Bodybuilders Need Patience

It is so disturbing as a veteran in the Bodybuilding world, to see so many people searching for instant gratification and shortcuts to success in competing.  I hate to tell you, but if your body lacks muscle maturity, density, or size, there is no shortcut to develop that.  Of course there are things people turn to in an effort to speed up the process, such as anabolic steroids, but… if used improperly, disastrous and sometimes irreversible, effects will show up… and nothing can be done to go back.  I see it often with women who have trained for a short period of time but want to put on muscle.  Instead of training heavy, eating more food and giving the body time to grow… they take something recommended to them and a few weeks/months later, freak out when their voice gets deeper, the jawline changes, certain parts of the genitalia become deformed, bald spots form on the head, and then unwanted body hair in other places develops… and this is just to name a few of the visible side effects.

Why do this to yourself?

Oh, that’s right… Some guy from your gym told you if you did “just a little” you would be fine.  I’m sure all of his experience with the female body and hormonal system have made him an expert. (insert sarcasm)

It’s tough for me to watch this go on, but I learned many years ago that I cannot get involved, because most of the time the party I’m concerned for will tell me to mind my own business.

Sad… But hey, a plastic trophy and maybe a Pro Card are certainly worth enlarged female genitalia and a beard, right?  I know… Horrible… and yes, very true.

Be patient, put in the work and allow your body to develop naturally… You don’t get any bonus points for being a freak of nature or for getting to wear some t-shirt representing a company that will never be in the Forbes 500.

 

 

Big Legs

As a miniature person, standing tiny at the height of 5’1″… it has been a never ending battle with my weight as far back as I can remember… From the early days of being in ballet class and getting my booty swatted because my instructor thought I was tilting it back and arching my back (meanwhile, it was tucked under as much as I could possibly tuck it) to the later days of Competition Prep after Prep where my coaches would tell me that the back of my legs are a “Problem” area and need to “COME DOWN” or I’m not going to place well.  Yes, it’s safe to say having a naturally muscular build with freakishly developed legs has been a battle, particularly when you are genetically predisposed to hold a little more bodyfat on top of that muscle.

When a person is as shrimpy as I am, even a gain of 5 pounds can look like a lot… I mean, come on… I am short, so where is that weight supposed to go?  I recall being a Junior in Highschool and weighing close to 140 lbs (this was before I ever picked up a dumbbell) and my mother saying to me, “Oh Tiana, you have such a beautiful face, it’s too bad…”….. excuse me? TOO BAD WHAT?  Oh, that’s right… It’s “too bad” I’m overweight, right?  Imagine being 16 years old and  your mother telling you this… or even better, the time I came home from a football game my Senior year wearing my boyfriend’s hooded sweatshirt and my mother asking me if I was pregnant…. No… I am not kidding.

The messed up part of all of this is no matter what I weigh, how tight my pants fit, or how many positive (or negative) comments I get from clients, friends, members of the gym… My feelings about myself are not going to change much… what makes it even worse is when someone points it out.

“Damn, you have huge legs!”…. No shit dude…. tell me something I didn’t know and don’t already stress about all day everyday from the moment I wake up, to the minute I need to squeeze into a pair of pants, to the constant tugging, pulling, stretching I do all day at work, to the moment I am going to sleep… no, not once at all did I think to myself, “wow, I need to lose some weight”…. (INSERT SARCASM).

Can’t wear baggy clothes, because that makes me look fat… but I can’t wear tight clothes without people giving their unsolicited opinions… some of it is jealousy and some if it is just stupidity, because pointing out the obvious is the only thing some people know to do.

I wish more people knew how to be kind… how to bite their tongue and show respect… Everyone is fighting private battles, so try to be nicer the next time you want to remind someone of the obvious.

All or Nothing

That is my personality… it is my way.  I loathe mediocrity and laziness.  That doesn’t mean I demand 100% uptime all day and night.  Everyone needs down time, of course. But when I venture into something new, I dive right in and do a lot of homework.  Yoga is my latest addition, and I must admit, this is one that is staying long-term.  It is one month into my practice and I am in love with my journey thus far.  Of course, there is so much I don’t know… like the names of poses… but I follow along in class very well and having a good sense of body alignment/positioning, we call it proprioception in Personal Training, has truly helped me cruise along.

I am still lifting weights and doing HIIT cardio 3-4 times per week, but the Yoga is really my priority at this time.  Some days, I do both types of exercise, and it has been really interesting.

I implore you to try something out of your comfort zone, even if only temporarily… You just never know, there could be something you wind up truly enjoying… Go for it.

Yoga – The Beginning

2015 started out with some interesting twists and turns pertaining to my health.  I managed to keep things under wraps for the most part and only shared what I was going through with a handful of friends, clients and family.  Rather than get into all of the details, I will just say that the worst is behind me now and I am on the road to recovery, Thank Goodness!  During the days that I was home resting, I realized that it was time for me to take action with one of the goals I set for myself for the Year 2015…. Start practicing YOGA.  Over all the years that I have studied Dance, Karate, Bodybuilding, Strength Training and Powerlifting, I have not spent much time taking care of my Mind/Body and stretching out all of the tightness I created.

I have taken a handful of Bikram Yoga classes, which are the classes conducted in the heated studios, as well as some Hatha Yoga at the gym where I work.  So far, I am loving the way I feel.  It is rejuvenating to say the least.  I am more clear, more at peace and more complete.  I will continue to share my experiences, observations, and anecdotes as I see fit.  Thank you for being a part of my journey.

 

NAMASTE

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Photo Shoot DOs

Your photo shoot is approaching, it’s your first time working with a photographer… Here are some things to consider:

Several weeks in advance

  1. Book the shoot – Confirm the date and meeting time.  Be sure if you are doing your own hair & makeup, you arrive ready to shoot.  If you are getting hair & makeup done by a professional at the site, be sure to arrive early and give yourself time to primp.
  2. Confirm the location – You will need to know if you are shooting outside or in a studio.
  3. Clarify who will be at the shoot – will it be just you and the photographer? will the photographer have an assistant? will you be bringing someone?
  4. Confirm how many looks you plan on shooting – Most photographers have a limit on the number of outfits/looks per shoot.

Week before shoot

  1. Stop tanning or using a spray tan – both can cause your skin to look very dry.  Tanning beds can also cause minor water retention under the muscles, which is the last thing you want the day of a photo shoot.
  2. Eat clean – no need to deplete yourself and get stage-ready (unless you happen to be shooting the day or two before a show).  Often times, the very-depleted look does not photograph great.  Most people wind up showing a lot of wrinkles and dryness because of being depleted in pictures.
  3. Drink water – cannot emphasize this enough.  You have to stay hydrated and continue flushing out toxins to help maintain a clear complexion for the shoot.  GOOD SKIN goes a long way in photos.

Morning of shoot

  1. Eat small meals – cut back on vegetables and anything heavy. Last thing you want is a full stomach or any bloating.
  2. Wear loose-fitting clothing – nothing too tight, including undergarments or a bathing suit.  This will prevent markings on the skin.
  3. Continue to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
  4. Bring something for the photographer to drink – I usually bring coffee and a large water.
  5. Be on time, if not early.
  6. Relax and enjoy the shoot – SMILE!

Pumpkin Protein Loaf (Gluten Free & delicious)

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons Safflower Oil

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup arrowroot flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 scoops vanilla protein powder

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Beat together eggs, honey, oil, pumpkin puree and water.

Fold in chia seeds and remaining dry ingredients.  Once all ingredients are moist, beat again on low setting until batter is well mixed.

Pour into greased loaf pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.