Keeping it real, and an update!

Hi Friends!

It has certainly been awhile since I have written here – and all I can say is that I have to blame it on my busy busy life (career) since I last posted.

I want to keep it real and always prefer to have great content to share, and sometimes the busy days turn into busy months and then voila, six months later, you are wondering where did the time go?  While I was waiting for this “great content” to share, all of this time just went by! So from hereon, there will be regular posts – snippets of my life, etc!

It is coming up to that wonderful time of year with the weather changing and the festive season approaching and I thought I would update on what I have been doing in my Fit life and otherwise.

In terms of fitness, in 2019 I continued to focus on my “fit life” and have been working out 4-6 times per week on average. I started training for a national competition in Jamaica in June, for September with my fabulous trainer Maya (who is based in Canada and a former Bikini competitor herself) – we were able to build my frame with some good muscle growth which was my goal this year. I went from 102 pounds to 112, and then shredded to 102 again for the Show. Unfortunately, the morning of the Show I realised the spray tan went very wrong and I had splotches all over my core and large spots all over my arms and legs. I was unable to enter as I knew I would be marked down for this.

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The morning of the Competition, September 7th – when I went to the Hotel Gym to “pump up” before stage. I realised the spray tan was splotched and I had brown spots all over me. I then decided NOT to enter.

In the picture above I was very happy with my final presentation. I was coming in at a great “S curve” and sufficient muscle growth for Masters Bikini of an Amateur National Show.  However the spray tan was not dark enough and there were splotches! A HUGE NO NO! This final look was the result of one year of dedicated workouts, 80% clean eating each week and a real focus on the final look my Trainer and I wanted to present on stage for my Masters category. In fact the week before the Show, I went to the “rehearsals and posing session” and the Head Judge was there – asked if I would enter the “general bikini open category” – which is of course all ages. That is from like 20’s up! However I thought to myself there is no way I am going on stage with 20 somethings :-))

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The day after the Competition, I went to the beach and my hubby took these to show me the results of my hard work – but clearly you can see the splotches and dark spots!

I think 2019 has taught me that you sometimes just have to “go with the flow” of life and not get too caught up in certain standards. I realised after not entering the Show that life can dish out some unfair perspectives, and really it is all about going with it. So I did not enter the Jamaica National Bodybuilding Show. Well, maybe in 2020 I will be able to build more muscle and enter an international competition – who knows?  One day at a time!

Many of my friends question me about my nutrition and ask me about my “macros.” It is so hard to explain to anyone not in the fitness/health world as macros are solely dependent on goals. However to put it simply macros mean “macronutrients” which broken down again, is the ratio of protein:carbohydrates:fats we consume each day. Protein is the “building block” of muscle in our bodies. So if we are trying to “build lean muscle” then we are going to need not just enough protein, but more than enough. Carbs help to “bring it” and fats are crucial in this process too! My macros will be different during my “prep” for a Show to a woman of my age just maintaining her weight. So sharing my breakdown would be fruitless to anyone reading this, as it is all dependent on goals // weight right now // where I want to be // bulking OR // Cutting. Also how many times I am working out each week. Right now I am again on a building muscle period, so my cardio is low and my macros are higher than before. I can safely say I am now on an average of 130- 140 grams of protein / over 200 grams carbs and about 40-50 grams of fat average per day per week depending on my workout split.  I will post again on this soon. Also I would love to talk about building muscle at my age, and how hard/easy it is to shred. It is all such an interesting world when it comes to this fitness/competition life!

I still get up in the mornings and do fasted cardio as I personally love it. That is about four days per week for 15-20 minutes NO longer, as that is a way I can stay on top of any extra body fat gain – meaning to balance it. I do weight training about 4-5 times per week with a split of upper-lower-upper-lower-cardio and abs. Training ABS is not that crucial to me as I know maintaining a six pack is hard to do all year if you are trying to build muscle. My core comes back when I am shredding. However I do fit in abs about twice per week.

See more posts on my Fit Life here here and here.

Here is a post on Jamaica, if you are thinking of visiting!

Other than my fit life – all else is good. Soon I will be posting pictures of my beautiful dogs, which includes my year old “pup” named Pinot Noir after my fave wine.

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Pinot Noir and Bono – on the chair in the room that seems to be “theirs” and Pinot Noir has already chewed up the bottom of the chair as you can see!

Well until the next time, I do hope you enjoyed this update!

xo

 

 


Update: My Fitness Journey in the past year!

Hi Friends!

It has been awhile for sure. I thought it was well time to come back and keep up the posts here.

The last (almost) year has been go, go go and very stressful – and as a result I was unable to keep up the writing here.

In the past few months I have realised that I was losing myself to stress and frenetic times, and also realising that it is not healthy for me or for living a healthy life. I have been working out hard as much as I can – that has helped to balance things out – but writing also helps. So here I am, to catch up and get back into my blogging!

I thought I would kick back off this Blog with a small report of my fitness journey in the last year.

Due to the way 2018 panned out, I did not enter any bikini competitions last year. I hope to enter one this year, and have been doing my best to build lean muscle in the last six months especially. Where I fall short is a lack of protein, and for anyone who knows the world of lifting and gaining muscle mass – you have to have a certain amount of protein for the muscles to grow with all the working out one does. It is called the bulking stage and I have to admit that this phase can be hard as you really are supposed to gain weight….the premise being you will “cut” slowly before the Show. As I have not identified 100% which Show I will compete in next, I am not really being that strict with the macros (macro-nutrients) and tending to eat more intuitively.

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This year I will focus on building more muscle, since the last Show I entered at the end of 2017. Focusing on glutes, hammies and my core.

Leading up to my next Show (about 10-12 weeks before) I will get very strict about macros, weighing my food and ensuring I am getting between 110-130 grams of protein in my diet. Of course this is reflective of my goals, and my figure – it is not for anyone else to feel that this is what they should do. We all have different goals. Friends ask me this question all the time. What should I be eating each day to lose weight? Or how should I be exercising?  My answer can only be that in a simple breakdown: if you are trying to lose weight, then you have to consume less calories each day via smaller intakes of food OR taking in less calories via exercise (cardio if you have to lose weight.) You can also do both, which is the most healthy way of cutting back – have a specific range of calories you consume per day to lose weight, + exercise 3-5 times weekly with a cardio session added to weight training.  This blog post however is not about going through macros and exercise (that can be in a future post with more details…) but just commenting on it in general.

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With lean bulking comes weight gain, and a lack of a real six pack or core, and that has been hard but it is all par for the course!

My cardio breakdown per week right now is only 15 minutes of HIIT three times weekly directly after weight lifting. Twice I just lift with NO cardio. This is because I am aiming to gain muscle mass, not to lose it. If I go harder on the cardio, my body will go into an anabolic state, which means as I have a low (ish) body fat percentage already, I would be in danger of losing muscle mass – precious lean gains that I have worked so hard for.

I love to exercise, as I feel it is SUPER beneficial for our lives in ALL ways. You just cannot go wrong with whatever makes you happy. It also keeps you healthy, works to combat disease, and aids with overall confidence. For me, exercising took a new turn when I fell in love with weight training after years of avid boot camp classes. The difference in my my body now compared to then is obvious…more lean body mass, less body fat and a general more “sculpted” look. Since then, I have never done a boot camp class again! (I am NOT knocking anyone who loves boot camp – if it makes you happy, you should…)

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I have been also taking the time to enjoy life a bit, relax and not worry TOO much about prep life of competing in the last year. I was also very stressed at work and trying now to find that balance again

In the next six months, I will continue to train 4-6 days per week, two with a Trainer and the goal to be to build more muscle – at least 2-3 pounds of muscle, focusing on the upper body and glutes/hamstrings.

I am also incorporating alot more work with bands for glutes (especially glute activation), and hip thrusts added to my current repertoire of deadlifts, squats, lying leg curls and tons of lunges (curtsy/walking/stationary) – not forgetting kickbacks! It is all good for all aspects of “building the glutes and hammies.”

I have posted a few posts on my fitness journey here and here on this Blog for reference.

In my next post I am going to be sharing who my fave fitness peeps are, some who have been to the Olympia stage and done very well…they are what I refer to as the epitome of fitness in that they live the life all year without succumbing to too much weight gain in their off season. They are great examples of who to follow if you are on this path.

I have also discovered in the last year some cool brands – apparel and nutrition, which I am also going to share.

Until then, stay fit and healthy friends!

Love Neenie xo

 

PS keep up with my doses of fit life and Jamaica on Instagram!

 

 

 

 


Fitness – What I love.

Hello Friends,

While I work today on my second installment of “From Shy to the Stage” – I thought I would give a run-down on the products I am obsessed about fitness and health wise.

This is NOT a sponsored post. It is stuff I share from time to time, and did so on my last Blog.

Fitness Gear

I love, love these resistance bands from Amazon.com for that workout where you need to challenge yourself more, with dumbbells, or just using on their own. I carry these with me in my Gym Bag at all times.

Speaking of Gym Bags, I love all the bags from Fitmark Bags. I love this Company as I have bought many bags from them and shaker cups and they are all of high quality at a good price, and there is always a sale. In fact use code: NEENIE15 to get a further 15% off at checkout!

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This Transporter Tote is super special as it is a Gym Bag + Meal Prep Bag, for you serious fitness peeps.

This is something I have in my gym bag for the times I need to use it on the smith machine or a heavy barbell. Your neck and shoulders will thank you – it is the best squat pad I have found. I like using my own.

I recently ordered these sports bras from Amazon. A pack of three and a great buy.

I would go cray in the gym if I did not have my music. These bluetooth headphones are comfy and have a fabulous sound, plus they are not costly.

I always love wearing these Converse slip on “chukkies” for days of deadlifts and leg days, you just get so much more balance and better form. I have these in two pairs of white, black and high top white I love them SO much. Use them for your leg days!!

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Wear this for LEG days peeps. So your balance and ultimately your FORM is not compromised when doing squats, deadlifts and lunges even.

Supplements

I love using protein powder for post workout in a shake (with almond milk) as it helps to fuel those muscles and help with the repair of fibres, which ultimately lead to bigger muscles. I love chocolate flavours and have had alot of different brands over the past three years but I have to say that Optimum Nutrition, and NLA for Her in the chocolate eclair flavour are my two current faves. I love to make shakes with a small frozen banana, oats, almond milk, ice and a scoop of NLA for Her chocolate eclair when I really need a boost during the day. It is divine, try it!

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My fave protein powder right now in this YUMMY flavour. Helps you to really get your protein in for making those gainz ladies!

Let’s keep on track with Sups, I am also loving the same brand – NLA for Her in the Her Aminos – watermelon flavour. Now if you do not take Aminos and are working out hard with weights, you may want to re-consider why. Amino acids help hugely with building lean muscle, enhances muscle recovery, gives you that extra energy and even helps to cut fat. Take a scoop per day for that extra energy you need. I take mine before a workout, and continue to sip it with water in a shaker bottle during my workout especially a leg workout.  My “doms” are not too bad at all when I take this. Delayed onset muscle soreness can occur up to four days after a heavy compound muscle workout, so it is good to have something to sort of counter act that. Nothing wrong with a little pain after a workout, but sometimes it is just really dread after a heavy leg day.

Food

I love peanut butter. However when I stumbled across this Barney Butter almond butter (in smooth), I stopped eating peanut butter and have been ordering this one for about two years. In fact last year back stage at my Show in Jamaica, the girls were going crazy over it…we were eating it on rice cakes, (all we could really eat back stage, one of the joys of competing) – but this sure helped as the flavour is lovely and it is not made with palm oil.  I love it so much that I have an on-going subscription with Amazon monthly where I receive a bottle every month, perfffect!

Barney Butter

I love this stuff SO much I use it in my oatmeal, shakes and on rice cakes, the macros are good, for the fats you need in a day.

If you are not a member of Thrive Market.com, then I urge you to become one, and soon!  You will get up to 60% off the retail prices on these products via this site paying an annual fee, but it is SO worth it.  I buy my Simply Organic spices and Kodiak cakes here. The spices are ahhhmazing and so worth it with the lower price.

 

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GIRRRL, (and gents!!) please get these if you have never tried them. A brilliant macros, and taste, PLUS protein is great. I love them before a heavy leg workout on a weekend.

That wraps up my things I love post, I will be posting each month a list of things I am loving fitness and health related. Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy these tips, and make sure you go and order them, your life will be better. 🙂 well your Fitness life anyway.

Love, Neenie xo