Author Archives: clairegostyla

Goals, Sweat, and Electrolytes: How I’m Beating the Heat

It’s been quite a while since my last post! I’ve just been trying to enjoy my summer as much as possible. It’s the last real summer vacation I’m ever going to have!

I’ve been using the extra free time I have to spend time with family and friends, relax a little, visit the boyfriend, and, of course, wreak havoc at the gym 🙂 I’ve been really focusing on building up my lower body which means double legs days every week and sprints, sprints, SPRINTS! I was pretty lax with my sprints for a while and didn’t really make the extra effort. If it was hot outside I would stay inside and do treadmill sprints, which I found myself slacking on. If I was tired I would do plyometric intervals. And then I would complain about the results that I wasn’t seeing. Then it hit me…what right do I have to complain if I’m not putting in maximal effort to move towards the goals I set for myself??

Sprints are where its at for lifting the booty and building muscle in your quads. Plyometrics are great, too, but I was getting stuck in a rut of doing the same routine day in and day out and I was getting bored. And who wants to be bored at the gym?? Certainly not me! So I’ve set the goal for myself to take my sprints outside for every HIIT session I have schedule for the next month.

That means early wake up calls to beat this ungodly heat! Track sprints, hill sprints…basically any kind of sprints I can think of will be on my schedule for the next few weeks. I even took my steady state outside this week and ran a 5k. It felt refreshing to change things up and I’m excited to see what changes I can make in my physique over the next month.

One truly important thing that I learned this week in respect to outdoor workouts, however, is the true importance of staying hydrated and replenishing water and electrolytes. After two days of outdoor workouts my body was really feeling it. Even though I had gotten up early both days, it has been so hot that there has been no optimal time to “beat the heat”. I had also made sure to drink plenty of water, but even those precautions seem to only make a small dent. I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon battling a headache, fatigue, and issues focusing. I ate dinner at 6pm and was STARVING again by 6:45pm. I grabbed a huge glass of ice cold water and another full serving of protein and fat to try and chase this hunger right out of me. I was still a little hungry after but it was 10x better than previously. The thing that truly helped though? I was feeling so drained and I started thinking it could be an electrolyte imbalance from how much I had sweat that morning and the day before. I went straight for my Want More Energy (an Isagenix product that naturally replenishes energy with electrolytes a vitamins with no artificial sweeteners). Even though it was 7pm and I didn’t need any extra energy, I knew I needed the electrolytes. Within half an hour my headache was gone and I had perked up just enough to be considered a fully functional human being again! My other favorite way to replenish electrolytes is coconut water, but I didn’t have any around the house last night unfortunately. So, obviously, I went out and bought some this morning!

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My sweaty saviors!! Part of me wonders how they’d taste mixed together and part of me is completely repulsed by the idea….maybe I’ll just enjoy them separately for now!

There was a time in my life when I drank Vitamin Waters, Gatorade, or other electrolyte replacement drinks after getting extra sweaty at the gym. I, however, soon realized just how unhealthy these drinks are. Artificial colors and sweeteners, insane amounts of sugars, and nasty chemicals are loaded into these drinks that so many of us think of as “healthy”. After realizing that, I switched to coconut water and, soon after, discovered Want More Energy. Both of these are all natural (I try to stick with the plain coconut water) and provide electrolytes without all the extra “fluff’ ingredients that we don’t really need and that, IMO, are not worthy of being put into the bodies that we work so hard to make healthy!

If this week has really shown me anything, it has been the importance of, not only replenishing protein, carbs, and water post-sweat sesh, but also making sure to keep my electrolytes in balance! It’s crucial to daily functioning; altered levels of potassium and sodium can also cause nasty problems including swelling of extremities, fluid shifts inside the body, heart palpitations and arrhythmias, and other scary health issues (thank you nursing school for teaching me everything that could possibly go wrong with my body!). So if you’re in New England this week, please remember to drink your water, eat plenty of healthy foods, and REPLENISH YOUR ELECTROLYTES!

xoxo,

Claire

And if you’re interested in learning more about Want More Energy, see the “About Me” section 🙂

 

 

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Treadmill vs. the Great Outdoors

After lifting today I decided to take a run for my cardio. I have set a goal for myself of running a 5k in under 30 minutes by the end of the summer so I’ve been trying to get out for at least one run each week. I waited too long to get to the gym today so by the time I was ready to go running it was too hot outside to take my run outside. To the “dreadmill” it was! While I was running I was thinking a lot about the differences between running outside and running indoors. I never really thought about it before but there are definitely pros and cons to both!

I found it was easier to track my time. Every time I adjusted the speed I could see the change in what my time was which was motivating. It made me want to keep my speed up and helped me keep tabs on my time so I could easier reach my goal. When I’m outside I just kind of go at my own pace and find out at the end how I did. Its hard to know if I’m pushing too hard, not enough, or am going at just the right pace. I don’t get the same workout on a treadmill, though, that’s for sure. There is no terrain changes, no hills, no downhills, unless I change the incline myself. And that’s where the mental aspect comes in to play. Running outside, it’s just about me and the road. The only mental barrier I have to push through is to keep myself running at a decent clip for the whole 3 miles. I can’t give up until the end because even if I stop running I would still have to walk all the way back to where I started and, if that’s the case, I might as well keep running and finish sooner! On the treadmill I don’t have the distraction of the scenery so it can get boring. I can also stop any time I want and just get off the treadmill and be done with it. I also have to spend the entire run staring at the handrails strategically placed in front of me, wanting so desperately to grab on. I can’t decide if the mental workout that I experience on a treadmill is beneficial or detrimental. On the one hand, the sense of accomplishment I feel at the end of treadmill workout is much greater than an outdoor run; I have just spent half an hour busting my butt physically but I also didn’t give up on myself and didn’t grab on to those handrails! But during the course of the run I am afraid that being so mentally challenged takes away from the physical workout. I don’t want to turn up the speed so fast that I get too tempted to grab onto the handrails, but I don’t want to go so slow that I am not pushing myself. I also find that I don’t play with the incline as much as I should. Outside I don’t have to mentally push myself to change the incline because the world does that for me! 

If you had to choose, would you rather run inside or outside? I think that, even though my run today was faster than my other outdoor runs, I would rather run outdoors any day! It’s so much more enjoyable, you can run a new route with every single run, and you don’t have to deal with those darn handrails calling your name for the entire run!

xoxo,

Claire

Living the Life

Everything is starting to come together in my life right now which is so great but also so terrifying! I have been a studying fiend the past couple of weeks because I am taking my boards to get my RN license in 8 days! And I have an official start date for my big girl job in South Carolina – September 9th!! AND I’m moving into my very first apartment the last week of August! Saying it all in one paragraph practically makes my head spin! But I am so excited to begin this new journey in my life 🙂 in the meantime I am working as a hostess part-time, killing it at the gym, catching up on some seriously needed sleep after my crazy past semester, and enjoying my time at home with family and friends.

I have to admit that I am one of those crazy “love to be busy all the time” people! In high school, I used to spend my summers sitting around at home all day watching TV and surfing the internet, never leaving the house all day long. I mean, I didn’t have a license so where was I going to go, really? But thinking about spending my summers doing that now makes me cringe! I enjoy the occasional lazy day but any longer than one day of lazing around the house and I begin to go a bit stir crazy. Within the past few months I have gone from one extreme – working 24 hours a week at the hospital on top of 24+ hours per week of clinical, 8 straight hours of class every Monday, and training for a fitness competition – to the other extreme – working 10-20 hour weeks max and my off season training. Don’t get me wrong, the training is especially intense (and I love it) but that only takes up about 1-1.5 hours of my day and then some days I don’t even have work. So then the rest of my day ends up being me wondering what to do next. Thank goodness I have the NCLEX to study for, but what comes 8 days from now when I have no more studying to do?? I think I need to start getting more creative with my free time! Any suggestions would be welcome!

It’s been great having all of my friends slowly start trickling home from college in the past month.

This pretty girl hit up a spin class with me last week :) missed her!

This pretty girl hit up a spin class with me last week 🙂 missed her!

The BF was able to stick around for long enough to be my date for a wedding. We jammed out pretty hardcore to "Don't Stop Believing" and "Summer Nights"...#noshame
The BF was able to stick around for long enough to be my date for a wedding. We jammed out pretty hardcore to “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Summer Nights”…#noshame

And I got to celebrate my graduation with this pretty lady and our entire family!

And I got to celebrate my graduation with this pretty lady and our entire family!

I’ve also been enjoying some kick a** gym sessions with my fav workout buddy evaahhh!

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After the competition, I started following a more intense workout schedule designed to build, build, build…and I am loving it! The changes that I have noticed within the past month are insane. I have never had arm muscles, but here they are! My shoulders are rounding out nicely, my legs are getting so much stronger, I’m lifting heavier and heavier every week, I have ab muscles in places I didn’t even know muscles could be, and I’ve even successfully completed two unassisted pull-ups. Doesn’t sound like much until you attempt them! Not as easy as you thought, is it?? My goal is four by the end of the month! I’m even getting faster at running. I used to be the queen of running a 12+ minute mile and I decided to take my steady state outside a couple weeks ago and ran a 5k at a moderately easy pace – which ended up being about 9:30/mile! I am looking forward to spending the rest of the summer making even more gains. I’ve been repeating this statement to myself a lot lately:

It Takes 4 Weeks v2

 

I can see the truth in this now! I am most definitely seeing the changes I’ve made in the past 4 weeks, both mentally and physically, and I can’t wait for what the next four weeks will bring!

I’ve also been really enjoying yoga recently. There is one instructor, in particular, at my gym that has the best class. It’s the perfect balance of strength, balance, and stretching and you never get bored because she never lets you stop until that beautiful “Dead Man’s pose” at the end of class. I’ve been trying to set a different intention for my practice every week – strength, happiness, confidence, love – and I find I leave class every week truly feeling that intention. Today I started my class focusing on breaking boundaries and going after everything I want. I know, big aspirations, but I left feeling so self-assured and confident that I can take on the world! I am strong, capable, and ready for whatever the world decides to throw my way!

So bring on the big girl job, bring on the terrifying thought of signing a lease on and paying for my very own apartment, bring on the intense workouts, and bring on moving 14 hours away! I can take it!

Xoxo,

Claire

Story of my life!

Story of my life!

 

 

Post-Show

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!

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Getting ready for job interviews in South Carolina! 🙂

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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!

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Beef meatballs

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Meatballs, spinach, peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms

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Back Day Burger Wrap from The Meat House

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

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

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

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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?

Foxwoods 2013 – Part 2

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Presenting competitor 145, Claire, and competitor 146, Jenn! It’s really here 🙂

So, like I said last week, I competed in Fitness New England on April 27th. I told you all about my journey there, but today I’m here to tell you about the actual day.

My cousin, Jenn, has been a big part of my journey from day one. We signed up together, we trained together, we texted each other whenever we needed motivation or support, and we competed together. It was amazing to have her by my side throughout the whole process.

We left for Foxwoods on Friday afternoon and managed to make it just in time to snag valet parking and run like wildfire through the hotel to make it to check-in on time! After changing into our suits we headed over to the check-in location. Basically, check-in consists of showing Mama Savage your stage walk and posing. She makes any changes she sees fit and then she takes a look at your physique and diet for the rest of the day. She wants to make sure you are in tip top shape come show time! No changes were made for Jenn and I so we were sent on our merry way.

We decided to head over to our hotel which was a few miles away from the casino (and much cheaper than staying on site!). We were both exhausted but knew we had a lot left to do so we decided to start the tanning process. The Thursday before we had both been instructed to get a spray tan as a “base” color. I got the Aloha tan #3 which is the darkest you can get. I already felt darker than I had ever been in my entire life and I couldn’t imagine getting any tanner! But the next task at hand was pre-show self tanner! We had been told three coats minimum. I had a feeling this would be interesting! I got to work. I pulled out the tanner and the applicator scrub and went to town on my legs! I wish I had taken pictures but, wow, was this stuff dark! I couldn’t believe I had two more coats after this! The tanner was great though and it dried within five minutes. Just in time for us to head back to the casino for our Savage meeting where we got a great pep talk and motivation from all the coaches and from Cathy.

Post-Aloha Tan

Post-Aloha Tan

Post-JanTana

Post-JanTana

After the meeting we went back to attack and conquer the last of our tanning mission. Two more coats and approximately two and a half hours later we both felt sufficiently tanned and ready for bed! It was 11:30pm and we had to be up at 3:15am for hair and makeup. I know, 4 hours of sleep?? What lazy bums, right?

Well when my alarm went off at 3:15am I thought I was dreaming. “There’s no way that’s my alarm! I feel like I just went to bed!” Well that dream was shattered when I opened my eyes and saw my phone next to me and I remembered what the day was! IT WAS SHOW DAY! I think the adrenaline kicked in real quick because I jumped out of bed and threw on sweats and we headed out the door. No birds chirping, so sun rise. Nothing. Silence. This was what 3am felt like.

Hair and makeup flew by and before I knew it, I was meeting Jenn back in the lobby and we were on our way back to the hotel for food, tan touch ups, and SLEEP! We managed to sleep for about half an hour with our heads propped up so we didn’t ruin our newly done up hair or our drag queen makeup! And then BACK to Foxwoods for one last time! This time we’d be there to stay.

The day started off with a meeting for the whole competition and the Media which was basically taking our group pictures outside the theater. We spent a couple of hours before the show started backstage meeting all the girls and getting ready. We met so many amazing women! Some we had known from Michele Welcome’s posing camp and some were new faces altogether. But every one of them was supportive and encouraging. We got lots of good advice from more seasoned competitors and we supported girls who were just as nervous as we were for their first time on stage! There was no competition backstage. Just camaraderie and friendship.

The whole day after the show actually started was such a blur…but an amazing blur! Stepping on stage for that first time was a strange feeling. I normally have this sense of excitement for the few hours leading up until right before going on stage or doing any sort of public engagement. However, right before I go on, my heart starts to race, I start thinking of the worse-case scenario, and I get so nervous I can barely concentrate. This time, yes, my heart was beating a million miles a minute but it wasn’t nerves! It was still that excitement. I was pumped! I was ready for this. I had worked so hard and I wanted to show off all that work. I find this to be a testament to how much I have changed in the past few months. I have the confidence to ham it up on stage without even thinking twice about the fact that I’m being judged. What if I tripped and fell? With my klutzy nature that was definitely a thought crossing my mind, but I knew that I had been practicing and I could handle it. Plus, even if I fell flat on my face, I’d just get up, shrug it off, and rock it all the way to the other side of the stage! No big deal! Who is this girl? She wasn’t in there four months ago, that’s for sure!

The competition started at 1pm and awards didn’t even start until 9pm. As we waited backstage in a long line of competitors, I got to thinking about what a trophy would mean. Would it validate everything I’d put myself through? Would it make it all worth it? No. It wouldn’t. That’s because the whole day had already done that for me. I didn’t need the trophy and the flowers to prove to myself that I’d changed my entire lifestyle, my entire outlook on life. If I was doing this all for a $40 trophy and a bouquet of flowers, that’s not a really good motivator for four months of working your ass off! The women I’d met backstage, the coaches I’d worked with, my beautiful cousin, the entire competition day itself…and the journey to that day. Those are the things that made it all worth it. Those are the things that validated all my hard work. I saw women backstage in their 40s and 50s with families and full-time jobs. They wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle for themselves, for their children, for their families. They wanted to be role models. And you all are! You are my role models! I want to grow up and be just like them. Empowered, strong, courageous, healthy, beautiful inside and out. It would have been amazing to place that day and have Michele Welcome hand me my trophy and give me a big bear hug on that stage but it wasn’t necessary. I had already accomplished what I’d gone there to accomplish and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Here's to you, my Savage teammates! You changed my life.

Here’s to you, my Savage teammates! You changed my life.

xoxo,

Claire

Foxwoods 2013 – Part 1

This past weekend was the most amazing weekends of my life! For those of you who don’t know, I competed in my first fitness competition at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. There are so many preconceptions out there about fitness competitions but I am here to tell you that, at least when it comes to Fitness America and the Fitness New England show this weekend, all those preconceptions are untrue! To explain this to you, I really need to start from the beginning!

I signed up with Cathy Savage Fitness at the beginning of February. I had so many reasons for starting this journey but I certainly didn’t know where it would take me! I started off as a cardio junkie and a calorie counter with pretty poor body image and self esteem. I imagined that having a goal of competing in a fitness competition would change my views on fitness and healthy living. Counting calories, excessive amounts of cardio, and some pretty severe body dysmorphia were exhausting. I knew that the life I was living was no longer sustainable and I needed to make a change. I had no idea just how much my whole person would change from this experience!

I started off by filling out a questionnaire about my eating and exercise habits as well as about myself as a person. I then received a tentative meal and exercise plan and I got to work while I waited for a response. A few days later I got an email from Naomi, my new coach. Her email was peppy and got me excited and she got right into the nitty gritty with a meal plan and exercise plan specifically made for me! Needless to say, I was pumped. My exercise plan had me lifting more and doing much less cardio. It was very new and scary to me but I decided to do as Mama Savage always says and “Trust the process”. My meal plan was based on six meals a day and portion sizes, not calories, which was like this whole new world to me. I could eat food and not obsess over the calories? I’d never known a life without calorie counting. I had a hard time with it at first. I ate according to the portion sizes I was given but I counted every calorie that passed through my lips. I remember the first time I asked Naomi how many calories I should be eating each day. Her immediate response was to tell me to stop. Could it really be that simple? Just to stop? I can’t speak for anyone else but, for me, yes it was just that simple. I haven’t counted a calorie since that day! And it’s been so freeing!

Throughout the weeks I started to notice that I was getting stronger and my body was changing. Eating six meals a day slowly became a habit and meal planning/prep became a part of my weekly schedule. I started noticing more energy which translated into killer workouts! My idea of HIIT (high intensity interval training) went from jogging at a 5.0 and sprinting at a 6.2 all the way to sprinting at a 10.0 on an incline! My arms felt stronger, my butt started to lift, I started seeing new definition all over my body. I even started to see abs! All of these were the changes I had been chasing through years of overexercising and undereating. Who knew that what I really needed to achieve this was more food and less cardio?

Every week I checked in with Naomi and every week she gave me words of encouragement and made me feel so good about myself. My mindset slowly started changing and I stopped caring what other people thought of what I looked like and started loving my own body. I stopped looking in the mirror and critiquing everything I hated about myself. Instead I started looking in the mirror and noticing all the things I loved. Even things that hadn’t even changed – my eyes are this pretty shade of ocean blue, my hair is shiny and silky, my skin is smooth and clear. I say all these things not to sound conceited, but to show just how much my mindset changed. I was noticing things about myself that I liked that hadn’t even changed throughout this process! “I am beautiful” – That is something I’ve never been able to truthfully tell myself…until now.

I was definitely progressing but, in my mind, I was certainly no where near ready to compete. In early March I went to the Cathy Savage Fitness studio for one of the famous “Savage Sunday Sessions” where I was asked by Cathy why I wasn’t doing Foxwoods, which was a mere eight weeks away! I was floored. “Can I really do this?” “Am I really on track to be ready for this?” “Do I have the confidence and the guts to do this for real?” These were all the questions running through my mind on my way home that day. I knew that this was exactly what I had signed up with Cathy Savage Fitness for, but could I actually do it? With the encouragement of my friends and all the amazing women at the studio that day, my answer was basically handed to me on a silver platter. YES! I could absolutely, 100% do this. And I would do this!

Now started the hardest part! Getting ready for the show! At the time that I signed up for Foxwoods I had just begun my very last semester of nursing school. I was a full-time student, working 20-30 hours per week as a nurses aide, and doing 12-36 hours per week of clinical. I must have been crazy, right? Probably! But I wouldn’t change the experience I had for anything in the world. It showed me just what I was made of and exactly how far I can push myself before I break. And for the record, I never broke! (My boyfriend may tell you I came close, but I never actually broke!)

I got to work figuring out my theme wear, finding a suit, buying crystals to stone said suit, buying tanning products and competition shoes, booking hair and makeup appointments, going beast mode on my workouts, and changing my diet as appropriate for show prep (aided greatly by Naomi!). It was a lot but I was excited.

In late March I ended up finding out about some posing clinics being hosted in my area and I was pumped to get to them because I knew I had no idea what I was going to do on stage. The sessions were coached by the lovely Figure Pro Michele Welcome. I showed up for my first session with a pair of heels I bought at Payless, in a pair of spandex shorts and a tank top. Two hours later, I realized I had a lot of work to do! Stage walking and posing is so much harder than it looks!! I’ll admit, I was initially intimidated by Michele! She has this larger than life personality and she was so honest with everyone. I wasn’t sure how to react but she certainly had lots of good information to give regarding stage presentation so I listened! I practiced all week with her voice playing on repeat in the back of my head. I went back the next week with my Payless shoes and found that, sadly, I had not improved any more. However, my confidence had grown and I completed the entire session with my spandex and a sports bra, just like the other girls! And I also found that Michele seemed so much less intimidating to me…she was personable and her honesty was just there to make me better! She cheered me on even when I totally flopped at something and she gave individual attention to everyone. FINALLY one week later, my competition shoes arrived and I practiced practiced practiced. Then I showed up at Michele’s session and showed off my hard work. I can’t even describe the feeling when Michele watched me walk across the room correctly the first time and she started jumping up and down clapping and yelling with this huge goofy grin on her face! She ran across the room and high-fived me and said, “Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! You got it girl!” I was beaming! From that moment on, Sunday posing became the best part of my week! All the girls were so supportive and Michele just made it so much fun! I mean, seriously, how many of you can say that you have had fun walking around for two straight hours in heels? Nothing else, just walking? Well, I can!Image

My lovely posing ladies. That’s Michele in the black Savage tank. She’s pretty awesome 🙂

These sessions, undoubtedly, increased my self confidence 100-fold. Two weeks before the show I started walking around at class in my competition bikini and heels while people went about their workouts around us. Who were they to care or judge me for that? I was going to be on stage in two weeks in front of hundreds of people and I was ready for it! So why should I care about two people on treadmills 25 feet away? For the first time in my life, I didn’t! And that’s the moment I knew things were different for me. I haven’t counted a calorie in three months. I eat to nourish my body, I work out to make myself stronger, I love my body for everything it has accomplished. I love me.

Well I think I’ve rambled on long enough for one post about my love of being a Savage Girl! So maybe next week I’ll tell you about the show 😉

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