Everyone who knows me, knows I was VERY resistant to competing. Steve has asked me to compete with him for years, and I finally (reluctantly) said YES (with a grouchy face and all). haha! Well, now that I’ve done it, one of the most common questions I get is “will you do it again?“
A matter of fact, one of my friends (Susy B, who’s thinking about whether or not she wants to compete or not) asked me Friday night after weigh-ins, “would you do it again?” and my answer was “ask me tomorrow!”. At that point, I could honestly say I loved the whole process. I loved putting science to work. I loved being pushed to stick to my diet and training. I loved having goals. I loved the challenge – and I loved the results. I just wasn’t sure how I’d like the stage. And, at that point, I was pretty sure I’d hate it.
What have I got myself into?
I really DREADED the stage. I dreaded being half naked in front of everyone. I dreaded the stress. I dreaded the unknown. I dreaded the posing. I dreaded standing there all alone. I dreaded the attention. I dreaded the awkward long moments where you have to hold a smile forever and pretend you are completely comfortable torcing your body into a pretzel to look your best (yes, we may look like we are standing normal, but there is nothing normal feeling about posing). I dreaded the “judging”. I pretty much dreaded every single thing that could possibly happen on stage.
Here I go!
I woke up that morning already feeling like a winner. I met and surpassed all my goals. I was in the best shape of my life. I could have just stopped there, but I knew I was supposed to step out of my comfort zone and finish this. I never anticipated doing well. I knew it was a big show and there would be a lot of girls up there who worked just as hard as I did. I would have been happy with 12th place, because I was at my personal best. Then I got the call out. Wow! Top 5!
Then I waited as they started announcing places. “5th place goes to…. 4th place goes to….” and was just waiting for them to call my number. At that point, I was just stoked I got a call out. Truth is, I hadn’t even looked at the other girls, so I had no idea how we’d all place. Then they called out the 3rd place winner and then the 2nd place girl – and it wasn’t me! I remember making a funny face as I processed “oh my gosh, I’m the only one left!”
Then they called “24, Bonnie Pfiester” and I heard, “THAT’S MY GIRL!” from the audience – and that’s when I really felt like a winner. I made my husband and trainer proud. I made myself proud. And, sure, there could have been someone more fit that could have showed up to beat me, but none of that matters. A trophy doesn’t make me a winner. My hard work did – whether I took 1st or 5th!
So, the million dollar question: Would I do it again?
The answer is (drum roll…….) I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong, I still am not fond of the stage. However, the stage is a necessary part of the process. It’s what makes you get up early and do one more cardio. It makes it easier for you to say “NO, I’m not going to eat that”. Did I like being on stage? It honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated (you can’t hear or see anything with all those bright lights, so as far as I was concerned I was up there posing for no one! haha). Nevertheless, the results, the discipline I learned, the experience I had with Steve and the things I learned about myself and my body were SO worth enduring the stage for 2 minutes.
First, I like the new improved me. I like the higher level of discipline and I like having parameters with my eating and weight. Basically, I’d like this to be my new norm. My new top weight (the highest weight I want to be) is now lower than it used to be. I’m now officially in maintenance mode. I am already thinking about next year – not for the purpose of getting back on stage, but to set new goals to hold me accountable for the off season.
My first goal for the fall is to keep weighing in regularly to hold myself accountable so I don’t gain weight back. I will diet (which means count calories and eat clean) during the week and allow myself some more freedom on the weekend as long as my weight doesn’t creep up. If it goes above my mark, I will go to competition diet until I get below that mark and then go back to maintenance again.
The next part of my goal is to continue sculpting. There are spots that still need work. I need to narrow my backside and also maintain a smaller size so my skin continues to tighten up. I need to work my abs more and I want to practice and improve my posing. I’m not doing this to win, I’m not doing it to look better than anyone else. I’m not doing it because I’m vain – because no one sees my butt and abs except for Steve and the few people who may see me at the beach! I’m doing it to have training goals, to keep myself in check, and so I don’t find myself aimlessly going through the motions at the gym. Competing gives my training purpose, and helps me stay more disciplined. Now, I better get off this computer and get to the gym!
A big thanks to all who supported me through this journey.
Thermo Heat – for their killer fat burner system & new pre-workout!!
Sewn In The Sun – for making my awesome suit (in the middle of giving birth!) & my jewelry!!
Designer Whey – for providing me with low-calorie protein!
Train Like A Freak Apparel – for workout clothes that made me feel like a winner in the gym
LoseIt – for giving me all the tools I need to track my calories
Energy Spa for tanning our team
Frankie J at Cloud 9 – for doing my hair!
The Shoe Lady – for my awesome insoles that helped me run pain-free and melt fat!
Misty Lundeen – for the best photo shoot ever!!
Kristie Gallagher – for believing in me and praying for me, that I could do this and still honor God.
Team Max – for all the support each team member offers each other
Muscle Papa – for capturing the memories on camera & posting them on your Facebook so we could see pictures SO fast!!!!
My Mom and Dad – who drove all the way up to support me, just to be there long enough to root me on & fly back home as soon as I left the stage because they had to be up early to lead worship and preach. What sacrifice!
I was blown away by the people who made the drive down to watch us compete. The last time I’ve experienced that kind of support was on our wedding day. It was an incredible experience and I’m so thankful for everyone!! THANK YOU!!!
There is something about wearing a shirt with a message. It can make you feel strong when your mind is weak, and it can make you look as strong as you may feel. Either way, motivational tops are the craze right now, empowering men and women all across the globe.
This tank (left) is one of my newest tanks: SWEAT – She Will Endure All Things. Steve got a t-shirt that says “Fear is Useless“. So true! If you love motivational apparel too, here’s some thoughts to chew on. Get ready for good juicy bit of advice, because your motivational top may be more powerful than you think – for the Good or for the Bad.
What Message Are You Sending?
One of my favorite tanks is this “Strong Women Empower Women” top. You guys know I love to encourage people to reach their goals. You also know how much I love motivational mantras and sending empowering messages. So this shirt is top on my fav list because it says what I hope to be. Are you already trying to figure out how in the world a positive shirt like this could deliver a wrong message. Well, keep reading (and have no fear, there is a very positive message in all of this too!).
We all have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. It starts first with what we DO, not what we say. Then it’s followed up by evidence (results), the availability to help others, and your desire to pass along what you’ve learned. Everyone has someone who has influenced their life – especially in fitness. Some people influence people to go in the right direction, and some people influence people to go in the wrong direction.
My warning today is if you wear a shirt like this, it’s like putting a Christian fish on your car. You are labeling yourself and there is a responsibility to act like your label. As soon as you put that bumper sticker on your car, you can’t go cutting people off and acting a fool on the road and expect people to believe your bumper sticker. A matter of fact, you may make everyone think every Christian is a jerk like you – and because of their one bad experience after you flipped them off, they may vow to never step foot in a church again. That’s quite a responsibility right?
The same goes with fitness. If you wear a top like these tanks, you are labeling yourself as a leader and a fitness enthusiast – and people are watching. Will you be a good example or a bad one? Will your lifestyle, actions and words turn people OFF to fitness or turn them ON? Will people see you and think, “I’m never stepping foot in a gym if that’s how people act” or will they RUN to the gym out of pure excitement after watching you pick healthy foods in the grocery store, seeing you run in the rain, or watching you drink water while everyone else drinks beer. Will you inspire people to also be their best and get healthy?
Be a GOOD Fitness Witness
This doesn’t mean you have to be fit and trim to wear this type of shirt. It means you have to be going in the right direction. You should be TRYING – and you have to realize people are watching your every move. You are a “fitness witness”. If you wear a top that says “Never Surrender”, then you better never surrender!!!! If you wear a shirt that says “Strong Women Empower Women”, you better make time for other women, encouraging them, lifting them up and passing along your strength.
GYM RATS: I encourage you, if you are a gym rat or workout queen, remember where you came from. Remember the time you felt weak, fat, out of shape and completely uncomfortable in the gym. Remember how good it felt when people helped you. Remember how bad if felt when people were discouraging or acted to busy to help you. Remember what you needed when you first started – and be THAT person. Be the person making a difference and letting their fitness rub off on others.
NEWBIES: If you are new, remember you can be a great “fitness witness” too. Even if you are 100lbs overweight and just starting your journey, you can encourage others to do what you are doing. You might even be a BETTER “fitness witness” because your struggle is a little more noticeable than someone else who may not be overweight, but has another type of struggle. You have an amazing chance to inspire someone to get fit no matter where you are on your fitness journey!
People are watching you and it is SO GOOD FOR YOU. You can use that to empower you, to hold yourself accountable and to keep you on track. It gives you one more good reason not to fail. Your failure could prevent someone else from trying and succeeding too. There is someone out there looking at you thinking “if she can do it, I can too”. At the same time they are thinking, “if she can’t do it, no one can”. How’s THAT for pressure? However, I believe pressure is good. Accountability is healthy. Use it to help you reach your goals – and STAY THERE!
Show the world what you are doing and who you strive to be, for the most accountability and the most impact on those around you!! Wear the motivation. Be the motivation.
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Yesterday I saw a post from one of our struggling future first-time competitors in our private Bikini Boot Camp group on facebook. She has been totally rocking, her body is leaning out, she looks amazing, but since life happens (and all the junk that comes with it), she got a wave of doubt and began to lose motivation. So she reached out to the rest of the girls for encouragement.
It just so happened I already had created this quote for today’s blog, so I shared it with her (and the rest of the girls) along with this note. After I posted it, I decided I’d share some of it with you in hopes of giving you some encouragement too.
“This goes out to all the girls out there struggling, feeling weak, unmotivated, tired, sore, hungry, grumpy, teary-eyed, frustrated, full of doubt…
You can do this! This isn’t just about getting a hot body. It’s about being YOUR best! It’s about being healthy, taking care of the body God gave you. We all have “weak” friends, family members and people who NEED us to be STRONG for THEM! This isn’t just about you, it’s about who you can be for everyone you love and everyone who loves you. The happier you are, the better mom, wife, friend, co-worker, neighbor you are. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else – because you can’t give something away that you don’t have to begin with.
“the hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day”
At first glance, you may feel your time in the gym is selfish – that it’s selfish to work so hard on “you”. But, TRUST ME. The hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day. You need this. Your kids need it. They need a strong mommy! Your husband needs a confident woman who feels as sexy as your husband sees you. Your friends need it. People are more likable when they feel good about themselves.
Strength goes beyond the gym – WAY beyond the gym. What you do in the gym creates an outward reflection of the discipline you are learning to apply in your life, to control your flesh and not let the world beat you up so you can be the best you you can be. Showing others you don’t have to give in to the Biggie Size temptations of this Biggie Size world. You CAN’T give up! People depend on you. It’s not just about your success, your success has the potential to impact every single one of your friends who are watching you and thinking “if she can do it, maybe I can too”.
YOU are a walking testimony for everything you believe in. It can be a good testimony or a bad one – that’s up to you.
Personally, I want to be a positive reflection of everything I believe in. I don’t want to teach my friends to give up on fitness, marriage, family, goals, career, God or anything else I truly believe in. There are people who depend on my success to motivate them to just even try. I want to encourage people to keep trying and to never give up – and that starts with ME not giving up. Who you can impact starts with YOU never giving up.
The hard work in the gym and kitchen is nothing compared to the victory you will have KNOWING you GAVE IT YOUR ALL, and that your all impacted people around you to give THEIR all. No one will EVER be able to take that away from you.
Now, let’s take things up a notch and act like the STRONG WOMEN I know each of you are! Let’s DO THIS! Can I hear an AMEN!?!?!?! ❤
Let’s commit to lifting each other up, helping people stay encouraged and pressing on toward their goal! Lift Someone Up Today! Share this post if your friends need encouragement on their fitness journey! 🙂
MORE STRENGTH & ENCOURAGEMENT COMING TOMORROW!
My latest blog at Designer Whey is all about girl power – why we love it and yet why so many girls still don’t have it.
Admittedly, tough training is catching on. As the fitness world continues to move in a more intense training direction, there are more women training harder than ever before. Ladies are skipping traditional 5Ks to do races like the Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash – and they love it. Even still, the majority of women are so focused on fat they neglect their muscles.
Fears Vs Facts
Why aren’t more women hitting the weights like they should? Here’s my top 5 reasons, and my answers:
Steve and Bonnie Pfiester are resident trainers for Designer Whey, America’s #1 protein company.
A gym in Brazil did an entire ad campaign focused on encouraging women to get their own strength on (pictured left). This particular ad shows a woman with a man behind her, reaching through her arms to open a jar for her. What does it mean? The ad is saying “train hard and open your own dang jar!”
Although the advertisement totally plays tricks on the eyes and is a bit edgy, the idea was brilliant and eye catching to say the least.
It’s Hard to Want What You Think You Can’t Have
Most of us don’t even waste time wanting stuff we know we’ll never have. When something is so far out of reach, we won’t strive for it. Also, it’s hard to want something you’ve never seen or experienced before. With that said, let me introduce you ladies to something called POWER – and believe me, you want it!
The majority of women that walk into a gym for the first time say they want to lose weight. Whether it’s 5lbs or 50lbs, fat loss is priority one. Those same women, if they stay uninspired, uneducated and untrained, will always keep fat loss as top priority without ever tapping into strength. Most women’s goals are modest, mostly because women don’t want what they think they can’t have. And if they’ve never experienced it before, they don’t know what they are missing!
More Power To Ya
Everyone loves a little power. I don’t believe there is a woman in the world who wouldn’t want power if they could get it. The thrill of driving a fast car or using a power tool can be fun for a chick. A woman changing her own tire is pretty cool too. Even a woman in a career, typically held by men, can be quite an accomplishment.
Don’t believe me? Then think of all the tough girls in Hollywood we women secretly admire. Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson in “Charlie’s Angels”, Vivica A. Fox in “Missing”, Angelina Jolie in “Wanted”, Jane Fonda in “Barbarella” – they all are smokin’ hot, tough as nails, and if we could be as tough as them we’d do it in a heartbeat.
So if women would love to be tough, why aren’t more women working on it? I admit, the trend is improving. There are indeed more women getting tough, but most women don’t know what they are missing.
Strength training is not about bodybuilding anymore, so women can throw the fear of getting bulky out the window. Lifting weights and training hard is about strength, conditioning, confidence, independence, physical ability, improved quality of life – and it’s plain out fun! Ok, maybe the actual work isn’t always fun, but the reward is WAY fun!
If you are a woman who does a bunch of cardio and skips the weights, you are missing out! Being fit is not just about getting skinny. Burn fat AND get strong – and enjoy a sculpted shapely physique, and the physical ability to do things you never thought possible!
– B –
10 Powerful Benefits:
1. Your body will feel firm and tone to the touch
2. You’ll burn more calories and have a faster metabolism
3. You’ll become more confident in all areas of your life
4. Simple tasks will become easier
5. You’ll look fit because you will be fit
6. You’ll mentally grow stronger as your body grows stronger
7. You’ll feel more attractive (strong is the new beautiful)
8. You’ll have less flab, which is often a mix of fat and de-conditioned muscle
9. Cellulite will be less noticeable as your firm muscle supports the skin and fat tissue.
10. You will find a whole new you – one with new goals and desires
Do you have a POWERFUL story? Share your experience with my pFIT pFRIENDS below.
“ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT BIGGER ARMS. AT ALL. WHICH SHOULD I NOT DO? PUSHUPS? PULL UPS? ALL OF THEM? ABSOLUTEY POSITIVELY NO BIG ARMS FOR ME”. Lisa, FitStudio.com fitness community member.
Lisa is not alone. Although I have a lot of readers that LOVE weights, I have a lot more readers who are scared to death of them. Whether they are scared of “bulking up” or they just don’t know how to lift weights, women and weight training often mix like oil and water.
I’ve never met one woman who said they want to “bulk up”. Unfortunately, all it takes is to see one beef cake chick in the gym to make every one afraid of touching a free weight. Most jacked up women do a LOT more than just lift weights. Their weight routine is just a small part of it. Between steroids, mega-dozes of protein, supplements and an extreme diet, they are purposely living their entire life to get the physique you hate.
I Want to Play with Man Toys Most women gravitate to the inner/outer thigh machine and ab machine, and avoid chest and back machines. I’ve got news for you ladies! Weight machines, dumbbells and barbells are not man toys, they are unisex (stop, breath, and take it all in) …aaaand they don’t make you a body builder (another pause to absorb the shock of this news). Seriously, if you are avoiding weight training, then you are avoiding increasing your metabolism, burning more calories, toning your body, strengthening your bones, building your self-confidence, and preventing injury.
Weights are not “strong enough for a woman and made for a man”, they are made for hu-mans – women and men alike. It is very unlikely your body will bulk up – your body will firm up and regain a youthful shape. In addition, 5lbs of muscle is much smaller than 5 pounds of fat, so even if you weigh the same amount but you lift weights, you’ll appear smaller.
Pink Weights vs. Real WeightsPink weights were invented by women who were scared to bulk up. Not really, but it sounds good! I mean, have you EVER seen a girl with a smokin’ hot physique who used pink weights? Ha! Honestly, if you are working out with anything less than 5lbs you might as well throw them away in my opinion. Most women should be using 8, 10, 12 & 15 pound weights for almost everything. The only thing I use 5lb weights for is lateral raises for the shoulders. Other than that I hardly touch anything under 15 pounds. You’d be amazed with how different your body would feel if you increased all your weights.
Sculpting the Body You Want The combination of reps and sets determines what type of muscle you’re shaping. If you want more muscle mass, you lift super heavy for few reps with large breaks of rest in between sets. If you want lean tone muscles, you go lighter (lighter – not LIGHT!) but heavy as you can, for 12-15 reps for upper body and 18-20 reps for legs with very little rest between sets. A workout, like the workout Lisa was talking about, is designed to tone your body, not bulk you up. Bodyweight exercises are awesome conditioning exercises that will get your heart rate up, as well as tighten your entire body. We’ve put thousands of ladies through our BCx program in Vero Beach and these women lift heavy and train hard – and not one of them gets bulky. They lose body fat and they get in the shape of their life.
Skinny or Fit? Some women are so obsessed with being skinny, all they want to do is cardio and diet – which can leave you “skinny fat”. However, a combination of weight training and cardio will get you fit and skinny – the best of both worlds. Also, realize muscle burns more calories that fat, so the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn through out the day. This means you’ll either lose fat more quickly if you are dieting or it means you can eat a little more without gaining weight if you are in maintenance – and I’m ALL about being able to do either one of those!!
Push Ups & Pull Ups are For Girls Too If you thought pull ups and push ups were for guys only – boy are you wrong. These exercises are actually primo for women! They do everything that women want. Push Ups not only sculpt the arms and chest, but they tighten and tone our core (abdominal, obliques and low back). Don’t believe me? Do as many man style push ups as you can, then drop to your knees and do as many as you can until you can’t push even one last one out. Then tell me how your abs feel the next 2 days. If you aren’t doing push ups, you are totally missing out!
And then there are pull ups. I’ll be the first to admit I hate pull ups. They are hard, they are almost impossible, but there is NOTHING that works my back and arms like pull ups. If you are like me, you probably can’t even do one pull up – but you could do an assisted pull up for sure!! Although pull-downs are a fair replacement for pull ups for those of you who don’t have a pull up bar, assisted pull ups for women are amazing. Loop a Black or Orange Bodylastics band around the pull up bar and place your foot in the handle, pointing your toe downward so it doesn’t slip off. Straighten your legs out and begin your pull ups. The band will assist you where you need it most (at the bottom) to help spring you back up. Shoot for 10-15 reps for 3-4 sets. You can also change hand positions – wide overhand grip works the top of the V in our back (bra strap area), closer overhand grip works mid back and underhand grip works more biceps.
Train Like a Football Player, Don’t Eat like One You truly are what you eat. Steve used to say “If you train like a football player and eat like a ballerina, you’ll look like a ballerina. If you train like a ballerina but eat like a football player, you’ll look like a football player.” This is a bit extreme, but true. If you have “bulked up” in the past, that is because you were probably eating too many calories. If you are heavy, you likely have a lot of muscle mass under the fat. In order to feel smaller, you need to make sure you are losing body fat while toning muscle. Many women who weight train, add protein shakes (adding extra calories) without pulling calories from other foods. So, it’s not that weight training bulked them up, eating more bulked them up. So be careful how you eat too. 🙂
UPPER BODY WORKOUTS:
Get rid of those flabby arms & tighten that bod!
Quickie Upper Body Workout