My journey to get stage ready and compete in a figure competition this spring has officially started.  I am targeting mid-April for the competition based on past schedules that I have seen for 2016 and in talking with my coach, Emily Neis.

During the past three weeks, the most challenging aspects were adjusting my body/system to this new way of eating- small meals every 3-4 hours.  I eat six small meals and drink at least one gallon of water daily plus take a Glutamine supplement with meal 2.  Just to topline what Glutamine is, it is a supplement that prevents catabolism which means losing mass, density, strength and definition. Therefore Glutamine promotes muscle growth.

The nutrition plan is precisely and scientifically crafted by Emily and will change every three weeks. Below is the total daily calories and macros (carbs, protein, fats) from the first three weeks.

Calories: 1439
Protein: 168g 46%
Carbs: 84g 23%
Fats: 51g 31%

My protein has come from eating a lot of egg whites, tuna, and a little chicken (2 oz), fats have come primarily from avocado and almonds, and carbs primarily from red potato and a little roasted red pepper. I only had one protein shake daily just before bed.

Another big adjustment is increased cardio and weights.  While I teach group fitness classes (in addition to my full time job in marketing) ranging from Spinning, weight/cardio/core, and Tabata interval formats, I am definitely raising the bar on my fitness.  The past three weeks, my cardio workouts varied from treadmill, bike and stair mill.  The cardio workouts, especially the stair mill have pushed me and my endurance is being tested. Currently, I struggle with the stair mill, but as my endurance improves I’ll be able to achieve the levels my coach is requesting.  During my weight workouts, I push myself to lift heavier each set and definitely week to week because I think (and know) that somewhere someone is lifting heavier than me.

As I journey to the stage, every 3 weeks I will take pictures tracking my progress.  Below are pictures 27 weeks out (or 3 weeks into the nutrition/workout plan).

10.30 Image 2

3 week progress
3 week progress


Today marks a milestone post as it is 6 months since I began Fit to the Next Level and my journey to raise the bar on my health and fitness.    I have learned so much since I started, and I owe a lot of my success to my support system, my family, my life long partner, John, my friends, and my trainer, Megan Vaccaro. Without a strong and supportive system, this journey would have been even more challenging.

One important thing that I’ve learned is that progress is slow.  Change doesn’t happen overnight.  You think to yourself, “I’m working so hard, and I’m not seeing the results fast enough.”  You debate if it’s worth it, is what I’m doing working, are the sacrifices I’m making paying off?  And, then one day it all seems to come together and the hard work is starting to show.

While I am really ecstatic with the results, the goals I have hit, and the  improved level of fitness and performance, I am not done.  Fit to the Next Level is a lifelong journey for me.  Raising the bar on what I eat, drink, and the purpose I have when I’m in the gym has become a lifestyle.  A lifestyle that I am committed to.

Below are my measurements (compared to my baseline when I started).   I believe that these measurements are more exact than previous measurement posts as I am using my new Fit & Healthy brand tape measure (see below for device image).

Weight: 117 (loss of 9 pounds)

Right Bicep: Unflexed: 10 1/4″ (decrease 3/8″)/ Flexed:  10 3/4″ (decrease 1/2″)

Left Bicep: Unflexed: 10 1/4″ (decrease 3/8″) / Flexed: 11″ (no change)

Waist: 27″ (loss of 1 1/4″)

Hips: 33 1/2″ (decrease of 2 5/8″)

Bust: 31 1/4″ (decrease of 1 3/8″)

Right Thigh: 19 1/2″  (decrease of  1 5/8″)

Left Thigh: 20″ (decrease of 1 1/8″)

Neck: 12″ (loss of 1/4″)

Left Calf: 14″ (loss of 1/8″)

Right Calf: 14″ (loss of 1/8″