Because strong is the new pretty.


October 2015

The Decision

After my InBody evaluation a week ago, I dwelled on my results. Losing 2% of my body fat is a great improvement in 10 weeks, but definitely not what I was expecting. However, seeing as my trainer increased the body fat percentage that he would want me at for competition by 5%, I’d like to believe that he is happy with the way my body has handled the fat/weight loss.

I texted him later in the week to ask him if he still thought I was on track to compete next month or this fall based on my InBody results. He said I am, but went on to ask how I was feeling. I was honest with him (as I should be) and let him know that I was really struggling mentally and emotionally to stay on track; staying awake in class was a struggle and my emotions were on edge consistently, but I couldn’t tell if that was a sleep deprivation thing because of my constant exams or an overtraining/under-eating symptom. He made the decision to push back my competition date to late February-March, which broke my heart but I know it’s for the best. I will come off my current diet 8 weeks before New Year’s, and I will be allowed more cheat meals. He admitted that strict dieting during the holidays sucks and is showing me mercy (lol). Also, I will begin shoulder shaping exercises and substitute one of my lifting days for another sprint and lunge days to build up my hamstrings to “match my glutes”. I never thought my glutes would be ahead of my hamstrings; I thought my quads were the problem, but oh well. The shoulder shaping exercises make me nervous since I’m still feeling some shoulder pain when I lift on chest days. I’ll lift super light today and see how it feels.

Even though I was crushed by the decision to move the date back, I realized it’s for the best if I want to be able to go on stage looking my absolute best. Plus, it allows me more time to save money to afford all the necessities. Competition suits don’t come cheap; they can run upwards of $500 if you’re looking for a custom suit. I’m aiming to keep it below $200, but obviously the more you spend, the more you’ll stand out on stage. I’ll have to see 6-8 weeks out if my trainer has a specific designer that he sends his competitors to or if I can decide for myself who I want to use. Shoes I’ve already got, and they were about $30 from Amazon. Jewelry is super cheap costume jewelry that you can get pretty much anywhere. I don’t anticipate spending more than $20 on jewelry. Tanning, hair, and make up are all expensive when combined. Most shows have a company that provides discounted tanning services to competitors with free/discounted touch ups, too. I’ll probably invest in extensions and maybe lighten my hair before competition; extensions at Ulta are about $70, and I think they’re clip ins. I’ve got all the brushes I think I’ll need for make up, but since I’m not quite sure what color I’ll be for competition, I don’t want to go get the foundation and other things that I’ll need. I’ll get cheap fake nails and eyelashes (about $10-15 total depending on how picky I am) along with a pedicure with french tips ($20-30) or I could do the pedicure myself. Judges hate seeing nasty toes and feet on stage. Assuming I compete in an NPC show, I’ll have to apply for membership and submit a fee for $120. Then, whatever show I choose to compete in will have an entrance fee (probably around $50).

In total, I anticipate spending $1000-2000 when all is said and done. Yeah, it’s not a cheap sport. My mom commented on how I’m drawn to the expensive sports (equestrian riding, bodybuilding, etc.) but at least I’m paying for this one myself!

Any questions about competition supplies or costs or even just how to get started? Let me know!

Happy lifting!


The Verdict

After stressing all week leading up to my evaluation with my trainer this morning, I realized I had every reason to stress. I wasn’t sticking to my diet even if I WAS sticking to my work outs; I can’t expect to do half the work and get all of the results. That’s not what this lifestyle is about. You’re either 150% committed or half-assing it and not getting anywhere. That’s the dilemma I’m facing. I keep making excuses for myself and justifying my poor habits that I’m still struggling to break. However, after my cheat meal today (which I will address in detail) I don’t think I’ll ever touch frozen yogurt ever again.

This morning after my leg work out, I did my InBody with my trainer. The InBody is a total evaluation of your body. It measures your weight, total body water, dry lean mass, body fat mass, lean body mass, skeletal muscle mass, BMI, percent body fat, and even the distribution of lean mass in each body compartment in comparison to your ideal and current weight.

My trainer measured me at 22.2% body fat 11 weeks ago. John’s parents postulated that I just HAVE to be around 16% by now because of how much progress I’ve made… Definitely not. I’m at 20.3% body fat which amounts to about 23.5 lbs of body fat and 92.4 lbs of lean body mass out of a total of 115.9 lbs. All of these numbers are down from 22.2%, 26.64 lbs, 93.36 lbs, and 120 lbs respectively. Originally, Keith suggested that I needed to be down around 10% body fat and about 105 lbs of LBM to be competition ready; today, he said he wants me at 15% with a LBM of 95 lbs. This would mean that I would have to gain 3 lbs of lean muscle while losing 5% or 6 lbs of body fat. What is funny about this analysis is that it suggests changes you should make for body fat and lean body mass; the InBody actually suggested that I should increase my body fat mass by 0.9 lbs and not adjust my LBM. Obviously, machines don’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish, but it made me feel a little better that even a machine thinks I’m too skinny.

Looking at the segmental lean analysis, it has it split into right arm, left arm,trunk, right leg, and left leg. This portion compares the muscle mass of each body part to your ideal weight in pounds and then compares it to your current weight as a percentage. In essence, it determines how adequately developed the muscles in the body are. You’ll get a kick out of this one.

So, these are the numbers as provided on my form:

  • Right arm: 4.61 lbs, 108.7%
  • Left arm: 4.50 lbs, 106.3%
  • Trunk: 40.8 lbs, 105.9%
  • Right leg: 13.05 lbs, 97.4%
  • Left leg: 13.25 lbs, 98.9%

Basically, the InBody thinks that my legs are underdeveloped in comparison to the rest of my body. Those of you that have seen me in person know that my legs are probably the biggest portions of me; I have exceptionally meaty legs and I’m very proud of them. Also, my arms have always been like toothpicks; I can wrap my own hand around my wrist thumb to pinky if that gives you an idea of my overall build.

In summary, even though my trainer was happy with my results and my progress I was not. I have a few tweaks to make if I want to compete in 26 days, and I’m going to get my ass in gear so that I can make that deadline. Keith never addressed my competition date, but I have a feeling he wants to push it back. I just have to find a better balance between training, work, and school if I’m going to succeed in all three and sleep at some point. Despite the encouragement John and his family gave me all weekend, insisting that I’m a “skinny minnie” and they “definitely notice the difference”, I’m not satisfied.

On to my cheat meal discussion: Today I basically skipped both breakfasts because of my appointment with my trainer. So, right after we left the gym, I had a whey protein shake with almond milk, changed, and then dragged poor John to Whataburger for a full #1 and then 16 ounces of froyo. Yes, a solid pound of sweet, melty goodness. I got white chocolate, cotton candy, dulce de leche, caramel delight, birthday cake, and cookies an cream flavors topped with cookie dough bites, brownie chunks, Sour Patch Kids, caramel filled chocolate turtles, marshmallows, and caramel sauce. Oh yea, I went all out… And totally had the worst stomach ache of my life afterwards. Completely worth it though. I think it satisfied my sweet tooth for the next ten days. Although my roommates had kolaches, some coconut and chocolate nonsense, and other assorted goodies on the counter when I arrived home this afternoon… No bueno. I just have to stay out of the kitchen.

I guess we will see what happens in the next 26 days. I’ll keep you posted!

Happy lifting!

Best Compliment Ever!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been able to post an update! Last week I had three exams and two take home exams to complete, so I’m still recovering to say the least.

Last week I was bad, oh so bad. I totally cracked, not just once but a few days in a row. There were days I wasn’t able to get to the gym twice-a-day, one day I skipped completely because of an exam. That’s not even the worst part; I bought TWO gigantic bags of Halloween candy from Sam’s Club this past weekend thinking, “I can totally hold out until my next cheat meal!” Not no, but HELL NO. I got those suckers home and immediately proceeded to consume probably 6-10 of those little boogers. Almond Joy, Hershey’s bars, Snickers, Milky Way, Reese’s, Three Musketeers… I died a little inside that day. To make matters worse, today I was at 117.6 lbs, up 0.6 lbs from the last time I weighed myself. No bueno, Caitlyn. No bueno.

So, now I have to kick my ass a hundred times over every single day and keep my filthy appetite in check because Sunday morning I’m visiting my trainer for a body fat check. Yup. He’s totally going to know I have been bad about staying on track. I have an even worse feeling that he’ll push my show date back to the spring, which means Thanksgiving and Christmas will be absolute torture. God help me. Someone is going to have to lock me in a room and feed me through a slot in the door.

On another more positive note: Friday night I had some catching up to do on my workouts after work so I hustled my butt into the gym and got a little bit of legs in. I started with box squats at 135 for my warm up, doing as many reps as I could. From there, I added 50, did a set, and then jumped to 225. After my first set at 225, a guy walked up to me, and I’m thinking he’s gonna ask me how many sets I have left so he can have the rack, but when I took my headphones out he said, “I just wanted to say you’re awesome”, shook my hand, and walked away. It was a huge mood booster and incredibly encouraging for me to hear that from a total stranger. I’ve always wanted to know if people are impressed by how much I lift for my size, and now I do! This may not be a universal train of thought for people who see me lift, but it’s nice to think about occasionally. I powered through the rest of my work out with regular back squats with 135, calf raises on leg press with 500 (yes, 500 lbs), and leg press with 360. Unfortunately, after 2 sets of leg press I began to feel a sharp and progressive pain in the lateral aspect of my left knee. The longer I sat still, the worse it got. I came to the conclusion that I should stop before I damage something and walked it out on the treadmill. It hasn’t hurt since, but I think I stressed out the ligaments in my knee with how heavy I was lifting. I’m going to invest in some compression knee sleeves pretty soon, just waiting to save a little bit of money first.

I’m still feeling the occasional twinge in my left shoulder/tricep (I think my left side is just deteriorating at this point). I’ve been going easy on it, lighter on chest and tricep work outs, but it may not be enough.

Here are my goals this week:

  2. Wean off of coffee and chai tea lattes
  3. Make it to all of my work outs
  4. Get more than 5 hours of sleep per night

Think I can do it?

Let me know how your work outs are going and let me know if you have any questions!

Happy lifting!

Safe Word: Pancake

I’ve been struggling trying to keep my hand out of the cookie jar, literally. My roommate’s parents dropped off giant cupcakes last night, there’s a box of random cookies from the Cookie Cab (whatever that is), a bag of chocolate chip pecan cookies, blonde brownies, and a bowl of unnecessary nonsense sitting on the bar top at eye level each time I go to the sink. This isn’t even including the 3-4 jars of Nutella and Nutella-like substances in the pantry among other things. So, you see my struggle… Sort of.


I ate 5 chocolate chip pecan cookies yesterday in under 5 minutes while I was making my breakfast. Yep. FIVE. At my new job, employees have a menagerie of cookies, snacks, and junk food in all corners of the clinic. Temptation is everywhere I go, except for in class and at the gym. These seem to be my safe zones, but I can’t go to class or the gym every time I have a sugar craving. It’s torture I tell you!

This is what prompted me to create a safe word. Let me explain: Whenever I post this word on social media (i.e. Facebook), I expect to get texts or Facebook notifications bombarding me with motivational fitness images, quotes, personal messages, etc. in order to keep my hand out of the cookie jar and my mind off the sugar. Text me, tag me, post on my Facebook wall, however you see fit to distract and/or motivate me, do it! I’m tired of my personal will cracking because my brain convinces me that “just one bite” won’t set me back until I’m shoveling cookies two at a time in my mouth. Think y’all can do that for me?

I think this is representative of what a lot of people go through when pursuing a competition: They end up having personal struggles that could greatly affect their progress negatively and feel that they need outside help other than from their trainers (by the way, I’ve been too ashamed of my behavior to tell my trainer about my slip ups so shhhhhh!).

Happy lifting!

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