Monday, December 31, 2012


“To believe in yourself and to follow your dreams, to have goals in life and a drive to succeed, and to surround yourself with the things and the people that make you happy - this is success!"
~Sasha Azevedo

“There's a drive in me that won't allow me to do certain things that are easy.”
~Johnny Depp

“Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds 
significance to all you do”
~Norman Vincent Peale

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and 
have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive 
and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for 
the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
~Vince Lombardi

“The middle of the road is where the white line is, and that's the worst 
place to drive.”
~Robert Frost

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. 
Then you read a book (Lady Chatterley, for instance), or you take a trip, or 
you talk with Richard, and you discover that you are not living, that you are 
hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, 
restlessness. The second symptom(when hibernating becomes dangerous 
and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears 
like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this
(or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. 
They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock 
treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them 
and saves them from death."
~Anais Nin


Friday, December 28, 2012

Homemade Almond Butter

A couple weeks ago I made homemade cashew butter, today it's almond butter. I should have started with peanut butter as the ingredients are the least expensive!  I have learned quite a bit and still have some experimentation to do, but it's fun.

The jar above is for Roy, I THINK he likes eating my experiments, at least he never complains. David and Cooper are not into nut butters much, so they barely tried this one for me.

I started out with roasted, unsalted almonds from Whole Foods and salt. I wanted salt as the nut butters I like are all roasted and have salt. No oil!!! 

Something I learned from the cashew butter is make it in batches, using 3 cups of nuts at a time, otherwise it's too much for the Vitamix to handle and you risk overheating the motor.

3 cups of nuts in the Vitamix and I added 2 teaspoons of salt (this turned out to be too much). I used the tamper from the start and turned the Vitamix on, then moved the dial immediately to 10 and then the power over-ride and just kept tamping it all down until it was smooth.

As I said, it was too much salt so I made another batch with no salt, then I mixed them both together by hand in a bowl. I ended up using 6 cups almonds and 2 teaspoons salt, I think I would cut the salt in half next time.

The finished product! I think next time I would make it this way: 3 cups roasted almonds and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Then if I wanted more, I could mix it in by hand. 

Almond butter is very expensive, and the roasted almonds are not a great expense. It took me longer to clean the mixer out than it did to make it all, so I will definitely be making my own from now on. 

A hint for cleaning out the mixer, just add hot water and dish soap then turn the mixer on high and it will clean itself, just rinse it well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Arsenic In Your Food

I am not an alarmist, but I do try to stick to healthy choices and when I read about foods that are potentially dangerous, I pay attention. We are a society that sensationalizes, so I am going to consider all of the facts before I make changes, but one thing I would do, if I had an infant, I would pay attention to this.

Consumer Reports published an article that found alarming levels of arsenic in rice, all rice. 

I think we, as adults can make choices, but our little ones cannot. I recall when my son was young, and like most kids, came home one day with head lice. I checked out the shampoo and found it to be a pesticide! I refused to put a deadly chemical on my child, so spent hours looking for an effective and natural product, which I found but I had to drive an hour over the mountains to get it.

It worked, he was treated and I felt great about my decision. A few days later, guess who had lice in her waist long hair? ME!!! I immediately got that pesticide and dosed myself LOL!!!

But that is different. I was an adult, my brain was (hopefully) fully developed, his was not yet. I have the same feelings about piercing a child, what right do I have to mutilate their body?

I eat brown rice, and I used to eat quite a bit of it. I now eat it maybe once a week, I tend to eat Hannah yams the most, and who knows, I may go back to rice when I feel like it, but this article about arsenic in rice, from Consumer Reports is making me think twice about it.

Brown rice was found to have higher levels of arsenic than white, presumably due to the fact that white rice is "polished" or processed, so the outer hull is removed, and then so is some of the arsenic. So all the "fit" and healthy folks who are eating brown rice are actually poisoning themselves more than the lazy folks eating Uncle Ben's! 

So what happens when you have arsenic poising? Let's see what Wikipedia says! 

Seems all horrible illnesses start with diarrhea! 

I am not saying you should stop eating rice, only that if you have an infant, do rethink your choices, and then take a look at what you are eating, maybe make a few adjustments.

It's a good time to look at eating organic foods too, especially the top "dirty dozen" which has actually been expanded to include a "plus" category.

This list names the fruits and vegetables ranking highest in pesticide residue.

Cucumbers were added to the 2012 Dirty Dozen, while Kale and collard greens were moved from the list to join green beans in a new “Plus” category.

The category was created this year to highlight crops that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but are still commonly contaminated with organophosphate insecticides, which are toxic to the nervous system.

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Imported nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Domestic blueberries
12. Potatoes
And on the “Dirty Dozen Plus” list:
+ Green beans
+ Kale/collard greens

The fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide residue make up a list of the “Clean 15″:

1. Onions
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Eggplant
10. Kiwi
11. Domestic cantaloupe
12. Sweet potatoes
13. Grapefruit
14. Watermelon
15. Mushrooms

Monday, December 24, 2012


"You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction."
~ George Lorimer 

"You won't get anything unless you have the vision to imagine it."
~ John Lennon

“Each moment of our life, we either invoke or destroy our dreams.” 
~Stuart Wilde

"Ambition is an uncomfortable companion many times. He creates a discontent with present surroundings and achievements; he is never satisfied but always pressing forward to better things in the future. Restless, energetic, purposeful, it is ambition that makes of the creature a real man."
~Lyndon B Johnson

"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."
~ William Jennings Bryan 

"Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need."
~ Gaston Bachelard 

"The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way."
~ Robert Kiyosaki

"Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing."
~ Denis Waitley

“It’s not about breaking the rules. It is about abandoning the concept of rules altogether”
~ Paul Lemberg

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Overcoming My Weight Lifting Fears

My last post was about facing my fears with the latest lift I was working on. You can see it below or click here. I realized that I should update you with the outcome, I had hurt myself and then I was afraid to perform the lift again on my own. 

It was a split jerk, it was heavy and I was sore. I weigh 128 pounds, I was supposed to do this with 115 pounds, that's quite an accomplishment. But I am trying to grow, trying to get stronger, trying to improve. Lifting small light weights is not going to accomplish any of my goals. None.

I have experienced many things in my life that caused fear to surge through my body, for the adrenaline to flow through my veins faster than the blood. 

I am a believer in the saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" I have been through many things that "didn't kill me", but I thought they might.

The top things that pop into my mind as I write:

As a child of about 12, acting on an urgent whispered request by my mother, I grabbed a loaded 45 revolver and held it with both hands  pointed at the head of a man, who was standing outside our front door at night as my mother was on the phone with the police.   

At the age of 16, being the first to stop at a horrible accident, where a motorcyclist had crashed head on into an automobile,  the bloodied cyclist was laying in the middle of the road with compound fractures of both legs and pelvis. As I approached to help, I discovered it was my own baby sister (she spent several months in the hospital, and a year in a body cast, but is alive and well...and still rides motorcycles).

At the age of 28, walking into my home in Los Gatos, after the Loma Prieta earthquake only to find almost all of my belongings destroyed. 

At 32, rushing my 3 week old son to the hospital for emergency surgery to save his life. 

At 47, assisting my mother at the end of life, administering morphine and watching cancer slowly take her away.

Three years later, being the same caregiver to a friend suffering the same horrible cancer. It was like a dream as I moved through the motions from memory.

These are some of the major life experiences that have caused me to feel fear. They have made me stronger, I am a survivor in every way. 

I am strong, I feel that I can handle anything now.

I tend to do things now that challenge me, a boring sedate life is not my idea of "living".

Fast forward to last Tuesday, when I was afraid to do my lifts because I had hurt myself the week before. I convinced myself I would do better this time, that there was no reason why I couldn't do it.

I had done it with Roy, I am strong, I am capable, but my mind gets the better of me. 

Tuesday I woke at 4:00 am as usual. I made my meal replacement drink and grabbed my supplements and sat at the computer to wake up. At the correct time, I went to my car to uncover it. Although it is in the garage, It is a convertible and I always keep the top down and Thor, our cat likes to sleep in it, so it has a car cover on it to keep him from scratching the paint. 

I opened the garage door and started to uncover the car, I started to feel nauseous. You know the feeling immediately, you start to produce copious amounts of saliva at the back of your mouth, along the sides of the tongue. It's difficult to swallow, your throat is constricted. Your stomach starts to churn, it seems to have a life of it's own.

I thought I should lay down a minute, something wasn't right. I went into the dark living room and curled up on the couch. I knew right away this was not going to go away, my mouth took on that sour taste that indicated imminent vomit. 

I ran to the bathroom and violently threw up my meal replacement along with all the supplements, the whole pills bobbed in the dark, chocolate mess that filled the toilet. 

I was sweating, I curled up on the floor and refused to stay there, I had an important workout to complete and I would do it, no matter what. I refused to stay home "sick". Anyway, I was sure it was a mind game I was playing on myself, I don't get sick, I made myself sick with worry.

I got the newspapers from the end of the driveway, and put them in the house for David as I always do. I got in the car, top down, even though it was below 40 degrees outside, dark and cold. 

At Gold's Gym, I warmed up and stretched, and started into my lifts. I would not acknowledge my fears, I refused to let them cripple me and prevent me from accomplishing my goals. As instructed, I was to perform 5 sets of 5 split jerks at 115 pounds. I really have to rest in between, they are explosive and involve every muscle in my body, they take everything out of me.

I did one set, then a second, a third, a fourth. I almost did a fifth, I stopped at the 3rd rep. I could not physically continue  and I do know when I should stop for safety reasons, I had no one to spot me and I did not have bumper plates, I was using iron weights and cannot drop them. I racked the bar and felt extremely accomplished. 23 reps of 115 pounds, up over my head. I only shorted the set by 2 reps. It was good, it was really good.

I moved to my second exercise which is a dumbbell shoulder press at a 30 degree incline. I had 45 pound dumbbells in each hand. I was to do 5 sets, 8 on the first set then 10 on the rest. Time under tension was long, I was to do these very slowly, each rep should last 40 to 45 seconds.

I did it, I did it all. 

As I rested in between sets, a man stopped by on his way out. "I was watching you, that was hard, really hard back there. You did a good job." I thanked him, I knew I did a good job, I overcame a huge fear, I am no longer afraid of hurting myself again.

I met Roy today and we did the same thing, he changed the foot stance a bit, but I was not phased, it's old hat now.

I think I only have one fear left, and its not one I plan to work on overcoming.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Today I am sharing a message that I received from Ali McKee, who has a great site that contains inspirational messages, music, nutrition and training. I feel that it is a motivating and timely message that summarizes my feelings about life, and it made me reflect on my situation, how I treat others, treat myself and view the world around me.

My training and nutrition are one of the most magnificent gifts I can give. To my family, to myself. It's important to do what you feel is right, even if no one else follows. 

Be true to yourself, be good to others, you have no one else.

A message from George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all Mean It. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Overcoming Fear of Heavy Weights

I don't mean people like me- "heavy weights", I mean the fear of lifting weights that are heavy.

I feel fear more often than you would imagine. I think it's part of the thrill of training, part of what makes it all so very exciting for me.

I have explained it over and over, lifting weights is a mind game for me, it's mind over matter. Look at me- I am big and I am strong, I CAN lift the damn weight. But sometimes, sometimes I think I cannot.

I talk to myself, sometimes it's inaudible, sometimes I can hear myself, I zone out, I really don't pay attention to people around me, they don't matter. In fact, they don't even belong in my "world" at that moment. 

Unless of course they are Roy- he does, I need him, I trust him, I like the reassurance that he is there, ready to catch the bar, or lift it when I am stuck at the bottom of a squat, as I squeak out a weak "Roy - help"...

I shouldn't need him though, I can do it without him, without anyone.  But I like him there, just to be sure.....

I have injured myself many times at the gym, the injuries have ranged from minor to major. I have suffered a few instances of over-use, when my physician had to tell me to stop lifting for several weeks at a time; developed bones spurs and deterioration of the shoulder joint; developed amenorrheoa due to losing too much body fat, which resulted in many other issues; slammed my fingers in between plates, (that is a regular occurrence unfortunately); dropped plates on my toes; tweaked my neck (lifting heavy, not paying attention and moving incorrectly); smacked my forehead with a 25 pound plate (drawing blood, it was dripping down my nose); broke a rib (performing a reverse hyper with a band and too much force on a Glute Ham Raise ); and now my most recent injury, one that was not serious but it set me back mentally. 

I was performing split jerks, an Olympic lift, and I pretty much shoved 115 pounds up my nose with as much force as possible.


I will back up a bit. I train all body parts twice a week, except the magnificent Back which gets it's brutal workout only once, and due to the intensity of this workout, it really cannot be completed more than once a week!

When I hit the shoulders with Roy on Friday, we review my plan for the next shoulder day, which is on Tuesday and on my own. We set sets, reps, weights. I am not one of those people who only works out with their trainer.....

It was 5 am at Gold's Gym, I was warming up properly and slowly. I was supposed to do 5 sets of 5-6 reps of split jerks at 115 pounds. It scares me, that's a lot of weight, explosive movement and my body is never fully recovered, my lats are still aching on Tuesday from my Sunday pounding. It's also a lot of weight! Almost as much as I weigh and I am supposed to heave it up over my head many, many times.

I completed two sets, then on the third, on the 3rd rep, I pushed the bar up, with as much force as I could muster, and shoved the bar right into my nose, the pain was incredible. I wavered, placed the bar back in the rack as quickly as possible and looked in the mirror wondering if just broke the damn thing. I watched as the blood slowly seeped into the skin, it wasn't broken, but it was pooling up under the skin. I was done with that for the day and moved onto the dumbbell shoulder press where I had a stellar set of 5 (9 reps the first then 10 the next 4) at 45 pounds in each hand.

I did the usual pictures on Facebook, texted Roy and felt humiliated and sorry for myself. But I was also angry. I screwed up one of my most important days.

Friday I met Roy and it was....shoulder day again. I told him I was afraid, I didn't want to knock another tooth out. I already did that once and have an implant - my eye tooth- (not weight training related) and don't want to go through that again.

He assured me I could do it, and said he would be there for me. I launched into it and my head was chattering more than I can recall in ages.

The self talk is amazing. It can make or break me, it's a powerful force that I know should not have the influence on me that it does. 

I stood at the bar, my head nodded up and down a bit, I tend to do that as I go through my 'self talk" and convince myself that I can do something, I was staring straight ahead, I talked to myself. I lifted the bar and rested it on my clavicle, I felt the weight. It's not that heavy, not quite my body weight. I can do this I tell myself.

I did all my sets, sometimes my legs wobbly underneath me as I held the bar over head in the locked out position, Roy standing behind ready to help.

I overcame it. After the fourth set I told him I was really feeling the fatigue, I wasn't sure if I could go on. He agreed, we would rest then move to the dumbbells.

I walked over to my log book as usual and asked what my plan was for Tuesday, and dutifully recorded it in my own pattern and method that only I understand.

I will not be afraid on Tuesday, I did it today, I can do it again. I must look the monsters in the eye.

It's not easy, I need to remind myself all the time, if it were, then everyone would do it right? My mother taught me that I could, and should, do anything and everything that I wanted in life, and I believe that to this day.

If you are ever afraid, know that I am there with you, we are all afraid, one day or another. We must all choose to fight those monsters inside of us.

Lift strong!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Woman Athlete or Freak?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

What do you consider athletic?  What do you consider muscular? And freak like? And then, why?
I work very hard at attaining and maintaining the physique I want, actually, the one I am striving for, you see, I haven’t gotten there yet!
Lately I have been thinking about people’s perceptions of me, of my look, and that of other women who train and why people perceive us the way they do.  I honestly don’t care what people think of me, whether they approve or not, but it is a curiosity to me as their actions impact me.
I don’t think I look super muscular, and am trying to gain even more muscle, but to many I look like a "freaky bodybuilder".  People stare and comment and when I ask my husband why, he tells me that my arms and back are huge, and when I look at them I just don’t see that (well the back maybe...).  He and I have different perceptions of what exactly is muscular, like everything else in life, there are many shades of gray.
I have had an increase in the number of people contacting me with questions about my body, my training, my lifestyle. By email, Facebook, my blog, and several other sites my blog is published on. Mostly men, but many women too.  Some are complimentary and tell me I am inspirational;  some want to know how to get bigger or leaner;  some want to know how I “do it all”, work full time, have a family and train and compete; some are "followers" of muscular women;  some are individuals with muscle women fetishes;  and some, some are what you might call stalkers.
I don't encounter much of this at the gym, I have a good time interacting with people who enjoy the same pursuits, although I must admit, they are almost all men. I guess that's where "we" congregate...birds of a feather flock together right?
Is it athletic attractiveness, freak show or fetish?
I was driving into work thinking about this, and what makes me, or anyone like me such a curiosity to others? I think I am just a regular mom and wife who happens to have a passion for weight training.  This passion has changed my body to what it looks like today. I thrive at the gym, I cannot recall a time when I didn’t want to go, ever.  I love waking up and knowing that’s what I get to do. I feel alive, accomplished and healthy.
Instead of sitting around watching TV or shopping or drinking in a bar, I lift weights. Real freaky right?

Lock the kids up! The freak has arrived and she might teach them how to squat!

People always want to know when I started; why did I start; how do I do it every day?  How to I stick to a clean diet most of the time? I love to chat with these people and hear their stories and how I inspire them.

Oh believe me, I get many other interesting questions too, many I don't really want to repeat. Some of it gets downright creepy at times. I realize that I have lots of pictures out there with little clothing, but I walk around the gym like this, so why would it be a big deal on the Internet? You can easily find many other sites that are designed to be provocative and are not related to training at all. 

I started my blog to answer all the questions about training and diet and competing, about how I learned to be successful. It seems to have morphed over the years, just as I have.

But why am I such a curiosity?  Why do so many people find muscular women so odd, like they are freaks of nature? If you think about it, a freak is the woman who does not exercise, who eats packaged garbage and remains weak and frail. Why is that not the freak?
I exercise, I eat right and have taken the time to learn which foods and nutrients create an aesthetically pleasing body, one that shuns body fat and thrives on muscle growth; one that functions at its optimum everyday; this to me, seems normal.
I don't do this for anyone but myself. I don't think I am going to get my "pro-card", I am not a trainer, so why would that matter? I have no illusions about becoming a model or landing a supplement endorsement contract.
I am 51 years old for goodness sake...

I do it for me and me alone. I love to lift, I love to feel good, I love to look good.

But I still wonder all the time:

What's all the fuss about?

Monday, December 10, 2012


People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be.
~ Harvey Mackay 

"I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate."
George Burns

The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future. 
~ Gifford Pinchot 

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life Is the source from which self-respect springs.
~ Joan Didion

"Never confuse motion with action."
Benjamin Franklin

"To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasures, we must go to those who are seeking it."
Charles Caleb Colton

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
~ Lao-Tzu

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advice for Lifting, Living and Loving

I was home on Friday, I leave work at 11:30 just to go train with Roy. I know I am very fortunate that I am allowed to do this, and I look forward to it every week. For some reason, this one particular day makes me feel alive, free, and lucky to just be me. 

It's a bit trickier when you work and compete. I mean, you need to fit two lives into one right? So not only do I need to be "the Assistant Director" and clean and shop and commute, I have to be the "Physique Competitor" and train and shop and prepare and train and train and train.

Fridays, I can do it all! I am off early so I can train without being rushed or feeling drained, then I do my grocery shopping and take my time. I also meet my posing coach, Kristy Enos  every other week. Having this one half day is a miracle every single week.

Today I was reflecting. I received a couple emails, both of which made me feel great. One was from a friend from my old gym I had not seen in a about a year - she had heard I was looking big and great - and checked out my blog and had to send me an email saying that "I looked awesome ". The other was from a reader, one I had never met or corresponded with before. She said that whenever she is feeling in a rut, my pictures and blog re-inspire her. 

These two small gestures made a big impact on me.

I often come across as a hard nosed, no nonsense person. But I am not. I am a very positive and focused individual. Sometimes a bit too focused and that may make me seem......cold.

As my husband David says about me: "Stay out of her way, or you will get run over!"

Today I was thinking about my life, and how wonderful things have been in my 51 years. I thought I would share some of the thoughts that popped into my head as I put away groceries and started dinner, things that I think have made me the successful person that I am.

Life Advice from Kristy

(please share this if you feel it is appropriate!)

If you get cold at the gym, wear a hat. (yup, I wear this and it keeps me warm!)

One slice of cheesecake will not make you fat.

If you have a nose piercing, and you cry, tears will fill the hole.

Chocolate tastes better immediately after a heavy lifting session.

Dancing makes everything better.


Change the music on your play list every week.

Friends can be near or far.

Don't be afraid to be yourself and love yourself for who you are.

Life is short, do fun things. Clean the house later, or better yet, let someone clean it later for you.

Squats make your butt look big (it's a good thing).

Give gifts, small ones, especially for no reason.

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

It's a good thing to be naked.

A smile makes everyone around you feel good.

Exercise every day.

Laugh at yourself, and be OK with it.

Eat real food, but enjoy the fake stuff once in a while.

Do things that make your heart race and scare you a little.

Learn to cook what you like and how you like it.

A woman belongs in the weight room.

Massage helps everything feel better.

Wear bright colors.

There really are no rules in life, but it's all a better world if you go out of your way to help people and don't hurt others.

Routine is essential for success. If your routine is "no routine" and that works for you, keep it up.

Cardio sucks.

Flannel in the winter, cotton in the summer (on the bed).

A hot shower works wonders.

Lift weights.

Wash your face every night, without fail.

Strut. It makes people wonder what the hell you have been up to.

Don't cover up your body, there is nothing more beautiful in all the world.

Life only gets better and better every year.

Pay people compliments, with a smile, it will make their day.

Lift heavier weights.

Say "thank you" even to people for things they were supposed to do.

Find your passion; and feed it daily.

Believe in yourself; if you don't, no one else will.

Nothing should be dead serious, even in death we should celebrate life.

Then lift heavier weights yet again.

Thanks for reading; You are one hot number!; You look wonderful today!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Back and Glute Training for Women's Physique

I spend a lot of time training every single part of my body, but the back view is what will make or break a competitor. 

I realized today as I left the gym, that I have only four months to go until my Women's Physique debut, I am just feeling some twinges of nervousness. That subsided quickly, but then other thoughts started running through my head about the upcoming preparations.

I am training, and I never stop. People always ask (trying to be polite) "Are you in training now?"....The training never stops folks! Ever! I have been practicing my posing and it is so much more difficult than Figure ever was. Everything needs to be flexed and tight, everything, it is strenuous.  So not only will the back win the competition, but if it's a tie between the backs- then the best Poser wins!

What does change is the eating!!! That's the hard and the fun part.

Soon I will need to start a diet. It really won't be too bad, but it tends to go on and on and I just get tired of eating the same old thing without much variation. I think, I am like most people. If there is something that is "illegal, immoral, or not within my reach", I want it! So, when dieting I want big spoons of peanut butter and thick, rare cheeseburgers.

But I am jumping ahead, I haven't started my diet yet and I have a whole month before I need to really buckle under, and then January is a slight "ease into it" so I can enjoy a week in Mexico in February- then all shit hits the fan.

I will soon start to take weekly pictures in my suit, so I get a better idea of where I am. I will modify my training slightly, but I am not sure how yet, I have to wait and see how things "look"

In the past I would start training my back twice a week instead of the usual once; but I am not so sure I need to this time. I believe that all of my pull ups and chin ups in the last several months have really paid off. My lats are huge, and have reminded me almost everyday of how much I am pushing them. I frequently need assistance undressing due to the soreness. 

I think my back looks stellar and I haven't even started dieting! Maybe you are wondering why a back would look different with a diet? Most women tend to hold a great deal of fat in their upper backs, along with their glutes and hips. As you can see, I am fairly "fat free" in those areas, I hold it in the abdominal area, so that's my area to concentrate on and there is no amount of crunching or exercising that I can do for the fat in my abdomen, it's completely DIET!

The glutes look great too- the "smileys" (the folds of skin where the glute meets the hamstring) are not too pronounced, and that will indeed disappear when I diet down too. 

My glutes tend to recruit with all of my leg training, I suppose I am lucky there. Unfortunately it means my quads won't grow as large as I would like, but there are trade offs in every physique. If I had to choose, I would choose better glutes over bigger quads. A flat butt is just an absolute eyesore! I can see a wonderful physique but if they have flat glutes, it just ruins the entire thing.

So what's the plan? Keep training and eating the same for the next month, through January, then assess where I am. I plan to enjoy the rest of my time off as I have been. This means sticking to a clean diet most of the time, but enjoying "normal" food on occasion (a couple nights a week).

I am going to track down Mike the BodyFat Test Guy and have hydrostatic body fat testing, I am not really sure how much I need to lose, but I know where I need to get to! If I know my starting point, then I can plan my dieting accordingly. 

I am (the day these pictures were taken) at 129 pounds. I aimed for 120 at my last competition but dropped to 118 due to water dehydration. I don't think I need to lose that much this time, I have added some muscle, it has been 6 months after all!

Oh, yeah. I need to start doing the dreaded cardio next year too! I did buy a treadmill so that makes it easy to knock out 20 minutes while watching a movie on Netflix (please send some suggestions, I only watch TV when I do this, so I know nothing about what's good on streaming these days).

I will probably start running stairs again at work, after vacation, so that means the last week of February.

Guess I better plan some great food for the next few weeks! 

Monday, December 3, 2012


Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
~ Thomas Szasz 

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
~ James Thurber 

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.
~ Alan Alda

The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping .
~ Dale Carnegie

In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins - not through strength but by perseverance.
~ H. Jackson Brown

Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.
~ William Arthur Ward

Don't start living tomorrow, tomorrow never arrives. Start working on your dreams and ambitions today. 
~ Anonymous

If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough. 
~ by Mario Andretti

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chicken Molé (GiryaGirl)

When I am not prepping for a competition, which has now been 7 months, the longest period of “off season” time in years, I will stick to a clean and healthy diet 90% of the time. I will also allow myself treats like going out to eat cheeseburgers and fries (probably my favorites), some wine, some chocolate and lots of nut butters. 

I’m not a junk food junkie and never have been, so I don’t miss pizza (in fact there are very few commercial pizza’s I even like), I make my own excellent thin pizza (now David is going to want some, he can live off it), nor do I miss chips and cookies. I think a big part of it is that I do think about what goes in my body and I see what it does, I react very quickly to foods. I work hard to look good so when I see the negative effects, It really makes an impression on me.

I am a firm believer in whole foods, although I completely understand the benefits of a whey shake and simple carbs after training and take advantage of the anabolic effects. 

Diet foods, fat free foods and packaged foods modified to be lighter and less caloric are not often on my table. Cheese; yes, as it’s made with part skim milk, but that’s really it.  I will eat some fabulous foods in the off season but I still adhere to my schedule of several small meals, always a protein source (I eat fattier off season), always ample vegetables and only some starches in a couple of those meals.

I find that so many people lack imagination and think that they must stick to the tried and true, boring and bland diets. Like: Mexican is so fattening. Well, if you eat the flour tortillas, the re fried beans and all the cheese and loads of guacamole yes, it is. But you can make grilled vegetables and beef, chicken or fish and combine it with two 100% corn tortillas and have a very, very healthy and balanced meal. Top it with all the fresh salsa you want and a small amount of avocado and it's great.

So…..recently I was reading, a site I enjoy quite a bit. Adrienne posted a healthy chicken Molé recipe made in the slow cooker. You know I love chocolate, and I love spices so, Molé has always been on my list of favorites. This had "Kristy" written all over it.

I decided to make the entire batch, 4 pounds of chicken because I would eat it for lunch, and freeze a bit for later. I used a whole chicken (light and dark) but would typically use only breast meat if really watching calories. 

I changed the method of preparation only because I have a VitaMix and it is made to process large amounts of whole foods, so I dumped all the Mole ingredients (everything but the chicken) right into that, pulsed it till smooth and ever so slightly chunky and voila, Molé sauce!  (I cannot express how much I love my VitaMix).

You can find the recipe on Adrienne’s site and I have also included a link to a word document at the bottom of this post so that you can easily print it out if you like.

The plate at the top is my dinner. It is two pieces of chicken slathered in rich, spicy sauce  along with broccoli and avocado. Below is David's, he has no broccoli but a Mexican Curtido (pickled cabbage) that he made; along with some brown rice. I totally forgot to add chopped cilantro to it and it bummed me out because I love cilantro! Don't skip it!!

First step was roughly chopping the ingredients, so I put it all into the Vitamix and then pulsed and pureed it to a nice consistency (this is before pureeing). 

Then I got out my behemoth of a slow cooker. I really need to come up with a name for this thing, it's huge! 

The whole, cut up chicken went in, bones but NO SKIN! 

I poured in the sauce. I chose to keep it slightly chunky, it's all personal preference,  so blend it  more if you want it silky and smooth.

Mixed it well with the chicken to ensure the sauce thoroughly coats all the chicken.

I set it on low and let it cook for 7 hours. It looks stunning doesn't it? The guys were sitting in the living room watching James Bond....Cooper was home for the Thanksgiving break. I called into them "Hey, come try my Molé!" 

They acquiesce because they are always being asked to try my diet foods and they are troopers. They are also quite familiar with my saying:

"If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"

So they both walked in, very un enthusiastically and took their little bowls and forks I offered.

And they tasted.

"This is GREAT!!!" Cooper says. He asks for more. "Wow!" says David. "Good. Really, really good!"

They ask if we are having it for dinner and I explain  "no, it's for me, for my lunches".  

Cooper asks if I will make it when he comes home for the Christmas break, and David wants it before then. I end up eating it once for one dinner with David. Cooper has gone back to school with half of it and David has eaten the remainder for his lunches.

I am excited. Something healthy, delicious, SLOW COOKED, easy and did I say Molé?

Here is a link to a Word document so you can easily print it out.