Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 2 Episode 4 – Viva Mexico

 

fit on the road

Always be prepared. Hello Kitty Style.

Yes that’s my suitcase, yep this is how a vegan bikini competitor rolls on vaycay.

I dub this Episode, the Mexico files.
Every workout done & diet on point for 10 days. No refeeds prescribed – feeling tired and rashy.
I’ve had to limit use of neoprene to get my body back to normal but I’m still covered in scabs and can’t sit!!

 

Yes. this is my butt crack.

 

2 days of healing.

Running in 100% humidity in neoprene ain’t too smart I think…..all clothing (wicking or not) has created a level 11 in discomfort.

So much going on here, so much to write about but I’ve also included a video to make sure that I haven’t missed out on anything.

One hot topic that has come up for me is waist training. I hate it, I think it doesn’t work and it’s super uncomfortable. This last season, I’ve been plagued with rashes ALL OVER where the “squeem” touches.

I’ve done so much research and I think I’m ready to go cold turkey on the waist training, I think. At least until the last week or two before competition ~ it just doesn’t make any sense.

I read THIS ARTICLE during a few hours of research on the topic and decided that I might actually go against the advice of my trainer…..dumb, disobedient or uber intelligent?

The thing is, I don’t even recommend these to my clients! At most I will suggest they use a waist reducing neoprene device during their workouts, nothing more restrictive than that. And if a bad back is their issue, I recommend appropriately designed back braces or lever belts for lifting.

Me sans waist training for 11 days:

 And as one last bit of feeling sorry for myself….I’ve been in training (prep) mode since January 27th and only at the beginning of March did I find out my nutrition for pre-workout was 1/5th of the size it should have been.

Did I mention my lack of strength? My lethargy on my two HUGE leg days? Well…..watch the video below to see how I’m feeling now.

For food, if you’re in Playa Del Carmen and happen to be a Vegan, check out Bio-Organicos. There are 2 locations and I stocked up on groceries there as well as one post workout quinoa meal.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 2 Episode 3

This episode will be the first that will contain a video…so it’s a “vlog” technically then, right?

Rolled out into week 9 feeling pretty crappy because I managed to catch a wicked flu on my trip home to Vancouver ~ which was a total and utter success by the way!

So what’s new at this point in my prep you’re wondering? Well, take a minute to enjoy this link to my latest video documenting my progress.

I’ve themed this blogpost “Change”.

xx- S

 

 

Truth in coaching


These pictures were taken 15 seconds apart.
Looking through Instagram can either be invigorating or depressing.

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On a bunch of social media platforms I noticed people posting progress pictures of themselves and their clients. What a lot of them didn’t talk about was how their clients had lost the weight and in some cases had given the credit entirely to some nutritional shake program.

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I took both of these pictures of myself a couple of days ago because I thought about posting something that people could benefit from. Understanding and accepting the fact that products do not make the body.

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My body looks the way it does today purely out of hard work and dedication to a very regimented diet. It’s very disappointing to know that some people are falsely advertising before and after’s in a similar fashion to what I just did in these pictures: stick out my stomach in one and relaxed/flexed in another.

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There is no lucky person. There’s a hard-working individual who tries every single day. Be the truth. Seek out a coach who isn’t going to try to sell you the idea of skinny in a bottle. BE the coach that leads in truth by setting a healthy example.

Sunless tanners – good for you & our animal friends.

 

IMG_3882

I think Jeff took this picture to make me look like a beer drinking cigarette smoking lunatic. Be warned: these are not mine AND I don’t recommend you smoke either. ❤

Winter travel season is here and it’s time to get ready to hit the road AND be #fitontheroad. This includes keeping your skin safe from the elements…..and your abs safe from over indulgence.

I am writing a quick post (after a request from my Winter Reboot group) to outline my favourite/highly recommended self-tanners.

I am a sun baby, worship that thing like it’s going out of style BUT I rarely (if ever) use a tanning bed. Spray tan for competition etc…

The tanners I’ve used for competition are NOT friendly for your body or environment and are of course, ridiculously expensive.

While I don’t usually use these things (because regardless of how they are applied I suck at it) there are a few brands that seem to actually deliver on the non-orange front. These ones also have the highest quality ingredients you can find in a sunless tanner.

Hard to find in Canada? Yes. Your best bet is to order online.

If you’re brave enough to try them out on your own here are tree recommendations from me:

True Natural – organic product

Vita Tanz – these guys boast free radical protection.

Chocolate Sun – if you hate the smell of spray tans, these guys found the magical chocolate code to expel that.

As always, make sure you’re applying sun screen regularly when you’re out in the tropics. While the sun up here in Canada is far more cancer-causing, getting burned is never fun.

Take care of the skin you’re in!

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 10 – Competition day

There are no cheat days.

I can’t stop feeling like something is missing. All those days, weeks and months coming together for one (albeit long) day and now…crickets. The gym is still here, the diet is still here the love of strength is still here but now there is a quiet over me that I’m not welcoming all that easily into the fold of regular life.

Taking off to Mexico and having a real rest and reflect will be the re-boot I need to gear up for 6 months of hard work, gains, travel and adventure. Recovery is a part of the cycle and a much needed one, it’s just hard to get off the hype train when you’ve been on it non-stop for this long.

I am so grateful for my coach, who brought me this victory. Who was patient and understanding of my needs. My best friend and partner in everything, Jeff. Not sure how we do it, but we stay in love every day, even when I’m so hungry I could punch. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My family and my parents who flew in just to see their “little girl” compete once again. Must’ve been surreal for you since I haven’t competed on a stage in so long. I’m grateful you were there to keep me motivated and watch me excel.

I’ve tried to capture my day here for everyone who has followed along on this journey. It’s been tough but fun and I’ve done SO much growing and learning. I can’t believe that I’m as strong as I’ve been in so many ways. My body, mind and spirit have blown the lid off of what I thought I was made up of. Yay me.

My original goal, that I sent to my coach Jennifer was to just come in top 5. Well, I beat my goal and now I’m on to my next one – first place, and a Pro Card in May. I have 2 kicks at the can…..stay tuned everyone.

xxoo

S

New and improved suit

Sparkle central – more bling on this ting!

I sent my suit away to have more rhinestones put on it – was a recommendation of my coach and I’m glad I did. She sparkled quite nicely if I do say so myself. The suit cost me just over $300 in total as an FYI.

Schedule for 2 days tanning

Tanning was actually a total pain in the ass. I went to Bronze Baxx in Calgary where they sprayed me (butt naked is the status quo here so you cannot be shy) then baked me in a stand up for 6 minutes. 2 days in a row.

The JanTana tattoo cover cream that I ordered was darker than the tan they had so I had to run to the mall last minute the morning of tan #2 to pick up some Kat Von D stuff they recommended which seemed to work.

Sleeping in this tan is disgusting. You will end up about the stinkiest you could possibly be by the end of show #2 on d-day. It’s just a fact.These tans cannot take moisture so being ultra vigilant once your final tan is on is key.

When I got to the athletes meeting later on Friday night, a bunch of folks advised me that my tan wasn’t dark enough. I’ll need to let Bronze Baxx (who guaranteed me a sufficient tan for my federation) because I paid nearly $200 for essentially nothing. SO I had to get my wonderful makeup artist Glam Girl out of YEG to spray me.

SO glad I did. They used the JanTana spray product and I had compliments coming out of the wazoo about my tan. I certainly stood out in comparison to my competitors who were all tanned by the same company at the event. Risky, but worth it.

Polygraph/Urine Test

Lie detection about to go down.

The polygraph went fine. Basic 10 questions about banned substances and if I’d taken any in the last 7 years. No worries there. At breakfast the next day we were talking about this though…why don’t they just pee test everyone instead of the lie detector?

The lie detector takes about 30 minutes and then you STILL get to compete if you pass it (and lie) so that if you make it as the top of your class and go for a pro card THEN you get tested.

A lot of people leave after placement/awards so if the top dog was found to have contraband in their system what next? They contact the second runner up? They should pee test the top 5 in my opinion to stop cheating and expedite the system more quickly.

Anyway, it seemed kind of silly because if you didn’t use contraband, you have no worries…was quite the ordeal getting in. The polygraph team were a great couple with amazing personalities however, so the time passed quickly.

Athletes meeting & Registration

Athletes meeting swag.

This took place at the host hotel. It started 45 minutes late, took nearly 3 hours and was exhausting. This is when you check in to register, pick up your number and drop off any music you have if you are in a class with a routine and weigh in for bodybuilders.

You find out some information here about the next day however, we were not given schedules or anything and this was a really tough part of the night. I was on 3.5 hours sleep and had no energy. If I would have known how delayed it would all be…well, I would have left the meeting a little early to sleep. Honestly, the waiting is the hardest part – thank you Tom Petty.

Take the time to ask any questions here that you need to if the platform is provided. I was happy that they went through T-walks and all of the posing requirements for each class here – I was seriously freaking for some time about missing the posing camp – but I rocked the stage with what I learned on my own….nice to know they back your knowledge up at the athletes meeting though.

Nails

My nail girl failed so I bought a pack of press-ons. They worked fine, looked good from the stage and were $10. I would never schedule nails again in my life for a show. I painted my toes super sparkly gold (unlike the french that they recommend).

Hair, Makeup and Tanning

Hypothermia setting in – spray booth torture.

Glam Girl was amazing. So professional and quick. A husband and wife team out of Edmonton who kick ass. The makeup is beyond professional, the tan is JanTana and they have done up gals from here to Nevada at every sort of show you could imagine. I wish that you could fit them in your pocket and take them with you to all shows.

I’ll be using them May 7th for my Calgary show – if you’re competing in YYC soon please have a look out for them, they help me win second place I swear.

Sleeping

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Prepare to be totally exhausted friends. Totally exhausted. There is not really any sleep for you if the show is organized anything like this one was. Day before the show they kept us up late at the athletes meet, show day you get up when you need to get your hair and makeup done.

On show day we were told to be at the stadium for 10 am – didn’t end up going on till 3pm. We were told after our pre-judging that ALL athletes had to be back by 4pm. My division didn’t go on until nearly 9pm. Essentially I spent an entire day laying on pavement/walking around aimlessly…along with my poor family who flew and drove in to see me.

This was probably the WORST part of the whole experience. Know the timing as best you can and try to relax somewhere else (home/hotel) when you can. I brought a blanket with me but should’ve brought an ultra thick yoga mat as well. It was cold back there and there were no chairs for anyone. Be prepared.

Meals for Fri/Sat

I had packed rice, boiled mashed yams and portions of tempeh for the day of the show. I also packed maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil and salt.

Meal prepping for the show.

I would be texting pictures to my coach every few hours for tweaks and changes. Water started to be cut on Friday around 1pm. This whole part is a science and I would have failed miserably if I didn’t have a great coach who is also a holistic nutritionist.

Keeping the right balance of food to stay tight and not bloated all day is a serious commitment.

Typical check-in picture. This was between prejudging and finals.


Pre-judging

This is the longest part of the day and where all the placements are decided. This is where you need to kick ass and take names. I was not anticipating having to do quarter turns, walks etc… for so long, holding back pose over and over again for about 25-30 minutes has left me with a super tender lower back….be prepared for having to do a lot of work in pre-judging….stretch well and rest well after this….my leg day today will be affected by my back tenderness.

What I didn’t like about this portion was that I ALMOST had to do my walk to Shaggy’s song about getting caught cheating or whatever, I nearly puked. Finally “Rock my World” by Michael Jackson came on and I could groove and do an amazing T-walk.

I really wish they let us choose our music for this too….

5pm show

This part is supposed to be for the audience and for fun. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather do one show and have it over with. I was up from 4am for the day and didn’t get to off the stage till just after 9pm that evening. I was SO tired and SO sore…. being an ex-performer I really found this odd…PLUS the audience leaves after every category so by the time mine went on there were literally about 40 people left in the audience. Sad face.

Bum glued on and checking in with my coach before Pre-judging.

Pumping up

The rhythm for back stage is eat a meal, pump up and practice posing. I probably ate about 6-9 times (small meals & snacks)  for the first show and then about 6-7 times between the first and end of the second.

There were no mirrors provided in the area which sucked, but we shared some full lengths that locals had brought. I brought my own bands and small weights. I suggest you do the same if you’re ever competing so that you’re not SOL when pumping time comes before they call you up. So important to keep your muscles looking full and lovely before pre-judging especially.

First meals off-plan

2nd place in the bag. Time to hit up some delicious vegan/raw vegan fare!

Celebration DinnerNoorish, Edmonton

All organic. All vegan, all amazing.

These folks pulled a late-nighter to stay open and serve our group of 7 – I was so happy to have this kind of kindness shown to me on such a hard and late day.

We sampled their kale chips, root veggie poutine, I had an open-faced “burger” on a raw vegan onion bread with a kale caesar salad, vegan pumpkin cheesecake for dessert AND my first glass of wine in 4 months.

I have to say that I really wasn’t over the moon about the wine, didn’t really miss it at all. I nursed it and that was that. Still no hankering for a drink……food however, I’ll hanker that till the cows come home.

Celebration breakfast Clever Rabbit, Edmonton

Vegan eggs, vegan homemade bacon, vegan benny, vegan latte…..Vegan heaven. We even took some baking with us ( a giant vegan nanaimo bar which now lives in my deep freeze, an earl grey donut and a couple of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies)

Wrap up and emotions

Well, this one was a tough one for me. If you don’t know me, I’m SUPER competitive. Not because I need to beat people at things, but because I need to be the best I can be by MY definition…which, is usually number one.

I started to beat myself up a bit about coming in second. I really did….nearly pouted about it. Then I started collecting memories from along the way and realized that it’s subjective this category of bodybuilding, and that sometimes there isn’t a way to have won…your face may not be the face the judges like overall that day etc etc…I don’t know about industry politics, I’m sure I’ll run into this at some point down the road.

I had to shake myself and say HEY you were after this for a total of 90-120 days…and you came in top five, top 2  in the largest class of the competition – take a minute to bask in that accomplishment stupid.

I am the only athlete there that did it VEGAN…..and I really should have pushed to have that known more. I definitely will next time.

I’m committed to achieving first and a pro card. That’s my ultimate goal…so I’ll be back in May on the 7th and 14th in Calgary and Vancouver respectively – working for that. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (thank you Daft Punk).

Strong, determined and coming back with a vengeance.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 9 – Peak Week

I’ve finally made peace with this whole thing I’ve decided…sitting here covered in haemorrhoid ointment, festooned in my luxurious Jacques Cousteau leggings, clutching my morning coffee mug like a life raft.

Peak week is upon me and I’ve thrown out all my preconceived notions about anything I thought I knew.

Salt baths, more cardio, less cardio, more weights – but less, this supplement, that herb….I’m just following orders at this point.

It has been significantly harder to drag my ass out of bed the last two days. I’m pretty much a morning person so it isn’t that I am completely unable to open my eyes or function, it’s that my body has finally reached the point where it no longer takes its prime directives from my brain. This results in me finding it emphatically challenging to roll over in bed to actually get up, lift up my feet, peel off my Jacques Cousteaus for a pee (or seven) in the night etc etc…

My body has become especially au courant of any minor shifts in my diet plan. I’ve significantly increased my asparagus intake and I think this is making me more effervescent than usual….could be that I’ve dropped Tofu and increased Tempeh? I’ll have to pay particular attention to the feeling and timing today.

Soon, as in tomorrow (5 sleeps out), I’ll be obliged to drop all powders from my regime, eventually kissing even vitamins goodbye and slowly abdicating from my daily 6 litre water guzzling tournament.

As luck, or timing, would have it, my workouts will begin to taper off starting tomorrow. After this brief but vexatious weekend of increased fasted cardio for which I am not grateful – sorry coach.

I’d like to note here that I have been instructed to avoid casting my gaze on other competitors who will be guzzling red wine (presumably to appear more vascular) and eating copious amounts of decadent chocolate (in an effort to punch my feelings in the face) while I am back stage in all probability sucking on a shoestring and sniffing the food essence of a piece of tofu.

Ok, I’m being extreme here BUT my prescription for backstage nutrition management is far less alcohol and sugarific.

My nail girl went MIA and my new suit is currently in parts unknown….also known as the great void of the Canada Post system. I don’t have the stress muscle available to me to feel worried about it.

I’ve procured myself a set of the latest 2015 version of “Lee Press On Nails” and hope that this will suffice. If they knock off points for my fingernails…I’ll have to show them a title-holding finger or two in my possession.

I’ve managed to survive two nights of Epsom salt baths in our 3rd and very forlorn bathroom in the basement. I call it the cat pee bathroom because it’s a full (and updated/decent) three piece however, I’ve employed the bathtub as the bowels for the cat box for at least a year.

It was an absolute delight to expurgate all of the bits of excrement and kitty litter from. There is a covered cat box in the tub, I’m not a total dreggy bastard, but the damn cat misses from time-to-time ok? Sheesh, get off myback.

I then made an uneducated choice and got my hands on some scented epsom salts – never do this – which made the whole house, myself included, retain the malodorous stench of Mr. Clean married with old women. Needless to say I went to bed feeling a little sickened.

I’m craving fats violently. All of the deprivation and timing of foods has really illustrated cravings clearly for me. I was quite the dullard when it came to those things before.

All of this stuff is going on while we have 2 dogs, a cat, an 8 year old, work, a complete house renovation, a Mexican vacation and a visit from my folks on our docket. I’ve also been petitioned to instruct a  monthly health class at our daughter Anastacia’s school which I need to prepare for and oh yes, I’ve volunteered to rent out a friends home and need to deal with a move-in inspection for this next week as well.

Fornicate my life.

There is really no more to update on – not much in particular unless you have questions of me – if so please ask. I’m about as open a person as you will ever hope to meet!

Here’s a confession: I had to ask Jeff to hide the peanut butter while I locked myself away in the bathroom with the fan whirring so that I wouldn’t attempt to consume all of it in a fit of starved lunacy.

There are at least 2 more posts coming that will close off and tie this story all together by mid-November. I’m  looking forward intensely to cooking again and ushering some easy, fun and relatively adventurous recipes back into my home and yours.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 8 – D-day approaches

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015 – Awe inducing

It’s nearly 2 weeks out. This post deleted itself….I feel like just posting a big SIGH because it was about 1500 words…and now, i’ts 24.

Insert picture of me pulling out my hair here. Seriously. I need a picture of me pulling out my hair.

The long, long weekend in San Francisco was a joy. A joy in a very, very painful way. I had a laundry list of feelings typed out before but now I’m too tired to do it again. In a nutshell I feel hopeful and excited that the road is coming to an end and I’ve put all my effort into this…but another part of me is so exhausted that I don’t care anymore.

Let me put it this way; I nearly peed my pants and had a panic/crying attack in an Uber on the weekend…and I just got up to my office after sleeping 2 hours in the car post fasted cardio. I am NOT a quitter, a crier or a baby…freaking out FREAKS ME OUT and rarely happens.

I look in the mirror and see an old skinny person most of the time. I feel tiny and frail on bad days…..muscular and huge on good ones. As I write, today started as a day of frailty and ended as an empowered one.

This is definitely NOT a day in day out lifestyle.

I have thank yous to list off here after a successful trip away.

HSBG 2015 – What a time. What a location, what amazing weather. Grateful to have seen some one-of-a-kind acts this past weekend. There were too many going on at once to see everyone I wanted to see. Romantic and whimsical location with some incredible weather for the San Francisco area.

Live Fit Gym – Elyse. You allowed me to keep  my grueling schedule and on track. Thanks for getting me in after hours and having a great spot to get my shoulder day done. There was the perfect amount of equipment and a great space to practice posing…free wi-fi as well and some lockers. If you’re in The Mission and need to get your workout on, this is the only spot.

If you must work out 2x per day, this will do!

Icon Meals

Thank you for delivering me my meals on time and for a reasonable price. I feel guilty that I had to create a carbon footprint so large using transport from TX to CA but, alas, I was not willing to pay $150 PER DAY USD to have a service in San Francisco. The meals were well put together and kept me on track.

I felt like I looked like I was on dialyses the entire time carrying food around with me. Really, it looked weird.

Asparagus, rice, quinoa, vegan patties. Bland but on point. Win.

Gracias Madre – well, just that. Thanks for being an amazing Mexican spot for everyone but me to enjoy. I did have your steamed kale and a ginger tea which were delightful…a nibble of your beans and a droplet of your chocolate cake broke my heart. Vegan oasis in The Mission District.

Millennium Restaurant – sad that you moved to Oakland but happy that the spot is beautiful and your food is STILL amazing. I will return again and again. I broke my stomach muscle eating. Thank you once again for making vegan food rock.

Citizen Fox – were it not for this training program I would have eaten ALL OF YOUR FOOD. But, as luck would have it I had a playing dice sized piece of your chicken fried tempeh, shed a tear and vowed to return in the off season. Everyone else loved your vegan goodness.

Silver Stone Coffee – best little hidden coffee shop in The Mission. Perfect soy lattes that were silky and delicious. Banned substance on a regular weekend but since I walked about 15-20 kms per day, I think I earned them.

MD – Via Air BnB – MD. Your place was fantastic. Charming and nestled right in the best area of SF. My personal fave and I will stay with you again. Thank you for arranging my gym access and receiving my food order. You went above and beyond and showed true San Franciscan spirit. Couldn’t have asked for better accommodations so damn close to everything.

And, as per usual the depression hit me as soon as Calgary was in my sight out the plane window.

We hit the ground running yesterday picking up dogs and starting on renovations again. We leave in just a couple of sleeps to our annual Thanksgiving get away to 108 Mile Ranch in The Chilcotin of beautiful BC.

I’ll have you know that I have purchased a Tofurky Roast (NOT off Amazon. OMG I never knew) and I’m going to have some of it…and probably nothing else. I’m already starting to suffer.