Current Physique Goals/Progress Update

Hello friends!! Happy Thursday! It’s been about a month since i have last blogged… typical Lauren right there. Just been busy with work; studying, all the usual adult responsibilities.

But… i figured now would be a good time to actually let you guys know what’s been going on with me, what my goals are, and how things have been progressin’ with ya know, my current body goals.


giphy-8At first, i was hesitant to even write a post about this because honestly, i didn’t know exactly what my goals were going to be. Was i going to prep for another bodybuilding competition after taking a lot of time off?… was i not?… i didn’t know. If i WAS going to prep, i didn’t want to announce it to everyone right away, i kinda just wanted to work hard in silence…. Eventually, i did decide that i was not going to start a “prep” but i was going to start a cutting phase again with my previous coach, Eric Martinez of @dynamicduotraining.

I reached out to him a little bit before New Years (cliche i know ha) about starting to work together again. I told him i wanted to start a dieting phase but not necessarily a prep. I said as of right then, i did not want to prep BUT i reserved the right to change my mind later on (lol). As of right now, about 14 weeks later… i have stuck to that.

Starting January 2nd, i started working with him again. I started hitting my macros, following a more specific training program, and implementing cardio on a more consistent basis. Granted, we did hit a temporary “pause button” in February for the Mardi Gras Festivities that would ensue … That’s New Orleans livin’ for ya haha.


Progress has by no means been linear or instantaneous for that matter, since starting my cut. For about the first 5 or so weeks, i didn’t lose any weight… L O L @ my body. I upped my cardio, decreased macros and was literally gaining weight. COOL. But… i didn’t let that derail me or discourage me… i still stuck to the plan and eventually… the scale starting cooperating.

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3/28/18

I am not going to tell you how much I’m eating or how much cardio i am doing bc it is specific to me and my goals. Everyone is different. I also do not want to tell you how much i weigh. This is for a lot of reasons. But ultimately i don’t want other people to see how much i weigh and think that that is how much they should weigh too. Or that they should have the same “goal weight” as i do. We are all different. 150 lbs on one person, WILL look completely different on someone else. So i am just leaving my weight out of this completely. However, what i will tell you about my prep is that:

  • I am doing cardio 4x a week… 3 MISS days and 1 HIIT day.
  • I strength train 4x a week.
  • I take 1 rest day off completely from the gym.
  • I have 1 refeed day (I.E. higher carb day) a week where my carbs are about 100g higher than the rest of the week.

I also have been focusing on hitting a certain number of steps on a daily basis. I got a Fitbit in February so i have been using that to keep track of my NEAT (Nonexercise Energy Activity Thermogenesis). In February, my goal was 10,000 steps a day and in March i would say, we have upped that to 12,000.

I have had TWO macro cuts and TWO increases to my cardio since starting in January. I am definitely in a caloric deficit (burning more calories than i am taking in) and on most days, yes, i am hungry. But at fourteen weeks in, i do not feel “burnt out” or like I’m dieting super hard.

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4/2/18

Granted, after 12 weeks of dieting, Coach did give me a diet break. This means decreasing cardio and eating more calories (fats and carbs). This was to give myself and my body a little bit of a break, recover, and just feel better overall. At first i was like “Ehhhh, idk if i need one”. Yo… your girl snapped out of that idea REAL quick haha. Why would i say no to more food???? So i ate more, did less cardio… AND I LOST WEIGHT!!! Hell yes to my metabolism haha. Because of that, i am now on Week 2 of a diet break and we plan to get back onto my dieting macros starting next Tuesday, March 10th… And as of now, my weekly progress says i am down almost another pound. Yay!! Take note y’all… more is not always better. I REPEAT… MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.


So, how have i been measuring my progress? Well, i weigh myself every day. I also take weekly progress pics and take weekly measurements.

Here are the progress pics. If you are offended by underwear pics, then kindly exit stage left. My swimsuit covers way less than this (so did my competition bikini) and these pics are strictly for progress pictures anyway. So if you are offended … BYE. Here they are in 3…

2…

*Also, please excuse my terrible morning face and i know the lighting is a little bit different, but you get the idea lol*

1….

Photos on the LEFT: 1/2/2018 // Photos on the RIGHT: 4/2/2018

After about 14 weeks of dieting, i have lost about 7 lbs. i have lost about 2.5 inches on my waist and about 4 inches on my hips.

Honestly, considering i lost NO weight the first few weeks, I’m totally happy with that. I haven’t been “perfect on my macros” but i will say i am accurate 98% of the time. Consistency is key and i am the type of person where if i am paying for coaching and someone is giving me a plan, I’m going to stick to it. And that works for me. As i said, this is not a “bodybuilding prep diet” just a “lifestyle diet” … so i do still have alcohol on occasion, i have a lot more flexibility with my food choices and if i go over or don’t hit my macros perfectly… it is not a big deal.


So what is my END GOAL for this cut? Great question haha. This cut is different than what I’m used to because there is no goal of “stage” at the end of this cut. I want a leaner physique and i want more definition in my abs. Obviously, i cannot just magically lose fat from my abs so those abs are just going to pop with more dieting, good nutrition, and consistency.  I do not know what my “goal weight” is and I do not know when I am going to be satisfied.

I bought myself a littttttle bikini for a beach vacation with @mbkellyy, (Go follow her on IG if you don’t already… girl is making hella progress and she’s so inspiring. I’m so proud, gah! Go follow her) and all i know is I’m going to be rocking that on the beach in June. It is also HOT AF in New Orleans, during the summer, so i just want to make sure that i am looking and feeling my best. So how many more lbs does that mean i want to lose? Um… maybe 5? Ish. Give or take… we shall see.

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And there you have it! There is a very rambly recap of my current physique goals and the process i have made the past 14 weeks. Progress has by no means been linear but i feel like I’m making progress and I’m excited to see where i end up. I guess if you take away anything from this blog, just know that whatever goal you set for yourself- work hard, be consistent, don’t quit when things don’t go your way, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to!

If you wanna share your current fitness goals, leave a comment and we can encourage each other! Also, if you have any blog topics that you would like to see for future posts, i would love to know!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. Please hit that “subscribe” button if you aren’t already and keep checking back for more.

Talk soon,

PBANDLAURENKELLY

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Liquid Energy: All About Caffeine.

Hello, friends!! Happy Thursday! I just got back from the gym… and let’s just say that workout was less than stellar…oh whale– we all have those days. I got it done though. 200w-13

So the other day, i asked Instagram (if you’re not following me, whatyoudoin?? Go follow me: @ohh_lkelly) what the topic should be of my next blog. Either “All Foods Fit” or Caffeine…

and the winner, by a narrow margin, was CAFFEINE.

So that is today’s topic… Caffeine. What brought up my interest in this topic was the fact that i recently have cut out *almost all* caffeine sources. Now… if you know me… this is A BIG FREAKEN DEAL. I love coffee. LOVE. I love Starbucks, i love pre workout, i love energy drinks. Aka i have a slight addiction. 200w-11

But, about a little over a month ago, i noticed that I was no longer feeling the effects of caffeine. I wasn’t feeling energized, i wasn’t noticing the effects of my pre workout, i was always fatigued… I could have honestly drank a Starbucks Venti Americano (aka like 4-5 shots of espresso) and taken a nap right after… LOL not ideal, folks.

Now, fun fact y’all, caffeine is NOT just found in coffee. It can be found in coffee, tea, sodas, “energy drinks”, fat burners, chocolate, and even some cold/flu medicines, as well.

So in an effort to feel and experience the effects of caffeine once again, i decided to DRASTICALLY cut back on all caffeine sources… except my pre workout. The preworkout i use, helps me sweat at the gym which I NEED… this girl loves to sweat y’all. So except for that, i cut out all regular coffee–  i switched to decaf (which still has a little caffeine), i steered clear of energy drinks and diet sodas with caffeine-and just quit those COLD TURKEY.

And you know what? … I SURVIVED!! I’m pretty surprised too, tbh. You hear a lot of horror stories about people’s experiences when they cut out caffeine- I.E. headaches, irritability, feeling ill or flu like symptoms, etc- and honestly, my symptoms were pretty minimum. I did feel a slight headache the first 2-3 days, but after that, those symptoms went away.

So it has been a little over a month now, and for now, we are going to continue to ride out this low caffeine intake. Even though, I have cut out a lot of my caffeine sources, there is without a doubt MANY benefits to caffeine, such as:

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I’m a nicer person when i have coffee 🙂

  • Increased energy.
  • Increases feelings of alertness.
  • Boosts memory.
  • Mental Clarity/Focus.
  • Improves training intensity in the gym.
  • Protect/lower risks of certain diseases.
  • Appetite surpressant.

The recommended daily intake of caffeine appears to be around 300-400 mg of caffeine, per day. (A cup of joe typically has around 100 mg of caffeine, for reference).

TOO MUCH caffeine, on the other hand, can lead to:

  • Restlessness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Headaches.

It is important to remember that everyone has different tolerance levels when it comes to caffeine. You may not feel much from one cup of coffee, while Miss Sally over there could be shakey and overstimulated after half of an energy drink. Those who are older (we are talking grandma and grandpa age), have hypertension, and/or are pregnant/breastfeeding should pay close attention to their caffeine intake and it’s recommended they have <200 mg/day.

*If you are curious about the right/safe amount of caffeine, FOR YOU, specifically- i 10/10 recommend consulting with your physician. I am not a doctor and just wanted to share some information that I found interesting and what I have experienced myself.*

200w-15If you are someone that drinks a lot of coffee, energy drinks, and/or uses a pre workout, take a minute and evaluate exactly HOW MUCH caffeine you are intaking on a daily basis. Ask yourself “How am i feeling? Am i feeling the effects of that cup of joe or am i feeling my pre workout like i have in the past?” If the answer is no, and you are experiencing any of the negative side effects i discussed earlier, maybe it is time to CUT BACK on your caffeine intake. Whether that be for a week or two, a month, you choose to cut out caffeine cold turkey or ween yourself off slowly, i promise it will be worth it.

If you are looking to cut back on your caffeine intake, here are a few suggestions to make the transition a little bit easier:

  • Choose your method. Either ween off caffeine OR cut it out cold turkey. Weening obviously takes a little more time to cut out the caffeine completely but can result in less withdraw symptoms. Cold turkey is a faster alternative but the symptoms can be far more noticeable. Pick your poison.
  • Find an alternative. Whether that be decaf (yes, decaf still has a little caffeine-about 10 mg) or hot tea to help curb those cravings.
  • Load up on macronutrients. Vitamins and minerals  will help your body *feel good* when cutting out caffeine feels less than good.
  • Choose caffeine free alternatives to your go to beverages.
  • Tell people what you’re doing. Coffee is often times a social thing. So letting those around you know that you are not drinking caffeine can eliminate those circumstances where your BFF, Jill buys you your morning cup of joe.
  • Rest. Take naps if possible to help your body feel more recovered.
  • Start on the weekend. You may feel like crap the first few days, so having the day off from work/responsibilities may be ideal when you are feeling crappy, irritable, and have a headache. It’ll give you time to adjust before heading back to “the real world”. IMG_1303

I know that I am not the only one who LOVES caffeine… So leave me a comment and let me know what’s your FAVORITE source of caffeine. How much do you drink daily and tell me if perhaps, you think YOU SHOULD eliminate caffeine for a week or two. OR if you have done a “caffeine detox” – what was your experience?? Any negative symptoms?? Let me know!

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. Please make sure you are “SUBSCRIBED” if you aren’t already and keep checking back for more.

XO,

PBANDLAURENKELLY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I “cheated”…

Hello, friends! Happy Thursday! I hope y’all have had a great week thus far… My week has consisted of work, work, work *cue Rihanna voice* and more work. Today is finally my day off (before i go back to work all weekend). So I wanted to take some time and talk to you guys about something I have been going through the past week, that I think some of y’all will be able to relate to…

If you didn’t know, I live in New Orleans, LA… and you know what happens in NOLA during the month of February? Two words… Mardi Gras. Yup, Mardi Gras. King cake, king cake donuts, more king cake, drinks, drinks, and more drinks. Parties, balls, parades, more parades… and beads. Lots of beads… and more drinks.

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Let’s rewind real quick…… Back in January, I started working with my coach again. (Hi, Coach Eric!). So, since January i had been working with my coach. I have been more diligent tracking my macros, drinking alcohol less, eating out less… just being more aware of what I am putting into my body and more consistent on a daily basis. And i pride myself on that. I like doing what I am told to do. I like following my coaches plan to-a-tee. If i am going to be paying someone to give me nutrition advice, I am going to follow it, no problem.

And i had been doing that… until Mardi Gras.

YUP.. i cheated.

I cheated on my diet. I cheated on my plan.

How did I do that? Personally, i “celebrated” Mardi Gras two different days. On Thursday… and again on Sunday. I went to parades. I drank. And i drank some more. I ate Cane’s chicken tenders while I was intoxicated. I stayed up late. On Sunday, i had District donuts to start my day (ya’ll know, i love district donuts… YUM) and then i refueled later in the day with some Juan’s Flying Burrito. Throw some more drinks in the mix and that pretty much sums up my diet on those two days… A hell of a lot of carbs, a hell of a lot of fats, not that much protein, and a lot of alcohol.

Now, this wasn’t a “binge.” I didn’t eat until i felt sick. I didn’t use being drunk as an excuse to eat everything in sight. This was a choice. I knew that Mardi Gras was coming up. I knew that i didn’t want to be “dieting” during Mardi Gras. I told my coach this in advance… I knew I wanted to enjoy myself, drink, spend time with my friends, WITHOUT worrying about hitting my macros… and i did. I enjoyed myself and Mardi Gras was a lot of fun.

It is easy to get caught up in feeling “guilty” or stressing out when you know you didn’t “follow the plan”. I get it, I do. I used to be a lot worse with this but that doesn’t mean i still don’t question myself when i don’t hit my macros or “don’t follow the plan” or whatever the f*ck you want to call it. So if you ever feel this way, just know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Monday morning when i woke up, after the Mardi Gras festivities, I didn’t feel my best … not going to lie lol. I felt slightly hungover, thirsty, bloated, watery…. I’m sure someone reading this can relate. But you know what i didn’t do? I DIDN’T STEP ON THE SCALE. I highly recommend not weighing yourself the day after you “go off plan” or what have you. That number is going to be high(er) than the previous numbers because of a) going out to eat b) sodium c) water retention … a lot of reasons… so don’t psych yourself by thinking you gained 10 lbs over night, when in reality the majority of that is water weight. You did NOT gain 10 lbs over night by having a few drinks and eating a quesadilla and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with your friends… Trust me on this.

So, i didn’t weigh myself. I didn’t weigh myself on Monday. I didn’t weigh myself on Tuesday either. On Wednesday, i did. And i won’t lie, when i stepped on that scale I was a little nervous and all these thoughts rushed into my head…. “Oh, no… what is the scale going to say? What if the # is up like 5 lbs more than last time? What if i completely undid the little bit of progress i had accomplished? What is my coach going to say? *Insert other crazy thoughts here*….

Well y’all, let me just say that those thoughts were in fact…CRAZY. The scale was up 1 lb. from my lowest weigh in and not even half a lb. higher than my average… I was (kinda) stressing out … FOR. NO. REASON!!

I didn’t undo all of my handwork the past few weeks just because i went out, drank, and made memories with my friends. Mardi gras happens once a year and i made the choice to “not track, cheat, go off plan”- whatever- and I am okay with that and it’s so called consequences… And those consequences?? Were nothing substantial to begin with ! Lol.

Some of you may read this post and think.. she’s just trying to convince herself that it’s okay to get drunk and eat like crap… ok…. no, that’s not what I’m doing. I just want people to know that IT’S OKAY to enjoy events and parties with your friends without being tied down by numbers. IT”S OKAY to drink and not track everything you put into your body every single day. IT”S OKAY to choose to live your life and NOT feel guilty for doing so.

Consistency is the key to everything. Are you consistently making choices that make you feel good on the inside and out? Are you making healthy choices, eating your vegetables, and drinking plenty of H20? If yes, than one day of “going off plan” isn’t going to hinder your progress. You can still make progress and reach your goals without being rigid 25/8.

I would also like to say that i keep using the word “cheat” when i talk about eating out of my norm routine… and actually, I HATE THIS WORD. It’s not a “cheat meal” … it’s not “cheating”… Cheating has a negative connotation to it. It makes it sound like i did something wrong or that I’m doing something bad… and I AM NOT. AND YOU’RE NOT EITHER. There are no “good” or “bad” foods. There’s only food. It’s not cheating, it’s simply eating. IMG_3301

Can anyone relate to what I am saying? If yes, how so? Have you ever experienced guilt when you went off your plan? If so, i would love to share your experience in the comment section below. 

This is a topic that i have thought about the past few days since I experienced it with Mardi Gras and I wanted to share my thoughts and rambles with all of you. If you have ever questioned if you should’ve “drank this or ate that” just know that you are not alone!! I refuse to let myself feel guilty for making memories with my friends, drinking, and having fun when I am consistently making healthy choices that make me feel good on a regular basis.

I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and if you have any topics that you’d like me to ramble about in the future, please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks so much for reading my post and keep checking back for more.

XO,

PBANDLAURENKELLY