I am an expert at being a positive plus sized female, complete with 34 years of experience celebrating when I dropped 15lbs on the Master Cleanse diet that left me too weak to do much of anything and justifying that being a plus sized woman was what I chose to be. It seemed easier to get a tummy tuck, have liposuction, crash diet with HCG injections, or seek out the next big dramatic solution that would lead to a lower number on the scale. The realization that I have come to after five long months of day to day work is that the most important part of the word “healthy” is HEAL. Our exterior selves are just the physical representation of how we are doing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The tighter, strong version of myself that you see today is really showing you that I have become impeccable with my word, keeping the most important promises that I make: the ones I make to myself. Healing is a long term process that happens day in and day out, with ups and downs, and a commitment to yourself to get better, to feel better, and to do better. Everyday has required me to show up no matter how badly I wanted to stay in bed. Everyday has required me to choose a salad instead of In N Out cheeseburgers. Everyday when I want to quit because I feel like I will never get there I have to choose to fight that much harder. At the end of it all, getting fit is simple, but it sure ain’t easy.
Everyone keeps asking how I have been making it happen, so here are all of the dirty details:
SCHEDULE: Old Krista enjoyed sleeping until 8AM and falling asleep by 11PM. New Krista is in bed by 8PM, asleep by 9PM and popping out of bed in the morning darkness at 5AM to be at the gym for a 5:30AM workout. Every. Single. Day. Don’t miss it: I hated it when I started and I still hate it. HATE. But, it is a necessary evil and I am learning to appreciate watching the sun rise without having to figure out when I will work a workout into my busy day. This way my girls get their quality time with me in the evenings, my days are available for clients, and my body is adjusting. The only family members that seem to be miserable about it are my chihuahuas, who are clearly abused for having to be kicked out of my bed and into their dog beds at 5AM.
Our entire family ran a 5km!
Eating has gotten a lot more simple and complicated at the same time. Old Krista just took out breakfast and lunch, replacing them with protein shakes, and kept dinner reasonable. New Krista is a lady beast on a mission who has taken clean eating to the next level. I am eating six small meals per day with 2-3 protein shakes and at least 100 ounces of water. Yes, I pee like a pregnant lady and the first two weeks felt like I was constantly shoving food into my mouth. My diet is the least excited thing, but I am starting to view food as nutrition instead of enjoyment and I only dreamed of In N Out burgers once this week, which is a huge improvement over the day dreams I initially had of them. Timing has become a major factor in my diet. Since my goal is to lose fat and gain muscle, I eat carbs before noon and always have a serving of carbs before a workout, followed by a serving of protein right after. With my early to rise, early to bed schedule I never eat after 6PM. My diet is super simple.
5AM: Protein, Carb or Fruit
7AM: Protein, Carb or Fruit
9:30AM: Protein, Carb or Fruit
Noon: Protein and Vegi
2PM: Protein and Vegi
5PM: Protein and Vegi
Proteins: Fish, Chicken, Lean Steak, Lean Ham, Tuna, Salmon, Whole Eggs
Carbs: Brown rice, Wild rice, Wheat pasta, Oatmeal
Vegis: Snow peas, Peppers, Lettuce, Eggplant, String beans, Spinach, Cucumbers
Fruits: Any fruit that is not canned is good
I usually supplement my protein twice a day with a Visi protein shake and I have a couple of hydrolyzed collagen protein chews throughout the day. Hunger is never an issue, but I do feel stuffed often because I’m not used to eating this much food. I am religious about my water consumption, drinking at least 100 ounces per day. Also, I have cut all alcohol out except for my Friday night glass of wine to celebrate getting through five weight lifting sessions. I am all kinds of fun over here- no booze, asleep before most toddlers, and snacking on cucumbers.
A big part of my mental transition has been from “working out” to “training”. It was really hard for me to think of myself as an athlete. I come from a family of athletes, but I’ve always been the cheerleader. Nah, these days I am a lady beast on a mission and quite proud of it. I am doing a modified version of the Muscle Now program with added cardio. The program is A, B, C in a five day ongoing rotation. The first three weeks are 3 sets of 8-11, week four is 4 sets of 4-7, and so on. There is an entire book you can buy, which I recommend if you are going to dive into this full force. I have done a huge amount of studying about my body to understand what Allen has been training me on. The training session is simple and should take you 35-45 minutes to complete. I add on 30-45 minutes of cardio right after when my muscles are already exhausted to get a boost in my results. Here are the training sessions:
A. Chest/ Shoulder
*every other week you should switch from dumbbell to barbell
- Traditional Flat Bench Press
- Income Chest Press
- Dumbbell Flys
- Military Shoulder Press
- Lateral Raise
- Shoulder Shrugs
*I like to add in some abs on this day, so I will add:
-3 sets of ball/leg exchange with a large ball
-3 sets of tire rolling extension (which is the best ab exercise in the entire gym)
-3 sets of 60 second plank on the power plate
- Dead Lifts (Easily my personal favorite- seriously, I like this as much as sex)
- Lat Pull Down
- Tricep Extension
- Dumbbell Kickbacks
- 3 sets on the Roman Chair
- Stiff Leg Deadlifts
- Stationary Lunges
- Seated Heel Raise
- Barbell Curl
- Dumbbell Curl
Start slow. When I first started working out five months ago I was barely able to stay in good form with 10lb weights. Focus on staying in perfect form with perfect breathing. It sounds silly, but when you get in the gym and some moron is swinging all over the place, you’ll feel and look like a rockstar. I am proudest of my deadlifts, which I can now do on a bosu ball (which Allen thinks is dangerous, ridiculous, and pointless- he calls it my Krista circus trick) with 50lb dumbbells and squats are the bane of my gym existence. I am so top heavy that I think I’m a damn tea kettle tipping myself forward to compensate. It drives me nuts and this week we dialed back my squats to just lifting the bar to focus on form. I hate dialing it back, but Allen was right- I was less tea kettle and more bootylicious.
Most surprising development about this journey? It’s been how supportive and invested all of you have been. From my ex-husband running a 5k with the girls and I to set an example for them of what healthy families do to my friend, Donna, in Calgary, Canada hitting the gym while still breast feeding, I am blown away by how wonderful everyone has been. I get messages of encouragement from friends in Columbia and around the world, offers to do 5K runs with me from old high school friends when they visit Las Vegas, and I am watching my example inspire the people I care about in my life to live healthier in all aspects. My appreciation for each of you can’t be expressed in words and I keep your encouragement front of mind every time I want to give up. A friend asked me where I get my energy from and I used to tell people I was just born this way. The truth is that my energy comes from my belief that I can do it and, if I can do it, so can you.
This is Stacey at Olympia
BOOTY CLASS AND THE FUTURE
Now that I am five months into this crazy adventure, I am going to be taking it to an even further level and diving into a 15 week competition preparation program with IFBB Pro Stacey Alexander at A Team Fitness starting in November. Stacey looks like this, but it wasn’t her rockin’ body that won me over. She’s always having so much fun and I had to meet her to verify that, yes, she really is just that nice. My workout partner, Danica, and I did her booty class this past Tuesday and it was a game changer for me. We were part of three first time attendees and the girls in the class surprised me because they were all so genuinely kind and encouraging. As my legs were wobbling (they passed shaking in the first five minutes- BAD plan to do leg day on the same day as booty class- BAD BAD BAD), they cheered me on and kept it positive. I am enthusiastically proud of the fact that I was the pigeon in a flock of bald eagles. These ladies are the best of the best and I know that if I keep working hard, I will transform into a bald eagle. It will mean that I have to do a freakishly dark spray tan and wear the world’s smallest swimsuit on stage in front of a crowd of strangers, but I can’t wait. If these first five months were any indication, the next five are going to be a rocket ship. Want to join me?