There are 14 of my secret weapons to pick from.
Secret Weapon #1 - Reminders of my Journey
In January of this year I started a program for my clients called GAP (Goal Assessment Program). My clients create a short term goal and for every new goal they start they start with a different colored wristband (like the live strong wristbands). I decided to apply this to my goals and my training. I am going to wear a different wrist band for each show. For Fitness Atlantic on April 16 my wristband was white, for Central US Championships my wristband was cream, for build and break before worlds my wristband was lavender, and for the WBFF World Championship and my pro debut my wristband is pink. I wear it all the time. It is a great reminder even when I am at dinner with friends and getting so much pressure from them to eat something bad "it's just one bite", or drink something I don't want "it's just one sip"...that these are my goals not there's. What is really cool is that you can write on your wristband with a sharpee marker or you can order a single wristband with a msg already printed on them. This is my wristband and I kind of like the sharpee. It makes it more real, organic, and personal for me. www.wristbands-with-a-message.com.
Secret Weapon #2 - Secret Weapon Cardio
So we all have to step up our cardio before we compete, but I hate cardio. So rather than stepping up the amount of cardio I completely change what I use for cardio. I would normally do step, or spin, or run...So when I am getting ready for a show I do the same duration of cardio but I use a HELIX...It's like an elliptical but instead of peddling forward and back you peddle in and out. The HELIX really is my cardio secret weapon 3 weeks out from show.
Secret Weapon #3 - Eating Clean Made Easy
Eating clean for me is very easy, but eating really structured can become a little bit challenging because I am so busy. It is difficult to eat on time and to eat exactly what I'm supposed to during the 5 minute breaks between fitness classes I teach. Every Sunday I prep my meals for the week; but that is not enough. I also prep my Post It's. So, my secret weapon #3 is the Post It. On Sunday I post on my fridge a Post It for every day of the week with my meals for that day written on the post it. As I eat a meal or pack a meal to take with me it is checked off the Post It. I save all my post its week after week until the show is over. If I love the way my body looks like on stage (not if I won or not) I journal those meals. This journal will become the framework for the meals I use to prepare for my next show. If I feel I came in too hard or too soft I go back and look at the Post Its, alter them and then journal what my diet is going to look like for the next show. So needless to say I go through a lot of Post Its; but I love them.
Secret Weapon #4 - Finding Peace During a Very Restless Time
We all have competition secret weapons that have to do with the way we workout. I have already told you about Helix for my cardio. My next workout secret weapon is Power Yoga. I do yoga all year long, but starting 5 weeks out I step it up with a very specific yoga class. I drive 45 minutes once or twice per week to Bryan Kest's Power Yoga in Santa Monica and a class by an instructor named Vytas. A mix between traditional Ashtanga Yoga, Kest's Power Yoga, and a little bit of general fitness with a yoga flare; this class never disappoints. It is not only instructionally dynamic, challenging and mind clearing; but the environment from the room to the people I am surrounded by is exactly what I need during this time.This packed room full of a variety of yoga styles and levels pushes me in a way nothing else can; especially when I'm exhausted and depleted. I am completely drenched with sweat by the end, I feel energized, I am at peace with myself and the world around me, and my body is flexible. I think Vytas' quote explains it best for me, "Try dropping out of the rat race for a mere hour and a half. Leave that insanity at the door and join us." I think every single competitor can relate.
Secret Weapon #5 - My French Pedicure
Here is one of my most treasured competition secret weapons. We all love to have french pedicures for a fitness show, but it is so frustrating when they chip before we ever make it to stage. Well, have you ever heard of Shellac....Shellac is this amazing permanent and no chip nail polish. I love it. I can even do my fitness routine without it chipping. It really is that amazing. So call a couple of nail studios and ask for a Shellac French Manicure....
Secret Weapon #6 - Goal Planning
Creating and maintaining focus during such a long competition season is a big challenge for me. In addition I find that having a busy personal life will distract me from my fitness and business goals. Conversely, having a busy fitness/competition life will distract me from my personal and business goals. So finding harmony among all 3 aspects for me is the hardest part about competing. Last year I went through a very difficult time in my personal life where my goals and dreams were shattered in a single day; but I had to pick myself up by my bootstraps and make the best of a challenging situation (like so many of us have to). I went to visit my good friend Alex Navarro and as I sat on her bed feeling sorry for myself I looked up and saw her dream board. It reminded me of when I did those in my 20's and how great it was for me. I returned home from that trip and made my dream board and it was the best thing I could have done last year; and I will continue to make a dream board for the rest of my life. I include my person goals like "only love the deserving"; and my professional goals like "host a booth at the IHRSA convention"; and my fitness goals like "Eat clean 6 days per week" and "Do yoga 2 days per week". I hang my dream board right outside my closet and bathroom, so every morning I have to take a look at it. One last thing I do is add to it. There are fun shapes of paper on it and as something special happens to me or I hear a great saying I add that to my board. Lastly, I add mementos to the board to remind of special things as they happen; a plane ticket for a special trip, a fortune cookie from my best girls wedding, and most recently the top 5 medal and blue scarf from the opening number of the WBFF Fitness Atlantic competition. This really is a great way to remind myself of the many things that take me off course, create an imbalance in my life, and distract me from all the things that mean so much to me.
My dream board...
Secret Weapon #7 - Motivation When I Need it Most
Motivation is the key component to being successful in life. I have a lot of little things that motivate me from my bracelets, to my dream board; but a friend of mine turned me onto a clothing company a little while ago. I have always been somebody that has gone against the grain in life. People have always told me I couldn't do something and I proved them wrong and did it. When I was a child I was a champion Equestrian and people told me unless your parents are rich you will never win. Well guess what, my parents aren't rich, and guess what, I won!!! I bought horses that were on their last legs intended for the killers (this is not a joke) and won against horses that people paid 100's of thousands of dollars for. A few years ago I saw something with this Pole Fitness thing. I am a business woman and I want to do pole fitness so their have to be other women like me. I told my friends in the fitness industry that I was going to develop a legitimate pole fitness program and teacher training program. Everybody laughed at me. Well guess what I am the pioneer in the pole fitness industry and I was first to have my program 3rd party validated. Then I wanted to compete in Fitness and I wanted to use my pole as my prop. I was told you will never win with that pole. I was told I was a one hit wonder that can't do anything else. Also my judges score card said "stripping isn't fitness". Seriously I am an acrobat not a stripper. So, what did I do. I created pole fitness routines that had more strength moves then any other competitor. I knew the judges wouldn't give me any recognition for my strength moves on my pole so I did a minimum of 6 strength moves on my pole and an additional 6 strength moves on the floor. Well guess what, I did win on a national and an international level. So every single time anybody has said I can't or I won't I have told them I will, I have, and I did!!!
So, this is my new favorite clothing company "Say I Won't". Say I won't reminds me every day what I stand for. I have this sticker in my studio on the top of my pole. I love what I do and I love changing the face of fitness every chance I get.
Secret Weapon #8 - Stop Using Bikini Bite and Start Using Tupe Tape
Hello Ladies...we all know that having our suits crawl up our bumms on stage is not only really irritating, but it is also really distracting and can be pretty embarrassing. Most competitors use Bikini Bite or Spray Adhesive which both work great, but they don't travel very well and get really messy. Well what most of you don't know is that I have worked as a costume tech. and designer for the musical theater stage since I was 16; and I have learned some amazing tricks. Toupee Tape is a double sided sticky tape that is used to hold toupee's on sweaty heads and I use these to hold down anything. When you use Bikini Bite you have to turn to the competitor next to you and say "excuse me do you mind"...then the competitor peals back your suit exposing your ass and maybe a little more and with her face in all of your business has to apply, stick and push. With toupee tape I place it into the suit and then I just step in. No adjustments needed once it's on. 2 words of caution you have to stick it correctly the first time cause it is really really sticky. Also, hollywood fashion tape is not the same and in fact I don't like it. I tend to "glow" on stage (AKA sweat a little) and hollywood fashion tape would slip. The best toupee tape to get is the short strips either straight or curved, I prefer curved, but do not get the kind on a roll. It is super cheap. A 2 year supply is about $14. Here is a link to a site that carries it or any beauty supply that sells hair, wigs or extensions should have it, but they typically keep it behind the front desk. Good luck ladies and keep up the great work.
Secret Weapon #9 - The Best Cooler I have Found
Competing in itself is challenging you have to be organized and prepared and live in discomfort and isolation; but for most of us that compete it is an amazing experience. I love it!!!
So, in order for me to compete and limit the negative impact competing has on my life, so I can enjoy it that much more, I have learned some really cool things. I call these my competition secret weapons.
My #9 weapon is the 6 Pack Cooler
6 Pack is a company that developed a Meal Management System for competitors. They make it so easy for competitors to travel wit food. It is set up with dividers, drawers, pockets, places to put shakers, bottles, supplements, etc. You will love this system.
The small one is plenty big, fits under the seat in front of you on a plane, is light weight, and retails for $69.99 which is well worth the investment.
www.6packbags.com, get one today you will love it!!!
Secret Weapon #10 - Protecting the GOODS!!!
So this is a very delicate conversation specifically for the ladies. I have been competing for well over 5 years. Since the beginning I have gotten terrible yeast infections every single show. I first thought it was from the diet, but that has changed throughout the year. Then I thought it was from the water loading, but I don't always do that. Then I thought it was from the sodium loading, but I don't always do that. I finally figured it out 2 years ago it is from the overspray from the tanning products. So I started wearing an itty bitty tiny g string when I tanned and they went away but I don't want any lines or anything. Then I started the research process and tried/researched 10 different tanning products. Same thing happens with all of them. Then I got this bright idea...Panty Liners. Hallelujah. I take a panty liner that is intended for thong panties. I face it sticky side toward me and stick it on to me. PROBLEM SOLVED!!! Now I use pantzies...
Secret Weapon #11 - Getting Water Down the Hatch!!!
So when we are in competition season much of the time it is the little things that bring us joy on a daily basis. For me, I start to get very testy by the end of my week. I start feeling like each next meal I have to eat is a chore and my next bottle of water is an inconvenience. The inconvenience of water is two fold getting it in and getting it out. I feel like I spend my entire day in the bathroom; unfortunately I can't fix this problem as much as I'd like to. But I have found a little secret weapon to get the water in. I love BIG THICK STRAWS... At Smart and Final one day I could not find regular straws to go in my competition makeup kit (by the way you should always have these. Great way to sip water and not mess up your makeup or spill on your tan) so I was forced to purchase Milk Shake Straws. OMG that might have been the best day of my life. I stuck one in a 16 oz cup of water and in 3 drinks it was gone. So, my competition secret weapon #11 is the Milk Shake Straw. I can help you get the water in and your gonna have to handle getting it out
Secret Weapon #12 - Getting Organized
So I have shared quite a few of my secret weapons and I only have a couple more for you. This one is one of my favorites My Binder. Yes it is as simple as that. I keep a binder of everything I have learned over the last few years. It has tons of tabs in it. Tabs include things like Tanning, Makeup, Hair, Competition Suits, Off Season Workouts, In Season Workouts, 5 weeks from Comp Workouts, 5 days to Show Workouts, Off Season Nutrition, In Season Nutrition, 5 weeks from Comp Nutrition, 5 days to Show Nutrition, and Ask the Experts. I then put my show prep for a specific show inside a manila folder in the front of the binder. I carry this with me everywhere I go when I am prep'ing for a show. It is another visual aide that makes show prep so much easier. Lastly, on the outside of my folder I write down sayings that make me feel powerful and successful
Secret Weapon #13 - Take Control
I have a terrible problem with under arm sweat back stage. So what I do is take 2 car buffing pads, pictured below, and place them under my arms. They absorb the sweat and make my armpits look fresh on stage. You can get these where any automotive supplies are sold.
Secret Weapon #14 - Touch it UP
IThese are a must have back stage. I use them to touchup any tanner and to lay on a coat of shine over my tan. They are perfect for the job.