Thursday, July 14, 2011

Perspective Thursday

I feel like I'm looking out into the future and I can actually visualize myself coming along further than I have! For some reason, I woke up feeling better than ever! Might have been that Tylenol PM I took before bed. Not just better energy-wise, but so much better mentally and emotionally! I think since posting yesterday and verbalizing my desire to do the November 19th show, it seems that much more tangible. And it will be this time around!

I think my problem in the past was that I wasn't expecting life. I'm serious! I was probably a bit too ambitious looking to do a show in the months following graduation, but I learned that the hard way. And nonetheless, I still have a rockin' bod to show for all my hard work! I hit on it lightly yesterday, but I know I went into this training for all some of the wrong reasons. I wanted to look good--I wanted to be that girl that made heads turn and I figured the only way to do it would be to have my ass handed to me at the gym every day. I did it for very vain reasons. And I'm not ashamed to admit that, because I've found clarity and uncovered the REAL reasons for me wanting to compete.

It's not just about looking good anymore--and by looking good I mean being that thin girl. When I think of thin, I think back to high school when I was at the top of my game running all. the. time. Was I healthy then? No. My meals consisted of a protein bar or yogurt or cereal for breakfast, a salad from the school cafeteria for lunch (with fat free dressing of course), and another salad and/or a bag of Smart Pop popcorn for dinner. On occasion, I would occasionally eat whatever my mom made for dinner, but more than half the time I convinced her to make a salad. Sometimes I would even help :) But as you can see, I was not eating much protein AT ALL. There may have been a few grams in the yogurt and my salads were generally topped with one portion of some sort of meat--usually chicken or turkey. But not enough to make me feel any better than "skinny fat," and trust me, I only saw the fat part of that when I looked in a mirror. And yet, when I started this training journey, skinny fat was alright with me because it was still a far way off from my starting point.
No muscle tone! And yes, I did a summer
running San Antonio. And survived!

Skinny Fat--yuck!

My original goal was to achieve the body (and weight) I had back in high school. But back then, I was not lifting weights. I did an ab workout before bed (the same every night) and I ran. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying running is bad for you, and the workouts constantly varied, but I wasn't gaining any muscle. I was looking to be thinner, to run faster.

Training for a figure competition, I'm not necessarily looking to be thin; I'm looking to be strong. To feel strong. To show others that I am strong. It's all about strength now, and sorry to sound cliche, but I mean inner and outer strength. Sure, it's impressive to be able to deadlift more than your body weight, but inner strength is what takes me up that extra step to "Throw on another 5 or 10 pounds! Even if I can just get one, I will do it!"

I no longer want to turn head for being "that skinny girl." I want to turn heads for being "that FIT girl." This always cracks me up because in AP Bio, back in the day, we learned that fit refers to the ability to reproduce--trust me, THAT is not what I'm going for. Here, I'm referring to being in shape, of course! I want this competition almost more than anything right now (though a full-time job would be lovely...preferably one where I can stare at the sky all day)!

I look out, and I see the thing I want to accomplish:

  • Increase weights in everything, especially squats, deadlifts, and bicep curls
  • Get my abs to come out of hiding--I know they are there, they just have to show through!
  • Work on my leg definition
I'm really not that worried with my upper body, because that comes together pretty well for me. But I just want to push that extra step and be the best, strongest that I can be. In order to get there, I have a few changes I'm incorporating into my morning C/A/C as I refer to it (calves/abs/cardio):
  • Incorporate legs--alternate my sets of calve raises with sets of leg presses
  • Switch up ab routine--incorporate more weighted exercises
  • Throw in a few sets of leg extensions & leg curls every other day
In addition, I'll be doing another round of abs in the evening--I've done this the past 2 days, and it's actually helping alleviate what I was coming to refer to as "my evening bloat."

So there you have it--I have new motivation, new goals, and a NEW DATE! And to make it all that much more real, I'm greeted by this every time I walk into my bedroom:
MUCH more realistic!
I'm so happy right now, I can't really put it into words!


  1. Yay for happy Liz...and for a healthy body image! You really are beautiful!

  2. Hey Liz-remember that as a figure girl, your primary goal is muscle gain. Even bodybuilders aren't going to be as strong as power lifters. So in your training, I wouldn't go any lower than 6 reps if you are truly trying to get in shape for a show.
    Also remember that motivation will always go up and down, but its what you do with your time when the motivation is down that makes a figure girl. :)

  3. @Kristin: Thanks girl, you're so sweet!

    @Lacey: Wise words! Sometimes I forget that, my gym is SO full of power lifters--the whole "lift heavy" mentality accidentally sinks in. Just yesterday I saw a guy doing leg presses that needed TWO SPOTTERS(!!) just so he could get his ONE rep. I definitely don't agree with that kind of lifting!

  4. Sorry, my comment came off as more of a downer than I meant it. :) But I forget that too, last time I met with my prep coach he had to remind me not to do 4 rep sets... I like getting stronger too. :)

  5. I can relate to this alllll too well. So many people don't understand that skinny fat is really unhealthy, even if it "looks good"or appeals because of course THIN is much of society's perception of beauty -- although, this seems to be changing, at least I hope.

    Get it get it!! Contagious energy :-)