Hi guys! Check out my video blog about my recent visit to California to meet Nicole Wilkins (as well as my training and competition plans).
It has been awhile since I posted. Truthfully it’s because I didn’t think anybody noticed and/or cared. But lately people have been looking at me quizzically, asking “Why haven’t you posted on your blog ?” I stare blankly back, surprised that anyone other than my mom reads this thing (and let’s face it, I MAKE her read it. Love you mom!).
Here’s what’s been going on fitness-wise: I no longer train with Team Bombshell. I have a different coach. I did not make this decision because I have any negative feelings toward Team Bombshell. They are a wonderful team, and they have changed my life for the better by showing me what I was capable of accomplishing. But sometimes you have to listen to your heart and make the decision that feels right in your gut (actually I think that’s how ALL decisions should be made—has anyone else read Malcolm Gladwell’s book called “Blink”? It is fantastic and the message is: your body knows the right decision long before your conscious mind figures it out).
Here’s what has NOT changed: I train hard every single day with the goal of becoming an IFBB professional athlete. I will not compete again in 2013 (the season has pretty much wrapped up anyway—most fitness athletes are in their “offseason” at this point). I am not sure what my first competition will be in 2014, but it will be in the Bikini division (although I don’t have a suit… I sold my previous blue one. Any color recommendations?). I have accepted the fact that I’m better suited for Bikini than Figure right now (*see my previous blog posts if you are thinking “WTF is she talking about?”) The reason my focus is not 100 percent on competing is that I have this other thing I’m working on…. Hmm, what was it again?—oh right, I’m GRADUATING LAW SCHOOL in May. And, even scarier, taking the bar exam! Exciting and terrifying.
This is all okay. I have developed have a long-term perspective with fitness and competing. It is a marathon, not a sprint. I don’t need a competition four weeks away to keep me motivated—I want to be within 5-7 pounds of my competition weight year-round. I would like to pursue commercial fitness modeling in the future as well, and you never know when modeling opportunities will arise—I’d better be in shape!
Here is my biggest “aha moment” over the last year or so: the most important thing in this fitness journey is that I help other people believe that THEY can achieve their fitness goals.
Time to get sappy and emotional! 🙂 To be really frank, the trophies I have from competing are now under my bed in a cardboard box collecting dust. They are just objects. Here is what’s REAL: when someone says that I inspired them to go to the gym after six months of avoiding it. Or when they start doing HIIT on their elliptical (Julia P!) Or when they hold up their lunch Tupperware to proudly display the salad inside. Or when they vow to give up soda forever (Eddie W… maybe? :-). Those moments are real and important and they could be the beginning of a huge change in that person’s life.
If you want to experience change in YOUR life… like, if you sink into depression when you look in the 3-way mirror in the department store dressing room (was that just me?) but don’t know what to do, let me show you with my own pictures below—you can change. BUT the disclaimer is: it’s not all rah-rah-lose-10-pounds-in-5-minutes like the Facebook ad tells you. …It will take awhile. Probably longer than you think. For example, the picture on the left is me almost exactly three years ago (November 2010). I was doing what the mainstream fitness magazines told me to do. I did a zillion hours of steady-state cardio on the elliptical and ate the minimal number of calories to survive (mostly composed of sugar). I hated my body. See how I’m wearing that stupid hat? I was literally trying to hide. I felt ashamed.
Now, picture on the right is from last week (November 2013. Sorry for the dusty mirror). I have a SHAPE! I am not skinny fat—I have muscular but still feminine curves. I am strong physically and emotionally. I don’t do steady-state cardio—I do high-intensity intervals. I lift heavy weights. I eat to fuel my performance in the gym and aid muscle growth. Maybe the difference doesn’t look huge to you, but it has changed my life significantly.
It took three years to make this change. Here is my nerdy equation for what it required:
(Many small, seemingly insignificant decisions made repeatedly) + (Patience) + (Believing the end result would be worth it) + (Believing that I could do it, i.e. efficacy) – (Fear) = Success.
Write to me and tell me how your own fitness plan is going (or if it’s nonexistent, how are you going to change that?). Thank you for reading!
It has been quite awhile since I wrote a blog, but don’t let that make you think I’ve been sittin’ around watching Real Housewives of Orange County (actually I did watch a few episodes of that after my law school finals were over, because my brain was tired and needed something mindless… mission accomplished! Those ladies are NUTS!).
Here’s what’s been going on since my last post: …I’ve been WORKING MY A** OFF!
I knew that turning myself into a Figure girl would not be easy or quick. But good lord, this has been a journey.
Trying to Enjoy the Process
I have experienced moments of pure joy as I strutted around my apartment wearing my Figure suit and clear heels, pretending I was Erin Stern—then fifteen minutes later I’m in tears as I overanalyze at my progress pictures and wonder why my efforts do not seem to be translating into the body of an IFBB Figure Pro. With terror in my heart I send my progress pictures to my wonderful Team Bombshell coach Gennifer Strobo, and she says…
“Good job. Your shape is great.”
… I think to myself, “WHAT?!”
This is exactly why having a good coach is so vital—she can see changes happening long before I can. She knows when I am not sticking to my diet 100% (whether or not I fully disclose the spoonfuls of peanut butter I ate the night before when I couldn’t sleep). I know my coaches see the ‘bigger picture’ and will have me looking my BEST ever in 7 weeks when I step onstage.
The Current Routine + Facing Diet Demons
I’ve been weight training intensely 5-6 days a week, as always, plus doing 45-60 minutes of cardio 5 days per week. I’ve been eating a lot, as sufficient food is necessary to sustain energy levels and allow muscle to grow. I have no problem eating lots of food—my problem is cutting out the extra nibbles that seem innocent in the moment, but when you’re trying to achieve your ideal physique, they add up!
It’s been difficult for me this summer diet-wise because I’m doing an internship in my home town and living with my parents. I love my mom—she is my biggest fan in everything I do in life—but she stocks the pantry with cookies, sugary cereals, etc. In my own apartment, I simply do not buy any food off my diet plan, which makes it easier to remain on track. Now I am in ‘the real world’, as Coach Gen called it, where I’ve got to figure out ways to face my food demons.
I have been working on this a lot, and realized that I stray from my diet when I am seeking comfort, either because I’m anxious or tired. My worst moments are when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. At 1:00 AM I want to eat carbs because they make me temporarily feel better and help me sleep. So I am working on a plan of action to replace food in those moments: I listen to a relaxation/meditation track on my iPod, or look through inspirational fitness pictures on Instagram, or just take slow, deep breaths and think about something that makes me happy. It seems to be helping, but I am not perfect by any means, and I’m always working on being better.
What About YOU?
I hope you are having a great summer and you’ve set a fitness or health goal of some sort—a 5k, a competition, a triathalon… or you just have a very small bikini hanging from your closet that you want to rock! Send me a message/comment with what you’re up to—it helps me stay motivated too!
See my shoulder cap peeking through that first picture?! Gotta drop body fat over these next 7 weeks so I can SEE my hard work!
I’m two weeks away from finishing my second year of law school and 15 weeks from stepping onstage as a figure competitor!
Although this may be my “offseason”, I’ve been working extremely hard because I want to succeed as a figure competitor SO BADLY. I had a fun time competing in the Bikini division, but my dream has ALWAYS been to have more muscle. One of my law school friends commented on my last progress photo that he “wouldn’t want to get in a fight with” me, and I LOVED it (thank you Chris G.!!)! Ha ha! The ironic part is that I’m a very peaceful, non-confrontational person… for pete’s sake, I meditate, do yoga, and read nerdy self-help books at home on Friday night. But the idea of LOOKING LIKE a girl you wouldn’t want to mess with… that’s pretty cool 🙂
The Tougher Moments
Every day isn’t rainbows and sunshine. I have moments where I look at my progress pictures and think to myself, “Nothing. Is. Happening! I look exactly the same!”, or even worse, I’ll start criticizing myself: “You need to be more diligent on your diet plan. You had an extra piece of gum, remember? How can you expect to win if you don’t cut that out?” I am extremely self-critical, and I have to watch myself or these thoughts will ruin my day.
It’s also sometimes difficult when not everybody understands or supports my goals. Not every guy out there thinks an athletic/muscular woman is attractive. I’m sure there are people looking at my progress pictures on Facebook thinking, “Yuck, she looks manly.”…
… but my new experiment in life is called “What If I Didn’t Care What Anybody Thought?” This is a radically new concept for me. I spend way too much time fearing that others are judging me.
A few mornings ago, I decided to see what would happen if I pretended like I truly didn’t care what anyone was thinking. This idea made me happier and more relaxed. I wasted less energy pretending to be someone I’m not. (I’m actually getting tears in my eyes writing this, because it feels so freeing.) My challenge is to start living this way EVERY day.
Current Training Plan
My current routine: cardio first thing in the morning 5-6 days per week. Weight training 5 days (lifting as heavy as I can). I follow the diet plan my Team Bombshell coaches give me, with one moderate “treat” meal per week. I eat clean, unprocessed foods every 3 hours and don’t take any weird supplements (you don’t need them!). Don’t fall for gimmicks. Marketers/advertisers are very good at getting your hopes up, but don’t fall for their nonsense. You’re smarter than that.
I absolutely LOVE hearing about others’ fitness goals, accomplishments, challenges, setbacks, etc. etc. Please write to me anytime on Facebook or this blog (also Instagram: katiedaysully).
My shoulders in 2010 vs. 2013:
Last weekend I attended Bombshell Weekend Camp in Daytona Beach, Florida. It was my second time attending. The first time was one year ago when I was a camp “Newbie”. This year, as a “Veteran”, I loved camp even more. It was a relatively small, intimate camp, which I prefer over the bigger ones—I got to spend time with each of my wonderful coaches and catch up with them.
I stayed in a hotel with a wonderful teammate named Susan (find her Facebook page here). She is a wife, mom of three kids, and she works—she has such a full plate, and still keeps up her amazing physique!
On the first evening at camp, the “Veterans” showed up after the new campers had already left for the day. We had a great shoulder workout led by my friend IFBB Bikini Pro Lacey DeLuca. Lacey pushed me to lift heavier than I thought I could, and she taught me to stop using my traps to assist me—big traps don’t look good on female competitors, so I need to prevent mine from growing. Here’s a pic of Susan and another great bikini competitor, Barbara:
We worked a lot on posing this weekend, which was invaluable for me because I had no idea how to pose like a Figure competitor. It’s much different from bikini, and I have grown to LOVE it. It just feels more like “me”. I’m not a naturally outgoing, sassy girl, so it was a real stretch for me to act out that role onstage—and in the end, if you look uncomfortable onstage, the judges can sense it. I am certain that as a “Figure girl”, I will be much more confident onstage.
We ran a lot over the weekend—over the infamous bridge (a total of 4 times!), down to the beach to do a killer plyo workout, and all around Daytona Beach. We lunged, squatted, jumped and worked out every muscle in our bodies—and I loved it! Here is a silly picture of me after plyos (I am drenched in sweat but SO HAPPY!)
The best part about camp is the connection between all the women. Lots of people feel pretty confident in their clothes, but when they’re standing in front of a huge mirror in a tiny bikini and high heels with pale, un-tanned skin, a few extra pounds from the holidays, and the coach sitting on the floor directing poses, it’s not easy to feel confident. We have to let it all hang out at camp—literally! This vulnerability creates a bond between all the girls that is really wonderful. We excitedly discuss each others’ upcoming shows and cheer each other on as sweat pours down our faces.
Plan for 2013 Season
I sat down with my coaches, Rob & Shannon, to discuss my show schedule for the year. I originally thought I might be ready for a June show, but since I am switching to Figure, it’s going to take more time for me to be really ready. They don’t want to “diet me down” too fast—they want to take it slow, which is fine with me. I’m in this for the long haul. My big far-off dream is to become an IFBB Pro Figure competitor and be able to compete with the best in this business, which requires a lot of time, hard work, sweat and patience.
Happy 2013! I am so excited for this year. I think it’s going to bring a lot of positive new things into my life. I actually spent New Year’s Eve sitting in bed happily reading (yes, I’m a nerd) a book by one of my favorite people in the world, a life coach named Martha Beck. In the book, Beck describes how to identify what you’re meant to do with your life, and how to get there. This is not an easy process for anyone, especially if admitting what your heart wants to do is different from what society (or your parents, or your peers, etc.) wants you to do.
This process helped me realize a few important things:
1. Although I do want to try living in Washington, DC at some point in my life, now is not the right time. So instead of doing the internship in DC this semester as I had planned, I am back at law school. With regard to law school…
2. I signed up for mainly business law classes, realizing that I don’t like the traditional law school courses. I don’t want to be in a courtroom, I don’t want to write briefs–I don’t even know that I necessarily want to be a lawyer. This was extremely scary for me to admit to myself, and even scarier to admit to others, but I can’t change what my heart knows. I’m grateful that a J.D. is a useful, versatile degree that allows people to do all sorts of things.
I signed up for the business classes with the idea that I may start my own business post-law school. I love doing personal training, but I feel that my “calling” in life may be more involved than just physical fitness. I want to get my life coach certification (via Martha Beck’s online program) and help people “find their way out of hell”, as Beck describes it. I would like to specialize in helping people sort out their body image issues, especially since I struggled with anorexia for many years.
3. I am a “Figure girl” at heart. Although I had a wonderful year competing in the bikini division of the NPC, for 2013, I am following my original dream and training for the Figure division.
My wonderful coaches at Team Bombshell are always honest with me, and they let me know that my body is better suited for bikini (I’m tall with long limbs). But deep down, I knew I had to switch. I’ve dreamed about competing in figure for years. …And I am LOVING the training plan for it! It involves higher calories (eating 7 times a day!) with less cardio, and my favorite part–heavy weights! I love the rush I get from lifting as heavy as possible.
The posing onstage is different for Figure. I’m trying to figure it out! Here’s a picture of me attempting to flex my back and shoulders for the “front” pose:
The inevitable question: “Katie, are you going to get HUGE?” … NO!!! It drives me nuts when people (usually guys) ask me this. To prove this to you, below is a picture of 4 professional competitors. Guess who competes in Bikini and who does Figure? …
…The furthest left woman (the beautiful Natalie Waples, who is one of the nicest people in the world) is a Figure competitor. So is the furthest right woman (Candice Lewis). The two middle women (Yeshaira Robles and Yarelis Gonzales) compete in bikini. The point is, they ALL look fantastic, and the Figure girls are not “huge”. Figure is not the same as Bodybuilding. I will probably step onstage at about 126 lbs (I’m 5 foot 7). So everybody can RELAX! 🙂
My first Figure show will (hopefully) be in June 2013 in New York City. I am already counting down the weeks (19, if you were wondering…). I am so grateful to my incredible coach IFBB Figure Pro Gen Strobo for answering all 8 million of my questions and encouraging me to work my butt off. She is a huge inspiration for me.
I also want to give a shout-out to two new Team Bombshell members:
- Vanessa L. has been a friend of mine since high school. I’ve been telling her for months that she’d be a great bikini competitor (she’s a former dancer, so she already has that ever-important stage presence!). She is going to do amazing this year!
- Jennifer B. is a law classmate of mine, and she’s been with the team since November. She’s extremely smart and an incredibly hard worker. She’s been following her plan 100% and looks amazing. She is going to rock her first competition in March!
That’s all for now. Most importantly, send me a Facebook message or comment on this post and tell me about your goals for 2013 (fitness-related or otherwise). I absolutely love to hear about them, and help you if I can!
Hi guys! Sorry I haven’t posted anything for quite awhile. I recorded a quick 6 minute video blog as an update on what I’ve been doing & thinking about lately. Click here to check it out!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everybody! 🙂