Thursday, November 6, 2014

Photo Shoot Peek

Just wanted to share some photos (non-edits) that I had done with Bam studios out here in Vancouver right before I did my final show this season, BCABBA Provincials 

I had played softball for about 12 years, I play at a a competitive level in a womens league.. and no I do not play slow pitch (there is a difference) there are certainly competitive levels of slow pitch for sure and I am not good enough at slow pitch to be playing at that level! haha But, most people think when I say I play baseball that I'm talking about the beer league version and that simply isn't the case.  I have spared and even played part time on teams in the past, but it's strictly as a favor or for the social aspect.. like I said before, I'm not very good at slow pitch! 

That being said, in softball I've played all levels, house & rep, we train in the off season earlier than most and the girls are more like family than team mates <3

This year was the first season since I started playing ball that I wasn't able to be there 100% due to my drive to compete.  I ended up being a part time player I missed all of the tournaments due to not being able to book anymore time off from work because I work on saturdays and I had taken a bunch of time off for weddings/stagettes and now my competitions so they put a big fat DENY on anymore time off that I requested.  My team/coach understood but i def missed out on a lot this year

Still certainly my passion I'll be back agian next season, although I will most likely be part time again.  This season i'm optimistic that I'll have a better handle on how to organize my schedule since it won't be my first time competing 

Hopefully this time around I'll have a little more support than I felt I got last year. Although most of my group were supportive at least to my face there were certainly things that I missed out on and felt almost punished for having the goals that I did, they require an awful lot of your time!

This being a new thing for me this year, I certainly had a hard time organizing eveything from my three jobs to friends stuff to bdays, weekends away, random days for coffee with meal prep and going to the gym up to six times a week, sometimes twice a day near the end! Once my diet got more and more strict closer to my competition I wouldn't go out to dinners with people simply because I didn't want to be tempted to have something off plan and derail my progress... Yes, I'm aware that one meal or even one snack one change that much but, I'm an all or nothing kinda gal and once I have a taste of something I have a much harder time saying NO after that ... So I was secluded a lot in the last little bit of my prep and my friends weren't used to that I think. When I was done competing, I was free to come out to more things with my gym schedule and food prep more laxed but by this time others had moved on without me and gotten used to me not being around.. I'm still trying to make a real effort so that people who I may have neglected can hopefully see that I do truly care still and although I feel hurt that I may not be included like I used to be, they most likely, also felt hurt that maybe I was too busy for them and not able to make them the priority that they have always deserved to be also

Anywho.....that's just a little something I'm working on for the moment ;) Being better than you used to be is always the drive! 

Here's the pics that the entire post was supposed to be about:

Huge Blue Jays fan! and this outfit was inspired by another fitness model & bikini Pro belinda kiriakou.  Her photos were with the blue jays hat (like above) and a blue bikini... I'd like to have some photos that weren't strictly in a bikini .. so I figured the long socks and tank top would be a nice change up (although still very little clothes) and a shout out to my ball girls <3

Monday, September 1, 2014

Some Post Show Action

Whoa, it's been a while since I've blogged on here! If anyone actually follows this.. my apologies! 

It's not like I've been overly busy or anything haha just haven't felt the urge to write in here

Update: I had the BC Provincials Championships on Sat June 28 2014 where I placed 8th in my class for Bikini Class D 

I felt very good with what I brought to the stage, I felt comfortable on stage and I'm happy with how I ended my very first season of competition :) 

Now for the off - season ... I'm still quite new to all of this, I only started working with my trainer in Jan of this year and I was immediately considered "On Season" so I never had any cheats etc just straight to the grind

Now that I'm finished competing until further notice I've been successfully graduated into my post show or maintenance side of my diet and weight training plans

How have I been doing? well, there are good days and bad days for sure 
During prep there were certainly times where I wanted to cheat and eat the food that wasn't currently on my plan at that time.. I did cheat however it was quite rare and it ranged from controlled to a certified binge 
All in all I'd certainly say that my On Season was a success :) 

My Off Season (or Improvement season as I've seen people call it, and I like that) has been more of a roller coaster
Getting used to my off season body has been a bit of a trial, do I want to look like I did during my prep/show time year round? No. I honestly, truly do not.. sure I had abs all the time, my thighs didnt touch and I was more vascular (something I love, but it's certainly not for everyone) but looking back at the pictures I had to check in with.. thankfully my coach requires us to check in every week in the final weeks of prep so I have all those pics to prove what I really looked like vs the vision in my head... I didn't really like how that looked... In fact I can even recall when I was having photos done in kelowna: I was standing in front of the mirror and I said to my gf... wow I'm really tiny right now... and then I got even smaller for Provincials 

So. although I do know that here is a healthy balance between prep and day to day I'm still currently struggling to get there... I put on the appropriate amount of weight post show (approx 10-ish pounds) I was happy with where I was and how I was progressing.. going as bold to say to myself.. wow this isn't that hard, what was I so nervous about? 

Then came the weddings, the stagettes, the bridal showers, the weekends away .. and suddenly I'm another ten pounds heavier... hmm, that was easy.  Trouble.

Digesting that I've now put on 20 -- yes 20- post show pounds has been hard, I go through moments where Im all "YOLO" eat whatever i want whenever I want, I love myself and my body at any size and I'm confident... fast forward a few more days where I feel like CRAP have a sugar hangover and can't get rid of that swollen uncomfrotable distended stomach... and suddenly a new voice comes out: how could you do this to yourself, why do you look like this, ew, gross.. the list goes on.. it's very upsetting 

The highs and lows of this part of my journey have been hard, I'm doing my best to try to enjoy my workouts gain back some of that confidence and know that the weight will eventually take care of itself 

Hopeful to be able to compete again next year :)  I'm hoping to do the Kelowna show again in May 2015 and hopefully that will place me high enough to go back to Provincials in New West June 2015 to bring an even better package after 9 months of putting on muscle (hopefully)

Things in the job dept have looked up as well! My hubby and I both have new jobs (I lost my job two days before provincials and went an entire month without full time work -- stressfull!) and we're working towards paying off debt and FINALLY going on a honeymoon-ish trip <3

Hopefully I can get back to writing in here more often, helps to hold me accountable and also let's me get a few things off my chest at the same time .. win win! 

Ta ta for now,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Strong Magazine Hiit the beach fitness challenge

Hey all,

the fitness team I'm a part of : Team Blessed Bodies, is doing a challenge for the month of july, it's the #hiitthebeachchallenge from Strong Fitness Magazine 

You can find the challenge online : 

30 mins, 8 sets, 15 reps each (per side when applicable) get as many in as you can
I did my challenge on Sunday July 20 and in 30 mins I did 35 rounds, not the worst... I was hoping to break 40 but I'm going to give it another shot on weds with my girl friend :) 

I had spent the (mini) weekend in Penticton for a stagette which was a lot of fun, I stayed on plan (no drinks for this girl) eventhough I'm officially OFF-SEASON and allowed to have cheats, I have a lot of stuff to celebrate -- this week alone I have my sisters bday (tonight) my husbands bday on friday (the big 3-0) a wedding that I'm in on saturday and a wedding I'm attending as a guest on sunday.. so I had plently of opportunities to have cheat meals, and since I dont need liquor to have a good time.. it was fine!

So back to the challenge, I was trying to get my hubby to do it with me since he's naturally fit and I figured it would push me to go farther/harder since he's almost always better than me when it comes to fitness -- the only place I've had him beat is long distance running ;) but he wasn't up for the challenge and ended up just timing me instead.. so my 35 rounds is my on my own and my next one I'll get to see if having done it once before is helpful for better time AND if having a friend to do it with you helps too! 

stay tuned ;) 

You can find the full spread in the July/August edition of Strong Ftiness Magazine on pages 54-57 and you'll also find my awesome team mate Jennifer Cordeiro, and you can visit her blog as well

Hope you guys enjoyed my quick little update, it's been a while since I've blogged and I've had a lot going on... promise to update soon, especially a post about my experience at BCABBA Provincials and just contest prep as a whole!

Happy Tues 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You're Greater

So last week I posted a little blurp I found on FB that got me thinking, well this week I've found an inspirational Pin on Pinterest and thought I'd share it

I shared this on my IG as well this week, feel free to come find me: @xjust_jess is my handle :)

So more food for though, as I prep for Provincials at the end of the month I have a lot on my mind for sure! I had to qualify for this show, so the competition will def be more intense but there were some pretty amazing looking athletes competing at the novice level so I can only imagine what will be on this stage

When you qualify for Provincials you get the choice:
Compete the year you qualify (which is the route I chose)
Compete the following year ... my gf I train with had said that if she had qualified for Provincials she would have taken the year off to bring an even better package, which I think is a great idea .. so there will be those ladies on that stage! Not intimidating at all (haha) I'm new to this sport I've only been training with the ideal of stepping on stage since Jan 1 2014 but I've made some great progress thus far .. I also chose to do Provincials this year because of cost, I don't like the idea of paying for prep and everything all over again next year when I have no idea where I'll be at in my personal life (ie: Job / Baby / Travel etc) plus I didn't have much going on and at the time I was pretty nervous about being off-season (more on that another time)

So here I am! Prepping for Provincials, even when I say it out loud or write it down I still have to stop and really try to wrap my mind around that fact

Which is where this lil post comes from  :)
Last year this time I was only day dreaming about competing, I was about to get married in August and had other things pulling at my time and especially my wallet
So fast forward a year, my husband has just finished his trades program and just got a job (yay!) so we'll be able to work on that saving thing people are always talking about after being a one income household this year

When I first read this little passage running came to mind, sure running sounds like no big deal .. but it can be a big mental game
When I was training for the BMO (Vancouver 2013) there was lots of runs in the rain, the sunshine, hot cold weather, after a long day at work, before a baseball game.. you name it. It just had to be done, have to get your runs in .. long runs, short runs, hill runs, sprints etc it can really get under your skin... and then you run a RACE .. now I was no where near the first person in my group.. not even close! But I finished, and within a time that I had set for myself (HUGE WIN)

Now if I had only counted my success on how I placed at that run? I would have been very let down
Because it's not about that.  Looking back, I'm very blessed to be healthy enough (and have the drive) to get out there every time to run, to be able to afford the training and race fees, to have no injuries during training or race day and be able to complete  my run

I need to remember this part during my prep for Provincials, dead last... even if I place dead last  I still qualified for this how in my first year of competing 
Time to focus on ME  on how I feel  where my happiness is at, and to be proud of how far I've come

 Hope you can also find inspiration in this quote, to push for those goals because with a little blood sweat and tears they will become  your reality

Lastly, and most importantly, be proud of yourself:  your entire journey -- don't wait to be finished, don't feel bad when you have a miss-step or if you don't place as well as you wanted to .. if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!

Do it for you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reflection - Getting on Stage

Here is something I saw shared on FB recently and it got  me thinking ..
Real Talk Coaching Tidbits~
In my line of work, I can totally appreciate the intention behind the statement that I hear waaaay too often:
"well, I want to prep like I am doing a show, without actually doing a show".
(thoughtful pause, while I bring my hands together, finger tip to finger tip, right in front of my mouth - no, actually TOUCHING my mouth - to prevent me from saying what is about to pop out of it, and to partially conceal the look that must have crossed my face before I was able to catch it....)
Sooooo, let me get this straight. What you are saying is that despite MANY MANY competitors (and wanna be competitors) being largely unable to complete "show prep", even when they DO have a show looming on the horizon..... many of which have paid hundreds/thousands out of pocket in coaches fees, posing suits, shoes, jewelry, federation registration, and even show registration... many who have already sacrificed 8-12 weeks IN prep (translation: 2-3 MONTHS of their year) already dedicated to the process, yet are still largely unable to complete the remaining few weeks because it is really THAT hard.... mentally, physically, emotionally....
So you are saying that knowing ALL of that, coupled with what you have just told me about your inability to be consistent with any "normal" diet and/or training plan....
You are saying that you feel confident that you don't need the pressure of a looming show date on the horizon, or the fear of losing all the money you have already spent, or the pressure of already having told hundreds of people that you are stepping on stage... you know, ALL those things that typically serve as the last resort motivation when the whole "novelty" wears off and sh*t gets real.....
You are saying you have a stellar plan to forgo all that nonsense and just jump in and whip your sh*t together in lean, mean show shape just...just... for fun????
In the wise words of an obviously wise person: Dafuc you smoking?
and more importantly, I want to give you a little heads up. That's a wee bit insulting to the competitive athletes who fight their way through show prep because they ARE getting on stage. I don't think anyone nonchalantly tells Michael Phelps that they are going to swim like they prepping for the Olympics, without actually competing. It really undermines the DEDICATION and DESIRE that these people have that allows them to push through the DIFFICULTY.
And if you don't know anything at all about competing, I will tell you something. Competitors only go through that hell to look that good for the ONE DAY that they are on stage. They can't and don't stay that way. So it makes a sum total of ZERO sense that anyone should think that they can or should "prep like they are doing a show, without actually doing a show."
I think that what it MAY boil down to is that the general public has NO idea what we go through for those 10 minutes on stage. They can't possibly know. So that's why I am telling you this.
That statement makes about as much sense as someone deciding that they want to go through pregnancy and delivery without actually having the baby.
I think you will have much greater success if you manage your expectations and speak them accordingly. Something like "I want to feel good about myself in a bathing suit." THAT is something I can help you with!!!

It's a long read I know, but it got my wheels turning ... 

I recently competed, twice .. on May 4 in Richmond, BC in the NPAA BC Classic Bikini Novice Tall...I placed second in my class of ten people.. pretty awesome
The show itself was very well run, was verrry quick and the people running it really have their stuff together.. was a very pleasant experience and I feel like it was a good 'pre-show' before I jumped into a bigger association a few short week later
Two weeks later, on May 17  I entered the BCABBA Western Canadians on Kelowna BC where I was again in Bikini tall (Class F, the tallest class) and I placed first in my class! That meant I got to try again to take the overall (I didnt win haha) But the experience was awesome.. although this show was sooo much bigger .. approx 315 athletes vs the approx 60 at the last show.. so the day was much longer 
More on that for another time... this is supposed to be about the post I saw on FB .. 

So this post got me thinking, I'm very fortunate to be able to compete.. I never considered not getting on stage.. sure I thought about quitting, during cardio, during my sets when they I was tired or too hot or whatever reason that gets under your skin and makes you want to stop, I didn't want to stick to my diet.. would have rather gone out with friends instead of prepping food, have a glass of wine with the girls .. and when I did attend parties, because I did try to have something of a social life while on prep.. being up super late was def detrimental to my diet plans 
Was I perfect all the time? No.  I cheated on my diet, I'm not perfect
The hardest parts for me, were being out late with friends.. I could prep my food and bring a snack with me and avoid all the candies/treats/chips etc... but as the night wore on and I was tired my body wanted something to fuel it if I was going to keep it up so late after having trained/cardio/work etc all day and wasnt listening to the cues and just going to bed! I never cheated with chips/pop/booze but I would eat more fruit than I was supposed to.. fruit is def my weakness! haha (well fruit and carbs) Plus when you're over tired you always want somethinig sugary to spike you through... or at least I do 
All that being said, and the mental and physical drain that comes with training for a competition... There was never a time that I can say I wanted to quit everything... I never considered not stepping on stage, and I'm proud of that fact.. I'm determined and I'm strong and I'll be stepping on stage once more this season for BCABBA Provincials on June 28 at the Massey Theatre :) 

Happy training.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Peak Week!

well here it is! PEAK WEEK is upon us

As of Jan 1 I had officially started my training with team Blessed Bodies, so Jan 1 was the last day that I've eaten any 'treats' ... I had cheese cake, I had pie, I had mashed potatoes etc my grandmother hosts a New Years Day dinner (at 1pm) and I fully enjoyed it!

Now I was never a big drinker before but I certainly had a few bevies the night before knowing full well that any and all alcohol would be off limits until further notice

With my training there is 3-4 months of 'contest prep - On Season' which involves weekly check ins with my coach with pictures, measurements and videos on top of the monthly check in of the same (minus the videos) after a certain amount of time (up to as close as 4wks prior to your show) you find out if you have been 'approved' to do your show or not, approved means that your coach believes that you're on the right track, can stay on track and can be successful in getting to the stage (very exciting)

I got approved at 6 weeks out, I was pretty stoked

Once you're approved all the 'fun starts' .. buying your custom bikini (theyre expensive! adn very small..and you cant get them wet!) then theres the booking of make up, hair, posing, fittings, the shows, photoshoots (not necessary but hey you're going to look pretty smoking.. might want to commemorate that eh?) and of course that famous fake tan

These costs certainly add up quickly! Anyone thinking of competing, def need to consider all the aspects of competing since it can rack up really quickly

One the Best part of contest prep (with my Coach at least)? before you sign on for prep you have to agree to doing one month of 'reverse prep' I was in love with this idea... I've seen a lot of people online talk about that rebound diet, and how they do insane damage to their bodies and their metabolism and I certainly wasnt interested in that! Thats the beauty of the 365 lifestyle that my Coach promotes

so back to peak week, I've (obvs) never had one before so it's pretty intense! I'm very lucky in the sense that my Coach really pays attention to what I've been eating and clearly am enjoying on a regular basis (I track all my food and send it to my coach weekly in my check-ins) she's taken things from my diet list and created a very specific diet for the next 6 days.. specific rules on water and when why where and how .. seriously how does she do all of this for everyone on our team? Super woman status

My cardio has been kicked up another notch and going back to work on weds (for a dbl shift.. boo) and just focusing on getting my workouts in and having some fun while I do it.. it's almost over! Hard to believe how 4 months could go so quickly!

I'll check in again after my show is over and maybe post some pics :)

Good luck to all of those out there with dreams of competing or those who have a competition in their near future

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting to know Jess...

Hooray!  My very own blog.. what an adult

I've been thinking of starting a blog for a little while, and to be honest, have always been too busy.. I thrive on being busy I think .. I currently work three jobs, play for a competitive softball team, spare on a slow pitch team, spend time with friends, commit to weekends away, fundraisers etc never miss a family gathering (if I can help it) and am currently training for my first bikini competition!

So the title of my blog says diary of a fit girl... I think I should start there...
My hubby and I are both avid gym goers... he more than me.. about 8 years ago when we were still just dating he convinced me to try and come to the gym with him .. since I wasnt a gym goer at all at the time

Well I started going with him, and I suppose that natural high got me hooked because before long I got over the dreaded "I can't go to the gym alone! .. I'll be alone!" and then started going with girlfriends etc so that we could all push each other... try out new classes .. it became a social thing on top of making me feel good

Now I've never been over-weight of even felt overly self conscious about my figure.. don't get me wrong, I think everyone out there looks in the mirror and sees things that they wish they could change .. but I was the kid in grade 7 being made fun of for being too skinny.. so there was that

In 2011 my hubby showed me a youtube video called "I want to look like that guy" by Stuart Macdonald and it inspired me to want people to look at me .. and want to look like that girl

So I called up my two besties and told them what I wanted to achieve.. we looked up workouts on decided that fat loss was where to start and off we were! for 12 wks we met up three times a week, followed the workouts, took progress pictures and did see a change! it was awesome.. but it was still no where near where I wanted to get my body to

Needless to say what I truly needed was a trainer to help me get to where I wanted to go.. but having the mentality that trainers were too expensive and therefore unattainable we stuck with free online ;)

After that first year of workouts I was hooked.. I started going to the gym 5-6 times a week and had lots of energy and was overall just happy to be healthy

These same two gfs ended up talking me into joining a running group to run our first 10 km (the Vancouver Sun Run) .. Never one to call myself a runner I reluctantly agreed (the group was 100$!) but we did it together, ran three times a week and had a great time, the group was great because they showed us how to run safely (shuffling) to avoid injuries & strains and it sparked a passion for running

A year after that the three of us ran our first half marathon (the BMO May 2013) and it was awseome, I'm hoping to do another run this Sept in Kelowna with my hubby for our one year anniversary...

Training for the half was a new can of worms, it took a lot more dedication (22km worth!) had to run in not so fun weather (snow, ice, rain, hot sun, muggy) but I learned to really love running.. now I look fwd to when the weather is bearable enough to run outside! It's a great way to sneak in some ME time, some cardio and some fresh air

During the half marathon training I also did a lot of the runs on my own, and found I actually push myself more when I'm by myself vs keeping it casual and conversational while I run with friends

Regardless, fast fwd to 2014.. I ran my half marathon in 2013, I got married in 2013 and after that I was at a loss fitness wise for what to strive for...
I had seen other compete before and thought, I could do that! how hard could it possibly be? I started attending the local shows (the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic & the Krack Classic) I started looking into different trainers locally and online .. I talked to a few gfs who I knew shared a similar passion to mine when it came to the adventure of competing

I ended up signing up with team Blessed Bodies, based out of Vancouver BC with head coach Fatima Leite Kusche at the recommendation of my gf who was already a client of hers
When I checked out her site I was happy with the things that I was seeing, so I dropped her an email and asked to apply to be a bikini athlete ... one of the support staff/coaches got back to me within 24 hrs!! (Other trainers that I had msgd were certainly not as apt to return my emails) plus something that really drew me to her program was the mantra : 365 physique .. I wanted something attainable.. I didnt want a fad diet that would drive me crazy like the things I see people posting on social media about ie: tilapia and asparagus now I can't say that there arent athletes out there that need to eat those things in order to get to a certain BF etc but Im so glad it's not me haha
Plus Fatima also has a mandatory post prep diet 'rebound plan' so that you don't in fact. rebound.. a super popular thing post show is to gain a bunch of weight and do a lot of damage to your body.. not into that either 

So that's where I'm at... 2014 the year that I finally put on my big girl panties (or smallest pair of bikini bottoms I ever did own) and hop on that stage! I'm currently 12 days out from my first bikini competition the BC Classic NPAA in Richmond .. stay tuned!