Thursday, December 18, 2014

5 Month Post Bikini Contest Check-In

It's been a little more than five months since I competed in my first NPC bikini competition and I wanted to share what life's been like since then and where I am now with my (lifelong) fitness journey.  I say lifelong journey because as long as I'm alive, I want to take care of myself and never take my health for granted.  With my Dad's illness, I've painfully watched his physical ability diminish to the point where he cannot walk, so I'm always mindful of how grateful I am to be able to move and exercise.  

the beginning

Almost one year ago, I had gotten out of shape and was ready for a big change.  I couldn't fit comfortably into my clothes, felt sluggish and missed feeling good about myself.  I started working out and eating better in February 2014 on my own, and began working with my trainer (3-4 days a week) at the end of March 2014.  We trained together for 15 weeks and I competed in the bikini contest on July 4, 2014.  I went from 112 pounds and 25% body fat (Feb 2014) to 100 pounds (July 2014).  We didn't test my contest body fat because I was supposed to go the BodPod for a very accurate reading, but the facility cancelled my appointment because they machine wasn't working.  My trainer guesstimated I competed at about 15% body fat.  



now

Immediately after the contest I stopped working with my trainer, mainly for financial reasons.  I figured I knew his workouts pretty well and could do them on my own at my gym.  I also started indulging in pint after pint of ice cream!  I did this for a long time (not sure how long exactly, but I probably ate 2 pints a week).  

And, sad to say, I did go to the gym some, but I could never bring myself to workout with the same intensity that I did when I had my trainer.  I didn't do a single burpee or jump squat.  At one point, I tried the group classes at my gym (which I loved and actually got a great workout), but I hurt my right shoulder in the kickboxing class and that sidelined me for over a month.  I didn't expect to stay at 100 pounds, but 105 is a comfortable weight for me at 5'1 and being petite.  

Below, the photo on the left is just after my contest and the photo on the right is me now.  It's not a terrible change, but I have gained just over 10 pounds and the pants are tight again.  I much prefer the leaner look on the left and want to get back to that.  

The pictures below are two weeks before my contest and currently.  

So, it's back to the gym and I have hired my trainer again!  We've been back at it for 3 weeks now and I feel so much better.  Our workouts are killer, but I LOVE how I feel for the rest of the day.  And, working out so hard is the only thing that helps regulate my sleep.  If left to my own devices, I'd probably be up till at least 1 am, but now, I'm heading to bed around 9:30 p.m.  and waking up at 6:15 a.m.  We workout from 8:30 - 9:15 or so and then I do 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week.  I'm also doing 30 minutes of cardio on my own 1 or 2 more days.  This is pretty easy to accomplish because I can just go for a quick run in my neighborhood.  


meals 

I have learned there is no quick fix to getting in shape.  It's a matter of eating right, weightlifting, cardio and supplements.  Blood, sweat and tears and a lot of hard physical effort.  In the last five months, I got way off my previous meal plan and got into a bad habit of going way too long between meals.

I'm finding it actually comforting to be back on my meals because it's so no brainer and now I recall how my energy level stays constant throughout the day.  I eat about every 3-4 hours.  

Meal 1:  protein pancake
Meal 2:  fish, potatoes, veggies
Meal 3:  chicken salad or Tex Mex (meat, beans, rice) or omelet 
Meal 4:  chicken, potatoes, veggies
Meal 5: protein shake 




supplements 

Supplements played a big part in helping me build and repair muscle and have energy to get me through my intense workouts.  I've always taken a BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acid) and supplemented with protein powder, but my trainer just recommended that I use a pre-workout supplement too.  I recently received some products from GNC PUREDGE to try and have been using them.  I read that the GNC PUREDGE line is whole-food based and has no GMO1-added ingredients, no wheat, yeast, fish or egg, no sugar alcohols, no artificial additives, colors or sweeteners, and no gluten-added ingredients. 



I started with their chocolate protein powder to make my shakes (the last meal of the day) which is so much easier to drink a tasty shake instead of another meal.  Since I don't like to drink a huge shake, I only use 6 oz of water + 2 ice cubes + 1 scoop of GNC PUREDGE protein powder.  One scoop of powder has 190 calories and 20 grams of protein.  They also offer vegan protein powder if you prefer.


The BCAAs are something I really rely on and don't miss a day of.  I'm using the GNC PUREDGE Complete Amino and put a scoop in my water bottle and drink it while I workout.  BCAAs protect, repair and fuel muscles.  


My trainer just recommended that I try a pre-workout supplement to help give me energy to get through my workouts.  I received the GNC PUREDGE Daily Energy Performance Energizer and will try it today and update this post with the results.  I want to make sure it doesn't make me jittery, but he said it shouldn't because it's formulated with green tea, black tea, guarantee and rhodiola.  

They have protein bars too that taste really good in chocolate, watermelon, banana nut bread and peanut butter cookie dough (my fave!).  I try to just eat these in a pinch and mostly eat the real food meals I explained above.  


I know most of us are just wanting to enjoy the holidays (and yes, the good good and drinks that go along with it!) and not focus on dieting or weight loss right now, but I didn't want to go into the new year with even more work to do, so I'm trying to get in control now.  Of course, I will indulge here and there, but spending the time, money, and energy with my trainer again, I know I won't go overboard.  We actually have a body-fat test this morning, which we will do every two weeks.  

It can be scary to post pics of yourself going from fit to not-as-fit, but I wanted to share honestly my story the good, the bad, the ugly, but most of all the truth.   If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I will answer them for you! 

I hope you have a wonderful, healthy and happy holiday!  













36 comments:

  1. You always look beautiful and fit Megan! You inspire me to work harder and eat cleaner. Keep up your awesome posts! A question for you, do you get bored with your meal plan or do you enjoy it and the fact that meal planning and prep is consistent?

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    1. Sure I get bored sometimes, but there is a big comfort in knowing exactly what I'm going to be eating and when. Otherwise, I tend to skip meals or eat unhealthy. Or I don't know what to eat. I look forward to something off my meal plan and really delicious on the weekends.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing the GNC products, I'm going to check them out now! I totally get what you mean about the trainer. We worked out with a personal trainer for 3 months, just ended in Oct. We didn't want to continue because it's so expensive and we have maintained our same schedule and are doing a lot of the same stuff, BUT we definitely miss the accountability and more intense stuff that he often had us doing.

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    1. I got spoiled with him "making" me do the work. I workout so much harder/more efficiently with my trainer.

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  3. I always love to hear what other people are doing for weight loss and fitness, especially other petite girls. I feel like it's a bit harder for us, but I'm like you and do something about it before it becomes a problem. I have been cheating on my diet a bit too much and skipping the more intense exercises at the gym since summer, too. It definitely shows! I've gotten back on track this week with my diet and it feels so good meal planning for the week because that decision is done. Can't wait to see your progress!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! It takes a lot for me to get the scale to budge, but I can already see changes in my composition- more muscle tone and that feels good! Best wishes to you too!

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  4. Hi Megan! I love to keep up with you here and Honey we're Home :) I am curious if you follow a certain diet plan? Exact amount of protein/exact of amount of carbs. I have tried that a few weeks ago and didn't have any luck. Couldn't get my daily protein without getting too much carbs. Also wanted to know if you could maybe share some more of your workouts for those of us who don;t have access to a gym. Can't wait to see your progress!! You are gorgeous friend!

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    1. Thanks so much Amanda! I did a breakdown of my meal plan on My Fitness Pal and you can see the protein/carb ratios here: http://honeywerehealthy.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-meals-calculated-by-my-fitness-pal.html

      Here's another post on workouts and much of it you can do at home: http://honeywerehealthy.blogspot.com/2014/08/workouts.html

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  5. Yay. You're back. Have missed his blog but totally understand taking time to give regular life some attention. Btw- as I sit here 7 months pregnant for the second year in a row, I'm totally envious of your current physique. I'm chomping at the bit to get back into my workouts and clean eats :)

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    1. Hi Brie! Congrats on your little ones! I know how it feels to be pregnant and want your body back. Even though we are proud of what our bodies are capable of and giving life to these precious babies! Hope y'all have a wonderful holiday!

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  6. Megan, you're back! I have really enjoyed keeping up with you on this blog and on HWH. You look great, but I can understand wanting to feel great too! I am petite as well and currently do workouts by Beach Body (can't afford a personal trainer, that would be great) - but love the accountability from my coach. Good luck with your goals for the new year and I look forward to seeing what you post!

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    1. How does that work? My friend does the Insanity workouts, but those are just a DVD, no coach check in. I'd love to hear more about that.

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  7. Love the GNC products! I haven't tried the protein bars, but love my Quest bars. Good for you for getting back at the gym! I wish we could afford for me to see my trainer again. I miss her.

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    1. I had to tighten the budge a lot to afford my trainer again. ;)

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  8. I appreciate your posts so much! I stumbled upon this blog just recently and now I'm inspired and pumped to get serious about my fitness. I am also 5'1" and around 114 lbs and would love to lose 10 lbs, but more than that, I would love to feel stronger, and have more muscle. Reading through your blog, I feel like I can do it!

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    1. We are the same size! Those extra pounds on a small frame makes a big difference. You can totally do it. After just a few weeks of dedication, you will notice a change. You just have to stick with it and trust the process.

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  9. You look great Megan! Thank you for sharing honestly what it is like to train so hard for a competition and then get back to real life. You push me to be better about eating and working out!

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  10. Gonna be honest. Most would kill to look like your afters. As a mom of two, grown daughters, cut yourself some slack. The most important thing right now is James and being his mom. He will be 21 in a blink of an eye...trust me. He won't remember that mom was a size 0, or even a 2...he will however remember the amount of time you spent with him and also "healthy" habits, not a diet so restrictive you can't vary from it for a minute for fear of gaining back a pound. I know you mentioned indulging some over the holidays. That is what most don't get...it should not be about allowing oneself to go overboard for the holidays or a special occasion...eat healthy regardless. And, healthy doesn't always equate to size. Some are just naturally "larger" in stature. Yes, be happy and comfortable but don't kick yourself in the butt everyday for a certain size or a six pack. Time is way too short for that. This is the second year in a row I am watching a friend bury they child, under 25!! Both accidents. Believe me, those moms could care less about their size...they would give anything to have the time with their child back. I love you, and you know that. Just want you to not be so hard on yourself!!

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    1. Glad we got to talk one on one Lauren. Love ya!

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  11. Thanks for being brave and posting this! This is real life. I am newly pregnant with our 3rd and haven't been working out the last few weeks because I have been so nauseated. I'm hoping to get back on track when the nausea lets up and this is a good reminder for me that you just have to start back up and get moving to feel good. Love your blogs!

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    1. Congratulations Maggie! I hope you are feeling better soon. Those sick days are awful! I wish I exercised while pregnant- I think I would've felt much better.

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  12. Kudos to you for starting on a fitness program and sharing before pictures (although looking at you, I think this is just a 'tune-up'....you look great!). I have a hard time with the nutrition part of getting leaner and I appreciate you sharing your diet plan. Thanks so much for all of your posts. I so enjoy reading each one. Mary Ann

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    1. Thanks Mary Ann. I am already noticing a difference and just feel better overall. It's so hard to get IN shape, easy to get OUT of shape! :)

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  13. I enjoyed reading your post this morning but was wondering if you could tell me what your ab workouts look like? I'm 5'4 and weigh 104 and I'm 53 years old. I'm not sure if it's possible for me to get that lean, cut look but I'm willing to try. I would appreciate any suggestions/comments. Thank you!

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    1. You definitely can do it! Here is a post I did on ab exercises I was doing early on: http://honeywerehealthy.blogspot.com/2014/04/sculpted-ab-routine-just-3-exercises.html

      You can also do planks at home, no equipment necessary.

      Now, I love to use the ab wheel. You can buy one of those at use it at home too.

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  14. You are looking fantastic! I too can relate to hard workouts regulating sleep. On my rest days, I NEVER sleep well. I'm talking like up until 4:30 when my husband wakes to get ready for work. Then I go about being a zombie for the rest of the day. I've found that cutting out ALL caffeine (I never drink it past 2pm anyways) on rest days is key to actually falling asleep. On long run days, I'm out like a baby by 8p.m. I love it. Thanks for sharing life post comp.

    Lura
    x

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    1. I totally know what you mean! And agree on the caffeine after 2pm. I have a hard time falling asleep if I drink a cup later than that. Merry Christmas Lura! :)

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  15. Good job getting back into the gym again. I can understand wanting to take a break after such intense contest prep. The important part is doing what you need to do to get fit again. I should say that I saw your post from a few years ago when James was four months old I believe where you talked about being stuck in a rut and I really liked it. It was a good post. I think we’ve all felt that way at some point or another.

    I think most women feel better when they eat right and exercise. In terms of long term health, I think the keys are exercise (you have to sweat!), organic, whole foods (no processed foods or soy, cooking from scratch), no alcohol (incredibly aging) and staying out of the sun. If I had to pick one thing that was the most important is would be eating high quality organic since the toxins in the foods have the most impact at a cellular level which is where all cancers and disease begins.

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    1. Oh yeah, that was the Schlumpadinka post. I still have that on Honey We're Home! And you are right about sweating. My husband just read me an article that researched "where does fat go when we lose it?" and it goes out through sweat, urine and our breath. So interesting!

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  16. You look amazing! I just found both your blogs through a blogger doing a link up. Both your blogs are awesome! After reading some of your post, I'm getting pumped and motivated. Thanks so much!

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  17. Can't wait to hear your reviews of the products!

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  18. Awesome !!!
    Pretty hard work done to get the shape like that for the competition.

    Thanks
    PM

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  19. Are you taking other supplements as well? I know you've done posts on the supplements you use, but are you keeping up with those along with your routine now?

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  20. I've never commented on a blog before :) I am striving to follow in your footsteps :) I have a couple questions. Is this protien isolate and if not why not take protien isolate, isn't it better? Also I see this protien shake already has 5g of amino acids...is it possible to take too much in amino acids. I've been doing my research on them and have found only great things. I've never taken supplements before so of course I'm trying to get all the facts. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!!!! You look so amazing!

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  21. Hi Megan! I love reading both of your blogs! I had a quick question for you about the GNC Pre-workout and the Complete Amino. How do you like them since you've written this post? I'm looking into a pre-workout and just wanted to see your opinion on them. What BCAA did you take before the GNC? Just curious about recommendations before going out and buying any brand. Thanks!

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