Monday, December 29, 2008

Staying committed

I've been on the path to getting fit and healthy before. My most successful time was this past summer when I was so motivated to not be the "chubby girl" next to my cousin's 4 other thin bridesmaids. Those wedding pictures are forever. After the wedding, I cut myself some slack, dated a beer brewer (hence indulging in endless amounts of free German-style lager straight from the tanks - delicious), and having fun going out becuase I had never looked so good in my clothes as I had after the wedding. All of which led me to gain back in three months all the weight I had lost in those grueling 8 weeks.

One of the toughest parts about eating clean is having to do it with other people around. During the summer, I remember eating my 6 oz of orange roughy with steamed vegetables and grilled asparagus in the lunchroom at work. Mind you, this meal is probably something that would be on a menu in a fancy sit-down restaurant. In any case, my healthy and delicious lunch was too often greeted by "What the heck is that?" or "Is that all you are going to eat?" or even "That's disgusting. I don't know how you are going to eat that?" I could only want to explain my new clean eating lifestyle so many times, before I could no longer take people's judgemental comments. I resorted to eating lunch at my desk or eating a lunch later in the break room, so I wouldn't have to endure such negativity. When my hard work started showing, I gained back a little confidence to start heating up my lunch while people were wrapping up their meals. Now, I was replying back to their comments with, "so I could look this good."

This time around it's no different. I went to dinner with a few current and former co-workers this Saturday at Benihana's. Knowing the tempation that lurk in this type of place, I ate a healthy dinner at home before hand and took a Tight Curves supplement before I left the house. I ordered the chicken and ice water while I was there. My plan to be discrete about my health consciousness was quickly called out. I sat through comments, rolling eyes, and laughters of disbelief as I explained the body transformation contest and the plan to compete is at least one amateur figure or bikini contest. This was an uncomfortable situation. Inside I was slightly hurt and wanted to leave. With pride like mine, I couldn't let them win with their negative comments. I just smiled and thought to myself that they were projecting their own insecurities onto me. I didn't break that night. I saved my meal for my brother who loves any leftovers that I bring him. I continued to drink up the ice water and enjoy converstation with others instead.

The lesson is I have to do the contest and the future competition(s) for myself. Otherwise, comments about what I eat, about the purpose of being fit or about "parading around in a bikini" will break me. I have to stay committed to myself. The way to prove that is to not give in to temptation when it's taunting itself in front of me and being egged on by naysayers. I'm committed to changing myself so I can be proud of myself at the end. I'm not doing this to be accepted by others who don't care enough about my health and my self-esteem that they taunt and question my goals. DO IT FOR YOU!
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Goal setting

I realized that I haven't set my short-term goals. I need goals to stay on track or else it's easy to let myself cop out.

Reasons why I want to participate in the transformation challenge:
  1. Prove to myself that I am disciplined.
  2. Use these 12 weeks as a stepping stone to competing in a bikini or figure competition.
  3. To get my body lean and defined.
  4. Be able to wear more clothes in my closet.

Necessities for my successful transformation:

  1. Bring body fat down to 12%. 30% and 155lbs for being 5'4" is ridiculous for me. This is the weight I was after I gained the freshmen 15 (and then some) at UCLA. I don't want to get comfortable with that weight because I don't want my body to have it as its set point.
  2. Do not be preoccupied with body weight. When training with Judd, this really helped me reach my goals. My focus was on my CF times and on reaching the prescribed weights for WODS. With Huong, her goal for me is to drop 2-3 lbs per week in order to get down to 125 lbs by the end of Feb. My weight is distracting me and stressing me out. I need to reframe my thoughts into consistent work-outs and competing against my own WOD times.
  3. Pack clean meals and snacks daily. Eat clean or don't eat at all. This is where discipline is a necessity. Can't use no food around as an excuse to eat junk food. Having just one cookie or just one chip always leads to more cookies and more chips. The taste of junk food is addicting, especially if I haven't had it in a while. Huong had a few words that resonated with me, "Don't think of it as depriving yourself. Think, you've eaten like this, eating cookies or whatever it is, for 25 years. For 3 months, maybe 6 months, if you want to sustain over summer, you are going to eat clean. You are going to do this for yourself." Such truth in those words. I've never deprived myself. I need to discipline my eating habits.

All my actions should fall in line within those three guidelines. Rare to no waivering will be tolerated. 9 weeks left to go. 9 weeks!

"No thank you"

I love to eat. I love tasty seasonal foods. With my parents away for Christmas, I did not think that resisting food would be as tough as it usually would be on Christmas Eve.

Denise decided to throw together a family and friends potluck on Christmas Eve. I did not expect there to be more than a pot roast, mashed potatoes, a mini salad and the cupcakes and pie that Joe and I brought. As it turns out, guests also brought a delicious light pesto pasta salad with pine nuts, slider burgers with bacon baked in flaky pastry puff, and homemade baked mochi. I wanted to try everything, which I did... numerous times throughout the night.

At the end of the night, I consumed hundreds more calories and calories of fat than I should've. Each time a tasty morsel melted in my mouth, I knew I wasn't doing myself right. I didn't discipline myself to say, "No, thank you." Huong says that when one waivers between clean eating and indulging and then finally going back to clean eating, it's not easy for your body to re-adjust its metabolism. The positive effects of clean eating will take your body longer to get to. Sounds like simple common sense that I think is really proving itself true.

I'm afraid for my weight in tomorrow. Last Saturday, I weighed in at 152.5 lbs. I'm suppose to be out of the 150s this week... arghh, I feel stressed out now.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bikini competition

Huong let me borrow her official Olympia dvd to motivate me. She was invited on competed in the pro-figure competition. What she really wanted me to view as the bikini model contest. Yes, just the title "bikini model" does not sound impressive. Images that come to mind are string bikinis, cut-off jean shorts, unnaturally large breasts, blondes...

Bikini models are new to the figure and body building world. The contest at Olympia was the first professional one. In 2009, many of the famed contests such as the Arnold Classic are having their first amateur bikini contests.

The models at Olympia ranged from jaw-dropping six packs to a thick music video type of girl. Standards for bikini models have not been clearly defined. Most of the girls definitely had enhanced chests that were more so defined by their push-up bikini tops. That alone did not make me feel too good about this competition. The display of fake boobs was too overt. In figure competitions, competitors do have fake breasts but it's not displayed in a manner that it's the most noticeable feature on a competitor's body. Then came the emcee, who commented along the lines of "how are we going to judge a winner with so many good looking girls. How about a hot oil body wrestling contest." Really?! C'mon now. How can I compete in such an unrespected contest? I'm turned off to the idea of paying to compete in a sexist competition. I work hard for my end product to be respected not to be degraded by some asshole on stage.

I told Huong my concerns. She said that this upcoming year, the tone of the competition will be different. The girls want it to be competitive. She encouraged me to try to do the bikini competition whether at the Arnold or at Contra Costa County's show. It's the first time that it's around so you want to be a pioneer in the field before its popularity is gained and more and more guidelines are in place. Makes sense... let's see how this body transformation competition goes first...

The day after my first double day

I did my first double day today.

This morning I did PT with Huong this morning. Then did the 6p CrossFit class with her. My body did not have enough time to get sore from the morning; although my triceps and glutes have been in pain since last week.
Giving my all for the second workout was tougher than I had expected. Giving my all while so fatigued really equaled performing at 80% while trying 110%.
My goal is to do as many double day workouts before classes start.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hydrostatic body composition & RMR testing

Today I endured two things that most great athlets endure. I did a hydrostatic body composition test and RMR testing! Woot! Okay, they are also known as water body fat testing and resting metabolic rate testing...


I first heard of hydrostatic body composition testing freshman year of high school. Mr. Nigos, the PE teacher and wrestling coach, told us that this was the most accurate measurement of body fat. Our 2-site skin fold test would only be an estimate of our body fat percentage. Hmm, not sure if this was to reassure pubescently insecure students feel better about their 2-digit numbers. I was one of those students. I chalked up my body fat percentage to inaccuracy.


Seven years later, I am suspended by a tarp like instrument in a bath-tub sized hot tub. I am instructed to rest my head on my thumbs in front of me and to exhale all the air in my lungs. Ok, I've never been able to do this leisurely in a pool but somehow managed to do so thrice in a trailer in the X-body parking lot. Performing when it counts! Results: I am 30% body fat at 155 lbs. My lean body mass is 109 lbs. My goal at the end of this 12 weeks is to be 125 lbs. The leanest I can get at 10 -12 % body fat. I haven't been 125 since freshman year of high school.

I should've listened to Brandon about the RMR testing. Definite waste of time. It gives you a read out of how many calories you burn while sitting. Then uses info you input about your average amount of activity a week to tell you how many calroies you should intake. Eh... yeah, waste of money.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Committment & Forms

I've created all sorts of to-do lists for my life: must do before I die, places I must live before settling down, quarterly professional development checklists, and things to complete tomorrow. I use the items on my list as goals to drive my behavior. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the peripheral bragging rights that come along with checking off any goal. 

Huong, one of the trainers at the gym, presented what may possibly be an opportunity of a lifetime: a body transformation contest with her as my mentor. The first thought to pop into my head was "Ohh, an item off of my must-do-before- I - die list - to compete in a figure competition." The second thought was, "A professional IFBB figure competitor as my mentor for a body transformation contest!" Really, how many other pro-competitors am I going to meet who will actually want to help me with more than just the google-able gym tips! 

Tight Curves is sponsoring the contest. The judging criteria is simple. 

Challengers will be judged on the degree of transformation achieved in the 12 week period, by a panel of fitness industry professionals. It will be based on the "look" of the challenger, so clear pictures are a must... Amount of weight lost, dress size reduction, and body fat percentage change are all good to send; however, the major judging criteria will be the look of the participant. 

The criteria is simple enough to understand - you gotta look good at the end of this! I've achieved visible results before. I committed 6-weeks with Judd to look good for Denise's wedding. I had to put in 110% at CrossFit regularly and ate clean. Eating clean became a challenge after my goal of looking good for the wedding was completed. I'll just have to double my weeks of determination for this competition.

I let a couple of days pass, so the infatuation over the idea of being a figure competior, winning $1500, and being in a national ad passed. I needed reality to set in and for myself to answer all my self-doubting and committment phobic questions.  With everything answered, I was in! I signed and faxed in the entry form. 

Here I go! This will be first goal completed on my life goals list!