Dealing With The “Nay-sayers” of Competing & Staying True to Your Goals

This topic is crucial to recognize when you chose to compete in a bikini competition. THERE WILL BE NEGATIVE OPINIONS ABOUT YOU.

Bikini competitions are relatively new and many people are ignorant. The NPC Bikini division wasn’t developed until 2009. This is the first year that the Olympia is on TV. There is little understanding for female bodybuilding. Bikini was introduced to appeal to the girl who wishes to look less muscular and more feminine. There is a focus on beauty and stage presence as much as there is on physique. For that reason, the bikini division has a lot of backlash and many think that it is not a serious category.

What people don’t understand is that it is just as difficult to achieve. There is just as much hard work put into it and it is just as admirable of an achievement. The difference is the end goal of what you want your body to look like.

There are still weeks of meal prep, hours a day in the gym, emotional and financial struggle involved.

While training for my first competition, I experienced first hand how much people will criticize what you are doing. I don’t know if this is because it is a “bikini competition” or simply because you are doing something extreme that draws attention.

While many people don’t intend to be criticizing you, it is easy to let these remarks get to you.

Here are some of the comments I can remember:

While sitting at a family party, everyone is eating lasagna and mashed potatoes and other delicious foods. I am eating grilled chicken and asparagus out of Tupperware. I am offered some food and I politely decline. “Jenny can’t eat she’s competing to look hotter than other girls in a bikini.” It was after that comment that I thought to myself, “what am I doing?” I was NOT enjoying my food. He was right. It was all to look better than other girls in a bikini on stage. How shallow and pathetic is that? I was missing out on good food and times with family. But I knew that wasn’t my purpose and I shook it off and kept eating.

Explaining to the woman I babysit for that I would be competing again. She says, “Oh, Jenny! I only feel comfortable telling you this because I love you. You were too extreme! Your body doesn’t like that! I wanted to shove a cheeseburger down your throat and tell you to be happy! Don’t do this to yourself again.” This time I could only laugh to myself. What does this woman know about my body? In fact, I was very happy during training. I had more energy and felt healthier than ever before in my life.

Other people would tell me that my face looked so much better “fuller”. Some would tell me that the whole thing was “sexist”. People would say that I looked too thin.

There were times that I would question my reasons for competing. I would wonder if I was seeking attention. I would wonder if it was unhealthy and I was obsessed.

Here is the quote that I use to keep me focused:

“It’s not about a trophy, a placing, or a prize. It’s about setting goals and surpassing them. It’s about discipline, dedication, willpower, reaching deep down and finding strength that you didn’t even know you had. It’s about structure and putting in work and following the plan. It’s science and I’m a living experiment. It’s about being better than my former “best” and proving to myself that I can achieve this. That’s why I do it & that’s what it’s all about.”

I saw this quote on Instagram from another bikini competitor and couldn’t think of anything better to describe what I do and why I do it.

This next competition I will focus on this message. There are two ways of competing. You can tell people. I do this because it holds you more accountable to your actions. Or you can stay private. This is good because you avoid discouragement from these comments. Both take strength. Choose what is best for you.


What it means to be “Skinny-Fat”

What It Means to be Skinny-Fat

If you follow fitness accounts on Instagram, chances are you’ve heard the term “Skinny-fat”.

This is a term that I had no IDEA what it meant when I first heard it, but now that I have an understanding of it, I couldn’t relate to it more.

I have never been technically overweight in my life. I don’t come from an overweight family, I have always been participating in sports, however I have indulged in an unhealthy relationship with food.

I have spent a lot of my life drinking soda, eating icecream, drinking alcohol. Still, I never saw myself reach overweight. I have, however, been “skinny-fat”.

Skinny-fat refers to being out of shape. Usually it refers to someone with a small body frame. They may lack muscle tone and have a muffin top, or cellulite, or bit of a tummy. Usually their limbs are on the skinny side but nothing looks firm or toned.

Here are two examples of me when I am skinny-fat. I feel horrible in my own skin here. I am killing myself with cardio on a daily basis. I am drinking alcohol, eating large meals very spread apart with little to no nutritional value.

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Then there is me when I’m at my most ideal, yet unrealistic to maintain, stage weight. This is the result of weight training, extremely clean eating, and manipulating my water.

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So what does it look like when I eat relatively clean, drink plenty of water, lift weights, and do no cardio?

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This is balance. This is a cheat meal every 3 days. No cardio.

So you choose. Weights or cardio?


Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water


During competition prep, I drink 15 water bottles a day with lemon juice!

Never at any other time in my life did I have such clear, glowing skin. I swore my creases in my face were less visible, I had more energy, and felt cleansed.

Drinking lemon water has endless benefits:

clear skin, boosted immune system, natural energy, detoxes unwanted waste, cures throat infections, helps relieve respiratory problems, promotes weight loss, reduces fever

Being hydrated and drinking water in general is one of the best things you can do for your body. One tip for drinking more water: write down a schedule. One bottle with breakfast. One bottle before shower. One bottle before, after, and during workout. One bottle with each meal. One bottle before bed. One bottle every time you leave the house. These are just a few examples to make yourself more aware of when your drinking water!


Best Advice I can give

DSCN0071Last spring, I set out with the biggest goal of my life. It sounds kind of cheesy but my biggest life goal or dream was to compete in a fitness competition. I could not imagine my body ever looking like that, and I was so passionate about fitness. After achieving this goal, I set bigger goals. 1. Compete in and WIN a bikini competition. 2. Become a certified personal trainer. 3. GO PRO!

I don’t know if I will ever reach my biggest goals, however it is extremely empowering to achieve a goal you set.

The one piece of advice I would offer to anyone in any position of their life is to believe in yourself. YES I KNOW. Cheesy. But it is so incredibly true. Trust the process of hard work. Set a goal and believe that you will reach it. The mind is a powerful tool. I cannot give any better advice than this.


Why to Do Cardio and What are the Best Forms of Cardio

DSCN0048While I focus a lot of my blog posts on the benefits of strength training, cardio workouts definitely have their place in any healthy and fit person’s life.

Cardiovascular exercise is not only proven to improve your mood by releasing endorphins, it also reduces your appetite, strengthens your heart, lowers your blood pressure, and promotes weight loss.

So what kind of cardio do I recommend and how much should you do?

Well, how much you should do varies depending on your goal. If you are trying to build muscle mass you should not do hours of cardio on end.

I usually recommend 30-75 minutes of vigorous cardio to an athletic person.

What is vigorous cardio?

Stair-master, running FAST, playing basketball ball intensely, swimming laps, HIIT workouts (see previous post), boxing, or cycle classes.


For moderate cardio you can do around two hours.

What do I consider moderate?

walking, jogging, elliptical, stationary bike, etc.

The important thing is to sweat and move! Always consult a doctor before beginning a new cardio routine.


My Favorite Nutritional Smoothies

cakebatterblueberry shaake

Cake Batter Blue Berry Oatmeal Shake- Very filling and delicious. A Perfect breakfast option for leg day. Recipe: 1 scoop of Cellucor Cake Batter Whey Protein, a handful of blueberries, 1/3 cup oatmeal, almond milk & ice.

strawberry banana shake

Strawberry Banana Shake- Recipe- Banana, Almond milk, and strawberries with ice.

spinach smoothie

Paige Hathaway Inspired Veggie Smoothie- Recipe- Celery, Kale, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, (Apple) optional.

berry smoothie

Berry Spinach Smoothie- Black berries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Spinach, Water, & Ice.


Healthy Pancake Alternatives

One of my favorite off-season treats are pancakes. However, classic pancake batter is not good for you. Here are a few healthier alternative pancakes I have discovered for a great pre-workout breakfast in the off-season!

proteinpancakes1One of my favorite pancakes (pictured above) are my oat pancakes. Recipe: 1/3 cup of oats, 1 banana, 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, splash of almond milk. Cooked like regular pancakes in your choice of coconut oil, butter flavored PAM, or smart balance buttery spread.

proteinpancakes2Another great option are my banana protein pancakes. Recipe: 1 scoop of whey protein (I used unflavored why isolate protein powder by Isopure), 3 eggs, half a banana (microwaved and mashed), a splash of vanilla extract, some ground cinnamon, unsweetened almond milk, and a little bit of honey!


Cake Batter Protein Pancakes- Recipe- 1 scoop Cellucor Cake Batter Whey Protein, 2 eggs, Splash vanilla extract, 1/4 cup oatmeal (cooked).


Plain Protein Pancakes- 1 scoop of oat flour, a scoop of unflavored whey isolate protein powder, mixed together with egg whites, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.


Fluffy Protein Pancakes- One scoop of cottage cheese, oat flour, egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and whey protein.