Monday, March 31, 2014

We Made It Official

My love affair with the Iron Gals brand began a few months ago when I was Instagram and saw a picture of a shirt with the word "IronGals" on the front and "Strength is Beauty" on the back. I saw the shirt and instantly knew I had to have it. It was more than me thinking the shirt was cute. I had to have it because if you ask anyone who knows me, I always talk about the beauty of being strong not only physically but also mentally. 

Motivational & Posing Seminar with Jessie Hilgenberg on March 8th

I talked about my newfound love affair in my "It Could Be Love" post and the second I saw they had the shirt in other colors, I snatched it up! I've been wearing them everywhere including the posing clinic I told you guys about a couple of weeks ago. I felt (and still STRONGLY feel) like I had found a message that spoke to who I was and what I believed in. 

I have always been a huge fan of supporting local businesses so I loved (and still love) that I can order my supplements locally and they are hand delivered them to me - can you say perfection?!?! The first time I met each one of the guys, we had the best interaction. We laughed and talked like we had known each other for years. It was these connections that solidified for me that this was a business I would save my allowance to support :)

I was blown away when Nate (on the right in the picture above) pulled me aside at the NPC Terminator show and informed me that they wanted to sponsor me. I think I stood there with my mouth open for what felt like hours. I mumbled some ridiculous (I'm sure!) response and we agreed to discuss it in more detail at a later date. I ran power walked strolled back to my seat and excitedly told my friend KC "I just found out that I'm sponsored!!!"

They surprised me with a delivery of goodies last Friday!

I am incredibly honored to be sponsored by & working with the Iron Bros. The fact that they see potential in me and want to support me on my journey to the stage this year is crazy to me!! I can't tell you what it feels like to have guys like this in my corner - telling me that they know I'm worth the investment - that I'm going to do well this year. It means more to me than I can express!! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

That's Not You!

I posted this collage on my Instagram account about a month ago in honor of "Tuesday Transformation" and Fitfluential was awesome enough to repost it on their page that same day. I  honestly was really surprised at the reaction it got.

People seemed genuinely surprised that yes, it was indeed me in the first picture (compare the bell pepper nose in both's My mom even made a comment when she saw me that she doesn't remember me "looking like that".

Sometimes when I share my journey to now (this body, this attitude, this mindset, this "no, I won't eat the whole box of Thin Mints), people don't believe that I weighed in at almost 200 lbs (It's quite possible that it could have been more. I stopped weighing myself after the scale hit 198.8).

The pictures don't lie.

I was soft. I was doughy. I was ___ (fill in the blank).

It's not Tuesday but I thought I would share the picture above because it's Throwback Thursday...and technically both of these pictures are "throwbacks" :)

*I just realized I'm wearing the same exact dress & hair bow today 
that I'm wearing in the picture on the right*

If you want to see some other throwback (aka old!) pictures of me and my thoughts about shifting gears and becoming a healthier, happier Tenecia - check out a post I wrote a couple of years ago entitled "Face to Face with the Old Me"!

Monday, March 24, 2014



Quarter turns.

Model Poses.

I'm not saying I suck at them.

I'm not even saying that I hate them.

I'm just saying that they make me feel ridiculous and if I could compete without having to do them, that would make me a very happy girl! 

All of my posing "instruction" has come via email critiques from The Boss. I would send her my pictures and she would inspect each one and tell me what I needed to change about it each pose. Several times I sent her videos of my posing practice and she responded with her suggestions & a video of her own posing. I had always wanted to receive "hands-on" training but there was always some reason why I couldn't.

Until I saw the flyer below on Instagram and Twitter!

photo credit

I adore Jessie Hilgenberg and have been a fan since the moment I saw the pictures of her winning her pro card at USAs. I quietly stalk follow her on Instagram and when she posted that she was going to hold a posing seminar, I knew I had to go. I talked it over with Tom and while he swears my posing is perfect, he agreed that it would be smart of me to go to the seminar.

From my Instagram - stuck in traffic outside of Phoenix! 

I was a bit nervous driving to Scottsdale. As I kept driving, random questions kept popping up in my head. What if Jessie said I was a lost cause? What if I tripped & fell? What if I looked like The Nutty Professor when I put on my sports bra & shorts compared to the other figure girls that would be there? I was right outside of Phoenix when traffic came to a complete stop. As I sat there cursing people out patiently waiting for traffic to move, I realized that I needed to shut off my self-doubt and quiet the negative voices in my head. I told myself that my homework was to walk away with at least two posing tips that I could work on consistently.

Traffic finally started to move, my GPS guided me to Independence Gym, and I walked in ready to do the damn thing. Jessie was at check-in table greeting each attendee, looking all amazing & shit, and I had a total fan girl moment. Inside of my head, of course, because I didn't want her to call security. She asked me my name, stamped my hand, looked straight at me and said, "My god, woman. You are super gorgeous! I love your hair! And those lips! You're such a hottie!".

Ummm.....say what?!?!!?

I giggled, told her to shut up (yes, I actually said that. Thank goodness she laughed), and went to find a seat.

Can you see my peanut head wwwaaayyy in the back?? :)

I'm not going to go into all the details about the the seminar but I will tell you that it was an amazing experience. Jessie worked one-on-one with the girls in my group and gave each of us quality feedback. I learned so much, even as a "veteran" competitor, about how to best present myself to the judges. I have been practicing every chance that I get because you know what they say? Practice makes perfect!

 *If you would like to purchase an IronGals shirt like the one
 I'm wearing in the pics above, 
you can do so by clicking going to the Iron Bros website 
and clicking "Apparel".*

And one more picture before I go.....

10 weeks out from the NPC Dennis James Classic on May 31st....

Oh...I didn't tell you that I quietly started prep a few weeks ago?? :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Release Tuesday

There are no words.

I love everything about this video & song.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Slightly Obsessed

photo credit
I have been focusing on Operation Build-A-Back for almost 2 years now. To say that I'm determined to build a "Ninja Turtle back" is an understatement. I will admit that the word "obsessed" might be a suitable description. I want to turn about, hit my back pose and have people proclaims "dddaaayyyyuuuummm!!!"

photo credit
I stare at pictures of the pros like Candice Lewis, Candice Keene, and Erin Stern and pray fervently to the Figure Gods that one day, when I grow up, I can have a back that is almost as good as theirs. The Figure Gods don't always answer prayers as quickly as I would like, so I'm forced to actually put in work at the gym while I'm waiting (see my This Is How We Do It!, When You Put In the Work, and Light 'Em Up posts).

This "off-season" aka improvement season was a great time for me to really focus on getting in quality back workouts. I tried some new things (for example, using the TRX and HumanSport machines at my gym Desert Sports and Fitness), "mastered" some of the tried & true exercises, and really did my best to stay consistent.

I'm not always sure if I'm making any progress and that's why I love that Tom is so insistent on progress pictures. While I moan & complain about taking them, they really do come in handy....especially at times like this. When I asked if I had made any progress in the last few months, Tom showed me the two pictures below.

The changes are small...but they're there and that makes me happy!! I'm not prep lean in the second picture but I can definitely tell that I've added some muscle and maybe even added some width...could be wishful thinking but hey...whatever :)

I've been asked what a typical week of training looks like for me so I'll be sharing that with you guys later in the week! If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section or email me!

Thanks for stopping and let's conquer the week ahead!