Looking Back- First Competition

So,  it’s officially been about 6 weeks from my competition.  Annnnd I finally feel like I want to reflect on my experience.

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It did not go as I had hoped or planned.  That being said, I still did it.  Looking back, my posing was not what it should have been, and I know I heard that many times (POSING POSING POSING) but honestly, I now accept that Its more important than anything.  I remember standing backstage thinking,  I can compete here,  my figure is competitive here.  I was proud of the package I brought.  My glutes, my shoulders, my quads, my waist, I was even proud of my hair and makeup because that’s typically not a strong skill I posses… I was happy.  Then I recall being the equivalent to a duck on crutches when I stepped on stage and that was the end of that.

I cried (a lot) that day.  It’s just so much devotion, prep, resources, time, energy, money, etc..  for such a long period of time, to walk off stage after pre-judging knowing that you wont be in finals that night.  It makes for a bummed out day.

But like I said before,  I did it.  I still went on stage, regardless of how silly I may have looked during a couple of my transitions in posing, regardless as to whether my legs were shaking faster than a hummingbird’s wings, regardless as to whether I felt like I was going to throw up on the head judges face, regardless as to whether I was sweating so bad my tan started to run (ewww)-  I. got. on. stage.

So now, looking back, I’m doing much better at not dwelling on the negative. Not letting myself get frustrated that I feel like I bombed it. I DO know I was capable of better. I DO know that I could do it again and build on with what I’ve learned (not sure if I will, but I have confidence that I can).

So basically, I’m to a point where looking back seems silly.  Chin up, look ahead and move on to the next thing/goal/journey/challenge.

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The only time you should be looking back is to see how far you’ve come… And to check out your booty.




Grow a pair. Suck it up. Do what needs to be done. 

Fact: I really should blog more.

Struggle: Life. Is. Cray.

Goal: 1 new blog post a week.

Plan: Discipline. Structure. Organization. Release.

Starting this blog post off with my latest goal- to actually fucking blog more.  Make use of this format of release for myself.  Why not- even if I’m the only one reading it.  These last 20 weeks I’ve allowed myself to have a goal for ME and it’s been so rewarding and empowering.

This post may seem like it’s all over the place.  Bear with me.  It’s been a while.


So. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last 20+ weeks of prep for my first NPC Bikini Competition.  I’ve learned that the body is capable of pretty much anything, within reason. I’ve learned that in reality, your mind is what you need to overcome.  I’ve learned that pushing yourself is key, but listening to your body is imperative.  I’ve learned that there are no excuses.  I’ve learned that you will never, ever, always be motivated. You create your own motivation.  We are our own limits. I have a weird, inexcusable deep yearning for donuts and macaroons (two things I rarely eat, but prep life has brought this to the forefront)  And also, abs really are made in the kitchen. Accept that…. it’s a fact of life.

I can do hard things. I am the gate-holder to my goals.  I am the the catch-all, be-all.  It’s me vs. me.

As many of my close friends and family know, this journey dates back a couple of years for me. My husband and I, after years of struggling to conceive, decided to proceed with IVF.  Yes, we wanted to make a baby with Science because basically my body hates me and I make cysts, or as I like to call them, hard boiled eggs.  Ok, it’s really not funny, however I find humor to be a healthy medicine for the acceptance of my lack of properly functioning female body.  Sue me.

Our IVF Journey began after about a million different tests and procedures that pointed us in said direction.  The entire process of In-Vitro is nothing short of exhausting and completely mind-numbing.   You have to be patient, meticulous, careful, mindful with the entire process, all while dealing with the surge of hormones rushing through your body making you feel like you’re going to go full on, B.Spears 2007. It’s hard, really hard. We started our journey of shots and suppositories, and medications, and emotional distress in February of 2016. And my ‘eggs’ were ready to be harvested in late March.

Now, this is all subject to where you read it, but my Reproductive Endocrinologist told me that ‘most’ women in my age group, fitness level, health, etc.. tend to harvest upwards of 20, 30, sometimes more eggs in one cycle.  Which to me sounds insane.  I was hopeful. I was optimistic.  I mean I’m a healthy person. I take care of myself, I eat right, I exercise, I finally have my thyroid disaster in check.  This is going to be it!  I was SO BLOATED during that final week before the harvest. I was certain there were like 30 eggs in there ready to be put into a nice little dish.

There were 7. SEVEN.   Like whut.

Out of those 7.  5 were viable, meaning healthy enough to be fertilized.  So we had 5 little chances to have our miracle baby.  I was still hopeful. I was still optimistic. I was still convinced it was going to work and I even was preparing myself for twins because there was a 78% chance that would happen.  Great odds right!!

The next step is to wait 5 days.  5 days is the magic number because once fertilized, those little tiny miracles begin to multiply and on day 5 become blastocysts and you can then implant the healthiest ones to provide the BEST possible chance for a pregnancy.  Simple enough.  We had  a plan and it was going to work.

Well, the day after the harvest and fertilization I received a call. This call was basically ‘We need you to come in TOMORROW (2 days post harvest) to implant… can you do that? That’s all we can tell you right now.’

Talk about an upsetting call. You know something is wrong but you don’t really know what. I go in, with my super patient and supportive husband that next morning. Undress. sit in the sanitary, quiet, dim procedure room. Ready to have 2 embryos implanted into my lady parts.  The nurse walks in, hands me a folded sheet of paper, then walks out.  The paper read as follows

Number of eggs harvested: 7

Number of eggs viable: 5

Number of eggs fertilized: 2

Number of embryos implanted: 1

We had one embryo.  One.  One single chance to have our baby.  Like, how did it come down to that?  That’s absurd.  I cried. A lot.  The doctor reassured me that it only takes one. They really were all super supportive about it. But the reality was, we had gone through all of this – not to mention spent tens of thousands of dollars- and we have nothing left. We have nothing to freeze.  We have nowhere to turn if this one does not work- aside from start the entire process over.

Most couples will have something to freeze. So if the first implantation didn’t work, they could go back a cycle later, and implant again- minus the shots and harvest and medications leading up to that point.  We didn’t have that option.  And we knew we could not practically spend this all over again knowing the way my body responded to this initial round.

So we had one. Talk about pressure.

Well that one did not work.  I cried. A lot. Again. It really was a grieving process.  Anger, Sadness, Disbelief, Repeat.

I was learning to accept that I will not have a baby. I had to.  I have a wonderful husband and two great adopted children at home that I was very grateful for, but accepting that I would not get to carry my own baby was an uphill battle.

THEREFORE – this lead me to a desire and an urge to do something with my body that I could be proud of.  I mean, nothing makes you feel less of a woman than not being able to have a baby. I wanted to occupy my mind and my energy into something positive. Something constructive. Something for ME that I could be proud of.

Enter Bikini Prep.

I reached out to my current coach and it was decided.  I was going to compete in the NPC North Star in October of 2016.  I had never been more determined or focused on a goal before.  It was really helpful for me both emotionally and physically during this time.

Fast-forward only a few short weeks – my bloating was EXCESSIVE.  Like,  I literally felt like I was a hot air balloon.  My Assumption: it’s all of the protein. Duh.  I’m eating 6 meals a day. My body is adjusting.

Nope.  Turns out, as my body was coming down from all of the crazy hormones I had been pumping into it for the last 4 months, I actually got knocked up.

Some people have told me its all a miracle but I know its just science. I know I would not have my little guy today if it weren’t for this WHOLE process, and now looking back I wouldn’t change a thing because I have him. And he’s the most perfect little person in the world.

So what does this have to do with my prep.  Well… I had a goal that was outstanding that I needed to tend to.

Talk about doubt in yourself.   A post-baby body is not an easy thing to transform.  I mean the body is fucking amazing.  I was a human submarine. I gained over 40 lbs (pretty sure I had so much water weight I could fill a public pool). And now, just over a year later i’m the leanest I have ever been in my life.  I’m down over 50 lbs from when I gave birth. That’s a ton for my body frame.

The point of this blog is, there are no excuses.  If you have a goal. Do it.

We are all on our own journey and we are all moving at our own pace through this crazy life.  If you care about something, pursue it.

Stop making excuses.  I have a husband who is an avid outdoorsman, which means every season.. is a season for something.  I never want to hold him back from that.  And in my being supportive- he’s been supportive right back with my goals and passions.  I have three kids to manage. One in high school, learning to drive. One who plays travel football, basketball, and baseball as well as now AAU basketball.  I have a one year old.  Enough said there.   I have responsibilities. I have a home to tend to. To clean. To cook. To SELL (we just listed our home for sale… which only complicates things more).  Just like everyone else, I have a life.  But I’m choosing no excuses.

I am so proud of myself for this process.  I am so proud that I have literally been getting in all of my workouts this week.  I am so proud of myself for the way I have been nourishing my body during this process.  It’s not easy to eat 6 meals a day,  especially when it’s ‘again with the fucking chicken or turkey’.  But you know what.  I  do it. Because it’s what needs to be done. There are no excuses. Period.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again. I am by no means perfect.  I’m far from it.  But there is no reason we can’t be proud of how far we have come.  I may not be where I want to be in my future, but dammit I can be proud of my progress.  I can be proud of everything I’ve learned about myself along the way.

I have 10 days before I step on stage.  I hope I walk out there with a proud feeling of how far I have come.  I hope I feel a sense of pride in my journey and myself.  This is far out of my comfort zone but nothing great ever happens in a comfort zone anyway.  This journey, this process, this prep life is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s not for someone wanting to willy nilly their way through.  It’s fucking hard.

But, I can do hard things.






The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten

So, lets set the scene.  I’m approximately 34 months pregnant (or so I felt like it). I’m emotional. I’m bloated. I’m exhausted. I’m sitting at work, in my last weeks prior to maternity leave and I get a call from one of the sweetest co-workers ever. Obviously regarding work items, but then transitioned into small talk as well.

‘How are you feeling?’

‘Are you ready for baby?’

‘If Waylon needs another grandma I can stand in!’

“You CANNOT hold your baby too much. You CANNOT spoil a baby. They are only this little for a short time… so soak it up!” Which could not be more accurate. I made him, so if I want to go into his room at 2am when I can’t sleep and rock with him on my chest, dammit I’ll do it.  Don’t judge me.

Then, completely unprovoked I could tell she got a little emotional. As she told me how wonderful and fulfilling motherhood is she also gave me some words of wisdom. And I had no idea that it would turn out to be the best advice I would ever get. It went something like this…

You hold that baby. Because when you’re holding him, nothing else in this world takes precedence. Nothing else in this world matters. In that moment, its just you and him and you hold on to that. No matter what’s going on in your life. No matter what’s going on in your home. No matter what’s going on at work. No matter if you’re stressed, or sad, or grieving, or happy, you go hold that baby. No matter what is going on in this world, you go hold that baby. It helps.

Fast-forward to today.

This week was a sad week for our country. As of now, 59 people dead and over 500 injured in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Music Festival.  I recall sitting in bed Monday morning, and just staring at the news in disbelief. This is something my husband and  I would go to. Jason Aldean is, hands down, my favorite person to see in concert, and he was on stage when people started dying. How can people do this to other human beings?

A million thoughts running through your mind as you just watch the latest roll in on your news feed, feeling helpless and sickened at the though of this being reality.   Monday was a somber day. I work in the gun industry.  I hunt. We have a lot of weapons in our home. We understand the way firearms work, the laws associated with them. The power behind them. A tragedy like this is simply heartbreaking. I’m not sure of another way to describe it.

As I crawled into bed on Monday night, I found myself in thought.  Like, one of those days where all day long you just want to crawl into bed and go to sleep because the world sucks, but then when you actually get into bed, your mind is like ‘oh hey, lets go zero to sixty with our thoughts right now’.  I found myself tossing and turning and looking at my phone.  Nothing was helping.  I was sad. I was thinking. I was overwhelmed.  And in that moment, I thought about what my former coworker had said almost 8 months ago.

I got up. Walked into Waylon’s bedroom. *GENTLY* picked him up. And we rocked. I snuggled him. I smelled his head. I rubbed his back and his hair. I cried.  He nuzzled up into my neck and that was that. She was right.

Moms and Dads, Go hold your babies. It helps.


Sending loving and healing thoughts to victims, families, the Las Vegas community and all of those affected by this weeks tragedy.

If you want to know how to help and can afford to donate even $5 to the victim fund, the link is below.

Las Vegas Victims’ Fund 






Limitations is a dirty word.


 I do not like accepting the fact that they exist.   It’s kind of like rules, don’t you think?  If rules were made to be broken; limitations were made to be exceeded.

Week 1 of my competition prep has gone as smooth as I can HOPE for, being that there are going to be some major adjustments in my life and my families life.  First, lets talk about the food.   Oh my god, the food.

I am eating a LOT.  6 meals a day to be exact.  I’ve talked with my coach and found a couple ways to wiggle in things to satisfy my cravings.  But to be honest, aside from a few things here and there, they are not unbearable.   Why? Because I’m always full. Always.   Sometimes I question how I do not look like a beached whale. But, I know what I’m fueling myself with, and its all part of the process.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually lay in bead eating my last meal of the day some nights just so I can hang out with my husband for a bit and watch one of our Netflix shows before I pass out.  It’s really sexy. Plus I get a cheat meal on Saturday’s, and I make the best of it.  Last week we went to JL Beers and I got a Cajun Burger, homemade Jalapeno chips, a coke and a mini froyo.  It was glorious and I don’t think I spoke the entire time I was eating.

Moving on.. The Workouts.  I’m currently on a routine to do cardio in the mornings and lifting at night. Which sounds great in theory… but I have struggled severely with the mornings.   Gym opens at 5 am, 15 minute drive each way, 30-45 minute cardio session (plus abs on some days), get dogs & kids situated and fed, shower, eat and be on the road to work by 7:30.  It’s like my mornings have pressed fast forward and I don’t even know what happened by the time I get to work. So, not to use that as an excuse, but I have found myself doing cardio in the evenings some times… yes I’m at the gym longer at night but I refuse to miss a workout. It’s better than not doing it at all, right? Last Monday they literally turned the lights of on me at the gym.  I had one more set of abs. Did I finish? Yes. #SorryI’mNotSorry

So far,  everything sounds great!  Right? Wrong.    Here is where the limitations come into play.  I am training for something great, I am determined, I am dedicated, I am ready.  But… I am also a wife, a mom, a maid, a dishwater, a chef, a chauffeur, a laundromat, a full time employee.. this list goes on and on.  And this last week, those limitations became apparent.   After a busy weekend last week, I was not prepared at home for the week to come.  Shame on me. I was not caught up with laundry or dishes or housework and I paid that price this week.   My son ran out of clean socks and athletic shorts (which is all he will wear right now),  my husbands favorite underwear were all dirty forcing him to wear an old holy pair (which I heard all about) , my dishes have been my Everest this week- in part because our dishwasher is broken (its 2016… and I’m doing dishes by hand… I feel like I’m a real life Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie) and I have literally just kept the door to our laundry room closed because it’s utterly overwhelming to look at it.

Based on the amount of laundry I do, I have come to the conclusion that there are people who live at my house that I have not yet met.

I know there is a learning curve whenever priorities and new challenges are brought upon us.  I’m chalking up this week as a lesson learned.  Considering I have weekends off from the gym right now, I have no excuse not to bust my ass and get caught up.  My to do list is disgusting but its a necessary evil to make life less stressful.  Plus,  I plan on sweet talking my kids into helping me by taking them to the beach if they do extra chores this weekend. Win-win.

I know I can do better next week.  Better with my house work, and keeping up with family, better with managing my time,  better with planning ahead for my kids week along with mine,  better with my MORNINGS, better with my meals and so on.  I’m trying to remind myself, you cannot do it all, but you can do a lot.  You can improve each day, week, month and never stop.  You can create your priorities and have a plan in place. Let’s face it,  when you take on so much, something’s gotta give eventually, and if its my laundry for a few days, then so be it.  It doesn’t mean I’m failing, it means I’m human.


Now… We are nearing my cheat meal… I really should go put some deep thought into what I want to indulge in this week.


Until next week..




Self Preservation- Step 1: Set Goal Step 2: Crush it

Today marks the start of a new chapter that I very much need.  Given the circumstances of our failed fertility journey over the last couple years, I knew I needed to focus on self-preservation because let’s face it, it’s not and never will be an easy pill to swallow. It’s not to say that some ‘miracle’ (for lack of a better term because I do not believe in that) may happen and I wake up a shocked and surprised mother-to-be, but.. in reality, if I place hope and wishes on that for the rest of my life I have a higher likelihood of constantly feeling the sadness of failure and disappointment. So I need to accept that the likelihood is very small.

I’m not sad we were open about it, it’s something that people shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about and to be honest I found a lot of people with the same struggles as myself just by putting it out there. I’m so thankful for the support of our friends and family, even if some people did say things you should never say to someone going through infertility, I know they were only trying to help.

Side note: For future reference and those who have not yet gone through this…Yes,  there are things you never say to people struggling with infertility,  google it. They include things like:

‘Stop stressing, it will just happen’ – no that’s not exactly how this works, sorry.

‘You can just adopt’ – you clearly have no clue about the situation, or cost, or the million other factors that go into adoption.

And the big one.. ‘Maybe it’s god’s will. He isn’t ready to give you a child.’ – No. Just Stahhpp.  There is no justification that a ‘god’ would give child molesters, murderers, etc, children who suffer but not a normal family. It’s science and genetics why this is happening to me, not a god. Please leave your god out of it- if the medical marvels of science could not stop me from making scrambled eggs every month, then I’m pretty sure I’m just SOL.

And so on… but seriously, google it.  there are some things you just don’t say, and if you don’t know what to say, then say nothing at all.  A simple, ‘I’m sorry that’s happening to you.’ will suffice.

Anyway, I know that this journey has made me into a bitter asshole.  I accept that and by no means am I ashamed of that.  I’m not sad that other people have the fortune of what I want, I’m sad for myself and my husband and my family that I can’t give that to. I’m sad. I’m hurt. I’m bitter. I’m annoyed. I’m a lot of things. But ashamed is not one of them.  Yes, I admit I’ve deleted friends, ‘unfollowed’ people, ignored people, etc… because in all honesty, congratulations on your second child or multiple thereof, but I no longer care nor can I dwell on it day in and day out.   That’s not a blanket statement, I love my friends and I love my family and I wish the best for everyone and enjoy seeing the happy times that people share with their families, but when someone posts about their pregnancy 6 times a day, she gone. It’s either that or I risk backhanding the next person I see.  Lesser of two evils.

So in a nutshell, my plan to move on is to set a goal, a big goal, for myself. Something I will enjoy.  To focus my energy, my frustration, my anger, my happiness on something that I CAN accomplish. That I CAN be proud of. And that I CAN have control over.  Something I can be happy about and love myself for.  Let’s face it,  it’s hard to love yourself when you feel that your ‘self’ is broken.Self-Preservation is essential in this life… and an occasional glass of wine.

My goal is to compete in the NPC North Stat Championships this October in the Bikini Division. Let the fun begin..





What the hell am I doing?

Hello World of Blogging!

I’m new.

Don’t judge.

Not so long ago, I was scrolling endlessly through Pinterest because, let’s face it, I’m a female and that’s what we do.  And I came across one quote that resonated with me.  I read it, thought ‘hmm’ and scrolled on.  Later that day it crossed my mind again so I found it and saved it to my phone. When the day came that I deemed my lock-screen background to be outdated… This became it. (See picture below)

I didn’t really pay attention to it again until a week or two later when something pissed me off at work. Typical.  Who doesn’t get mad at work?

My phone buzzed on my desk and I look down to see a text from ‘El Guapo’. El Guapo is my husband. It means the handsome one in Spanish. If you didn’t know that then culture yourself. Just kidding. And no we are not Spanish, I just like to laugh.

Anyway…I noticed my recently new background on my phone and it hit me. “What the hell am I doing?”

I literally sat there like a dink and probably stared at the wall for a good 5 minutes (Luckily no one walked into my office during this time or they probably would have thought I was sleeping with my eyes open).  A rush of about 78 questions went through my mind.

“Why am I not happy when I wake up each morning?”

“Why am I not using my degree?”  (Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from Miami University of Ohio. Go Redhawks!)

“Why am I allowing myself to be stressed out ALL THE TIME?”

“Why do I not sleep?”

“Why can’t I be like @nataliejillfit?”  (Who is totally fabulous by the way and I love following her on all social media.) You can like her on facebook here —> www.facebook.com/nataliejillfit   and on Instagram @nataliejillfit.

So.. back on track.  Basically, I sat there and questioned every professional decision that I had ever made. Which lead me to really second guess myself.  I got online, google to be exact, and typed in the well-known acronym in the fitness industry, ACE. After much indecisiveness and support from El Guapo, I purchased the materials to start studying to become a CPT. That’s Certified Personal Trainer to those who don’t know.

Everyone is like “Yay!  You will love it!” and “That’s so exciting!!”. And I agree, it’s exciting.  But let me get through this lump in my throat before we get all rainbows and sunshine. This is going to take a lot.

Let me break this down for you…

Two school age children, and currently trying for more. One El Guapo. Bills. Two dogs (might as well be 10 because one is a baby A-hole right now). One full-time job. Bills. Kids activities (football, baseball, basketball, art club, homework, choir, swimming.. to name a few).  Bills. Travel…    I can keep going but to save you a headache, I will stop. These are just a few things that immediately flashed before my eyes when I considered a major change in my life…

Because change is scary… like Whoa.

The moral of the story is… “Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”

My answer was clearly a big ‘Nope’ so lets see if I can document my journey to making it a ‘Yes’.  As cheesy as that sounds. It won’t be tomorrow, it won’t be next month, but one day.

Until Next Time,