Archive for contest prep

5 Ways to Love the Skin You’re In {My Story}

*If you are sensitive to or think a post about disordered eating/a poor relationship with food may be a trigger for you, please skip this post.

I’ve spoken about it on the blog before, but in case you’re new around here, let me give you a little background about me.

At the end of 2008, I got the wild idea to compete in an NPC Competition in the Bikini division. I actually really wanted to compete in the Figure division, but I had only been working out for 2 years and didn’t have much muscle mass. I spent from January – July training, doing a bunch of cardio, and dieting for the competition. The results were really good.

progress pictures

December 2008 – 147 pounds

progress pictures

July 2009 – 123 pounds (i’m 5’8)

I placed 2nd in my first show, got instantly hooked on the stage high and decided to compete again 5 weeks later. I placed 5th at that show, although there were definite politics involved (as there always will be in the fitness industry).

From there, everything basically went to shit.

I had been dieting for 7 months at this point, and my will-power was wavering. I had made so many foods “off limits” that eating even just a bite of something that I had labeled “bad” set me off in a spiral. I had failed and therefore, I might as well throw this day in the trash and eat my face off.

This happened every now and then. But it started to become more frequent. I was literally spinning out of control and felt that I couldn’t stop myself.

I’d feel guilty and terrible after spending my day eating junk food, and try to make up for it by doing endless cardio (I once ran 10 miles on a treadmill to try to counteract what I had eaten the day before), and restricting my food even more. I would literally try to not eat all day or to eat as few carbs as possible. It was awful.

The cycle continued on for over a year and I was becoming depressed, gaining weight (I was bigger than I’d ever been in my life) and feeling completely lost. I thought for sure that this was how my life would be forever.

This was my heaviest. I wasn't that big, but for my body, it was way bigger than I'd ever been. I don't even recognize myself in this photo.

This was my heaviest. I weighed 163. I wasn’t that big, but for my body, it was way bigger than I’d ever been. I don’t even recognize myself in this photo.

It wasn’t until about 2010 that I started to “figure it out”. I can’t remember or pinpoint what exactly changed, but I do remember that I decided that there was nothing I could do about the weight I had gained and that I might as well be happy with the way I looked and work on myself from there, rather than missing what I had before. It was kind of like a bad breakup. I had to make the concerted effort to move on, in order to actually do so. While my mind wasn’t healthy, my body was, I could still workout like a beast, and I tried to really force myself to believe I was still beautiful, even though I was 25 pounds heavier than I was when I stepped on stage.

I decided to let myself eat what I wanted to eat. I still kept track of what I ate (and still do to this day), but if I wanted to eat a previously labeled “bad” food, I would eat it. At first, you better believe that I didn’t have any control. It wasn’t like I woke up one day and all my troubles went away.

It took me almost 2 years to rid myself of the horrible relationship with food I had. You see, over time, it became easier to eat just 1 cookie, or have just 1 small bowl of ice cream. It became easier to put the bag of chips away before they were all gone.

In 2012, I did something even more drastic. I gave up cardio.

I had known that doing a bunch of cardio wasn’t necessary, but I couldn’t really let myself believe it. I somehow, even though I knew better, still led myself to believe that I NEEDED to do cardio almost every day.

The funny thing that happened through all of this, with allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted and giving up cardio, is that I started to lose weight.

I wasn’t even trying, and yet, my clothes were fitting better and I could see more lines in my body.

Oddly enough, when I allowed “bad” foods back into my life, I realized that I didn’t actually like to eat junk food all that much. I’m much happier eating healthy proteins, fruit, vegetables, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and many other healthy foods. Did I still like having frozen yogurt every now and then? Absolutely. But I didn’t feel the need to have it all the time. And more importantly, I could eat it without feeling like I needed more, more, more.

Giving up cardio was tough at first, but I started getting stronger. My weight training was improving, I was lifting heavier weights, and my body was leaning out.

What makes this most interesting to me is that I would advise my clients to do EXACTLY what I had finally started doing myself. I KNEW it was the best formula for years, yet, I couldn’t heed my own advice.

Because I was messed up. I had a full-blown eating disorder, hidden from the world (only not really), and felt that there was no way out.

Here I am in 2015, and I have a great relationship with food. I now train to get stronger. I do HIIT a few times a week for conditioning, because I want a strong heart. I now eat to feed my inner badass. To feed the superhero, workout warrior that I feel like I am. And sometimes? I eat because I have a craving. I no longer set myself up for failure, which I was inadvertently doing from January 2009 – August 2009.

On the blog at FitLizzio.com. Progress pics + workouts for the week.

March 2015 151 pounds

IMG_8007

May 2015 – 148 lbs

Shoulders are growing. WOOHOO!! Happy Friday!Large Blog ImageNew blog post is up on FitLizzio.com. I'm on my soap box today talking about how you can stop saying I CAN'T....and start doing more than you thought possible....link in profile.

I eat what I want, when I want for the most part. Of course, I still have goals and I still am working towards a leaner body. But I’m patient. And I know that restrict, restrict, restrict is NOT the answer for me. So I’m allowing myself to slowly get to where I want to be. And I’m enjoying foods that satisfy me along the way. There is nothing wrong with having weight loss goals, but how you go about them is extremely important. I learned the hard way.

This is part of the reason I feel that I can connect with so many others that are trying to lose weight. I’ve been where you are. I’ve been through A LOT. And on top of that, I’ve been educating myself for almost 10 years about nutrition, weight loss, strength training, sports specific training and cardiovascular health.

With that said, here are 5 Ways to Love the Skin You’re In..and let go of your poor relationship with food.

1. Stop labeling foods. This was by far the worst thing I’ve ever done. Processed food isn’t BAD. If you ONLY eat processed foods? It’s probably not a good thing, but having some Cheetos or a Twix bar every now and then is totally fine. In fact, I encourage people to eat at least SOME kind of treat each day. It helps keep wild cravings from coming on. (And yes, you can still do this even while you’re trying to lose fat.)

2. Be happy where you are. This was the biggest part of my recovery. I reminded myself EVERY time I looked in the mirror to be happy with where I was today and to know I could only improve from there on out. You only have one body, and treating it poorly both mentally and physically will not help you. By treating your body like a temple and keeping your thoughts about your body positive, you will have a better chance at starting to believe those thoughts. By repeating this to myself DAILY, sometimes HOURLY, I actually started to believe it. I started feeling comfortable with myself once again.

3. Make your goals fitness-based. The weight loss will follow. When I stopped working out to lose weight and started working out to be more fit, be the warrior I felt like inside, get stronger, run faster….I actually started losing weight. My fitness goals now are to get stronger. I want to squat 200lbs, I want to deadlift 300 lbs, and I want to Hip Thrust 400 lbs. Whether you want to accomplish a big goal like running a faster 5k, or just complete a small goal like getting in more reps today than you did yesterday, you will feel gratitude each time you hit those goals and start feeling more positive in the gym. It doesn’t mean you can’t strive to lose weight, but don’t let it be your main focus. Let it be the side effect of your goals.

4. Be mindful of what you eat. This doesn’t just mean to try to eat healthy foods when you can. This also means that sometimes, having a cookie IS the right answer. Sometimes an extra serving of ice cream is OK. Just not every day. Over time, as you start to develop a better relationship with food, you will find that you trust yourself with food and won’t feel the need to eat #allthecookies. You will start to know when you REALLY want a cookie and you’ll pass on them when it just doesn’t feel necessary. (If you would have told me this a few years ago, I would have told you that it isn’t possible. Your mind tricks you into thinking that you will never be able to think like a “normal” person when it comes to food. I assure you, it is possible.)

5. Let go of the guilt. Whether you are currently struggling or have struggled in the past, let go of the guilt. You are NOT a failure. You are NOT a loser. You just got caught up in an unfortunate situation. No matter how you got there, remind yourself that you don’t have to stay there. Even when it feels like there is no way out, THERE IS. If you don’t feel that you can do it on your own, reach out to someone. There are many people out there JUST LIKE YOU that can help you deal with and overcome your issues.

 I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments, but if you’d rather speak privately, feel free to e-mail me at FitLizzio@gmail.com

It’s Been a Minute….

This will make you laugh. I was bored the other night and made this…haha

HA! Anyways… Wow, that’s the longest I’ve gone without posting since I started this blog.

I needed a break, and I can’t say that I’m 100% back yet, but maybe…

Training:

Going amazingly right now. I am LOVING my workouts and seeing better results than EVER!! I’m lifting heavy and really can tell a huge difference in my physique.

Dieting:

I feel better than ever. I am eating a liberal contest diet. Meaning, I’m actually eating carbs every single day (in my first 2-3 meals) and I haven’t felt this good in a long time. My weight has been holding steady the past few weeks, as my body got used to having carbs again since I wasn’t really having much in preparing for the USA’s.(more on that below.) My clothes are getting looser though, and my mind is in such a great place.

Competition:

If you didn’t know already, I’m NOT competing in the USA’s this weekend. I made the decision that I am going to do this the right way. The right way is different for everyone, but MY right way is slowly leaning out. None of this no-carb crapola for me. My body does better with high protein, moderate carbs and moderate fat. My activity level is high enough to support that and it is the way i started this whole thing. I got too wrapped up in “having” to do the show, that I started to do what I’ve always said not to do: eat too little. My body wasn’t responding as well and I knew I needed to get into a long-term mindset.

Future Plans

As of right now I’m not sure. I’d like to compete in a national bikini show this year, but part of me is really turned off by the sport and the judging/posing. I am really considering doing figure. At this point, I’m not finalizing anything because I really just am having a good time working out hard, leaning out and not having a timeline…….

 

It’s becoming a lifestyle. The workouts have always been, but the eating too. It doesn’t feel like a chore anymore these days and it’s what I want to do.

Basically, I’m loving life right now, getting back into music again, training for the fun of it, getting amazing results, and enjoying every moment. I do plan on competing before the year ends, but I’m seeing where this road takes me.

Is Pressure a Good Thing?

Hola! 4 weeks out from NPC USA’s woo hooo!!! 🙂

Pressure: Good or bad?

So I’m curious to know what you guys think. Do you do better or worse under pressure? To be honest, I’m not really sure where I stand on this subject. In ways, the pressure of my sponsors and coaches to be ready for this show in 4 weeks has made me push myself harder than I ever would have on my own. But at the same time, any doubts or fears that they have about me being ready kinda bring me down. I feel like the pressure can really get to me sometimes and make me want to give up, but it is the same thing that is driving me to work so hard. Kind of interesting to think about and it’s just one more part of the learning process on what works best for me.

 

How does pressure affect you? Does it help you or does it make you less motivated? Even if it makes you uncomfortable, do you prove greater results with the presence of pressure??

5 Weeks Out

So I’m pretty sure that nobody reads this anymore 😀 Sorry for being such a slacker but I just haven’t had much time for blogging these days.

Training

I’m literally in the gym all day long. As you know I work there, as well as work out there, so if I’m not working out, I’m usually working. My cardio is…well…a lot right now. I don’t want to get into too much detail because it isn’t something that I would ever have a client do. I’m borderline behind schedule and need to make sure I’m ready for the show. I am not taking on more than I can handle, workout wise, but it is definitely rigorous training. I am thankful that my body keeps up with me 🙂

My diet is very strict right now as well, but I’m feeling good. I truly like training hard and dieting hard (although I’m definitely looking forward to eating a bit more variety after the show ;-)). I feel extremely accomplished knowing that I’m putting in all the effort that I can.

Stress levels are high right now for other reasons. Lots of things going on in July, lots of things going on in my head, and lots of things that cost money and take a lot of time. I don’t have much of either to spare, so I’m trying to work it all out.

I’m hangin’ in there and only 5 weeks to go! Hoping my body does what it needs to do 🙂 I’ll post some pictures here sometime soon when I get a chance, too.

We’re jammin’!

Goooood morning!

A very early morning, obviously. It’s 3:15am and I have to leave for work in about a half hour, but I woke up extra early for some reason today. I figured I should blog now because I’ve got the time.

Life Update

I seem to love to keep myself extremely busy. Okay, I seem to love to do everything to the extreme. I don’t have a happy medium apparently! Haha. Today is going to be a nice 15.5 hour day…Work, workouts, class, meetings and a demo this evening.

I’ve found a new way to incorporate my two favorite things in the world……….

image

This is me at the gym jamming out while I work. Yes, I am a nerd. No, I don’t have kids.

You may or may not know that I am a music fanatic to say the least. I went to recording school and have played piano and guitar for the better part of my life. Although you would THINK this would mean I’m good at those instruments, well, I play for 6 months, then take a year off and have done this for about 8 years. I can still rock out though! Anyways, bringing my guitar to work has been the highlight of my shift! Playing music at the gym=two passions combined. Success! Another reason why I’m not a fan of the corporate gyms….couldn’t do this there!

Prep Update

This prep has been relatively easy mentally. I’m making progress, it’s just a matter of if there is enough time. I am now just under 6 weeks until my competition and although I’m leaning out, I’m just not sure I’ll be ready in time. Sure, I could be ready enough to get on stage, but for a national show, I need to be looking 110%!!! My coach and I talked and we are going to decide July 7th whether I do USA’s or wait another month and head to Texas for Jr. USA’s. Kind of frustrating as seeing that I have invested a lot into this particular show, but it’s not out of sight yet and I’m pushing it HARD!! We’ll see what happens in these next 2.5 weeks!

 

Okay, time for work+workouts+jammin’!

Tips for Getting it all Done! + TV Appearance

Hey guys! I’ve been so neglectful with the blog. I apologize, I’ve just been busy! Summer school is great because you get everything done so quickly, but it is SO much work!!

I’ve talked about the various things I have been doing with my life these past few months, and when I begin to write about it sometimes I’m amazed that it all gets done. Here are some tips to getting it ALL done:

Tips to Getting it All Done

Sleep: Go to bed as early as you can. Hands down, the best advice I have. The earlier you wake up, the earlier you can get your day started, and the beauty is that most of the world is sleeping, so they won’t bug you and things won’t just come up as often.

Cardio: Wake up and go do it. Even if you don’t want to, just do it. Just get your butt to the gym, or outside and just START. Don’t think, just start!!

Weight Training: Some people prefer to do this in the evening, but by the evening the last thing I want to do is work out. My routine involves doing cardio, eating my breakfast at the gym, waiting for the food to digest and then hitting up the weight room. If i have more cardio to do, I do it right after my weight training and then my workouts are DONE for the day. I’m usually done by about 8am

Studying: If you’re in school or studying for something, it can be hard to find the time to do this on its own. I’ve found that incline walking and  reading chapters for my classes is pretty much a win-win situation. With incline walking, you don’t bounce as much and you don’t have to worry about slowing your intensity because you have it pre-set, so you can’t slack. The cardio time also goes by really fast when you’re reading, so cardio flys by. Studying+Cardio all in one=AWESOME.

E-mails, Homework and Work-related items: A lot of my work (outside of my gym and supplement store jobs) involves writing client workouts and meal plans; and doing freelance articles. I’ve found that the best way to plan for this is to write it in my calendar and get things done early. If I have an hour in the afternoon free, I write in my calendar what I can get done in that hour. I do this every Sunday for the week, and obviously it changes, but it’s a guideline to ensure I don’t forget about things. Plus, who doesn’t love checking things off of a list?! 😉

Those are just some tips that I use to get everything done. I try to multi-task when I can, and to plan things out for the week so that I get it all done without cramming it all into one day.

TV Appearance

If I get a copy of the airing, I’ll post it, but if you are in the AZ area, tune into Channel 3 tomorrow (Monday) morning at 10AM Arizona Time to see me demo-ing some exercises for my former roomie Emily! It was really fun to do, and I can’t wait(or maybe I can, because I might look like a goof haha!) to see it on TV.

****Less than 6 weeks to go until competition time!! Still have some work to do, but I’m confident I can pull it off!

Congrats to Rebecca, Genie, and Kendra on their competitions this weekend. They all 3 did incredible and have set the bar very high!!! Way to go girls!!!

I’m feelin’ it….

Well, dieting effects are in full force. I’m really digging deep to get through my workouts and cardio, but I have 6 weeks to go. It will FLY. Time has already FLOWN by!! Sorry if I make no sense, the lack of carbs is frying my brain 🙂

Workout

Today was my 2nd leg workout of the week.

High reps , 3 sets of :

Technorati Tags: ,,,

Stiff Leg Deadlifts, Leg Press, Bulgarian Split Squats, Prone Ham curls, leg ext.

3 sets of:

sled pushes, front kicks, side kicks and scissor kicks on the heavy bag

It was a great workout. 90 minutes of cardio on top of that. It’s 7:30pm and I’m totally ready for bed.

**Some cool news:

Tomorrow I’ll be taping a segment on 3TV(local news station) with my old roomie Emily. She will be training me. I’ll let you know if there’s a link that will be posted to their site. 🙂

Boxing + Everything Else

Wow, totally disappeared there for a few days!! Sorry about that.

Life has been super busy, but filled with great things. I’ve been working, school, homework, workouts. The usual.

Today I made up with an old friend: BOXING.

I haven’t boxed in a few months. I got kinda sick of it and I kept tweaking my wrists! I decided to take some time off, but tonight I went back. It was a boxing conditioning class so a mix of boxing, plyometrics, and cardio. All I have to say is 3 minutes of jumping lunges is freaking brutal.

Contest Prep

I am 6.5 weeks away from competing!!! I am getting worried, but I think that if things go the way they have been, I should be ready to compete. It’s much different this time around, as I may have mentioned last year, I was ready to compete about a month before my show. This year, I’m cutting it down to the wire. Eek.

I’ve been seriously KICKING my ass in the gym. I’m becoming ridiculously good at coming up with fun, creative and HARD workouts in the weight room. I keep surprising myself with the new things I’m coming up with! I love it though and I’m NEVER bored. So many ways to change things up!

Cardio has been going well. I’m getting it done and that’s what matters. The “end” is in sight and I’m SO stoked for it. I’m already eyeballing a few shows shortly after Vegas, but I’m focusing on the task at hand for now.

 

Hope everyone is doing well!

Question: Do you shower after your workouts or go about your day and then shower at night? I’m a dirty rat and I just go about my day sweaty unless I have a reason to shower. Gotta love having a job that allows me to show up looking like a sweaty beast 🙂

Exhaustion sets in…..

Hey guys…

I’m running on about 2.5 hours of sleep so if something doesn’t make sense, just forget abahhhht it. 🙂

It’s finally hitting me. The exhaustion has caught up and I am ready for a few days of absolute nothingness.

This week is going by SO slowly, yet I’ve done SO MUCH.

Between Monday through today I’ve done:

6.5 hours of cardio

About 4 hours of weight training

6.5 hours of class

13 hours of work at the gym

7 hours of work at home

1 hour of posing practice

8 hours of homework

Lots of errands and tying up loose ends with a few things

Needless to say, I’m TIREDDDDDD!

All of that with a contest diet really takes a toll on the body. I couldn’t sleep last night for no reason at all, and had to wake up and open the gym today. I get to sleep in tomorrow, and you can bet that all electronics will be in the OFF position until I choose to turn them back on. 7 weeks from tomorrow is stage time…..body is doing what it needs to. I lost another 2 inches in my legs, 2 inches in my butt, waist and arms stayed the same. My upper body is really coming together and just needs a little more work and the lower body has finally joined in, but still needs more work.

Upper Body Workout

This was hard, but a really fun workout for me.

T-Bar Row – Burpees – Assisted Chin Ups – Med. ball mountain climbers (3 sets)

Pushups – Bench dips – Jumping jacks – pec deck – OH DB Extension (3 sets)

DB Military Press – Rear delt raise – kettle bell swings – lateral raises – front raises (3 sets)

My reps were at 15-20 for each lifting exercise. Plyos/cardio intervals varied.

LOVED this workout. Pretty quick and left me pretty wiped.

BEDTIME!

Whirlwind

Wow. Today has been crazyyyy. And it’s only going to continue. I can’t complain because it’s all good things, but I’m tiredddddd.

Let’s see this morning I headed to the gym for cardio, upper body workout and more cardio.

I finished up and headed to summa school. I actually go to class these days….weird.

Finished with that and headed home to do some client plans and homework and then it was off to work at the gym.

Workout this morning was upper body with kettle bell swing, jump rope and burpee intervals mixed in.

Comp Prep Update

Legs and butt are finally starting to come down!! That’s always an epic moment and I was worried it would never happen…but it has started and I’m feeling really good about prep. Less than 8 weeks to go!! CRAZY.

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