Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD


During the weigh in for my most recent competition, I met a lady who is a personal trainer and former competitor.  We are the same age.  She shared with me that a few years ago, while she was still in her 30’s, she had a stroke.  Once she recovered from the stroke, she became determined to get healthy.  She is a spiritual woman and she shared that she was not going to let the enemy take her health.  She started eating right and exercising.  Not long thereafter, she started preparing for her first competition. 

When the time had come to leave for her competition, she and her family loaded up the family vehicle and started the drive to the location of the competition which was quite a distance from their home.  During the drive, they were involved in a car crash.  The paramedics were called to the scene of the accident and told her that she needed to go to the hospital to get checked out.  She did not have any broken bones, but she had been pretty banged up.  She declined.  She shared that she was not going to let the enemy take away her chance to step on stage for her first competition after she had worked so hard. 

She made it to the competition and stepped on stage but, she was in a lot of pain and thought that she was going to lose consciousness.  She said she immediately began to pray and said, “God, now you got me this far, please don’t let me faint here on this stage.”  God came though, like he always does, and she made it through her first competition with flying colors!  

Hearing this story truly fired me up and helped me get my mind right for my competition.  We must remember that as believers, we will encounter hardships, but we must remain prayerful, faithful, and put on the whole armor of God and keep fighting.  Whether it is a bodybuilding competition or something else, when you desire something your must run towards it with all of your might and never give up! 

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
-Ephesians 6:11

I met a lady at the gym today who expressed that she was unhappy with her weight and the stress level in her life. She expressed that she has been living a pretty stressful life over the past few years and has turned to food as comfort. She stated that she knows that she can make a change, but doesn't want to do so until her son graduates from high school. Her son is in the 9th grade. You do the math. Puzzled, I asked her why she would put off her health for 3 years. She could not really answer the question. How many of us get so caught up in our day to day lives that we neglect our minds, bodies and spirits? We sacrifice for our children, careers and others but neglect ourselves. The reality is we cannot be a true service to others if we don’t take care of ourselves. 

If you find yourself thinking like this, it’s time to get your mind right! The enemy plays with our minds and tries to make us believe that we cannot do certain things. He will make us think that we have to put off living a happier fuller life in order to take care of others or to focus on our jobs. That is crap. Stop letting these thoughts of doubt and insecurity control every aspect of your life. The time is NOW, not 3 years from now.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

PERSISTENCE






I competed in the Atlantic USA NPC Competition on Saturday, March 15, 2014.  I placed 1st in Open Figure Class C, 1st Masters Figure Over 40 and I won a special award for best Abs (Female). I am so happy with the results.  God is good!  If you remain faithful, prayerful and persistent, you can achieve your goals.  Special thanks to my wonderful coach, Steve Payne!  Now that I am national qualified, I will begin preparing for my first national competition.


Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Psalm 37:3

With Ty Ropeman Felder and Teammate Julie Paquin.

Monday, March 10, 2014

EMOTIONAL EATING



Since I became involved in health and fitness, I have become acutely aware that many people suffer from emotional eating. Many tend to use food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward.   

Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn't fix the emotional problem and usually makes us end up feeling worse and guilty for overeating.  Our society has basically made emotionally eating acceptable and normal.  When a friend is having a hard day, we tell her to go and have a cup cake or some other decadent dessert.  We call it “comfort food.”  While this may be okay in some circumstances, we must recognize that many suffer from emotional eating which causes them to eat more than just a cup cake on a regular basis.  Many sufferers are afraid to admit it and others don’t really realize that they may have a problem.  It’s like a secret addiction that people don’t want to talk about.

If you have ever eaten a pint of ice-cream when you were feeling down, for example, you have experienced emotional eating.   It’s a temporary fix which may not necessarily be a bad thing.  There are many scientific reasons why we depend on food to quench our stress.   But, when you continually turn to food as an emotional coping mechanism, it becomes a problem.   The result of continuous emotional eating is that it will affect you physically and emotionally.

Dealing with emotional eating is not about abstaining from eating the foods that you love, but making a conscious effort to pay attention to those things that may trigger overeating.  When you are experiencing certain emotions and you desire to eat, ask yourself what is going in that moment that is making you want to eat.  Then face the issue head on and allow yourself to feel the emotion you are trying to suppress. 

When you are hungry, eat mindfully – eat enough to satisfy your hunger, but try not to over eat.  And, please, stop dieting.  Nothing triggers binge eating more than dieting.  It takes a conscious effort to overcome emotional eating and you cannot force yourself to eat less by engaging in a stringent eating schedule or diet plan.  To do so will do nothing but cause failure.  

Try to adapt a new healthier way of eating that will result in weight loss, if that is your goal.  Begin to engage in regular physical activity.  The best thing about engaging in some sort of regular exercise is that exercise helps to relax the mind and body which can help you deal with stress, anger and other emotional issues so that you don’t turn to food for comfort.   



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

IS IIFYM FOR YOU?





People often ask me what my diet consists of that allows me to be so lean. I am not doing anything secret or special. I eat pretty clean most days, but I will admit, just about every day I eat something that most would consider a “cheat” meal or a dieting/healthy eating no-no. On any given day, I might eat cookies, French fries, or even fried chicken. I am able to do so because I know my numbers. I follow a variation of what has been dubbed the “If It Fits Your Macros” or IIFYM system of eating. Basically, this “diet” allows one to eat pretty much whatever they desire also long as it first your individual macronutrients. A macronutrient in this context is a type of food (e.g., fats, proteins, carbohydrates) required in various amounts in the human diet.

The premise of IIFYM is basically if you are overweight, it is simply because you consume too many calories, not that you consume carbs, sugar or dairy, for example. Now, although I like the basic premise of this diet, I am not a fan of eating anything because I do believe that consuming some types of foods, (no matter what their caloric content may be) can be detrimental for many reasons. But, I like that this diet encourages people to do the math. 

I often ask people who say that they eat “clean” but they are not losing weight if they even have a clue how many calories they are eating each day? Most have no idea. If you are trying to lose weight and you just are not able to get that scale to budge, I challenge you to start keeping track of everything you eat and calculating the calories. I guarantee that you are likely consuming more calories than you think. Or, the flip side, your metabolism could be stalled because you may not be consuming enough calories and you have placed your body into starvation mode, causing your body to hold on to fat. 

The bottom line is losing weight will require some work on your part. Do the math and do your research. Am I saying that means you can eat ice cream every day? Not exactly. But, you have to know the numbers in order to be successful, even if you choose to eat super clean all the time. Check out www.iifym.com for more information and they even have a calculator to help you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

FIGHT YOUR FEARS



It’s funny how fear can paralyze us.  Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.  We have to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zone to make progress.  We cannot remain stagnant and expect great things.  Although I recognize that fear is the mind making up scenarios that have not and most likely will not happen, it is still tough trying to push yourself into unknown territory.  

Today, I finally purchased my competition suit.  Week after week I made excuses as to why I had not purchased the suit.   The main excuse:  money.  A few days ago I noticed that one designer is having a Black Friday sale offering 50% off his suits.  I was ecstatic!  I studied the designer’s website carefully trying to determine which suit I wanted.  Then I began to talk myself out of purchasing a suit.  “What if I want to go with a different designer?”  “What if I need this money for something else?”  “Oh, I just cannot decide on a design.”  Then I realized that I was just making excuses again.  You see, purchasing the suit makes this competition thing all too real in my mind.  If I buy a suit, it’s on.  No backing out.  And I have a level of fear of stepping on that stage, with the lights blaring down on my nearly naked body, being judged by not only the judges, but by all the people in the audience.  And that plain freaks me out!  But, once I chose the suit I wanted and hit the order confirmation button, I felt so relaxed and relieved.  I am a step closer to my goal.    
 

Friday, November 22, 2013

I'm Featured! Bodybuilding.com - We 'Mirin Vol. 43: Hardbody Heaven



My picture was chosen as one of this week's "We 'Mirin" on Bodybuilding.com!  I am super excited and honored!  Hard work does pay off! Check out my picture on Bodybuilding.com.  I'm #13!  The photo was taken in early October by photographer Alex D. Rogers. Hair and make up by Robert Rooks.