Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, registered dietitian, or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness, and life. I love to motivate and encourage, and will offer tips, but keep in mind when it comes to your health and fitness, do your research.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm back!!!

Not blogging since June.......well, that's a new record! I really need to get better at this!! Sorry, sorry, sorry!! 
Here we are in November, getting ready for the Holidays surrounded by yummy foods, holiday stress, family, and friends, and here I am setting new goals of competing this April! I took a lot of time off to just live life as a "normal" person, way too much time off, and I found that I am most happy when I am on a strict routine of workouts and diets. Its a lifestyle and I am learning its what really works for me and brings balance to my life!
Here's the plan, Fitness Universe Tour in April at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, and Fitness Universe in Miami in June. I will only be competing in Bikini for April but may also do Figure again in June if I have put on enough muscle by then! The best part about these new goals, my best friend Desiree has decided to join me on this journey!! I am over the moon with excitement to share this journey with her! She just became a new Mommy to the most adorable little man Gavin! She is an amazing, friend and I am so blessed to have her by my side! We have been through the ups and downs of life together.... high school, our husbands military deployments, weddings, and now children together! Here's to one more wild ride together!! 

I started the morning off with a Banana Isagenix Shake! It's quick, easy, delicious and one of the best things you can put into your body! I am back to eating six meals a day, and eating every three hours, so convenience is a must! 
I am fueled up for now, and I am off to play with two very cute kids!! I have dinner plans with my friend Shawna tonight, and a really fun weekend planned consisting of coffee dates, quality time with the husband, and a Girls day including lunch  Melting Pot with my little princess, Grammy and Auntie for a Fairytale Fondue Party!! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting back on track

Since the competition in April I have been pretty lenient with my diet and workouts. I was doing this thing called LIVING! :) I may have gone a little overboard at times, but I don't regret the time I spent not weighing food and skipping a workout. It's all about getting back on track. I've set a new, ambitious goal, and I am ready to tackle it head on! Fitness America World Championships in......VEGAS! 20 weeks away, and I am ready to bring myself back to the stage. I thought when I first did the competition at Foxwoods, it would be a one time thing. After experiencing it though, I cant even describe the joy it brought to me that day! The journey leading up to it was hard, draining, but amazing! I am so grateful for the experience I had backstage with all the girls, and lasting friendships I made! I am more than ready to start the journey again!! I'm hoping to be consistent with the blog through my training and progress! 
I am doing one thing a little different this time. When the competition ended and I had my post show treats, I just couldn't get my body to stop craving sugar and chocolate and other processed junk food. I emailed Cathy Savage who told me to give Isagenix a try. She said most people experienced reduced cravings, increased energy, and leaner muscle mass. I was hesitant to try it but after some research I thought I'd give it a shot and ordered the Athletes pack! I am currently halfway through the 9 day deep cleanse. My goal with the cleanse was actually to stop depending on coffee for energy. I was spending close to $10 a day on my three Starbucks coffees! I have not had a coffee since Wednesday and my energy level has drastically increased. My day does not revolve around when my next cup of coffee will be! As far as my cravings, I am able to mix up a chocolate shake and throw in a little ice, truvia, peanut butter, banana, or anything else I am craving at that time and it tastes like I am eating an ice cream!! I love the convenience of the shakes, about 20 seconds to make, 23g of organic protein, and a complete meal for less than one of my coffees would cost. All that for 240 calories! Yes, I am please with my Isagenix purchase. So, the only difference in this competition prep from last is the addition of Isagenix products. I will continue to eat "clean"  lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and starch! I am excited to see the difference in my body, hair, skin, and overall energy levels from my last competition prep to this. 
I am so happy you are following along on the journey! 

p.s. I Did not forget about the September 29 show in Boston. If my body is ready at that time I still plan on participating in that event! It sounds like a great beginner show that would really help prep me for Vegas! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Special Visit!

How is it already Wednesday? The month of June is flying by! I have been meaning to blog but life has been getting in the way, and I've been trying to just live it and not stress about it!
Anyways, lets see! We have some very special visitors staying with us for the week. Adams brother Jake who is active duty in the Marine Corps, his wife Rachel, and their adorable son Austin are here for a week visit while on leave! My nephew Austin is 2 and we love being able to spend time with them! Olivia is over the moon with excitement to have a 24/7 playmate around!
Olivia started dance class at Nancy Chippendale's Dance Studio in North Andover. Unfortunately I had a doctors appointment at the same time as her class to I had to miss her very first dance class! Adam got the pleasure of accompanying his little girl to her first class, and his text to me was "You are going to love watching peanut dance, it was so stinkin cute I could cry!" I am so excited she loved it and can not wait to watch her myself next week!
Tonight Olivia and I are off to Kruegers for a much needed dinner date with my friend Shawna. I am so excited to catch up with her since it has been far too long since I last saw her!
Let's backtrack a little to the weekend! It was beautiful out on Saturday so I woke up bright and early and headed to Newburyport with Olivia, my sister, my nephew Jacob, and our friend Brianne.  First stop was of course for coffee at Plum Island Coffee Roasters. I tried the vanilla and coconut Iced Coffee flavor which was amazing!! We took a walk over to the playground so the kids could play for a bit before strolling back to the car to head home. It was a beautiful morning! We spent Saturday afternoon at my in laws house where they enjoyed the surprise visit from Jake, Rachel, and Austin. We had grilled chicken, fresh fruit, burgers, sausages, and a beautiful mixed greens salad. I left for a bit to meet up with my sister for a jog around the neighborhood, then ran back to my in laws to meet backup with Olivia and Adam. When Liv had had enough I headed home with her to get her to bed and I spent the rest of the night reading 50 Shades Darker. I am almost done with the second book!
Tonight is the last night Adams brother and his family will be here. The boys are out fishing now and hopefully enjoying their time together! 
I found a new addiction last week that is too good not to share. Although I am warning you, its not really a healthy snack, and really hard to keep your hand out of the jar. This Emerald Almond snack mix is life changing. I mean seriously, it doesn't get much better than this. Sweet, salty, peanut butter heaven!! Don't say I didn't  warn you when you cant put then down! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

After finding Cauliflower Crust Pizza on Pinterest a while back, I knew it was a recipe I had to try! I mean really, who doesn't love pizza? What makes this pizza even better is not having to feel guilty about eating it. Even the kids will enjoy this meal! I finally remembered to buy cauliflower when I was in the grocery store the other day so decided to give it a shot on Sunday night! It sounded promising, and the comments under the reviews were really good so I had high hopes it! 
Let me tell you, I am so glad I gave this a chance! It was so delicious! It definitely had a different texture and taste than a true pizza crust, but it was shockingly good and tasted nothing like cauliflower. As an added bonus it was super easy and quick to make! 
I topped our pizza with Marinara, Chicken Sausage, red peppers, green peppers, onions, and mozzarella cheese. I also think a bbq chicken pizza with bbq sauce and feta would be really great too! 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza 
1/2 LARGE head cauliflower (or 2+ cups shredded cauliflower)
1 large egg
1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese (or try another kind!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
1/2 teaspoon onion salt

1. Using a cheese grater, shred the cauliflower into small crumbles. You'll need a total of about 2 cups or so of cauliflower crumbles. Place the cauliflower crumbles in a large bowl and microwave them for 8 minutes. Give the cauliflower a chance to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, mix the cauliflower crumbles (about 1 1/2 cups since they shrink after cooking) with the egg, mozzarella, oregano, garlic, and onion salt. Pat the "crust" into a circle on your greased pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes (or until golden). Remove the crust from the oven.

3. Prepare your toppings! I topped mine with Marinara Sauce, Chicken Sausage, red, peppers, green peppers, onions, and a little bit of light mozzarella cheese. Put pizza back in the oven until the toppings are warm and cheese is melted. 

This is a fork and knife pizza, you can't really pick it up and eat it like you would with a normal pizza crust, but it was really yummy!! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

There's something about running in the rain...

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I started mine with my cousin Samantha's High School Graduation! I can actually remember when she was born, so watching her graduate from High School really made me feel old! I was so proud of her and the intelligent, beautiful woman I have gotten to watch her grow into! She will be going off to school at The University of Massachusetts, and I know she will continue to do amazing things with her life! 
Saturday morning I headed to Newburyport for the 45 minute express Barre Class at Rasamaya Movement and Wellness. I seriously love that place, the class, and the instructors have all been awesome! The class started at 7am and it was pouring out when I got there. I was warmly welcomed by my friend Tara, the instructor, and windows open so we could hear the rain. I was surprised how crowded the class was for a rainy Saturday morning class! The windows open made it extra relaxing listening to the rain fall outside! After class I had planned on going for a run around my favorite city. I played back in fourth in my head whether I should just go home, or suck it up and run in the rain. Well, luckily the run won. It was one of those runs where once I got started I felt as if I could have run forever. I did about 3 miles, circling into Plum Island and back into Newburyport. Of course I made a pit stop at my favorite coffee shop for an Iced Coffee with soy! After my coffee I headed back to the car and the rain really started to come down! Perfect timing! 
Adam and I had an exciting night planned. We were going into Boston to watch my TRX instructor and friend Marjan, compete in the WBFF Eastern World Championships! I was so excited to attend a competition! Adam got in a workout, me and Liv relaxed and hung out with Grammy, Grandpa, and my nephew Jacob before heading into Boston! We stopped at Fat Cactus on the way down for dinner. I got the steak tacos which were pretty good, and Adam had a burrito that I stole a couple bites of which was really good! I probably wouldn't rush back to eat there, since Agave is my favorite Mexican returant and a lot closer! Oh, and Churros, they didn't have churros for dessert at Fat Catus...so yeah Agave it is! 
The WBFF show was a lot of fun to watch and Marjan was incredible! I was so inspired by her and all the other competitors. I was even lucky enough to see some of my fellow Savage Sisters rock it on stage! I was eager for Sunday morning so I could get started on my workouts for the week! We got home around midnight because we got realllly lost coming home....Don't ask! Since we didn't get to bed until after 1am, Sunday morning started off a little late. It took a lot for me to get my motivation for the gym, but I got it and man oh man my glutes are screaming at me today! 
We ended our weekend with a Sunday night date at the movies. We saw Snow White and The Huntsman. I liked it a lot and thought Kristen Stewart was really great in it! I'm not a huge fan of hers in The Twilight Movies but she did an amazing job as Snow White.

Its a rainy Monday so I started the day off with a quick back workout and am ending it tonight with a Barre class! Olivia and I are watching movies, reading, napping and baking since there's not too much to do in this weather! I am actually enjoying this lazy Monday a lot! 
Do you enjoy running in the rain? 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Barre Class

Today I woke up at 5 am and headed to my favorite place in the world...Newburyport, Massachusetts, for a Barre Class at Rasamaya Studio. I had never been to a class like this before and I fell in love with everything about it! According to the website a barre class is: 
RASAMAYA® BARRE is an athletic workout specifically designed to strengthen and lengthen your body. Classes are fueled by upbeat music and efficiently flow through all muscle groups. Create endurance and stamina through isometric strength training and increase your flexibility through focused stretching. The barre method is influenced by classical ballet barre technique, Pilates, yoga, and orthopedic exercises.  Barre is one of the fastest and safest ways to create results in your body by targeting those difficult to tone areas. The class is taught in a group setting, but offers personalized attention through verbal and hands-on corrections. As Rasamaya believes strongly in education all classes offer an anatomical theme.

I can't compare this particular studio and barre class to any others since it was my first one, but I loved everything about it! The studio was beautiful, welcoming, and clean! I loved the ceiling with strung lights, the big windows overlooking Newburyport, and the general calm and relaxing feel of it. The instructor was energetic, friendly, and did an amazing job explaining the poses, and welcoming newcomers into the class! The barre class itself worked all new muscles that I don't think I have ever used. I'm pretty sure I wont be able to walk tomorrow since I am already feeling the effects in my legs from the poses. I left with shaky tired muscles and knowing I had a great all over workout. The studio offers a 10 day pass for $10, so I will definitely be getting my use out of that and possibly buying a class package! The schedule is great and offers lots of class times and days, and for all you Mama's out there they even have a babysitting service! 
After my workout a took a quick jog over to my favorite coffee shop, Plum Island Coffee Roasters. I got a Sugar Free Vanilla Iced coffee with soy and walked the boardwalk back to my car. 
When I got home I swooped up my nephew Jake so my sister could head to work, made myself an egg white omelet, and am now enjoying some relaxing time hanging with Adam, Olivia, and Jake. 
The sun is shining and it is already warm outside so some playground time is definitely planned for today! I'm also hoping to get in a long run this evening when it cools off a bit!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend!

It's Friday before a long weekend, the true kickoff of summer, Memorial Day Weekend!  The weather is looking fabulous, and I'm sure lots of cookouts and fun outdoor plans are being made. I love a good BBQ, and nothing is better than being surrounded by family and friends enjoying good food, laughter, drinks, and sunshine! However, before the festivities kick off, I feel the need to acknowledge what this holiday is really about! The true meaning of Memorial Day is to remember and honor our fallen heroes and the families they left behind. These men and woman paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and for us, so that we can enjoy these BBQ and time with our family and friends. Being married to a United States Marine Corps Veteran, I have been surrounded by the military frame of mind. They are by far the most amazing, interesting people I have had the opportunity of getting to know. My heart swells with pride every time I tell someone my husband served in the Marine Corps, along with his father, and two of his brothers. Both of my grandfathers served and I am one proud American! I get chills every time I hear the song "Proud to be an American" as that was the song playing when my husband graduated from basics boot camp. I know the sacrifices these men and woman make everyday and the choices they are faced with to honor their country. They always put country first, themselves last. So please be sure to Thank a service member over this holiday weekend. It may not seem like much, but a simple Thank you is the least we can do! <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5pfBUUZNbFM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>iframe>
Last night before going to bed I planned on waking up early and jogging to the gym, getting in a glutes workout, then jogging back home. I set my alarm, read a few chapters of 50 Shades of Grey, then crashed! When I wokeup to rain this morning I hit snooze and decided driving to the gym would be a better option. After sleeping in for an extra hour I headed to the gym. After my glute workout I did 30 minutes on the stair climber while reading more of my book. I am finally getting into the first book, 300 pages in. I hurried home for breakfast and a shower before my nephew got here to spend the day with us!
I was craving salmon for lunch so after breakfast I toted this kids to Market Basket for some fresh fish. Lunch today is going to be delicious!
I'm about to start cooking up that salmon with some asparagus and sweet potato fries. Jake is sleeping and Olivia is helping me cook her lunch.
Adam took the night off from work, and I am so excited to have him around to hang out tonight! He is going to take Olivia to get some fishing gear so they can have some Daddy, daughter time this weekend! I am going to do some Yoga tonight at The Yoga Tree. Its great having two parents around so I can get in some "Happy Hour Yoga." I really miss yoga and try to go at least once a week. 
We are also going to make some of these this weekend....How cool are they?
Add cahttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Life-Beautiful-By-Sherry-Godsey-Cates/171850406234720ption

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weekend Recap

OK, I know I am a little late on this post, but better late than never! Last weekend was amazing and deserves a recap post! I actually wrote this, it got deleted somehow, I got frustrated, and I am finally getting around to rewriting it! So anyways, it was full of friends, family, and amazing weather! 
Friday night I met up with a couple of my girlfriends at Kruegers Pizza in Haverhill. If you have been following the blog you know that this is my all time favorite pizza places, and one of my favorite restaurants in general! Thank you to my sister, who watched Olivia for a couple hours, I was able to enjoy my girls night out in peace! The amazing girls I got to catch up with over dinner were Shannon, who is home for a short time from Virginia. Her husband is active duty in the Marine Corps so having her home was a special treat! She is actually going to be moving Florida soon with her three beautiful daughters and husband!  Samantha, who is 39 weeks pregnant and is due any day now with her first baby boy Carter. She is simply glowing and I am so excited to meet her little! I have known Samantha since 6th grade and she is an amazing person, friend, and I am so excited to see her become a mother! Bridget, who is a nurse on third shift was able to meet up before she had to head into work. Luckily I am a morning person so Bridget and I are able to meet often for coffees at least once a week! Bridget is planning her wedding which is going to be in October and I am honored to be a bridesmaid in it! So many exciting things happening for my friends. It was great to catch up over good food and lots of laughter! I started my meal off with an Iced tea and a Greek salad, both were amazing! Then Bridget and I split "The Pentucket" pizza on a whole grain crust, The Pentucket is my all time favorite, it's Oven Roasted Chicken & Tomato BBQ Sauce. Freshly grated cheddar and goat cheese, olive oil and sweet red onions.
Sam and Shannon shared "The Hillie" which is a Three Cheeses & Homemade Red Sauce. Freshly grated mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Baked with our own garlic oil and herbs.
Our meal was incredible....not that I expected anything else! Adam and I pretty much go to Kruegers or order takeout there once a week. I have NEVER had a bad pizza from there! 
After we went our separate ways I headed home to put Olivia to bed, and get myself to bed at a reasonable hour. We had a fun morning planned with my bestie Des! I woke up Saturday morning and did a 6 mile easy run. The weather was too beautiful to not take my workout outside! I quickly showered and got ready for my morning coffee date! Life gets so crazy and busy I don't get to see Des as often as I'd like but we have been really trying to get together on Saturday mornings! Des and her husband Clyde are expecting their first baby boy in October! I am so incredibly excited for the two of them and I know they will be amazing parents! We went to Newburyport and got coffees and scones from Plum Island Coffee Roasters. I got "The Aloha" iced latte which was amazing! The Maple Cinnamon Scone was pretty incredible as well. I'm not normally a scone person, but there's something about the ones from here that I just can't seem to get enough of! After our breakfast we went for a beautiful 3 mile walk. It was so nice to be able to catch up and chat about anything and everything going on in our lives right now! Of course the time went by way too fast as always! The rest of Saturday Olivia and I spent running errands, playing outside, and relaxing! When Adam got home from work I picked out the movie to rent, Hick, it was terrible, and I would not suggest wasting your time watching it! After the movie we headed to bed because we had a 10k Mud Run in the morning!! 
The Hoppin Mad Mud Run in Amesbury, MA was on Sunday. We had participated in this last year and had such a blast! The weather from last year was rainy and cold, so when we woke up on Sunday to sunshine and mid 70's it was a nice treat! It was a great time again and the event organizers did a great job fixing a few hiccups they had from last year! I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a fun time! The results are posted here. I was happy with the results! Before we left I got to see my cousin Danielle, my aunt Nancy, my mom, and my sister who were working on making the front of the house beautiful with some new plants! This is my cousins specialty, so it was nice to have a professional help us out with this! 

After the run Adam got called into work, boooo! It's hard to turn down Sunday overtime so he accepted it and headed in. After dinner Olivia and I decided 4 miles to Starbucks wasn't too bad and so I walked/ran for a coffee! It was so beautiful out that I was really glad we went. Olivia ended up falling asleep about ten minutes into the walk, so I enjoyed a relaxing, loosen up the legs type of walk! My mom called when I was on my way back to tell me they were going to stop by to say Hi and fix Adams tail light that had gone out! Thanks Mom and Dad, much appreciated!! 
The weather was incredible all weekend, and it was so nice to spend it outside. Even though my allergies are getting the best of me I couldn't have asked for a nicer couple of days! It's so true about the weather completely changing your mood. I've been able to enjoy dinners outside on the porch and it really makes me a more calm and happier person!  I can't believe its already Thursday and we have a long weekend coming up! The sun is shining again today so the kiddies and I are about to head outside to enjoy it! 
I promise it wont be this long for another blog post! Catch ya later! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sunshine makes me happy!!

Its so true about the weather affecting your mood! Its a gorgeous day out, its a Friday, and I have a great weekend lined up! My Friday started off pretty normal with an early morning gym session, Starbucks, an egg white veggie omelet with a piece of ezekiel bread and coconut oil spread on top, sprinkled with cinnamon! Perfection!! My workout was shoulders and chest and I could feel the burn today! When I stopped at Starbucks on my way home, they made my coffee as a grande instead of a venti....after a mini heart attack   I politely told the barista that it should be a venti, he poured it into it a larger cup, added more coffee, and gave me my coffee for free! Thank you Starbucks!! Every now and then I feel really guilty about the amount of money I spend on coffee, then I get real with myself. I don't drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, buy lunches, and I normally go out to dinner just once a week. I think my Starbucks coffee is ok, everyone has their thing and coffee is mine! 
When Olivia woke up she asked for pancakes, so pancakes it was!! We had a stonewall kitchen mix in the cabinet that my parents had given us for Christmas that I have been dying to try. We whipped up the batch of pancakes which smelled amazing, then I had a taste of one, and they were amazing! Thanks Mom and Dad! Olivia and my nephew Jacob enjoyed some buttermilk pancakes, turkey sausage, and strawberries for breakfast! They seemed pretty pleased with it!

After breakfast we headed outside for some sunshine. I was able to lounge and get in some vitamin D while the kids played on the play set. We were all pretty happy about this!
Jacob is napping now, while Olivia watches an episode of Mickey! I have the munchies today so I am already cooking up lunch! Today's lunch is chicken sausage, quinna, celery, peppers, onions, and spinach stir fry! I also had some blueberries while cutting up my veggies!
This weekend is going to be fantastic!! Tonight I have dinner plans with some of the girls at my absolute favorite pizza place Kruegers! One of the lovely ladies, my friend Sam, is 39 weeks pregnant and I'm secretly hoping she goes into labor at dinner! I am seriously itching to meet her baby boy! Sorry Sam, I know it wouldn't really be an ideal situation to go into labor at dinner. Anyway, if you are ever in the area you must try this pizza! Tomorrow morning my best friend Des and I are going to Plum Island Coffee Roasters for coffees, girl talk and a walk! We don't get to see each other as often as we used to, but I'll take every chance I can get to see this girl! She is pregnant with her first baby and just found out its a BOY!!! I am so happy and excited for her and her husband Clyde! They will be incredible parents and I know they'll make a darn cute kid!! Congrats guys! Love you both so much! Sunday I am doing the Hoppin Mad Mud Run with my husband. We did this run last year and had a blast! It's a 10k with obstacles and a huge mud pit at the end. Last year it was cold and rainy and we rushed home to shower and get warm afterwards, this year they are predicting sunshine and 80 degree weather so I'm really excited! Sunday night we are possibly going to sneak in a date night. I really, really want to see the new movie What to Expect While Your Expecting! 
Hope everyone enjoys this beautiful Friday!! xox

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Sandwich!

Man oh man do I have a delicious lunch idea for you all! I've been craving salt in a bad way lately, and yesterday at lunchtime I started craving Italian food. Chicken parmesan to be exact! I looked in the fridge to see what we had on hand and saw the grilled chicken Adam had cooked the day before, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese! Done! Craving satisfied! 

Chicken Parmesan Wrap
4 oz Grilled chicken
Marinara Sauce
Parmesan Cheese
Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas
1 TBSP Coconut Oil
1/2 C Spinach

I threw this together in less than 5 minutes. All I did was put the tortilla on a pan that I very lightly coated with cooking spray, let it brown a little bit then flipped it over. Tossed the grilled chicken in, covered with marinara sauce, spinach and sprinkled with parmesan cheese! I folded the tortilla together and let everything get warm and toasty in there, then once it was done I removed it from the heat and spread my coconut oil over the top. It was fantastic and the healthy fat really made me feel like I was completely indulging. 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Surround yourself with people who motivate you!

Some people have a "workout buddy", some people love working out alone, and some people are part of a team. I have quickly learned that the sport of fitness competitions can be very lonely....unless you take an individual sport and make it a team sport! That's exactly what Cathy Savage, owner of Cathy Savage Fitness did! Cathy Savage Fitness is a group of women and men from all over the world who support, coach, encourage, and motivate each other to meet their goals and dreams. I have never felt so welcomed, accepted, and inspired! It's amazing what happens when you have a group of people who are not competing against each other but together! As Mama Savage says "Its all about LOVE." 
As I competed for the first time with these woman I was truly amazed by the sisterhood from the very beginning of picking your first show, to the training leading up to it, right on through to the day of the show! Backstage was incredible and honestly my favorite part of the whole journey! Only a few people can really understand why rice cakes with peanut butter are really that good, or wont mind watching your walk and checking to see if bikini bite is needed so your suit doesn't raise into your butt on stage. When awards were given we cheered on our teammates who won, and really felt pure joy and happiness for there accomplishments! When people ask how I did in my first competition I can honestly say "amazing!" I had fun, made it to that stage, and many of my Savage Sisters won! It was an incredible experience! I wasn't sure if I would do another one until I got my feedback from Cathy. Then I felt inspired and can not wait to train for another one!
You can feel the love when you walk through the doors of the studio, there is no judging, no cliches, no cattiness, just love! Like I had said in a prior post, it is taking a little extra for me to get that motivation back that I had leading up to the show.  Yesterday was Mothers Day and since we had celebrated in Boston the day before Adam encouraged me to head down to Norwood for Sunday Session at Cathy's studio. Its about an hour drive and I started with the excuses...It's mothers day, My allergies are really acting up, I'll go next week. Then I remembered how much I love working out with those woman! I got my act together and enjoyed my Starbucks and my quiet drive down. As soon as I walked in I remembered why I was there! Always greeted with smiles, laughter, and inspiration. Lots of these women have competed many times, are well seasoned veterans, have appeared in Oxygen Magazine, and hold many titles from competitions. Working out next to them is an honor and privilege and gives me that extra push I need to kick it up a notch. Whenever I leave a Sunday workout I always feel ready to take on the week! I am already sore today and I know tomorrow will be even worse! Coach Mel and Cathy don't mess around with making it burn! A lot of these women are competing in Miami in just a few short weeks, and after being surrounded by them I feel the excitement about it and it really makes me want to go! Part of me just wants to go and cheer on these incredible competitors and just enjoy the excitement and inspiration they give me! I wish money and time was readily available! 
It is so important to spend time with people who make you want to be a better person. My family is always encouraging me to accomplish my dreams and goals, Adam always knows how to give me the extra push I need sometimes to get my butt into gear, and my Savage Family is a group of woman with similar interest, goals, and an understanding of what it's like to eat dark green veggies and white fish for two weeks. I am also blessed to have an incredible group of friends who support me! I couldn't imagine what  I would do if I didn't have all this support and positive feedback and encouragement in my life! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The rain is not an excuse to skip a workout!

I woke up this morning to rain....again. More than anything I wanted to lay in bed and sleep for another hour and listen to the rain, but I used the rainy morning as an "excuse" to skip my workout yesterday. (I did get a run in later on in the day because I felt guilty. haha) I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed at 4:20 and headed to Salem, MA for my favorite TRX class! The best thing about classes is already signing up for them and paying for them is a real motivator to not skip out! Class was great as always, and I was so happy that I went! It's true about never regretting a workout! I stopped by Starbucks for a light protein smoothie on the way home. I forgot to pack breakfast and it's a 45 minute ride home. It was really good and convenient, but I don't know if it was worth the $5 I paid for it! :)
It's funny how two weeks ago my mind was so focused on the competition that skipping a workout or taking a bite of something not part of my diet didn't even cross my mind! Meal planning was my primary focus and workouts just had to get done, no option!  I thought it would be so easy to stay strict and on track right after the show, but I'm finding that to definitely not be the case. I am slowly finding the motivation and drive that I had before to get back into it, but its really tough! 
After class I came home and got ready for the day. We were meeting my friend Shannon and her beautiful little girls at Amazement for a play date. Shannon's husband Bobby is an active duty Marine, so she is always living in different places and is home for a short time, so we knew we had to get the girls together and see each other too! I had an egg white omelet with peppers and onions, a slice of Ezekiel break with some coconut oil and sliced banana before heading out to meet them! 
It was so nice to see Shannon and the girls! I couldn't believe how big they had gotten. I have known my friend Shannon since I was probably 4, and she is an incredible friend, mother, and wife. She is one of the strongest people I have ever met and amazes me with how she raises her 3 little girls while living a military lifestyle. Adam and I dealt with one deployment before Olivia was born and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. There wasn't even any kids involved, I had one person to take care of, myself, and it was still incredibly challenging. Shannon and her husband have handled multiple deployments. She is that woman who somehow seems to always have all her stuff together! I don't know how you do it Shan, but I'm so proud of you!
Olivia's relaxing on the couch watching Shrek, and Jacob is napping! They are both worn out from the fun morning. I'm going to use this time to get some reading in. I've started on the Fifty Shades of Grey books now that i am done with The Hunger Games Trilogy! I hope it lives up to all the hype!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What's next?

The competition came, it went, now what? I feel like I spent forever training and dieting for this big event and now that it's over it feels weird to not have a goal. I thought I was going to love not having such a strict diet and workout routine but I am quickly realizing my mind and body needs that structure! I'm having a hard time getting back on track with the diet, but am having a lot of fun working out with energy and mixing up my routine a bit. Running, TRX, and lots of yoga were desperately missed as the competition grew closer and I could only fit so much into one day. So, I've concentrated on getting in some really nice long runs to burn off the extra calories I've been eating, and giving 100% to my much missed TRX classes with the best instructor Marjan! I have plans for some Bikram and Vinyasa yoga this week as well.

So, what's next? Well I jumped right into a road race on Saturday..The Boston Marine Corps Honor Run. I forgot how much fun it is to run with a group of running enthusiast and for such a great cause! I was honored to participate in this run and had so much fun with my friend Shawna. She even tried her very first iced coffee ever and fell in love with it! Granted it was from Mary Lous....and really what's not to love about the peanut butter wonderful from there?!  I ended up running around an 8 minute mile and was happy with my time and placement since I had done very little running leading up to the event! Every time I run in a race it always gets me motivated to want to sign up for all different ones in the area! Running is fun, finishing races is exciting, and breaking personal records and getting better over time makes me feel accomplished! The longest race I have ran was a half marathon last October and I honestly have a strong itch to run a full marathon. That being said, figure competitions and running do NOT go hand in hand, its a one or the other type of deal.
I'm 99% sure that on September 29th I will be competing in my next competition!! The show is right here in Boston and it is a beginner show, so it will be much smaller! I have a couple runs I signed up to do over the summer, but they are short distances that don't require too much training to do. It wasn't an easy decision since running will always be a passion of mine, but I would like to give another competition a chance, where I will know what to expect and can be a little less nervous. I can work on my body, and my stage presence more to bring the total package to the competition! I decided after this competition I will decide to either do another one or to start training for the full marathon!
There it is folks! My future goals. I hope you will continue following along on this journey I am training for called life....(Thank you Pinterest for that quote!)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fitness Universe Foxwoods Recap!

Wow, what an amazing weekend! I honestly can't believe this past weekend really happened. I stood on stage in a bikini and allowed myself to get judged by an audience of people and a real panel of judges! I've always cared a lot about what people thought about me, being judged negatively, and not being "good enough." I was never the girl who was athletic or in shape. Weight has always been a constant battle my entire life. I will admit I was nervous getting up on that stage, but I was proud and confident in the body I had worked on for months to create! This body had given birth to an amazing baby girl and now looked better than it ever had in my entire life. All the early morning workouts, the passing of desserts,  missed dinners out and drinks with friends was all worth it. I had worked my ass off and I was proud. I didn't worry about the audience judging me, and I had honestly already won the competition just by being there! It was an amazing journey full of ups and downs, determination and self doubt, undeniable support from family and friends, and belief in myself. This sport is much more mental than most people realize. Thank god for Cathy Savage Fitness, Coach Jules, and all the Savage Girls. They made the day of competition not only more relaxed but fun! 
Lets start with Thursday when the first coat of tanner went on! Yes, first of many coats.....shaving, tanner, nails, hair extensions, check! Thanks Melissa for putting in my hair extensions! I prepped all my meals for Friday and Saturday on Thursday night, so we would be ready to get on the road Friday afternoon. I finally made it to bed around 11pm Thursday night, but I was too excited to sleep! 
I woke up Friday morning around 6am and my friend Brooke came over to help me with the next coat of tanner! Thanks Brooke!! Around 11:30 we packed up the car and were on our way to Foxwoods Resort and Casino! Athlete registration was from 12-6 and I had a check-in with Cathy and the coaches at 4:30 so I wanted to leave plenty of time to get settled in! The drive down was a breeze, parking with my husband driving....not so much! Can't thank you enough for dealing with my hungry, emotional state Adam! Once we found a parking spot I was able to register with no lines, so we checked into the hotel which was beautiful!! I headed down to my check-in while Olivia and Adam got some dinner! I have to admit Foxwoods restaurants were the biggest tease for me on Friday. I wanted to try everything in sight from Ben and Jerry's, to Scorpion Bar (Nachos!) California Pizza kitchen, to a plain turkey sandwich! I was hungryyyyy!! 
Saturday morning came quickly! Today was the big day, I was up at 5 am, then down to hair and makeup at 7am. 5 Star Beauty was incredible! My makeup artist Jessica and hairstylist Jessica made me feel like a million bucks! They were so calm and accommodating! It was actually relaxing being in there getting pampered! I felt so incredibly beautiful walking out of their hotel room heading down for the stage rehearsal at 9 am! After rehearsal I ran into my family! I was so excited to see them but it did make me a little more nervous! My goal was to not see them until after the show so that I had no idea who showed up! haha. 
The rest of the day is kind of a blur. The day felt really long, but it all happened so fast! My incredibly supportive parents, Adam, Olivia, Sister, brother in law, best friends Des, Shawna, and Sam were all in the audience! I could hear Adam yelling when I stepped out on the stage but I couldn't see them in the audience. The lights were too bright! I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude that they made the drive out to Conneticut to watch my competition! I was also so overwhelmed with all the support I got from everyone else that couldn't make it to the show. The texts, facebook messages, cards, and phone calls were incredible! I couldn't believe all the support I had. Despite the long, long day I had so much fun and hope to do another competition eventually! 
The show didn't get out until around 11pm, and I was too tired to even change. I needed some food in my system quickly so Adam and I decided on California Pizza Kitchen! I was craving some serious carbs. We started with the hummus and pita appetizer and chips and guacomole. For my meal I ordered the steak tacos with avacado and Adam ordered the bbq chicken pizza. Everything was incredible! We took a quick glance at the dessert menu but decided to take a walk over to Ben and Jerry's instead! I got the ice cream sandwich in a cone and Adam got the Banana split (which I of course took a couple bites of) I must add that Adam basically ate a competition diet over the last few months so he more than earned his meals too! We got to the hotel room around 2 am and chatted for more than an hour about the day! I knew Adam was proud of me every step of the way, but it was really fun to see just how proud he really was now that I had completed my goal!! I was so proud of myself and it was hard for us to get to sleep but we were exhausted. We set the alarm for 9 am to give us time to get to our brunch reservation and checkout.
No alarm was needed since I was up at 6 am so excited about the previous days events!! Either that, or I was too excited about bunch to sleep. We had talked about brunch for weeks leading up to the competition and a huge thanks to my new friend Katie who found the PERFECT spot! It was right at Foxwoods, David Burke Prime Steakhouse. When I say this brunch was incredible I cant even put into words how incredible it was. They had everything you can imagine including a "sweets" table with cotton candy, nutella crepes, brownies, cookies, 7 layer bars, and a chocolate fountain. Um, need I say more??? I ate more than I care to admit! After brunch we headed on our way home to pick Miss Olivia up from my parents house. With one tiny detour to Mary Lou's for a Butter Finger Iced Coffee! 
All that food was incredibly rich, and everything I had been craving, but I must admit I feel so much better when I eat it in much smaller portions! My stomach hated me that night and I was happy to get back into the gym on Monday morning. My clean eats never tasted so good! I'm excited to set some new goals and enjoy the occasional treat here and there! 
The competition was photographed by Gordon J. Smith and can be seen hereFigure pics here! I am still waiting for the bikini swimwear pictures to be posted! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Week of show....Oh my!!

Wow, its here. Its the week of the show and in just a few days I will be standing in front of my family, friends, and complete strangers in an itty bitty bikini. I am so excited for this week to be here, it's months of hard work, an early morning gym schedule, and a strict diet all coming together to bring my best self to the stage. After our dress rehearsal yesterday I learned that my body is ready, my suits are ready, my hair and makeup will be taken care of by the amazing 5 Star Beauty Team, but my last thing to jump on board is my mind. I know what I need to do and I know I need to get out of my own head. Present my body, my personality, and just have fun with my Savage Sisters out there on stage! This should be an enjoyable experience and not something I am petrified to do! 
After a three hour rehearsal I was frustrated with myself and my husband and I knew a movie was just what I needed to release my mind. What better way to spend a rainy Sunday night than watching The Lucky One and thinking about nothing but the movie. Ah I love the movies! I was tired, but it was a great date night! Thank you Jennny for watching Olivia so we were able to go! We were home by 9:30 and in bed by 10. Perfect, especially since I had a 4:20 am alarm set! The movie was really good! I thought Zac Efron played the part great and they followed the book pretty well, although my husband pointed out a few things that were off. It had been years since I read the book so I didn't notice!
Saturday was one of my best friends baby showers! My friend Samantha and I have been friends since the 6th grade and she is having a baby boy, Carter, in just 5 short weeks! She is an amazing person, friend, and soon to be Mommy. Throughout the years of our friendship we have been close, drifted, gotten close again, but one thing that never changes is her love and support for me and my family. She is that friend who you can go months without seeing and nothing changes. She is the person who would drop everything she is doing if you needed her, and she is that friend who is going to drive 2 hours to Foxwoods Casino to watch her friends first figure competition and then drive back home when she is 4 weeks away from her due date. Congratulations Sammy and Duran, can not wait to meet baby Carter. The shower was so beautiful, just look at that cake! Love you!!

It's pouring rain today, I got in my workout nice and early so I can spend the rest of the day enjoying my daughter and nephew, working on my posing and walking, and mentally prepping and relaxing. This last week is such a mental challenge. My husband posted a great reminder to me "Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will. Feel the fear and do it anyways." 
Let's talk about this weeks eats, or lack of. Protein, and vegetables....and more protein and vegetables. With some water for dessert. :) Yeah that's about the diet for the next 3 days. Thursday and Friday I will get to have a small amount of carbs again. Can I tell you how excited I am for Thursday to get here?? Oats never sounded so good!! 
So the next few days are all about focus, getting in these last few workouts on a limited amount of food, mentally telling myself how beautiful confidence is, and trying as best as I can to be nice to the poor souls that have to be around me! 
Everyone has been asking me what I want to eat the most after the competition. Right now as far as "cheat" meals I am craving Chocolate!!! I have some Easter candy tucked away that I will be enjoying after the show Saturday night. Other than chocolate I am craving carbs, Chocolate chip pancakes to be exact! So brunch will most certainly be devoured on Sunday morning! Kruger's Pizza, and Ben and Jerry's S'more Ice cream. Other than that to be perfectly honest,  I have never wanted a bowl of oats, with a banana and peanut butter so badly!! The plan for now it to try to eat somewhat clean on Sunday, then back on track Monday. I'm really looking forward to fruits, vegetables, and other healthy dishes with flavor! I love variety and to cook up healthy dishes and its always nice to know a treat meal is planned for the end of the week! I love my weekly treat meals. 
Off to get this day started! Enjoy your Monday!