Monday, May 25, 2015

Bikini Contest Prep | 8 Weeks Out Recap

Happy Memorial Day Monday friends!  We're doing a whole lot of nothing this weekend and it's nice!  We got caught up on household chores and grocery shopping and always meal prep since I'm on this bikini competition prep for the next 7 weeks.  It's been a rough start, but in the last two weeks I feel like my hard work is starting to pay off.  The contest is July 11, so far, but so close when I think of the changes I still need to make!

8 WEEKS OUT

Here's my 8 Weeks Out picture, snapped on Sunday, May 17, 2015.

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 8 Weeks Out
sports bra (similar| shorts (similar

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 8 Weeks Out

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 8 Weeks Out

I've made good progress over the last two weeks!

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 10 to 8 Weeks Out
10 Weeks Out: sports bra |  dri-fit capri pants | watch (similar here & here)
9 Weeks Out:  sports bra (similar) | shorts (similar)
8 Weeks Out:  sports bra (similar| shorts (similar

BODY FAT RESULTS 

I got my body fat tested again with my trainer (using calipers) and electronically via the In-Body Analyzer and here are my results:

Trainer

May 6, 2015 - 107 lbs, 23.4% body fat (I thought it was 25%, but I was wrong)
May 19, 2015 - 108 lbs, 19.5% body fat

In-Body Analyzer

April 17, 2015 - 107.1 lbs, 22.5% body fat
May 22, 2015 - 108.5 lbs, 20.7% body fat 

I lost about 2% body fat in 4 weeks and gained 1 lb. muscle, which is really hard to do (lose fat while maintaining/gaining muscle.)  I think it has to do with how much I'm eating and the quantity of protein I'm getting every day.  I'm definitely proud of these results and have been working so hard in the gym and with my diet lately.  

While the results are good, I want to be losing more like 1% body fat a week as opposed to .5.  I'm now 7 weeks out from the contest, and I'd like to compete at 15% or under, which means I need to lose another 7% (1% a week).  I'm going have to up my cardio and really stick to my diet if I want to see those results. 

WORKOUTS 

I got in 3 weight training workouts with my trainer and 7 cardio sessions!  That's the first time that's happened! I changed up my cardio this week too, adding in SPRINTS for efficiency and also to keep from getting too bored.  According to this article, the benefits of sprinting are numerous:  more efficient fat loss, build muscle and target fast-twitch fibers, increase endurance, improve cardiovascular health, improve insulin sensibility and energy use, improve conditioning and lung function, prevent depression and save time while building mental toughness.  Read more about the benefits of sprinting here and here.

I always use my  Polar heart rate monitor, so I know for my sprints, my average heart rate was 149, with a max of 167 (which gets me in the 85-88% range).

Also, I'm using one small scoop of a pre-workout supplement (Formulation 1) for added energy during my workouts since they typically go nearly 2 hours on days I do cardio and train with my trainer.  It does give me more energy, but doesn't make me jittery and it's not a fat burner.  I also take BCAA and a scoop of glutamine after my weight-training sessions and a daily mulit-vitamin.

Monday:  Cardio (50 minutes on bike) 
267 calories burned

Tuesday: Train Legs + Cardio (48 minutes on treadmill- 20 minutes sprinting, 7.0 for 1 minute, then 4.0 for one minute, alternating for 20 minutes)
615 calories burned

Wednesday:  Train Shoulders and Arms + Cardio (45 minutes on treadmill- 25 minutes sprinting, 7.0 for 1 minute, then 4.0 for one minute, alternating for 25 minutes)
669 calories burned

Thursday:   Train Back and Chest + Cardio (35 minutes on treadmill - sprint the whole time)
466 calories burned

Friday:  Cardio (35 minutes - 20 minutes sprint, 15 minutes on bike)
204 calories burned

Saturday: 0

Sunday:   Cardio a.m. (60 minutes treadmill:  20 minutes run 6.0, 30 minutes sprint alternating 8.0 and 4.0 for one minute each, finish with 10 minute run at 6.0)
431 calories burned

Sunday:  Cardio p.m. - 24 minutes run neighborhood 
145 calories burned

Total Calories Burned Week 8 = 2797 (according to my heart rate monitor)


Many of you have asked more more details about my weight-training workouts, so I plan to post tomorrow one of my workouts I do with my trainer.  I figured it would be too long of a post to add it here, especially since I want to go into detail with how we do each exercise. 


I can't talk about exercise without stressing the importance of good SLEEP!  I definitely didn't get enough this week, staying up until 11 p.m. most nights and getting up by 5:30 or 6 a.m.  By the evening, I was so exhausted that I would fall asleep on the couch for about an hour around 6 p.m.  And, this weekend, I slept 10 hours both days!  All I can say is your body needs rest to recover and thank you to my husband for being so understanding!  Ideally, for the future, I'd be in bed by 9:00 - 9:30.  

How cute are these sleep shorts I just picked up at Old Navy?!  Fun, huh?!

Old Navy Sleep Shorts

I'm also a firm believer that good quality, cute athletic wear makes for better workouts!  Bright pink and yellow is a favorite combo these days.  Something about that pop of pink makes me feel more energized.

Fun Workout Wear - Bikini Contest Prep 8 Weeks Out

Fun Workout Wear - Bikini Contest Prep 8 Weeks Out
Nike running shoes (I have been known to be an ASICS running shoe kind of girl, but these Nike's have me converted!  They are comfy and I just love the hot pink!) 
Sports Bra - many of you asked about what kind of bra is super supportive for larger chests and hands down it's this one by Moving Comfort.  You buy based on your bra size and it hooks in the back like a bra.  I love to wear this for running and the shoulder straps are comfy and adjustable.  It comes in other colors and sizes 30B - 44D.

FOOD

I'm still sticking to my meal plan and did SO GOOD for the whole week until Friday (Starbuck's Iced Tall 2-pump mocha, Tiger Eye sushi roll) and Saturday (hummus and pita bread, half a gyro, and a PINT of ice cream- Haagen-Dazs Carmel Cone if you want to know.  Texas is BlueBell country and everyone is freaking out right now about the BlueBell recall and it's not being sold in stores, but give me my HD over BB any day! #gasp #sacrilige!)  But, I digress, or maybe I was trying to distract you from how bad I fell off the wagon.

I hate that I've been working so hard just to eat all that, but I have to just accept it and move on.  Of course on Sunday, I picked up the pace with my cardio- as you saw above.

I might go straight from the bikini stage to Yia Yia Mary's after prep is over.  This is the best warm, fresh pita bread and delightful hummus ever! Seriously melts in your mouth!

I made Tex-Mex Turkey Meals with Rice this week, but honestly, I didn't like them so thankfully, my husband ate most of them for me.  Of course, he was able to doctor them up with beans and sour cream and cheese (like the below pic), so of course they taste better that way.

I used Extra Lean turkey breast (2 packages) and one package of Lean Beef (96% lean) and brown them up in a skillet, then adding in the two seasoning packages with water as stated in the directions.   (My husband bought the Mrs. Dash brand seasoning, I usually use Old El Paso or McCormick low sodium seasoning- which I think is better).  With the Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning, you need to add  some salt or fattier beef for a better tasting meat mixture.  But, with fresh pico or guac, it's better.  (I don't eat the avocados right now).

By the way, that's the same meat mixture I use in my Turkey Meatballs and I'll have to show you those next week- they are so good!

Healthy Tex Mex

Below is how they taste pretty good!  Even though I'm not eating that right now, I wanted to show you an example that might work for you. 

Healthy Tex Mex

7 WEEKS OUT 

My 7 Weeks Out picture was snapped yesterday, Sunday, May 24, 2015 and I'm seeing progress.  I decided to put on my stripper stage heels because I haven't worn them since my last contest! Now I remember why I hired a posing coach and how difficult it is to stand all sucked in and positioned correctly.  

Bikini Contest Prep - 7 Weeks Out
sports bra | shorts (definitely worth the splurge on these! I'll be getting a second pair asap!) 

Bikini Contest Prep - 7 Weeks Out

MORE BIKINI PREP POSTS

If you missed some of my bikini prep posts, you can get caught up here:


And check out my FITNESS tab for all health & fitness related posts.

Wishing y'all a wonderful Memorial Day! 

__________________

keep in touch! 









affiliate links used 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekend Steals & Deals | Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale & Summer Outfits

Welcome to a happy Friday!  The Friday staring into the face of a long, 3-day weekend! We don't have any big plans (and the weather is forecasting lots of rain here), but we will just relax and be together and appreciate the heart of Memorial Day weekend.  My Dad and Grandpa both served in the military and we're so proud of their service, as well as the service of so many others.

On Monday, I'll be back recapping Week 8 of my Fitness Challenge if you want to check in.  Thank you so very much for your support so far and for your sweet comments on my Swag Bag Giveaway post.  As an entry in the giveaway, you have the option to leave a comment letting me know what type of content you like to see here on my blog.  I so appreciate your feedback, especially now that I'm adding the health/fitness comment here.  So far, there's been a pretty good mix of people that enjoy the variety of home decor, organization, fitness and fashion posts.

Of course, us fashion lovers are in luck over this weekend too, because retailers love to celebrate a holiday with big sales!  Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale, (including up to 40% off on Women's, Men's, Kid's styles, Shoes, as well as Handbags, Jewelry, Watches and Home) goes until Wednesday and I added the other stores' sales at the bottom of this post too.  So many retailers offering 40% off!  Great deals to be had.

If you missed it, be sure to check out my fashion go-to favorites (many on sale now!) in my HWH Everyday Favorites post this week.  It's a good one full of everything I wear frequently.  It took me a long time to compile, but it's worth it!  

tops 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

HWH Loves Bloggers | KITCHENS

Welcome back to my series HWH Loves Bloggers!  Each week, we get to peek inside bloggers and instagrammers' gorgeous real life homes when they tag their photo on Instagram with #HWHlovesbloggers.  You can check out the series opener 5 Tips to a Perfectly Curated Home and see last week's gorgeous BEDROOMS here and the beautiful LIVING ROOMS here.

This week y'all were kind enough to share your KITCHENS with us and I'm always blown away by getting to peek inside another family's home.  This makes the voyeur in me very happy!

The kitchen is surely the heart of many homes and if it's anything like ours, doesn't stay clean for long!  In fact, mine needs a good cleaning right now!  But when the dishes are done and the piles that naturally accumulate on the counters are cleared, our kitchens breathe a sigh of relief and their true beauty shines.  You can see our kitchen all cleaned up here.

Next week, I'll be looking for your BATHROOM spaces.  Just tag your bathroom Instagram picture  (it doesn't have to be the whole room and you don't have to have a blog to be featured!) #HWHlovesbloggers for a chance to be featured on my blog and on my Instagram. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your spaces!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | The House of Silver Lining
Shauna's blog is coming soon- yay!! If the rest of her house is anything like the kitchen, I'm sure I'll be in love!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | This Is Happiness
Becky's light and bright kitchen sure is cheerful, especially with that yellow rug!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | AM Dolce Vita
Wood + white is a beautiful combo in Michelle's kitchen. 

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Christina's Adventures
I love these thick, wooden open shelves - and how Christina styled them.  The "Fresh Produce" sign is so cool too.  It's amazing how different white subway tile can look with different colored grout.  

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | The Sweet Honey Do List
Creating this series has brought me several new blogs to read, The Sweet Honey Do List is among them!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Nesting with Grace
This kitchen is so cute and full of charm, I couldn't wait to share!  And it was a total remodel- you have to check out her blog to see the before and the details on the whole process!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | @carpendaughter
I wasn't surprised to read that Whitney's kitchen was going to be featured in a magazine!  It's cover material!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | The Chronicles of Home
Jennifer!  You are killing us with this glimpse of your room!  But the light fixture is that good!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | @daysieann
The big wooden island is so warm and inviting!  I love how the counter stools sit right there- I bet it makes for great lounging and hanging out in the kitchen. 

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Dean Designs
I love everything about this kitchen!  The nice table and chairs are the icing on the cake!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | @lucyinspired
How cool is this backspashe and range hood here?!  It makes such a bold statement!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Whimsy Girl Designs
I'm smitten over the clean, rustic charm in this kitchen!  

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | @ac_grayscale
White upper cabinets and grey lowers are perfectly on trend in this kitchen!  It looks great!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Brittany Makes
Oh Brittany, the glimpse of your kitchen off this dining room is too good not to share!  Love your cabinet color!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Little Dekonings
The whole world doesn't have or necessarily want a white kitchen these days!  How pretty is this one with the brick backsplash and that adorable galvanized "market" sign?!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Jeanne Campana Design
Jeanne's kitchen is so pretty!  I like how the dishwasher is disguised to look like another cabinet!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | The House of Figs
What a cozy spot in this kitchen!  I think I need a plant like that!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | @kaylawtaylor
Oh what a cool shot this is! Brass is back baby!

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Sunny Side Up
Of course, I'm obsessed with Erin's entire house, but her kitchen is truly special!  This is only a portion of the space- she actually has two islands in here!  

20 Gorgeous Real Life Kitchens | Dimples and Tangles
Jennifer's painted kitchen island and unique light fixtures make her kitchen stand out!  Love that chalkboard calendar too!

How sweet is Nicki's kitchen with those lemon branches hanging at the top of that bright window?!?! I've never seen that before!


Thank you again for linking up!  

I can't wait to see everyone's BATHROOM spaces this week!
#HWHlovesBloggers 

P.S.  You still have time to enter the giant $1800 value Swag Bag GIVEAWAY!  Good luck!  

__________________

keep in touch! 



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wardrobe Wednesday | HWH Everyday Favorites - Spring/Summer 2015

We're halfway through the week and on the downhill slide to a long weekend!  Yay!! And for the fashion friendly, it's like Christmas in May with Nordstrom kicking off their Half-Yearly Sale, which includes up to 40% off on Women's, Men's, Kid's styles, Shoes, as well as Handbags, Jewelry, Watches and Home.  I'll be sure to show you the best deals on Friday in my weekly Weekend Steals & Deals post.

If you happen to be a regular reader, you've probably noticed that in my fashion posts lately, I've been highlighting the things that are my tried and true more casual go-to's, which I've dubbed "HWH Everyday Favorites".  I figured it would be a good idea to put all of those HWH Everyday Faves into one post, so you could have them all in one spot.

It took me awhile, but I think I compiled ALL of my favorite Spring/Summer Tops, Bottoms (shorts & Jeans), Dresses, Shoes, Accessories, Bags, Workout Wear and Intimates here into this Mama Jama of a blog post! Phew! I need a nap!  I hope these Spring/Summer staples help give you some ease while getting dressed on your casual days.

p.s. for size reference, I put my size next to the item (I'm petite, 5'1, 107 lbs).  

HWH EVERYDAY FAVORITES

Spring Summer Everyday Favorites

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SWAG BAG GIVEAWAY | $1800 VALUE

About a month ago, I got to spend the weekend with my girlfriends in Dallas for a blog conference.  We all know each other through our blogs and live scattered across the U.S., so most of our conversations happen online for via text.  Having the chance to get together for three days in person was better than ever.  And since we've all had the chance to meet up on other occasions, it made reconnecting all the more fun.  Just hearing Caycee's sassy Southern accent made the trip worth it! 

I don't think I got to share these few photos with you because as soon as I got home, my Grandma came for a week to visit and life got a a little busy.  ;) 

TOP Left to Right:  Sheaffer, Courtney, Me
BOTTOM Left to Right:  Carly, Cassie, Caycee, Natalie 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bikini Contest Prep - 9 Weeks Out Recap

Thank you for checking back in on my progress as I prepare for my second NPC bikini contest July 11, 2015.  What a difference a week makes!  After being on prep for the last month, I feel like I  finally turned a corner in my eating and workouts this week and it felt great!  The previous week was a reality check (having gained body fat) that if I'm really going to compete in two months, I needed to buckle down and get serious.  It took some time to get going, but now, I'm starting to gain that momentum that keeps you going and makes you want to work harder to reach your goals.  Seeing the small but significant changes to my body has me excited to press on.  But, there's still a lot of work to be done! 

9 WEEKS OUT

Here's my 9 Weeks Out picture, snapped on Sunday, May 10, 2015.

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 9 Weeks Out Recap
sports bra (similar) | shorts (similar)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekend Steals & Deals | Summer Shorts Edition

So happy for the weekend again! These weeks seem to be flying by lately and we only have two weeks of school left over here!  I can't believe summer break is almost here.  We have Field Day at school today and then some time at Grandma's house, so we're starting our weekend off right!  What are y'all up to?  I have to keep my bikini prep game going over the weekend.  This week has been really good with my food and workouts, can't wait to share my progress with you on Monday!  Hope y'all have a great weekend!

WEEKEND STEALS & DEALS 

summer uniform - cute shorts outfits
Our weather is really starting to heat up and I find myself reaching for shorts most days. Cute shorts outfits like below are my summer staples, and probably yours too!  Now that I have some cuter sandals (other than my HWH Everyday Favorite flip flops), I'm feeling a little more put together, even on shorts days. 

Summer Uniform - jean shorts, tank, sandals
I wish my exact pair of GAP jean shorts would come back in stock.  They are probably the most-worn item in my closet! I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for them and let you know if they get restocked.  The pair I linked are similar, but not exactly the same. 
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