62 days out - Being honest
Yesterday marked 9 weeks out before my debut as a fitness competitor. Today, I took some time to reflect on my week, and noticed 2 things that didn’t go as planned …
1. Not enough sleep. I had way too many hours at work and had school and my training on top of that. My job closes at midnight, so I’m in bed only around 1 am and I have to wake up at 6. NOT GOOD. 5 hours is not enough at all, especially with the intense training I’m doing. My body needs to recover. My lack of sleep really affected me, both physically and mentally : I was very sore, more than usual, my body was retaining more water and looking flat, I had mood swings, and my stress level was high.
2. Too much nut butters. Even clean foods need to be eaten in moderation. This week, because of stress and my lack of sleep, my cravings were all over the place. I turned to my very good friends peanut butter and coconut butter to satisfy these cravings. They are allowed in my food plan, but only a certain amount. Unfortunately, I went over my daily allowance almost everyday. It’s not affecting me right now because I’m still eating a lot and gaining muscles, but once I start cutting, it could affect my progress.
So, my coach told me to create a plan of action. My plan of action for this week is to go to bed no later than 10:00-10:30 (except the night I’m working) to make sure I get good nights sleep. As for my nut butter addiction, I will measure the portion I need and put the jar right back in the kitchen pantry. Also, when I find myself opening a jar to eat some more, I will try and visualize my goal, visualize myself on the stage with the 1st place trophy in my hands.
I learned a lesson this week. Things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes you slip up. It’s ok, and you just have to suck it up and find a plan of action to fix it. But most importantly, you have to take it one day at a time.
Vlog Update #1 : 9 WEEKS OUT to IDFA National Capital Classic
HealthyValerie’s Summer Challenge is now available !
For 10 dollars only, you get a 10-page document that includes :
1. An introduction to a clean and healthy lifestyle
2. Important guidelines on …
- Clean eating
- How to beat cravings
- Meal prep
- Weight training
- Tracking progress
- Staying on track and motivated
3. Various food options to choose from with their serving size (also your grocery list)
4. A balanced and flexible food plan. The great thing about this food plan is that you make it yourself using the grocery list provided
5. A sample meal plan
6. A printable meal planner to help you organize your meals for the day or the week
7. 2 workouts plan. No gym ? No problem ! I also provide a workout plan you can do ANYWHERE. Only equipment needed : your bodyweight. Those bodyweight circuit workouts will make you sweat, I promise !
8. A complete ab shaping routine, no equipment needed
9. Recipes ideas
I kept the challenge to a beginner/intermediate level, so EVERYONE can do it, even if you’re just starting working out.
The link to purchase is is on my side bar to the right ->
DON’T FORGET TO PROVIDE ME WITH A VALID EMAIL ADRESS. I will have to send the challenge manually to you, so I absolutely need it. Thank you.
Let the challenge begin !
Yesterday, I went to watch a bodybuilding and fitness competition for the very first time with the amazing Holly : WBFF Montreal Pro-Am
It was great to get a hint on what a fitness competition looks like and how it is organized. It gave me some ideas for my posing routine, what presence and energy to bring on stage, but also what NOT to do on that stage.
After watching this show, it is even more clear now that the WBFF is the association I want to belong to. Next year, I will be on that stage, probably with my girl Holly. She is as passionate as am I about health and fitness and also want to pursue in the fitness industry. And the best part : she’s 19 like me , and she lives in Montreal too !
My favorite category ? Diva Fitness Models of course. Their physiques are too die for, and the theme wear round is unreal ! That’s what I will be aiming for next year.
It is indeed, true that the best of the best compete with the WBFF. And I hope to be part of the family in April 2014 by winning my PRO card.
Maybe my most important post to date…
Do you ever wonder why the majority of competitors/ fitness models gain so much weight in the few days after a show? Women often 20-25 pounds? Or maybe you dieted hard for a vacation/wedding etc and right after you immediately gained the weight back and it then took months to then lose it again??
I am going to try to break this down as simple as possible as it pertains to EVERYONE.
Your metabolic rate (metabolism) is he single and only factor that determines fat loss. Not caloric deficit, not doing endless hours of cardio. Without metabolism you are dead in the water. You could ea no carbs/ fats, finish each day in a 500 calorie deficit, doing 2 hours of cardio, but with no metabolic or low metabolic rate you cannot and will not lose bodyfat.
Now lets examine why and how metabolic rate becomes damaged. Things that damage metabolic rate
1) Doing constant steady state/low intensity cardio (spin class, walking on treadmill, stairmaster, eliptical, etc etc) You lose the fat burning component of steady state cardio very quickly. I will never understand why competitors do 2 cardio sessions per day when they are not getting a fat burning effect, but rather just eating up muscle and reducing metabolism.
2) Restricting calories too much. More specifically not having enough fats and good carbs in your diet.
3) Not understanding the math behind what you are doing. If you are eating 1200 calories per day and burning 500-1000 in your workouts you are damaging your metabolic rate.
4) Finishing everyday at caloric deficit will damage metabolic rate. this is why carb cycling has become so popular. It allows for support of metabolic rate thusly preventing the damage.
Things that build metabolic rate
1) Lifting weights, building muscle. High intensity lifting. Women i cannot stress this enough. You need to lift hard, heavy and often. You dont get bulky from lifting weights, you get bulky from the cupcakes you eat. Adding muscle adds to metabolic rate, more specifically the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns
2) HIIT cardio. High intensity interval training. This is the only type of cardio the body does no adapt to. It supports metabolic rate as well as has the fat burning component.
3) Getting enough quality calories. You need to eat to lose fat. You need to eat to build muscle. You starve yourself, you starve your fat loss ability.
The majority of competitors and so called professional coaches are fools. Their science is wrong. They prescribe you these low calorie diets with endless amounts of cardio and the minute your show ends you gain back tons of weight, they then tell you its because you binged too much. Wrong wrong wrong. Complete bullshit. What really happened was that during your dieting process you constantly chipped away at your metabolism. So for example lets say a healthy adult female burns 1500 calories per day without any exercise. Most competitors by the time of their show have damaged their metabolic rate so much that their BMR may be as low as 2-300 calories per day. So the minute the show is over and you eat a few normal meals, while not doing the double cardio sessions your body immediately gains bodyfat and fast. A normal healthy person would have their metabolism to keep them in check.
Here is a perfect example. Most of you know my GF is 2-time World Bikini Champion Chady Dunmore. Shes well known for being lean and photoshoot ready year round. How? Does she do cardio everyday? Is her diet super strict? Nope. She simply doesnt follow the bullshit above. She goes by truth not myth. She eats a well balanced diet of around 2000 calories per day. She lifts hard and heavy 4-5 days per week with almost no cardio. Last year when she competed in the world championships she did nothing more to her weekly routine mentioned above than simply add 1-2 intense HIIT sessions per week and stop cheat meals 3 weeks out. She stepped on stage at a ripped 132. Flash forward 4 weeks after her show. She had many many cheat meals. We spent a week in Mexico for her bday eating whatever we wanted, consuming a few tropical alcoholic beverages, doing zero cardio and got in a few lifting sessions. She came back from Mexico at around 135 and id suspect the 3 pounds she gained was nothing more than some water retention from the salty foods and glycogen in her muscles from excessive yummy carbs. Why did she not rebound like so many?? HER HIGH METABOLISM KEPT THE WEIGHT GAIN AT BAY!!!
Follow science not myth people. Protect yourself. For more information on this video from a true man of science Dr. Layne Norton please watch this video and subscribe to his channel
Hope this helped and opened some eyes.
Again, I cannot stress this enough. The secret to being in a great shape all year round is a FAST METABOLISM. And yes, it IS possible, to repair your metabolism that has been damage because of strict restricting and/or over exercising. It takes a long time, but it is possible. In my case, when I decided to recover from my disordered eating, it took me a year before my metabolism was back to its full capacity. Watch the video I posted below for more information.
BioLayne Video Log 9 - Metabolic Damage (by biolayne) MUST WATCH, especially if you’re a competitor or are looking to lose
12 weeks out !
Well, it was officially yesterday, but I was really really busy and didn’t have any time to make a text post on this blog.
It just seems like when you hit the 12 weeks out mark, things get more serious. Although I’m still on my muscle building phase and still have PLENTY of food options to choose from and minimal cardio to do, I feel like I need to be on my A game even more now. There’s no excuse, every day counts.
I have a ”big” check-in with my coach on Thursday, which means I need to update her with my food diary, measurements, AND progress pictures. Eeek, check-ins are always a bit stressful, and this is my first one with progress pics. Hopefully I actually made progress and grew those muscles ! I’m also going to know if I’m allowed a weekly guilt-free meal (fingers crossed). I’m dying for some sushi or a good burger right now.
For now, I’m taking it one day at a time, following both my workout and food plan to the T, and enjoying the whole process. I’m using this show as a learning experience that will, hopefully, leads me to step on that ultimate stage. The stage of the WBFF.
85 days out - Breakfast all day !
3 meals out of 6 are usually breakfast meals. I can’t help it, I love breakfast foods too much. Meal 3 was egg whites scrambled topped with Frank’s Red hot, sweet potato hashbrowns, and a banana with peanut butter.
What is your favorite breakfast food ?
86 days out - Quads progress ?
The picture on the left was taken a month ago, and the picture on the right this Monday. There might not be a HUGE difference, but I can feel my quads becoming tighter and stronger everyday. My legs (excluding my calves because they’re atrophied and will never grow) have always been the hardest body part to develop for me. I have a pretty strong upper body, but long skinny legs.
I’m 86 days out today, and will be exactly 12 weeks out this Saturday. WHAT, ALREADY ? Time goes by so fast ! I will have to put that on my coach’s radar. It may seems like a long way to go, but when you reach the 12 weeks out mark, it’s usually when things get a little harder. Your diet gets tweaked, you have more cardio, you have to start practicing your posing, etc. But I’m excited for this phase of my journey and I will give my 100% every day. Like my coach and teammate Theresa Jenn always say ‘'You have to take it one day at a time”.
Banana Coconut Pancakes
The thought of eating my yummy breakfast is what gets me out of bed every morning. Usually, I make a myself a bowl of peanut butter and banana oatmeal and cook some egg whites to eat on the side.
But this week, I’ve been making these babies every morning and I’m totally IN LOVE. I tweaked my original pancake recipe a little bit so it fits my food plan, but it really has the same texture and consistensy (think fluffy and thick !)
- 35 g oats (or 1/4 cup)
- 5 egg whites
- 70 g (or 1/4 cup) cottage cheese
- 1/2 banana
- 1/8 cup unsweetened COCONUT almond milk
- 1 packet Stevia
- 2 drops of coconut extract (the taste is very strong, so don’t add too much !)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- The other half of the banana
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
- 3 tbsp sugar-free syrup
1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor/blender
2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray.
3. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. It makes 3-4 small pancakes.
4. Frost the pancakes with the coconut butter. Cut the other half of your banana into slices and top your pancakes with them. Add the sugar-free syrup on top of everything and EAT !
If you try this recipe, take a picture, post it on your blog or Instagram and tag it healthyvalerie so I can see it :)