Tag Archives: love

What’s Beautiful?

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I’m so excited to a part of the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Challenge with the rest of my friends from Fitfluential. The reason why I promote this campaign and think it is such a beautiful movement is because it pushes women to perform better and challenges them to do whatever it is they have been wanting to do but haven’t been able to make the commitment. Last year when this challenge first started, my goal was to compete in my first NPC Competition. I didn’t sign up online for the Under Armor What’s Beautiful Challenge, but I did mentally. I was so busy with training, I didn’t think I could have had enough time to do video logs and blog about it on both the Under Armour website and my own blog….but I wish I did! Regardless, this movement helped me to pick a goal and DO IT. No thinking, no pondering about it endlessly, just doing it. And it was ultimately and amazing experience. (By the way, this post might look slightly familiar to one I wrote in October of 2012 about self-worth….check it out here!)

This year is different though. As much as I wish I had one goal to work towards, I’m focusing on two slightly broad things. Balance and muscle growth. I believe balance is a challenge in itself, but it’s one that I’m learning how to master. Muscle growth, as you probably know, is a HUGE challenge for me. I tend to psych myself out a lot because I think that the reason why I’m not growing is because I don’t eat enough, but honestly, I think I eat just fine. I have a very well rounded and balanced diet and I would much rather eat when I want instead of having to time everything and eat to the point that I’m stuffed. I hate feeling stuffed. Usually, that’s when my energy is the weakest and I would much rather pick awesome energy over a uncomfortably full belly.

So my training techniques are what I’m focusing on for this challenge. More power lifting and compound movements. Not only do they increase mass, but they also make you feel like one tough cookie. Who doesn’t love to see their PR increase in deadlifts and pull ups?

So my goals for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Challenge are as follows:

1. Continue to seek out balance
2. Learn proper power lifting etiquette and form
3. Continue to do sprints once per week (all other cardio has been cut out)
4. Increase my strength
5. Increase my muscles, duhhh

Here are my PR stats for the compound movements I’m already comfortable with:

Straight-legged deadlifts- 170 lbs
Normal deadlifts- 155 lbs
(Decline and Flat) Bench Press- 100 lbs
Back squats- 115 lbs (I used to be much higher but then I realized I wasn’t even going parallel…now doing booty to the ankles!!)
Overhand barbell rows- 70 lbs
Military press- 60 lbs
Barbell curls- 65 lbs
Dips- 10 per set
Chin ups- 8 per set, no assistance
Assisted pull ups- 10 per set (with 60 pounds assisting)

All of these exercises in particular I would like to see at least a 10 lb increase within the next month or so.

And then of course, there are the movements I’m not too familiar with that I would really love to get better at…such as:

Overhead Squat, Cleans, Snatches (ahh), Pulls, Jerks, Presses, etc…..I’d mostly like to learn the basics and then all the different variations. The names are confusing in themselves to me…power clean vs. high-hang clean vs. clean and press vs. clean whatever. Yeah, maybe I should look into Powerlifting for Dummies. I’ll think about it.

I’m working on putting a group together on the Under Armour Website, where my females friends can join and push themselves with me! Because of some technical difficulties, I’m having to post-pone the creation of this group but I’m hoping I’ll have it running asap. So please stay tuned to my facebook page for details! I’ll most likely be posting it there.

The first step is to go to the Under Armour website, create an account and upload your goal. Easy peasy. And feel free to give yourself completely different goals than mine! If you’re a runner, pick a race and start training for it! If you are a competitor, pick a show and join in on the fun!! We all have different goals for our bodies but we can encourage each other every step of the way! And you can follow individual athletes’ pages so be sure to follow me by clicking here and then clicking “follow athlete” 🙂 I’ll do the same for you!
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By the way. I really wish I could take pictures and videos of myself doing particular exercises in the gym and post it on my group’s page. I know a lot of people post pictures of themselves working out but how in the world do you muster up enough courage to ask somebody to take a snap shot of yourself?! I just don’t want to be that person!

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Stuff I’m Loving Lately

1. Girls
girls-show-hbo-comedy-Okay. This show. Is great. If you’re a girl and find humor in the every day awkward moments of life and are cool with being uncomfortable 90% of the show, than you’re gunna love it. After watching the Golden Globes, I was intrigued by how much recognition this show got and decided to give it a try. The only bummer is that there’s only one season released and I can’t spend hours on end watching it cooped up in my bedroom.

2. Parenthood
parenthoodSecond best show in my life. I had heard some pretty great things about Parenthood and after just two episodes, I was hooked. Just like Girls, there’s so much truth and reality grounded in this show that I can see why it’s so popular. Every day for this huge family is full of coming-of-age challenges, sass-mouthing kids, parenting lessons and sibling chaos, all while making you laugh, cry and want to pull out your hair at the same time:) I love everything about it.

3. ACV Detox Morning Drink
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This is pretty much the ultimate metabolism-boosting-detox-digestion-helping drink ever. 1 packet of green tea, 1.5 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 packet of stevia, 1 tsp l-glutamine and a dash of lemon all in a warm mug of water. I’ve started drinking this in the morning with breakfast and I feel like it’s been doing wonders for me. Love it.

4. Pure Austin Fitness
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This ATX Gym is freaking amazing. Kayaking, rock climbing, pool, towel service, and then the only area that I will most likely be using- an awesome weight room. For me, a fresh start means a new gym. Typical Maddy Moon.

5. Game of Thrones books
Game-Of-Thrones-Season-1-602x602Love the show but the books are, of course, even better. I started reading the first one over winter break and I loved it but of course once school started I had to put it on the back burner and I haven’t been able to pick it back up. Once some more free time comes around, I’ll be finishing this one first and then devour the rest of the series.

6. Live Like A Warrior- Matisyahu Gatsby REMIX

It’s a little techno-ish but it’s a good workout song and I really love the lyrics. It’s one of those songs that says the exact thing you need to hear at that moment. The world often tries to distract you from what you really want in life and you just have to stay true to yourself and live like a warrior.

Some Really Deep Thoughts About Post-Competition Stress

Happy Monday! I’ve been doing some thinking lately that I thought would make a good post and could be potentially helpful to some of you that are thinking about competing or are body conscious. This may be a fairly deep post filled with lots of different things I’ve been thinking about so get ready and hopefully it will be of some use to you.

First of all, it’s been about 5 or 6 weeks since my competition.
DSC_9424Until recently, I’ve been perfectly fine with my body and the slow changes it’s been making. Nothing “bad” has changed about my body… but of course, once you get as low as 6.5% body fat, anything above that just doesn’t feel as good. I knew from the start of my competition prep that I would most likely reach a fairly unhealthy level of body fat that would be unreasonably possible to maintain. I knew I would only be like that for a short while, and then I would start having to eat “normal” again and start looking AND feeling normal. During my contest prep, I was getting deep, dark bruises from my lack of vitamins, I would feel dizzy if I didn’t drink a full gallon of water, I was freezing all the time, my stomach was frequently upset and any time I ate something out of the usual I felt sick. These are NOT good signs and definitely not good for long-term health. I was getting really excited to start incorporating little things back into my diet like fruit, salsa, condiments, avocados, etc.

But first, I want to appreciate the positives of post-competition.
1. I’m extremely happy that I’m not measuring and weighing every portion of food. I AM very grateful to have that freedom back.
2. I’m no longer stressing about eating every 3 hours but I still try to get in a meal about that time. But if I’m at a party, in a movie, working somewhere, it’s OKAY. I simply eat afterwards.
3. I can eat something that’s healthy and available even if it’s not on my meal plan. In fact, right now I don’t even have a meal plan. If I’m hungry and want to eat something healthy- then I do it. I don’t HAVE to eat only chicken. I can make something else if my lil heart desires!
4. Date nights. Social life. Saturday night glass of wine. Beautiful.
5. When I was dieting, I would spend an hour contemplating if the 5 extra calories in a Tums would potentially ruin my chances on stage, even though I really wanted one because my stomach hurt. That’s very sad but true.
6. Most important lesson I learned from my competition- DO NOT TAKE LIFE SO SERIOUSLY. Remember- life is for living. You only get ONE life and then it’s gone. Never again will I trade in the “perfect” body for my treasured relationships. People, good times and memories have never been so precious to me as they are now. The moments I get with my family and friends are what makes me feel alive now. Once I got that “perfect” body I didn’t even care for it. You must decide for yourself what’s more worth it if you have to make the choice. Some people can manage to have both, but it’s rare…it’s rare at least when you’re as extreme as I was. Learn to have some fun and still stay focused. That’s the perfect balance.

Now for the challenging things I’m working on overcoming right now.
Body image. I’m no longer at an itty bitty measurement of 6.5% body fat…in fact I have no idea what I am because I don’t want to become obsessed over the number. I’ve weighed myself once and that’s all. Nonetheless, I can feel a little extra “skin” layering on me from the diversity of foods I’ve been eating and that is enough for me to stress over. Because I’m not eating the same amounts/portions/foods every day, my body is adjusting and kind of fluctuating. Not by much, don’t get me wrong. I’m not waddling all over the place with swollen ankles- I’m actually building on more muscle nicely BUT with more muscle also comes higher bf% percentage. And it’s also the holidays so my indulgences have been a little more frequent because of what I said up there^^ I’m learning to focus on good times and not ONLY fitness 100% of the time.

It’s pretty difficult to spend 20 weeks creating strict habits that you constantly stick with and then trying to find a new balance. I’m struggling with knowing exactly what to eat, when to eat, when it’s okay to have a lighter workout or what is appropriate to eat on a daily basis. How much fruit is too much, how often can I have a glass of wine and still have a fast metabolism, how much healthy fats should I have daily? These are all the questions running through my head because I ALMOST feel like I’ve lost the ability to put together my own meal plan- even though I make them for others all the time!
What I need to focus on now is to 1. find balance and 2. love my body. Something I often tell others that are trying to lose a few pounds is that our bodies will always fluctuate. We will never be ONE size or ONE measurement because we will never be in the same place in our lives (thank goodness). I need to take a dose of my own medicine!
We’re always growing, changing, maturing, and that goes especially for us women. So like I said earlier, if you’re struggling with loving your body in every shape and size, remember what life is really about. It’s about living, It’s about enjoying every moment with whomever you’re with.
Don’t take your image too seriously…if it was meant to be one size forever, it would be. But it’s not, it’s supposed to be healthy and happy. Competitions are all about self-accomplishments so you must be able to look back and appreciate the fact that it even happened and you did what you set out to do. Afterwards, simply eat right and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about because you’re doing the best you can without becoming obsessive, controlling and stressed.

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Eat clean, train dirty, and enjoy life.

Thanksgiving Day Recap

WARNING: this post may make your mouth water, resulting in the unwrapping of leftovers.

In one sentence I could probably summarize Thanksgiving day by saying the food was plenty, family was everywhere and I was completely relaxed and STUFFED. Success. I don’t regret a single bit of that cheesecake pumpkin pie or the extra helping of stuffing. I’ve been waiting to have a completely guilt-free cheat day since last Thanksgiving and it was totally worth it!

This year, we had all the family come to our house. My mom put her decorating skills to use and created a beautiful array of dining tables and seating both indoors and outdoors.

There was plenty of places to sit and within each chair there was always an appetizer or two begging for attention.

You can never have too many appetizers for a house holding around 30 hungry people!

Menu: Green bean casserole, rosemary potatoes, sweet potato casserole, “cheesy” potatoes, 2 turkeys, two different stuffings, spinach mounds (the best ever), corn bread, dinner rolls, gravy and some whip cream fruit salad.

Drooling yet? Probably not, cause I’m sure you’re still stuffed from your own awesome Thanksgiving dinner. Yay for American traditions.

Giving Thanks

I want to take a moment to write down all the things I’m grateful for, since I probably don’t focus enough on those things and could use the reminder.

I’m thankful for

1. A supporting family

2. My REAL and few friends

3. A healthy body

4. Completing my first NPC bikini competition

5. Finishing up my degree at UT

6. Getting my Health Coaching license from IIN

7. Oatmeal

8. The connections I have made this past year

9. The person I am today compared to the person I was a year ago

10. Happiness

11. My faith

12. Being able to afford (time and financially) to chase my dreams

13. Having a sense of self-worth

14. Sushi

15. Starting MoonFitness

16. Passions

17. Having a healthy relationship

There are many more things that I am thankful for obviously, but these stick out the most. God is great and he’s done a lot of things for me in 2012. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013.