Saturday, July 26, 2014

VIDEO: Comic-Con Super Hero Inspired Exercises (Core & Back Strength)!

Happy Saturday! Hope everyone is off to a great start with the weekend. It is crazy busy in downtown San Diego this weekend as it's Comic-Con weekend! In honor of it, pulled together a Comic-Con inspired video with three exercise moves you can add into your workout routine. All of these, the "Catwoman," "Superman," and "Spiderman," are great for core strength and back!

For more videos, be sure to hit subscribe on my YouTube channel!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reading Roundup: Girls Who Lift, 31 Days & Kacy Catanzaro

It's been a while since I've done a reading roundup post but that doesn't mean I haven't been coming across good finds. Here's a few in case you missed these good ones floating in the internet universe!

15 Things Girls Who Lift Are Tired of Hearing - Leave it to Buzzfeed to publish this piece of perfection. This may have just rocketed up to the top spot on my list of favorite Buzzfeed articles (not that I actually have a running list of those, but you get my point)!

31 Days to a Fitter Healthier You - This is a pretty sweet roundup that puts overall well-being back into perspective. Health isn't always all about exercise and what you eat, but a whole lot of other pieces that work together to equal up to a balanced and healthy life. From cultivating gratefulness to brain dumping and accepting a compliment, this Shape.com piece puts out awesome reminders and you can easily pin each idea you love to your Pinterest board. With 31 ideas, you can even use the month of August as the perfect time to tackle them all!


This one has been widely circulating already and isn't a read but a watch... But for anyone who hasn't seen it, you will definitely want to check out this video Kacy Catanzaro at the 2014 Dallas Finals | American Ninja Warrior. This woman is absolutely amazing and so inspiring. If you were not wanting to go to the gym today, this probably changed your mind, huh? 

Photo from Kacy Catanzaro's IG

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

VIDEO CLIPS: Sample Stretch Routine

Last weekend, I went hiking and recorded a couple short clips with stretching ideas. These are a few of my favorite stretches, particular the ones that target the glutes and hips. If you train legs and glutes often (like I do), or sit at a desk job (as I do), try incorporating these stretches into your workout program if you don't already. 

Flexibility is a very important aspect of well-being and it's often overlooked. I admit to not being very flexible and not taking the time needed to stretch in the past, but it is something I've been making a conscious effort toward doing in recent months. Doing so is helping me in training itself, alleviating injuries and lessening back pain. In addition to these stretches in the video, feel free to look at the videos in this past guest blog post which focuses on shoulder and upper body stability and flexibility. 

As noted in the video, this is a quick overview to provide ideas and guidance, but you should hold each movement longer than displayed. 





Let me know if you have any specific video requests in the future as I'm trying to break out of my comfort zone and put more video content out there (not just pictures and writing). I'm working on uploading a few suspension workout video clips taken earlier this month, as well, so be on the look out for those coming soon.

If interested in knowing when new videos go live, subscribe to my YouTube channel

Sunday, July 20, 2014

GUEST POST: NPC Bikini Competitor Bianca White On Reclaiming Balance Post-Show

I'm honored to share this guest post written by Green Bay, Wisconsin's Bianca White, fellow TEAM EDGE teammate who I've felt an immediate connection with despite never meeting each other in person yet (we call each other our virtual BFFs, in fact)! Bianca's raw openness and honesty about her journey is something I truly admire and know MANY others do, as well. This is a young woman to watch out for in the future, weather it's on the stage at an upcoming show or when she ends up opening up her own cheesecake mobile shop... know now that she's going places! If you're looking for inspiration, entertainment and want a good laugh, be sure to follow B. Without further ado, here's her story below!
A sample of Bianca's homemade raw
Vegan Twix cheesecake. She and her
mom are creating a cookbook
that you won't want to miss!
Does it get any cooler than this!? A GUEST blog post!? I couldn’t have been more ecstatic when Kylie asked me if I wanted a guest spot on her blog. My mind has been like the energizer bunny recently, and I was gearing up to write on my own blog. Now, I am way more inconsistent than the ever so amazing LittleMsFitness when it comes to blogging, and usually go in spans of 6-8 months without writing a post. But when I have a topic near and dear to my heart, and I feel it can resonate with so many people, my long stubs cannot be stopped.

So, here we are. Oh, I’m Bianca FYI. I too, am a part of Team Edge. And like Kylie, I have gone through an incredible transformation with the help of my coaches, teammates, friends, and family. In a nutshell, I am an ex-obese child who lost a crap ton of weight, developed anorexia, gained weight, destroyed her body with diet pills, massive amounts of exercise, and strictly eating a high RAW vegan diet, destroyed her thyroid, gained 60 pounds, developed severe depression and a binge eating disorder, and FINALLY at the age of 28 decided to reclaim her life. PHEW!


Between these pictures is less than a six month difference. On the left I was suffering from SEVERE binge eating and depression. That was the very first photo I sent to Team Edge, and was tipping the scales at 206 pounds. On the right is 22-weeks later, April 26, 2014 at my first NPC bikini competition. I am 150% anti-scale, but needed to weigh myself for Joe. I weighed in at 150.2 pounds and 12.5% body fat (I’m 5’11”). Now in the past, during my anorexia/raw vegan stage, the lowest I ever got the scale was 148 pounds….but I can tell you one thing, my body looked NOTHING like it does on the right. Please see below.


In my mind, spending 22-weeks regaining my health, mentally, physically, and spiritually was easy. I had a goal in mind, to not only step on stage as an NPC bikini competitor, but to feel phenomenal about myself and end the vicious cycle of vacillating back and forth between starving until I was to the point of nausea, or gorging myself in one sitting with enough sugar and saturated fat to feed a small country. And I did it. I made it to the end of my initial journey, and it felt beyond amazing! I ended up placing 8th out of 26 amazing girls in my class, but it was never about brining home a trophy. I had finally found the balance needed to throw myself back out into normal, non-prep society, and function without eating/not eating without regret. Yeah ... yeah friggen’ right.

If you’re one of the 20 million women, or 10 million men in the world who suffer from an eating disorder, you know that it doesn’t just disappear. My first few weeks were awesome. I was still working out, eating consistently and healthy, following a reverse dieting plan by counting my macros (carbs, fats, and proteins), and busting ass in the gym. But then I started to venture out on weekends again, allowing myself cheat nights. But those cheat nights turned into epic margarita and pizza binges. Then, feeling absolutely horrible about myself, I would “punish” myself by restricting my food and exercising hard. That led to the scale going back down, but I noticed my strength diminishing. I then started having moments of panic. Ok, this IIFYM (if it fits your macros) diet is stressing me out having to count anything and everything. I’m just going to eat vegan again. Well now I’m craving eggs, I think I’ll just go totally paleo. OMG I would sacrifice a small kitten for a bowl of oatmeal with creamy peanut butter on top. Now I started to panic about what I should eat without gaining weight. Then it turned into so and so wants to get some cocktails tonight, that’s a lot of calories, I’ll just not eat all day and save my calories for the liquid form… Yeah, that’s super duper genius. A couple of cocktails later and you’re a ravenous monster looking for anything solid to ingest because you feel like a hole the size of a crater is forming in your belly, and start crushing food like it’s going out of style. Notice a cycle? A pattern? An unhealthy disease that doesn’t just turn to vapor and POOF…it’s gone? But what re-triggered such a nasty habit?

As I was looking in the mirror the other day, I really did not like what I saw. Am I overweight? Hell no. Am I as lean as I want to be? Not even close. What do I weigh? Hell if I know. For many reasons, one being stated in a previous paragraph, the scale doesn’t tell you anything, except your relationship with gravity. Sure, it’s good for tracking progress occasionally, but it’s even better at manipulating your mental state and how you feel about yourself (especially females). And if you already have issues with body image or food, the last place you wanna put yourself is on top of that mood killer.

But I digress, looking in the mirror and scrutinizing my body from head to toe, my eyes immediately going to every flaw I have, I started thinking about all of my clients (I am a personal trainer), and all the advice I give them on the daily. How can I give such great advice, advice that works and produces results, yet I cannot seem to personally process it for myself?  I then started thinking about the promise I made to myself that I would take a year off from competing to get stronger. And I thought about the family members who have criticized me for my body, calling me “disgusting.” Yes, I had family actually refer to my body as “disgusting” and how pissed off it made me. And then my mind shot to the numerous people who thought that my preparation for my first competition was completely unhealthy and terrible for me, made my mental state worse, made me obsessive, and has led to some bad habits to rear their pretty little ugly head again. But know what really triggered that A-HA moment? I was the Queen Beyatch. I was feeling so stressed and bad about myself that I was taking it out on the ones I loved, and was forgetting to enjoy this short little adventure we call life.

When I took that step back and put a shirt on, I literally said out loud, “What in the hell are you doing, Bianca?” People’s words, their opinions, they affect you only as much as you let them. Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions. And there it was. I truly think I have healed quite well from my past disorders, but I was letting the opinions and expectations of others control me. I was caring too much about what people thought of me. I was losing the “realness” I pride myself on exuding. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has a right to f*cking tell you what your body should or shouldn’t look like. What your goals should be. What is best for YOU!

I stood up, laced up my sneaks, and went to the gym. I jumped on the treadmill and ran like I stole something. I was so in my head, I averaged a 6:13 mile. What. The. Hell!?!?! Anyone who knows me knows I DESPISE running. It’s like someone has ripped my heart out and filled the wound with lemon juice and sea salt and scrubbed it with a loofah. Ok, that might be slightly dramatic, but I super hate running. In that 30-minute span of pure sweat and epicenes, which may never be witnessed again, I laid my current situation out. I had wasted almost 3 months post-comp worrying about other people and what they thought. I let stress get the best of me. I let my decision to quit my job and the drama that followed to negatively affect me. And why? When you play the victim, your potential is diluted. It was time to accept responsibility for my circumstances, because in the end, that’s the only way to gain the power to change them.

I posted an amazing photo on my Instagram (beeskiemariskie) during my day of clarity.


And here I stand today. Mentally stable. One-week strong. Determined. My unhealthy habits were indeed mental, but they were triggered by outside forces that were in MY control all along.  I now sit a little less than 13-weeks out from my next competition. I officially start prep the first week of August. Last night I enjoyed wine and carrot cake with my true love. I will go to Arizona on a girl’s trip and enjoy those 3 days like they’re my last. No guilt. No regret. That is what mental and physical health is about. Balance. Living. Being YOU and loving it. Even if you have things about yourself you want to change, love yourself in the present moment dammit! Wake up every day and look at yourself in the mirror with loving eyes. Lose the expectations others place on you. When those expectations are released, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you, or others, think they should be.

Sending gratitude and thanks from a person who loves who I am, just as I am,

“B”ianca

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grocery Haul: Mid-Week Refill

Many weeks I end up making a quick stop at the grocery store mid-week to restock on some items if I'm running a bit low. Usually this is right after the gym and before work... gotta make time for it no matter when it is!

The good thing about going then is there tends to be a bit more sales in the middle of the week. Today was no exception to that trend as I really made out well on this trip. $25.10 for everything below with a savings of $14.28 (that's almost extreme coupon status--haha just kidding)! 

This is a bit more "fun" than my usual grocery hauls look like, but I'm going to enjoy my food freedom while not prepping for a NPC bikini show (might as well while I can)! This is still all healthy food choices but some are not the typical foods I have on prep, mainly because of the sugar content in fruit and the sodium in the almond milk and cottage cheese. For someone looking to have an overall healthy lifestyle or one who follows IIFYM, this type of food is totally fine! Shoot... even some competitors still do this up until near the contest... remember, everyone is different and you have to find what works for you and your body type. It's all about experimentation! 


  • Spinach (2 bags)
  • Vanilla unsweetened almond milk (super excited to have this in my oatmeal pancakes right now post workout)! 
  • Low fat cottage cheese 
  • Strawberries (on sale 4 for $5!)
  • Blueberries (on sale 4 for $5!) 
  • 2 cartons of eggs (I go through nearly a dozen eggs a day -- combo of whole eggs and whites so this is actually what I was stopping by the store for originally but couldn't pass up the sales)!

Grocery Haul Tip: You may have heard this one in many places, but it's a good reminder... Stick to the perimeter of the store! As you'll notice all of these items purchased today fit that description. It's okay to dip in and out of the aisles for an item here or there but if 80-90% of your items come from the outside of the store, chances are your grocery haul will be quite healthy! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#realtalkTuesday



One person I truly love being "Facebook Friends" with is Casey Withers of C Withers Media Group. I say Facebook friends as we technically have never met in person (though it feels like we are "real life friends," especially after talking on the phone scheduling an upcoming photo shoot)! 

Casey's posts are nothing short of amazing entertainment. Many are funny. Many are ridiculous. Many are deep (such is one that's inspired an upcoming blog post that's been in the works for a while now)! 

Speaking of deep, his #realtalkTuesday posts are always spot on. This one posted above caught my eye tonight ... 

Consistency. One of my favorite words. 

So important! In every aspect of one's life. A great reminder for us all. Thank you, Casey! 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Strong Inside Out Tour


Received an email from my all time favorite podcaster, John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire tonight. I receive many emails his team, but with "fitness" in the subject line, this one caught my eye in, particular. So glad it did, so I can help spread the word about this amazing movement and fundraiser with you all! The Strong Inside Out tour is all about empowering people out of struggle with intention-driven fitness classes across The US.

Check out the video above which describes the background, purpose and mission of the Strong Inside Out tour. If you're as inspired as I am, there's still four days left to help Amy reach her goal!

 

Here's a list of cities/dates where the tour will be stopping across the U.S. in case anyone is interested in attending. 

  • Portland, OR 7-11-14 (hope you didn't 
  • San Francisco, CA 7-26-14
  • Milwaukee, WI 8-2-14
  • Denver, CO 8-9 + 8-10-14
  • Boston, MA 9-27-14
  • Los Angeles, CA TBA
  • Austin, TX TBA
  • NYC, NY TBA

Notice that the location for this movement on INDIEGOGO is San Diego?! Pretty awesome!
Excited to see where this movement goes in the future!