Tag Archives: prep

The Negative Side to Achieving Female Abs

With all this talk about summer and needing to be sexy in a bathing suit, I felt the need to share a little bit about my own experience with working towards those gotta-have abs. If you’re looking for the secret to abs, please stop reading immediately and continue to search through the Oxygen Magazine sitting on the coffee table nearby for the answer- because I promise you, what I’m going to tell you will either disappoint you or bring you relief and peace. I’m hoping it’s the second option.

I’m going to share a little bit about my story on the quest for perfect abs. But before we go into that, I am going to be blunt and tell you that I am still on that quest. Everything I am about to tell you is for both your benefit and mine, because I too forget the truth behind what it takes to get a six pack for females. I often look at photographs of my favourite fitness models and competitors and drool over those tight tummies, and then get a little infatuated with reaching that level of chiseled..ness.

As you all probably know, I was 100% dedicated for my fitness competition last year. No fruit. No sugar. No almond milk. No gluten. No dairy. No cheese. Honestly, the only foods I had for 20 weeks were egg whites, chicken, brown rice, oats, protein powder, broccoli, green beans and asparagus. Oh and one tablespoon of peanut butter per day. Every once in awhile I switched out oats for a little sweet potato. But there was NOTHING ELSE. If you think I’m kidding…well, I’m not kidding so just believe me.

At first, this post may seem like I’m dissing myself or aggravated at my fitness prep but that’s definitely not the case. There is more to this, I promise. I have a point and a message I want to send but first I want to recap last year’s quest for the perfect shredded physique.

This was my grocery cart for 20 weeks.

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photo-9This cooler was with me every where I went, whether it was to a party, to a meeting, to a study group or what have you.

I mean, the water bottle still goes everywhere with me but that’s still a downgrade from what I usually carried.
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4774220004f811e290351231381b5983_7 I spent my Friday nights in the fitness room of my gym wearing my heels, walking up and down checking out my smile, turns and making sure my booty was “poking out” enough. This was indeed a little fun for me, but at the same time, I do remember turning down a few really fun parties to do this instead. Oh, and I had to retake this picture several times before I posted it on Instagram because I thought I looked fat in some of them.
photo-25I was eating calorie free chocolate dip, dressings and pancake syrup. Calorie/carb/everything free dips….do you know how many chemicals were in this thing to make it taste so good but be so guilt free? My body HATED me for this. I was not “healthy” I was skinny..and this was my secret. Deathly, disgusting fake products.

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This became the only thing I read because it was the only thing that I was really interested in any more.

Now PLEASE do not get me wrong. I LOVE FITNESS MAGAZINES with my life. It’s actually been a dream of mine since I was little to work for a fitness magazine. It’s a huge passion for me. But it definitely shouldn’t be my only passion, right? I was become information-overloaded and it was all I was starting to think about.

Until I started to look like this.

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Now, you may not know my face very well but I’ll just tell you, I have a very round face. I have always kind of had that child-like face and even my body tends to want to be a little on the softer side. This picture here scares me. You probably can’t tell, but this is not what I look like. My legs look like twigs here and I have absolutely NO muscle development. All gone! Thankfully, this was mid prep and I ended up filling out a little better right before my show and developed a little more muscle definition.

So dieting+no social life+ eating out of Tupperware religiously+ no freedom in food choices+cardio every day+fake food= MY abs. I’m not saying this is how you got your abs, but I’m saying, in 2012, this is how I achieved my abs because I did what I was told by my coach and followed the fitness competition norms.

There are different ways to achieve abs I’m sure. Some people have awesome genetics. Some people take fat burners. Some people diet and don’t need to do much cardio to get abs. We are all different. But this is my story, so I’m sharing how I got them. I would love to think that eventually I could learn how to have them again by doing it differently but for the mean time, I’m not stressing. I enjoy being lean just from choosing whole, clean foods and that’s good enough for me. I absolutely LOVE getting stronger and seeing muscle growth. As a matter of fact, my face is getting fuller. My arms are getting bigger and stronger. My abs actually FEEL stronger, even though they are less noticeable. I get to cook fun meals and post them on my blog! I could never do that before because I was too scared to eat outside of my normal diet.

If you are about to follow or thinking about following a similar approach to getting abs you need to simply ask yourself…is it worth it? Are abs worth giving up 90% of everything else? That’s the question I have to ask myself from time to time. I need to channel my energy elsewhere, like developing stronger relationships, getting lost in music, calling my family to tell them I love them, help others learn how to be more than just LEAN but how to LIVE.

My dream is to help females STOP fantasizing and drooling over fitness models and their perfect abs and thinking “Oh if only I looked like that.” or “I’ll never be that skinny.” Because I promise you, those ladies had to make some serious sacrifices to get there and that’s because to them, it’s worth it. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. They had to give up some things and work really freaking hard. I know this because I had to do the same. And after my competition, I remember telling my mom exactly this, “Mah, I had the perfect body for a few weeks. The one I’ve always wanted. In return, I lost social skills, missed out on relationships and had nowhere to go with this ‘perfect’ body because i was so terrified of messing it up. I will never again sacrifice my life for a lean set of abs.”  I do not have a 6 pack naturally and I never will. I was not born with those genetics. It’s easier for some than others and if you’re one of the “others” you need to decide what you really, truly want in the one life you have. Laughter and stress free dinners with family and friends? Or sweat-inducing nervous breakdowns because you’re scared of what that banana might do to your body fat levels. Maybe you can have a little bit of both. And if you can, that’s amazing. That’s called balance. It’s a point I have finally reached. I am conscious of my food choices but I allow myself to live in the moment.

These days when I find myself fantasizing, I just remember what it took for me to get to that “dream” level of leanness. It’s not what I want for my one and only life. I want to be happy. That’s where my heart truly lies these days.

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1 Day Out- Things You Should Know About Peak Week

Tomorrow is the big day! I’ve had a crazy & hectic peak week, having to get all the final touches ready and make last minute purchases. My diet hasn’t really changed for this last week but yesterday I did have a high carb day to help fill out my muscles. Tomorrow I’m adding in some foods I haven’t had in ages, like rice cakes and sirloin. It’s supposed to help with tightening me up and filling out.

Plus, not to mention I’m hoping to splurge a little after my show…it’s been 120 days…I think I deserve it this once, right?! 🙂

I’d also like to share with you guys that I’m NOT going to be dehydrating for my show.

Say what, Madelyn?!

Yes that’s right. I love water too much to do that to my body. So instead I carry this thing around to class and enjoy the amply awkward looks I receive.

But the real reason I’m nixing the dehydration step is because my coach is really against it. Honestly, how he explained it to me made a lot of sense. In case you don’t already know about the whole dehydrating thing, it’s where you deprive your body from water before the show (starting the night before usually) and only take baby sips the day of the show. It’s supposed to give your body that “tight” look. This can be extremely dangerous. If you dehydrate too much, or if you’re body can’t handle it, you could run the risk of passing out on stage. Please be careful before you decide to dehydrate for your show and really learn all of your options. You can still achieve that tight look just by manipulating your carb/protein/fat ratio throughout the week. When picking your coach for your show, ask them their view on this and how they plan to go about peak week just so you know EXACTLY what you’re in for.

On another note. I’ve learned a couple things this past week.

1. Don’t buy the Equate teeth whitening “strips”. They’re not even strips, they’re like mouth guards and the unusual pressure (assuming your mouth is semi sensitive) will bruise your gums and it’ll hurt like CRAP. Just a simple touch to my gums making me wanna cringe and I only used them twice!

2. Waxing hurts. But get it done early so that there’s enough time for any skin irritation to go away.

3. Polygraph tests are not just for criminals! Even bodybuilders sometimes have to take them before a show just to make sure they’re drug free 😉 (quite an experience!)

4. Target does not have good fake eyelashes. Don’t rely on them.

5. If you’re small chested to begin with, you will probably lose 50% of what you already have- be sure to add padding in your bikini top before hand! This is a mistake I will NOT be making for my next show.

6. Go 80% in your weight lifting sessions. Don’t try to make personal records and end up breaking down your muscles. The goal this week is to look FULL by show day, not flat.

7. Pack your bag for the show ahead of time, don’t wait till the last minute. This also goes for prepping your food and locating the competitor’s hotel if you have to go there for a meeting. I had to go to the hotel for drug testing yesterday and of course my GPS took me everywhere in Austin except for the right place so I had to call for directions. Oops.

8. PRACTICE POSING! I can’t stress this enough. I thought I was pretty good at posing last week but this week I’ve made more improvements and I’m so glad I spent the extra 30 minutes walking on my shoes, trying to get that “sexy hip swing” thang down. It also helps if you can have a friend or another competitor pose with you one day to give you pointers. It’ll be worth the extra time and effort, I promise!

9. Build up a base tan before you get your spray because it will look less orange and more brown. About 5 sessions in a bed should do the trick

10. REMEMBER to have fun! This is serious to me but I still, I have to constantly remember that it’s not something to stress over. The hard part is done- the rest should be a reward.

Today I have to get my eyebrows waxed, pack the rest of my bag, get my nails painted, shower/exfoliate, attend the competitor’s meeting and get my first coat of spray tan. I’m planning on bringing my camera to the show tomorrow so I can get lots of real pictures, not just Instagram! AHH I’m so excited!! If you have a twitter, be sure to follow me @MoonFitness for updates (and I’m sure…Instagram pictures as well  #addicted)

Talk to you soon, loves!