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My Fitness and Weight Loss Journal
my rants and ramblings...  

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Previous Posts...

Friday 6/3/2011:  Before we did my leg workout, today was Measure/Picture day. 4-Week Progress Report.
[deep breath].

After last week's awesome weight/bodyfat drop (3 lbs and 2%), this week was miniscule. Ounces lost, and .2 body fat% lost. Tab assures me that's ok this far out. To stay in a healthy mind-place, I'll trust her :-)  Here are the measurements...

April 8, 2011 May 6, 2011 TODAY - June 3, 2011
Chest: 34.75"
Thigh: 20.5"
Hips:  35"
Waist:  27.5"
Arm:  11.75"
Calf:  13.5"
Weight:  123 lb
Chest: 35.25"
Thigh: 21"
Hips: 34.75"
Waist: 27.25"
Arm: 11.5"
Calf: 13.5"
Weight:  124 lb
Chest: 34.5"
Thigh: 21"
Hips: 34.25"
Waist: 27.25"
Arm: 11.5"
Calf: 13.5"
Weight:  122.2 lb

Tab was emphatic that the visual changes are much more drastic than the measurement/weight changes. Particularly in regard to my body fat. Because one of the measurements used to calculate body fat is in the belly, my number will always be higher - at least until I have that tummy tuck. That's where my loose skin and excess fatty deposits left over from my obese-life are, and it skews my results.

To be honest, I never imagined I'd get my belly area as flat as it is right now... so the show aside, I'm really happy with that. I have 12 weeks left until I cross the stage, and Tab reminded me that I still have two major weapons in my arsenal that we haven't used yet... double cardio days and the killer diet change (the uber-sucky one where my calories are REALLY low and my carbs all but disappear). We'll probably pull those out at 6 weeks or so.  Additionally, we can continue to change up my workouts/schedule. She's happy with my diet where it's at (with the added fat and reduced protein we instituted last week).

So... enough stalling. Here's the pictures. [deep breath, just keep breathing, Chelle]. Oh... and be kind... this was 6:30 in the morning - pre-hair & makeup, LOL. And yes, my toenails are painted neon green :-)


Here's a side by side comparison to 4 weeks ago...

4 weeks ago... Today...

 Moving on (before I lose my nerve and delete the pics)... Here's today's food...

Breakfast -
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon plus half cup berries (post-workout). 
3 oz grilled chicken, Asian-Pear
Lunch -
3 oz  roasted pork tenderloin, 2 cups steamed cauliflower/broccoli, 4 oz baked sweet potato
Snack -
   3 oz grilled chicken breast & 1 cup steamed green beans.    
Dinner  -  Date Night! Chipotle Steak-Salad bowl. 
Pre-bed Snack
- half a scoop of protein powder mixed with a couple tbsp almond milk into a pudding.

Today's Numbers (click on the fitday icon above to view all the info): 1439 calories; 41% protein, 35% carb, 24% fat.     33.8 g fiber. 


Thursday 6/2/2011:  12:30pm... Awesome Product Alert! :-) A short time ago, I shared with you a company I couldn't wait to order from... Sweet Pure Honey. They kindly sent me samples, and let me tell you... I'm placing my order! I love it! Sweet Pure Honey - Fabulous products! Truly Love these products. I received 2 lip balms... one clear, and the other is a mineral lip tint, and a little packet of soap chips (3 varieties).

Now, let me first say that the company did not know I was a blogger when they offered to send me samples. It was simply their amazing customer service.

So let's start with the clear lip balm. I tend to shy away from lip balms. They're usually either nasty tasting or so full of chemicals that I end up with chapped lips, from the lip balm. Go figure. This balm is so smooth! No nasty taste, and it lasted through my 40+ minute sweat cardio session! Oh, and my shower afterwards! Nice!

Next.. the soap. Now, ya'll might remember that I'm kind of anti-soap, lol. I use my sugar scrub, and that's it.  No soap. It dries me out, it leaves gross residue. All around blek. So it was with great trepidation that I chose a soap chip and hopped in the shower. OMG. Heavenly! The scent (my favorite is the LOVE, though the spearmint is pretty darn nice, too) was glorious, it was smooth and soft - no residue, and when I got out of the shower, I didn't need to use a moisturizer... !! Seriously. Several hours later, my skin still feels soft. Excellent.

Lastly, the mineral lip balm. Delicately tinted, it feels just as good as the clear balm. I am loving it! My daughter, Bethany, tried it and I had to keep the fish eye on her all the way to Cheer practice this morning to be sure she didn't take it with her. She begged me to order her one. I am.

I love finding great products, and wanted to share with you that these turned out to be just as advertised... wonderful!!  :-)

8:30am... Yesterday after work I hit the gym for Tab's Ab Class (ow!) then did my 20 minutes of HIIT plus 10 of steady state. I used the elliptical, and cranked the resistance to 14 (incline stayed at 9 throughout) for my HIIT, and it was like running through mud - mud that was nearly concrete. Brutal. Had to shower before I could get ready for the bowling alley. Lol. Once at the alley, I hauled out my cooler for dinner. Figure Competition Diet - Eating dinner at the bowling alleyI was STARVING. I wrapped up half my tenderloin in the lettuce leaf, and just scarfed the other half. This was one of the days when 1400 calories doesn't go very far. Once home, I did a few chores then hit the sack. 5 a.m. comes awfully early, lol.

 My tea-jello experiment turned out well! I used 2 cups of flavored tea to make the jello, and while it's not sweet (duh, lol) it tastes like the tea - which was what I was going for :-) If you're looking for a no-impact treat, and you like jello, give the recipe a try. I have a feeling I'll be eating a lot of tea-and glutamine jello's this summer :-)  I put the recipes up, if you'd like them. Click Here.

This morning I hit the gym bright and early for my steady-state cardio. Stairmaster this time, for 40 minutes plus cool-down. That done, it was back home to ready for the day. Here's my cooler today...
Clean Eating Cooler - 1400 calories, figure competition diet Clean Eating Cooler - 1400 calories, figure competition diet
Breakfast - Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.
Snack: 3 oz grilled chicken, half cup black/raspberries
Lunch - 3 oz roasted pork tenderloin, 2 cups steamed cauliflower/broccoli, 4 oz baked sweet potato.
Snack - 3 oz grilled chicken breast & 1 cup steamed green beans.
Dinner (not pictured) - 3 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed zucchini.
Pre-bed Snack (not pictured) -Protein Ice Cream - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with 1 cup almond milk (chocolate, unsweetened) & 1 Tbsp peanut butter.

Today's Numbers (click on the fitday icon above to view all the info): 1446 calories; 42% protein, 28% carb, 29% fat. 38.3 g fiber.

I updated my Music lists today... so if you're interested, head over to my Workout music page :-) I've got a new list for cardio, and another for weights.

Competition update... Found out I don't get to pick my own posing music for the evening show (boo). All competitors (except bodybuilding) use house music. As I am rhythmically impaired, I am hoping whatever they play will be something I can walk to, lol. It's just another challenge, and not worth worrying about. 

I also learned that though I qualify for 3 classes, I can only choose 2. Don't know why, maybe that's how they keep one person from dominating? I dunno. So now Tab and I have to decide which two to put me in (Novice, Open, and Masters 35+).  I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but they also added a Bikini division, so we moved Ariel into my show so we could compete together as we'd originally wanted. We're 12.5 weeks out.

Wednesday 6/1/2011:  Welcome to June! Can you believe it?! Wasn't it just Christmas? Yeesh! Yesterday's food is all updated, and today's is right on track (see Cooler Page). It's Wednesday, so after work, I'll hit the gym for my 15 minute Abs class, then do my HIIT & steady cardio, then clean up and head over to the bowling alley (they tend to appreciate the cleaning up portion of my routine, lol). I've got dinner packed in my cooler and ready to go. I've got some Green Leaf Lettuce leaves I'll be dousing in mustard and wrapping my pork tenderloin in, plus some raw sliced peppers and almonds.

I'm particularly hungry today. I got home from my weight session and grabbed a baby-banana for the quick sugar hit for my muscles, and a protein bite (a failed experiment, but I needed the protein, and it was clean and handy). That got me through until breakfast (barely - I mean by the skin of the teeth-barely). Now I'm just past snack 1 and am still very, very hungry. Because of the banana & protein bite this morning, I don't have my pre-bed shake/ice cream, so dinner will be it for me. Unless I'm desperate enough to grab a cucumber. We'll see how it goes.

Here's today's cooler contents: (click on the pic to go to the cooler page)

Post Workout (not pictured)- 1 small banana & 1 protein bite (3g protein)
Breakfast - Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.
Snack: 3 oz grilled chicken, half cup black/raspberries
Lunch - 4 oz roasted pork tenderloin, 2 cups steamed cauliflower/broccoli, 4 oz baked sweet potato.
Snack - 3 oz grilled chicken breast & 1 cup steamed green beans.
Dinner - Lettuce wrap: 4 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups raw sliced peppers, plus 12 almonds.

Today's Numbers: 1407 calories; 42% protein, 33% carb, 25% fat. 37.7 g fiber.

My workouts are going well. I'm so very sore right now! Tab and I did Chest/Triceps on Monday and I really feel that bullets would bounce off my pecs. I am so, so, so very sore. The glutamine supplement I take (as a during/post workout drink) helps reduce muscle soreness, so I can only image how bad I'd be hurting if I wasn't sucking that stuff down! LOL!

Speaking of competition prep, I was asked a question today and wanted to share it here...

"How are you doing in the prep for your show?? Do you ever get the "I want to just give up" feelings, or are you consistently strong?"

Folks... I'm just me. A regular gal. Do I ever get the "I want to just give up" feelings?


Preparing to compete is hard, and I'm just as lazy as anyone else. Absolutely there are days I'd rather stay snuggled warm in my bed instead of heading out to the gym for an early morning workout... there's evenings when all I want to do is drive straight home and relax with a glass of wine and my family instead of driving back to the gym for more work. And the food... I really, really want food. :-)  I whine, I cry (especially during that stint when I wasn't seeing any progress... many tears with that). And I hurt. I'm sore, a lot. The glutamine helps take the edge off, but for instance, right now? My chest is so sore it hurts, really hurts to put on my seatbelt. It hurts to lift my purse to my shoulder.

Preparing to compete is also scary. I am beyond terrified. If I stop and think about it, I get sick to my stomach-gonna-hurl-scared. I am not a "stage" person. I'm a hide in the back-wings person. The mere thought of being on stage (clothed or in that tiny suit, doesn't matter), can paralyze me.

But this is what it takes to get to the next level. And there's a lot of positives in the process, too. I'm learning a deeper level of commitment and discipline. I'm learning I can be stronger. I'm watching my body change, when I thought I'd never see further change without surgery. I'm watching my body change because of my commitment and discipline. I'm growing and evolving. And I'm doing it in spite of my fear. And all of that... it feeds my desire to be more.

I'm still becoming "me". I haven't grown up yet. This journey to the stage is teaching me about myself. While I'm reaching for that goal, my focus is on the right now. I'm not allowing myself to worry about the next 20 steps... just the one that comes next. When the alarm goes off at 5am, the next step is to roll out of bed and get moving. When the workday is done, the next step is to drive back to the gym. When I arrive home, the next step is to feed my family (with food I've prepped on Sunday) and fuel myself. When the alarm goes off again the next morning... I just take that next step. Each moment, each meal, each workout... it's just one step.

I'm also trying to have fun with the diet... to experiment and try to find foods I can enjoy. Sure I could drink a shake like every other competitor out there, but it's a lot more fun to make it into ice cream! By going out of the box, I can enjoy the process more and I'm learning to be creative in the kitchen :-) That makes it fun.

Plus, my BFF is my coach! How cool is that? Someone to not only guide me in my journey, but who's been there themselves, and is truly, 100% beside me, for each and every step. That's empowering. So is the support I'm getting from my husband, kids and loved ones. Seeing their belief in me, helps me believe in myself. 

And your support... those of you who post comments and/or email me... I can't begin to tell you how much your words mean. There have been days when, honestly, it was one of those posts or emails that enabled me to take the necessary next step... times when that was exactly what I needed to get myself back on track or my head back in the game. I thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

So... am I consistently strong? No. I'm consistently weak. But I don't let it stop me.

Tuesday 5/31/2011:  What a fabulous weekend! I will be updating shortly, but until then, my Cooler Page is fully current. I'll be back!!

I'm back! :-)

I had a fabulous time with my Sibs! Wish Stacey could have been here, too, but so very grateful Jamie and Sylvia made the trip. We had so much fun, just hanging out and chatting. I miss my family!

So to do a weekend recap...

Friday morning I worked out with Tab and she kicked my ass (big surprise). After, I cleaned up and us Sibs plus Shiloh & Bethany (Ariel had to work) headed out to Arizona Mills. It's a bit of a drive, so when we go, we plan to be there awhile. Bethany being sillyWe made it about halfway through when Bethany suddenly realized / remembered she had Cheer practice! YIKES! We had just a bit of time, so we hit the food court where everyone ordered, and I pulled out my purse-chicken, lol. I had packed a chicken wrap and almonds which I enjoyed while everyone had their meals. We raced back to Scottsdale, to home so Bethy could change, then over to the studio, then (more calmly) headed to the big Whole Foods at Scottsdale & 101 fwy. I love showing off that store :-) We picked up veggie hot-dogs for my bro, and a Tiramisu Cake for dessert - it got rave reviews from the family. 

Back home, we chilled, then bbq'd, and chilled some more. They (Jamie & Syl) headed back to Sacramento the next morning :-(  But it was a fabulous visit!!

Saturday, I did a Zumba class with Tab. It was nowhere near as traumatic as the others I've attended, lol, I didn't cry once! Figure Competition Recipes - Protein Ice Cream, Ziploc - Chocolate Peanut ButterWell, not that anyone saw anyway. :-) I had more fun than frustration, so that's a mark in the plus column. After that, I talked Bill into taking some down-time and we hopped in the pool for the first time this year. It was glorious! The kids were all this way and that, so it was just us. Very relaxing day. And it ended with my latest protein ice cream creation... chocolate peanut butter. O.M.G. Truly amazing. Truly. Even Bill loved it! I needed some fat in my diet, and had room for the calories, so I added a Tblsp of peanut butter to my protein powder & almond milk, blended, then froze (ziploc style). Yummy!

Sunday was food prep. I hit Whole Foods, Frys and Sprouts. Clean eating on the runSprouts had the 100% clean chicken breast tenders on sale for $1.99/lb.  Score! They also had the better deal on peppers, zucchini and broccoli, as well as raw almonds for $3.99/lb.  I ate in the car, between stores - a protein shake (vanilla protein powder, a couple shakes of cinnamon and mixed with water) along with an apple and steamed potato (4 oz). When I got home it was to discover that the Beverly International Fairy had delivered my supplements :-) Wooohoo! Protein Powder! Yay!

 Beverly International - Trusted provider of supplements

Bill and I enjoyed Saturday so much that we made a promise to each other to do the same thing on Monday (Memorial Day). So Monday morning, I hit the gym for 40 minutes of steady state cardio, followed by an upper body workout with Tab (ouch!). That done, I came home, fueled up, changed into a bikini (yikes!) and hit the pool. Ahhhhh. A gorgeous day. Once the sun set, I decided to try my hand at some figure-competition-culinary-genius'ness. 

IFigure competition recipes - jello crave jello. Seriously crave jello. While I know that the wiggly-jiggly-yumminess is not for everyone, I absolutely love jello. And I figured out how to make it. I can't use fruit juice & I'm doing my darndest to avoid artificial sweeteners... So what does that leave me? Glutamine. That's right. Glutamine Select (with BCAA's) from Beverly International, to be exact. This delightful (and naturally flavored) powder mixes with water - you sip it before, during, after  workout/cardio, or during the day to help with cravings. It's black cherry flavored. And it makes yummy jello :-)

So very yummy! Ahhh. I ran out at lunchtime to pick up some flavored tea bags (peach, blueberry, etc) to try my hand at some other flavors of jello.  I have to be honest... that little half cup bowl of pink stuff makes me pretty darn happy. Happy enough that my second experiment failing miserably didn't even cause me to frown... because I have jello.

Here's the recipe:

figure competition recipes - jelloChelle's Glutamine Gelatin

1 packet unflavored gelatin
3 scoops Beverly Glutamine Select
2 Cups Water

Mix the glutamine in the water, until dissolved. Add 1/2 cup of the mixture to a bowl. Bring the other 1.5 cups to a boil (watch it, if it boils over you'll have a mess on your hands).

Sprinkle the gelatin over the half cup liquidGLUTAMINE SELECT Plus BCAAs552gm and allow to sit for one minute. Pour the boiling 1.5 cups liquid in and stir for 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until set.

Each half cup serving has 30 calories, 7 g protein. That's it. Awesome!!

Click on the image to the right to learn about the Glutamine supplement I take.


I'll let you know how the tea versions come out :-)

So... that brings us up to today. I started my day with yoga (love it!!) and will end it with cardio. In between I've been working like a mad-woman, lol.

Competition prep update... well, this coming Friday is picture & measure day. I'm actually looking forward to this one! I have been seeing some pretty major changes in my body, and I'm hoping they'll translate onto camera.  For one, my pants are all too big, lol. I started dropping weight, too. In one week (last week), I dropped 3.2 lbs and 2.3% body fat! YES!! Finally!  Cue the HUGE sigh of relief! Plus, I am visually recognizing differences... and the hubby is really seeing change (and liking it - always a bonus! LOL).

My food is all on track. We've made some minor tweaks to my ratios, but the foods themselves are all the same. I'm really having fun playing with my recipes to find fun and tasty treats I can enjoy without going off-diet. My protein ice-creams are awesome and leave me feeling "treated", and the new jello is simply fantabulous! :-) 

My workouts are brutal. I'm so very thankful for Tab and all she's doing to get me to my goal.

Food this week...

Sunday food prep got all my chicken and veggies ready to go, along with my oatmeal baggies. Food for the family this week is:

Monday: London Broil with steamed asparagus
Tuesday: Tostadas
Wednesday: Leftovers (bowling night)
Thursday: Pizzas (Alvarado St crust - 100% clean and very tasty!)
Friday: Chili & Jalapeño Cheddar bread (fresh)
Saturday: Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

My food of course is a whole lotta chicken and steamed veggies :-) Starchy carbs at lunchtime this week are either baked sweet potato or black beans. Veggies for steaming are: asparagus, broccoli/cauliflower, zucchini, and green beans.  Fruits for my morning carb are: apples, blackberries, raspberries, banana (only after weights). Morning complex starchy carb is my oatmeal. Fats this week include avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut butter and peanut butter (only in my protein ice cream when my numbers allow).

And there you have it! Up-to-date! :-)  This is Week 13 pre-competition.

Thursday 5/26/2011: It's Done! I can hardly believe it, my girls have graduated, and my baby is a sophomore. I feel ancient. Lol. Graduation was great, the girls looked beautiful. The next day (Wednesday)  was the grad party, and my sis & bro drove in from Sacramento. Awesome!!! So good to see them!!! My folks and other sister weren't able to make the trip, so I'm super grateful that Jamie and Sylvia did :-)

Here's some pics...


Food... Hmmm. Well. The good news is I haven't cheated. All my food is clean and my ratios are on track. But... I got a little distracted yesterday and missed some food. :-(  My bad. Seriously. Came in at only 1,000 calories for the day. And it was a weight lifting day (killer leg session with Tab that morning!). Dagnabbit. That was a major mistake on my part. :-( Not good. Today is better. I'm back on track. I started my day with a 40 minute steady-state cardio session on the stair-master, packed my cooler and have been on track ever since.

I'm working today, then tomorrow I'm hanging with my Sibs :-)  after my 6:30 am torture session with Tabitha the Terminator :-) Awesome!! I've been calling Tab the WGT (World's Greatest Trainer) for years... now that I'm back training with her, I am more convinced than ever, she IS the WGT. No Doubt. :-)

Food for today is up on the Cooler page. You can view the pics and stuff there :-) Dinner this evening for me is my usual chicken & veggies, but I've got a Enchilasagna for the family :-) (see recipe page).  Can't wait to go home and hang with the family! :-) Isn't the day over yet? LOL!! Happy Thursday!

Tuesday 5/24/2011: It's Graduation Day!! Shiloh & Ariel graduate high school this evening. Wow, time flies! I've got a short work-day today, and then I'm off to get cardio done, then all the mad-errands for tonight and tomorrow. Lots to do!! :-)

Last night after work, I hit the gym for my cardio - did 40 minutes, plus 5 min cool-down, on the elliptical - steady state. Headed home for dinner Salmon lettuce wraps (if I have my way, that's the last of the salmon!) with steamed broccoli & cauliflower. At bedtime, I was ready for my shake, but decided to do the "ice-cream" instead... OMG! I hit a winner! Remember dreamsicles? Those vanilla ice cream popsicles surrounded by the orange flavored ice? I nailed it! So incredibly yummy! Even Bill was shocked at how good it was (his lack of faith disturbs me, lol).

Dreamsicle Protein Ice Cream

1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (pure)
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 cup almond milk (vanilla, unsweetened).

Blend together, then pour into a sandwich size ziploc & seal.  In a gallon size ziploc, add ice and half cup of salt. Place small baggie in the big baggie, seal and shake about 5 minutes.

Calories: 182; protein: 21 g; carbs: 7g; fat: 7g; sodium: 350 mg; sugars 2g; fiber 2g.


This morning, I had yoga at 6:30 am. It was a great class (as usual) and really helped... I'm super sore from yesterday's workout, lol , my chest feels like it's going to explode. After work, like I mentioned, it's cardio time and then errands. We've got family in town from Northern California... and my siblings arrive tomorrow for the party. Can't wait to see them! :-)

Here's my food for today... the cooler only has breakfast through lunch in it, as I'll be heading out then, and eating the rest of my food at home.

Breakfast -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon. 
4 oz roasted pork tenderloin, 4 small strawberries & a small kiwi
Lunch -
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed green beans, 1/2 cup of black beans.
Snack -   (not pictured) 4 oz roasted grilled chicken breast & 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower.    
 -   (not pictured)5 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed zucchini/yellow squash 
Pre-bed Snack
- (not pictured) Shake or Ice Cream - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with 1 cup almond milk (vanilla, unsweetened) and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click on the fitday icon above to view all the info): 1413 calories; 51% protein, 30% carb, 19% fat. 42 g fiber.  Sodium: 685 mg


Monday 5/23/2011: Lots to catch up on! First, here are the pics I promised...

From Ariel's 19th Birthday...

Me and Shiloh, then Me & Bethany

Me and Joey... as you can see, my son is astonished that my phone can take "self portraits" with a simple mode-change

The Cupcakes...

Ariel's dessert - Mint chocolate chip ice cream and cupcakes... she couldn't finish! LOL!

But she tried!!

This is my dinner, while everyone was gnoshing on bbq chicken and cupcakes...

Friday night, Bill and I ran some errands, then hit up Chipotle for dinner. Here's the pic I promised...
Figure Competition Diet - Chipotle Salad

Saturday night, Bill and I attended a Scandalesque show. It was fun to dress up and get out of the house. Then Sunday was my usual Food Prep and Counter of Chaos. And Chaos it was! With Graduation on Tuesday, and the party on Wednesday, there was a ton of extra food & stuff that came home with me... and I have to go back on Wednesday for more! Yikes!

I am absolutely loving the protein ice cream recipe! I've tweaked and messed with it, and no matter how I do it, it's awesome! :-) Here's the recipe for my current favorite.

Here's the menu for the week...
Sunday - Chicken sandwiches on Bagel-thins for the family, grilled salmon & steamed veggies for me. FYI, I think that was the last salmon I'm every going to eat. Blek. There's just not enough mustard in the world. I'll stick with cod.
Monday: Grilled chicken salad
Tuesday - Graduation! Kids are every which way with visiting family members, so no "family dinner". I'll be having my usual grilled chicken & steamed veggies. I'll be taking a protein shake with me to the grad, too. It starts at 8 and goes and goes and goes.
Wednesday - Graduation Party! Friends, family, and us :-)  Everyone else will enjoy dips, chips, veggies, burgers, hot dogs, etc... usual picnic foods. I'll have my grilled chicken and raw veggies.
Thursday - My Siblings will be here! :-) They'll all enjoy the Chicken Enchilasagna (see recipe page), while I have my grilled chicken and veggies :-)
Friday - BBQ with the kids & my Sibs! :-) . My food... huge surprise!!! Chicken and veggies! LOL!
Saturday - Leftovers. Chicken & veggies for me.

Here's today's food... click on the picture to view all the images & nutrition info.

Breakfast -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack: 4 oz grilled cod with mustard in green leaf lettuce plus 4 small strawberries & a small kiwi Lunch - 4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of black beans. Snack -   4 oz roasted pork tenderloin & 2 cups steamed zucchini/yellow squash.    Dinner  -  5 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed green beans 1/2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil & sea-salt  Pre-bed Snack - (not pictured) Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click on the fitday icon above to view all the info): 1433 calories; 51% protein, 29% carb, 21% fat. 46 g fiber.  Sodium: 830 mg

My workout this morning was a KILLER. It was Chest, Triceps, Shoulders. I am already feeling tight and sore! Wooohooo! I have an option of either doing my cardio or attending Tab's Total Body Conditioning class... I'm kinda thinking cardio. Lol. We'll see how I feel in a bit. Speaking of cardio... I am now officially at 45 minute cardio sessions (was doing 30 min). And I am 14 weeks out from show.

Happy Monday!!

Sunday 5/22/2011: Shout With Me... "I'm ALIVE!!!!"

As I was doing my cardio yesterday, I was thinking. It was a 45 minute steady state session, which I find incredibly boring, so I tend to do a lot of thinking while I'm working, lol. I had my Competition Posing playlist going, and I was holding my heart-rate steady at 135, as I climbed 148 floors on the stairmill. Listening to the lyrics of songs I've picked that mean something special to me, I found myself digging deeper, pushing harder, each step taking me closer to my goal of crossing the stage in August.

I thought about where I'd come from. Heavy, miserable, in pain and sick at nearly 200 lbs. I thought about the journey; the pain, the struggle, the frustration, the rhythm I eventually found, and the joy when I hit my goal weight, then shot right past it. I thought about the challenges of moving into maintenance mode, the fight to find and hold balance, the steps I took to push myself to continue to grow and reach new goals. I thought about where I'm at right now... preparing for my greatest challenge - to step onto the stage at the OCB Arizona Natural as a qualified and prepared Figure Competitor. And I thought about where I'm going after that. And I thought about you.

I get a lot of emails asking me about motivation, and how I keep it. I ask myself often, what's the difference between my journey and the next persons? And I get asked, very often, how to rise above the struggle to reach goal. Since the day I hit goal weight and began my blog and website (, I've said that if I can do it, anyone can do it. I've believed that completely. I still do, but it's only partly true.

We, each of us, have what it takes to succeed. Each one of us has the strength, the drive, the ability to reach our goals. But some never will. No matter the tools, the advice, the need, some people will never do what it takes to complete a lifestyle change and maintain it. Why? When I've addressed this before, here and on forums, I've stated that the reason some people never reach goal is that they don't want it enough. I know that sounds oversimplified, but it's really not. The reason I was able to make the transformation I've made (not that I've arrived, but I have transformed and thrived), is that I wanted it. More than anything. I wanted it more than I wanted to keep eating junk and lay on the coach. I wanted it more than I wanted to have my life stay "easy". So I worked. And worked. And cried, and fought, and struggled. And I made it to goal, beyond goal, and I'm still going.

Each one of us is born with the indomitable human spirit. It's what causes us to take that first breath and scream with it, "I'm Alive!" Along the way, life - circumstances, environment, has leached some of that spirit from us. It's our job to take it back. To take that breath again, and scream, "I'm Alive, and I'm damn well going to stay that way!" I have that. YOU have that. Each one of us is capable of doing more, going farther, climbing higher. Capable, but not probable. Most folks will never leave their comfortable laziness. It takes something more to not be one of those people. You have that something more. Are you using it? When's the last time you felt that sizzle of life, when you wanted to shout, "I'm alive!"? When's the last time that you felt strong, capable? When's the last time you dug deep and finished a challenge?

You have what it takes to make the climb, and to stand on the summit of your goal and scream, "I'M ALIVE!!!"

If your goal is to lose weight, to reclaim health, the path is simple: Eat Clean and Exercise. There are no shortcuts, no magic pills. It takes hard work, commitment and organization. It takes your indomitable human spirit. It takes your desire to stand on that summit and know that YOU made the climb.

Motivation is fleeting. I know I say it alot, but it bears repeating... don't wait for motivation. You'll wait possibly forever. Act as if the motivation is there... do what you know you need to do, take the steps you know you must take, and let motivation catch up. It will. It might not be today, or tomorrow, or even next week. But if you do what you need to do, motivation WILL catch up to you. It might not stick around long, which is why it's so important that we continue to take the steps, continue to climb the mountain. Engage your drive to succeed. My husband says, "Drive is self-imposed motivation", and that really resonates with me. Motivation is like a butterfly, it'll flit in and out of your life, but drive is something else altogether. Drive is 100% in your control. Just like your eating is. You have 100% control over what goes in your mouth. Start there. Use your drive. This is YOUR journey! Own it! Self-impose that motivation, and take moments along the way to stand up and shout, "I'm Alive!".

As I finished my cardio on the stairmaster, I stood tall, I felt strong. I was sweating like a pig, my muscles ached, my knees whimpered, but in my head, I was screaming, "I'm Alive, and I'm damn well going to stay that way!"


Friday 5/20/2011: Go Since my computer at home died, I'm unable to post until Bill gets home with his laptop (and then I take command, lol).  
Quick recap....

Last night was Ariel's birthday dinner. I managed to get it all done (by the skin of my teeth). While they enjoyed their bbq chicken, I had my chicken (grilled with olive oil & Mrs Dash). The grilled veggies turned out awesome (and weren't contaminated, haha, by the bbq sauce, so I could have them, too). The cupcakes turned out well (I'll have pics on Monday), and Ariel couldn't finish her dessert, lol. She's so unused to sugar now, that the Mint Chip Ice Cream and cupcakes were serious overkill for her. LOL! 

6:30 am workout with Tab the Torturer. It was AWESOME. She killed my upper body. KILLED it DEAD. Wooohoo! :-)  
After, I was granted a huge boon by my gracious coach... half a banana and an extra half scoop of protein powder with my oatmeal for breakfast! YES!! Wooohoo! Seriously, it was as good as Christmas. 

The rest of the day was super busy, running from one thing to another. I inhaled my first snack (chicken breast and blackberries & raspberries) before I dashed out the door (again). Lunch was on the road, purse chicken & grilled veggies (forgot my baggie of black beans, darnit!), then had a protein shake for snack 2 when I stopped back by the gym to deliver Tab a couple of last night's cupcakes (gotta get those buggers out of the house, lol). 

For dinner, Bill and I went to Chipotle. I'd forgotten how easy it is to eat clean there! He had the tacos, and I had a salad: greens, grilled peppers and onions, steak (double portion since they were stingy - I managed to finally get about 4 oz), and salsa... lots of salsa. It was soooo good! Then we ran over to Safeway to pick up some supplies for a couple new recipes I'm trying this weekend. I'm so excited! Jamie Eason posted a Ziploc Ice Cream recipe that I'll do tonight instead of my usual protein shake, and then she had another recipe for Chocolate Protein Bars. I got online to and tweaked the recipe six ways to Sunday, and came up with several versions that will work with my competition diet (I'm going to try it sans-Splenda, so we'll see how it goes). I'm really happy about the possibility for "treat" snacks that don't hurt my competition prep.

The ice cream recipe is:
Fill a large ziploc with ice, then add 1/2 cup salt.
In a second smaller ziploc, add 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 scoop protein powder (she calls for 2 tbsp splenda, but I'm nixing that). Mix that well, then put the smaller bag into the larger bag and shake for 4-5 minutes. Voila! Ice Cream! 

There's some varieties here too... add some decaf instant coffee, and/or cinnamon. The version I'm doing tonight, since I'm low on fat for the day, includes 1 Tbsp of Coconut Butter. Can't wait!!! Is it 9:30 yet?  :-)  I'm going to have so much fun playing with this recipe! LOL! 

As far as my competition prep goes... I'm feeling fantastic! Having Tab as my coach/trainer has taken such an enormous load off me. These last couple months of prep for me have been stressful (yeah, understatement, I know). It's all been on me. Tab has been incredible - a huge support and source of direction and info, but when it comes down to it, I'm walking into that gym alone for every workout, I'm planning all the food. It was all me. And almost overwhelming. Every workout, I ask myself, did I work hard enough, do enough. It's doable, but draining. Having Tab take over that aspect of my prep is such a relief. Now, I show up, she pushes me, and when I leave I know I worked hard enough - Iknow I did enough. Tab won't accept anything less.  She's the expert, I just do what she tells me. I'm probably not explaining this very well, but it's such a huge relief! Now I can focus on the food (which is my passion anyway) and the process (which is what this was all about for me). I can appreciate the journey - each step, because this huge part of the responsibility isn't on me anymore. Does that make sense? 

Anyway. Tomorrow is packed... Cheer event, cardio session, and a million other things :-) I'll be baking those protein bars (maybe several versions, lol), and planning the next week's meals. I'm ready.  Come Monday, I'll be even more ready.

Bring it on!

Thursday 5/19/2011: Got everything done yesterday that I needed to, including my Abs Class and Cardio. Dinner was my standard chicken breast and 2 cups of raw peppers. They're so used to me and my cooler now at the bowling alley, that no one even looks at me funny anymore. Lol! I had a bowl of sliced cucumbers, but didn't end up needing it, so it's in today's cooler, just in case :-)

This morning, Ariel received her first birthday treat - a large Godiva chocolate bar from me :-) and then she headed to Pt-101 where Tab kicked her ass while making her wear a birthday crown, LOL!!  :-) While Ariel was sweating blood, I was at the gym doing my morning cardio. HIIT today, on the stairmaster. I do two HIIT sessions and 3 steady-state cardio sessions each week. For now, lol. So today was 20 minutes of my killer intervals, then 10 minutes of steady-state. My glutes screamed Tab's name with each and every step I took, lol. I'm fabulously sore from yesterday. Love it! The cardio was tough, HIIT always is, and I had to resort to my muscle chant to keep going... each step I muttered "Quad, hammy, glute. Quad, hammy, glute". Every step counts, and the way I'm feeling right now... each one did. For sure!

Food today is all per my usual. Dinner tonight will also be my normal chicken & veggies, though the rest of the family will be enjoying bbq in celebration of Ariel's 19th birthday. After work (that cardio this morning was all I had to do today, so I don't have to head back to the gym) I'll be whipping up those cupcakes. Can't wait to smell them! LOL! Bill is in charge of the grill and will be cooking the chicken & veggies, while I head up the rest of the food. Hopefully I'll have everything ready before folks show up.

So this morning we had a moment. It was a bit of a Despicable Me, The little boy and Gru scene. Remember when the little boy, right at the beginning of the film drops his ice cream and Gru makes him a balloon toy? The little boy is so happy at this unexpected gift! Wow! How cool! And then the moment. Gru pulls out a pin and POP goes the balloon toy. Yes. It was like that. Here's what happened.


I forgot to weigh myself yesterday, so I hopped on the scale this morning. Weight exactly the same, fine, no problem. Body Fat... WHAT???  It's dropped, again! ?? huh? Really? I mean, Yay, but... Really? Is this for real? Could I actually be seeing progress in this area? Finally?? Really? (yes, this is my lovely balloon toy).  I step out and say to Bill, "I just weighed, [you men reading this know that this is the exact moment Bill stopped listening and went into damage control mode] and it says my weight is the same but my body fat is at 23.9%!"  "Honey, don't worry about it. You know the scale doesn't tell the whole story."


There went my balloon. Remember, that's about 4% lower than it was 2 weeks ago.

It took me a few minutes to realize that he actually didn't hear what I said, that he was really just trying to comfort me, LOL. So being a wise, mature woman who deeply loves her husband and appreciates him, I of course pointed out to him his faux-pas and proceeded to razz him about it the rest of the morning. :-)  It's what I do.

That said... here's today's food... click on the photo to view all pics & nutritional info.

Contents: Breakfast -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack: 4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1/4 cup raspberries, 1/4 cup blackberries. Lunch - 4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of black beans. Snack -   5 oz grilled chicken breast & 1.5 cup steamed green beans.    Dinner  -  4 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed zucchini/yellow squash, 1/2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil.  Pre-bed Snack - (not pictured) Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click on the fitday icon above to view all the info): 1346 calories; 50% protein, 31% carb, 20% fat. 46 g fiber.  Sodium: 904 mg

And HERE you can see yesterday's food in photos :-)


Wednesday 5/18/2011: Let the beatings begin. YES!! Today was my first workout with Tab at Pt-101. I LOVED IT!! Apart from the time-with-the-bff-factor, Tab truly is The World's Greatest Trainer and it's awesome to have her skill & experience focused on getting me to my goal. Plus, all my weights got increased! Yay! Leg Press, Smith Squat, Deadlifts. Plus we did calf-raises, lunges with weights (onto a step), supermans, and water-pumps (one knee on bench, hold on to the bench, raise the other leg - toes pointed, and resist while she tries to push the leg to the ground, then pop the leg back up and do it again).

Today was Legs, and they're a'wobblin'!  I just took some Aleve, and I'll definitely have to ice the knees when I get home tonight. After work, I've got abs class, then 30 minutes of steady-state cardio on the elliptical. Next I'll clean up and head to the grocery store for Ariel's birthday dinner (tomorrow night) supplies, then to the bowling alley.

I've settled into the calories (1400/day) but the mornings are a challenge for me. Specifically breakfast to snack 1 time period. You know that trick Jesus did with the loaves & fishes? Can anyone do that to my oatmeal? PLEASE??? 

[haha, 10-points if you know who that is]

Once I make it to my first snack I level back out but pre-breakfast and on through that snack, I am one hungry girl.  And no amount of green-tea can fill that void, lol.

So about Ariel's birthday... she's turning 19 tomorrow! One of my deals with the family is that I don't mess with their birthday dinners. I don't require those meals to be "clean". It's a treat, and I let them have what they want. Usually it's not too bad, and I can always clean up recipes as I go. So when I asked Ariel what she wanted for her birthday dinner, with the understanding that for her it's an even more special treat (competition diet), she chose...

  • Honey-Barbecue chicken

  • Grilled peppers & Zucchini

  • Baked Beans

  • Artichoke Dip & Bread

  • Sweet Pickles

  • Triple Chocolate Cupcakes w/Chocolate Frosting

  • Fake Hostess Cupcakes

  • Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Creamgluten-free cupcakes cookbook elana amsterdam

LOL! Think maybe she's been craving some carbs & chocolate? Interestingly, the two cupcake recipes she is wanting are both out of Elana Amsterdam's new Cupcake book (which is a serious must-have!) and they're incredible (and clean, FYI)! I'll be baking those on Thursday for our family dinner. My only regret is that I can't enjoy a cupcake, but it's a pretty minor regret. Sure I'd love to have a treat... and Elana's cupcakes are seriously amazing, but... I'm on track. No cheats or treats for me. Period. I can bake these for the family, and I can appreciate they're appreciation. That works for me. If I absolutely have to have something, I'll pop open a diet pepsi. Yeah, I  know, not clean. Don't judge. Lol. It's all I've got.

Ok... moving on to today's food...

Click on the photo of my cooler to view all the pictures and nutritional information.

Chelle's clean eating competition diet cooler

Contents: Breakfast -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack: 4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1/4 cup raspberries, 1/4 cup blackberries. Lunch - 4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of black beans. Snack -   4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1.5 cup steamed green beans.    Dinner  -  (bowling alley) 5 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups raw peppers, 1/2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil.  Pre-bed Snack - (not pictured) Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click on the fitday icon above to view all the info): 1403 calories; 49% protein, 31% carb, 20% fat. 46.3 g fiber.  Sodium: 916 mg

Tosca Reno - Eat Clean Diet Cookbook 2, Warm Brussel Sprout SaladYesterday's food was all on track. I made the Warm Brussels Sprout Salad out of the Eat Clean Cookbook 2 - I pulled out a cup of it for myself before I added the walnuts. The consensus was - excellent salad, too lemony. It called for the juice of one lemon, so next time I'll reduce that to just half. It really was tasty, though :-)

You can view yesterday's food in photos HERE.



So after some blog reading over the last few weeks, I thought I'd share a few of the similarities and differences between my Clean Eating lifestyle and my Figure Competition Diet.


Rubber Chicken Hen Tote Bag Handbag Purse Pocketbook Henbag
Not this kind of purse-chicken, LOL!

SAME: Purse Chicken. Oh yeah, I carry baggies with 4 ounces of grilled chicken in my purse. And I'm not afraid to eat Purse Chicken in public... in the mall, the grocery store, the bookstore, the high school office, on the road... anywhere. This is to the great dismay of my children. Along that vein... apples, almonds, and other fruit/snacks also make their way into my purse. When it's time to eat, it's time to eat. It's a little ironic though, that the same girls who are humiliated by my Purse Chicken, know exactly where to look for a snack when they're hungry and we're away from home. Hmmmm.


DIFFERENT: Back to the Purse Chicken. When on Competition Diet, my choices are drastically limited... no almonds or granola in my purse with that chicken. Now it's (maybe) an apple, (more likely) sliced raw peppers, along with my Beverly LeanOut and my Apple Cider Vinegar pills. Oh, and my packets of instant coffee (real & decaf). When my competition is over, my girls will once again find "the good stuff" in my bag. They can't wait.


SAME:  Packing a Daily Cooler. My cooler is my friend. It goes with me everywhere, and has for a few years now. Fast food is no longer a part of my life (and I don't miss it at all!). From breakfast through my 4th meal (snack 2) and sometimes 5th (dinner) - all my food is in my cooler. Whether I'm eating for a contest, or eating for "real-life", that cooler is what keeps me on track.





DIFFERENT:  Back to the Daily Cooler. The variety of food has changed. When I'm eating for "real-life", my  food is diverse... different fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, proteins... I go for a rainbow of color on my plate. On Competition Diet, I have to be very aware of glycemic impact, so sweeter fruits are out - tart is in, I also have to be uber-careful of my carbs - hence I only get fruit once a day, and a starchy carb twice (oatmeal at breakfast and beans or lentils or brown rice or quinoa at lunch). Dairy is also temporarily cut until after the show, which means none of my favorite snack: greek yogurt with granola & berries. So while I still carry my cooler (everywhere), the contents have changed. But they'll change again after the show to a more well-rounded diet (btw, that's why I'm taking so many vitamins/minerals - to make up for what I've lost in my diet). 


SAME:  NO SUGAR. White refined sugar is nasty poisonous stuff. Blek! It's not welcome in my lifestyle, nor my competition diet. Apart from very-rare treats (aka Tammie Coe sugar cookies, lol), I don't use white sugar. What I do use, when I need a sweetener, is Honey (local), Raw Honey (local), Agave Nectar, Sucanat (sugar cane natural, it's less processed), Pure Maple Syrup.  I do NOT use Splenda, Stevia, Truvia or any of those. I don't use any artificial sweeteners. 


DIFFERENT:  Back to the Sugar deal...  My protein powder has a tiny bit of Splenda in it (but due to the high quality & flavor of the protein powder, I choose to ignore the splenda), and one of my rare treats is Diet Pepsi - those are the only sources of "fake" in my lifestyle. In my competition diet, Zero is pushed... meaning zero calories, zero carbs... I have a list of "acceptable foods"... splenda is on it, diet soda, sugar-free gum, sugar free jello, and a gazillion other sugar free (meaning sweetened with chemicals) things. My food is so limited that the "free" foods become a focus, to a certain extent. So far I'm holding out. I am drinking more Diet Pepsi than I have in the last year, lol, and I go through a whole lot more protein powder than in my "real life", but I'm holding to my position on the no fake stuff other than those two things. It's hard, though. And it's difficult to be in a position where I'm forced to consider compromising my lifestyle, for my goal pursuit. In the meantime, I'm eating a lot of cucumbers :-D  he he he.


SAME:  Ordering in a restaurant. It's not quite "When Harry Met Sally", but it's close. Whether I'm eating clean for my lifestyle or my competition diet, the meal ordering process is identical. Sauces either held or on the side. No cheese. Extra steamed veggies. No butter, oil, etc. No bread or pasta. No creamy anything. 


DIFFERENT:  Treat meals - in my regular life, I can enjoy a treat meal. For me, that typically means mexican food - chips & bean dip and salsa, a mojito or margarita or beer or a glass of wine, and a meal that might include some cheese, lol. On competition diet, there are no treats (hence the Diet Pepsi). 


How about something outside of my food....


SAME:  Body Dysmorphia. It took me nearly two years after hitting goal weight to stop seeing the fat-me in the mirror, but there are still times I struggle to see what's really there. It's one of the things that isn't talked about often enough - you can lose the weight, but you are still the same person, and if you had body issues before, you'll still have those issues after. I've come a long way in my journey, but I am still traveling. 

Competing has brought this issue back into the light for me. I'm discovering that more often than not, my dysmorphia isn't allowing me to see what's really there. I have to rely on those around me to be my mirror.  It's a bit like being color-blind, I guess. It's not that I want to see a distorted image, it's simply that I do. But I am determined to win this battle. I don't know how, but I will. In the meantime, I continue to trust the process, and trust those I've chosen to be my mirror - Bill and Tab, in particular. I'm so grateful for them!


Here's a few more things that are the same whether I'm competing or not...


  • I'm neurotic :-) I have lists of lists, and yes - I have a competition book that I update several times a day. 
  • I might be scared to step out on a stage, but I am not afraid to do my seated "happy dance" in the middle of Hard Rock Cafe. Correction... I am not afraid, the people with me become very afraid. 
  • I still love to bake! I actually can't wait to bake up the cupcakes for Ariel's birthday dinner because even though I cannot eat the cupcakes, I enjoy the process. 
  • I am still music-obsessed. Not only do I have playlists for everything, but now I also have an ever-evolving playlist for my competition posing, for my competition prep (weights and cardio - separate lists), and even another just for driving around. LOL. 

Bottom line... I'm putting in more effort in the gym, I'm on a stricter diet, but I'm still me... still growing, still learning, still moving forward. Can't wait to find out what I'm going to be when I grow up :-)


Ya know, the more I look at that picture (top), the more I think I'm going to have to find me one of those chicken purses. LOL! :-) And I'm suddenly in the mood to watch When Harry Met Sally... Hmmmm.


Tuesday 5/17/2011: Quick Q & A... "Chelle, what's your HIIT on the Stair-master look like?"  ~ via email. 

Ahhh, the stair-monster! I love it! It's so... insane! :-)  My heart-rate tends to SOAR on it, so doing steady state cardio is the challenge, rather than the HIIT, lol. I've done my HIIT the same way on the stair-master for a couple years, and when I first told Tab about it, she gave me this look, like, "That's not HIIT, my friend". So I drug her butt onto the stair-master one day to do it with me. Ha. Who won? I won. That, my friends was HIIT. And let's be honest, any time I can wear Tab out in the gym is a huge triumph for me :-) And maybe a little revenge. LOL! Here's the routine...

Min 1-3:  Warmup - level 6
1 Min: Turn it up to 8, turn sideways and hold on while sidestepping up. Press into each step up. If you're facing left, the left foot comes up over the right. This is a grapevine-step but on the stairs. At the end of the minute, turn immediately to the opposite side.
1 Min: Opposite side side-steps. Don't just skip up the steps, plant your foot on each step, stay upright, facing fully sideways. At the end of the minute, return immediately to facing forward.
1 Min: Skip-a-step-kickbacks. Step up, skipping a step, plant your foot firmly - feel it in your quad as you step up, then with the other leg, kick back tensing the whole leg - tighten that tush! Then swing that leg forward and up , skipping a step, and kick back with the other leg. Remain upright... don't lean forward. You will feel the step up in the quad, and the kickback in the glute and hamstring (and calf). At the end of the minute, slow down to 6 again, and catch your breath for 2 minutes (see next).
2 Min: "rest" - level 6. Each step, squeeze your butt. Each step. Squeeze!

Repeat until you hit 20 minutes, then reduce speed to 5 or 6 and go steady state for 10 minutes. Focus on controlling your breathing. Stay upright, no slouching or leaning forward. Big deep breaths in and out, while you make every step count. Each and every step is a push and squeeze. Lift your foot up, plant it, raise yourself (feel it in that quad) and squeeze your glute tight at the top of that step before you plant the next foot.

When you're done, your butt will be burning. If you can make the full minute for each of the intervals, increase the speed. Your heart-rate should be racing and completing each minute of the intervals should be difficult. 

That's my Stair-Monster HIIT workout. :-) Try it and let me know what you think!


So after yesterday's whining, my big news is that we have a Coach!!!! Woootwooot! The World's Greatest Trainer is now officially The World's Greatest Coach! Well, she was already that, but now she's ours! :-) Tabitha is taking over. Damn Skippy! We got the schedule all worked out and while I'm sure it will flex at various times, just knowing that it's set has taken a HUGE burden from me! I will be training with Tab on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6:30 am. Ariel will be training with her Tuesday, Thursday at 6 am. Thanks to John at PT101 for allowing us to train there! The end of my weight loss journey, and into maintenance, PT101 is where I worked out, so it's a little like coming home to go back for my competition training. 

After work yesterday, I headed to the gym for Total Body Conditioning. Ariel joined me (mwaha-hahaha!). It was (as usual) a great class and a fantastic workout. We were using the resistance tubes at one point, doing 21's -  you stand on the center of the tube, then do the curls. Well, my tube was so lax that I had to keep scooting my feet farther and farther apart trying to get resistance... Tab came over and swapped me resistance tubes... hers was the exact opposite! OMG! I'm shaking trying to pull this thing up, lol.  Good set!  :-) 

Once home, dinner for the family was the Crustless Spinach Quiche which looked and smelled amazing, and they tell me tasted the same. I had grilled chicken breast with mustard (What protein did you have for dinner, Chelle? Mustard. Um, ok, you had mustard with your protein... what was the protein? Dunno. Mustard.) and steamed asparagus. Just before bed I had my protein shake (1.5 scoops today, woohoo!).  My whole day's food in pictures is here (with the exception of my last shake, I keep forgetting to take a picture of that).

This morning, while Ariel got her ass kicked by Tab (hehehe), I did Yoga. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE Abbie's yoga class? Because I do. Big time! :-) She always gives me a  great workout, a fantastic stretch, and something to think about. Today it was about accepting all the little parts of yourself... to not just focus on transforming yourself, but to truly accept, and respect, all of you - even the parts you're working to change. Gee, that didn't hit me where I'm at. Lol.

After work today I have a steady-state cardio session (30 minutes), then tomorrow morning is my first workout with Tab. Woooohoooo! Let the ass-kicking begin!

Here's today's food...

Contents: Breakfast -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack: 4 oz grilled cod & 1/4 cup raspberries, 1/4 cup blackberries. Lunch - 4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of black beans. Snack -   4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1.5 cup steamed green beans.   Dinner  -  5 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed zucchini & yellow squash.  Pre-bed Snack - Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click HERE to view all the info and photos):
1434 calories; 49% protein, 29% carb, 22% fat. 46 g fiber.  Sodium: 1007.8 mg

By the way... You know your diet is strict when you find yourself searching through all the steamer bags of veggies for the one that has the most in it. LOL!

It's Tuesday, and I'm doing my best to stay on-track, not tied-to-the track. :-)

Monday 5/16/2011: Had some technical difficulties over the weekend. The power port on my mini laptop died :-(  Which meant no posting. :-(  So, here's the catchup...

Friday was busy... Tab's ASU grad was awesome (summa cum laude!!), then lunch at Hard Rock Cafe where she showed me how to order and still stay on diet. Turns out it's really no different from eating clean while dining out. Huh. Lol. The rest of my day was spent shuttling kids back and forth to various things, then I headed over to Bill's dad's to view the SplashGround (link coming soon, because it's so freakin' cool I just have to show you!), and then we hit up Safeway for some red meat :-)  We picked up some gorgeous New York Strips then headed home to grill them up on my Foreman Grill.  (view the cooler page for all my eating info).

Saturday was errands, errands and more errands. Though I did nail my leg workout plus a HIIT workout on the stair-master. My rear is still feeling it! Wootwoot!

Sunday... Sunday Food Prep and The Counter of Chaos !! I love Sundays :-)  I started my day at Whole Foods (FYI, the one on Scottsdale/101 now carries Tammie Coe in the Bakery!!! OMG! I'm so having a sugar cookie when this show is done!!! Best sugar cookies EVER!), then hit WalMart, Safeway, Sprouts, then home.

Here's my kitchen after unloading:

Here's the meat to be prepped -the pork ribs are for the weekend when I'll toss 'em in the crockpot or on the grill and bbq with corn on the cob for the family -I'll be eating my usual chicken & steamed veggies. The chicken and fish all got grilled up on my foreman.

Marinating meat... the fish was drizzled with Blood Orange infused Olive Oil and sprinkled with white pepper. The chicken was drizzled with garlic infused olive oil and sprinkled with Mrs Dash Tomato, Garlic & Basil flavor.

And here's the veggies...

I would be lost without my Ziploc Steamer bags and Mrs Dash! All Veggies were chopped then placed in the bags and sprinkled with Mrs D, Garlic & Herb flavor. The artichokes are for everyone but me, and they're just prepped as you usually would (trim, snip, clean) then placed inside the bag - that's it! You microwave them for around 5 minutes, then enjoy. Super easy.

And I made the usual batch of granola (recipe here)

And my oatmeal packets (half cup dry oatmeal, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 Tbsp ground flax seed, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a baggie). The baggies go in a bin in the fridge, and I grab one each morning on my way out the door. At work I just mix it with water and microwave.

Dinner for the family last night was the Crispy Chicken Bites from the Eat Clean Diet for Family's & Kids Cookbook (super yummy, it's a family favorite) - I had grilled salmon & steamed broccoli & cauliflower. Here's the "breading"... I mix it all up ahead of time and store it in the fridge for when we have this recipe.

And of course, Sunday Food Prep would not be complete without a batch of hard boiled eggs :-)  I actually do these first off, so that they have plenty of time to cool while I'm doing other things. After they're cooled, I shell them, then put them in ziplocs in a bowl. They're a great grab-n-go snack for everyone.

3 of the chicken breasts I grilled were destined for lunch meat... I slice it thin then store in a gallon-size ziploc.

Here's the family menu for the week...

Sunday: Crispy Chicken Bites with Sweet Potato Fries (grilled salmon & steamed broccoli/cauliflower for me)
Monday: Spinach crustless quiche & Brussels Sprout salad from Eat Clean Diet Cookbook2 (for me: grilled cod and steamed asparagus)
Tuesday: Grilled chicken sandwiches & salad (chicken breast & steamed veggies for me)
Wednesday: Leftovers (bowling night... chicken breast & raw peppers for me)
Thursday: Ariel's 19th Birthday... Barbecue chicken breasts, grilled peppers & zucchini, artichoke dip w/ bread, Boston baked beans and sweet pickles with chocolate cupcakes & mint cup ice cream. Can you tell it's her cheat meal? And the last one? After this weekend, her diet goes strict. (chicken breast & steamed veggies for me).
Friday: Date night! I'll order super clean - it's not a treat meal, but I won't have to prep the meal myself and that's a treat :-)
Saturday: BBQ Pork Ribs & corn on the cob with salad (chicken breast and steamed veggies for me).

Once prep and dinner were done, I got to chill for a bit before my last protein shake and then I crashed. Out like a light :-)

This morning, got my first cardio of the week done - steady state on the stair-master for 30 minutes plus 5 minute cool-down. 

Now Tab and I are trying to work out my workout schedule... hopefully that'll be nailed down pretty quick. I have to be honest, I'm really struggling. Not with the diet, but with my body. I'm trying not to, but I am really stressing over the lack of progress in my belly and lower body... further, I'm hoping that it's the sodium adjustment (please, god!), but my abdominal area is larger. Larger! My weight is the same as last week, 124. According to the Terrible-Tanita, my body fat % has actually dropped nearly 4%... in a week. Hmmm. Doesn't sound right. It's had me at 28% for several weeks, but the last two times I've weighed (Wed and yesterday), it was 24.4% ... yet my abdominal area is larger. I don't know what's going on. It's stressing me, it's weighing on me. I feel lost. I need direction. And, lordy I hate how whiney that sounds! I'm trying to push forward and stay positive. I'll keep trying.

On the flip side of that neurotic mess is that I'm seeing changes in myself internally... I hold myself differently, I feel more... stable, I guess, is the word I'm looking for. Stronger, emotionally and physically. More mature (though not grown up, lol, NEVER grown up!). I feel like I'm growing more into myself. When I'm not wigging out over "progress", I feel really good about my decision to compete. I'm strong in the diet and I think my lifestyle change (to Clean Eating) has given me the very best foundation for how I'm eating now. I chose to compete to achieve a new level of growth, to gain poise, and aside from my whining and crying, I know I'm on the right path.  I am confident of that.

Ok, moving on. Here's today's food (go here to view all the photos and nutrition data)...

Chelle's clean eating cooler - Figure Competition Diet

Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  
Snack: 4 oz grilled salmon & 3 strawberries & a small sliced small kiwi. 
Lunch - 
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of black beans. 
Snack -   4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1.5 cup steamed zucchini & yellow squash.    
 -  4 oz grilled cod, 2 cups steamed asparagus.  
Pre-bed Snack
 - Shake - 1.5-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info): 1427 calories; 52% protein, 31% carb, 17% fat. 31.1 g fiber.  Sodium: 675 mg (I will boost my sodium with sea-salt throughout the day)

Friday 5/13/2011: View Thursday's food in pictures here

Today was graduation for Tab, wootwoot! Awesome!! She and her hubby are off for a well deserved weekend now.

I will post my food pics later, but wanted to get a quick update in. I am on track, have cardio later today then leg workout tomorrow. Food is all 100% where I should be. Had to do a couple nogii bars today due to scheduling but that's what they're for.

New song option for the posing list... Lady GaGa, edge of glory... Let me know your thoughts on it if you hear it.

Thursday 5/12/2011: I have some Competition Prep updates today, but first let's cover food. Here's yesterday's food in pictures...

Breakfast - oatmeal, protein powder, ground flax & cinnamon with green tea snack - strawberries, kiwi and 4 oz pork tenderloin lunch - 4 oz grilled chicken breast, half cup lentils and 2 cups broccoli and cauliflower snack 2 - 4 oz grilled chicken breast, salsa, green beans dinner at the bowling alley - 5 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups sliced peppers, 1 mini cucumber

And today's cooler is right on track...

Chelle's clean eating competition prep cooler Clean eating cooler contents

Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  
4 oz grilled chicken breast & 3 strawberries & a small sliced small kiwi. 
Lunch - 
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of green lentils. Snack -   4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1.5 cup steamed green beans.    
 -  4 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed snow peas with 1/2 tbsp olive oil.  
Pre-bed Snack
 - Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click here to view all the info): 1436 calories; 50% protein, 31% carb, 19% fat. 45.4 g fiber.  Sodium: 447.7 mg

And now for my competition preparation updates.

You know how frustrated I was with my photos & measurements last week at my 4-week followup. Yes, there were some changes. I did lose in my hips - needed. good. yay. I gained in my chest (lost boobage but gained pec) - needed. good. yay (well, not the lost boobs part, but you know what I mean). Gained in thigh, lost in waist, lost in arm. All good. But nowhere near what I was expecting - realistically expecting, and then you toss in the gain in body fat. Tough pill to swallow. All that on top of hitting that wall so hard, then taking a couple mental health days, and I started this week a little shaky in the confidence department.

Dovetailing on my mental health break, my thoughts lead to finding what's broken and fixing it. I know that competing, preparing to compete, is really just a science experiment (and a lot of hard work and clean eating). Yes there are formulas that work for nearly everyone, but then there are tweaks in and out of those formulas that take a competitor from just being stage ready to being competition ready. It's time to tweak the formula.

Tab and I had an opportunity to really hash out some of this yesterday. One of my strengths is also one of my weaknesses... I'm literal. Seriously literal. If you tell me to eat X amount of calories with X-ratio, I will turn myself inside out to hit that mark. If you tell me to do this, when I'm already doing that, I will just do it... I won't say, but what about ____. I'm a suck it up and just do it kinda girl. Oh wow that came out so wrong. Moving on... so there's a few things that needed changing, and attention, and a few things that needed me to not be quite so literal and relax a bit. Here's the rundown...

Problem: Training. I was overtraining, hence the burnout. I was going from cardio to weights to classes to yoga, and repeating, day after day for seven weeks. I wasn't allowing recovery time. I know better! But here's that literal thing... if I'm told to do something, I do it, without thinking, "ok Chelle, if we do that [yes, I call myself "we" - don't you? lol], is it supposed to be in addition to or in place of? Let's find out before we jump in with both feet and burn out, shall we?" 

Solution:  RELAX. THINK FIRST, JUMP SECOND. Knowing that I wouldn't take several rest days in a row, Tabitha wisely rearranged my work for this week. I did not do my planned workout last night, instead (ha, there's that word! Instead! It's a new one for me!) I took her Total Body Conditioning Class (which included a 15 min. segment of just abs). Thursday's workout is postponed (legs) until Saturday, Friday's workout (back/biceps/triceps/delts) is cancelled altogether. I was assigned to do 30 min. cardio sessions today and tomorrow. I did today's (30 minutes steady state on elliptical), and felt very weird about not repacking my gym bag for tonight.

Next on training, Tab will be taking point starting next week. Because of her school schedule (she graduates summa cum laude on friday! Wohoo!) and work, she's been "overseeing" me, rather than directly coaching me. Now that school is out, she can take a more active role (read: beat the crap out of me several times a week). This will not only increase the intensity of my workouts (you never push yourself as hard as someone else can push you, it's just a fact), but it will also shake things up... I've been doing the same workouts too long. Yay!

This relieves my mind in ways I am incapable of articulating. While I have had Tab's input and advice, I've been doing this for 7 weeks (in the 8th week now) on my own... following a plan (to the letter), but frankly, afraid I wasn't doing enough, good enough. When I hit that stage, it's not just me I'm representing, it's Tab, too. It's her reputation as a trainer/coach, and I've been fearful of letting her down. I've been floundering, though valiantly, lol.

Now, I feel like a burden has been removed from my shoulders. Hopefully by tomorrow, we'll have our game plan in place. Right now we're looking at her training me 3x/week, with me doing assigned work on my own.

Problem: Diet.  I'm 100% on track, so why did I not see results showing that? Digging in, I took a closer look at my fitday reports (now I'm really glad I kept up with those!) and may have stumbled on the root... my sodium intake. If you've spent anytime going through my website, you know that I am huge on reducing sodium. Replace table salt with sea-salt, reduce your use of salt altogether, season with spices, buy meats that are not injected with salt solutions, etc, etc. I practice what I preach. I always know when a treat is loaded with sodium because my fingers and feet swell up almost immediately - I've become really sensitive to sodium.

In researching further, I've discovered that when the body has less than the required sodium, it wakes up a hormone called aldosterone that tells the kidneys to conserve sodium, and retain water. The out-take on this lovely hormone is that when sodium is increased, you swell up like Water-Balloon-Woman. Awesome right? Not. In addition, I've been noticing a lot of light headedness lately, and a few other things... my research (thank you Dr. Google, lol) again took me to deficient sodium intake. I average below 500 mg of sodium a day because the sodium I get is all naturally occurring (meaning not added, it's the natural sodium content of my produce, meat, etc), with the exception of the wee bit of sea-salt I sprinkle on my cucumbers. 

Could this be what's wrong? For everyday living, I think my sodium intake is just fine, but then you add in my increased training (sweat), and my increased water (1-1.5 gallon/day), and I feel fuggy and am not seeing the results I should.

Solution:  I can't believe I'm saying this, but I will be increasing my sodium intake. Weird. Back to the science-experiment aspect of competition prep, we're bumping me up to 1500 mg / day. I don't know how I'm going to do that yet, I'm researching today (you do know that I am the research queen, yes? lol). I'm anticipating a few days of water-balloon-lady, but then should feel results fairly quickly if this is the solution. If it's not, we'll try something else.   Welcome to the laboratory!

So... Those are my updates. Right now, apart from sodium, my diet doesn't change. I'm 100% on track with the diet. Everything else will come in line. I have to trust the process.

My girls graduate H.S. in a couple weeks, we have entertaining, celebrating, and so on happening, and then Bethany has major Cheer obligations (and financial ones for us). As soon as we're a little clear, I'll be buying the Julie Lohre DVD's for Ariel and I to help us with posing and such. I have a couple people in mind to ask for walking-coaching. And again once graduation is done, it's time to look at competition suits and heels.

Science experiment or not, I'm moving forward as if I will hit my mark - without a doubt. Regardless of my doubts.

Wednesday 5/11/2011: It's already noon! This day has been packed so far, and only promises to get more so! To catch up... after work I hit the gym for my Back/Delts/Biceps. Got it done. I increased all my weights, and reduced some of my reps, and killed my calves. The last three reps of each set of calf raises on the machine may or may not have been a full 3-count. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. Failure, in the best possible way.

Here's the workout (grouped together according to my supersets, little to no rest between):

Seated Cable Rows 3 x 12 (70 lbs)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise (3 directions - side, front, bent-over) 3 x 10 each way - 5 lb dumbbells for front and side, 3 lb dumbbells for bent-over)

Cable Curl 3 x 12 (50 lbs)
Lateral Pulldowns 3 x 12 (70 lbs)

Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 x 8 (15 lbs)
Dumbbell One Arm Rows 3 x 12 (25 lb) - I don't do these with a bench... mine are bent-over, with one arm braced on the thigh, the other holding the weight - this incorporates more muscle work, including core. To get in position, stand up, make a T with your feet, then take the front foot (facing forward) and step out 3-steps, bend over, brace your free forearm on thigh and raise the weight with the other arm. You'll feel this in your glutes, hamstrings, core, back and arm. I LOVE these :-) One of these days I'll get video/photos of this to post.

Calf Raises 6 x 15 on the weighted machine

Total time including warmup: 56 min.
Total Calorie Burn: 288
Heart-Rate: 120-156

After, it was dinner time... I made grilled chicken sandwiches and sweet potato fries for the family. I had prepped the fries on Sunday, so all I had to do was dump 'em on a tray and bake (love it!), and the chicken was already grilled (hello Sunday), so I just sliced it, brushed with garlic olive oil and grilled on the Foreman long enough to warm it up, then layered it onto their buns. I sliced the chicken lengthwise instead of widthwise... so it went bun (bagel thin, whole wheat), honey mustard, lettuce, chicken, cheddar (half oz slice), chicken, pepper jack (half oz slice), chicken, honey mustard, bun. They loved them, and they certainly looked tasty. I enjoyed my 4 oz grilled chicken breast dipped in mustard and my 2 cups of steamed broccoli & cauliflower. Shiloh may or may not have enjoyed poking fun at me during dinner. You be the judge.

Figure Competition Diet

After dinner, I iced my knee, did a quick mask (I hate doing that when everyone is home, but oy! Yes, my face is fill-in-the-blank color. So what.), had my pre-bed protein shake then crashed.

This morning, I hit the gym for my cardio. HIIT - I did 20 minutes of HIIT on the stair-master followed by 10 minutes steady-state, then a 5 min cool-down. Food today is all on track. My cooler includes everything except my last shake. After work, I hit the gym for Chest/Triceps/Abs, then clean up and head to the bowling alley. My dinner tonight is a 5 oz piece of chicken breast and 2 cups of sliced raw peppers... easily portable food.

Here's my cooler (click on the photo to view all pics and nutrition info)

Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  
Snack: 4 oz grilled pork tenderloin breast & 3 strawberries & a sliced small kiwi. 
Lunch - 
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of green lentils. 
Snack -
   4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1.5 cup steamed green beans.    
 -  4 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups raw sliced peppers (green, red, yellow, orange).  
Pre-bed Snack
 - Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click on the picture above to view all the info): 1437 calories; 51% protein, 32% carb, 17% fat. 45.7 g fiber.


Tuesday 5/10/2011: I love, love love companies with products that are sustainable, responsible, green, affordable, and practical. I love even more companies that are all those things and family run. Intro Sweet Pure Honey. While reading one of my favorite forums this morning, a post from Wendy Morley (Eat Clean Diet staff-person extraordinaire) led me to Sweet Pure Honey.  I'm in love! While I can't enjoy honey myself (comp diet) my family does indulge... daily! Plus, look at all the awesome products they offer! I can't wait to place my first order! I want 3 of everything! Ok, maybe 4. LOL!


And... more about food :-) Here's snack 1: 4 oz pork tenderloin with a small kiwi and 3 strawberries.

Lunch: 4 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup lentils and salsa.

Here's snack 2: 4 oz grilled Cod with 2 cups steamed green beans and salsa.

Remember earlier when I was talking about my free foods? If I make a whole meal out of my free foods, does that defeat the purpose? Hehehehe. 

No, I didn't really eat everything in the pic. I just ran to the store during a break to pick up some 'shrooms and chilies in case I need a boost in the p.m.  When I need something, but don't have a meal in the near future, I can fill a mushroom cap with diced green chilies and salsa, then steam it. A 3 oz Portobello cap (a biggie) is only 22 calories, 4.3 g carbs, 2.1g protein, .17 g fat and a whole bunch of nutritional goodness :-) Because it's a water-veggie, it boosts my water intake, too! Nice! (same with cucumbers and chilies, by the way).


Then, here's a quick peek in my desk drawer... I am nothing if not prepared (I might not be organized or neat, but I am prepared!). What you see here is an abundance of teas, coffee (decaf and full throttle), packets of tuna, NoGii snack basr, NoGii meal bar, Sriracha sauce, Taco Sauce, Honey (though I can't have that now), sea-salt, Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb, plain oatmeal packets, Ziploc steamer bags, a variety of bowls and utensils, and a packet of trash bags. Lol.

8:45 am... After work yesterday I hit the gym for my leg workout. I got it done and my hamstrings cried all the way home. My knee bothered me :-( But I will continue to work on stretching it and getting more range out of it. It's a constant battle. Back home, Taco Salad on the table in 10 minutes (love my Sunday food prep!). Mine was just a bowl of greens (kale, spinach, cabbage) and 5 oz of the beef topped with taco sauce. A few hours later I had my 1-scoop protein shake and crashed.

Woke this morning starving. Not a good sign. Yoga at 6:30 am (I'm keeping Abbie's class for as long as I can), and after my hamstrings were really, really weeping, LOL. Finally got to my breakfast (oatmeal, protein powder, ground flax & cinnamon), and started sucking down green tea. I'm still hungry. I've got cucumber in my cooler (soaking in rice vinegar, cracked pepper and a pinch of sea-salt), and had planned on using that later to help me bridge snack 1 to lunch, but I might have to break it out sooner.

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately... blogs of gals who are either seasoned competitors or first-timers like me. It's been eye opening to follow their journeys. One in particular had a post that really reached out and grabbed me about negative thoughts... if you have a few moments, give her a read:

What other blogs am I following?

On to Today's food...

Chelle's clean eating cooler - Figure competition diet

Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  
Snack: 4 oz grilled pork tenderloin breast & 3 strawberries & a sliced small kiwi. 
Lunch - 
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup of green lentils. 
Snack -
   4 oz grilled cod & 1.5 cup steamed green beans.    
 -  4 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli & cauliflower.  
Pre-bed Snack
 - Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

Today's Numbers (click on the cooler picture above to view all the pics & info): 1396 calories; 52% protein, 31% carb, 17% fat. 45.1 g fiber.

After work, I'll be heading back to the gym for my Back/Delts/Biceps workout. I may or may not do cardio today (plan to do Mon/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat, but might swap one of those for today).  Then, home for dinner... chicken sandwiches (grilled) for the family, plain grilled chicken & veggies for me.  And lots of cucumbers, Lol! Ooh, and I might grill a portabello... those are free on my diet, too! Maybe a portabello with green chili (also free)... ah geeze, I'm hungry! LOL! half hour until snack... where'd I put that cucumber?

Monday 5/9/2011: Ok, recap of the weekend. Friday was pics & measures. After, I ran my errands, got my workout done and headed to the mall to meet with my Hair God, Daniel. I have an arrangement with Daniel. I allow him to have his way with me. :-) Seriously, I don't tell him what to do... he's the expert and I trust him. That trust was tested on Friday when I heard the words, "Halle Berry" come out of his mouth. Wait, WHICH Halle Berry? While Tab snickered (we had tandem appointments), Daniel ordered me into the chair. Though it was difficult :-) I trusted Daniel to work his magic.

And I LOVE it! :-) It's very me-with-confidence, lol. So I have to pretend I'm confident enough to wear this cut :-)

For our anniversary, Bill and I went to Culinary Dropout in Downtown Scottsdale (Waterfront). YUM! The salted caramel flan is simply to-die-for. Uber Yum! It was really nice. I ordered the Ahi salad (which is really good), Bill got the Prime Rib Dip, and we shared an order of (real) cheese fries. I didn't feel even a little guilty. Afterward, we walked along the Waterfront for awhile. Nope, no guilt. Lol.

As a matter of fact. The whole "no progress" thing messed with my head so much that I had to call a time-out. I've been doing this since March 15... hard core. I've clearly hit a wall, and I needed a break. So I took a two-day mental health break. While I still ate clean (apart from anniversary dinner), I didn't worry about food. Or supplements. Or anything. I just breathed. If I was hungry, I ate. And today, my head is in a better place, I feel more sane, lol, and I'm ready to rock the next 16 weeks.

During my break, I realized I was out of whack on my exercise, too... I've been doing my cardio, my weight workouts, my classes, my yoga (fyi, that's 5 weight sessions, 4 classes, and 3 cardio)... no wonder I hit a wall! I'm spread way too thin. So I'm pulling it back in. I am doing 5 cardio sessions per week, 2 of them HIIT. I am doing 5 weight sessions per week. I might do one yoga class per week. I am not doing any other classes. I'm going to thrive through this process but I can't do that if I'm running myself into the ground. I'm going to eat clean, train hard, and see what happens.

Prom was Saturday night, and Shiloh looked gorgeous :-)
Shiloh Jacoby, Prom 2011

Mother's Day saw my usual Sunday Food Prep. The kids had some great gifts and cards for me :-) and Ariel had given me some Dove Dark Chocolate. And yes, I ate it. Chocolate is part of a mental health break :-) Week 16 (starts today) is all or nothing. From here on out, there are no cheats, no treats. So I enjoyed my dark chocolate.

My food prep included the usual chicken breast, a pork tenderloin, tilapia, cod, salmon, hard boiled eggs and lean ground beef.  Veggies: green beans, broccoli/cauliflower, asparagus, portabello mushrooms, artichokes (on sale!), and zucchini & yellow squash. Additionally I have kale, iceberg, green-leaf lettuce, colored peppers, and cucumbers.  Fruit is strawberries, bananas, apples, grapefruit, oranges (the citrus was free), and blackberries. Instead of my usual brown rice, I did lentils this week (green). More fiber, more protein, for the same calories & carbs as rice. Maybe boosting my fiber will help me get past this hump. I cooked them in low-sodium (70 mg per cup) chicken broth with Spicy mexican seasonings. I also baked up a batch of granola.

Here's the menu for family dinners:

Sunday: Spaghetti - homemade sauce with ground beef & veggies over quinoa pasta with baked potatoes & garlic cheese bread. **I had grilled salmon with mustard, a baked potato with salsa on it, and a salad (kale, spinach, cabbage).
Monday: Taco Salad - lean ground beef mixed with canned tomatoes & mexican seasonings (gotta love Mrs Dash!) over lettuce with tortilla chips. **For me... ground beef mix over kale/spinach/cabbage.
Tuesday: Chicken Sandwiches with Sweet Potato fries. **For me... grilled chicken breast, steamed portabello mushroom (free on my diet), and steamed veggies.
Wednesday: Leftovers. **For me... grilled chicken breast, sliced raw peppers, cucumbers.
Thursday: MeatLoaf & Smashed Potatoes. **For me... grilled chicken breast, steamed veggies.
Friday: Crustless Spinach Quiche.  **For me... scrambled egg whites with veggies and a salad.
Saturday: Leftovers. **For me... grilled chicken breast, steamed veggies.

Today's Food... (click on photo to view all pics and nutritional information)
clean eating cooler: 1400 calories

Contents: Breakfast -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack: 4 oz grilled pork tenderloin breast & 3 strawberries & a sliced small kiwi (skin on). Lunch - 4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup of green lentils. Snack -   4 oz grilled tilapia & 1.5 cup steamed green beans.    Post-workout/Dinner  -  5 oz lean ground beef on bed of spinach, kale & cabbage.  Pre-bed Snack - Shake - 1-scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

I'm at 1428 calories; 52% protein, 27% carb, and 21% fat.  Fiber: 36.2 g

Note: Coolers for Bill: Sandwich (Whole grain bread, Tillamook medium cheddar, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato, sliced grilled chicken breast from Sunday's prep), 2 hard boiled eggs, string cheese, strawberries, and a serving of granola, 2 scoops of protein & a shaker bottle, plus a NoGii snack bar and a NoGii full size bar to stick in his desk for "emergency".  

I did my cardio this morning... 30 minutes of steady-state on the elliptical. Tonight, I'm heading back to the gym for my Leg Workout.

And that brings me to current :-)

Hope your weekend was fabulous!


Friday 5/6/2011:

Friday's Phobia... Measurements & Progress Pics


Today was the day... four week progress mark. Weight, measurements, and pictures. Same bathing suit, different day, lol.  First thing Tab and I both noticed was that my bikini top was a'saggin. Dagnabbit! Didn't think I could lose anymore there! ROFL! Poor Bill. However, that said, my chest measurement was up half an inch (thank you, pecs!). There wasn't a whole lot of progress seen in the numbers. My body fat actually went up a scoshe... how the heck did that happen??? I know that measurements and the scale can be valuable tools to judge progress, but sometimes they don't tell the whole story. My photos showed more progress than then numbers, for sure.

Here are the numbers to compare:

4 weeks ago:                              Today:
Chest: 34.75"                              Chest: 35.25"
Thigh: 20.5"                                 Thigh: 21"
Hips:  35"                                     Hips: 34.75"
Waist:  27.5"                                Waist: 27.25"
Arm:  11.75"                                Arm: 11.5"
Calf:  13.5"                                   Calf: 13.5"
Weight:  123 lb                             Weight:  124 lb

So I've gained pec muscle, thigh muscle, lost a bit in the hips, waist and arms, and my calves have remained the same. According to the WGT (World's Greatest Trainer), this is all good. She's not worried about any of it, after all, I'm 17 weeks out. She told me I look better than I ever have, and if I get hung up on the numbers she'll pull me right now from competition. Scary WGT would do it, too. So I'm determined to keep my head in the right place, and despite my phobia of photos, I am relying on them to show me that I am changing. Mostly the only place I see it is in my rear end.

On that note, here we go...  Four weeks ago is left, Today is right (and yes, technical difficulties equal fuzzy pics. Next time I'm using one of the kids' cameras):

Frustrating to not see a BIG difference in four weeks, but it is what it is. I know that these pictures don't show the details, the muscle I've gained in my back, the definition I'm beginning to see in my abs, the continued definition in my arms. I can see it, I just have to hold on to it.

So now, I'm out the door... I've got to pick up a boutteiniere for Shiloh's prom date, do my workout, clean up , get my hair done (Tab's getting hers at the same time - Girl fun time!), then meet Bill for a late anniversary lunch/early dinner.

I'm off and running! Happy Friday!


Thursday 5/5/2011: I. Hit. The. Wall. I am exhausted. It hurts to walk. illustration of hip flexorsMy hip flexors scream with every step. After Abs class yesterday, in which they seized up at the end and I had to stop, I realized that in 3 days I'd hit my abs hard 4 times. Not being one to stop and actually think for a moment, I moved on to my cardio... 20 minutes of HIIT on the stair-master followed by 10 more minutes of steady-state. By the time I was done, I was wasted. I had to shower at the gym before I could put in an appearance at the bowling alley. As I chatted with Tab while we each gathered our stuff in the locker room, I had to drop to the bench and sit. I was DONE.

I headed to the alley, where the guys bowling went late... didn't get home until almost 9:30. I really should have made a shake, but honestly didn't have the energy to shake the shake! All I wanted to do was go crawl into bed, but I drug myself to the kitchen and put together the  guys' lunches, sipped some decaf coffee, then crashed. Hard. Overslept this morning and debated rushing to make it to yoga for about 30 seconds then laid back down. The only give in my schedule is Thursday morning yoga, and this morning it gave. I just couldn't do it. I slept until 6, then began my day. Exhausted. Hurting. My hip-flexors are viciously sore. I made my way back to the kitchen to pack my cooler and discovered that Bill had forgotten to take the lunches. I very nearly sank to the floor and cried.

How ridiculous is that?

Worse... I've been beating myself up all morning over skipping yoga. I have photos and measurements tomorrow, and I'm wigging over missing a yoga session. Like one session is going to make up for anything I did or didn't do in the last four weeks. Stupid.

I'll be really glad when school is out and Tab and I can put our heads together over my path. I'm feeling lost. I have a plan, but the plan keeps changing, and I know it's because we haven't been able to really sit down and give it 100% focus. I started prep early - way early - and I know that factors in, but I have more work to do than the women I'll be competing against. I'm rambling. Ugh. I'm tired. My allergies have me completely stuffy, and my asthma is acting up. Had another attack during the night (wth?). Out of nowhere.

Gonna quit whining now. Moving on...

Food today. With everything, including an end of day shake, I'll be at 1487 calories, 48% protein, 32% carb, 20% fat. (click here to view all pics and nutrition data)

Chelle's clean eating cooler - figure competition diet. Chelle's clean eating cooler contents - figure competition diet.

Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon and a Coconut Water.  
4 oz grilled chicken breast & 5 strawberries. 
Lunch - 
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup of brown rice.
Snack -   4 oz grilled chicken breast & 1 cup steamed green beans.    
(not pictured) Post-workout/Dinner 
 -  5 oz chicken breast, 2 cups steamed asparagus, 4 oz sweet potato w/ half tbsp olive oil.  
(not pictured) Pre-bed Snack
 - Shake - 1.5 scoop protein powder mixed with water and decaf coffee.

On another note... I just got turned on to this gal: Snack-Girl. Her blog today had a recipe for a virgin cucumber margarita... I'm loving the thought! I'm thinking I might have to play with this and reduce (or eliminate altogether) the "sugar" (honey), but I might have myself a cool drink to sip through my figure-prep summer!

I'm definitely spending some time exploring on her site today! :-)

Workout... This evening I'll be hitting Legs.. my last leg-day of the week. Here's the workout:

Romanian deadlifts 3 sets 10-15 reps
Wide Leg Press  (using wide stance) 3 sets  10-15 reps

Leg Curl 3 sets 6-8 reps
Walking Lunge 3 sets 12-15 reps (I add a kickback to these - lunge then as I rise, I kick back the back leg and tighten from toe to tush)

Weighted single leg raises 3 sets 12 reps each leg
Dumbbell Squat 3 sets 12 reps (holding 15 # dumbbells)

Calf Raises 6 sets 15 reps holding weights

Tomorrow plans to be a busy day. I've got measurements & pics, a long workout, a hair appt, and my anniversary. I know I'll be on the go, so I've already tossed a NoGii protein bar in my purse (2 actually), so that I'm not caught without food, though I hope to be able to hit all my meals with actual meals. I'll be having my treat meal for our anniversary, though we're not sure, scheduling wise, when that will be.

I'm working on a new playlist for my workout tonight... need a boost. Music usually does that for me. 


Speaking of music... Posing Music... The debate rages on! We had it down to 3 songs, then added more, LOL! Decisions, Decisions! Here's what we've got... and of course, I'm still taking suggestions (hint hint!) 

1. The Afters - Never Going Back to OK
2. Maino - All the Above (feat. T-Pain)
3. Lifehouse - All In
4. Usher - More
5. Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day
6. Sick Puppies - Rip Tide

Wednesday 5/4/2011: I saw a woman today at the gym. I was finishing up my cardio warm-up on the elliptical and she was finishing up a session with a personal trainer. Her face was flushed, she was dripping with sweat, she was heavy, and she was ready to give up. I could see it in her eyes. She'd lost hope, and the only reason she was in that gym at that moment was because she'd paid that trainer. It was clear. As I watched her, she looked away from the trainer, across the room, and for just a moment her eyes locked with mine. She looked at me, up and down, then this expression I can only label "disgusted" crossed her face, and she turned back to the trainer, finished her last set and with her shoulders drooping, walked away.

I wanted to chase her down! I wanted to beg her to not judge me, or judge herself by me. I wanted to tell her I used to be fat! Fatter than her, actually, and that YES, the journey is hard, but it's so very worth it! Please don't give up! Don't think about how far you have to go, just take this next step, then the next. You'll get there! Please, don't give up.

While part of me really resented the "look" she gave me, I remember being guilty of handing those out myself. I have been maintaining my weight loss for 2 1/2 years, during that time, I've continued to sculpt my body and build muscle. I bitch about hard workouts, and lack of treats, but I am thriving. I do not, have not, will never forget what it was like to be fat. I will never go back. And sometimes I have a nearly irresistible urge to chase someone down in the gym and explain that. But I don't.  At least I haven't yet. It wouldn't be appropriate. So I will use this space here to say it... Don't Give Up! Please, Don't Give Up! You Are Worth This Journey!

10am...  It's 10am and I'm pooped! :-)  Last night after work, I hit the gym for Back/Delts/Biceps. I finally managed to do my one-arm rows without hitting my boob every time, lol. Coordinated, I am not. Here's the workout (grouped together according to my supersets, little to no rest between):

Seated Cable Rows 3 x 12 (60 lbs)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise (3 directions - side, front, bent-over) 3 x 10 each way - 5 lb dumbbells for front and side, 3 lb dumbbells for bent-over)

Cable Curl 3 x 12 (40 lbs)
Lateral Pulldowns 3 x 12 (60 lbs)

Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 x 8 (15 lbs)
Dumbbell One Arm Rows 3 x 12 (20 lb) - I don't do these with a bench... mine are bent-over, with one arm braced on the thigh, the other holding the weight - this incorporates more muscle work, including core. If you stand up, make a T with your feet, then take the front foot (facing forward) and step out 3-steps, bend over, brace your free forearm on thigh and raise the weight with the other arm. You'll feel this in your glutes, hamstrings, core, back and arm. I LOVE these :-) One of these days I'll get video/photos of this to post.

Calf Raises 6 x 15

Total time including warmup: 1:02
Total Calorie Burn: 298
Heart-Rate: 115-140


Bill went with me to the gym. He did his own thing, while I did mine, then he joined me as I finished up. I asked him to spot my form on the one-arm rows - since I'm trying to use heavier weight, but not mash my boobs (lol) I wanted him to help me make sure that while I'm focused on not hurting myself, I'm still doing the exercise correctly. Form is King. Well, I had supersetted the rows with incline curls (hate those), and when I finished up the last set, I turned to Bill and asked if my form was ok... he hadn't said anything, and I was in my zone anyway, so now that I was done, I was like, oh wait - was my form good?  He gave me this funny smile.  ?? Ummm, hello? how was my form? "Excellent".  ?? what's with the funny grin?  "I like watching you do those. Your ass looks great when you bend over like that." 




Ok, well, thanks, but... REALLY??? Did you even watch my form? My EXERCISE form, I mean? ROFL. "Oh, yeah, that looked good, too."  


Men. :-) 

After my workout, I headed home for FOOD! Lol! We had the pecan crusted chicken and steamed zucchini & yellow squash. 

This morning, I was back in the gym at 6:30 doing Chest/Triceps/Abs (grouped according to supersets, little to no rest between).

Incline Dumbbell Press (20 lbs) - 3 sets of 10
Flat Dumbbell Press (20 lbs) - 3 sets of 12

Pec Deck (I did Cable Crossovers instead - 25 lbs) - 3 sets of 12
Tricep Pushdowns (40 lbs) - 3 sets of 12 (with a 3-count hold at the bottom as you squeeze the tricep like you're trying to push the bar through your thighs)

Lying Tricep Extensions (skull crushers) with 30 lb barbell - 3 sets of 12
Abs - 2 x 30 reverse crunches on a bench
Abs - 2 x 30 leg raises on bench
Abs - 2 x 30  Knee tucks on bench

Time to complete (including 5 min warm-up on elliptical): 50 minutes
Calorie Burn: 320
Heart-rate info: 135-157

After, I chugged a protein shake and downed a banana, then was off and running. Got to the office and readied my oatmeal (with protein powder and ground flax), sat down to eat and realized I was exhausted! LOL! Barely 9:30 am and I was beat! And righteously sore :-) After work, I'm headed back to the gym for my Abs class & Cardio session, then I'll clean up and head to the bowling alley to cheer on my boys, and eat my dinner (chicken wrap).

Here's today's food (calories are a tad higher than yesterday, but it's what I need). Remember you can click on the picture to view all the pics and the nutrition info.

Chelle's clean eating cooler contents - Figure Competition Diet

Post Workout:
 Shake: 1.5 scoops protein powder mixed with water & decaf coffee, and a banana. 
Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  
Snack: 4 oz grilled chicken breast & strawberries. 
Lunch - 
5 oz  grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup of brown rice.
Snack -
   Protein shake (1.5 scoops protein) & 1 cup steamed green beans.    
 -  5 oz chicken breast in a wrap (high fiber, low carb) with 1 cup spinach & 1/2 cup cabbage and mustard.  
If I absolutely need it, I will do another shake (1 scoop) before bed, but my calories are on the high end today, so if I don't need it, I won't have it.

Total numbers for the day: 1574 calories. 50% protein, 32% carb, 18% fat. 42 g fiber.

Note: Coolers for the boys (hubby Bill & his dad): Sandwich (Whole grain bread, Tillamook medium cheddar, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato, sliced grilled chicken breast from Sunday's prep), 2 hard boiled eggs, string cheese, strawberries, and a serving of granola.

Note 2: Ariel's food today: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon; Snack 1: 4 oz grilled chicken, apple, 24 almonds; Lunch: 4 oz grilled chicken, 2 slices whole grain bread, 1 slice Tillamook Medium Cheddar & spinach; Snack 2: 1 cup cottage cheese & 1/2 cup blackberries. Dinner: Beef & bean burrito (clean) with salad. Snack 3: protein shake. Approx 1700 cal.


Tuesday 5/3/2011: Is it Friday yet? Please? Major teen-drama in our house last night. Sleep was NOT restful. I keep hearing my mom say, "This too shall pass."  It better.

Class last night was awesome. Tab kicked my rear, and my abs, and my shoulders... you get the idea. I'm deliciously sore today (yes, I am twisted). Yoga was at 6:30, and while I did not want to roll out of bed, I did it anyway.  I'm glad I did. There are some days where it's really hard to drag my butt to the gym, but I have never done it for one of Abbie's classes and regretted it. On the contrary, I always leave her classes feeling refreshed, energized, challenged, empowered and strengthened. Thank you, Abbie!

Tonight after work, I have my back/biceps/delts workout, then it's home for dinner. Hopefully dinner will be sans-tension/drama. Hey, dreams are free.

Today's food is... drumroll please... just like yesterday! LOL :-)

Chelle's clean eating cooler - figure competition diet
 click on picture to view all pics and nutrition data.

Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  
Snack 1: 
4 oz grilled chicken breast & small grapefruit. 
Lunch - 
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed broccoli/cauliflower, 1/2 cup of brown rice. 
 2 -   4 oz grilled london broil  and apple.    
 -  5 oz chicken breast with 2 cups steamed asparagus.  
Snack 3: 
1.5 scoops protein powder mixed with water & decaf coffee.

Including everything, I'm at 1476 calories for the day, 50% protein, 32% carb, 18% fat. Damn skippy - you'd think I meant to hit those numbers, lol!

Note: Coolers for the boys (hubby Bill & his dad): Sandwich (Whole grain bread, Tillamook medium cheddar, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato, sliced grilled chicken breast from Sunday's prep), 2 hard boiled eggs, string cheese, strawberries, and a serving of granola.

And now... it is lunchtime. Excuse me while I go inhale my fuel.






Monday 5/2/2011: Happy Monday!

Yesterday organic hot dogwas my usual Sunday Food Prep... My Foreman Grill was smokin' all afternoon and evening! 15 lbs of chicken breast grilled up (seasoned with basil-infused olive oil & Mrs Dash Tomato, Basil & Garlic), then I grilled hot-dogs for the family for dinner (clean - Applegate Farms), then I also grilled up some eggplant (sea salt & olive oil) for me to go with my seared Ahi (on sale!) lettuce wraps.

Seared Ahi Lettuce Wraps with grilled eggplant

I chopped all the veggies... broccoli & cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and put them all (in portion size) in steamer bags w/ Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb. I also have Zucchini &  Yellow squash, and sweet potatoes for additional veggies throughout the week.

I chopped and froze excess strawberries (I might have gone a little overboard last week). I chopped cantaloupe and stuck it in a big Ziploc in the fridge for the kids to munch on.

I mixed up the oatmeal/flax/protein powder/cinnamon baggies. I readied my baggies with 1.5 scoops of chocolate protein powder for shakes.

I made the granola.

The brown rice is bagged in half-cup servings.

The chicken is weighed, bagged and labeled in 4 and 5 oz servings, plus 3 chicken breasts were sliced thin for lunch/sandwich meat.

Oh, and the laundry got done :-)

One more... of course I made the Chocolate mousse pie :-)

Menu for the week... it's a crazy week. Bill and I celebrate our anniversary on Friday, which is also the first day of Bethany's Cheer/Tumbling coaching and Saturday is Senior Prom. We also have the usual bowling night on Wednesday.

Sunday: (clean) hot dogs, chili & pop-chips (Tuna lettuce wraps & grilled eggplant for me)
Monday: bean & beef burritos & salad (grilled salmon & steamed asparagus for me)
Tuesday: Pecan Crusted Chicken & steamed veggies (I will also do some Tilapia for Wednesday's lunch)
Wednesday: Leftovers (Chicken wrap for me)
Thursday: Spaghetti with meat sauce (homemade & clean). (Grilled chicken & steamed veggies for me)
Friday: Grilled Chicken with steamed veggies
Saturday: Anniversary lunch-treat meal; dinner - grilled chicken with steamed veggies

This morning I hit the gym at 6:30 for Leg Day. When I was done, I stretched, then foam rolled, then jumped up to put away all my stuff (I hate when people leave mats & such just laying around.. put it away!)... and walking back to my notebook I realized...

I wasn't limping!

Look Ma, No Limp!!! Woohoo! I always limp a bit after a leg workout (and cardio). But today...  No pain! I got home, dumped my bag and ran up the stairs for coffee (yes, the coffee pot is in my bedroom, lol) and NO PAIN going up the stairs! Not even a twinge! I'm 19 weeks out of knee-surgery and I finished a workout without limping, and ran up the stairs without pain! AWESOME!!!!

Here's the workout I did (little to no rest between):

Alternate x 3:
Leg Press 90 lb  15 reps
Squats   15 reps

Alternate x 3:
Hack Squat (sled weight only)  15 reps
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 30 lb bar  12 reps

Straight Leg Raises (with resistance tube) 3 x 12 each leg
Medicine Ball Crunch - 30 x 3
Medicine Ball Crunch with Raise 30 x 3
Plank - 2 x 2reps of 60 seconds

Stretch & foam roller knee.

Calories burned: 327
Time: 1:03
Heart-Rate: 121-155

Tonight is Total Body Conditioning Class. I was sore all last week after last Monday's class :-) We'll see what Tab has in store for me tonight!

Food Today is much the same as it has been, lol. The repetition does not bore me. Frankly, I eat my meals at my desk, and so am not really "experiencing" my food anyway. It's just fuel. Now... my anniversary lunch at the end of the week is a whole 'nother story! :-)  Here's my eats:

Chelle's Clean Eating Cooler

(not pictured) Post-Workout Shake: 
1.5 scoops protein powder mixed with water & coffee and a banana.
Breakfast - 
 Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  
Lunch - 
4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed green beans, 1/2 cup of brown rice. 
 2 -   4 oz grilled london broil  and small grapefruit.   
(not pictured) Post-workout/Dinner 
 -  6 oz (pre-cook weight) grilled salmon with 2 cups steamed asparagus. 

Coolers for the boys (hubby Bill & his dad): Sandwich (Whole grain bread, Tillamook medium cheddar, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato, sliced grilled chicken breast from Sunday's prep), 2 hard boiled eggs, string cheese, strawberries, and a serving of granola.



Sunday 5/1/2011:

Waffle - Syrup Side Up

As you can see by my title, I am still THE WAFFLER, but my waffle is currently syrup side up :-) Yesterday Shiloh, Bethany and I tried a new thing. Tab, being the Fitness Director Extraordinaire, organized a super creative intro to Spinning. Karaoke Spin. Search for it on YouTube, and you'll find a news-piece that will have you cracking up and wondering where you can try it.

Now, the backstory... I am afraid of spinning. Deathly afraid. Everyone tells me how intense it is, how crazy spinners are, and I've been quite content with my stairmonster, elliptical and occasional treadmill for my cardio. I take my crazy in small doses, thank you. Tab gets this Karaoke Spin thing in motion and encourages me to try it. It's a great intro to spinning, it's fun, you'll like it... Fine. I'll try it. But I'm not going alone. Ariel only escaped because she had to work, but Shiloh and Bethany became my hostages for 90 minutes on a Saturday.

More backstory... related to my super-hero ability to waffle. I have this workout outfit - cute top, matching pants - I bought it as part of my "reward" when I attended the Arnold Sports Festival as an Eat Clean Diet Ambassador. It was expensive (actually they were expensive, I bought two outfits), but I felt like a million bucks in it. The vendor who sold them to me was a little crazy himself, lol, but really helpful self-confidence-wise to me. He treated me a little like his personal barbie, dressing me up in what he wanted to see me in - or rather, what he wanted me to see myself in. It was a bit intimidating, trying on and modeling these amazing workout outfits amidst competitors and vendor-girls running around in little more than their birthday suits and killer bodies. It was a very stretching experience, but I felt part of my reward in buying the clothes was actually feeling good in them in that setting. Well, you know me... once I got home and my body confidence waned, those outfits hit the bottom of the workout drawer. I wore the blue one once... for my "after photo" for my upcoming Oxygen Success Story (hits mid July!!). That's it. Bottom of the drawer. I tell myself I'll wear them when I've leaned out, and am closer to the competition. I tell myself I'll wear them after the competition when I've gained more confidence.

Well, I pulled out the blue one for yesterday's class. I put it on and the waffling began. It's too snug, I look chubby. It's too fitted, I look like I'm screaming for attention. I finally decided to suck it up and just wear the damn thing, but I put a sports bra and regular tee-shirt in my bag to take with me. No one's ever accused me of having too much confidence. Well, they have, but they were idiots. Anyway. Now we're cutting it close time-wise, so out the door I go. Tugging on the hem of my top. In the parking lot, I realized I was running for the super-super hero award for waffling. I decided to let Tab be my mirror (a role she's played regularly for nearly 5 years). If she looked at me funny or said it was too tight/snug/blatant, I'd change. In the door we went, and there's Tab. Here's the moment of truth.

"Wow!" she said. "You look great!"  Hmmm. I continued to scan that face I've learned to read so well, and... not a hint of censure. Her eyes were wide and clear as she told me I looked really pretty. Not something I normally hear as I walk in the gym, lol. I guess my skewed view of what's in the mirror was truly skewed. So I forgot about the change of top in my bag and we headed to class. Here I met the instructor who would lead our 90 minute spin-foray. Cute. Seriously cute. And fit. And competent. A little intimidating. As we spoke and set up,she kept looking at me. I mean really looking at me, up and down, staring at my arms, my face. Back came the shirt-insecurity. Should I change? Damn, I should change. Too late now, but look... they're shutting off the lights! Cool! 

90 minutes later, I've had a seriously fun time. I loved spinning! LOVED it! I'm sweaty, worn out, hungry, and ready to sign up. The lights come on and the chatting begins. After several minutes, the instructor looks at me and says, "Do you have a daughter named _____?" "Nope, I've got another one named Ariel, though." "Huh." Huh? "I could have sworn..."  eh? "It's just that, I know this girl, _____, and her mom is a figure competitor... you're the spitting image of her."

If I wasn't already off the bike, I'd have fallen off. My insecurity dropped away, I could feel myself blossom. It was a moment. Wow. A seriously WOW moment. Then my waffle started to slide.... I pulled Tab aside, outside the class, "Did you put her up to that?" There are no words for the look she gave me, lol. "Chelle, it wouldn't even occur to me to do so". And again, that look. The "You've got issues" look. ROFL. Ok, waffle is syrup side up again.

Back home, Bethany (who won the Awesome Karaoke Spinner award and an iTunes gift card!), ate then passed out on the couch... for the rest of the day, lol. Shiloh wanted to look for her graduation dress, so I said I'd change and we could go. NO. She wouldn't let me change my top! She said, "You look good, let's go". Now... Shiloh is my fashion guru. She will not allow me to be seen in public with her unless I meet certain standards. My typical Saturday-post-cardio-wear does not meet those standards (might be the do-rag, lol), but she's dragging me out the door in my snug little workout outfit.

A couple hours later, she's found her grad dress and we're back home. Where Bill does a double-take when he sees me. He really likes the outfit. Really likes the outfit. Hmmm. Either everyone around me was smokin' something special, or my brain-to-mirror-connection is wacked. Probably the latter.

Either way, that waffle is currently syrup side up, where I prefer it.

Oh, and my ass is sore. Really, really sore. I think a butt-pad is on my shopping list today. I loved spin, am ready to do it again, though I definitely want a butt pad. LOL!  I'm off to do my Sunday food prep... Happy Weekend!!


Friday 4/29/2011:

Fabulous Friday!


Last night's leg workout was brutal - in all the best ways. Tab was still working when I finished, so we chatted a bit before we both headed home.  The last thing in my workout was 6 sets of 15 calf raises - by the end, I couldn't feel my calves, so I hope my form was still good, LOL!  I wobbled out of the gym to ice my knees and enjoy my dinner (grilled chicken breast & steamed asparagus, plus a banana for the post-workout refuel).

Bill and I chilled a bit, chatting with the girls as they were in and out, and we listened to more posing music choices. Took a list of 24 down to 4 - progress! We also had a great talk about what I need from a posing song, and what I don't... Music is an essential part of my life. My iPod is like an extension of myself (multiple personalities and all, haha). My playlists document the events and journeys. And while there are lots of songs that are "me" not all of them, very, very few of them, are "me on stage". Does that make sense?

For instance... Bill really likes (really really likes) the Hurricane 2000 song by Scorpions & the Philharmonic - it's awesome, I love it, too... it was the song we used for our introductions at our wedding reception. But it's not me for the stage... it's too big, it makes me want to hide away, it makes me feel shy and small. Another "me" song is Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar On Me... it's totally my summer bbq, hanging with friends, I grew up in the 80's and Hair Bands ROCK song. It's also got great stage energy, but not for me... I want to cover up and hide.

I know, I'm a little weird. It should be simple... you step out, you do the T-walk, strike the poses and exit stage-left. It's only 90 seconds of my life, but I want the soundtrack for that 90 seconds to be about me... my journey, my inspiration, even my aspiration. I want the music I choose to help me cross that stage with confidence, strength, and a smile. A great big smile.

With that in mind, we've narrowed the list down to three strong possibles, with a fun backup as 4th. The finalists are...
The Afters - Never Going Back to OK
Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day
Maino feat. T-Pain - All The Above
Jennifer Lopez - Papi

Let me know what your thoughts are, I'd love to hear!

Today, I've done my last workout for the week - my big one - Back/Biceps/Triceps/Shoulders/Abs. It was brutal, thought I was gonna puke at the end. Loved it :-) I also love how my arms look when I'm done :-) LOL!  The rest of today is for some safe-sunshine, an abundance of errands, an eye-doctor appt for Bethany, and menu planning for next week. Tomorrow I have a spin class, my first! Of course, it's not your average spin class. Nope... this one is funky :-) Karaoke Spin! I'm wearing my green wig and a feather boa. It's supposed to be fun, funky, and introduce me to spinning. I'm hoping to last the whole 90 minutes. Bethany and Shiloh are going with me :-) While I won't karaoke (oh heck NO), I might join in on the sing-alongs. Tab is leading it, so I know it's going to be super fun, no matter what.

After that, we're heading to a friend's for a bbq. I'll be bringing my cooler along with me. I could use the day as my "treat", but I'd rather eat clean and enjoy a couple of cocktails (rum & mineral water with a dash of kiwi, pineapple or grapefruit). I'm also making that amazing chocolate goodness I did last weekend, and want to save the bulk of my "treat" for that :-)

Progress.... I walked into the gym last night and Tab says, that's it, I'm cutting down  your cardio. Wait, What, Why??!!. Evidently I'm leaning out too quickly. Seems like it's a good problem to have, lol, but still, it's a problem. She's also told me to lighten up a bit (what, who me?) on the diet, that I don't have to be as tight as I am for  awhile yet. Hmmmm. Between restricting my cardio and easing up on my diet, I'm having a bit of the "somebody moved my cheese" response. Gotta get over that, quick! We also chatted today about my legs. I'm seriously concerned about them, but Tab had some really positive things to say that made me feel a whole lot better. So my waffle is syrup side up again, ROFL! :-) 

So that's where I'm at. Bill says it's a good thing I'm gutted like a fish and over menopause, because if he had to put up with PMS or menopause along with my waffling, he might have to shoot me. HA!

On an unrelated note... well, maybe not so much unrelated, I seem to have "treat" on the brain... I picked up Elana Amsterdam's new Gluten-Free Cupcake book.... YUM! Can't wait to dig into it! :-) There's a recipe in the new Eat Clean Diet Cookbook 2 that's also on the horizon for treats :-) he he he.

Hey.... before I sign off... do you twitter? Do you tweet? I have an account, and am slowly finding my way around. I don't think I can say yet that I tweet... I might twit. LOL. This morning Tosca Reno put out her #FF tweet and mentioned me! Of course, being the twitter-twit that I am, I had to hit google to find out what #FF means... Follow Friday... to promote other tweeters readers might find interesting! WootWoot! AWESOME! Thanks, Tosca!! :-D


My Baby Can See!!!!

Did that title strike you as strange? I know this has nothing to do with eating clean, fitness, competing, or anything else... My youngest has vision issues. When she was tiny (a toddler) she developed a wandering eye and the doctor treated it by patching her for several weeks. Broke my heart to see my little baby with a patch, and a girlfriend and I got together and made up several patches with little backpacks to match (and hats) out of cute kidsy fabrics. Anyway, at the follow up appointment, the doctor discovered the condition had flip-flopped. Not reversed. Flipped to the other eye! We had to patch her OTHER eye for a couple weeks. OY! Once the trauma of that was done, little Bethany was prescribed glasses. She's very far-sighted, and has astigmatism, though the wandering eye disappeared.

She's worn glasses ever since. About 8 years ago, our current eye doctor was helping me better understand how Bethany views the world and he put me in the chair and dialed up how she "sees". I cried. That's how my baby girl sees the world?? It was fuzzy and dull... nothing like the way I see things. Then he dialed in her prescription lenses, so I could see how she sees "fixed". I cried some more. It still wasn't "right". It hurts to know that my daughter doesn't see things in vibrant focus.

Years pass, and while she has the glasses, in the last couple years she's moved to contacts, and her vision has remained about the same. A month ago she came to me complaining that her left eye (the one that has the worst vision) was becoming blurry. Then the eye began to wander out again. Today was our appointment with the doctor. Her prescription has changed, her eye has worsened. We talked about her condition, and the ramifications that she'll deal with throughout life. Then the doctor got this funny "thinking" look. He started asking her how she was doing with the contacts, is she comfortable, and so on. He then suggested something new. A different type of lens for the left eye. The right eye is the same as it has been, so nothing new there, but he brought out a new lens that is specifically for her type of astigmatism. He explained the several drawbacks, that the lens is odd shaped, thicker, heavier, but she agreed to give it a try.

She popped it in, and he dimmed the lights and pulled up the vision test again. She covered her right eye, and began to read the bottom line. All the way across. Correctly. In all her years, she has never been able to read the second to last, or last line of that screen. Ever. She read the whole thing. It was crystal clear. My baby could see.

While the doctor wasn't fighting back the tears that I was, he was pretty darn pleased. We go back in a week for a follow up, then order the new lenses. Her glasses remain the same, there's nothing more they can do with those, but this new contact is like a miracle. We walked around stores for a while and Bethany kept commenting on how different everything looks. I kept fighting those tears.

I'm so grateful. My baby can see.


Thursday 4/28/2011: Let's start with the basics... exercise & food :-) I did Chest & Triceps yesterday after work... OY! My shoulders were still mega-sore from Monday's class, and since the incline and flat benches were full (with sweaty grunting he-men), I chose to use the Body Master's machines, the ones you add weight plates to. I tested them out (this is for my incline presses and flat presses), and realized the machine without weight was plenty heavy, and away I went... 10 inclines, 12 flat, 10 inclines, 12 flat... I did 4 rounds (sets) and was reaching deep to get them done. Had to keep stopping, but pushed through and completed. I know the angle is different than when I do them with dumbbells, and maybe that combined with the weight of the apparatus... I don't know, but it about did me in.

Here's the full workout:

Pec Deck: 3 x 12 (35lbs)

Alternating 4x with little to no rest between:
Incline Chest Press 10
Flat Chest Press 12

Alternating with little to no rest between:
Lying Tricep Extensions (skullcrushers) 30 lb barbell: 4 x 12
GI Janes (sit on end of bench - back to the end - someone sits on your feet and holds your legs while you - back straight - lean all the way back and come all the way back up. It's a killer version of the situp): 3 x 20

Alternating with little to no rest between:
Tricep Pressdowns (40 lbs): 4 x 12
Medicine Ball Twists (10 lb ball): 3 x 25

After my workout, I headed to the bowling alley where Bill bowled a 602 series! Woot! The girls had junk food while I enjoyed my clean wrap and a cup of coffee (which I didn't even think about it being caffeinated). Headed home, and tried to crash, but the caffeine at 7:30pm kept me up until after 1am. OY.  My 5am alarm came waaay too early today.

Yoga at 6:30, then on with my day.  Here's my food/cooler (click to view the cooler page with the fitday data - yeah, yeah, I know I said no fitday, but I just needed to check it to be sure I was on track - yes I know, this is a problem.).

Figure Competition Diet - Daily Cooler

Contents:  Breakfast (post yoga) -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack 1 - 4 oz grilled chicken breast with 5 medium strawberries.  Lunch - 5 oz  grilled tilapia, 2 cups steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup of brown rice. Snack 2 -   4 oz cooked chicken breast  and 1 cup steamed green beans.    Post-workout/Dinner  -  5 oz grilled chicken breast with 2 cups steamed asparagus.  Snack 3 -  1.5 scoops chocolate protein powder (Beverly UMP) mixed with decaf coffee & water.

Total calories: 1404. Protein 55%, carbs 28%, fat 18%.

And moving on...

I read something this morning that really grabbed me. I'm really struggling with this emotional waffling (yep, I am still The Waffler), and this morning in particular, it was hard to get up and get going. I wanted to skip yoga. I wanted to sleep in. I wanted to wake up and discover my butt had magically become what it needs to be for the show. Instead, I got up, got ready, drank some coffee then went to yoga. Once home again, with another coffee in hand, I read that Heroism isn't always about doing the big things. Sometimes, the act of heroism is simply getting out of bed in the morning when you don't want to. Apart from that statement really striking me, and hitting me where I needed to be hit, I guess it means something else for me, too...

I'm still a super-hero.  he he he.

After work, I'm headed back to the gym for my second Legs day of the week. Here's what's coming (supersets with little to no rest):

Alternate x 3:
Romanian Dead Lift 15
Wide Leg Press 15

Alternate x 3:
Leg Curl 8
Walking Lunges with Kickback 15 each leg

Alternate x 3:
Single leg lifts with resistance 12 each leg
Dumbbell Squats 12

Calf Raises 8 x 15 (3 second squeeze at top)

And again changing directions...

Mad ScientistMy husband is a genius. My husband is also a mad scientist. He loves to tinker with mechanics and chemicals, he's always looking to create the "next" thing. Sometimes this is not a good thing in our household. I have had to put down my foot and disallow experimentation in the garage, for the safety of all (I have also unilaterally declared my Pyrex and mixing bowls, and measuring cups and measuring spoons OFF LIMITS, DAMMIT!).  Sometimes he really hits on something. Sometimes he comes home minus an eyebrow (once); or the hair on his arms (lost count how many times). I love this side of him, though it often worries me (blowing up the garage or warehouse is a very REAL risk).

For years he has asked for a chemistry set for Christmas. I haven't gotten it for him for three reasons...

1. Practicality - The "set" he wants is pretty much exclusive to Research laboratories, usually the ones with Nobel Grant money and/or government contracts.
2. Emotionally - I love my husband very much, and really don't want him injured.
3. Financially - Let's be honest... He's worth a lot more to me alive than blown up.Pinky & The Brain

You might think I'm exaggerating about his mad-scientist/genius tendencies. I'm not. My father-in-law thought I was until they moved the company into the new warehouse space and Bill began doing his chemical experiments there. Now he gets it. And sometimes he worries too, though mostly they're a bunch of little boys playing with the science toys.

His genius isn't limited to chemicals (though he's invented several truly amazing products). He also plays around with surfacing (he's made astonishing strides in both safety and aesthetics and a strong name for himself in the safety-surfacing industry - FlexGround, FlexGrass and Xeritec are his companies), and his pet project for several years has been SplashGround. He's had a vision for it that he's doggedly pursued whenever he's had the time/money. While the in-ground units are awesome (view - two of those girls are mine, look how little they were!) and popular, he's wanted a portable unit. And now he has it. And... DIY Network is going to feature it!  Wooohooo!!! (I have a lot of web re-design to do! Yikes!)

Pretty darn cool! Go, Bill, Take Over The World!!! :-)

pinky and the brain - take over the world


Fun Cardio Playlist!


This is such a fun playlist!!! Tosca Reno turned me onto it today in her blog post at:

It's hugely eclectic and has tons of energy - I think I'll use it for Saturday's cardio session, and Sunday's Food Prep! :-) FUN!! You can download as individual tracks or as one track (which is definitely the way to go).

Girl Talk All Day album, you can get it here!


Wednesday 4/27/2011: You know what they say about the best laid plans... Well, they're right. Tab has the flu, so I'm back to my regularly scheduled routine. I did cardio this morning - steady state, and after work I'll be heading to the gym for Chest/Triceps. After that, I'll clean up and head over to the bowling alley.  My dinner is packed in my cooler - my trusty Wednesday-Wrap, lol.

Food today is all on track. I'm completely dialed in. There's very little I can control, but that... I've got. Here's my food and schedule:

Figure Competition Diet - Daily Cooler

6:15 am - Cardio. 30 minutes steady state on the elliptical.
7:00 am - Breakfast: 1/2 cup dry oatmeal w/1 scoop protein powder, 2 tbsp ground flax and some cinnamon mixed with water and nuked. Plus a banana.
10:00 am - Snack 1: 4 oz grilled chicken breast and 5 medium strawberries.
1:30pm - Lunch: 4 oz grilled chicken breast with 1/2 cup brown rice and 1 cup steamed broccoli & cauliflower with Sriracha sauce.
4:00 pm - Snack 2: 4 oz chicken breast (
Tosca's Crispy Chicken Bites) with 1 cup steamed green beans and spicy mustard.
5:30 pm - Workout - Chest/Triceps followed by stretching
7:00 pm - Dinner: Low Carb/High Fiber Wrap with 5 oz grilled chicken breast and 2 cups mixed spinach and cabbage.
9:30 pm - Snack 3: Protein Shake (1.5 scoops protein powder mixed with decaf coffee & water).


Here's last night's dinner: 6 oz (pre-cooked) grilled salmon with 2 cups steamed asparagus. I covered the salmon in spicy mustard, lol, and squirted lemon juice on my asparagus. Bill doesn't like fish, but agreed to try a bite. He then said, "That's cheating! You cheated!" huh? "You put so much mustard on there you can't tell what the meat is... fish, chicken, pork... all you taste is mustard!"  Well... duh.  ROLF!! The salmon I cook at home that I actually like is very, very rare... meaning uncommon. It always seems to come out fishy tasting. Spicy mustard. he he.  I finished off the day with a final shake (1.5 scoops protein powder mixed with decaf coffee & water) and crashed.
Figure Competition Diet- Dinner: Salmon and asparagus


On another note entirely... I am a Super-Hero. Yes, indeed. Would you like to know my Super-Hero Name? It's...

The Waffler.
The Waffler - Super Hero Costume
found this on the internet, how cool is that costume?

You see, I waffle. More than anyone I know, as a matter of fact. One day I'm feeling positive and excited about my progress. The very next (or later that same day) I am negative and discouraged. I waffle.  (and before you ask, yes, I've seen Mystery Men one too many times).

Take today for example. I woke tired, but upbeat. I did my cardio (the dreaded steady-state), had breakfast, blah blah, and when I was getting ready for work, got a look in the mirror at my backside. You know, the backside that last week I was so excited to see change in? Not so much today. Today all I saw was pancake-ass. Sunk my mood like the Titanic. Was in a funk all morning. Then this afternoon, I walk into the kitchen to heat up my lunch and realize that I'm wearing my daughter's pants (oops!). I thought I grabbed mine this morning, but nope... these are the skinny teenager's black slacks. Huh. Back up goes the mood. Then I get on the internet and find a video-post from a gal who is headed to her first Figure show in 12 weeks... she looks amazing! Freaking awesome! Down I plummet... I don't look like that, is there any hope for me? Will I make it?

Up and down, back and forth. Sheesh! Stop the merry-go-round, I want off!  How crazy is this?

My nutrition is completely dialed in. Even my decadent weekend cheat-day-treat turned out to be nearly non-impact (remember my amazing chocolate?).  Despite my obsessive tendencies with fitday, I've checked my numbers and I'm exactly where I need to be. My workouts are progressing, my cardio is all getting done. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing. So why do I waffle? Because I'm human? Female? Totally irrational and compulsively anal-retentive? Hmmm. That couldn't be it. :-) 

So... in an effort to lighten up and relax, I have dubbed myself The Waffler. "Would you like some vanilla-infused pure-maple syrup with those waffles?"



Tuesday 4/26/2011: Owwwwww!!! I'm sore! My glutes are screaming for mercy! LOL! Yesterday morning was Legs... after work I headed over to the gym for Tab's Total Body Conditioning Class (aka TORTURE). It was awesome! By the time I got home, my legs were wobbly. We had dinner (Taco salad - no chips for me), watched a bit of tv (OCC, baby!), I drank my last protein shake and crashed. Hard. Woke this morning and OWWWWW! My butt, my quads, my back... I think my abs are whimpering, too, but it's hard to hear them over the rest. Yoga was tough, but I got through it - even managed a new arm balance! Briefly, but I got up :-) 

Tab and I conferred over my schedule & food for this week, and she made a couple tweaks. First, she said I can have more food. You'd think I'd be super excited about that, but no... I'm ridiculously neurotic. I can't have more food, it'll throw off my ratios, plus I'm already doing an extra shake & banana. Yes you can, we've had this conversation - 1 cup of broccoli is 25 calories. Yes, but it's also 5 carbs. Really<sheepishly hunch my shoulders> Maybe.

Not that she's telling me specifically to eat more broccoli, what she was saying was it's ok to increase my veggies if I'm hungry and need "more". I bow to her expertise, and will increase my intake where and when I need it. Trust the process, trust my leader. 

es, I am nuts. Once I focus on something, I get tunnel vision. Not always a good thing. So today, I decided to relax and go with the spirit of the "more food" edict, packed my cooler and then (just to be sure I wasn't out of line) I ran numbers. Wouldn't you know, I hit right where I need to be, and even with the extra shake before bed, I'm well within my calorie flux. Sheesh.

Tab also tweaked my workouts. I skip today's scheduled and trade it for cardio. Wednesday morning I skip my workout and do cardio instead (steady state), then in the evening I attend Tab's Muscle class (my muscles are quivering in fear). Thursday I have yoga (am), and Chest/Triceps in the evening. Friday I have legs. Saturday I do Delts/Back/Triceips/Biceps plus 20 minutes of cardio.  That's the plan.

I realized I haven't mentioned my knees much lately. They're handling the workouts really well, but I'm taking good care of them, too. Post-workouts, I ice them and take Aleve. I also use the foam roller to keep that scar tissue growing long instead of short. I stretch my legs, a lot. I take my Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM and my Hyaluronic Acid. And I'm listening to my body. If it hurts (pain, not muscle) I stop and modify. I have a long way to go in a relatively short time - I have a lot of work to do on my legs & rear, but I can only get to the goal, get to the stage, if I respect my body - and my limitations. Yes, it sucks to have limitations. Example... last night in class, we're in pushup position with our hands on a medicine ball, then doing mountain-climbers - fast (also, we do a variation, where you place your foot beside the ball - stretch, return to pushup position, step your other foot to the other side of the ball). Not me. I can do them, but I can't do them fast - my knee, actually the lateral where it was cut - pulls painfully. I'm good if I do them slowly. It's frustrating. I want to do all the plyos, I want to keep up with the jumps and hops the class does, but when I find myself doing it on one leg to reduce pain... I give myself a mental "dumbass" thump and modify.

So that's where my knees are. They're doing good, but I'm really aware of them. So far ice and Aleve are controlling pain and swelling. It hurts to get up after I've been sitting, but moving around doesn't bother me. My surgery was Dec. 16... It fixed part of what was damaged, but I still have the arthritis, the degenerative condition in my kneecaps, and the patellar tendonitis. Surgery couldn't / can't fix that. Considering that I'm training for a figure show, I think I'm pretty happy with my rehab :-)

Today's Food...

Chelle's Figure Competition Diet - Daily Cooler

Everything is pictured except dinner (salmon & asparagus).

Contents:  Breakfast -  Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack 1 - 4 oz grilled chicken breast with 5 medium strawberries.  Lunch - 4 oz  grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed broccoli & cauliflower, 1/2 cup of brown rice. Snack 2 -   4 oz cooked chicken breast (Tosca's Crispy Chicken Bites) and apple.   Post-Cardio/Dinner  -  6 oz (pre-cooked) salmon, grilled with mustard and 2 cups steamed asparagus.  Snack 3(if needed) -  1.5 scoops chocolate protein powder (Beverly UMP) mixed with decaf coffee & water.

Click here to view more about today's cooler (and previous days) and the nutritional information from



Monday 4/25/2011: Hope your weekend was nice :-) Ours was quiet. Sunday, I gave Bill and the kids the little easter baskets I'd put together (candy and all!), and guess what happened... Ariel ( who hasn't had candy in weeks) took a few bites and felt sick... started chugging water and put the candy away. Shiloh took a few bites and felt sick... went for a walk. Bethany took a few bites and said... "I'd rather have an apple". HA! Who wins that round, Easter Bunny??? That's right, ME! Ha!! ROFL!  And no, I didn't spike the candy, lol, they're just not used to it anymore (yay!).

After the candy episode, I did all my Sunday Food Prep - lots and lots of chicken, some ground beef, some fish (salmon & tilapia), plus all the veggies, oatmeal packets, etc. I took a bunch of pics this time (sorry for the low quality, haven't got the new phone figured out just yet).

Here's the granola (see recipe here)


And my burgers - 2 lbs ground beef mixed with 1 package of finely chopped brown mushrooms (no one can taste them!), 1/3 cup oat bran, 2 tblsp bbq sauce, and one egg (ignore the 2nd egg in my bowl, lol,  I didn't use it). And my dinner... 6 ounces grilled burger smothered in mustard and wrapped in a LOT of lettuce with onion & tomato, my corn on the cob, and zucchini.

The Brown rice I prepped... 1/2 cup to each baggie

My oatmeal packets :-)  1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 2 Tblsp ground flax, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. The packets go into a tub, which is stored in the fridge. Total grab-n-go :-)

And of course the ubiquitous chicken... lots and lots of chicken. I trim it, pound it to an even thickness, then marinate with flavored olive oil & Mrs Dash - this week it was Basil infused olive oil and Tomato, Basil & Garlic Mrs D. After cooking & cooling, I cut, weigh and bag the chicken, marking the bags with the weight (I'm doing 4 and 5 ounce portions), then toss them in the tub and into the fridge.

I didn't get any pics of my veggies (asparagus, broccoli/cauliflower, green beans) in their steamer bags, but did catch one of my counter-top-fruit:

This does not include the gobs of strawberries I picked up :-) They were on sale at Frys, so I got 3 of the pint containers, then hit Fresh-n-Easy and they had a huge tray of huge berries for just $4. Couldn't resist. The family is going to be eating a LOT of strawberries.  :-)  I also picked up a cantaloupe and chopped it up for the kids, along with blackberries, and pineapple (all fresh). I love when fruit goes on sale :-)

Menu for the week (family meals) is:

Sunday (last night) Burgers & Corn on the Cobb with Steamed Zucchini (Ariel, Shiloh and I went sans-bun)
Monday - Taco Salad (I'll be no-chips, no cheese)
Tuesday - Spaghetti, using the leftover taco meat in the marinara sauce; with baked potatoes (for me: 5 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed green beans).
Wednesday - Leftovers. For me, chicken wrap for the bowling alley (5 oz grilled chicken breast on low-carb/hi-fiber wrap with mustard, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage.)
Thursday - Chicken breast, steamed broccoli
Friday - Chicken with tomato sauce, steamed veggies & baked potatoes (no potato for me)
Saturday - Leftovers

In the Gym...

Today is the first workout of Week 18 Pre-Show. Legs. I did the full workout, plus increased my weight on the leg press, not by much, but I felt it! Oh boy, did I feel it! Here's the workout (the way they're grouped together is how I superset them, little to no rest between):

Alternate x 3:
Leg Press 90 lb  15 reps
Squats   15 reps

Alternate x 3:
Hack Squat (sled weight only)  15 reps
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 30 lb bar  12 reps

Straight Leg Raises (with resistance tube) 3 x 12 each leg
Medicine Ball Crunch - 30 x 3
Medicine Ball Crunch with Raise 30 x 3
Plank - 2 x 2reps of 60 seconds

Stretch & foam roller knee.

Total time: 52 minutes
Calorie Burn: 323
Heart Rate Info: 133-159

I'm not entirely sure why, but I went into this morning's workout with a significant amount of fear. Was I afraid to increase my sets? My weights? What? I don't know, but it drug at me. I drove to the gym, plugged in my iPod and just did it. No wasted reps. Focus, do the work. The fear faded about halfway through my workout. I still don't know what it was about, but I know that I didn't let it hold me down.

I want to thank those of you who've contacted me and encouraged me in this journey. Your words are so very appreciated! I'm so grateful to you!

Moving forward, after work I have Tab's Total Body Conditioning Class (weights & cardio). After that, dinner is Taco Salad, then chill time with the family. Tomorrow morning is yoga, then weights in the evening.

Taking the steps, one at a time.


Saturday 4/23/2011: Protein!!!

My protein powder arrived!!! Woohoo! You might not be able to tell, but that's four containers of protein powder :-)  Also in my delivery was my Super-Paks... little packets full of vitamins. :-) I just rip one open each morning with my first meal. In addition to my vitamins, I'm taking EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids), Hyaluronic Acid (for my knees) and Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM (for my knees). I haven't had to take a vitamin in a really long time because my diet is typically so diverse and nutrient rich that I don't need any supplementation (except for the stuff I take for my knees); but on competition diet, that is no longer the case! I definitely need help giving my body the vitamins and minerals it needs.


Saturday 4/23/2011:

Chocolate Heaven Follow-up...

OMG, that mousse was absolutely awesome!!! Everyone loved it! I was afraid the finished product would be a letdown because the fudgey part was so amazing, but the mousse was beyond words!!! This was the perfect treat! I'm really hoping Bill and the girls polish it off, because just knowing it's in the fridge might be a problem, lol! And I'm definitely making this next weekend!!

Out of curiosity, I ran the recipe through to see what kind of damage I did. Not that it matters, it was my treat after all, but still... curious. I couldn't believe my eyes when the numbers popped up! I went back over the recipe thinking that I'd missed something, but no... Check this out...

I used a big pie plate (12 inch), with no crust. Divide that into 16 slices.
Each decadent slice is:

102 calories
Protein:  3 g
Carb:  5 g
Fat:  7 g
Sugars:  3 g
Fiber:  2 g
Sodium:  57 mg

It as an estimated Glycemic Load of 1!! I can serve this to my diabetic Father In Law and Niece! It's gluten free, I can serve it to my Celiac Sister In Law!  It's an incredible dessert, I can serve it to ANYONE!!!!

Oh, Elana of - You are my SuperHero!!!!

Here's a direct link to view all the nutrition data:$report


Friday 4/22/2011: Seeing Changes... Competition Prep Update

This is the end of my 19th week pre-competition, and I am finally seeing changes. I know it's early, but with the fears I have regarding my belly and lower body, I'm thrilled to see a difference. I began my leaning out phase April 1st... dropped from 1800/1900 calories a day down to 1600. I kept my ratios at 40% protein, 35% carb and 25% fat. I cut again a week later to 1400 cal/day, same ratios and began taking Lean Out (a Beverly product that is not a fat burner, but assists the body in processing fat more rapidly and efficiently).

Another week later, calories stayed the same but the ratios changed to 50% protein, 30% carb and 20% fat. This was done to protect the lean muscle I've built while we lean me out. I've been two weeks now on the competition diet and while I'm fine with the diet itself (food is fuel so I'm ok with eating the same stuff over and over again, but thank the gods for sriracha!), I do feel hungry. A lot. I'm really not a "shake" person, I prefer whole foods to liquid meals, but I have become very grateful for my protein shakes. I've also done well with my water intake, increasing it to a gallon a day, consistently. That's a huge victory for me, as drinking enough water has always been a challenge.

Through this, my upper body began to lean out. Almost daily, I can see subtle changes... more definition. I'm pleased with my arms, back and chest, and while we have to watch out that I don't lean out too fast, it's looking good so far. Tab is my mirror, since I have a hard time seeing myself objectively, and she can be critical in the right way. I've been worried because I haven't been seeing any changes (at all!) in my belly and lower body. We didn't have time for a full-on bulking phase, so the muscle I have is all I've got to work with. We can refine it, sculpt it, and strip away body fat, but we don't have time to build any more. So I worry. Tab tells me that she's seeing changes, my butt is a little higher and firmer, so I trust her. But I worry.

This morning, I spent a bit of time in the sunshine. I'm starting to build my base-tan, so I put on a bikini (gulp) and enjoyed some sun (I use coconut oil as my sunscreen, yes it really works. No tanning beds for me, I'll choose real sun every time - I think it's like butter - fine in moderation, LOL!). After, I wrapped up tight in my towel the size of Montana (yeah, even in my own backyard), and went inside to clean up. I took off the towel, turned and caught sight of myself in the mirror.... and saw change. My butt is higher, my thighs are tighter, and my belly is flatter, with some abs showing on the sides. It's going to sound goofy, but I look taller. And I feel like the weight of the world was just lifted off my shoulders. There's change.

I know I have plenty of time, I'm entering my 18th week on Sunday, and while I've got a lot of work ahead of me, seeing these changes is such a relief. It boosted my confidence in a big way. I actually walked around the house for about a half an hour just in my bikini, lol! For me, that's huge. We take pictures and measurements again on May 6th, and all the fear I had at the thought has greatly diminished. All because I saw some changes in the mirror. Kinda odd, but there ya have it.

Speaking of changes... this 18th week brings one. I'll be increasing the number of sets I do in my workouts. Doubling them, actually. My cardio stays the same, and the workouts stay the same, other than increasing the number of sets. The next week, I will focus on increasing my weights. My diet remains the same. 1400 cal/day; 50% protein, 30% carb, 20% fat. Really, apart from never feeling like I'm getting enough food, the only thing I miss is variety and quantity of my produce. Yeah, I'm a little weird.

IN THE KITCHEN... I may do more salads next week for lunch, just because I can have more and it might help me feel more "full". I won't, however, be using my beloved Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar on said salads. I've been using it, because vinegar is "free" on my diet and it's so full of flavor, a little goes a looooong way. I put it on salads, on veggies, on my meats... but this last week, I was putting the bottle away after dinner and saw the label... 14g of carbs per Tablespoon! OMG! I about had a heart attack! For some reason, the Pomegranate part of the Vinegar didn't sink into my head, so I didn't even realize I was adding all those sugar/carbs to my competition diet! Yikes! My bad! So that's out! I'll be switching to straight balsamic, or rice vinegar with sesame oil, or just plain lemon juice as my dressings of choice.

Other things I do to liven up my food... I am still, as always, the Mrs Dash queen :-) I use it on everything. I have a southwestern mustard that I love on my chicken. I use Sriracha on my veggies & brown rice (spicy, and the capsaicin is a natural fat burner - woohoo! I use a LOT of sriracha!). I put diced green chilies or salsa on my baked sweet potatoes. Lemon juice on my steamed asparagus.

IN THE GYM... As to my workouts... especially with having only been doing limited numbers of sets, I've pushed myself with my ever-changing playlists ;-) and by reducing or eliminating rest periods between exercises. I work harder, not longer. I do supersets (combining exercises like doing chest presses followed by flyes, followed by reverse crunches then repeat). I take rest periods between supersets, not between sets or individual exercises. So I'll do 15 low rows, 15 cable curls, 15 low rows, 15 cable curls, then rest on my way to the next station. I'll do 15 lat pulldowns, 30 medicine ball twists, 8 assisted pullups, 15 lat pulldowns, 30 medicine ball twists, 8 assisted pullups then rest on my way to the next... This allows me (haha, forces me) to blow through more energy (calories), keeps my heart rate up and requires my body to dip into stored energy (hopefully fat!) to keep going. By the end of my workout, even if it only took 30 minutes, I've made my body work harder, and smarter.

IN MY HEAD... The kitchen and the gym aren't the only places I'm prepping for the show. I've also been playing around with posing music. Listening, analyzing. It's one of the more fun ways I'm getting my head in the right place. Playing tunes while imagining myself doing the T-walk and poses, getting up and actually walking with the music... it's helping me visualize myself on the stage. I've been watching a lot of video - DVD, YouTube, etc, of figure competitions, paying close attention to where I see strengths and weaknesses in competitors. I've seen amazing bodies place poorly simply because of a lack of proper posing. I've seen incredible physiques ruined by frowns and stiffness. I know I'll make mistakes, that's inevitable... but if I can avoid some of them, I'd really like to :-)

Anyway... there's my prep update. Kinda long, lol, but I'm trying to do the full-disclosure deal here, sharing my journey. :-)

Tonight's Treat...
Today is my treat day. We're doing date night at our favorite restaurant, Blue Adobe, where I will enjoy a clean meal and some chips :-) Then coming home to do dessert. I rarely do dessert, but I've been looking forward to dessert all week.

I had planned to make Jillian Michaels' brownies, but was warned that they're not very chocolaty, and what I want, what I NEED, is chocolaty. So I went on a search to find a treat to make for tonight. Elana of is a goddess of all things chocolaty. She is my hero.
gluten-free chocolate fudge mousse pie recipe

Looks pretty chocolaty, right? Looked perfect to me! So off to the kitchen I went. I melted the chocolate (dark, of course). Beat the egg yolks and agave. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks. Added the yolk mixture to the melted chocolate, added the sea salt, then folded in the egg whites.

Let me pause a moment to share that the egg whites are completely superfluous. That yolk/chocolate/salt/agave mixture is where it's at, my friends. I licked the spoon. Then I licked the pan. Then I grabbed the pan back from my husband and licked the rest of it. (I might have growled a little when he wanted it back). Little chunk of heaven. Not much there, as I'd been very efficient in scraping out the pan and adding the mix to the egg whites. But worth every swipe. EVERY SWIPE! OMG. Now, I'm not one for licking the spoon (or pan, lol) but that chocolate fudgey goodness was absolutely BEYOND.

I finished folding in the egg whites, poured the mix into a pie plate (no shell for me, it's all about the chocolate), and it's now chilling in the fridge for after dinner. I'll let you know how it turns out, but I can tell you right now that the fudgey mixture is my new favorite treat. Since my treat times are limited (once I hit 16 weeks, I don't think any treats are allowed), I like to really make them worth the indulgence, and that chocolate stuff hits all the requirements :-)

Here's the recipe:

1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips 73% cacao
6 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon agave nectar
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt

In a small pot, melt chocolate over very low heat; remove from heat
In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with agave for 1 minute with a hand blender
In a large bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld blender until stiff peaks form
Stir egg yolk mixture into pot of warm chocolate
Mix chocolate and yolks until combined; mixture will be slightly thickened, shiny and beautiful
Stir salt into chocolate mixture
Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture
Transfer mousse into cooled Pie Crust (page 79 The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook)
Refrigerate for 3 hours



Thursday 4/21/2011: Hit all my marks yesterday - 1 gallon water, check; abs class, check; HIIT cardio on the stairmonster, check; clean-eating while at the bowling alley, check. :-) After getting home, I had a protein shake (1.5 scoop protein powder mixed with decaf coffee & water), then hit the hay.

Morning brought yoga. I was able to go deeper into Child's Pose than ever before (knee), so that was a Yay. The Thursday instructor has taken to doing many of the poses bass-ackwards. It really messes with my head, lol. I'm sure there's a reason, and a lesson for me, but my brain is now twisted up in knots so I can't figure out what it is. Lol.

Today's food is all on track:

Chelle's Figure Competition Diet

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack 1 - 4 oz cooked (5 oz pre-cooked) grilled chicken breast and pear.  Lunch -   4 oz (5 oz pre-cooked weight) grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed zucchini/yellow squash, 1/2 cup of brown rice.   Post-Workout/Dinner  -  5 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed veggies, and either 4 oz sweet potato or a banana.  Snack 2 -  1.5 scoops chocolate protein powder (Beverly UMP) mixed with decaf coffee & water.

As you can see in the photo, I finally got my copy of the new Eat Clean Diet Cookbook (2). There are some mighty tasty looking recipes in there! Including a couple that sent me rushing to email Mom! Baba Ghanoush & Dolmas! These are flavors of my childhood :-)  My grandmother made the greatest dolmas! We've yet to duplicate it, though we have the recipe. A little funny sidebar here... My dad is Armenian, his Mom was FULLY Armenian (both parents immigrated with the children in tow). I never could understand why I was so pale, but I fully embraced my Armenian culinary legacy. I could put down more dolmas than you can imagine :-)  When I was 30, I learned that my dad had adopted me. Apart from the trauma and drama that went with that time, one of the random thoughts that ran through my head was, "You mean I'm NOT Armenian????" I was so upset! To this day, I still say I may not be a blood-Armenian, but I'm an environmental Armenian. :-)

Anyway, the recipes aren't quite the same as our family ones, but I'm looking forward to trying these.

On another note entirely, my main iPod (an 80gb classic) has officially gone the way of the dodo.  I have tried multiple times to restore it, then resync, but it just won't work. This is a HUGE disappointment for me, as that iPod has all my playlists for my life... grocery shopping, chilling on Thursday nights, weekend playlists, food-prep playlists... I'm lost without it! And I can't replace it until after graduation (next month, May 24th). Grrrrrr. Couldn't it just have held out for another 5 weeks??? <sigh>.

Moving on... Today's workout is legs. After work, I'll be dashing to the gym to do...

Romanian deadlifts 2 sets 10-15 reps
Wide Leg Press  (using wide stance) 2 sets  10-15 reps

Leg Curl 2 sets 6-8 reps
Walking Lunge 2 sets 12-15 reps

Leg Extension (doing my weighted single leg raises instead) 2 sets 12 reps
Smith Machine Squat 3 sets 12 reps

Calf Raises 4 sets 15 reps


Wednesday 4/20/2011: After work yesterday, I picked up Bethany from cheer practice, dropped her off at home & hit the gym. I had a chat with Tab about my progress, did my workout, ate a solid dinner, then a while later drank a protein shake and watched some figure competition videos before bed. 

This morning I hit the gym early and did my Chest/Triceps workout:

Incline Dumbbell Press 2 sets of 10
Flat Dumbbell Press 2 sets of 12
Pec Deck  - 2 sets of 12
Tricep Pushdowns 2 sets of 12 (with a 3-count hold at the bottom as you squeeze the tricep like you're trying to push the bar through your thighs)
Lying Tricep Extensions 2 sets of 12
Abs - 3 sets of 30  reverse crunches on a bench

Time to complete (including 5 min warm-up on elliptical): 32 minutes
Calorie Burn: 180
Heart-rate info: 124-147

I forgot my iPod shuffle this morning, and can I say that the music my gym pumps through the speakers SUCKS??? Because it does. Lol.  After that, I had a banana and a protein shake (1.5 scoops protein powder), then chugged some coffee as I readied for the day.  Tonight, I'll be doing the abs class taught by Tab, followed by 30 minutes of cardio (20 min. HIIT, 10 steady), then clean up, run home and make my wrap and dash over to the bowling alley to cheer on my guys.

My water intake is staying pretty consistent at 1 gallon/day. Water has always been a challenge for me, so I'm excited to be hitting my mark on a regular basis.

Ok... back to work! :-)

Tuesday 4/19/2011: I've been meaning to write about Emotional Eating since before my trip to The Arnold at the beginning of March (yes, I am behind schedule, lol!). I've gotten many, many emails and private messages over the years asking me how I deal with it, how to best combat it and win the war. Emotional eating is a real hot-button topic... run a Google search and you'll find 746,000 results popping up in less than 1 second. If you struggle with emotional eating, you're clearly not alone.

When I began my journey, and through a lot of it, I battled emotional eating. I think that most of us are programmed, from childhood, to eat emotionally. From a treat for a boo-boo, to bowls of ice cream, cookies or brownies to comfort adolescent woes, to crisis-hospitality (when you're sick or grieving and folks bring food)... we're taught from the beginning that food brings comfort.

But it doesn't. It never did.

The childhood treats to ease our pain didn't ease the pain, it was the cuddles & sympathy. The adolescent cookie dough binges didn't heal our broken hearts, it was Mom's love and understanding (and the knowledge that if you said yes, she really would go set 'em straight). During times of crisis and grief, it wasn't the casseroles that gave you peace, but the people who brought them - their companionship & compassion. Food is a delivery vehicle for what really comforts us - people who genuinely care.  It was never the food that gave us comfort, but we associate that comfort, and those memories, with food.

As adults, we often find ourselves turning to food to cope with a bad day, a bad mood, grief, pain... even joy. But you can break that cycle, and you can release the hold it has on you.  I don't battle emotional eating anymore. I'm not saying there aren't times I want to dive head first into a bag of something bad for me (anything bad for me!)... what I'm saying is that it doesn't trip me up. I recognize it, deal with it, move on. And no, to date, I haven't gone head first into the bag. I might enjoy a bite or two, or even a whole serving, but then it's done.

How'd I get to that point? It's fairly simple and straight-forward. I finally understood that there was no comfort in comfort-food. None. I have never, in my life, felt better after eating a whole bag of snickers bars, or container of Pringles, or a cheesecake, or anything. Never. Ever. What I have felt afterwards is guilt, shame, and despair. There is no comfort there.

I did NOT learn this lesson overnight. It was not an epiphany that hit me and thus thereafter I walked the straight and narrow. It's been a journey. Once I got it, when I understood that devouring ginormous quantities of (fill in the blank) would serve ONLY to make me feel bad about myself, and jeopardize my progress, the temptation began to fade. It faded until one day, someone sent me an email asking how to fight it, and I drew a blank because I couldn't remember the last time I had faced the temptation.

Again, I am NOT saying I'm perfect in this area (or any other), but I AM saying that changing my thinking turned the tide in my own war on emotional eating. I believe, with all my heart, you can do the same. I know exactly how it feels to sit post-binge and hate myself. I also know that despite those times, I got to my goal, and I've stayed there for 2 1/2 years, and I don't hate myself anymore. I beat that behavior because being healthy, fit, and happy is where my joy is.  Food doesn't bring me joy. It doesn't bring you joy either. And, it's in your control to not allow it to bring you pain.

I enjoy food. I enjoy treats. Red wine, Godiva dark chocolates, Dove dark chocolates, the incredible salted caramel custard at Culinary Dropout... these are sweet treats I love. But they don't control me. I can enjoy them periodically, without guilt, because I live a fit, clean eating lifestyle - because I made a choice to live my life, not eat it.

Please don't think I'm trying to boast, or oversimplify a complicated issue... I'm not. I know it's hard. I lived it, too. But you can beat it.

Here's a few things I did during my journey to deal with the times when I wanted to eat my feelings:

Workout. Yep, you knew that was coming. Cardio, Weights... these are weapons you can use to fight.

Cook/Bake. Seriously! I'd search the internet for a cleaner way to make a treat, then try it and serve it. By the time it was done, much of the urgency was gone, and I could enjoy a small treat without risking devouring the whole thing.

Window Shop/Shop. Mall time is like vacation time for me. It's an escape (one that requires lots of steps, btw! calories burned!).

Text a Friend. Tabitha received many text messages from me, begging her to talk me down from the ledge :-) A true friend is a treasure beyond price.

Journal. Write it out. Address what you're feeling, when you're feeling it.

Meal Plan. I know it sounds hokey, but I did my most creative meal planning under the influence of an impending binge. Not kidding! And by the time I was done, the urge to fail myself (because that's what it is) was gone.

Review my Progress. I have a photo album - a little one that holds 4x6 photos. The first photo is of me in January 2007 - at my heaviest. The photos in that book that chronicle my journey and showed me progress that I often didn't feel. Looking at how far I'd come helped me refuse to undo all that progress.

I hope this helps. I hope that my journey gives you help and hope in your own if you're battling emotional eating. As always, I would love to hear from you.

Inkgoddess @


8:30 a.m.       Got my cardio done last night... Shiloh joined me for my 30 minutes of uber-boring steady-state, lol, so it wasn't as boring :-) Followed that up with a super yummy taco salad made with 2 cups of kale/spinach/cabbage, onion, green chilies, salsa, 1/4 avocado and 6 oz of lean ground beef. The family made tacos or used tortilla chips (clean - Tostitos Natural Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips).  Later, I had a cup of decaf coffee before bed and stirred a tablespoon of chocolate protein powder into it - tasty, but when the water is hot, the protein powder cooks. Oops :-) Forgot about that.

This morning began with yoga at 6:30 (well, my morning began at 5am, but yoga was at 6:30, lol). Great class, as usual. I was able to do pigeon with my right leg! woohoo! No pain! Now, my belly is relatively full (oatmeal!), I'm working, building a new website for a client, and listening to the unmatchable Ray Charles and hoping for a productive and chill day :-)

Today's workout after work is Back/Delts/Biceps:

Dumbbell One Arm Rows 2 x 10
Lateral Pulldownds 2 x 12
Seated Cable Rows  2 x 12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise (3 directions) 2 each x 10
Cable Curl 2 x 12
Incline Dumbbell Curl 2 x 10
Calf Raises 4 x 15

Today's food is pretty much same as yesterday...Chelle's Figure Competition Diet - daily cooler

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack 1 - 4 oz cooked (5 oz pre-cooked) grilled chicken breast and 5 medium size strawberries.  Lunch -   4 oz (5 oz pre-cooked weight) grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed zucchini/yellow squash, 1/2 cup of brown rice.   Post Workout/Dinner -  banana followed by dinner: 6 oz grilled salmon with 2 cups steamed veggies (green).  Snack 2 -  1-2 scoops chocolate protein powder (Beverly UMP) mixed with coffee & water.

The only thing not pictured is my dinner, which is just grilled salmon and 2 cups steamed veggies. I'm having a banana with/just before dinner, to boost my post-workout restore/repair and replenish depleted glycogen. I may sub a 4 oz baked sweet potato for the banana, we'll see.


Monday 4/18/2011: What a weekend! Today I'm feeling much better, kinda feel like I should have put a Whine-Warning on that last post, lol!

Sunday Food Prep and the Counter of Chaos :-)  I prepped 6 lbs of ground beef, 14 lbs of chicken breast, 5 lbs of broccoli, 2 lbs of cauliflower, 4 lbs of zucchini, 2 lbs of asparagus, 4 cups of brown rice, 6 lbs of sweet potatoes, 1 lb of lemons (sliced for water), 18 eggs... additional produce that doesn't require any prep: 7 lbs gala apples, 3 containers of strawberries, 5 lbs of bananas, lettuce & salad bags, spinach... list goes on :-) 

I grilled all the chicken, except the 3 lbs I flattened and sliced for chicken "nuggets" (Eat Clean Diet Cookbook for Family & Kids) (and I prepped the "breading"). Then I made burgers with 2 lbs of the ground beef (mixed with 1 egg, 1 carton of crimini mushrooms finely chopped, and seasoning), browned 4 lbs and mixed with canned tomatoes & chilies for tacos, tostadas, etc. I made sweet potato fries for dinner with the burgers, and prepped another batch and stuck them in the fridge, ready to cook, for after-school snacks for the kids.  The chicken is all cut, weighed and portioned; the veggies are all in their steamer bags, the rice is portioned, the oatmeal is mixed with protein powder, ground flax & cinnamon and bagged, the granola (for everyone but me) is made and stored... and once it was all complete, and dinner & laundry done... I crashed. Hard. Didn't move until the alarm went off this morning, lol.

I felt pretty good, though still wobbly as I headed to the gym. My temperature that had stabilized last night, started doing the roller coaster again, and I finished my Leg workout in a cold sweat... but I finished it. I killed it. Damn skippy. Tonight, I have to skip my Total Body Conditioning class (again) because of a Cheer meeting (again!), so after that I'll head straight to the gym for my 30 minutes of steady state cardio. The sinus junk settled into my chest, but isn't too bad, so while I will take my inhaler with me, I don't anticipate my asthma being an issue.

Meals this week for family dinners are...

Sunday - Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries (mine was a lettuce wrap)
Monday - Taco Salad (mine sans-chips & cheese)
Tuesday - Mini Pizzas (sandwich thins) - I'm having grilled salmon & veggies
Wednesday - Leftovers. I'll have a chicken wrap (portable dinner, bowling night)
Thursday - Chicken "nuggets" with salad and steamed broccoli
Friday - Tostadas with baked corn tortillas (salad with beef for me)
Saturday - Leftovers

My food (and Ariel's too, for that matter) is pretty much the same as last week. It's all about simplicity right now. I'm using Sriracha (super hot sauce) on my rice & chicken at lunch to, ha ha, spice it up... you can't be bored with your food if your mouth is on fire, lol! Seriously, though, I'm using the capsaicin (what makes hot sauce hot) deliberately to boost my metabolism. I also use mustard and flavored olive oils to add flavor to my foods. Yes, I'm eating a lot of chicken, but with herbs & spice mixes, it's easy to keep it switched up... and there's always Sriracha. :-)

I also did some work this weekend on my competition prep... I've started looking for a posing song. And I'm taking recommendations! If you've got an idea for a song that would work for a short (I think it's 60-90 seconds, something like that) walk & poses, PLEASE tell me! :-)  It needs to be easy to walk to, with a rhythm that fits with striking the poses (youtube figure competitions if you don't know what I mean). I might be too picky, lol (what, who me?) but I'm hoping for a song that sort of "represents" me... we'll see. That might be too much to ask for.

Here are the songs that have made the cut (very, very preliminary) so far - some may or may not work for this... (click on the title to listen) - and hey, my music tastes are eclectic... no judging :-)

The Scorpions - Hurricane 2000 (the intro)
Shakira - She Wolf
The Afters - Never Going Back to OK
Jennifer Lopez - Waiting for Tonight
Katy Perry - Firework
Muse - Supermassive Black Hole
Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day
No Doubt - Hella Good
Smashmouth - Can't Get Enough of You, Baby

Suggestions???  You can view this list on iTunes' Ping, but they don't have the Hurricane 2000 arrangement, so that'll be missing. View my Ping here (it'll open iTunes on your computer):

Missing Family....

One of the real drawbacks of living so far from family is missing special events. This weekend was my niece's birthday party, and while we couldn't be there with her, we LOVE getting the pictures :-) 

Here's my darlin' niece and my sis (isn't she gorgeous??)

And here are my parents with my sisters & brother

Sunday 4/17/2011:

Being Sick Sucks

Yes, being sick sucks. You know what sucks worse? Being sick and on a competition diet, and heading toward a Natural Show. Know why? Because all the good medicines to help ease the pressure in my head are related to ones on the banned substances list! Oy! So I'm stuck with antihistamines and throat lozenges. But... even the throat lozenges must be carefully examined for sugar/carbs/calories! Blek.  I used to just head straight toward the lozenges that have honey in them, but my competition diet says no bueno on the extra sugars, thus extra carbs. Let me tell ya, it's a pain in the butt to be foggy headed and trying to read labels on this stuff. Thank the gods for a terrific pharmacist who knew how to read the banned list and direct me.

I started having a major allergy attack Thursday, by Friday I was really fighting it, but did my workouts and cardio. Then Saturday, Bill and I attended the Senior Parent's meeting then headed over to the gym for cardio. For me it was HIIT on the stair-master. When I was done, I was DONE. Headed home and landed face first on the bed and didn't move for a few hours. Then Bill drove me to Target, where we were lost trying to find meds I can take that won't throw my drug tests, and then we discovered the amazing pharmacist.

Today, I'm better. Did my grocery shopping and food prep. My body is fighting... my temperature keeps going up and down, but I'm definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Good thing, because I have my Legs workout at 6:30 tomorrow morning. I'm really glad this hit me on my rest days, rather than during the week. I haven't lost any time, or workouts, or cardio, and I have managed to keep my food intake on track. I've had to force food down, lol, but I've gotten it in. Very thankful for my tasty protein powder :-) I've even got Bill hooked on my coffee/protein powder shake :-)

This week will follow the same routines as last week... Legs and Cardio on Monday, Tuesday is yoga in the morning and Back/Delts/Biceps in the evening, Wednesday is Chest/Triceps in the morning & Abs & Cardio in the evening, Thursday is yoga in the morning, and Legs in the evening, Friday is Delts/Back/Biceps/Triceps & Cardio, and Saturday is Cardio.

Food is all prepped and ready to go. I'll post tomorrow about what I prepped. I'm crashing. And sniffling. And rubbing Vicks all over my face... gonna smell menthol for weeks. Oy!


Friday 4/15/2011: I'm posting real quick...  Legs - done. Ariel's starting pics (1st batch were fuzzy) - done. Food - on track. Heading back to the gym soon to do my last workout of the week - Back, Delts, Biceps & Triceps, followed by cardio. I've already got my menus planned out for next week, and my grocery list nearly completed, so I'm ahead of the game :-) Tomorrow morning is a senior parent's meeting (fun) and hopefully we'll be given our tickets to graduation. We have to finish planning out the graduation party, too. Oy! Then after the meeting, Bill and I head to the gym - me for cardio, him for workout.

I'm off and running again... FYI... if I post during the weekend, it'll be on the Blogger page, not here :-)

Thursday 4/14/2011: After work yesterday, I went to (the correct) gym for my abs class and cardio. Can I just say... that 15 minute abs class was 15 minutes of sheer hell? Yes. I can say it. It was. BRUTAL! Non-stop abs. Sure it was only 15 minutes, but it was tough! Good thing was that the 15 minutes felt like 3, it went that fast! I wasn't kidding when I said non-stop! I've said it before, I'll say it again... Tabitha is the World's Greatest Trainer/Instructor!

I followed up abs with 30 minutes on the stairmaster... 20 minutes of intervals, 10 minutes steady. From there, I hurriedly cleaned up and headed to the bowling alley. I was very ready for my wrap :-)  I finished my day by not only hitting my goal of 72 oz of water intake, but killing it! I hit a gallon! Woohoo!

Woke early this morning and OH MY SCREAMING ABS!!! Lol! Serious pain! And I had yoga! Do you know that Cobra is nearly impossible with sore abs? It was all I could do to get through class this morning. I am still incredibly sore. I'm chugging water, but lordy I'm sore! Good sore, for sure... it means my hard work is working :-)

Per my promise, I have not gone on fitday (but it's been tough!). My food, however, is right on track.

Chelle's contest prep diet

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack 1 - 4 oz cooked (5 oz pre-cooked) grilled chicken breast and 5 medium size strawberries.  Lunch -   4 oz (5 oz pre-cooked weight) grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed zucchini/yellow squash, 1/2 cup of brown rice.   Dinner (post workout)  -  5 ounces (6 oz pre-cooked weight) Grilled chicken breast with 2 cups steamed veggies (green). I've added a banana here, since this is my post-workout meal and I need the simple carb (I may swap the banana for a baked sweet potato-4 oz).   I also have 2 mini cucumbers in there for whenever I need food (cucumbers are "free" on my competition diet).  Last Snack -  2 scoops chocolate protein powder mixed with decaf coffee & water

Figure competition diet - snack

Here's my snack this morning... yummy! We're out of apples, and I took the last of the strawberries... I don't feel even a tiny bit of guilt :-)

Tomorrow I'm raiding the blackberries. :-)

My head is in a better place than it was yesterday morning. I feel more relaxed about the whole food/calories/ratios thing. It's funny how quickly I get sucked into obsessing over details. I'm focusing now on the stage. That's what I need to wrap my head around. I want to do it with confidence, and that is going to take a lot of prep.

I was chatting with Tab yesterday before class, and she's running the Biggest Loser competition our gyms are doing. It's a really neat deal, includes Personal Training, small group training, classes, all kinds of stuff. She's put together a cool packet for the contestants too, which I got a peek at. As we're talking, she begins to share this idea she has to bring in someone who has traveled the path, lost the weight, made the transformation, to chat with the contestants - offer encouragement, tips, inspiration. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and when I was going through my journey, I'd have loved to have had that, what a great... Uh-oh.

Yeah. Did you get there before I did? She meant me.  S#%@!!!!!  My chest tightened, my throat closed up, spontaneous tears hit my eyes... all this over a small group setting. That's me, folks. That's how very scared I am to be in "the spotlight". So of course I agreed to do it. One step closer to the stage, right? Oy.

Baby steps, Chelle. Baby steps.

Today's workout - Legs

Today is my 2nd leg day of the week, here's what's in my lineup...

Romanian deadlifts 2 sets 10-15 reps
Wide Leg Press  (using wide stance) 2 sets  10-15 reps

Leg Curl 2 sets 6-8 reps
Walking Lunge 2 sets 12-15 reps

Leg Extension (doing my weighted single leg raises instead) 2 sets 12 reps
Smith Machine Squat 3 sets 12 reps

Calf Raises 4 sets 15 reps


Change in plans...

Bill has poker tomorrow night, so we did date night, and my treat meal, tonight instead of our usual friday. I moved tonight's leg workout to tomorrow morning, and tomorrows workout to tomorrow night. And I very much enjoyed my dinner ;) 

It was a clean meal... Pork tenderloin with raspberry sauce, sweet potatoes and grilled zucchini with a gorgeous salad... Totally clean. I've spoken with the chef  ;)


Wednesday 4/13/2011: I'm out of control!

Tab and I had a little chat yesterday... it's the same little chat we've had several times over the last few weeks... it's about my calorie intake & ratios. I have been spending more and more time on tweaking my food until I hit as close to where I need to be as possible... if I have to diverge, I freak. Finally, yesterday, I sent her a panic-email about my food for the day not being on target. When I saw her last night, she gave me the thunk to the back of the head I needed. Yes, I am following a plan. Yes, we have made one minor change to said plan (adding a banana to my post workout shake so that my body gets the quick carbs it needs to recover and build). Yes, my nutrition is solid. Yes, Yes, Yes. So why am I freaking? Because my numbers don't add up exactly to my target. I actually spent 30 minutes last night tweaking my fitday for today... when I found myself adjusting the scoops of protein powder (1, 1 1/2, 2) for the FOURTH time hoping to hit my ratios, I realized I am out of control.

No bueno.

I have used fitday for nearly 4 years... it's a fantastic tool that's helped me stay on track, reach my goals and I recommend it to anyone. But... along the way (since I began my Figure Competition journey) it's become something more for me, something unhealthy. Instead of being a tool to keep me where I need to be, it's become my obsessive compulsive behavior - my attempt to exercise some form of control over a situation that terrifies me (crossing the stage). Well, this just won't do. So...

I'm banning fitday. (I think my heart just stopped).

Today's fitday will be the last one you see on my cooler page until after the competition. Geeze, even as I type that, I'm coming up with circumstances where I might justify using it again... really???  No! No more fitday until after the show. I will follow the plan I'm on. I will do what Tab tells me. I will trust the process.

I'm going to go eat now. Because it's that time. Lol.

and she's back...  (and yes, I feel much better now that I've eaten - yay, oatmeal!)... let's talk about my workouts and today's food :-)

Today my day began with weights... Chest/Triceps & some Abs (fyi, in 2 weeks, my number of sets increase).

Incline Dumbbell Press (17.5 lbs, but it was too light) - 2 sets of 10
Flat Dumbbell Press (20 lbs, gonna have to increase that, too) - 2 sets of 12
Pec Deck (I did Cable Crossovers instead - 25 lbs) - 2 sets of 12
Tricep Pushdowns (40 lbs) - 2 sets of 12 (with a 3-count hold at the bottom as you squeeze the tricep like you're trying to push the bar through your thighs)
Lying Tricep Extensions (skull crushers) with 30 lb EZ bar - 2 sets of 12
Abs - 3 sets of 25 reverse crunches on a bench

Time to complete (including 5 min warm-up on elliptical): 35 minutes
Calorie Burn: 207
Heart-rate info: 128-156

After work tonight, I'm back at the gym to catch a 15 minute abs class (AT THE PLATINUM CLUB!!! I did that in all caps to remind myself to go to the correct gym for the correct class, unlike last time when I ended up in the class from hell because I mixed up which gym I was supposed to go to. LOL!) followed by 30 minutes of cardio: 20 minutes high intensity, 10 minutes steady state.

After that, I clean up and take my trusty cooler to the bowling alley where I'll cheer on my guys and eat my dinner.



Today's cooler contains everything except my post-workout shake & banana (which I consumed right after my early morning workout). Here's the rest...

Chelle's Figure Competition Diet

Post-workout: 2 scoops chocolate Beverly protein powder mixed with coffee & water, and a banana.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal mixed with 2 tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp UDO's oil, 1 scoop vanilla Beverly Ultimate Muscle Protein powder, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.
Snack: 4 oz grilled chicken breast and 5 medium sized strawberries
Lunch: 4 oz grilled chicken breast, 1/2 cup brown rice (cooked), 1 cup steamed zucchini & yellow squash
- 5:30 pm - abs & cardio -
Dinner: Wrap - 1 low carb (5g) high fiber wrap stuffed with 5 oz grilled chicken breast, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage, 1/4 cup sliced peppers, 1 Tbsp reduced fat feta & mustard.
Extras: 2 mini cucumbers (free food) for if/when I need it.

Tuesday 4/12/2011: FREE Foods on Competition Diet

Okay, so I was right and I was wrong about my free foods yesterday :-) I remembered reading my Master Food List, but the peppers and celery were on the non-starchy vegetable list, not the free list. Damn. The Free Food list is dismally slim. We're talking cucumbers. Ok, and mushrooms, but I'm not much into plain mushrooms (and if I steam 'em, the folks in my office will lynch me). So... cucumbers. I'm gonna be eatin' me a lot of cucumbers :-)

For anyone who's wondering :-) I'm following the Beverly International plan. Fit Figure, to be precise. It can be found in their publication, Beverly's Blueprint for Success. (here's the main site:

The info below is from my current (Phase I) diet guidelines, which have me shooting for 50% protein, 30% carb, and 20% fat, with around 1400 cal/day. The only change we've made to the plan is to accommodate the post-workout nutrition needs by adding a high glycemic carb to the protein shake/meal that follows the exercise. This changes my ratios a bit, but nothing severe. 

Vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, mustard, garlic, mushrooms, onions, scallions, lettuce, cucumber,
citrus peels, chili peppers, dry seasonings, salt, pepper, sugar-free gum and sugar-free Jell-O

Diet sodas, coffee, water, sparkling water, and tea

___________________from Beverly International, Blueprint For Success.


Since added salt and sugar-free Jell-O are not clean, and not part of my lifestyle... those are out. Not gonna chug vinegar, either, lol. Lettuce... some potential there, I don't have a problem with munching on lettuce leaves between meals, but I'll go with a green-leaf lettuce rather than iceberg or romaine (higher nutritional profile). Also nix the diet sodas... not clean.

There ya have it. Cucumbers.

OMG, it's time for lunch!!!!! I can eat!!!!  Bye!!!!


8am....  I don't know if it's because I began my day with weights or what, but man, I was starving yesterday!!! After dinner, I ended up making a protein shake (1.5 scoops chocolate protein powder with 14 oz water & decaf coffee). That brought up my calories, but after chatting with Tab about it, I'm not worried. Yesterday was a leg workout in the morning, and a 30 minute cardio session on the elliptical in the evening - my leg is still healing from surgery, and between the muscle work & the healing process, calories (from solid nutrition) are necessary. So I had to boost my calories yesterday... so what. I gave my body what it needed, and I'm good with that. (Now if I can just keep that mentality at the forefront, I might mentally survive this, lol).

I began with yoga this morning, and after work, I'll hit the gym for my Back/Delts/Biceps workout. Today, I'm coming in right at 1400 calories in. Food for day is...

Figure competition diet... 1400 cal
click on the photo to visit the Cooler Page with all my food data

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack 1 - 4 oz cooked (5 oz pre-cooked) grilled chicken breast and an apple.  Lunch -   4 oz (5 oz pre-cooked weight) grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed zucchini/yellow squash, 1/2 cup of brown rice.   Dinner (post workout) - (not pictured) 5 ounces (6 oz pre-cooked weight) Grilled chicken breast & 2 cups steamed green beans with 4 oz baked sweet potato. Snack 2 - Shake - 2 scoops chocolate protein powder mixed with 14 oz water & decaf coffee

Today's numbers: Total intake: 1397 calories; 47% protein, 37% carb, 16% fat.

Note: Coolers for the boys (hubby Bill & his dad): Chelle's breakfast burrito,  2 hard boiled eggs, apple, string cheese, strawberries & a serving of granola (clean, homemade).

Note 2: Ariel's food today: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon; Snack 1: 5 oz grilled chicken, apple, 24 almonds; Lunch: 5 oz grilled chicken, 2 slices whole grain bread, 1 slice Tillamook Medium Cheddar & lettuce; Snack 2: Protein shake. Dinner: 5 oz chicken breast with 2 cups steamed broccoli/cauliflower. Snack 3 (if needed): protein shake. Approx 1700 cal.

I want to thank all of you who've left comments and/or emailed me. It's really hard for me to know that those photos are up for anyone to see. I very nearly pulled them down yesterday - it messed with my head that much. I've got some mental work to do.

On another note, I'm really not a shake girl... I don't care to drink my meals, lol, so the idea of making shakes a regular part of my pre-contest diet doesn't appeal. But... last night, I mixed decaf coffee with the water & protein powder (chocolate) and that was pretty darn tasty! Even Bill said, "not bad". LOL! That will become my shake of choice.


Monday 4/11/2011: Quick recap of the weekend... I got in all my workouts last week, and all my cardio. Yay! Saturday after doing Legs in the morning & cardio, I headed out to Scottsdale Culinary Festival with Tab. Mountainside Fitness was doing a Zumba presentation each day of the Festival, and Tab was in it. The presentation was great, and the Festival was a ton of fun. Tab and I wandered from booth to booth, sampling foods that aren't in our normal repertoire. Including some sweets. And some more sweets. :-)  It made for a really fun day.

Sunday was my food prep and my Counter of Chaos reigned supreme. With my youngest making Cheer, 2 graduating in May, my insurance deductible (for the hit-n-run), and so on, we're in a bit of a crunch, so shopping this time was slim. Not a problem for me, my food is simple, lol, but I try to give the family a big more leeway. Anyway, I ended up processing 15 lbs of chicken breast, 5 lbs of pork, and 1 lb of ground turkey breast. That's a lot of protein! Plus, 2 lbs of oatmeal, 4 lbs of bananas, 6 lbs of apples (20 apples), and various other items. So where does it all go? Here's the breakdown:

Food for Ariel & I (contest prep/clean eating): 4 and 5 oz pieces of chicken & pork, steamer bags with 1 and 2 cups of green veggies, apples, bananas, protein powder in baggies (for shakes), oatmeal/protein powder/flax in baggies, brown rice in 1/2 cup servings in baggies. Additionally, Ariel has cottage cheese & berries and hard boiled eggs.

Family Dinners:
Sunday: Sloppy Joes with turkey breast on whole wheat buns & salad
Monday: Chicken breasts (seasoned with olive oil & Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime) drizzled in tomatillo sauce (homemade yesterday, but none for me), and steamed veggies.
Tuesday: Chicken Breasts (seasoned with olive oil & fresh rosemary and dried oregano & fresh garlic) with baked potatoes and steamed zucchini (no potato for me).
Wednesday: Leftovers (wrap for me, for bowling night)
Thursday: Crispy Chicken Bites (Eat Clean Diet Family/Kids book) with steamed veggies and potatoes (no potatoes for me).
Friday: Date Night!!!!!
Saturday: Buffalo Chicken Nachos (Chicken on a green salad for me).

Coolers for Bill & his Dad:
Sandwiches made with whole grain bread, sliced grilled chicken breast, tillamook medium cheddar, lettuce & tomato; string cheese, hard boiled eggs, granola or granola bars, apples.

Snacks/foods for everyone: Grilled Chicken breast (the kids love to make salads with this after school), strawberries, apples, bananas, salad bags, steamer bags of veggies (zucchini, green beans, asparagus), greek yogurt, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs.

That's a lot of food! Everything but the chicken for the Crispy Chicken Bites is cooked, though the breading is premade and in a baggie in the fridge. :-) This week is all about fast, nutritious and easy.

My Foreman Grill got a serious workout yesterday, but I love the grilled meats it produces :-) 

So what does my Sunday really look like?

1. Finalize grocery list and menu for the week. Determine which stores I need to visit.

2. Grocery shop - this week (per the sales) I hit 4 stores, driving 15 miles round trip. My total bill was $143. No frills this week (or shampoo, deo, etc... strictly food shopping this week) though I did have to buy dog food :-)

3. Return home - unpack car, toss bags on kitchen counter. Plug in iPod to boombox, start the first load of laundry and begin food prepping.

  • trim chicken breasts, then marinate chicken and pork, while preheating oven and Foreman grill

  • wash/slice/chop veggies and place in steamer bags with sprinkle of Mrs Dash, place all steamer bags in container/tray and put in fridge

  • begin cooking meats

  • boil eggs (18 count this week). when done, rinse with cool water, drain, put lid on pot and shake to break up the shells. Add cold water to just covering eggs and set aside to cool completely

  • chop 2 chicken breasts into "bites" for Thursday's dinner. Place in gallon size ziploc with 1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk (this makes it super tender and easy to bread!). Toss in fridge.

  • Switch laundry :-)

  • make breading for Thursday's dinner: ground flax, ground almonds, wheat germ, oat bran, seasonings. Place all in baggie, toss in fridge.

  • make oatmeal baggies - 1/2 cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp ground flax, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Seal, toss in container/tray and place in fridge

  • dump apples into their bowl on the counter, place bananas beside it.

  • slice celery and red & orange peppers for snacking. Place in gallon size ziplocs and into fridge

  • allow grilled meats to cool, then chop & weigh, labeling individual baggies (4 oz pieces for snack & lunch, 5 oz pieces for dinners). Slice 2 chicken breasts for lunch meat.

  • Peel eggs, place in baggies (2 to a bag). Place all bags in large bowl and put it in the fridge.

  • Switch laundry (thank you, Bill!!! he folded the loads)

  • boil brown rice (in low sodium chicken broth). Drain, cool. Place 1/2 cup in each baggie. Toss in container/tray and place in fridge.

  • pull pork roast out of oven, allow to cool, then slice. Place in baggies, weigh & label each (4 ounce and 5 ounce portions).

  • Change the iPod playlist (from testing out new workout playlist to one with hits from the 50's and 60's).  Take a short break because Bill made me a wine spritzer and it's so nice outside (1/2 chardonnay, 1/2 mineral water over ice).

  • begin dinner... serve, eat, clean up (not a big deal since I clean as I go, literally, every step of the way so there's no mess when I'm done).

  • finish folding last of the laundry.

  • unplug iPod.

  • DONE!


20 Weeks Out - Day 1

Today began with weights. According to my plan, today is now Leg Day. Additionally, today is the first day of the new diet. What do I think of it so far? I'm gonna need a multi-vitamin. And a complete list of all the "free-foods" I can eat. Stat!

First, here's today's leg workout. It's short compared to what I'm used to (but, I remind myself, it's going to get longer, and tougher).

Leg Press (85 lbs) 2 sets of 15
Squats 2 sets of 15

Hack squat machine (no weight, just the sled which is about 45 lbs): 2 sets of 15
Stiff Legged Deadlifts with 30 lb bar: 2 sets of 12

Single leg raises with resistance (I'm not allowed to use the leg extension, this is my modification - I lay down a heavy body bar and wrap a red resistance tube around it, then lay on my back, one leg bent with the foot on the bar, the other leg straight - engage the quad and raise it up pushing against the resistance - hold for 3 count, then down, relax muscle, then repeat).
Abs: 2 sets medicine ball crunches; 2 sets medicine ball raises, 2 sets of planks back to back

Stretch and foam roller.

Total calorie burn: 241
Total time: 45 minutes
Heart-rate: 123 - 159

Here's Day 1 of my Phase I contest diet:

Chelle's Figure Contest Prep Diet - Day 1

Contents:  Post Workout -  (not pictured) Protein Shake (1.5 scoops protein powder & water) with whole banana.   Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon.  Snack 1 - 4 oz cooked (5 oz pre-cooked) grilled chicken breast and an apple.  Lunch -   4 oz (5 oz pre-cooked weight) grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed broccoli/cauliflower, 1/2 cup of brown rice. Snack 2 - 1.5 cup celery & red/orange pepper (free food) Dinner - (not pictured) 5 ounces (6 oz pre-cooked weight) Grilled chicken breast & 2 cups steamed asparagus.

Total calories in: 1378.  44% protein, 40% carb, 16% fat.
Goal: 1400 cal/day, 50% protein, 30% carb, 20% fat.  Now, that doesn't account for adding the banana post-workout (which studies support for rapid recovery & quality progress), which changes my protein to carb ratio. But I think I still need some tweaking here.  Gonna go work on that. 



Friday 4/8/2011:   No Place to Hide... Starting Photos

(before Figure Competition) and Stats


On the forum, we have a thread going about music motivating us, and we post our fav songs... I've been doing a song of the day,  and today's is Korn - No Place To Hide.  You see, today was the day we took my Before contest photos and measurements, lol. Scary.

The day started with a weigh in and Tanita body fat measurement. I did the body fat so I could compare it to the skinfold measurements later. I met Tab at the gym at 3pm, and we headed into the locker room. I had gone shopping earlier for a bikini for the pics - all of mine are designed to cover me up, lol, so I needed one that wouldn't. Again, scary.

For the purposes of being transparent and honest, I'm telling you right now this is hard for me. I have body image issues, I'm shy. While I have no problem sharing my stats, the photos are another thing entirely. I've come such a long way in my journey, my body has changed so much, and I'm proud of what I've done, and what I'm continuing to do. But... the loose skin, the whole belly area is all I see most of the time. It's a battle I continue to fight, and one day I hope to be completely comfortable in my own skin. More than just for a moment. It's one of the reasons I'm doing this Figure competition. It's a big part of why I chose to do the Burlesque fitness class and show in August 2009.

Ok. I'm sucking it up, taking a big breath, and putting it all out there. Here are my stats.

Weight: 123
Tanita Body Fat: 24.8%  (this is from my Tanita scale)
Body fat % per skinfold tests (more accurate): 27.2%

Chest: 34.75
Thigh: 20.5
Hips: 35
Umbilicus (waist): 27.5
Arm: 11.75
Calf: 13.5
Height: 5' 2"

And now... [another big deep breath] here's my before contest photo:



Just kidding!!  :-)




Ok, here's the real deal... 

So...  There you have it. Standing in that locker room (which was like an icebox, btw!), wearing that bikini while people came in and out, watching us take measurements and pics  (and generally wonder why the crazy lady was wearing a bikini in the gym locker room)... it was really hard. Hard to be that exposed. But I survived, I even put it out of my head for brief moments. I know I'll become more at ease. I know that because I'm going to keep pushing forward, I'm going to continue to grow.

I have 20 weeks to take my body fat percentage from 27 to 12, and my weight from 123 to around 110-115. Tab spent some time analyzing my body, and believes that my shoulders, arms and back look good and will lean out well. My posterior is a bit of a pancake, lol, so we're working on building that up. Stripping body fat will make the biggest difference, as I have good mature muscle (it's just a bit hidden, ha ha).

Monday begins the next phase. My calories remain at 1400, but my ratios change pretty dramatically. I'll be at 50% of my caloric intake from protein, 30% from carbs, 20% from fat. My diet will stay here until I'm 6 weeks out from competition. We'll decide at that point if I need to do the hardcore diet from there, or if I can wait two more weeks. Additionally, my workout routine will also morph. Currently I do weights 3x/week, 1 total body conditioning class, 2 yoga, and 3 cardio.  I'm moving to 5 days of weights, 4 cardio, and 2 yoga. I'll maintain that for 2 weeks, and then we'll adjust the number of sets I do each day. 2 more weeks and we'll adjust again.

For the time being, Ariel remains right where she's at... weights 3x/week, yoga 2, total body conditioning class 1x/week, and no cardio. Her diet also remains the same (around 1700 calories, 40% fat, 35% carb, 25% fat).

So... that's the plan!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pretend I did not just post those photos.

Thursday 4/7/2011: Today's cooler is more on track. I'm at 1466 calories (including dinner) and 40% protein, 37% carb, and 24% fat. I got several questions yesterday regarding how I hit so tight on my goal numbers... my friends! That resource is a life-saver for me! Here's how it usually goes... I pack my cooler then head to the office. I take my pics of the contents, then plug it all into Fitday. The program totals me up, and I can see right away if I need to tweak anything. The most common tweak I'm making now is to my portion sizes. Having gone from 1800-1900 cal/day down to 1400, I need 3-4 ounces of lean protein instead of 5-6. The Fitday program allows you tot make adjustments up and down, and recalculates everything. Yes, it takes time, but to me, it's worth every second. It's a free resource, too.  :-) And I like free. I like it alot.

Here's my cooler and data (click on the picture to go to the Cooler Page with the other pics and nutrition info).

Chelle's clean eating cooler - 1466 calories, including dinner

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon, and 1/2 grapefruit.  Snack 1 - 1 cup 2% Chobani Greek Yogurt (plain) with 1/4 cup of granola.    Lunch -   4 oz grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed broccoli/cauliflower, 1/2 cup of brown rice and the other half of my grapefruit. Snack 2 - 3 ounces grilled chicken breast, 2 string cheese and an apple  Dinner - (not pictured) 4 ounces Grilled chicken breast & 2 cups steamed asparagus.

Nutritional Info: 1466 calories: 40% protein, 37% carb, 24% fat. 30.7 g of fiber.

My training is on track. Last night I hit the gym for cardio... I did the stair-master!! Woohoo! 25 minutes! Yeah, my knees hurt afterwards, and still a bit this morning, but nothing like before. I'm being careful, listening to my body, but it felt good to be back to my favorite form of calorie-burning cardio :-) 

My shoulders are still screaming sore from Tuesday's workout, and yoga this morning included a lot of poses with weight on the shoulders - felt a little wobbly, but nothing bad. It was a more playful class this morning, and we tried some new poses - some of which Ariel muttered, "ah, hell no!" when she saw them demonstrated. LOL! But it was fun. I feel like I'm getting more out of yoga now. I'm holding the poses stronger, activating more of my muscle control, and I'm sore from the classes, so I'm happy, lol!

Me and the water bottle had a come-to-Jesus chat yesterday. With the amount of fiber in my diet, with the goals I have, half-assing it doesn't work in my water intake. I have to get serious about hitting my minimum 64 oz/day goal of water. So far today, I am on track. Thank goodness for lemon slices! (And a bathroom nearby my office! LOL!)

Ariel is heading out of town to attend Country Thunder. She leaves tonight, so we've spent some time going over the food she has to take with her. I've also sent her with a workout sheet and a resistance tube. I'm confident she'll stay on track. 

Ariel went to Build-A-Bear yesterday and made me a bear that plays the Star Wars theme. AWESOME!! LOL! It came with a birth certificate (his name is Darth, of course), and a note from her thanking me for all I'm doing to help her reach her goals. How cool is that? And really, she had me at the Star Wars theme. :-)

Technology upgrade...


I'm wired! And I'm not talking about coffee. Though, yes, I've had a few cups. :-)

After months of watching my phone and camera slowly call it quits on me, I finally went to the Sprint store and got an upgrade. I decided to drag my butt, kicking and screaming, into the new technology world... and I am no longer a troglodyte. My new Samsung Epic Shift is Droid, has a camera, a video recorder, a facebook app, twitter app, a million other apps I don't yet know how to use, both a screen & real keyboard, and best of all... it stays on. It does not randomly shut off. I can blog from it... once I figure out how. I can really read email on it (not like the tiny little interface I had before). And when I get lost, because you know I will, I have TWO (count them, TWO!!) gps apps. :-)

It's pretty cool, I'm pretty stoked. And my husband is pretty jealous. :-) Ok, yeah, that's really the best part.


Wednesday 4/6/2011: This is why I use fitday... 

Overshot the runway today. My cooler food (breakfast through dinner) added up to 350 calories MORE than my goal. I wouldn't have known that, had I not plugged in my food first thing this morning. It's easy to underestimate what we ingest. Since all my food is clean, I didn't think anything of it when my cooler seemed a little full this morning. Run the numbers, and there you have it - off-track. An easy fix, when I see it right away, I reduced the amounts of some of my foods for today (brown rice, chicken, beef, string cheese). My ratios were all correct, but the portion size was wrong. I guess my brain is still stuck in the 1800 cal/day zone, lol.

I have everything in line now, and my totals for the day will be 1459 calories with 41% from protein, 34% from carbs, and 26% from fat. (Goal is 1400 cal; 40% protein, 35% carb, 25% fat).  [click on the photo to go to the Cooler Page with all the pics and nutrition info]

Chelle's clean eating cooler - 1459 calories for the day

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon, and 1/2 grapefruit.  Snack 1 -1 cup 0% Chobani Greek Yogurt (plain) with 1/4 cup of granola & 1/2 cup blackberries     Lunch -   3 oz grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed broccoli/cauliflower, a tiny bit (about a tablespoon) of brown rice and the other half of my grapefruit. Snack 2 - 3 ounces grilled chicken breast, 1 string cheese and an apple Dinner - 5 oz grilled london broil in a wrap with spinach, cabbage, peppers and feta.

Yesterday's workout & a whine-fest

I saw this today and immediately thought of Tab's Total Body Conditioning class :-)

Yesterday wasn't a class, it was my Chest/Triceps/Shoulders day. We've made a modification to my normal routine, swapping out the shoulder exercises. I have limited range of motion in my shoulders - yoga has helped immensely with that, but it's still limited. There's also something wrong in there, and certain motions trigger pain - the kind that either instantly brings tears to the eyes, or brings tears to the eyes and makes me drop the weight. Hence, modification.

So, yesterday's modification was to do reverse flyes instead of my regular lat raises. Well, evidently I still have some work to do in the mindset area... I KNOW modifying is not weakness, I KNOW modifying is smart, but it pissed me off when I had trouble getting through my sets. PISSED. My third set (was supposed to do four) I had to stop 3 times before I could get through it. PISSED. And I was using light weights. PISSED. By the time I was done, I was hurting and angry. It also didn't help that I worked out in a different gym, where I had to find what I needed for each set (or not find), and discovered that unlike in my regular gym, there are people who have no problem staring at others who are working out, or jumping in and using the 2nd arm of the Universal machine I'm on, while I'm on it, when there's a 2nd Universal machine 3 feet away - that no one is using. Really??? Who does that???

I dragged myself into Tab's office and whined. Those of you who know Tabitha, can guess where that got me. LOL! First I got the smack in the head I needed. Modifying is not a show of weakness. Modifying means working smarter. Shoulders are small muscles, and using small weights is not a sign of weakness. (do you see a theme here?). And next, yep, I got a modification to the modification.  Lol. We're working on building up my rear delts, in the hopes (not only of improving my physique) of reducing strain on my shoulders, and reducing that bite I feel when I raise laterally. I may need more modifications, and now that my head is on straight again, I'm good with that.

My shoulders are sore today, but more, my upper back is sore - because I pushed through when I should have stopped and assessed, I allowed my back to carry the weight load instead of my shoulders. <sigh> I knew better, dagnabbit. But... it's ok. It was one exercise, in one workout, and next time I'll be smarter.


Tuesday 4/5/2011: A New Healthy Hero! 

I'm excited to introduce you to another one of my healthy heroes. You might remember a while back I shared my yoga instructor with you, Abbie Chapman. She's such an amazing person, and I cherish each yoga class with her. Today, I'm sharing with you the incredible instructor who taught the Burlesque fitness class I took awhile back. Julianna Curtis (aka Lady Fontayne of Scandalesque) inspired me, challenged me, and ultimately knocked my scared butt out of the nest so I could fly. Please take a few moments to read her interview with me and get to know her. View Healthy Heroes.

Total Body Conditioning class last night was awesome :-) Tonight I'll be doing my chest, triceps, shoulders workout, followed by cardio. Tab and I will be doing my photos & measurements on Friday, so hopefully Saturday I can get those up on the site. (Yikes!).

Here's today's food (click on the photo to go to the cooler page with all the info including the fitday nutrition breakdown):

Chelle's Clean Eating Cooler - incl. dinner (not pictured) 1400 calories

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon, and 1/2 grapefruit.  Snack 1 - 1 cup 0% Chobani Greek Yogurt (plain) with 1/4 cup of granola & 1/2 cup blackberries     Lunch -   4 oz grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed broccoli/cauliflower, 1/4 avocado and the other half of my grapefruit  (there's a half cup of brown rice in the picture, but after running my fitday numbers, the rice got nixed from my food for the day). Snack 2 - 2 hard boiled eggs and an apple  Dinner - 5 oz chicken breast with 2 cups steamed asparagus.


Monday 4/4/2011: It's Monday! 

Bill's birthday dinner went well. We ended up with 10 people at the table, lol. Good thing I made the big batch of Enchilasagna!  

Today is day 1 of my initial lean out phase, in preparation for my first Figure Competition. I've dropped my calorie intake from 1800-1900/day down to 1400/day, and begun taking Beverly's Lean Out (2 pills with meals 1, 3 and 5). I'm 21 weeks out from competition. I will get my pics and stats up this week, and Ariel's, too. I'm still with the goal of 40% protein, 35% carb, 25% fat. That may change soon, but for now, we're keeping it. Apart from the Lean Out, the only other supplements I take are the protein powder (Beverly's UMP), Beverly's Joint complex (Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM), calcium, Hyaluronic Acid, and Fish Oil.

Food Prep for the week...

Family menu is as follows:

Sunday - Enchilasagna with salad & banana splits (mine no-dairy) for Bill's Birthday dinner
Monday - Mini Grilled Cheese & black bean sandwiches with Tomato Soup (I'm having chicken breast & steamed veggies)
Tuesday - Baked Manicotti with Chicken (from the Clean Eating magazine -march 2011)
Wednesday - Leftovers - wrap for me (bowling  night after Muscle class)
Thursday - Chicken with Tomatillo sauce & Steamed veggies
Friday - Buffalo Chicken Nachos/Salad
Saturday - Crispy Chicken bites (from EC for Families book), steamed veggies & baked sweet potatoes
Sunday - Sloppy Janes (Clean Eating Quick & Easy book) with salad

My daytime/cooler food (and Ariel's): Grilled Chicken breast, roasted pork tenderloin, grilled london broil, hard boiled eggs, greek yogurt (2%), cottage cheese (4%), oatmeal with protein powder/ground flax, brown rice, avocado, steamer bag veggies: broccoli/cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus; fruit: bananas, apples, grapefruit, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries. Plus today I have ahi tuna :-) Schweet!

Today's cooler, including dinner (which is not pictured) hits right at goal: 1392 calories (43% protein, 34% carb, 22% fat).

Contents:  Breakfast -   Oatmeal w/protein powder, ground flax, cinnamon, and 1/2 grapefruit.  Snack 1 -1 cup 0% Chobani Greek Yogurt (plain) with 1/4 cup of granola & 1/2 cup blackberries     Lunch -   5 oz Ahi Tuna on an Earthgrains thinbun with green leaf lettuce, tomato and wasabi, with a cucumber (mini) and the other half of my grapefruit  Snack 2 - 2 hard boiled eggs and an apple  Dinner - 5 oz chicken breast with steamed cauliflower/broccoli.

What's that you see? Is that BREAD?  Yep! Today I'm having bread. I know. Hell called and thanked me for the snow-cones :-) Seriously though, I do enjoy bread, just not much. Today's sandwich is on an Earthgrains Multi-Grain sandwich thin. It just seemed to go with the Ahi (which I couldn't resist at the store... I've been craving it, so I gave in). I do have the avocado pictured, but it's not in my fitday numbers because I'm not sure if I'll use it or not. If I do, it'll bring my stats up to near perfect (I'm a little low on fat today) - a 1/4 avocado would take me to 1461 cal, and my ratios to 41% protein, 34% carb, 25% fat.

Sunday 4/3/2011:

Bike Week Pics


We had an absolute blast last night! So much fun! The vendor booths were fantastic, the company was fantastic, and the concert was incredible! Buckcherry put on a great show, ending with my fav - Crazy Bitch :-)

While I did find an awesome bandanna, I couldn't find it with any designs on it, so I didn't get a new one.They had these great super-stretchy ones that would have been perfect for the gym, but none of them had any bling :-( Bummer. But.... my awesome husband bought me a new pair of jeans! L.A. Idol is the brand, and they're stretchy through the thigh, and snug in the waist! Perfect! Being a (haha) real woman, jeans are a tough deal for me. I don't have the skinny legs my girls do, but I want "cool" jeans. Getting a good fit, usually means spending more money than I want in a store like Buckle. These jeans just became my new favorites! They're blinged out (woohoo! My inner magpie rejoices!), they fit like a dream (bootcut for my short legs!), and they were only $56!!

Then, he got me these...


Now, there's a story behind those... If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that when I lost the weight, I lost my boobage, along with it. Totally. Completely. I went from a lovely full C, to a negative A. Seriously. I have stumped the ladies at Victoria Secret. My pecs are bigger than my bust. And to add insult to injury, I have a large ribcage. I'm technically a 36-AA. While I've done the research and made the decision to have my bust enhanced, the money for the surgery isn't here yet. In the meantime, padded bras are my friend, lol. Now we were looking at this beautiful bike last night... it was stunning! Custom paint that included some very tastefully done nudes (yeah, I know - Bike Week/Tasteful Nudes? Seriously though, these were gorgeous). The hubby cracks a joke that he'd buy the bike and I'd make him repaint it. I protested. He then says..."Then I need a t-shirt that says 'My wife doesn't have tits, but my bike does'."  Oh yeah, doghouse. So when we came across those panties, he had to buy them for me. LOL!

Here's a few more pics from the night... and yes, I let my inner geek out to play :-)


Bill and Ron

It was a tad windy, lol!

 You can't see it, but I'm grinning like a maniac in there! LOL!

I can totally see how this would keep your face warm when riding. :-)




Saturday 4/2/2011:

Ahhhh Saturday!

It's Saturday. That means tech-theatre is done for my girls (final night of the H.S. show was last night followed by tear-down, and the traditional pancakes afterwards). They were home and tucked in bed by 2:30 a.m. They're still sleeping, lol. Saturday means I got to sleep in, which was awesome since I was up late last night answering the questions of an incredibly intuitive and insightful writer who needed my questionnaire sooner than we expected. Saturday also means.... It's Bill's Birthday!! Woohoo!!! 41, baby!

While Bill and I went to high school together (and two homecomings), we were never "together" back then, so it's only in the last 11 years that we've been a couple. I'm grateful for every moment, every day, every year I share his life. I'm looking forward to reaching the birthday when I can say I've shared more of his life than I've missed. :-)

It's also my baby sister's birthday - Happy Birthday, Sylly Sylvia!!! I love you!!

Today will be low-key... Coffee on the patio while I finished up the questionnaire then sent it off, followed by polishing up my grocery list for tomorrow's food prep. Now we're chilling (and yes, I'm still drinking coffee, lol) and later tonight we'll head over to Westworld for AZ Bike Week. I'm hoping to get a pic of Bill and I... I picked up a pretty black top for the evening, it's got one sleeve, lol, and I really like it. I'm gonna do some shoulder work today, too, so hopefully my arms will pop nicely :-) Ah, vanity.

One of my favorite aspects of Bike Week is searching the vendor booths for new bandannas. I'm a bandanna queen, lol. I have lots of different ones, and wear them to the gym (particularly for those early morning appearances where my short hair is going in a million different directions, often with bed-head on one side, and electrocution-style on the other. My yoga instructor actually doesn't recognize me without my bandanna, lol (or makeup for that matter).

We're not riding this year (bummer), but hopefully next year we will. We haven't ridden in awhile... a long while, actually. I miss it. The bike we have is a Honda VTX 1800, but it's n



Friday 4/1/2011:

A Teenager, A Dog, and a Damn Tasty Sugar Scrub...

I make a sugar scrub. It's incredible. It's replaced soap, exfoliators, and shaving cream in our house. Everyone loves it. It cleans the skin, sloughs off dry cells, and leaves you moisturized all day. It's helped clear acne, it reduces razor burn, it makes skin glow. It's truly fabulous. It's also not cheap. A key ingredient is Emu oil. I swear by Emu oil... it has amazing healing properties, plus it's anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and uber-moisturizing. We've seen it work miracles. Emu oil is pricey. It's around $120 for a pint. Yes, it lasts a long time, but... not cheap.  Other ingredients are Sucanat, Coconut Oil, Cocounut Butter, and Grapefruit extract. It smells wonderful, and feels fantastic. The scrub is amazing. did I mention it's not cheap? 

So what's all this got to do with a teenager and a dog? Well... turns out, the combo of the coconut oil & butter and the sucanat is quite tasty. We all joke about loving to wash our faces with the scrub because it tastes good. It also tastes good to the dog. The dog who will nose her way into the bathroom, sniff over to the bowl which the teenager, who after running out of her own bowl of scrub, snuck in and removed Bill & I's bowl from our bathroom shower and took into hers then left open on the edge of the tub, which is where said dog proceeded to eat the whole bowl of scrub. This dog then took the now licked clean bowl downstairs and left it in the center of the living room floor... apparently her way of saying, "Hey, we're out of sugar scrub! Time to make more!".

No wonder the dog has such a shiny coat.

Leg Day 

Today was leg day. Leg day began at 6am. Six a.m. arrives shortly after I reach my "not enough coffee in bloodstream" point. :-) 

Ariel and I hit the gym with Tab, and worked our way through a fresh routine. Ariel's form is improved greatly, and I'm not ashamed to admit to a little bit of joy when I see the effort/pain on her face during the last 2-3 reps of a particularly grueling exercise. :-) It's a mother's privilege.  She's also joined the gym-rat world by beginning to name exercises herself... the hip adductor and abductor machine exercises are now duly dubbed "The Sluts". ROFL!

My continued post-surgery journey saw more gains today... I upped my weight on the leg press, and I did seated leg curls! Yay! I'm now pressing 100 lbs on the leg press... I don't get discouraged by this, because I know how far I've had to come to get to that... it's going to take time to rebuild that leg to tolerate the weights I once pushed. I will get there. I will return to 100% and from there I will continue to progress. I can always get better, can always reach a new goal.

Here's the routine we did today:
Leg Press
Squats (for me holding 15 lb dumbbells, Ariel's were with no weight)
Alternate for 3 sets

Lunges (for Ariel, walking lunges, for me - forward and back, no walking)
Seated Leg Curl
Alternate for 3 sets (I also added high side knee tucks while I waited my turn on the machine)

Hip Adductor
Hip Abductor
Alternate for 3 sets


After, Ariel gathered her food for the day and went on to school... I ate my oatmeal/protein (yay!!! my Beverly came in! Good tasting protein powder, woohoo!), drank my coffee, made my menu plan and grocery list for next week, and planned out a few future workouts.

I have a collection of 3 years worth of Oxygen magazines, and I combed through those looking for exercises to freshen up my upper body routines, plus I spent some time looking at all the Figure contest coverage,examining winning physiques and reading writer's critiques & praises of the competitors' bodies. While I've always read the contest coverage in Oxygen, I'm looking at it with fresh eyes now since I'm headed toward the stage myself. Though my husband has lamented my pack-rat collection of magazines, I'm really glad I hung onto them :-)  I also have a collection of Muscle & Fitness Hers, Fitness RX, and a few others. Bill calls it a sickness. I call it having a ready supply of inspiration and resources. :-)

Since I still have them all (currently spread across my dining room table), I guess I win. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Planning a birthday...

Tomorrow is a birthday in our family - two actually. Bill is turning 41. My baby sister is turning 31. Bill and Sylvia share a birthday, one of the fun quirks in our family. While I can't be there to celebrate with her, I hope she's doing something spectacularly fun. Sylvia is such a bright, shining woman... she's an incredible Mom, and I often envy her creativity in parenting. The 13th birthday party she just threw for her son (my awesome nephew) was a fabulous crazy-scientist themed affair. So cool! How does she manage to combine serious fun with education? Again, I envy her.

For Bill's birthday, we're heading over to Scottsdale's AZ Bike Week event. We'll spend some time exploring the vendor booths, then enjoy Buckcherry in the evening. We love attending bike week :-) We're meeting friends there, and have arranged a teenage slave, I mean one of our daughters, to provide our transportation, so we are free to enjoy ourselves without the worry of driving afterwards. Food will be a challenge for me, as it's typical "fair-food"... hot dogs, fries, burgers, etc. I don't want to waste a treat meal on a hot dog, but might enjoy the fries. Maybe. I'll have a protein bar in my purse (haha, no chicken this time) so I'll have a backup if I can't find anything relatively clean to enjoy.

I've been trying to schedule a family dinner to celebrate his birthday, but everyone's going in opposite directions. Tonight, Shiloh & Bethany have the final night of the school play (they're tech) and then tear down - they won't be home until around 2am. Saturday night, Bill and I are at Bike Week. Sunday night, Joey and Bill's dad are driving to Las Vegas to do a job (rubberized safety surfacing and turf installation), and they won't be back for a few days.

Bill say's it's no big deal, but dagnabbit, it's a birthday and we celebrate those! I've already prepped the Enchilasagna (see recipes), and planned out the banana splits he requested in lieu of cake (I can't tolerate ice cream anymore, so I'll have a soy alternative). Not sure yet when we will celebrate, but celebrate we will! 'Cuz I said so, darnit!




Recent Topics...

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Click to View January through March 2011.


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Click to View July through December 2010.


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Chelle's 2011 Goals...
view journal entry 12/31/10


Photos, knee post surgery (not gross, I promise)...
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Chelle's Breakfast Burritos...
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Changing it up
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Healthy Heroes
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What?? Lil' Ol' Me?
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Finding The Ease in the Pose
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Book Review! Jackie Warner...


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Vote! Are you interested in...


Is Rihanna Right About Body Image?


What are you afraid of?


Calorie counting... good or bad?


How do your rivals describe you? 




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Click to View March back through January 2010.


Topics listed below:



Updated total weight lost! I've lost a total of 71 lbs!! 


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New Food Plan Info and Cooler Photos!




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Click here to read


Fun with the Bosu!


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More Women's Health Mag. News!!!


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Show Time 




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Facing my fears 


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Get out of your comfort zone.


New Book for Men.


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Don't let injury derail you.

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New books & tools


Newsworthy Newsletters

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Podcast Interview

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