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6th Week NPC Prep + A Letter to Myself

Workouts
Booty, booty rockin everywhereeeeee!! I must say, 6 weeks in I am getting SO excited. It’s hard when you look at your body every day – sometimes you don’t see the evolution as clearly as others. But over the past week or so, I’ve really been motivated with the changes I am seeing in my body. Still crushing my workouts (never missing one and bringing the intensity!) I really can see results – especially in my glutes, hammies and abs. I have NEVER been able to get definition in my abs. Whether I was running 6 days a week, in the throws of my eating disorder, or trying to do things the healthy way, my mid-section has always been my “trouble zone.” Even Coach Steve told me – sit tight, your trouble zones will come in last. I am happy to report my abs are flatter and tighter – and definition is coming thru! Couldn’t be more excited. And speaking of being excited, holy tush!!! Comparing my pictures week over week, my backside is getting higher and tighter. I went out Saturday night with girlfriends and couldn’t wait to throw on my short shorts. Well hello, hammies! It’s really amazing what heavy deadlifts, squats, lunges, kickbacks and extensions will do. I am in awe – and loving how the hard work is finally paying off! My triceps are still weak (skull crushers are impossibly hard – why?!) and upper body is continuing to be my least favorite to train, but I’m hitting shoulders and bis per Steve’s orders and slowly but surely, they’re coming along. Pics to come soon 🙂



Nutrition
For those of you who have asked, here is what my current supplementation plan looks like:

Cellucor Cor-Performance Whey and Dymatize ISO-100 (I alternate between brands to keep my taste buds guessing!)
Optimum Nutrition Glutamine – 1 scoop immediately following a lifting session 
Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA – 1 scoop during my workouts (I drink them during barre class and while I lift)
Optimum Nutrition ZMA – 2 capsules at bedtime

ZMA – a supplement comprised of Zinc, Magnesium and B6 assists athletes with enhancing muscle recovery, boosting muscle size and strength and potentially aiding in fat loss and has been my saving grace lately. You can read more about the supplement and its benefits here. The first week of prep I was sleeping like a boss, but that was short lived. After week 2, I began waking up around 3-4 am every night, unable to fall back asleep! Now I take 2 ZMA pills before bedtime and sleep like a baby, waking up feeling well rested with tons of energy. With training 90 minutes a day and teaching my barre classes, not sleeping is NOT an option. I was nervous if I didn’t find a “natural” remedy, I would have to go to see my physician, but thankfully they do the trick! 

Favorite Meals: 

Yummy pancake con cafe!

Breakfast: 1/3 cup oats mixed with 2/3 cup egg whites cooked up like a pancake. Mix a little whey and water for a chocolate “drizzle” and top with 1/2 cup fruit (mashed banana or cherries are my fave lately!). 
Mid-morning snack: 3 oz plain non-fat Greek yogurt topped with 1/2 cup fresh pitted cherries (I look like I’ve committed mass murder when I’m done, but oh so worth it!) and 1 oz raw almonds. Yummy in my tummy.
Lunch: Eh, anything goes. I usually keep it simple. 3 oz ground turkey, 4 oz sweet potato “fries” and 3/4 cup whichever veggie I have readily available. Some days I cook up sugar snap peas (my favorite) and on particularly lazy days, I cut a cucumber in half and just munch on that (a sight to be seen, really!). 

Fajitas!



Mid-afternoon snack: 3 oz chicken with 2 oz avocado and 3/4 cup whatever veggie I’m craving (sometimes I skip the veggie entirely – a girl can only eat so much!)

Dinner: Chicken, grilled onions and peppers rolled in butter lettuce (Hello, fajitas!) alongside sweet potato “fries”.
Pre-Bed Meal: Hands down my favorite of the day. 1 scoop Whey protein combined with water, ice and 1/2 frozen banana. I lay on the couch with the shake and my kindle, and Lucy curled up by my side. Life is good! 


Cravings: In anticipation for an upcoming cheat meal, I am craving fro-yo and Twizzlers! And sushi 🙂



Mental State
I’m happy to report, things are great! There are days when my body feels tired, or I don’t feel so strong in the gym, but the moments are short-lived and I’m able to keep pushing through. I think seeing the changes in my body is really what helps drive me. I also love spending my Saturday afternoons at posing practice – there is something really comforting about being up on stage with my fellow competitors, talking about our struggles, laughing as we pose near-naked on a stage in a busy gym… it’s just nice chatting with other guys and girls living the same lifestyle as me. Dating during prep is so oddly challenging. It’s really interesting just how much dating is centered around dinners and drinks. Honestly though, I am so focused on my career, training, teaching, keeping my diet tight and spending quality time with Lucy and friends, that dating isn’t top of mind at this stage in the game. I’ve done a lot of thinking lately – about what I want and the type of person I want it with… and I’ve been trying to read a bit more, pray a bit more. Recently I came across this quote that sums up my mental state right now: “At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.” If you would’ve asked me a year ago where I’d be today, I would have said picking out monogrammed sheet sets. But here I am. And that’s okay! I am completely content waiting for what I deserve, and refusing to settle for less. I’ve started to compare my love life to reading a new book. Sometimes you read the first few pages and think “Oh crap, this sucks!” and want to drop the book like a hot potato. But you have to read through it to understand the next few chapters and ultimately, the story in its entirety. I’m trying not to look back, nor am I trying to skip any pages. I’m taking it one page at a time, just believing and having faith that tomorrow could be even more beautiful than I ever imagined. 

A Letter to Myself
I recently came across a note I wrote to myself the night before I started competition prep. Thought it was too good not to share – and applies to us all as we embark on various journeys through life. I hope if you’re going through any sort of challenge, this letter invigorates you and gives you the motivation you need to keep on truckin!

“It’s going to be hard. Keep going, remembering why you started. It’s hard to wake up uncomfortable every day stuck in a body you’re not completely satisfied with. It’s hard to prep your meals, say no to happy hour and pack your food. Choose your hard. Stay focused. Stay determined. You can do anything, sweet girl!

Remember the morning you found out Grandma suddenly passed away? What about the day you realized you wanted to end your marriage? The day you lost sweet Tiffany. You never knew how you’d dig yourself out of the grief. And yet here you are, standing tall. You made it through to the other side. You have your happy back! This experience is teaching you that you can do any damn thing you set your mind to. Be soft, yet strong. Let yourself be open to whatever and whomever life sends your way. Let your past make you better, never bitter.”

XO,
Jenn

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