Monthly Archives: September 2013

Being Small Does Not Mean You Can't Win BIG.

My Grandma (who was 4’10”) used to always tell me, great things come in small packages. As I am preparing for my next competition in October, I remind myself often of her wise words. I may be small, but there is nothing small about the way I train, the way I eat, and the way I pose. Bringing your best package to the stage, regardless of your size, should always be the goal. Aim for the sky ladies and gentlemen.

Making New Friends…

Since I started competing in the NPC, there have been many benefits.  But one that stands out is the friends that I have made.  It is so refreshing to meet and connect with like minded people.  I love to hear the story of their journey; what led them to the stage, what keeps them motivated, and just who they are as a person.  Inspiration is found in many ways, and all of these women, who I know follow on Instagram and Facebook, are very inspiring to me.  The advise and encouragement they provide warms my heart…no cat fights here.  Just beautiful women with goals, great physiques, and big hearts.

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Forging Steel Into Art.

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In April, Jon (my husband) and I set out to learn how to blacksmith.  I had always wanted to learn this craft and I convinced Jon to go to The John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. For a week, we escaped from the modern world and lost ourselves in the secluded mountains.   Every day we went to the Blacksmith Shop and learned the skills necessary to forge steel into art.  Our instructors guided us on proper equipment usage, and then pretty much set us free.  Besides breaking for homemade lunch and supper in the dining hall with all the other students, we worked non-stop.  For the first few days, Jon questioned if this was really a “vacation”.  But soon he found the peace in getting lost “creating”.  If you have never heard of the folk school, go to http://www.folkschool.org.  I went there a few years back, and learned to silversmith.  They offer to many crafts/skills to mention, but you can get a free catalog and send hours looking over it.  I hope to return to improve my wood working skills in the near future.  Oh, and learn how to make pottery!  They have several lodging options.  The first time I went I stayed in The Keith House (dorm style) and this last time, Jon and I brought our camper.  FUN!  Hope you enjoy the following pictures.  Remember, it’s never to late to learn a new skill.

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You are what you EAT.

So today was grocery day.

It can not be stressed enough…how important proper nutrition is…to achieving fitness goals.  Whether you are competing in the NPC, training for a marathon, or simply want your jeans to fit better; nutrition is key.   Your body requires a base amount of calories to function daily, that number goes up with actives you do (weight lifting, running, cycling).  The break down of these calories (Protein/Carbohydrates/Fats) is called Macronutrients.  Most people give carbs and fat a bad rap…which is to bad.  I’m not a nutritionist, so I’m not going to get all technical on you, but I am a person who has always been in shape, always had flat abs, and always eaten carbs and fat.  I will tell you what I do…

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1.  I follow my macronutrients for Protein and Carbohydrates.  1-1.5g of protein per lb of body weight.  I weigh 95lbs, so my protein intake is 95-143g per day. 1.5-2g of carbohydrates per lb of body weight.  So at 95lbs, my carb intake is 143-190 per day.  I don’t really pay attention to fat, because I eat only healthy fats.  And I am lucky enough to have never had to worry about fat.  But EVERYBODY is different, I am just telling you what I do.

2.  Use websites like http://www.thedailyplate.com to track your macros.  This website is awesome because not only does it let you search a huge database to input what you eat, it shows you the macro breakdowns.  SO you know when you have hit your numbers, and whether you can eat 1 or 2 servings of those Organic Blue Chips (YUM).  It also lets you input your exercise for the day, so you can eat more calories, the more active you are.  If you are looking to lose weight, you can track your progress as well.

3. Drink LOTS of water.  

4. Take a good multi-vitamin made from real food.  My stomach has had a hard time in the past with synthetic made vitamins.  But I have no problems with the above.

5.  Don’t buy crap food.  If you don’t have crap food in your house, you won’t eat it.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy junk food every now and then, but I don’t keep it in my house.  If you have a sweat tooth, there are some great protein cookies out there that taste just good, if not better, than a processed cookie.

I will wrap this up with a few of my daily habits.

1. I use olive oil on everything.

2. I eat 5-6 meals a day.

3. I eat a large salad (romaine lettuce, spinach, red onions, avocado, sometimes turkey bacon, and organic dressing) at both lunch and dinner.

4. Every meal has both protein and carbs.

5. Both lunch and dinner have at least 2 veggies.

6. I know it’s a pain, but I have a scale and weigh all my food.

 

Hope that someone out there finds some of this information helpful.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.  

HAPPY EATING.

Making my NPC competition bikini…

Anyone who competes in the NPC Bikini Division knows that the bikinis aren’t cheap.  They may be expensive, but they are beautiful, sparkly, and blinged out!  When I decided to compete, I spent about $350 on 2 bikinis.  At my last show, I noticed another athlete wearing my exact bikini.  UGH.  It is probably not that uncommon for this to happen because there really aren’t a lot of places to buy them.  Well, it didn’t take long for the sparks to fly in my head (I sew, I am creative, I am an artist),  why can’t I make my own?

So that is what I decided to do.  For my 3rd show next month, I will be sporting an Everson original!  When I decided I was going to make my own, I did what most would do when setting out to do something they have never done before…search the internet.  Although I did find some useful information.  I did not find anything specific or any kind of helpful hints.  So I decided to give a little bit of information to hopefully help someone else out there.

First let me say, you NEED to know how to sew…both by hand and with a machine.  You also need to be patient, this task takes time.  And you have to be creative, you are doing this so that your bikini separates you from the rest.  Everyone on stage has a fabulous body, let your bikini make YOU stand out!

Materials

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You need:

fabric (needs to be stretch), bathing suit lining, elastic, thread, needle, pins, bling connectors, pattern paper, wax paper and anti-chafe.

HELPFUL HINT:  make sure you buy a stretch fabric needle for your sewing machine.

You need to make a pattern.  I used one of my purchased bikinis to make my patterns (don’t forget to add 1/2″ for seam allowance).  Once you have cut out your patterns, use them to cut your fabric and lining.  Sew them together.

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HELPFUL HINT:  When sewing sequin or any fabric that has any type of glue put wax paper on both sides before sewing, and rub anti chafe on the needle.  This will prevent the glue residue from building up on your needle and will aid in the fabric flowing smoothly through your machine.

Sewing your trim.  I decided to do this by hand.  Looks way better to me not to see the stitches.

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Make it your own!  I added a sterling silver plate with my name on it.  It may not be seen, but I’ll know it’s there.

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Happy sewing…