

Last Saturday, I checked in with The Boss #1 and told her that I was not excited about doing this show. I told her that prepping for this show was starting to be a pain in my ass and while I wanted to give it my all, I just didn't feel like I could. I was worried because I could sense that Tom felt like I was not at the point where I should be given the number of weeks until the show. Needless to say, The Boss #1 sent back an email reassuring me that I was right where I needed to be and that we would be switching things up starting this week.

I got my new plan on Saturday night and while the plan doesn't have cake or booze in it (hey, a girl can dream!), it does have me hittin' the weights more than once a week! Can I get a "woot woot"? A shift in my approach to training and tweaking of the diet has resulted in a reenergized, ready to bust out a can of whoop ass Tenecia!

The goal for this next show is to win my class but I will be content placing in the top 3.

I have 8 weeks to make it happen. I'm up for the challenge now. I can do this.

Sweaty & stinky but ready to take on the next 8 weeks!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Major Recap Fail!!

So, I competed in the two Arizona NPC shows that were held in July. The first one, the NPC Terminator, was held here in Tucson and I recapped that show for you in my Puttin' It Down in My Hometown part 1  and part 2 posts. The second show, the NPC Arizona Open, was held a week after the Terminator show and I promised to share with you my feelings about the show, doing 2 peak weeks in a row, etc.

Except I didn't do that, did I?!?!?

Major recap fail!!

I have no idea how I let so much time pass before realizing I hadn't done it. I should have my blogger pass revoked!

In the meantime, here are some pictures from the show photographer to hold you over until the recap is done  :)

I'll be back with that recap soon - I promise!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm Not One of Them

I was never a cool kid in school. For one thing, I was one of like 4 black kids at every school I attended. Yes, people would ask to touch my hair and often looked to me as the voice of the Black population but that's another post for another time. :)

In high school I played tennis (this was before Serena & Venus so trust me when I say occasionally I got odd looks at tennis camp and tournaments), hung out at the library during lunch & after school, was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper...shall I go on?? :) I was not cool. I was a nerd and I was totally ok with that.

I'm still not one of the cool kids and the evidence from Facebook, Twitter, and blogs proves it!

Here are some of the reasons why I'm not part of CKG (Cool Kids' Group):

1) I am not a runner. *I will run...if I have to but I do not do it for fun. It's not something I like or even love to do. I can tolerate it but would be perfectly fine to never run another step in my life.

2) I do not shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. *I don't get what's so awesome about either one of these stores. I've tried to give them a chance but they're just not for me.

3) I am not a personal trainer. *I love to train but I have no aspirations to become a trainer, work in a gym, and train clients. Remember that whole hanging out in the library thing I talked about? That's exactly why (among other reasons) being a librarian is the perfect job for me.

4) I do not do Crossfit. *It scares me - bottom line.

In all seriousness, there are times when I find myself feeling like that awkward, shy, insecure Tenecia and I don't like it! One day when I was feeling this way, I found a picture (I can't remember where) and it's a great reminder to stop comparing myself to others and just be me!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Month, A Clean Slate

Holy mother's September! Where did the year go???

Because it's the first of the month and I was just talking to The Boss #1 about this song, it's only appropriate that we all sing along to the song in the video. C'mon, I know you know the words!

And just to remind you that it's a new month with a clean slate, I will leave you with one of my favorites :)