Official Blog of Allison Ethier

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Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Official blog of Allison Ethier NSCA Personal Trainer, ISSN Sport Nutrition, Educator & Mom

16 April 2011

New York Pro Fitness Wrap Up

Hi Everyone-

Well another show has come and gone.  With this the New York pro was this past weekend.

I placed 12th.

Am I disappointed - yes.  Will I get over it - yes.  This is part of the sport.  Some days the judges like you and other days they don't.    When you are competing in a sport that has subjective criteria like this you always have to take the highs with the lows and good with bad.  But I will pick myself back up, dust myself off, and try again.  There are always more shows around the corner.

When competing you work hard.  Really hard. For an extended period of time, and for some, myself included, I would do most of the preparations anyways. The diet, the training - the routine, and the body aches I would probably skip over -- but I am sure you get my point.  I am finding year after year the routine is still really hard.  And it can be nice to just go out and do a routine and not have to worry about whether or not you 'hit' it perfectly.  To just go out there and enjoy.  In essence - this would be considered 'coasting'.  Am I coasting - probably.  I like competing, but it is what I do - but it is also nice to just go to the show and compete without competing.  And I think this is what I did in New York.  I was there competing, as a participant, but I definitely was not present or a contender on this day.  My mind kept wondering all weekend.   I would see kids, and just want to be home with my son.  I really did not want to be 'in that moment' and it showed.  There are times when you want to compete, and this was not a weekend that I wanted to be competing.

I feel like that who weekend I was being complacent in my work ethic, and really just wanted to 'get it all over with'.  The statement that I hear many times during the weekend of the show from girls who spend much time getting ready for this moment, and then somehow I was that statement.  I am disappointed in myself for thinking this way.

I feel that sometimes I need a low moment to realize how to be 'great' in other moments.  It is a balance for me.  I do have these times that I want to be 'great' and other times where I just want to be home in my comfy pants, eating chocolate, relaxing and being able to eat whatever whenever I want rather than by a specific point in time.  To just 'be'.   Just because I compete quite a bit, does not mean I don't truly love a lazy day as well.

Can I just 'be' while getting ready for a show?  But it does require more discipline.  I also need to be motivated by something else other than placings in order to compete.  Like a personal challenge to be the best.  I can put my head into any show - however, my heart only goes in certain moments.    I tend to be more motivated to do well for myself if my heart is in the moment not just my head.

I find that with my change in career my focus has drifted to that as I get so much more out of my clients and seeing their success than my own.  I am on a different path in my choice of profession, and decisions need to be made.

For instance, I need to decide what to do with my job for the following school year - my teaching job - go back, ask for another leave of absence, or quit.  My mind may have been on this topic rather than in the task at hand - such as my routine or the weekend competing in NY.  My attitude was definitely not myself that weekend.    Even considering the idea of 'quitting' just seems to go against who I am as a person.  However, my happiness is important, and so is quality of life.  I remember days with my teaching job where I had to motivate myself to get out of bed to get to work teaching everyday - and now I don't mind getting up at 4am to train clients.  But when you do 'what you love', it never feels like work.  Training others does not feel like work.

I loved being in New York but perhaps not at that moment.  Those other things that go on around us, even for a moment, can throw us, and make us into people who we are not normally.

So now I have to decide what moment I want to create for myself in the future.

With that being said, Toronto pro is the next IFBB fitness pro show on the horizon.  Will I be there - probably, it is already on my radar.


08 April 2011

New York Pro - April 8-10th (this weekend)

Hi Everyone -
Here it is - another show in the horizon.  It is Friday the night before the NY City Pro event.  It will be held  tomorrow Saturday April 9th - starting around 10am at the Tribecca Performing Arts Center.  You can see more information here.  The physique round is in the morning with the routines at the night show.

I have been trying to hold the line since the Arnold.  I find it easier to just hold the the line than get into shape. However, if you had asked me 3 weeks ago I would have a different answer I am sure.  I feel this way not as the end is here, however, on Monday I was hungry! (and my clients knew I was hungry)
Routine I have not changed much - a few moves to make it more 'fly' but the theme is the same.  4 weeks is not enough time for a new routine and I was thinking of going backwards to an old one but again, impressing it on my memory is hard now as my thoughts are elsewhere so I have a hard time focussing.  Keeping the same routine with a few minor changes I can handle, an overhaul - not in 4 weeks and a full work/home schedule.

Since the Arnold I have been non stop busy.  And loving it.  I started personal training back in June just to test the waters and see if this would be something that I could do for a living.  I never knew.  I just never knew.  All my friends knew - but somehow I did not.  My mom knew.  My co-workers - fellow teachers knew but how come I did not know.  I think I am just very stubborn and once I get an idea in my head it is all over - there is no changing my mind until the goal is accomplished.   Although there is much to lean personal training is where I was supposed to be all my life.  Now I feel as though I spent quite a bit of time in the wrong place and need to 'fast track' my learning to become an awesomely superior personal trainer.  It will take time, long days, and a lot of reading but I am excited for the next 10 years - (they say that is how long it takes to become an expert - so I am guessing with all my fitness experience I can maybe scale it back to 7-8 years but I digress).

Now I have to make a bigger decision - the time has come to decide what to do for next year - for the school year. School is not even out for a teacher after March Break you start planning for the next year.  I know what I need to do but doing it does not make the decision easier.   Everyone tells me the right thing to do but I have a hard time with change.  I remember when we bought our house with a garage, and I would for weeks (even in the cold) still park the car outside as the change of moving the car inside the house was very difficult for me.
Growing up we never had a garage - anyways....change is tough in any form.

So leaving my job - and starting (or continuing) a new one is one of those major life changes that can throw your stress levels soaring, and your sleep out the window. But with this change I feel less stress and sleep more - so it must be the right decision - again not easier but right.

Besides my work life, this weekend - yes back to competing - my goals - rock the routine and come in shape.  A top 3 or qualification for the Olympia would really be icing on the cake (hmmm icing).

A friend of mine will be coming down and I am very excited to have someone in my corner.  It should be a good show and if you have seen the listing of competitors - here it is - and follow any updates on

Talk soon,

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”


27 March 2011

2011 Arnold Classic Wrap Up & Up Next

Hi Everyone-

Yes, it has been too long. I am amazed at how the time just flies by.  I guess I must be having fun at whatever I am doing as I seem to look up and the day/week is done.

For the Arnold I left on a Wednesday, in order to be all settled in on Thursday.  Thursday was spent much of the day relaxing, working on client files, and resting.  I very rarely get to just sit and relax, and when I do I only need about one day and then I am ready to get going again.  This time I did sit, relax, nap, and browse the stores in the downtown area of Columbus - which included a CVS and the grocery store.  But I love shopping in the US as there are products we don't have access to here in Canada so it is an adventure.

I was to have a few friends staying with me - but unfortunately they could not come.  I was completely bummed, but 'everything happens for a reason'.  I do understand why other girls come with a variety of people with them at the shows along the circuit.  I have never really traveled with anyone - it has always just been me.  I would always meet girls at the shows and have my crew to hang with, but for an event as the Arnold - this time, (and last year too) it would have been nice to have my own 'crew' there for me.  I am very independent, and so for the next show I have at least one person there for me.  It does help to know you can lean on someone if you need it.

Thursday evening was spent doing registration, and the 'meet and greet' with Pros and was paired up with Canadian bodybuilder Ben Palulski.   We spent about 1.5 hours at that event, and then continued on with our pre show prep of tanning, and lastly a final meal before bed.

Friday I was up early feeling great. I had vowed to do my best at this show.  I had makeup and hair by Elaine Goodlad, and Nancy Jambazian.  Prejudging began at 12pm, and we were on around 1pm.  The backstage area for the Pros is pretty plain.  Just some tables and mirrors.  Nothing any more special than when you were an amateur - except there are girls back there to help you out with anything you need.  I did have a few girls who were amazing with me, and am thankful that they were there.

Prelims went as well as could be expected.  I am still a rookie (or at least I see myself that way) and many of the girls have been competing as pros for years.  I am very thankful to be invited to the Arnold, and will continue to push to make those top spots.  It does take time to move up the ladder after having climbed the amateur ladder for year.  It is the same story when you turn pro - you have to climb the ladder.  How did I think I did in the physique round - I loved my body - however, the judges did not appreciate it the same way.  Hey, everyone looked great so what am I going to do complain - nope.  There are always more shows.  ;)

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing, but not for long.  This year I went early to the venue to be able to 'feel out' the backstage area and play around on the main stage.  I did this in order to 'feel' what the energy would be like at the night show; so that I would comfortable in the situation.  There are certain things a fitness gal can never control on the day of the show -

the lighting of the stage
the floor surface
whether the floor is slippery or not
the sound of the music
the tempo of the music (sometimes it is different with different machines)
warmup area
ability to stay warm before going on the stage
temperature of the theatre

So even though you have practiced a lot in an aerobic room etc the day of the show it is best to try to get accustomed to the situation as quickly as possible before doing the routine.  I feel that it is key to the fitness competitors having a great performance. When there are paying customers (the audience) watching - it is very important.

The night show began with the bodybuilders going on first. At first the girls were a bit concerned as for the oil that might be on the stage however, the sound and light crew figured out a mix of cleaning products to be able to clean the stage in between the bodybuilders and the fitness gals.

I went out there, set for my routine and you know what I told myself in my head - "this is fun".  Every move - saying 'this is fun, this is fun'.  And it was.  I nailed it.    No bobbles, no missed moves, all done, and complete.  The results - last place.

Am I bummed.  Nope.  I nailed my routine - the final results are what they are.  I cannot decide or predict what the judges will decide.  In my opinion I did great and I was very proud of myself for overcoming a fear that I held for one year.  In order to be able to return to the Arnold stage and 'fix' the mistake (or do over) from last year.  I did exactly what I set out to do.

Photos of the event -
Flex Magazine

Suit was by my sponsor and IFBB Fitness Pro - Tamee Marie - and if you love the suit she has it for sale.  Contact her  -

On Saturday, I had my presentation on my diet and training and how my did doesn't 'suck' (yes, that was the title) for the International Society of Sport Nutrition.  I did a lot of 'trial and error' over the years, and kept many journals since 2001.  It was quite interesting to see how I finally managed to come out with good diet and training regime for myself.  Now I share this information with others as I am personal trainer, and help with their nutrition, and finding a way to incorporate that into their lives.  It is hard.  Hard to diet, hard to training consistently, and never give up.

For the rest of the weekend, I spent hanging out with JanTana and her crew. She had asked me to do some body painting for the weekend.   So I was a cat on Saturday and a super hero on Sunday.   They are such an amazing 'family', a real team atmosphere.  I use her products all the time for my shows, and use them for when I do my spray tanning at events throughout the year.  You can see some of the pictures on my facebook page.

On Sunday I had planned on browsing the expo, and wish I could have, but I was so tired - (as I am sure many were that day), I had to go and pack and get my flight home.  I had heard that I might not make it home as there was a snow storm up the east coast.  And well, I did not make it home.

I got to Regan International, and well, that is where I stayed for 4 extra days.  I was to be home on Sunday evening, and I did not end up getting home until Wednesday - so I was only back at work on Thursday.  Home was hammered with snow - so much that the city buses were pulled off the road - and well, if you are from Canada, and have experienced severe snow they only way you know it is really bad is when the City buses get pulled off the roads.  And they were.

So I spent 3 days in a hotel, by myself, trying to work.  I took this as an opportunity to rest up from the weekend.  I welcomed the sleep and the quite.   Did I get as much work done as I wanted - no.  But I was very well rested, and ready to get back on my diet when I got home.

Yes, that is right - more dieting.  I am going to New York Pro on April 8th.  There are only 4 shows before the Olympia and I would really like to qualify for this show this year.  There is the Arnold, NY city, Germany and Toronto.  I considered Germany but it is too much time away from the family and my clients.  I have heard that many girls will be showing up to the 2 shows as like I mentioned there are only so few shows in fitness and to get to the Olympia you have to make the top 3 spots - I am hoping that those girls who are already qualified don't show up to the shows, but I know that if you want to be the best you have to compete against the best.  Either way I am going for it, not holding back.  So over the last 2 weeks have been upgrading my skills in my routine. I really did not have time to do another routine with only 4 weeks to the NY pro once I finally got home.  Now it is less than 2 weeks away, so solidifying the routine is my main concern, and just repping the heck out of it.

So back to the grind for me.  I am very excited to visit NY city again, I had so much fun last year.
And this time I have a friend with me for support.

Should be a good weekend,

Until next update,


02 March 2011

2011 Arnold Classic Blog Update 6

Hi Everyone-

Here it is. The last step in the journey.  

I find the last 2 weeks the hardest.  I say the ‘hardest’ as you are either trying to bring your body in, or else just holding the line.  Although I have been in both situations before a show, the last weekend before the show for me is the most difficult.  I find myself dreaming of food.  I watch TV - and see food commercials, and think, hmmm I would love to eat that.  Not really the junk – just more of the good stuff – like oatmeal with fruit and nuts, or salad or warm bread & butter. (I think you all know by now I have a thing for bread – Mmm)

I find grocery stores particularly interesting and I purposefully walk down the junk isle to see what I cannot have, or will be having in a few days.  I do try to remind myself that the food will always be there, and even with non dieting times.
I would not eat really badly normally. It is only during show prep that I want that stuff.  It is the lack of the option to have that stuff that makes me want it. Right now my body is starving.  It wants food.   Just a few days.....

I leave tomorrow, and then compete on Friday.  It is interesting how I get to this point and the only thoughts are about having it over.  These thoughts tend to kick in just 3-5 days before the show.   I think every show I have been at I have heard or overhead a competitor make this statement - "I just can't wait for it to be over".  Yes I have those thoughts as well.  But I always have those thoughts just before competing.  

I try to reflect on my process through the whole competition phase, and every prep it is the same feelings that arise near the time of the show.  It is different with the Arnold as it is such a big event, and most shows I can be in and out in a weekend.  Arnold - 5-6 days of stuff with travel, and the expo - and more athletes in 3 days in Columbus than at the Olympics.  I am sure once I get there my mind will change - again more reflection - once I am there my mind has always changed.

So last week's training and diet - I did cut a few things - like peanut butter from my diet and just replaced it with more controlled foods - like almonds. Some times with the PB you take a bit more, no slight bit more, and then well, then you know it you are over your planned meal's calories.  And when you are trying to make your body look a certain way for a certain date - it does matter!

Training was great last week, felt really strong, and routine practices were strong.  I do go with how I am feeling on most days, but near the end I have to push myself.  I have never really thought about it, but I don't have a coach - not in the athletic sense.  I see my competitors have trainers with them while they train - and I don't have that.  Not for the routine, or with my own training. I am very independent that way, and really don't know how I would manage having them there as my schedule is so inconsistent.  But I will say that it would be nice to have them (or anyone) there.  To push you to keep going, try harder, and be better than last time.  All of this - at least with the sport that I participate comes from within.  And it is hard. It is hard to keep going. 

Notes to myself, my body and how I feel at this point: (4-5 days from the show)
I do love what I do, and am in love with it, but near the end of the journey you are tired, and I am tired. I know it is due to a lack of gas in the tank, which can affect your training, and motivations.   I mention this all for my own benefit as sometimes it is hard to remember exactly how you feel (or I how I felt) when you are dieting, and training and are at this point before a show.  This time I feel cranky, moody, and out of sorts.  (Perhaps the last show prep, and before that, but I don't remember from show to show)  It only kicked in on Sunday, the week before the show.  So I guess you could say I am right on schedule.  There are moments since Jan 10 (when I started my diet) that I was cranky but knew that it was only temporary, and would fade.  But the last 3 days have been tough.   I feel myself being cranky at my son, (which I hate myself for after), and have avoided being outside as I am cold all the time.  I also avoid being too far from the house or knowing where a bathroom is as I am drinking quite a bit of water.    This is the last 3-4 days of the prep.  This is what you do to get yourself to one of the biggest stages in the world for the sport that I do.

I need to be able to return to my blog and read this now and again to know how it feels in the moments before the show.   These are my thoughts when I am prepping.  Perhaps there are others who do not feel this way.  Is it necessary to feel this way – no.  Some handle the prep better than others. First timers might experience this as they are not used to the sacrifices that you need to make to get to the stage, ready, and on time.  As you prep more and more, you see the work involved, and know that it is part of the process.  Even though I am ‘experienced’ does not mean that I am immune to those feelings.  I just choose to ignore them.  I have the will power, to ignore. 

Am I ready?  Sure.  I just have to go out there and do what I have been training to do – perform.  My only responsibilities this weekend are:
1.      show up in shape.
2.      nail the routine

Everything else is just details, and I don’t sweat the rest of the weekend.  ‘No worries’ is my philosophy for the time I am at the Arnold.  Sit back, and enjoy.    I always think – “what if this is my last show”, and question, “how do I want to remember the experience?”

Pictures from last week.

22 February 2011
22 February 2011

Arnold Classic Weekend Schedule: Friday - competing - VIP meet and greet.
Saturday - ISSN Conference 1-2pm
Sunday - home.

If you see me – stop me, and say ‘hello’.  I might have a few photos on hand to sign and give away. The new Slimquick Razor is out and I have some fantastic shots to share with you all. 

Today: Travel Day
I met someone on my flight down who I know from the competition circles – and she is competing this weekend in the Arnold amateur.  It was great talking to her as I see her enthusiasm for the sport, and how motivated she is to keep going and get her pro card.  I remember when I was like that.  Striving, pushing, dreaming and hoping.  It really made me think about where I am in my career and what I really want to do with it.  What do I want to accomplish? 

I am about half way to Columbus right now, and am starting to get excited. Perhaps it is because I saw people I knew on the plane.  I am starting to feel the spark.  I am sure once I get to the host hotel – the Double tree – where all the action is, get settled, and organized, I will be more willing and ready to be in the zone. 

I know this weekend is going to go by in a flash, so I will bring my camera to be able to remember it all.


17 February 2011

2011 Arnold Classic Blog Update 5

Hi Everyone-
Here is it the hardest part of the prep - the last 2 weeks.  I find that at this point in my prep the last 14 to 21 days all I am thinking about is food.  What am I going to eat after I compete?  And then the time comes and well, I really just want my diet food.    I see television commercials, read magazines, and just stare at the food.  I even subject myself to 'browsing' the middle rows of the grocery store to see what I will eat.  Funny how that works - we always want what we cannot have, and then when we can we don't want it anymore.

During this time I find myself getting annoyed quicker than usual.  Annoyed at little things that any other time (meaning more food) I would not pay much attention too.  There are times when I can feel myself going from normal to super cranky in a minute.  I try to see if it is hunger related, and most times it is.  I tell myself that 'this moment will pass' and basically have to check myself.  I cannot be cranky at those around me, as who is going to want to support me through these shows (and more shows) if they are constantly subjected to moodiness around the time of contest prep. 

My clients are noticing that I am having trouble focusing, and sometimes am a bit more giddy that normal - laughing and sometimes a little spacey.  Let's see what I did last prep (that would be November) - oh, smashed my head into a bar on a rack - and it was a hard 'crack'.  Last year this time - (check March 2010), I backed into the garage and fell down the stairs (with a brick wall hugging the stairs) with a huge recycling bin in my hands.  Yes, I have made mistakes.  So this time I am focussing on paying attention more, so that perhaps, just perhaps the mistakes don't happen. 
My son, who is now 4, knows exactly what is going on around him when I do the 'diet' and the 'training'.  He knows that I am going to practice my routine, and when I am 'dieting' as there are certain foods that I can eat and certain that I cannot - like any gummy worms he offers me.  One time we passed the ice cream store, and asked me for ice cream.  I told him 'no' and he said, 'mommy is it cause your dieting?'.  I was a little surprised that he knew, and I said 'yes'.    When I am not dieting he reminds me of that, so that he can get the ice cream.   So I do stop for ice cream, but most times when mommy is dieting, the house is dieting too.  This is not a bad thing, just there are less treat foods than healthy foods. 
I can remember my mom being the same way, so perhaps she instilled the good eating habits in me. Our only treats in our house was Cott pop and maybe vanilla ice cream. They were both gone in about 3 days after the grocery day, and anything 'extra' was always purchased with allowances.

But I digress.....

Back to the Arnold...

This year I will not be at a booth - I am competing on Friday.  On Friday there is quite a bit going on with the Arnold event as now they have added a 'meet and greet' with the pros for VIP attendees, and I will be there signing some photos.  Friday is a full day of tanning, meetings, visiting the venus, and the VIP meet and greet.  Should be a great time I am looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Saturday will be giving a presentation on my diet & training leading up to the Arnold at the ISSN conference on Saturday from 1pm to 2pm.  I would love to see you there.
I will also be shooting with some amazing photographers - My good friend Liana Saadi (now Louzon) will be taking appt for shoots you can contact her at: .  And another good friend who I have known for a long time - Harry Grigsby -

Both are excellent photographers, and are published. They have super rates and if you are looking to start your portfolio, expand on your current portfolio and are in shape for the weekend of the Arnold, now would be the time to do it. 
Over the weekend I will browse the event, and this time be able to spend some time with my friends.  I tend to run myself into the ground with these events as I love them, and this time decided to slow down a bit.  I am enjoying my personal training business, and want to grow and learn from the best in the industry. The Arnold houses many of these individuals, and gaining knowledge and understanding of this side of the industry is now a huge motivator. 

This weeks pics taken on February 13.  I just took a bit long writing the blog as time seems to get away from me.

Two weeks to go from today (to showtime) and counting.

I love seeing how I can make my butt 'look the part'.  Flexing the butt or not flexing the butt, ah, so many things to think about before the show.  And still a bit to go, as my butt is the last thing to come in. Some it is abs, some legs, me (and I think for the majority) it is the butt.  Shows are won from the back right?  :)

Front Pose - 13 February 2011

Not flexing the butt
Flexing the butt

Routine 3x this week - cannot believe I managed that.
3 x weights, and about 20-30 mins cardio.
Food really has not changed since day one.   I just make sure to eat on time and now everything is measured.  I usually just eye ball it as I have been doing this for so long, but even now and again I need to remind myself of how much I should be eating (or not eating).

This week has gone by in a flash.  I am so busy at work, and loving it that the dieting phase of the training has not been that difficult.  I still have a lot of time to go - two weeks does not sound like much but to the diet and training of a competitor it is like another month.  So many things can change in 14 days!

This weekend's main goal is to get my luggage in order, photoshoot gear, and make sure my costume, and swimsuit (by Tamee Marie) is ready to go.  I don't think I have washed my costume since last show....hmm.

The light is near on the horizon,

Talk soon,


09 February 2011

2011 Arnold Classic Blog - Update 4

Hi Everyone -

It is funny how time flies, and then one day you wake up and someone makes a comment, "hey you are looking skinny".  Yes, it is happening.  "The change".  By 'the change' I mean that I am looking more in shape on the outside, and things start moving at a quicker pace.   Quicker, hmmm more top down I should say - a little bit everywhere but the top always gets leaner quicker than the bottom.  I just have to be patient to make sure the bottom catches up in time.

There are moments during the prep that I love, or I should say things about my body, and my life that I love when I am preparing for a show.  And of course to be balanced, there are things that I am not so fond of. 

For instance, when I am preparing for a show I am at my most busiest with my work, super efficient, organized, sometimes feel that there is a lot of work to do and am always moving.   Things are more likely to get accomplished, and I feel proud of how much I do achieve day to day.  Food is just fuel to move on to the next activity - to keep hunger at bay, and my body moving.  My social experiences are more focussed on the people rather than the food that is being offered.    For me when you take the option of having those foods that would not be considered part of a pre-competition diet phase out of the equation the stress of choosing to eat or not eat those foods is lessened.  Sure near the end of the whole process - let's say the last 2 weeks I am ready to eat, but when you are that close, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

For instance this weekend, I was out socializing, and even though those around me were eating regular food, I did not miss it (again depends on how good the meal that is being offered really is...;) and comments like, "Oh, Allison I never have to worry about you" often are said.

Another thing that I love is my skin - my skin has never been better.  The diet, consistent training, good rest, gives me good skin. I have found my 'trigger' for bad skin - too much saturated fats.   I know what to eat and what not to eat to keep my skin looking great.   Those dematologists who say food does not cause bad skin are wrong - at least in my case.  My skin clears up with a cleaner diet.

Right now with the show being so far away - about 4 weeks, the light is dimmer, but still on the horizon.  I still have plenty of energy to get through my day, and know come every Sunday I will be prepping my food.  Even if I was not dieting (referred to as non normal - official dieting mode), I would still prep my food. The difference between on track, and diviating every now and again is small for me.  This is who I am, what I was born to do, and am lucky that I happen to be in love with most of it.

At times the things that I do not love about "the change".  Number one is, how cold I am most of the time.  I wear a hat around the house a bit kangaroo hoodie, and at times splash pants or track pants, socks, and of course boot slippers.  Please don't read into this too much.  I do not have a metabolic issue because I am cold - I am just getting skinny, which means less bodyfat.  And with the temperature being -10 degrees Celsius or less, I feel the cold.  When not working out, my gym is a very cold place to work.  I am toying with the idea of having a heater underneath my desk at work.

Number two - My face - right now I like how I look, but getting down to those low number makes my face so skinny - smiling results in more lines than a map.  Probably out of everything this is the part that I like least.  I like my body how it is now - 4 weeks of consistent dieting makes me like my current physique.  If I had to choose a body to have all the time, this is the body that I would want.  The results come from the food (obviously) - and practicing the routine.  Once I start really getting into that training, my body takes a different shape and it is easier to keep the weight off when I am doing all this high intensity training - such as my routine.

Number three - the number of bathroom trips.  Always planning where to go, and how much to drink based on where you are going to be.  I am nearby a bathroom often as if I drink a litre of water about 30 minutes I need to go.  I drive my husband crazy with this one.  This is slightly annoying at this point, but really the worst time is when you need to go and you just got your tan done, and you are not dry yet.   It does get progessively worse during the prep as you are trying to 'fill the void' with something and of course the best option is to use - water.

This week - did 3 days of weights, about 20-30 mins of cardio after (depended on how busy I was at work) and only one day of routine - on Saturday. It was a really effective and efficient practice, however, I would like to have 1-2 more routine days per week.   I am hoping to get in more time with practice this week and am looking for time for it in my schedule.  I think it is doable.

For routine practice - I don't normally put the routine music on and just think about my music and practice.  I tend to move a bit quicker to feel the fatigue.  Then I top the whole practice off with some plyometrics and/or some cardio. 

You can tell I am tired as my feet are not pointed, and the steps are not as 'bouncy' as they should be.

It is about 4 weeks until the show, (a little less) and 3 weeks, before I leave.

This weeks pics are absent (eek sorry...), and there was no one at home to take the photos. I could ask someone at my gym, but I will just wait until Sunday.   Or I could ask my 4 year old.....naah.

You do, or I should say I do, get quite tired near the end, and really I have had moments this weekend where I was not paying attention.  Even my clients know now about my absentmindedness at times during the prep.  Thank goodness they are so forgiving.  This whole progress is only temporary, and I won't be competing forever. ;)

Until Sunday or Monday next week, (with pictures)


01 February 2011

2011 Arnold Classic Blog - Update 3

Hi Everyone-

Officially, it has been 21 days since the beginning of my diet. 

Training - I am always training, but not always on point with my diet.  My family would refer to this as 'normal' or 'doing your training thing'.  They always ask me if I am training for anything - and well, this past year it has always been yes.  In fact the last 3 years I have been in 'diet' mode quite a bit.   I remember back in 2009 when I was trying to get my pro card, and I was 'in season' for the CBBF Nationals in August of that year.  My father-in-law has asked me if I was in training for anything, and we happened to be at a wedding in which I was carrying my ever so prevalent essential to any competitors lifestyle - my cooler - and I told him I probably would not be eating 'normal' until October.  The wedding was in July. 
His response was wide eyes, and well, we all had a laugh. 

It does amaze me at times the lengths we will go to in order to achieve what we want.  I don't see these little instances, or events in which I am dieting as a restriction to what I do.  Eating well is what I do all the time. Sure the event might be a bit nicer if I could share in a drink with friends, or even just a hamburger.  I know that this whole process is just temporary, and anyone who has been around me, and has shared a 'normal' meal knows that I can chow down like the best of them.  I think that many who do this type of lifestyle really love to eat, but have habits in place to know when is ok, and when they should probably cut back. 

There are always signs of weight gain. For me it is bad skin, joint pain, back pain, and more obvious things like, my clothes not looking the way I want them to look.  So I know for me these signs means 'cut back'. (fear of back pain, and bad skin usually can keep me in check).  However, with this being said in no way do I 'diet' all the time.  I do feel much better when things are on track though.  ;)

This weeks training - similar to last week - different training plan.
4 days weights
Cardio:  2-3 session of 20mins
Diet - on point.  A few missed meals. 
Routine practice: 2x this week - started full out routine practice. Messy but got through it.
I felt a twinge of pain in my calf last week - could have been one of 3 things: 
1. lack of gas in the tank at the time of my routine practice
2. improper warmup
3.  body not ready for the pounding.

Although I do think it to be a bit of #1, #3 is most likely.  It is hard to go from doing nothing (even just training), to doing a routine full out.  I find my body needs time to adjust to the demands I place on it.  For example, fly pushups, and tumbling.  I see spots every now and again, but last practice things were ok, so I do think I am over the hump of the adjustment period.  Now since I will be getting leaner, and working harder with the routine - up to 3x routine practice next week - I have to be careful to work it as hard as I can without injury.  There are times when I pull back as I know I am tired, or am close to my next meal.

I try to time my food with my routine practice so that an hour before I eat, then train for 1 hour, and pretty much am ready to eat again when I am finished.

Photos -
I see good progress this week.  I cannot wait for next week, as this is the point when things should really start tightening up.

I have noticed that the lighting plays a bit role in how I 'perceive' my body to be responding.

Until next week,


23 January 2011

2011 Arnold Classic Blog - Update 2

Hi Everyone-
I am amazed at how time flies. It feels just like yesterday I was updating this blog, and posting about my progress.  It is exactly 37 days until I leave.  5 weeks!  Yikes. This is when you really know the pressure is on, and your diet and training need to be exact.  I did not start my diet until 14 days ago (maybe less), and with every show I always think that I am not going to make it.

I can say that right now I am in full diet mode.  What that means to me, is that I eat my food, and really don't think to much about swaying from the diet plan. 

This week:
  • 4 days of weights
  • 2 routine days (one day was good, one day was a waste of time)
  • 20-25 mins cardio per session twice this week.
I cannot say that I do all the cardio as I just don't have time.  I had to cancelled two of my own cardio sessions as I am very busy.  It is January, I am personal trainer, demand is high right now.
My personal training business has taken off, and I am quite busy.  Compared to last year at this time (See blog postings of January 2010), I have to say that I love coming to work everyday.

When preparing for a show being busy is key to staying on track.  Not only does it contribute to your caloric expendure (even slightly), but your mind is always focussed on the take at hand, and if you experience hunger you don't notice as much.  I find that summertime is extremely hard for me to diet (and I have mentioned this before in previous posts), but in the 'winter weight' does come off a bit easier when it is cold outside.

Perhaps it because I am cold most of the time (due to the cold weather - don't read into this too much), and even if I burn an extra 100 calories over the period of my competition prep - that could add up to 1-2 lbs of fat loss that I did not have to consciously work for.  Plus working all day, and the coming home to my second job - being a mom & taking care of the house - my daily activity expendure is quite high.

I do have to say that when I am dieting - I don't watch a lot of TV.  I think TV (much like the Internet) can be a huge waste of time.  Sure I do watch certain TV shows, but sitting still in front of the TV has always been paired with eating.   But with the Internet - typing and eating does not happen as much.  I cannot enjoy cheat foods while sitting at the computer, but sitting in front of the TV and eating - that could be really easy, and fun - since I don't partake in that activity frequently.

So the point being - when dieting --->
  • keeping busy is extremely helpful to staying on track and with that minimize TV watching. 
  • Internet usage for me does go up slightly for the reasons mentioned above (cannot eat and type), but lately I am just too busy to 'browse'.  But the Internet can prove to be useful to keep the hands busy when dieting.
Here are this weeks pictures:






So I had started my diet on January 10th and now it is the Saturday the 23rd of January.  Good things have happened in two weeks.  I took the last set of pictures on the Monday, so only 6 days between this set of photos and last set -->  Arnold Classic Blog Update 1.

I have to admit that for the first time ever in a prep - I am missing meals.  I work, then I keep working and don't eat.  This is not a good strategy.  I am a smaller frame by nature, and need the food to keep my muscle.  Otherwise I just end of looking really lean, but small.

Goals for next week - eat my meals, especially between clients.  Routine practice full out at least 2x this week.  Change up my training plan.  Hold the line with the rest.

Until next week - Happy training,