Archives for category: this is why i’m hot

I started on this fitness journey just over a year ago, and what a journey it has been. If you told me a year ago what I’d be capable of in 12 short months, I probably wouldn’t believe you. It has been nothing short of a roller coaster with an insane number of peaks, valleys and loops. There have been moments where I have felt on top of the world, like I could take on anything. Others have left me in tears and full of self doubt. It’s probably one of the most difficult things I’ve taken on, as it is completely within myself. That sentiment is what got me started in the first place. Your body, fitness and diet are things that you are 100% in control of- the Type A control freak in me really digs this, but it’s a sobering realization. Nobody is making you fat but you. Sure, genetics plays a part but you can fight it. There is very little that hard work and discipline can’t overcome eventually. It’s about finding strength, perseverance and the will to carry on even when what you see in the mirror or on the scale doesn’t necessarily match up with what you expect.

So why a competition? If you know me, you know the stage is nothing new to me. I have been involved with pageants and performances since I was a teen- coaching my sister to numerous state titles and competing nationally. Though my involvement with pageants is largely behind me, the pull for the stage never really left. Besides that, I have proven to be someone who works best under the pressure of a deadline. I got in my best shape before my wedding with the looming deadline of being a beautiful bride. While exceptionally stressful and going about it very much the wrong way, it worked. I looked good and felt confident on my big day. Besides that, I just want to accomplish it. It’s the ultimate antithesis to all the years I spent being overweight. I never felt like my life was lacking- I was popular in school, got invited to parties, had a boyfriend, etc- but I always felt one step behind. I always felt like the ‘fat friend’. I didn’t try out for basketball cheerleading because I thought my legs were too fat for the skirt. I heard more times than I could count “Oh you have such a pretty face.” I’d always do my best to brush off the backhanded compliments, but as much as I hate to admit it I’ve carried them around with me my whole life. With them are the memories of not buying a prom dress because I thought it was pretty- I bought one that was hid my trouble spots. Not shopping in the junior’s section of the department store because they didn’t go over a size 12 when I was that age. Shopping at Lane Bryant for my first office job. Those things sting, and they run deep- but I made the best of it, put my sparkling smile on and loved my life. I laughed and had wonderful relationships with friends and built a strong sense of self. Unfortunately the aforementioned was always in my mind. Always somehow holding me back, stifling at least some small percentage of my self confidence. Acting as this negative inner monologue quietly telling me that I wasn’t *quite* good enough.

So then Instagram happened. Not kidding. I was lying in bed scrolling through my feed and came across two photos from some fitness inspiration accounts and my mind was blown. Girls who started arguably heavier than me were able to transform their bodies and do fitness competitions.


Courtesy of @ashleehendry_fitness on Instagram


Courtesy of @tattooedpinup82 on Instagram

It was something I had looked up to since age 21 when I attended a friend’s competition and watched him win first place. I was always in such awe of his dedication and hard work, and was shocked when I saw him on stage and experienced first hand the way he transformed his body. He looked nothing like the mild mannered bouncer that worked at the karaoke bar with me. Anyway, I had never even considered this being an avenue for me. I literally assumed I was a lost cause- that I had been heavy all my life, and my loose skin and stretch marks could never be hidden. Seeing those two girls immediately lit a spark and for the first time made me feel like it was a possibility. I could actually do this. The very next day I did some searching and got on the phone with a local gym that specialized in training competitors. I scheduled a consultation and went in with the big question- can you transform me in a year? Is it possible? Am I that lost cause I’ve always considered myself or do I actually have a chance of stepping on stage? The answer I got from the owner was a resounding YES. I wasn’t ‘too far gone’ and they could have me in shape within a year given I follow my plan and stay dedicated to my goal. That was a year ago.

I know it’s often said to stay accountable to your goals, you should make them known. Historically that is always what I have done, until this. I kept this close to myself, telling only my boyfriend and closest friends. I picked the brains of my friends who currently compete or have in the past and asked them lots of questions and for advice (thank you x a million Zlata and Allison), but I kept it guarded from the public for a number of reasons. First, it was mine. It was my goal that I wanted to accomplish and for some reason it felt comfortable to keep it to myself. I didn’t want to share it with the world. Plus, at first I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to do it. Could I maintain this level of activity, planning, vigorous workouts, and dedication? I had never managed to get in the gym more than 3-4 times a week my entire life, could I handle 6-7 days a week, often twice a day? I didn’t know, so I kept it quiet. Turns out I can do it, and have done it for a year now.

Now we’re getting down to the wire and my intensity has increased. My diet and workouts have changed and it’s time to get stage ready. I figured that the 15 week mark was as good of a time as any, as I’ll need the support of my friends and my social network more and more. My goal competition is in July, although there is a small chance I’ll have to push to September, I’m certainly not planning on that. My eyes have been on the prize and my focus has never been clearer. The prize to me certainly isn’t some pretty trophy- It’s the achieving of a goal that once seemed completely and entirely impossible. One that literally terrified me, and still does to be completely honest. It’s me stripping away all the baggage and self doubt that has lingered in the back of my mind, and proving to myself that I am absolutely capable of doing anything I set my mind to.

Starting photos taken. Will share in the coming weeks as I progress further.

Starting photos taken. Will share in the coming weeks as I progress further.

**I’ll be competing in an NPC bodybuilding competition in the bikini division. A little googling will show explain that in detail, but it is the division that appeals to me the most aesthetically and is in line with how I envision my goal physique. If you’re interested in attending and cheering me on, I’d love to have you- the more the merrier. Shoot me an email and I’ll give you the particulars.**

I’ve gotten over some sort of fitness hump the past week or so- I’m starting to really notice results. Plus, other people are too which honestly feels pretty awesome. The comments are less “Hey, are you working out” and more “holy shit you look amazing!” I’ll take it!

Other things I’m noticing… I have a second bump in my bicep! I had hardly gotten used to having one. Now I have TWO? I feel greedy.

My giant calves are getting way smaller. This makes Nordstrom Anniversary sale WAY more exciting because mamma needs a new pair of boots! Now if only my knees would get the memo…

I sweat when I do cardio now. A LOT. I don’t think it’s that I’m a sweatier person now, I think I was just always doing it wrong before. Less about duration, more about intensity. I’ve switched things up to sessions of 20 minute sprints and oddly enough… it has kind of correlated with when I’m starting to see all these changes. I think I’ll roll with it. Bonus- WAY less long and boring.

Speaking of sweating, I’m spending so much time working out that keeping up with my gym laundry isn’t easy. Yesterday I had to Febreze my least stinky shirt. Ha!

Some of my workout pants are getting too baggy. This is both exciting and sad. As much as I’d love buying new pants in size small rather than medium, I have like six pairs of my favorite kind, and they don’t make them anymore. Argh!

My ass is finally lifting/tightening. My goal jeans are almost too big, and I finally bought a pair of bright red skin tight skinny jeans. They look good now, but will look even better by the time it’s cold enough to wear long pants. Maybe they’ll even be too big by then 😉 I am trying to remember that as I am commanded to do another set of 147,328 walking lunges.

I’ve been working out and eating right for three months now, and I’m really starting to see some amazing results. The scale has FINALLY budged and is dropping again after a pretty mind numbing plateau that lasted like the better part of two months. Its a great feeling to do things physically that I was never able to do before, and that is fueling me even more than being able to wear my skinny jeans (not that I don’t love that too, of course). I’m getting some great muscle definition in my upper body and my bottom half is really smoothing out. My butt is starting to look more like what it did at 24 which makes me happy beyond measure. I actually tried on and purchased my very first pair of shorts since before high school. Like real shorts… and I didn’t feel like a gross fat. It was pretty liberating. I’ve never felt confident with my legs, so this was a big step for me! Glad the countless weighted walking lunges I’ve been doing are finally paying off!

Most interesting of all has been the process of getting to know my body. Really paying attention to how I feel, how I react to certain foods and how far I can push myself physically has been quite enlightening and I love it. An earlier post months ago I mentioned how I was starting to feel smaller and stronger and I looked forward to what the coming weeks would bring- and this is it. I’m smaller than I have been in years, but arguably in better shape than I’ve been in my life. Previously, I’ve just done hours and hours of cardio and lifted little free weights and gotten pretty limited returns. Never before did I think I’d be able to heave 60 pounds over my head in an olympic style lift. Or deadlift 75 pounds. Or crank out 25 push-ups like it was nothing. I even took ALL the stairs at Universal Studios a few weeks ago- over 300 of them. It felt amazing. Again, I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks bring. Everything I do keeps getting easier and easier, so I push myself harder and harder.

My braces are coming along amazingly as well- they might even get to come off early. I’m six months in and they look fantastic. My bottom row is perfectly straight and the space between my back upper teeth is almost totally gone. I know it might sound silly, but I kind of feel like I’m in a cocoon right now, and this time next year I will be my best, most beautiful and perfected self I had always wanted to be. I do wish I would have gotten with the program a little sooner but I don’t regret anything. All my choices have helped shape who I am and furthered my drive and determination.

This week was a bit challenging, I’ll guess from pushing myself so hard the week before. I made it to the gym 5 days this week, which is not as good as last week but still WAY better than I had been doing previously. If an “off week” is only going 5 days, I’ll take it! I have just learned to listen to my body and rest when I need rest. I’m too old to push it like a crazy person- that is when shit starts to hurt and that puts me out of commission for even longer.

Funny thing is, even with taking things lighter I’ve had great losses this week. I’ve kept my diet pretty on point and I am down 3 pounds below my plateau weight!

Lessons learned this week:

1. I have to keep my calories up. If I get busy, I tend to skip a meal. When your coach has you on 1200 calories, you can’t afford to miss any food. This happened badly yesterday and I ended up light headed and almost having a mental breakdown in Sprouts. A Xanax and a protein shake later, I was good to go. It was still a pretty bad scene that I’d like to avoid in the future.

2. Water, water, water, water, water and water. Oh, and some more water. Fuck me, drinking a gallon water a day is like a second job. I feel like if I’m holding still, I should be drinking water. Good thing being in outside sales has given me an intimate knowledge of all the well kept public bathrooms in the East Valley.

3. Time management is still an issue. Haven’t quite gotten a handle on it. But I will.

4. If you want to get up at 5AM, you better be ready to go to bed no later than 10PM. Or you’ll feel like puking all day, or need a nap. Thems the breaks.

5. I feel like I live in workout clothes. Because of this, I shall reward myself a shopping trip to lululemon when I reach my next weight goal.

6. Cardio on machines is fucking boring. Unfortunately it’s one of my only options when it’s 100 degrees outside, there’s no fun class to take and there’s no Crossfit classes until Monday. Documentaries and shows on my fancy Kindle Fire HD have made this bearable. Thanks mom (awesome Christmas prezzy).

molly working out

Slowly but surely! I finally made a *teensy* bit of progress below my dreaded plateau weight, so hopefully I can keep with this trend. I had a little bit of backtracking to do- even though I ate really well on vacation I gained two pounds. Probably water weight from traveling. Those extra pounds plus almost one more is gone since last week, so I’ll take it!

I made it to the gym every day this week. I’m resting today (Saturday) and then back to the grind on Sunday. So far my schedule is as follows:

Monday: AM Crossfit
Tuesday: AM Personal Trainer + Cardio
Wednesday: AM Crossfit
Thursday: AM Personal Trainer + Cardio
Friday: AM Crossfit /PM Hot Yoga
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Long and low cardio

It really wasn’t too hard, and the diversity keeps it interesting. The balance between work/housework/gym is tricky- I find I can handle two okay, but one tends to slip. I’m going to be more cognizant of managing my time this week and see how I do. I think I do best with a schedule.

Coach Crystal has me on a routine of supplements and drinking a GALLON of water a day. Sounded easy enough… but it’s tough! I feel like I’m in a constant state of chugging and peeing. Oh well. I had already been thinking my water consumption was too low- Tim Ferris suggested in 4HB this as a reason weight loss can stall, so I’m thinking it might be part of what is helping me budge off that plateau. Speaking of 4HB, I might start some of his weird body hacks just for fun to see if I notice any results. Ice baths. Yikes.