Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Making your 'Skinny' jeans become your 'fat' jeans!

Hey All,

I know it's been a while but I hope to get back on here regularly again as I am in full stream training for my next shows...yes, I said shows, plural!  I am completely crazy and am going to train to do 3 shows in the States this coming summer!  The first one is in May in NM and then two simultaneous ones June 9 in San Diego.  But, before we get into me and my new training etc, I want to share some things that have helped me to make my Skinny Jeans become my Fat Jeans....yes, we all have that double closet - the things we fit into now, and the things we really would prefer to fit into - our Skinny Jeans.

In the past year, my Fat jeans were donated or sold off - I did not want to keep them in my closet any longer!  I made this commitment to change my life and have promised myself to not get there again...what better way than to get rid of them!  So, my Skinny Jeans from last year are now my Fat Jeans - Jeans that I am OK in but know that I am (for myself) a little heavy.  And my Skinny Jeans you ask then...they are only one size smaller than my fat jeans and then I have my competition clothes...the items that I fit into when I am just a few weeks around my competition weight - as that is even smaller (and not a healthy to maintain weight!) 

So, what did I do?  Here are a few things, and they are in no particular order, but they all compile to add up to where I am now, and how I can maintain a good healthy weight for me - try them yourself, make the commitment and see the change!!

1. Eat at home (easy enough)
2. If you go out to eat, choose the healthy or lighter side menu - if you order a salad, ask for the dressing on the side and use minimal amount...even better use only red wine vinegar!!
3. Cut out the pasta
4. Buy Fitness magazines, READ THEM, and try the exercises and ideas they have in them
5. Go to Zumba (or any class you like - it you enjoy your workout you will be more likely to stick with it!)
6. Start a blog, tell your friends what you are doing  (ACCOUNTABILITY)
7. Surround yourself with people who have the same goal (we as humans are a jealous bunch - we love to see people succeed but hate to see ourselves left behind and will unconsciously try to sabotage the other - not to be malicious but because we ourselves are afraid to change)
8.  Switch to diet soda (only one or two MAX a day - fewer is even better)
9.  Buy a food scale
10.  Use said food scale!!
11.  Try a Boot camp style group - learn to incorporate weights into your workouts)
12.  Start taking a daily vitamin and Fish oil
13.  Rinse all canned food before using - take out all the extra sodium!!
14.  Remove salt from your home and table - switch it to Mrs. Dash seasonings
15.  Park further away from the entrance
16.  Hire a personal trainer - this is great as they can show you proper form, see how your body is working and suggest changes to your diet if not completely write up a great program for you
17.  Work out with a friend (accountability again!)
18.  Remove sugar and creamer from your coffee - use splenda, stevia or sugar free syrups to add flavor...protein powder is great too!
19.  Stop using sugar - substitute splenda, Natural applesauce or any other sugar free flavoring.  There is so much sugar in many items already  and when you can cut this out and realize the natural taste of items it is amazing!
20.  Learn the importance of Protein in your diet!
21.  Drink NO LESS THAN a gallon of water a day!
22.  I bought a water cooler with 5 gallon refillable jug - convenience of cold or hot water at my finger tips!!
23.  Buy a scale - but only weigh yourself one a week in the morning!!  Remember the scale is only a number and you will get a better idea of how your body is changing by your clothing
24.  Take before pictures - this will help to remind you where you were and how far you have come.
25.  Buy an outfit in the size you would like to be - hang it where you will see it everyday and set a reasonable date to when you will fit into it!
26.  enjoy your workouts - you will feel better after it I promise
27.  Even when you aren't feeling up to it, go to the gym to start your workout - you most likely will complete it once you get there.
28.  Carry your food with you - If you know you are going to be out for a while, don't fall into temptation eat the food you know will help you achieve your goal
29.  Don't drink your calories - you'd be amazed at how many calories you could use up just by what  you are drinking! 
30.  Find a Whey Protein that you like - be creative with it (my favorite is Optimum nutrition cake batter...you can mix in so many things to this YUM!)
31.  Find healthy recipes try them
32.  Read Healthy/Fitness minded blogs and use what you can from them (a great one for recipe ideas is The world according to egg face
33.  Write down a plan and follow it!
34.  Make it a family effort - while the kids still need some extra carbs and fat in their diets, they can still learn the importance of healthy eating and living which will last them a lifetime!

36.  Get new gym clothes - don't work out in sweats and a baggy shirt
37. Watch yourself in the mirror when working out - nothing is more exhilarating then seeing how much you can lift, watching the muscles move and knowing that you are making yourself stronger!
38.  Carry water with you everywhere
39.  Chew Sugar free gum
40.  Break out of your shell and try new things! 

None of it is easy, you have to work at it EVERYDAY!  But, have that will and determination and reward yourself when you hit a certain goal....it can't be done at once but it can be done when you realize that you are the one in control...you have the self confidence to make the changes for you, not for anyone else...if you aren't doing it for yourself, for your own well being and health then you aren't going to succeed - when you realize that you are the only person holding yourself back, then and only then can you make the change.  Be confident in yourself, I am!

Today's Quote of the Post:
More of a mantra today from an unknown source "Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be!"

Go and make yourself strong - you'll feel better!

Hugs,
Crystal

Monday, September 19, 2011

A little behind...sorry

Time flies when you are off season......so here's a quick update


Wow, kids back to school, competition over, and boot camp has started again....the time has gotten away from me!  I just realized that I never did post about the show!  Well, for those of you who are friends with me on FB know, I did win!  Yes, I was given the title - Ms. Figure Okinawa!!  It was super exciting since I really was only doing this show for the stage presence and practice.  But here I am on stage with the Local Okinawa Bodybuilders.  It was another great experience, and I was way more nervous this time around then I was my first time out! 


You had this may want to ask why so nervous?  You knew you had this in the bag after the competitor meeting....yes, that was when I found out I was my only competition....so again why so nervous? 
#1 - Language barrier....I couldn't even understand them call my my number much less any of the instructions back stage...thank goodness this wasn't my first show...yes, there was some English and my very skoshi Japanese plus arm movements and gestures to get us through.
#2 - No one else is on stage with me, no other women to walk out with me, no one to be compared to
#3 - I wasn't 100% happy with how I looked, I hadn't practiced my posing as much as I should have and my suit broke!  Yes, the jewels that hold the back and front part of my bottoms together broke!  All I can say is thank goodness for Bikini Bite!!

So, I am back in my normal every day routine...or trying to get there anyway.  I have come one full year since I started this journey into a healthier me and I feel great.  Boot camp started back this month and I am leaps and bounds from where I was last year that is true.  I have also taken the initial steps to get myself certified as a personal trainer....knowing first hand what it takes and being able to relate to the women and men out there in the weight struggle I can't wait to help them achieve their fitness goals too!

Today's quote of the post:
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.—Seneca

Dare yourself to do something difficult....stay on your fitness goals - remember we are human and make mistakes forgive yourself and keep at it!

Hugs!  


Friday, August 19, 2011

Tomorrow's the day

Wow, what a fast 5 weeks....yes, it was 5 weeks ago that I had said I would be doing this Okinawa show...on the condition that I looked OK when my trainer had returned from her own show...I then just bit the bullet one week later and filled out the registration form and paid my fee to be a competitor (YIKES) was I going to be able to drop the weight like I would like to???  I was on track and it seems like yes, things were going to be great...then the typhoon hit - and put me back UGH!  My saving grace??? getting my suit in and trying it on!  What an eye opener that was...OMG, do I really look like that?! I was a bit discouraged but not wiling to give up....a week later, I looked much better in it!  I haven't put it back on yet to see the difference now a few days later but I feel much better! 

I was this same time last competition 123.6 pounds...this morning I was 133.6 pounds so by scale standards 10 pounds heavier...but take into consideration the added assets and so that is less approx 5 pounds so technically I am only 5 pounds heavier...with me only deciding to have done this show for sure 4 weeks ago, I think that is pretty darn good!  Putting my shoes on and posing in the mirror, my body looks (I think) pretty good....could it be better?  of course it can! But, for what I have been able to do in the time that I have done it - I am happy...now just to make the judges happy :D

I'm resting now, feet are up and movies are rented, I will have my next meal here in a bit and maybe take a nap - it's all out of my hands now.  All I can do is stick to the diet for the next 25 hours and that should be a piece of cake...afterwards I'll be able to actually have that cake too ;)

I was thinking the other day how far I have come in the past few years...it is amazing....I plan on posting soon a timeline with photos of my progression starting 5 years ago when I really had looked at pictures of my family at Christmas, it was horrid - I knew we had to start making changes but wasn't too sure just what those changes were; I will then progress through the years up to my most amazing transformation this past year - it really is amazing, and the best part?  knowing that my children now have a better understanding of  just how much their food plays in their lives.  I can't wait to share my journey with you...I'm hoping that if you all see the difference you will be even more inspired to stick with or make your change!

Today's Quote of the Post:
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training… what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable." - Socrates

It truly is a disgrace not to see this....transformation of the body through physical training no matter how big or small is an amazing and beautiful thing!  You can't get to the leaps and bounds until you can master the baby steps (my own little two cents **smiles**)

Hugs,
Crystal

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Only a few more days!

Wow, I can't believe that I haven't blogged for more than two weeks!

Things have been a bit crazy though...we had a huge Typhoon come through the island and it had us locked in for 3 days!!!  Let me tell you, three days with three kids, three dogs, two cats, a bird (a typhoon refugee) and a husband added to a dieting and training Mom/Wife is NOT a good combination!  SO needless to say, the stress got on me and while I did prep a ton of food, it was hard to not fall into temptation with the kids and hubby around snacking and well really not much else to do but eat, sit around and watch movies or play games....I gained 7 pounds in those three days!!!  ACK!  But, I was determined once we received the all clear on Sunday to get rid of the typhoon yuck and by Wednesday was back down to what I started at on Thursday!! YAY ME!!

But, that still put me back in my plan of attack for this competition....so I kicked up the diet and cardio ALOT!  I am still a bit over what I would like to be but I think with the dehydration over the next few days, I may just be alright.  I do know that from when I received my suit initially to how I look in it now a few days later is a BIG! difference so that makes me feel really good.  I LOVE my new suit too!!  I ordered this time around from Vizion Wear turns out this guy is from my home town of Albuquerque, NM AND has an amazing turn around time!!  I was stoked.  So, I have the new suit, I have my tanner, and I have my head in the game....the show is on Sunday and we had the competitor meeting last night. 

Now, I know I told you all that I was doing the show out in town....I did not realize or even think that there really would not be many Americans, I mean look at all the competitors we just had at the last two shows here on Kadena and Foster; surely many of them would cross over and do a show in our host country even if it is just for the experience and stage time (which is what I am chalking this up to....just some more on stage practice in a novice competitive arena)  well, that was not the case....there were two of us Americans there last night.  And of course, we were totally lost - we were told that the meeting started at 7 to find out that in all actuality it didn't start till 7:30 so we're wandering the halls of this place trying to make sure that we are in the right location (which we were)/  The lady that was doing the meeting spoke 'skoshi' English (little) and of course we spoke even less Japanese....like SKOSHI, SKOSHI!  So a bit of a barrier but the other guy had brought a friend who was Japanese so we were able to get through most of the obstacles but there were still plenty of barriers in the language and understanding.  All in all though, we know where we have to be and what time so we should be set!

I left from the competitor meeting pretty confidant of this show - though I have to admit, I am a little worried about understanding on stage when they ask for me to make my quarter turn and such...but we'll just tackle that beast on Sunday and it'll be what it is....adjust, adapt and overcome right?! 

So, just today and tomorrow to finish working out (I already went to spin bright and early this morning) then it's onto primping!  I have my hair and makeup lady all set, my hair/brow wax appointment is on Friday, my Manicure is on Saturday and I just need to find a place to get my Pedi done....so far everyone is booked...worse case, I will polish them myself and glue the stones on to the tips of the nails to make them look pretty ;)

I will let you know how it goes once it's all done....the other big difference in this show is that the Finals are right away after pre-judging...so I'll be DONE by about 3pm and then I can EAT!!   Thinking my first cheat is going to be one of those super sugary monster cookies from the commissary that they have here...two cookies with icing sandwiched in between them and a monster face made with even more icing....YES, I have missed sugar most I think this time around :D  But, we'll see...I do know for sure that I will have a huge bottle of water waiting for me this time around and not have to stop to get that ;)


Today's Quote of the Post:
"The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges." - Martin Luther King Jr.

So this competition really isn't a controversy but it surely is a challenge for me....I am planning on going out and standing tall, making it look like I understand it all and just go for it....grab life with all it's got and give it all you've got! 

Hugs!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

t minus 3 weeks

Yes, yesterday was the 3 week mark for the Okinawa Show! 

What did my first week of hard training accomplish for me?  Down 4 pounds!!  WOO HOO!!!  Went last night to the Foster Far East Bodybuilding competition and let me tell you, it was bittersweet being in the stands...sweet because I got to cheer on my gal pals but bitter because I really missed being up there!  But sweet too because I got to see some of the little things in posing and thank yous that the other gals did and I am going to practice and tweak some of my stuff now too.  There was some great looking gals up there and the competition in the short class was tense!  Those girls looked rock solid...the winner, a local looked like she had just been chiseled or photo shopped on that stage, she was RIPPED!  Everyone looked great and you could see the dedication and discipline it took them to reach their goals last night! 

Talk about a major boost to get my butt in gear even more!  Trained 5 days of weights last week and all 7 days cardio (some of those days twice! - it's takes a lot to get those pounds off!)  But, I am ready, I am officially registered to compete and I can't wait.  My suit is ordered, I have talked with my make-up lady, bikini bite and tanner are ordered and I've been practicing posing and walking again in my 5 inch hooker heels ;) 

I tell you even just those 4 pounds that I shed last week have made a huge difference, I am ready and I am determined!  20 days to go...that means 18 days to train!  No cheating, sticking hard to the diet and never giving up...as my own personal motivational poster says below - I have a fixed purpose and I have the drive!  How is your goal going?  Are you determined?


Today's Quote of the Post:
“I believe in blood, sweat and tears.” ~Jillian Michaels

I believe that we all can attain our dreams if we have the guts to take the leap to attain them....get your blood, sweat and tears on - take the leap and believe in yourself...you are the only thing holding you back!
 
hugs!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Goals/Weight

Hi all!

OK so it's crunch time....T minus 12 pounds in 4 weeks - yes,that is what I have gained back since my last show and need to drop PRONTO!  3 pounds a week....it is doable!  And to ensure that I am going to meet this goal, I have ordered my new suit and am praying that it makes it on time!  I am super stoked it is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to get it! 

So, I have my nose to the grind stone, my diet is hardcore and I am hitting the gym (and cardio) hot and heavy....my trainer (Shelly) gets back from her show on the 8th and we will make the decision then as to me being able to do the Local Okinawa show.....6 pounds two weeks....I CAN DO IT!!  I saw this comic recently and thought how fitting:

How true is it?  it does take weeks to lose the weight and then just a few wrong decisions on what you intake and it all comes back in no time....that is why this really is a lifelong change that you have to make.  You have to decide what is healthy looking for you and make sure that you stick with it....my off season weight should and will be about 130/132 my show weight 122/125.  I've got my plan and it is in play...I can't wait to see how this all comes about this time around.  I have those same feelings going through me once again nervous, excited....but also a new sense of confidence that I know I can do this...I did it before and I am and will do this again.  I am taking what i learned from the last show and incorporating it into this show....I am going to be a competitor this time around more so than I was last time....And I will take with me the new lessons from this show as I continue to grow in this new exciting hobby of mine and will flourish - I can feel, I can see it and I am going to live it!  Are you living your dream?  I sure hope so! 

Today's quote of the post:
DON'T QUIT! Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise - unknown

DO IT!!!  don't let it get the better of you....you get the better of it! 

Hugs!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Next Show/Competition?

Hi All!

Wow, I can't believe that I am 5 weeks post surgery...I am finally starting to feel mostly normal, my gym routine is getting to be almost back to what it was pre-surgery and I am excited about my next potential show! 

Yes, my trainer (Shelly) and I are going to see how I look when she gets back from her latest competition (she's competing for the first time in Physique at the 2011 USA in Las Vegas, NV...I will be cheering her on from Japan and while I may not be there in person, I hope that she will feel me there in spirit as she ROCKS that show!  Depending on what she thinks (and how hard I give my workout and diet over the next couple of weeks) will decide on my entering into the local Okinawa Ms. Figure (their 37th annual!)  I am excited and nervous all the same....oh my goodness, I am really thinking of doing another show? Don't I remember how tired and carb deprived I was?  How cranky and miserable I felt on certain days - most of the days?   I do BUT...I also remember how great I felt when I stepped out onto that stage!  It was all suddenly worth it and I felt amazing!  I want that again...but I want to make sure that I am also competitive with it and while i have for the most part taken off the past 7 weeks from my last show, I am a little worried that I may not be able to be competitive....can I really drop 10 pounds in 5 weeks, can I get that bit of fat back off my booty and belly that have suddenly reappeared?  That I am worried about....so, we will see when Shelly returns, after she kicks but in her competition and see where it leads me.  If I'm not ready for this one in August, there's always one in Anchorage Alaska early October.....

Yes, I do think I have the bug ;)  Do you have it too?  any exercise or commitment bug?  I sure hope so! 

Today's Quote of the Post:
"Training is what strengthens you, but it's what you eat that changes you" - unknown

No truer words!!

Hugs!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pearls

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster.....

Well, I'm not so sure about the world being my oyster after a stay in Bangkok but I am definitely happy with the pearls I got! Now that my top half is better proportioned with the rest of me I am hoping to have a better placement in my next competition (yet to be determined)

Bangkok Makeovers -  what an amazing experience more than I ever imagined! Rachel and her staff, and Dr P and the hospital W.O.W. WOW!  That's all I can say.  When I finally made the decision that I was going to finally do this I looked at Dr's here in Okinawa, I looked at Dr's in Albuquerque (in the States) and then I heard of Bangkok Makeovers and well it came down to the almighty dollar and what I could save.  Now many may think Bangkok?  you get what you pay for...or Bangkok?  Are you sure it's safe?  Yes, these questions and more went through my head as well but I talked to a couple other women who had gone there and they were happy and healthy so I decided I would save myself the 2+K and book my trip! Yes, I saved over $2,000.00 US cashola!  And that is to include my food, stay and shopping!  Let me tell you about the experience and how I spent my money:

I contacted Bangkok makeovers back in April and decided on a date that would work best for me.  Jenni was amazing, she got back to me with the quotes for the procedures I was looking into and answered all my questions quickly and efficiently with out ever seeming unprofessional - one extra check on the bonus side.  She organized my stay with Rachel, my consult and surgery with Dr Preeyaphas as well as notified me of additional information that I would need for travel (i.e. the address to fill out on the immigration form).  All the medical forms were filled out and photos forwarded  so I paid my booking fee $300AU which came out to be about $325.00 US. 

I then purchased my flight from Okinawa to Bangkok and that was just under $840.00 - total thus far $1,165.  Jenni forwarded all my information necessary along with a confirmation sheet for me addressing the pick up from the airport to the appointments and departure information.  I was very excited to know that this was finally going to happen.  So, the 15th comes along and I get on a plane headed to a country I've never been and I can't be more excited!  I arrive in Bangkok Airport and proceed to exit 3 as instructed to meet Bert who is standing there with an iPad that has my name on it.  He takes my luggage from me and we proceed to the parking lot.  We walk up to this van and it helps to make me realize even more so that I have made the right decision.  The van is still cool from the air earlier, he opens the door for me and I get in to one of leather seats he then tells me that I can recline the seat back if I would like...this thing is a real recliner, the feet go up and the back reclines!  As we depart from the airport we chat a bit and then he phones Rachel for me to receive instructions for the following day.  She advises me to shower as normal, but not to put on any make up, lotion or deodorant and I am to meet her downstairs at 6:30am some more small talk and I am set.  We arrive at the Condominiums and Bert takes me upstairs to the 2 bedroom Condo on the 8th floor.  There is another client in there from Australia; Tani - she has had her surgery a few days before and will actually be leaving on Friday so we think that we not see each other much which was a bit of a bummer as we totally hit it off - she is getting her stitches removed in the morning so we do get to spend some time together. 

So it's Thursday morning, I didn't sleep too well as I am so excited to be here and finally get this party started!  I shower and go downstairs to meet with Rachel we ride to the hospital and I can't believe the driving!  I knew from the night before that there were no lanes marked on the city streets but I had no idea how crazy it really was...I seriously only saw two street lights the entire time I was there....there is no speed limit and it seems that everyone just does what they please - yet it still seems to work.  They have motorcycle taxi's that I swear are swerving in and out of traffic and I guarantee if I had been on one of them I would have been terrified I would have fallen off...but there all all the Thai women sitting sideways and just filing nails or texting or just holding their lunch in their laps..Crazy!  But that's off point....so we pull up to the hospital and it is Valet Parking...we walk in and the hospital is immaculate, so bright and airy and everyone is in these lavender uniforms and not a hair out of place on a single person.  Rachel takes me up to the admissions desk for me to get the initial paperwork filled out, they take a copy of my passport and then they take a photo of me...turns out this photo goes on every single piece of paper I will see from here on out including my admissions bracelet! 

We then walk back to the surgery clinic where we once again are greeted by nurses in lavender.  One of the nurses calls me back to have my blood pressure, temperature and weight taken and then no sooner do I go back to the waiting room, Dr P is ready for me to go into the consult room.  Now Dr. P is what I had pictured in my head (yes, I had seen photos of him before but you know what I mean)  he's this little Tai man and boy is he a riot!  I get into the room and he asks me to hop up on the table and take off my shirt he and Rachel along with the nurse start pulling out different shapes and sizes of implants and give me a bra to put on so that I can try them all.  I already knew that I was going to go with the high profile and I was sure that I was going to have nothing less than 500cc's as well.  We try on a few and Dr. P tells me I think you should go 385, that be a good size for you....nope, I want big, 500.  He looks again at me and then says yes, I can do 500 no problem.  He then has me take off their bra and he holds the moderate profile up to my chest so that he can draw the circles that he will be using as a reference when in the operating room...before this he is lifting my nipple and pulling on the tissue to ensure that he will be able to fit the implant in...he tells me that we will definitely need to go under the muscle as if we were to go over the tissue is thin and you would see the implant...I tell him that's what happens when you have 5 pregnancies and your boobs stretch and shrink back :)  We really are laughing and having a great time in the consult, it was not at all nerve raking or was I ever nervous or anxious.  So, he starts to draw on me and he says - you have no crease...excuse me?  You have no crease how am I going to know where to cut?  Well of course I don't have a crease, that's why I'm here, you're going to give me one ;)  He says he's never seen this before and he continues to draw the circle...he removes the implant from my chest and I look down...Hey hose lines are all the way on my rib cage I don't want my boobs there....of course they have to be there that's where they go to be centered on the nipple....OK, they will not really be there because I am getting the high profile and they go out not around, no problems.  Rachel was with me the entire time in there and she too is laughing with us.  It was a perfect environment to have this done.  So, all that is done, I am marked up and ready to move to x-ray and continue with the processing.  I say goodbye to Rachel and she assures me that she will see me tomorrow, I say goodbye to Tani and I head over to the X-Ray department.  Have I mentioned how nice everyone is?  I get into the X-ray department and they have me take a seat to alert the tech...I barely have a moment to sit and they call me back to change and then go in straight away for the x-ray.  (So not the care I have grown accustomed to in the military!) Once out of X-ray I am escorted up to the Lab area where they will draw my blood and continue with the rest of the processing. 

I once again am asked to have a seat and once again barely sit back in the chair and they pull me back for the blood work to be done.  The nurse if very nice, she seats me in a leather chair and asks me a couple questions with regard to past surgeries, allergies etc. and then she tells me that the cashier will be up shortly to collect my deposit....she already has the hep lock in and I am ready to continue from here.  I go back into the lobby of the Lab area ans the Anesthesiologist comes in.  Again a cute Tai woman who sits next to me to ask the questions she then tells me she'll see me in the operating room and I am then met by the cashier who takes my credit card and processes the charge for 90,000 baht  ($2,994.00 US) I am then taken up to the recover suite...and a suite it is!  Two rooms, one with a little kitchen area, TV, table, couch and balcony and the second which has the bed and another couch and TV (if you go to the website, there is a video in the testimonials page of Rachel and it shows the room)  Again I am met by two nurses and Madam how are you here is your room allow us to help you change, here is the safe for your belongings and we will take you down from here to the operating area.  The courtesy and respect these staff memebers were showing were just amazing!  I felt like royalty at times and this is just the beginning! 

I am escorted down to the operating room and am once again asked to come into a small room to place on a different scrub top for the procedure.  I take off my glasses which they place in a locker and am whisked down to the operating room.  I put on my head covering and hop onto the table, Dr P is in there along with a couple nurses and the anesthesiologist...some small talk and then I am told that I will feel a bit of cold as the medication goes into my iv....next thing I know I am waking up in recovery and I swear no sooner do I open my eyes there is a nurse above me...madam how are you feeling?  are you in pain we can get you some pain medication before taking you up to your room.  I tell he I think I'm OK, a little sore but alright.  I am wheeled in the bed up to the recovery room and am moved from one bed to the next by 4 nurses - that is a little painful but of course it would be I just had my chest moved all over and filled to capacity!  I have two nurses that will be with me for the night, they get me settled and give me some water to help clear my throat - warning this will be warm water...I was not expecting it.  I am told that I will be on a liquid only diet for a bit (OH I forgot while I was in the suite earlier getting my items settled, they had me pick out my breakfast and lunch for the following day....YUMMY menu items is all I can say!)  They place the tray right next to me (i can't reach very far at this point) and have the nurse call button on my stomach in the event I need them - I am told to call them for anything, including going to the bathroom...they ask if Madam would like a sleeping pill and I politely decline I should be OK.  They leave and I snooze a bit.  I wake up to them coming in to take my blood pressure and temperature and then doze off again, I wake up just a few moments later and press the buzzer...I swear the nurse mush have been at my door waiting because there was absolutely no time from me buzzing her to her being in the room!  I ask her to assit me to the bathroom - not realizing that she was going to stand in the room with me...ya, I can't do anything a little stage fright!  So I tell her sorry I guess I don't have to go after all and we head back to the bed, she offers me some more juice and water and I ask her for the sleeping pill after all, she gives me that along with some pain medication and I doze back off.  I am awoken again to have the blood pressure and temperature taken once more and am offered a sandwich - I take a couple bites but my throat is still dry and I am really not too hungry - she leaves it for a bit though for me to have...I then attempt the bathroom trip again - thankfully this time it is a different nurse and she turns on the water in the faucet, and stands outside the door...though I can see her hand through the frosted glass I am able to finally empty my bladder.  Feeling much better, I climb back into bed and doze back off till the morning when Dr. P comes into look at me.  He removes my bandages, looks at the implants and the me and says you look good.  Thank you, I am feeling pretty good too.  He then has me fill out a couple more forms and we say goodbye, breakfast is brought in shortly there after and it is served in the adjoining room.  I get up and go to eat and then am encouraged to walk around the halls of the floor.  I start walking around the floor and come up to the very back side and there is this amazing room with leather couches, a flat screen TV, magazines and the such...this is the waiting room for family of those in surgery - WOW!  I get back to my room and lie down for a bit again.  Rachel then comes in to check on me she had just dropped some other gals off for their surgery and since no one was going back with her she poked in to see how I was....being as I had already been up and walking around and Dr P had given me my release papers she asked if I would like to go back to the condo - You bet!  No reason for you to come back if I am good to go already.  She assured me that she wouldn't mind coming back but I really was feeling great and there was no reason for me to stay.  She lets the nurses know and they come in to help me dress back into my street clothes, I gather my belongings and the final cashier comes up to help close out my bill.  I give them the receipt of my 'deosit' then have to pay for the medication (which is presented to me in this amazing bag with the registration cards to my new Mentor implants) the medication I pay for in Thai Baht 500 the equivalent of $15.00 US...Total cost so far, surgery, booking, flight, hospital stay $4,174.00. 

I get back to the condo and Tani is surprised to see me.....most clients do not get back to the condo till later afternoon approx. 3pm.  Yes, I was feeling good so Rachel brought me back early, no reason for her to have to go back to the hospital when I had already been up and wandering the halls ;)  - She was headed out to shop a bit and so after just a bit of a chat I had the condo to myself, I settled in and put in a movie.  Tani came back that afternoon to quickly pack and head out for her flight back home to Australia.  Rachel had a staff member Sam come up to see how I was dong and order my dinner to be delivered.  She and another staff member Om (sp?) came up to meet see how I was doing and verify that I was doing well....my dinner had not been delivered yet so they also checked on that.  They brought up my new bra and we removed the bandages -I was very anxious and excited to see the twins!  I was still very swollen and so they really didn't look too hot but OMG I actually have a chest!  We chatted for a bit - they both were very easy to talk to - and then when my food was delivered they left me to eat. Later that evening I was able to meet my new roommate Michelle who also happened to be from Australia...again she and I hit it off fairly well so I was thankful!  Saturday came and I went downstairs to have my hair washed and styled...150 baht about $5.00 US!  Again they spoke English so I was with out a problem to get the service.  As I was finishing Om was just headed to Rachel's and she asked me what I was planning on doing for the day...I wanted to go shopping.  She said she would get care for her daughter then meet me at 10:30 to go out.  I met her downstairs and in the cab we hopped to go to Platinum Shopping Center.  What an experience!  The shopping was amazing, before I realized it it had been over 5 hours and I had spent over 5000 baht (less than $200.00) but had all these bags!  Which of course I was not allowed to carry...Om did it all, she carried all my bags, bartered with the sales clerks and had the patience to continue to keep up with me. I would tell her what I was looking for and she would lead me right to it.  It was great...cost to hire her for the day 700 baht...about 22.00!!  I then ventured out on my own on Sunday Union Mall was with in walking distance of the Condos - again another 5+ hours and I was beat....headed back to the condo and Michelle was back!  YAY...she was feeling great, we decided to go down for dinner at the restaurant below and made arrangements to have Om take us shopping again on Monday!  I shopped so much that I had to purchase another suitcase to fit everything!  Shopping, food and Om cost me $685.00...

Tuesday I went back to the hospital to have my stitches removed...again a simple and fairly painless procedure...it hurt just to lie down and get back up...the tugging of the single strand was nothing at all.  Dr. P was very happy with how everything looked, he assured me the swelling would be gone in a couple weeks and that I could be back full force lifting in the gym in 5 more weeks...I was set!  So back to the condos and visit with Rachel and Om again, square up my room and have the arrangements for my return to the airport the next morning...my stay with Rachel was 13000 Baht or $406.00 US I meet the taxi at 3:45 the next morning to head to the airport for my return flight.  One suitcase additional, and 5 pounds heavier with a couple of pearls on my chest....I am Happy and really could not have asked for a better experience at an amazing cost!  Total dollar spent $5,265.00!  A savings of over $2,000.00 and an experience to last a lifetime not to mention an amazing story to tell along with the best souvenirs a woman could ask for!  A very special THANK YOU to Rachel and her entire staff at Bangkok Makeover and to Dr P and the staff at the Bangkok Hospital!

I'm just about two weeks post surgery, I feel great, have been back in the gym doing light weights and cardio, the bruising is about gone, the swelling is considerably less and I am excited with my new set of pearls!
Me and Om - your personal shopper for hire ;)


Today's Quote of the Post:
"I am a believer in enhancing." Lara Flynn Boyle

My life has been enhanced by the changes I and my family have made this past year...this is just one more that gives me that happy feeling....What enhancements have you made to make yourself happy - I know you have even if it has been small....keep with it the time and work does pay off!

Hugs!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Things that make you feel good

Hi all,

Yes, we all have something that makes us feel good - a bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day, a new protein recipe to try, your kids saying I love you, your significant other surprising you with a little gift...or something like this, a random note or two:

Dear Crystal, I do not know you personally, but I saw your presentation at the Pacific Muscle Classic. I admire how you've sculpted your body. You are lean and shredded and your poses are always natural and graceful. It’s so attractive when women are toned and fit, but yet look feminine! Your smile gives the illusion that you came to all that without effort, but we know that this perfect silhouette required a lot of perseverance. I do not want to have thousands of friends on FB, only women who really share my passion for fitness and bodybuilding. If you agree, add me as friend. So we can know us better and connect about our fitness goals.

or this:

It looks like you totally kicked ass at the competition, I am so proud of you!!!  How was it?  you looked great, unbelievable transformation - like the kind they make tv shows about.


It's been just over a week from the show, I am back on my water and have stopped the indulging of foods (and boy did I indulge!)  I weighed in the morning of the show at 122.8 and this morning I weighed in at 132....this is what I'm thinking will be my normal weight. 

But everyone seems to be asking what did you eat after the show....what was the first thing?  Let me tell you I was Miss Piggy and then some!  Started backstage at the night show - I made Pudding shots to share with the gals - I had three of them...then one of the other bombs made cheesecake...homemade cheesecake!  Banana Foster and cookie and cream - had about 10 bites of each YUMMY!!!  leaving the show, I was so thirsty, (I had been dehydrating myself so had not had any water since 3 pm Saturday) we had to stop at the little store on base and get me one of their large water bottles 1.8L or .4 gallon - it was gone before we got home which was only about 20 minutes!  The kids were hungry so we drove through burger king and I caved to onion rings ;). 

Then the crazyness really starts, we have a local bakery here (Castle Bakery) has super yummy desserts...I had ordered 4 cream puffs - these are not you little cream puffs that you would get from Costco now folks...these are real cream puffs that are about the size of my hand!  I had 4 of those over Monday and Tuesday I also had 4 eclairs (these are so delectable they are beyond words to explain just how much)  I also had one of their tiramisu's, a slice of chocolate hazelnut cake and a slice of their strawberry cake (now these are actually small slices so not too bad there)  I had french toast for breakfast on Monday at Cafe Casa and a super yummy Almond Mocha coffee - that also came with a side of eggs and bacon.  Lunch was pizza from pizza hut and dinner was Subway.  Tuesday I had beni-imo tarts, pineapple tarts and banana chocolate tarts...I also had Sushi for lunch then we had our end of the year kick off summer den meeting at which I had meatballs, rice crispy treats, and this melt in your mouth peanut butter cream pie!  I took some of that pie home and had more after dinner which was a real hamburger grilled and on a bun - had a side of baked beans and some potato chips and I was fat and happy!  Needless to say, by the time I went to bed Tuesday night, I was feeling a bit sick - that last piece of the peanut butter pie pushed me over the top.

Wednesday started me back on the good food diet and I also was back into the gym and boy it felt good!  3 days last week and a rest on the weekend had me feeling good to start back up this week - had a great arms and abs work-out yesterday and today I did chest and shoulders...yes, I will be feeling the burn the next few days!

I feel great, I accomplished what I set out to do and I found a new passion in life....while I'm not competing in the next competition here on Island, I do believe that I have the bug and will be competing again in the future...while it was a lot of hard work, and the dieting sucked sometimes, the feeling I had on stage is still with me and I can't wait to do it again!

Keep up with your goals, one day at a time is how you reach it...you can do it I believe in you!  and others do too...they may not always tell you or it may be given to you in a subtle note or message or you may just get that crazy little message that will make your day....You are a star in your life - and what you make of your life is what makes you that star. 

Today's Quote of the post:
It's hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want - Author Unknown

Don't give up....it will happen - just look at how far I've come and if you think you can't...remember I believe in you!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!


Yes, that is me!  Dark, full of make up and aqua net not going anywhere hairstyle (yes, they actually used Aqua net I couldn't believe it) Weighing in at a whopping 122 pounds and a mere 16.5% body fat....what a journey!  

I don't know where to begin, yesterday day was such a whirlwind.  My day started early 3:30am I was up and in the shower to be at the gym for my tanning, hair and make-up before the 10 am pre-judging.  I woke up excited and anxious...not too nervous and I couldn't wait to get things going.  I started my day with halibut and rice cakes with peanut butter for breakfast - a meal I was so excited to have  (yes, I officially pegged myself crazy a few weeks ago with my little joy of what meals make me happy!)  I got to the gym rearing to go and be sprayed, primped and curled as need be and what you see in the picture above was the end result. I have to say I knew that being in the gym locker room prepping for a big show all of us doing what we need to to get ready I was going to see some nakedness....can't say I could have prepared myself for all the nakedness I saw that morning! I must say if you are modest coming into this sport...you won't be by the end of it! 

With my make-up set, hair done and tan nice and dark (after a couple mishaps but hey it was my first time).  I race over to the theater with my photographer in tow and we get there just in time to get the competitor brief started...they had just called my name to see if I was present.  I get up on stage, check in and have my height verified.  They then have us all wait in the audience to hand out out numbers....starting with the short class (5'3" and under) I am in the tall class and as you can see in the number I get 13..now, most people would probably be upset they got 13 - not me!  I was so excite...13 is my lucky number!!  WOO HOO that is going to be great for me, I can feel it!  I am eating more rice cakes this time with peanut butter and jelly and Zoa Linsey (a super sweet trainer and professional body builder) made these super delicious brownies that she shared with everyone.  So far so good! 

We go back stage, and start pumping up, the air is filled with excitement, nervousness, anxiety and sweat!  It was of course a humid day and so we were all trying to stay cool in the one small room they had for us back stage - it was pretty entertaining.  The short class is called to line up and we all are trying to see what is going on, what are we supposed to do, how is it going to feel, where do we need to walk, do we follow the line that is taped on the floor or do we just walk out to where the number is?  So here we all are 22 figure gals looking without being seen from the back of the curtain....we see the first girl go out and are all thankful that it wasn't us walking across that stage first :)  After we see how a couple girls go - the tall class girls all go back into the room to finish 'pumping up.' So here we are in our little jeweled bikini's and 5 inch heels pulling on exercise bands, doing chair dips and push ups, bent-over rows, shoulder presses and calf raises to get the blood going to those muscles to ensure that they pop on stage....before we know it, it's our turn to line up and we get in numerical order...OMG I'm second to go out on stage!  OK well at least I have a moment to see what the other gal is going to do.  It's my turn, OH CRAP!!!  I take a deep breath, step over the crazy trip hazard they have right there at the curtain and smile my biggest smile ever, I can feel my teeth chattering, my head is gong 90 miles a minute and I am shaking like a leaf and just praying that I look cool calm and collected on the outside!  I get to my spot, get into my front pose.  I look each of the judges in the eye smiling my most charming smile and then I look at the audience...they call 'quarter turn'  I do my turn and I feel great!  'quarter turn' I look back to the judges give a smile and turn to show them my back.  'quarter turn' now the other side....I again smile at the judges and get into my side pose.  back to the front and they thank me...YAY, I did it!  I give my thank you curtsy and head back to my spot to wait while the rest of the other girls come out and have their opportunity to show their stuff.  After all us are on the stage, they call the group out to pose together...I am on the very end so I turn into them to ensure that they see me. I am nervous now.  I am holding each of my poses so strong and flexing so many muscles - all the while trying to stay relaxed looking and keep that smile on my face and yet just shaking from head to toe....it was hot on that stage and I was sweating but  MAN, I did feel good!  We finish our turns, then head back to the back line once again to be called up to have comparisons against some of the other gals, it was so far beyond my wildest imaginations and such a rush! 

Here is a video of me for the morning pre-judging that Andy took....I was happy to see that I didn't appear to look as nervous as I felt! I really was a mess inside my head :D

The hard part was over, the judging was done, I had a few free hours to go home and rest up before the night show.  I get home to prep my food for the afternoon - still have to look good on stage for the night show so no bad food yet....I check a bit of Face book and this is what Shelly posts to us:
 
Girls! So proud of you all! You were the most polished and poised group of ladies today... you didn't hear me yelling at you, b/c I didn't NEED TO!! You should all be very proud of yourselves, no matter where you place. The judging.... eh, it's  going to be very interesting.... HAVE FUN TONIGHT!

I feel good and am ready to head back to the gym to be touched up for hair and makeup once more and another fresh coat of paint...I mean tanning spray ;)  The night show was FUN...and boy was it a show!  It starts off with both countries National Anthems and all the contestants standing behind the curtain - once the anthems are completed the curtain opens to a completely sold out crowd...800 tickets!!!  It is standing room only, music is playing, the lights are glaring and we all are sparkling!!  I immediately smile down to the judges first and then scan the audience looking for my family and friends who came to support me.  I hear Andy whistle, Dallas is standing on his seat waving, Yliana is out there waving her hands and yelling, Terri is down in front taking pictures, Stacy is there doing the same, I see Leidys and Erica, I can hear Shelly but don't see her.  It's such an amazing feeling knowing everyone is out there, Laura, Ryan, Summer and Renee, John and Jody and Sarah too - I was flying high.  If I thought it was a rush before in the morning - it paled compared to this!  I LOVE IT!!!  Not because I'm like hey look at me I'm so hot...but rather Wow, I have come so far and no matter what happens with the judging, I am a winner!  I have all these people here supporting me, I have done everything I possibly could have done and then some AND I HAD AN AMAZING COACH AND TRAINER!!  I was on fire and no one could put me out!

We finish our little show and everyone rushes back stage to start pumping up once again to go through the same thing we did this morning...only thing different - after we go off stage as a group, they pull out the top 5 and have them go back out on stage.  The short class, is first up and they look great, I knew all the gals that placed and the one who took 4th was trained by Shelly as well.  In the Tall class we had another great time...I was so proud of us all - of those of us that Trained with Shelly, we took 2nd, 4th and 6th....The Oki Figure Bombs ROCKED that show!

So the question remains....will I do this again?  Before I stepped out on stage the answer was NO!  I really don't think so, I was not a happy person the past few weeks...and I was a down right beotch this past week...but after getting on stage and feeling that rush - I may just have to leave my options open ;)

It was an amazing experience, I had a ton of fun, was able to meet some great people and make my and my families lives better because of it.  I have gained friendships because of this journey that will last a lifetime and I have the joy and knowledge of knowing that I did what I said I would do....compete in a Figure Competition.  I have (I hope) taught my children a lesson that working hard at your dreams makes them achievable and once again even though the judges placed me 6th...I know in my heart that I am by far number one - and I'm not trying to be vain here but DAMN I LOOKED GOOD!


So I leave you with this Quote of the Post:
"The miracle isn't that I finished.........The miracle is that I had the courage to start!!!!!"
Stacy Canales (my wonderful photographer that followed me around for hours on end- I can't say thank you enough to you either)

I know you all can do it too....find the courage to start and know that I am rooting for you all the way!

End of the night...Me, Shelly - my Trainer and Shannon
Hugs!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Saturday - the day before the BIG DAY

Tomorrow is the day and the nerves are here...I woke up today at 4 wide awake and just laying there...I did not have to be awake yet!  Boy I sure hope I can take a nap later!

Today I am pretty dark, I have already had two of my spray tan sessions....I have another today and then my final one tomorrow morning before the stage.  I have had my toes done (and messed up!) I have had my hair color touched up, and my hair flairs placed in...I am on par for tomorrow; at least I think I am ;) 

I am starting the major dehydration today...only 2 liters of water down from the 2 gallons I've been used to for quite a while now.....it was depressing this morning when I had to measure out the water from my allotted amount to make my oatmeal and coffee....wow I am going to be thirsty ;) but on a total side note....getting on the scale this morning I can't remember EVER being 123.6!!! I was unsure how it was going to happen but it has and holy smokes am I ever skinny!!! 

I am in the calm before the storm now, I have done all I can to be ready for tomorrow, my stomach is in knots but I am as ready as I ever will be....I will now go out there and do my best knowing I have my own personal cheering section here and far (Thank You Regina for the perfect card and everyone who has given me encouraging words!) today and tomorrow left of my hard dieting then count me in for cheesecake and ice cream after the show tomorrow night!  I have already asked Andy to get me Cheesecake Factory before he comes to the night show so I can eat it right away after the show is over...then we are going to stop at Big Dip on our way home to get me some Carmel macchiato ice cream!  That will be all of my gorging for the night though as I have a very early morning beach photo shoot Monday (5am) so I can't get myself too bloaty ;)

Monday though afterwards is a total different story - I have my day of eating planned....I've almost planned it as well as I have all my other meals this past months and I can't wait!  Then back on to the normal foods Tuesday keeping healthy and then building in the weekly treats to have a normal schedule and diet...I will be taking my own advice and using the acronym often...D.I.E.T. DO I eat this?  It has been a wonderful near year of learning how to eat better to get here...I will not allow myself to let all this hard work be lost.  I am looking forward to the next chapter and my sanity back here soon.

Today's Quote of the post:
"Continuous effort -- not strength or intelligence -- is the key to unlocking our potential."- Liane Cardes

 Continue with your efforts....they really are the key to attaining what you are reaching for!  Hugs!

June 2....means:

My last official workout day, my hair cut & color appointment, my first spray tan appointment, day 3 of teeth whitening, a weigh in of 125.6 AND only 3 MORE DAYS!!!  Or rather, 3 more wake ups.....YIKES!!!

The next few days are filled with rest and necessary appointments as I mentioned before. I had my competitor meeting last night and that was interesting, got to see the other competitors and fill out our intro forms; got the lowdown on the order of the divisions and what we should be listening for to que us onstage ;).  Autumn also had her award ceremony and I am so proud to say that she was 1 of only 10 chosen out of 300+ students to earn the Excellence in Physical Education!  Yes, it is official we are a fitness family!!  WOO HOO!!!

So,  it all continues!

Today's Quote of the post: 
Just a few days out and this quote is perfect!
"Being proud of your body isn't a bad thing. You were inspired. This is your time to appreciate your own hard-earned efforts and inspire others along the way.
YOU are the judge of you. YOU know your intentions. YOU know your character."
-Jen Fit

Thank you all who have supported me thus far - and for believing in me to attain this goal...HUGS!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Final Before and Afters

All the hard work definitely paid off! Now just to have the confidence to walk across the stage and not fall flat on my face ;)




5 month transformation...before picture December 20, 2010 final after May 27, 2011

Today's Quotes of the Post: (I say quotes because I couldn't choose just one to go with this posting)

"Nothing will work unless you do."
- John Wooden

It has been hard work but oh so worth it!

"Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it."
- Jack Canfield

Take the action today and you can do this too!

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
- Tommy Lasorda

I was determined to get here...and now I am determined to keep it!  Believe in yourself and stick to your plan, it does pay off in the end no matter the obstacles you come across the win in the end is so worth it!

Hugs!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

9 days!!

Yes, 9 days....8 days and a wake up, barely over a week......Panic is in full effect!

I have mood swings like crazy these days, my diet is changing this weekend and I am freaking out over all of it.  I have had great days this week and then I have had the bottom of the barrel, crying jigs because I really think I have gone crazy! 

I really, really had no idea what I was getting myself into, I did not realize that I would be so crazy!  I am obsessed with the scale, getting on every night then again first thing in the morning to see the changes...it's stressing me out but I can't help myself!  I know I need to stop but I just can't.  I keep getting assured that I am right where I should be and that I look great - but I see fat...even though I know I am the smallest I have ever been (I mean really I know this- for the first time in my life the weight on my license and military id are incorrect in the wrong direction!)  None of my clothes fit, they all are falling off without a belt, I even have to keep pulling  my gym clothes up when I am working out - but still I see fat, it's on my hips, on my thighs and still on my arms - it's not going away.  So yes, it is official, I am crazy!

I had my final training session with Shelly today and it was bitter sweet...sweet because this is almost over...bitter because holy crap what am I going to do on my own for the week...I only have 5 more days to work out then that's it I'm down till after the show (and I can get a normal schedule going again)!  Tonight is my final posing class then it's all on my own - doing it right or doing it wrong, it's all me...I'm my own worst enemy these last few days and I know it.  I am going to yell at myself - my mental game is going to have to kick it up a notch as I will only have the strength of my mind to get me through (and to hold my food down...cream of wheat this next week and all I can put on it is stevia and cinnamon...somehow I just don't think that's going to be very appetizing - the highlight of my diet next week?  I get fruit back!  A grapefruit but hey it's fruit!)  So, if I thought I was using the mental part of the game before, I was way off - it will be high this week!

It's Memorial weekend and normally I would be excited about it - beach, bbq, a few drinks, friends....all sounds great right?!  well I am excited about it but not because of those things - I am excited about it because we have a typhoon headed our way and so that means that I get to stay home, not have to worry about the temptations out there and  only have to worry about the kids getting cabin fever...and of course getting my workout in!  Should be fun. 

So, this last part of prep should be interesting, I have a busy week even though I am supposed to be taking it easy...I will start this weekend with the teeth whitening, I will have my trays on every night to sleep in so they can be most effective...then I will start to exfoliate every day, get my skin to be fresh and new to start the spray tanning process...before I can get my first spray though I have to completely strip my body of hair from the shoulders down....yup, no arm hair, no leg hair, no peach fuzz on my belly nothing...that should be fun!  I also have to stop wearing deodorant beginning Tuesday as it will leave a funny ring or not look right or something or other with the tanning product.  I have to eat fish for breakfast a few days - yes, you know you want to share with me.  And, all the rest of the things too...it's nearing the end of the school year so in addition to my contest prep, I also have school functions - So, yes, I am as always the busy busy bee but am planning now on scheduling naps each day - even if I don't fall asleep, I will have it scheduled in to put my feet up and not think of anything. Ahhh I am looking forward to that!

So my schedule these last few days:
Friday Night - last posing
Saturday - rest day
Sunday - early morning cardio then weights and posing on my own mid morning
Monday - early morning cardio then weights and posing on my own mid morning
Tuesday - early morning cardio then weights and posing on my own mid morning
Wednesday - Weights and posing on my own morning w/photo shoot, pedi at 10:30, Awards ceremony 6:00p competitor meeting 7:00p
Thursday - weights and posing on my own, hair cut and color 10:00,  first spray tan 3:00
Friday -    rest day - spray tan 11:00
Saturday - rest day - spray tan 11:00, final body fat and weigh in 2:00, manicure 3:00
Sunday - at the gym 5:00 am hair first, spray tan 5:30, make-up 6:00, final touch hair 7:00.  8:00 transport to theater for check in and meeting 9:00...Pre-judging begins 10:00   go home and rest for a bit then back to gym at 4:00 to touch up tan, hair and make-up...6:00 night show.
Monday - after photo shoot

So lots and lots of exciting things are continuing to happen.  Thank you all of you who have supported me and continue to support me.  I will be posting more this week - most likely tomorrow with my final before and after pictures! This really has been an interesting road and I am overall a better person for it...I just can't wait to getting my real self back and lose this crazy lady ;)

So I leave you with Today's Quote of the Post:
"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man - and I will show you a failure."
- Thomas Alva Edison

I am by far thoroughly satisfied with myself - so I guess I can take satisfaction in knowing that I am not a failure.....push yourself to your goals, you really are happier because you can say I did it and gave it my best.

Hugs!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tough week - Nearly two weeks out

Man if I thought I was tired before....I didn't know what I was talking about! 

This week has been CRAP! It's been the whole group though and so it's supposed to be the norm at this time of the game....I am starving, tired and grumpy.  Saw this today and thought how fitting!

Today's Forecast:
Zero Carbs!
Muscle Pains!
Severe Bitchiness!
With a SLIGHT chance of happy

:)  Yup, that just about sums it up!

I posted on our Oki Bombs page earlier this week that I was in a funk....Thinking that I am crazy for doing this, I was ready to throw in the towel....I haven't seen the scale go down and it's really depressing!  I just want to throw up but that of course is not the answer as I need all that fuel I am inputting to get through the day!  This is what our trainer told us (as it really has been the whole group of us - yes, 10 women all in the same crabby boat, we are a group to be dealt with):

If you don't feel like shit right now... you are doing something WRONG. Take solice in the fact that your bodyfat is being used as fuel.... makes you feel like junk. Congrats ;) 

So that's it isn't it I am doing the right thing and feeling the way that I should is what is supposed to be happening so I am to take solice in it - I think I'd rather take solice in a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia! 

But, I am two weeks out and I am not a quitter I will see this through to the end and look in the mirror knowing that I am in better health and look DAMN GOOD....Thank you all for supporting me this far and continuing to listen (or in this case read) my antics.

Hugs to you all!

Today's Quote of the post:
“Winning isn't always finishing first. Sometimes winning is just finishing.” - Manuel Diotte.
 
Yes, I  am a winner and will be more so in just a few more days! I am thankful for the group of ladies I have I have met and shared this journey with! And once again a Very Special THANK YOU to Shelly who continues to ride me and deal with my craziness in the gym and beyond ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Numbers and Breathing

3 WEEKS....OMG ONLY 3 WEEKS to the big show!

I only have two weeks of hard training left before I get to relax and just do the prep stuff for the competition....competitors meetings, tanning, waxing, hair make up photo shoots - I think I have everything together and appointments made for the big day! 

I have only 6 more training sessions with Shelly and I can't believe it!  All this is coming to an end, and it's bitter sweet, it has been an amazing road and I can't believe that we are nearly in the single digits...I can almost count the days left before the show on my fingers and toes. 

Am I nervous - am I scared that I am going to trip, stumble, be completely lost on that stage?YES!  But, I am keeping a positive attitude that all is going to go well as a positive attitude = positive results right?!  So I am taking each day now being very careful as I don't want to have any crazy scratches, cuts or bruises...I will be whitening my teeth soon and I will continue to moisturize to ensure that my skin will look the best it can that day as well.  I think I have it all together (and if not, I will refer to my notes and of course to my trainer) Everything has to look just so on that day as I go across that stage - so you can imagine my freak out when I woke up with this last Saturday morning: (warning the photo is not for the weak of heart ;) )


Yes,  I busted a blood vessel in my right eye last Friday (before Mother's Day)  I was working with Shelly on Shoulder's, we had a pretty heavy set that when I stood up from my eyes were watering and told the other gals "careful girls she's trying to kill us"  I got up the next morning to this.  You can imagine the freak out I went through - thank goodness it happened 4 weeks out...I could not imagine what I would have felt if I had to go out on stage with that crazy eye!  So, of course I will blame Shelly ;)  but really, it was my own fault - I was so focused on just getting that weight up that instead of focusing on breathing, I held my breath to help get the weight lifted - NOT A GOOD IDEA!  I have since made sure to focus on my breathing with each lift and exercise - take note of this for yourself as well and save the busted eye vessel ;) 

So of course that was not the highlight of my week but I am happy to report that my eye does look much better one week later and is almost back to 100% normal looking with only a little red remaining.  The highlight of my week you ask though?  I came across the paper that Shelly had given me back in November that had my measurements from boot camp...weight, body fat, and the tape measurements of my waist and thigh...Boy was that a shocker to look at - and of course compare to where I am now!! 

November #'s:
Body Fat - 28.3% Weight - 151.8 Waist - 35.5 Thigh - 25.75

Current #'s:
Body Fat - 18% Weight - 129 Waist - 30 Thigh - 20

HOLY CRAPOLA!!  5 inches on both waist and thigh!! 

I can't believe it and I am living it - I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever get my body back, I look in the mirror and I (as with anyone else) still see the flaws in my body but then I look at the pictures and WOW! 

I have to say I can never say THANK YOU enough to Shelly!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!  With out her guidance, I would not be living this now, her teaching me the proper way to eat, working with me in the gym, her yelling at me (in a good way) and her positive reinforcement have gotten me to the weight and life change that I have attained today.  With her and the support of my family, we all are much fitter and happier which will lead to us being healthier and living a much  better life.  Thank you Shelly from the bottom of my heart, you are an amazing trainer, mentor, friend and mom and I am better for meeting you and having you in my life. 

For those of you who don't remember what I looked like (I am in shock looking too) here is me before and now:


 
 

This is why I can't stress to you enough....take those before pictures - You won't believe the difference in yourself either.  Diet and Exercise - Dedication and Perseverance together equal results!   80% diet, 20% exercise - you may think that the numbers are a little skewed but really what you take into your body as nourishment really does reflect in how your body looks...I really am eating more food today looking like this then I did then looking like that!  I know hard to believe but with the right diet, the right portion sizing and little cheats it is attainable! Giving birth to 7 children (3 of my own and two twin surrogacies) I really never dreamed I would look this good in a bikini!  So think before you put that food in your mouth is this good or is this bad....and if it's bad, don't eat it - or if you do, keep in control - small changes to begin with does result in big results - it takes time to put the weight on and it takes time to get the weight back off but it can and does happen - look again above if you don't believe it...set your goals, work out a plan and stick to it!  Don't make it unrealistic, keep it real and you will succeed!

So I leave you today with this Quote of the Post:

In life, there really is no competition, only the opportunity to out do yourself and your wildest dreams.
-- Unknown

Have  your wildest dreams come true too....I have!

Hugs!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

YAY!!! YAY!!! YAY!!!

What an amazing Mother's Day!  Started the day out with a Faux Show which was really fun; we were able to actually get on stage and get the 'feel' for what we will be doing in just 4 weeks!! 

My kids made me a great JibJab card 'Mom Rap' loved it, then we went out shopping for some new workout gear and they also got me a new pair of running shoes! To think that I am very excited over new workout stuff!  We had a great day out and not even much fighting! (now that is a feat in itself ;) )  I unfortunately dropped and busted the screen on my iPhone so that was a major bummer BUT.....in addition to the great day; I got this amazing email from my trainer:

Crystal, a couple things;
Front pose, right on, lats out, nice. Just remember to push/lean onto your toes... it will help keep your legs tight.

Side poses, awesome, nice twisting :) Make sure when you turn though, that you don't let your abs OUT. Keep them tight while turning into each pose.

Back pose- I'm not sure that you have your lats out in this pic? It looks like you are just raising your shoulders. Doesn't look tight in your lats. If you had more width, your back pose would be ROCKIN. We gotta practice it more. I'm curious; if you get into your front pose,... THAT should be almost what your back pose is like too, just have to then lean back.

Want you to add back 3x a week am cardio, empty stomach, just for the next two weeks.

You look good girl, almost there!!!!


YAY!! YAY!! YAY!!!  so other than having to add back in the early AM cardio I am almost there!  WOO HOO!! 

Here are the pics from today:





So 4 weeks left from today before we hit the stage for real....I think we are getting there just a few more days of practice practice practice and gym gym gym oh and diet diet diet!!!

I hope that you all are sticking with and reaching your goals - I love hearing about your success, failure and restart and your getting started - be sure to keep sharing with me!  And a big BIG CONGRATULATIONS to my dear friend Regina for her and her hubby's success each down two sizes!!  I am so proud of you both!  Keep up the good work - you are the example for your children, show them the way and they will lead a life of fitness as well and hopefully not struggle as we have...Love you both!

Today's Quote of the Post:

" Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can." - Unknown

Also unknown that I use all the time "You are an AmeriCAN not an AmeriCAN'T"  Look at the positive in all of your goals...there will always be a reason why you can't do something - it's those that see why they CAN that are set apart from the rest...You can do it!  I know you can!!  One day at a time, one work-out at a time.

Hugs!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Need some motivation??? I do!

"Great ideas originate in the muscles."

"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

"There is no substitute for hard work."
......
~Thomas A. Edison


For everyone who has felt that being fit is impossible - DREAM BIG!


Happy Friday all - Mother's Day Marks 4 WEEKS OUT!!

Hugs!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Less than 5 weeks out!

June 5th is coming up so fast!  It seemed when I started this road back in January June would take forever to get here and now I'm only 32days and a wake up away and I am FREAKING OUT!!  and yet SO EXCITED all at the same time!  I am getting the last of the items (I think) finalized, had a consult yesterday with the make-up/hair lady and was very happy so she is booked and deposit paid.  The Spray Tan is scheduled (all of my sprays - me being so white I gots to get more than the rest of the gals)  Suit is looking like it fits a bit better, I'm perfecting my posing still and the walk is going ok - Ive loaded the video below that we took a couple weeks ago. 

We have scheduled for this coming Sunday (Mother's Day) a 'Faux Show' so that we can see our stage presence - I'm terrified that I am going to trip and fall in front of everyone so I am praying that is not going to happen - positive thoughts = positive results right?  SO with that I am trying to change my thinking to "I AM GOING TO DO GREAT!"





My diet and workouts have of course changed once again for this final month and I have the following acronyms for you all to live by when you are struggling with your diets:
Think this before you eat -
Do I Eat This??  If you are getting ready to pop something that isn't the best for you - STOP and ask yourself first...Don't do this:
Did I Eat That?? 

If you do happen to eat something that is not on your diet or you over indulged in a special treat; don't beat yourself up over it - get yourself up and out and do an extra 20 minutes or so of cardio to burn those calories you took in...but if you are one of the ones training for a show right now - you better just start thinking oh how is my ass going to look on stage next to that girl who gave it her all and stuck to the plan while I cheated...I am pretty sure that you will be regretting it much more than if you weren't training and just made a little mistake.  Dieting is tough - I know I've been on this perpetual diet now for 6 months...each month instead of it getting easier and easier (like I thought it would) it is getting so much harder!  I want and crave those sweets, that yummy slice of bread or even just an extra piece of gum - but I can't have it - I have just over a month (barely) to make it and then I don't know what I am going to want to eat first....cinnabon? cake? spaghetti? ice cream? nan bread? desert crepe?  buffalo wings? I don't know it all sounds so good.  But, I have a feeling that I will be enjoying that but once I have made this transformation and am not going to fall back into that pitfall - I really have made a life change; have you?  I talk about it a bit on the show Cup 'O Joe that I was interviewed on for winning the Mom Transformation here on Island - check it out this week only (till 8 May) at www.kadenaforcesupport.com  Making yourself successful is making the change in your life for the better for life not just for a bit of time - you are healthier, and your children learn from you so they in turn are healthier too....it's a way of life! 

I do hope that you all have made the changes and are sticking with them - remember if you falter; you are human it is what we do - but pick yourself up again and start fresh, you'll thank yourself for it in the end.

Today's Quote of the Post:
Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states.  ~Carol Welch

Get out and move, walk around the block, enjoy the weather and smile at the sunset....the little things in life when enjoyed become the big memories - create the change in your life and begin noticing the little things that can bring you joy.

Hugs!