Because strong is the new pretty.


March 2016

My Competition Pack List

Yes, another post! Same day, too! But this is vital information! I promise!

While at the CLC, a friend of mine also competing ran into a few mishaps, but luckily I was prepared enough for our entire division… Seriously. I had SEASONED competitors coming to me asking for hairspray. Hairspray is vital, y’all!

So, I present to you, my OFFICIAL competition pack list!

  • NPC card
  • ID
  • Suit
  • Heels
  • Jewelry
  • False lashes
  • Lash glue
  • Make up supplies
  • Facial oil blotting papers
  • Fake nails
  • Extra nail glue
  • Nail file
  • Dry shampoo
  • Straightener
  • Hair spray
  • Straightening serum
  • Big hair clips
  • Extensions
  • Bikini Bite
  • Posing oil/glaze (Pam cooking spray also works)
  • Dark sheets for your hotel
  • Bath towels for your hotel
  • Kimono/cover up
  • Scrubs for after tanning
  • Flip flops
  • Shower cap for tanning
  • Resistance bands
  • Baby wipes
  • Stand up mirror
  • Solo cups with bottom cut out for peeing without messing up your tan
  • Chap stick
  • Sewing kit
  • Crazy glue
  • Baby powder to soak up sweat
  • Fluffy applicator brush for baby powder
  • Dryer sheets for deodorant
  • Dental floss
  • Mini mouth wash
  • Kleenex
  • Laundry stain remover stick
  • Latex/nitrile gloves
  • Phone charger
  • Headphones
  • Book/entertainment
  • Q-tips
  • Safety pins
  • Vaseline
  • Umbrella
  • Pillow/cushion to sit on
  • Prepared food
  • Water
  • Plastic food utensils
  • Cooler

P.S.- DO NOT WEAR RED AFTER GETTING TANNED! The dye in red clothing will make you change color!!!!

P.P.S.- Bring zipper locks for your luggage bag, and use a luggage bag that rolls! Lifting anything and putting anything on your shoulders will ruin your tan!

Questions? Comments? Let me know!

Happy lifting!

The Break Down: City Limits Championships 2016

This weekend was a whirlwind of emotions for everyone involved. Before I get too far intoTHAT, I’ll rewind to Thursday, and get you all caught up.

Thursday: Two Days Out

As soon as I was out of class, I hauled butt home to begin shaving and using my Hair Away by Muscle Up. Knowing I had tested the product on myself before with no signs of an allergic reaction, I thought I was safe. However, knowing what I know now thanks to pharmacology, it takes TWO exposures to an allergen for your body to have a reaction to it. I applied the cream to my entire body beginning with my legs and working my way up. By the time I had covered everything from my feet to my neck I knew the ten minute time limit was up so I began wiping away the salve from the bottom up as I had applied it. By the time I made it to my chest and arms, my neck began burning. BAD. I quickly wiped away what I could on my neck and rinsed any residue from my neck, but the burning sensation progressively got worse. I got out of the shower to discover that my neck and chest were red, puffy, and tender to the touch. I was nearly in tears with the pain of the burn, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to go to my tanning appointment later that night if the swelling didn’t go down soon. To top it all off, I had a pharmacology exam in less than two hours and I was in a panic to get the pain to subside before my exam. I quickly took some Zyrtec (I didn’t have any Benadryl available- I don’t have allergies to anything else).

The damage

I made it to my exam, finished it two hours later, and picked up some Benadryl on the way home. Once home, I took two Benadryl and packed my belongings into my car to make the drive to Katy. I arrived around 10 pm at my tanning pro’s house, and she was already aware of my neck situation. We were able to complete the first layer of my spray tan, including my face, in under 30 minutes. Check out Brittnay’s Bronze Beauties on Instagram and Facebook if you need a tanner in Houston!

My tan progression and the final product! 

All day from start to finish, I had a total of half a gallon of distilled water to drink, and I ate 2 oz of chicken with 1/3 cup white and 1/3 cup brown rice ever 2-3 hours. John had to go pick up a diuretic for me at a supplement store in Katy per my trainer’s request; even with the water withdrawal I seemed to still be holding on to a substantial amount of water. I was warned that I would pee like crazy on this particular diuretic… Nope. No more than normal actually. So, I’m not sure if the “water” I was retaining was really just fat, or if I needed a larger dose of diuretic. Either way, I have some tweaks to make in my pre-competition plan.

Tips for Tanning That No One Told Me:

  1. Yes, you have to be completely naked for this process, so make sure you’re comfortable with the pro you’re working with. Some women get tanned by male tanners, but I’m more comfortable working with female professionals.
  2. DO NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR OR A BRA UNTIL AFTER COMPETITION ONCE YOU’VE BEEN TANNED, EVEN IF IT’S ONLY THE FIRST LAYER! I thought I was safe to wear a bra for a brief period after my skin had soaked up all the tan 24-48 hours later… I was wrong.
  3. I recommend wearing tie-waist (not elastic) scrub pants (they are lint free and loose) and a button up shirt after tanning. Definitely use a button up shirt later when you get your hair and make up done on competition day.
  4. Whatever you do, don’t burn trying to get your base tan! Spread it out over a long period of time (about 1-2 months) once every 5-7 days for no more than 15 minutes at a time. Be sure to get EVERY INCH of your body with tanning lotion. The parts of me that burned are the spots I missed with lotion.
  5. Get your nails done before your tan. It’s easier to wipe the tan off your nails after they’re done than to keep polish on once you’ve tanned.
What happens when you burn and then get a spray tan. Don’t be like me. My pro tanner, Brittnay, was wonderful enough to send touch up cream with me for this very reason.

Friday : One Day Out

I met with my trainer at 7:30 am for a little pre-show evaluation, including another InBody. In case I haven’t already told you before, the InBody is a total body evaluation of your body fat mass, body fat percentage, muscle mass, and muscle mass distribution. My first InBody on October 18, 2015 gave me the following statistics:

  • Basal metabolic rate: 1275 kcal
  • Weight: 115.9 lbs
  • Total body water: 67.7 lbs
  • Dry lean mass: 24.7 lbs
  • Body fat mass: 23.5 lbs
  • Lean body mass: 92.4 lbs
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 50.7 lbs
  • BMI: 20.9 kg/m2
  • Percent body fat: 20.3%
  • 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%

My latest InBody gave me the following:

  • Basal metabolic rate: 1256 kcal
  • Weight: 115.5 lbs
  • Total body water: 66.1 lbs
  • Dry lean mass: 24.3 lbs
  • Body fat mass:25.1 lbs
  • Lean body mass: 90.4 lbs
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 49.6 lbs
  • BMI: 20.8
  • Percent body fat: 21.6%
  • Right arm: 4.32 lbs/102.4%
  • Left arm: 4.37 lbs/103.8%
  • Trunk: 39.7 lbs/103.6%
  • Right leg: 12.77 lbs/95.6%
  • Left leg: 12.99 lbs/97.2%

So, what does this all mean? Well, pretty much only two values that declined were good, my weight and my total body water. The body part distribution (right arm, left arm, trunk, etc.) is represented as the mass of muscle on that body segment and the percentage of muscle compared to my ideal body weight. Surprisingly, my arms are on fleek, whereas my legs are as my trainer puts it “behind schedule”. We originally wanted my lean body mass up around 95 lbs and my body fat percentage close to 15%. Obviously, my body didn’t agree with plan according to the InBody assessment. We know I got leaner visually, but the InBody says otherwise. So, I’m having my trainer measure my body fat manually using calipers to confirm/deny the InBody’s results.

Other than the InBody on Friday, I posed and had pictures taken for my trainer to use for deciding on my meal plan for Saturday. I also had Friday off from working out which was my first day off in at least four weeks.

After meeting with my trainer, I went back to John’s for breakfast (chicken and rice) and a nap before I went back to my tanner’s house for the remaining two tan applications. John and I left Katy at 3 pm, and we made it to Waxahachie for check-ins between 6:30 and 7 pm. We didn’t have an athlete’s meeting, so John and I made it to Prosper (where my parents live and where we were staying) by 8:30 to be with my family.

The infamous Aggie Barn outside of Waco. Whoop!

Saturday: Competition Day

I was up at 5 am to have breakfast (chicken and rice) at 5:30 and get my make up done at 6. My mom’s friend is a wonderful make up artist! If anyone in the north Dallas area needs a reasonably priced and experienced make up artist for an event let me know and I can pass on her information!

John and I arrived at the Waxahachie Civic Center by 8 am for check-ins and my number pick up. We found a hide out spot with a friend of mine who also competed in bikini for the next few hours. I straightened and styled my hair at the venue on the floor in the hall way. Vanity space in the green room/bathroom was limited, so I did what I could with what I had. Note to self: Clip in extensions are great, but hiding the clips in thin fine hair is a struggle. Keeping them in is even harder. I think I was the only competitor on stage in my class that chose to straighten my hair- my hair doesn’t hold curls very well. The novice bikini division was the second to last division to go on stage for pre-judging around 12 pm. I was in the shortest class (Class A) with ten girls total; our entire division consisted of 30 girls total with three height classes. When our division was called to the “pump up room” backstage, competitors lined up for their “glaze” (oil coat to make you shine on stage) but I brought my own to save time. The competition did not provide weights or resistance bands for competitors to use, so I’m glad I brought my own. I practiced posing for a while before even going into the pump up room, so I didn’t practice right before going on stage. Most of the girls in my class (and the division) were cross competing in the open bikini division as well as novice for the experience. This was the first show for a lot of competitors, so we were all nervous and exhausted.

The show order.

We filed on stage individually and had about 10-20 seconds to make it through our posing routines. Then, the first 4-5 of us were set up for comparisons and filed off to the side for the remainder of the competitors to go through their comparisons. Next, first call outs were made; this is when the top four of that class are called forward for comparisons. I didn’t make first call out, but for second call out,  I was switched with the girl to my left which could mean I placed 5th in my class. I’m still not sure of my results because they haven’t been posted online yet. Sad, I know. It’s KILLING me!

After pre-judging, we had about 5 hours to kill before having to be back at the venue for finals. So, my family and I drove to a local restaurant where I promptly ate… my chicken and rice. I actually had to excuse myself from the restaurant because the server put hot fresh rolls in front of me; it was a little much for me at the moment. I was an emotional wreck because I didn’t make first call out and everyone was asking why I looked depressed. Yes, I was incredibly disappointed that I didn’t make first call out, but it was a valuable learning experience and it served as motivation for me to kill it at my next competition.

At finals, we were individually called on stage by our names and we got to complete our posing routine again for the sold out crowd. After the tope three competitors in my class were called, I left. John and I packed up, said goodbye to our new friends, and headed to iHop for my epic french toast destruction.

So, What Now?

Currently, I’m off my diet until Sunday. I should be making the decision on my next show date this weekend with the help of my trainer. It’s really hard to pick right now because I’m not sure what critique the judges had for me. I know what I want to change and what I want to improve, but I want to make sure what I want lines up with what the judges want as well.

As soon as contest pictures and results are up, I promise I’ll share them in a new post! I also have new work outs that from this week I’ll be sharing with you!


Thank Yous!

I just want to thank every single person that has supported me and cheered me on from the get go. This journey has taken a lot out of me but I’m definitely not done; I have competition fever. Thank you to my coaches, my family, my friends- you are the most incredible cheer squad ever! Thank you to Heather and Charlotte for your little pieces of encouragement from afar! John already knows how much he is loved- I can’t wait to be his cheerleader and pack mule at his first strongman competition. My sisters, Lauren and Ryan- thank you both for being so positive and supportive and for bringing my nieces along for the ride! My parents underestimate how much they are loved and how much it meant to me that they were there to see the progress I’ve made and the confidence I’ve gained since August (keep in mind, no one in my family has gotten to see me in a swimsuit or seen my progress pictures so my time on stage was truly my big reveal- they didn’t even know what color my suit was).

Have any questions about my experience? Let me know!

Happy lifting!

Gym Etiquette 101

Welcome to Gym Etiquette 101. I will introduce you to some of the most basic principles of acceptable (and unacceptable) gym behavior to give you, as well as your neighbors, the most pleasant gym experience possible.

Lesson 1: Dress Code

Ninety-nine percent of gyms have a dress code. I know my gym in Katy’s dress code and I’m not even a member! Know your gym’s dress code and abide by it. Ladies, I know we see tons of fit women and fitness models “working out” in skimpy gym attire, but keep in mind they take those photos for photo shoots or “educational” purposes. Unless you are doing the same, please don’t wear less at the gym than you do in your daddy’s house.

Please don’t be like this girl. 

Lesson 2: Hygiene

All too often a guy (and occasionally a girl) will pass by and you’ll almost pass out because of the stench that is their BO. Sometimes it’ll even be their freaking cologne! Either way, don’t come to the gym already in a stench cloud; no one likes working out next to “The Stinky Guy”. If you notice a 10 foot radius between yourself and the nearest person, take that as a hint TSG is YOU and go shower ASAP!

Lesson 3: Rewracking Weights

We have signs all over our temporary weight room in giant lettering that tells you to rewrack your dumbbells and weight plates when you’re through using them. By completing this simple task, it lets other people know you are done with the equipment and they are okay to use it next (however there is an exception that I will get to shortly). When you leave your weight plates on the calf raise machine, poor suckers like me stand there for 10 minutes looking around for the idiot who left them there to make sure we don’t look like the jerk who took your machine when you weren’t done.

for real

Lesson 4: Waiting for Equipment

There are several issues that tie into this lesson, so bear with me.

This has become my biggest gym peeve by far over these last few weeks. Our Rec Center has become exceedingly overcrowded, and fully functional equipment is in short supply for the time being until the new weight room is completed this summer. With that in mind, it is easy to imagine the lines that form waiting for a cable, bench, deadlift, or squat rack. This issue is what sparked the idea of this entire blog post: I had just finished box squats and was bringing the box back to the weight room staff, and I had already taken my weight plates off the bar but left my water bottle and towel at the rack so that people knew I was still going to use the rack (I wanted to do back squats next). I came back to find two guys dismantling my rack so that they could begin using it. Upon this discovery I said aloud, “Seriously?!” Of course, they turned around confused and kind of shocked that I seemed outwardly pissed to say the least; when they openly asked if I was finished I told them, “Never mind, I won’t do the rest of my squats.” I quickly removed my belongings and left.

When waiting to use equipment, be sure to stand out of the way of other people using aisle ways to do lunges or other exercises in, or even other people simply trying to walk past you. The last time I did walking lunges, I stood with 70 lbs on my back waiting for two oblivious jerks to get out of my way. I began clucking at them like I do with my horses and they finally figured it out, while this other girl doing calf raises with her friend managed to make eye contact with me and then continued to stand in the aisle way. If this happens to you, just say “f*** it” and keep on truckin’. I told myself if I bump her with the bar, it’s her own damn fault because I gave her the chance to move AND there were other places for her to stand where she wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. Surprisingly, I don’t think I hit her, but I probably came pretty dang close. Respecting one another’s space is important gym etiquette.

Lesson 5: Don’t Be A “Bro”

There are a ton of guys that go to the gym and treat it like a social gathering. I get it, you’ll always see friends there and want to talk and catch up, but keep in mind your 15 minute “bro hug” may be cutting into someone’s gym time because they are waiting on the equipment that you’re using. This goes for ladies, as well. I know you haven’t seen each other “in like foreverrrrrrr”, but let’s be real that was a week ago. Talk and work out or make plans to catch up with friends after your workout so that you’re not holding up other people.

Lesson 6: Wipe Down Your Equipment

Some of us are sweatier than others, so be aware of your personal sweat pools! The stair master is notorious of harboring sweat pools all over. If you have lotion on your hands or any part of your body that comes in direct contact with the equipment, be sure to wipe it down completely when you’re through so that the next person doesn’t put their hand in a pool of your sweaty lotion slime.


That’s all for today’s Gym Etiquette 101 class. I will continue to share lessons with you as I come up with more pet peeves at the gym I’m sure. What are some of your gym peeves? Have any lessons you would like to share?

Happy lifting!


It’s Peak Week Y’all!

I’m now six days out and it’s been a total roller coaster of emotions the past two weeks. When other competitors say that you will be significantly fatigued for a prolonged period they weren’t kidding around. Tuesday night after my work out, I laid on my bed and proceeded to have a total breakdown. I had worked from 7 am to 5:30 pm that day and the day before with two hour crammed workouts right after work both nights with very little food in my stomach each time so I was thoroughly well beyond physically drained to say the least. So, let me rewind to last week and get you caught up on things.

Last Monday, I began taking daily progress pictures for my trainer so that he could adjust my salt and water intake accordingly. Monday and Tuesday I had to drink 1.75x my normal water intake (137 oz), which put me at 240 oz (about 2 gallons). I was up a few times a night peeing my brains out, to be completely honest, so my sleep quality dropped drastically, which in turn effected my progress and energy. Tuesday and Wednesday I was told to add a total of 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (for sodium loading) to my food for the day; I learned I really like soy sauce on broccoli. Wednesday, I began tapering water by 1 liter each day until today. Today, I am required to consume 1.5 gallons (160 oz) and then decrease it by 0.25 gallons (32 oz) each day until Friday when I’ll drink 0.25 gallons for the day. I will get ZERO sodium after Wednesday, so today I bought natural chicken breasts to slice and cook myself rather than the prepackaged ones. What I end up getting Saturday (show day) will ultimately depend on how my body progresses throughout this week and how much water I lose/retain.

Side note: Heidi Somers states in one of her Q&A videos that salt is bad and has no benefits and should be cut completely from any diet. NO. Iodized salt is important in brain development; iodine deficiency affects more than 2 million people worldwide, and is easily preventable with the use of iodized salt. Iodine deficiency causes mental retardation. Salt is good people! Just not if you are at risk of hypertension (it doesn’t cause hypertension just so you know). *Off my pedestal*

Along with water and salt changes, I’m getting more carbs now! YAY! John said I was more myself this weekend, which I contributed to the carbs. We began adding two plain brown rice cakes to my first two meals of the day Friday and Saturday; I didn’t get any today. Tomorrow I will get 2 at breakfast, and I will add two to one meal each day leading up to Friday where I will be having two at each meal for the first five meals of the day. Thursday at lunch, I will no longer have any veggies with my protein. Thursday will be my last day for cardio (thank God!).

I worked with my posing coach Saturday morning, just checking in and tweaking some things (adding, repositioning, etc.) for practice. She loved my posing and physique progress and reassured me that the weight I have left to lose will fall off this week, so I’m trusting the plan (as I should). I have several posing practice videos, but he quality is pretty low because John got a new phone with a crappy camera (should’ve stuck with Apple). I will be full body shaving on Thursday afternoon before my pharmacology exam. My tanning pro says not to shave more than 12 hours prior to your session. She also has no preference for shaving versus hair removal products like Nair or Hair Away; she just recommends whichever keeps the hair away the longest. Honestly, I’m still concerned with razor burn around my bikini line, so I may use the Hair Away initially and use a razor for touch ups later on if I missed some spots. Unfortunately, I’m still going to need someone to help me get my back and possibly other areas I can’t see as well so my poor roommates may be the victims. I began working on my base tan last week, and after three tans I’ve managed to add some color…. and get a little burned. Note to self: Make sure to THOROUGHLY get ALL areas with tanning lotion!

I’ve created a packing list for this week; I would share it but I don’t want to post it only to have to add several things later on that could help someone). Really the only things I have left to get are a lipstick of my choosing and some powder for touch ups (since I’m getting my make up done super early but won’t compete until late afternoon possibly).

There’s so much going through my mind right now with all that I have going on, but remembering everything that I want to share with you is hard work at this point. Also, it is time for me to go inhale some chicken and broccoli so I can go get round #2 of the stair stepper knocked out.

Let me know if you have questions or want a sneak peak at my packing list!

Happy lifting!!!!

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