The past few weeks have been absolutely insane! As a quick recap, in the past four weeks I’ve been to South Carolina, had four job interviews, GOT one of said jobs :), and graduated from college (….then went right back to campus two days later for three days of intensive review for my RN boards) all while keeping up with my workouts and clean eating!


Getting ready for job interviews in South Carolina! 🙂


Dinner post-graduation with some great people!

Hiking with the BF :) gorgeous day!

Hiking with the BF 🙂 gorgeous day!

Now, being in the “off season” I have been eating a lot more quantity and variety of foods! It’s been fun getting in the kitchen and experimenting! In fact, today I just made faro and barley for the first time ever! Haven’t tried it but I’m definitely looking forward to adding new grains into my diet!

Some of my fun, new kitchen experiments! Plus some of the eats from the new “Michele Approved” menu at The Meat House in Avon, CT!


Beef meatballs


Meatballs, spinach, peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms


Back Day Burger Wrap from The Meat House


First time at the meat house! Roasted veggies, lettuce, chicken, homemade balsamic vinaigrette 🙂


Turkey meatballs, roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts, faro, barley


Pumpkin turkey soup with onions, peppers, oregano, cilantro, paprika, cinnamon, and nutmeg!


Taco salad with ground turkey, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, avocado oil, and Greek yogurt guacamole! Mmmmm 🙂

All the extra food has really helped to improve my energy levels and I’ve been crushing it in the gym. When I first started with Cathy Savage Fitness back in February I basically went, immediately, into the competition prep phase so I never had the chance to truly build muscle. I feel like my body has changed more in the past four weeks than it did in the three months before the show! And that’s saying something, because there were definitely some dramatic changes in that first time period. I have arm muscles for the first time in my life, my abs are feeling super strong, and my legs and glutes are really starting to tighten up. And the only two things that have changed since before the show are my nutrition (more food!) and my cardio (LESS!). Before the show, I was terrified of what would happen post-show. I had heard horror stories of girls gaining 15lbs in a single week from binging and never quite being able to get back to clean eating. I didn’t want that to happen to me so I was very careful post-show. I most definitely enjoyed myself but I tried to keep it all in moderation. I found I was mostly craving hearty foods which probably made it easier than had I been craving chocolate cake the whole time. My biggest splurge was probably the 4-5tbsp of almond butter I ate straight from the jar! Lol.

As for the weight gain, I decided to not let myself know if it was happening. I have ALWAYS weighed myself. There was a time when I obsessively weighed myself every single day, sometimes even multiple times per day. The number on the scale determined how I was going to feel and eat that day. If it was good, I would eat like normal; but if it was “too high” I would restrict. It was an awful and very mentally taxing time of my life. I was able to get away from that compulsion a while ago but I still weighed myself once a week up until the show just to “keep tabs”. I made the decision after the show that I would finally just listen. I would listen to my body, my appetite, my emotions. I have stowed that sneaky scale away and plan to not touch it again until the next time I’m getting ready to “dial in” for a show. I won’t let the scale dictate how I feel; I won’t let it tell me how much progress I’ve made or haven’t made; I won’t let it tell me who I am. So, no, I don’t have any clue what I weigh right now, nor do I care. All I know is how I feel. I feel strong. I feel powerful. I feel energetic. I love my new muscles. I’ve discovered I love to cook and bake. I am happy. That’s all that matters to me!

Overall, this post-show period has gone better than I could have ever hoped! I feel incredible and I am loving life right now. Time to spend my summer studying for the NCLEX, working, spending beautiful days out in the sunshine, and getting ready for my big move!

How do you track your progress at the gym? Do you believe the scale is an accurate measure of your progress or do you believe there is more to it? What other ways do you track your progress?

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