Monday, December 20, 2010

Better late than never…right?

October 2010 I successfully reached my goal by competing in my first figure competition.  What an experience it all was the preparation which included hours of training (Dave Uhlman of Elite Personal Training and Sports Nutrition); nutrition plan also under the watchful eye of Dave; supportive managers and co-workers (manager always introduced challenges to keep my cardio from going stale…I will never look at the stairs at work the same way  :0); my dear co-worker who would remind me of my 3:00 p.m. feed.  Even the Staples delivery guy acted like my pseudo conscience reminding me to drink my water. It was indeed a group effort and a support team I don’t think I would have made it without. 
In time the months turned to weeks and the weeks quickly tuned to days.  With each passing moment I don’t recall doubting the outcome in fact I felt unbelievably confident more intrigued at the thought of finishing then the act of getting on stage.  My mom arrived Thursday before the show so that gave me much time to prep her for what was to come…me three shades darker and practically butt necked.  Speaking of Mom she said something very interesting about me.  She commented that I was an easy read as she could tell where along my journey I was traveling based upon the reading materials in my home.  She said I had a season of self identity where all materials were exclusively by black authors, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison or intended for black audiences Ebony, Jet, and Black Enterprise.  Then there was a season of self help with materials on meditation and the like followed by my season of spiritual exploration and subsequent acceptance of Christ.  And now, all things fitness everywhere you turn Oxygen Fitness Rx; workout journals; nutrition journals and supplement pamphlets LOL…yeah easy read for sure. 
Friday was packed with prepping…hair, nails, tanning and a few stops in between.  I was told to remain off of my feet which is like telling a kid not to run.  I tried, I really really did.  I put off getting my makeup until after my tan to make sure I matched up nicely.  Smart move you would think well having not tanned before or talked to someone about the experience I found my decision to wait to be one of the most liberating experiences ever.  See after you get sprayed you can’t put on your undergarments.  So after dressing in my sweats I walked to the car laughing at the fact that I was going to hit the malls “free”   Yep this was the best.  Got to bed early as directed for the new day was dawning and it had my name all over it.
Got up before the birds, checked out my color…I look mighty good golden LOL  Double checked my checklist, bag and cooler one last face book post and off to the venue  went.  Funny it’s been almost two months and I can close my eyes and I’m able to recall everything about that day from the chatter of the competitors, the quick but direct instructions of the exhibitors, the joy of the spectators and the sound of my own heart that seemed to beat at a pace of a confident warrior…I had reached my journey’s end.
 I’m currently gearing up for show two and having checked the NPC schedule there are about another three of four I would like to participate in.  I’ve had dreams of competing in the Masters National and at the Arnold.  I’m laughing because we all know what I do with dreams right?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Time Before Now ( April 2009)

Green Eyed Monster

How the green eyed monster saved my life actually Jesus saved my life but what the enemy intended for evil God made it good. Here’s my story.  I met my first of two monsters a few years ago but my move out of state lessen our encounters that is until Face Book LOL.  My second came a little over two years ago. I’m not sure either of them are, were aware of what they were to me but while I was outwardly expressing my excitement about their accomplishments I was inwardly cursing them for quitting the FAT girls club and alienating me, leaving me to be the one big girl in the room.  How selfish of them to be thinking of no one but themselves the nerves. Truth be told and the truth will set you free by the way neither of my monsters were responsible for my unhealthy habits, weight or lack of exercise.  Nor were they feeding me the countless excuses I repeated to myself daily no time, no money, no support, too old, too busy, baby I had so many excuses I could lend a few.

Then one day I came face to face with my latest monster for I had tired of wishing it were me, tired of watching them as their clothes drooped and fell for they no longer fit properly, tired of looking at photos which were permanent reminders of what I desperately wanted to erase from my memory. So as bold as I dared to be I confronted my monster by challenging her to a dual no longer are you going to flaunt your stuff before me, no longer I tell you.  Well let me tell ya the reply that I received is not what I expected.  Bring it on.   Dang it now I got to do this for I was crazy enough to make this declaration publicly yep there were witnesses. See the enemy is no joke will have your mind so jacked up that you can’t even think straight.
So I partnered with my monster joining her on walks, renewed my membership to the club we both attendd, returned to my gym at work.  I know sad isn’t it to be 2 minutes away from a fully equipped gym with classes, nutritionist man we even have a bod pod. I get sick just thinking about it.  Started taking my dogs for walks and made major changes with my diet.  I stayed on task, fell off the track, got back on the saddle, tired at my efforts, regained my footing, caved to Christmas it was a set up I promise you my monster is a beast in the kitchen and I spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas w/her in her kitchen.  Recommitted, became contented, rededicated and finally determined.  For the time had come, I too must leave the club.  And the irony of it all was in order to do so I had to I had to be selfish, I had to think of me, my health, my being both externally as well as internally the latter being most important. Shame to be put together on the outside and torn apart on the inside in all things there must be balance for God is of order and not confusion.
I realized that what these ladies, they are not monsters, never were never will be for they are my friends, was that what I was seeing came with a price it always comes with a price, He gave His only begotten son.  But what I was seeing was the result of their time, dedication, commitment, determination, drive and sacrifice.  I too realized they had to be selfish they had to think of themselves, they had to leave the club.  There is a great work that they have been purposed for and if they are not healthy to do it how else will God’s be experienced by those in their circle of influence.
Some may not get it; understand the cost. Some may even say things they later regret because their view is slightly skewed as mine was a very lovely shade of green. Don’t hate, participate.  I now stand at the point of my beginning slowly walking away from the  what was to the what will be. Mentally strong and physically fit.
I applaud these ladies, my friends. They’ve earned the accolades, lingering glances, new wardrobes, hey a girls gotta get her shopping on. And they have earned my respect. Thank you both for being a living example, for caring enough to change, for taking the bull by the horns and putting and end to complacency. I am encouraged; I feel empowered; I feel victorious.
Deuteronomy 20:3-5(New International Version) 3 He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. 4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Monday, December 6, 2010

My library (hard copy and internet)


**Both books below give you a weight training routines along with pictorial view of the muscular anatomy giving so the reader can see the specific muscle groups major and minor being worked as well as explanations of common injuries and measures for healing:

**Women's Strength Training Anatomy [Paperback] by Frederic Delavier
**Strength Training Anatomy-3rd Edition (Sports Anatomy) [Paperback] by Frederic Delavier
The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, Revised Edition: The Way to Physical Perfection by James Villepigue, Hugo Rivera, Robert Kennedy, and Nicole Rollolazo (Paperback - Dec 19, 2006)

The Butt Book: How to Build a Non-Cellulite and Fat-Free Butt in 9 Weeks [Paperback] Tosca Reno

101 Workouts for Women: Everything You Need to Get a Lean, Strong and Fit Physique [Paperback] Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine



Livestrong (myplate) track your food intake

Clean Eating


Fitness RX for Women
Muscle & Fitness hers

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"How do I get started?"

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from the junk that typically makes up the Standard American Diet (S.A.D) These types of food include man-made sugar, bad fats (hydrogenated, trans-fat), preservatives, white bread, and any other ingredients that are unnecessary. An easy way to remember if a food is clean is: "if man made it, don't eat it."
A person that eats clean generally practices the following:
• Eliminates refined sugar
(I’ve removed all sugar replacing it with honey instead)
• Cooks healthy meals (cook @ 4hrs on Sunday, preparing enough food for 6 meals for an average of 2 wks)
• Packs healthy meals
• Makes healthy choices when dining out
( call ahead to see what they have that fit’s within clean eating guidelines, and now it’s prepared.  If noting I will whip out a ziploc bag of chicken LOL  I’ve learned to put my focus on the fellowship of friends vs what I’m eating)
• Drinks a lot of water (keep 1 gal jug at desk challenge myself to drink more than I did the day before….before the week is out I’ve had a gal before 5 J)
• Eats 5-6 small meals per day
(I eat every 2.5 to 3 hrs.  average 6 to 7 meals a day)
• Eliminates alcoholic beverages (or significantly limits it)

• Always eats breakfas
t (NEVER NEVER NEVER skip a meal)

Confession:  I am not a lover of the gym it is merely a means to an end so I rely on the watchful guidance of my trainer.  Due to the amount of work I put into nutrition atop of the demands of work and parenting I simply did not have the mental capacity to research, plan then execute a workout routine.  Presently I train 6 days a week.  On MTTH I lift for 90 minutes…maybe I will document a week and share…ok I’ll work on that.  On WFSAT I do nothing but cardio for 45 to 60 minutes.  (elliptical/treadmill/stairmaster/stairmill)  If I’m short on time I’ll do sprints or interval training. 

To help get you started in incorporating a workout routine in your schedule I suggest: . 
Take a trip to the gym to see how comfortable you are with working the equipment and understanding what machines work what muscle group.  I’m a retard when it comes to the gym….maybe because I don’t like it.  Most if not all gyms offer a free consultation w/ their in house trainers.  Try it out see if you even like working with someone.  I have a friend who prefers to do it all on her own and enjoys creating her own workout challenging herself with each plan.

I always share that the first rule of action is to make a plan….that way you know the direction you are headed and it wards off any road blocks like the coming holidays.  Once you get a workable plan that includes your family life, working life, social life make healthy eating and exercise a part of what you do.  Don’t just think about it DO IT

“Clean Food List

Protein  (about 20 grams of protein)
Beef (6 ounces): Beef tenderloin, Filet Mignon, Sirloin, Flank Steak, Round Steak, Top Round, Roast Beef, Ground Round, Ground Sirloin. Ground Beef (93% Fat Free or leaner)

Poultry(6 ounces): Chicken breast (no skin) Canned Chicken Breast (Swanson’s), Turkey Breast, Turkey Breast Cutlets, Ground Turkey Breast (95% Fat Free or Leaner), Canned Turkey Breast, Deli Turkey Breast.

Fish(6 ounces): Just about all kinds, the best are: Tuna (canned in water or fresh), Cod, Flounder, Halibut, Haddock, Orange Roughy, Salmon (canned in water or fresh, but limit to twice weekly), Red Snapper, Perch, Pollock, Scallops, Shrimp, Whitefish and

Other Proteins: 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein(UMP), Muscle Provider (MP), Tofu, LightLife Smart Dogs Veggie Protein Links, Skim Milk, Pork Lop Loin, Smithfield Boneless Pork Chops, Lean Ham, CarbMaster Yogurts, Egg Whites, Hormel Pork Roast, Hormel Beef Roast, Kroger Meals Made Simple Pork w/ Gravy, Laura’s Lean Beef Beef Pot Roast dinner, Kroger Turkey Smoked Sausage, Egg Beaters, Liquid Egg, Lowfat / Fat Free cottage cheese, Light String Cheese Mozzarella, 1/2Dixie Chili, MorningStar Veggie Grillers, Beef Jerkey, Turkey Jerkey,  Gorten’s Grilled Fillets, Canned tuna, canned crabmeat, canned chicken, canned salmon, canned shrimp, ½ scoop UMP mixed with Carbmaster yogurt

Complex Starchy Carbohydrates (1/2 cup)(about 20 grams of carbs)
½ cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal, Quick Oats, Steel Cut oats, Quaker Weight Control Flavored Oatmeal, Cream of rice, Puffed Rice cereal, Puffed Wheat cereal, red potatoes, Yams, 3/4ths cup Special K Protein Plus Cereal, Rice Cakes, Cooked Rice (brown or white), Potatoes, ½ Sweet Potatoes, Beans (white, pinto, kidney or black), Lima Beans, Corn, Peas, 4-6 Triscuits, Barilla PLUS Pasta, Tumaro’s Low In Carb Tortillos,

Fibrous Vegetables (1 cup)
Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Lettuce (romaine, spinach), Mushrooms, Portabella Mushrooms, Spinach, Tomato, Water Chestnuts, Zucchini, squash, green beans, Red/green peppers, carrots

Fruit (1 serving)
Apple,  ½ cup Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, strawberries, Mango, oranges, Pomegranates, 1 cup Cantaloupe, ½ Grapefruit, Kiwi, Nectarine, Peach, banana (post workout only),

Fat (about 8-10 grams of fat)
8 EFA Gold, Flax Oil, Fish Oil, Olive Oil, ¼ cup of nuts, ½ tablespoon of natural peanut butter, ¼ th cup Almonds, 1/4th cup sunflower kernels, nuts

Smart Balance Light, Sugar Free Maple Syrup, Sugar Free Pudding, Sugar Free Jello, Sugar Free Cool Whip, PAM cooking Spray Olive Oil,  Hot Sauce, Welch’s Sugar Free/low sugar jelly, Fat Free Mayonnaise, Light Vinaigrette, Light Italian, Sugar Free Ketchup, Mustard, Hot sauce, Pickles, Salsa


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Then and Now but not the End

At the ripe age of 46 I purposed in my heart to live, having survived an unhealthily relationship/marriage of more than 15 yrs, relocating to a city where I knew NO ONE compounded by single parenting, 2 yrs of unemployment, foreclose, repositions, depression, brokenness and despair only to come to the point in my life where I now stand, RENEWED. 
The journey has been an amazing one to say the least.  Thankful for each and every bump, u-turn, hill, valley and dead end.  Not sure where I’ll land but I’m sure to enjoy the view from here as I soar.

June 2009 @ 227lbs vs August 2010 @160...but i didn't stop there

Hello My Name Is Paula And I'm A Clean Eater

eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from the junk that typically makes up the Standard American Diet (S.A.D) These types of food include man-made sugar, bad fats (hydrogenated, trans-fat), preservatives, white bread, and any other ingredients that are unnecessary. An easy way to remember if a food is clean is: "if man made it, don't eat it."
A person that eats clean generally practices the following:
  • Always eats breakfast
  • Eliminates refined sugar
  • Cooks healthy meals
  • Packs healthy meals
  • Makes healthy choices when dining out
  • Drinks a lot of water
  • Eats 5-6 small meals per day
  • Eliminates alcoholic beverages (or significantly limits it)

I Got It Back

I got my glide back
I got my stride back
I got my yep back
I got my and you know this back
I got my dream back
I got my hope back
I got my desire back
I got my goal back
I got my press back
I got my push back
I got my you better ask somebody back
I got my spring back
I got my wiggle back
I got my shake back
I got my laughter back
I got my joy back
I got my wish back
I got my peace back
I got my name back
I got me back
I got me back
I got me back its ME that I done got!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Office Perks

Now this is what I call benefit package
Old Spice guy (Isaiah Mustafa)

Best room in the house

It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of any home.  I’ve watched enough HGTV to conclude that there’s some truth to that as most home sells are either made or broken based on the style and flow of the kitchen.  Interesting enough even in my own home I’ve observed that no matter where the  initial gathering is my guest seem to always join me in the kitchen, drawn in by the smell of food being prepared or the visual display just before consumption.  Additionally some of my most cherished memories are those where as a family we would join one another in the kitchen doing everything from dancing, singing, homework or watching television while my Mom would sigh for it was evident that she needed more room to work since we were constantly underfoot .  I get a warm fuzzy just thinking about it and if I close my eyes I can smell a pot of spaghetti simmering coupled with the sound of fish frying in a pan – it must be Friday.
Little did I know that this very same room, my kitchen would hold the “magic formula” I longed for to not only help fight obesity but lessen my chances of high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart attack or stroke.  You see in a desperate attempt to once again lose weight I reestablished my gym membership and like a child learning to ride a bike for the first time I clumsily maneuvered the frightening equipment short of killing myself.  I gave the illusion of doing well thought out routines but really had no clue what I was doing and my cardio time was more finger action because it took forever to pick a program, change the speed, set the incline etc.
One evening at the gym I was offered a personal training session, guess I looked that helpless, and while I gathered a lot of useful tips concerning the proper way to use the equipment nothing was more impactful than the following statement the PT shared.  “This is an 80/20 process, 80% diet/20% exercise”.  He further explained that the more effective and fail proof way to reach a healthy weight and obtain a body I could be proud of was first made in the kitchen.  He continued with asking me what was currently on my shelves/fridge/freezer.  I was confident that I was giving him all the right answers – packaged foods advertised as being “healthy”;  items whose labels read “reduced fat”, “8 points”, “100 calories”.  He appeared a bit sickened by my kitchen’s contents so I opted to remain closed mouthed about the chips and other comfort foods that I had tucked away.  Desiring to hear nothing more, he  presented me with a challenge, he asked if I would be open to having him prepare for me a meal plan that , though he didn’t call it “Clean Eating” consisted of clean foods.  Since I’m not one to shy away from challenges and I was eager to drop the pounds I replied with an affirmative yes.  I left the gym that evening with a list of clean foods, a meal plan and a set of instructions that changed my life completely. 

At the top of my instruction sheet read the following “This is not a diet but a lifestyle change”.  I took a couple of days to get this principle  embedded in me to ensure that it would have a lasting effect vs my normal 90 day trial, fail, quit approach.  So it wasn’t until the following Saturday that I with instructions in hand gave my kitchen a major overhaul.
1.       Upon inspection I pulled everything from my shelves/fridge/freezer and divided them into two groups A for clean vs B for not clean.  A = frozen chicken breast/salmon/fresh and frozen vegetables/oatmeal/ can tuna; B = white flour/granulated sugar/white bread/white rice/white potato/soda/sugary snacks i.e. (fruit snacks/ 100 calories packages/cereals)  to name a few
2.       All group B items were quickly removed from my house either gave them my neighbor or simply disposed of. 
3.       Made a grocery list complete w/ complex starchy carbs (sweet potato/beans/rice cakes/brown rice) fibrous veggies (broccoli/cabbage/cucumbers/green beans) fats (natural peanut butter/almond butter/flax oil/olive oil/walnuts or almond (for complete list of clean foods see attachment)
4.       I stuck to what was on my list and fought off every urge to pick up a little treat I also didn’t allow myself time to peruse the store like a visitor for the first time.
5.       I designated Sunday afternoon for meal prep which required a bit of schedule adjustment
6.       I prepare enough food to have lunch and dinner for 7 to 10 days (chicken breast is cooked in crock pot or oven and when weather permits I grill in the yard) fresh veggies are cooked separated and bagged.  This also guaranteed that my daughter had a sensible meal after school or soccer practice versus snacking until dinner was made.
7.       Established a few rules like if a product has more than 2 week shelf life I don’t buy it, carefully plan out meals so on shopping day I only buy what is needed.
8.       Adjusted my view of my kitchen rather than it be a place of refuge where I crept at night to drown my sorrow by binge eating, it is now my sanctuary where I go to get refueled that I may continue on with living.
While the contents of my kitchen have changed drastically, it’s still our central gathering spot, my daughter the dogs and I together, she texting while the dogs wait for an accidental releasing of food and I with an occasional sigh - wrapped up in the memories of my past and the new found appreciation I have for my kitchen. this thing on?

for one who likes to talk and I'm no talking a little i find that i don't have much to say...just not now at least