1 Day Out!

THE BIG DAY IS TOMORROW!!

Caps Lock pretty much sums up my life right now. I’m excited, nervous, and probably yelling a little.

My day has been a little hectic which is why i’m so glad I have most things figured out for tomorrow already because to be quite frank, I am running around unorganized today finalizing things and I don’t like that. If you know me at all, you know that chaos upsets me to my core. I don’t need everything planned down to the letter but I do require some sense of order and feeling unprepared just makes me more nervous. You’d think I would be more organized but I was so tired the past few days that I just kind of let things go.

I’ve packed my suitcase but have a few last minute items to add. My hair is air drying–I’ll diffuse it soon but it’s raining so I want to handle it as little as possible as the humidty will frizz it up and i’d like it to remain in tact until tomorrow when I tease the hell out of it.

I am staying at the hotel across from the venue tonight with 3 other ladies who will be competing tomorrow. So eventually I need to haul my sweet ass, my food, my weights, costumes, and other goodies over there. It wouldn’t be so bad really if it wasn’t pouring rain today and RULE #1 of spray tans = don’t get that shizz wet.

I wrote the first part of this post a few hours ago so i’m now back at home with my spray tan on and getting ready to head up to the hotel. I have my mani and pedi finished, my hair is still untouched but I think i’ll just leave it do it’s thing today to maintain the most curls as possible. I am going to have to go back to see Cherry tomorrow because I splashed nail polish remover on my wrist ALREADY and effed up my tan. Haha. Typical.

Anyway folks, I am heading over to the hotel to watch the bikini and bikini elite shows tonight so i’m excited for that. As well, I have been selected as one of the award nominees for tonight’s Inspire award contest. I think they will read all 10 stories and then give awards to the top 3, exciting stuff. Either way, I have gotten my vegan fitness story out there and i’m proud of the hard work i’ve put into my physical and mental transformation.

Oh, and on the tan…I have to be honest with you..i’m digging it. Now time for homemade fries and then relaxation.

Please add me on Instagram @regarae if you want to stay up to date with how tomorrow goes. I will be uploading photos and videos of my day.

Well world, it’s time to go! In just 1 sleep I will be gracing my very first stage. Leggo!!

3 Days Out…and some struggles. Real Talk.

Hi guys!

I just wanted to say that tonight marked my final workout prior to my show on Saturday and just in the nick of time. I realize it’s peak week and therefore is supposed to be terrible, but honestly I’ve felt fantastic. Well physically at least, but i’ll get into that in a minute. I think some of that awesomeness i’ve been feeling is due to the fact that I knew this week means it all comes to an end and somehow that gave me strength and energy.

Have I hated prep? Nope. Actually it’s been fun. It’s been an adjustment, and I certainly need to figure out a way to balance a little better next time around but i’ve enjoyed the experience, seeing how strong I really am both mentally and physically, and of course the changes that have happened weekly with my body. That being said, it’s been weeks and the past little while i’ve been training twice a day and it’s exhausting. I track macros and that’s been fine BUT I need a day or 2 where I can relax, eat intuitively, sleep in, have a glass of wine and just be. So yes, i’m excited for Saturday to finally be here.

Most people would agree that prepping for a show is hard work. My colleagues always tell me i’m dedicated and yes, sure I guess I am. But there is a lot more to prepping for a show than just giving up cookies and training more. I miss days I leave work early to see a movie, weekends spent eating breakfast in bed then perusing the market with my husband, I miss my friends–quiet nights in as well as the occasional night out with wine, I miss thinking about things NOT related to prep, not having to carry around a giant back pack filled with posing shoes, change of clothes for a 2nd workout, food upon food, etc. As I mentioned I need to find a little better balance for future shows but unfortunately during the 8-10 weeks I will cut for a show it comes with sacrifices. Period. There have been times i’ve felt like a jerk, like THAT girl who loves the gym more than life or that I had to explain myself so that I don’t seem like an inconsiderate a-hole. Truth is I do not love the gym more than life, I want to do fun things, but when coach says 2nd round of cardio…I do that 2nd round of cardio.

For those of you out there who are competitors or know a competitor you have probably noticed that the longer they diet, and the longer their prep goes on they begin to have some issues with concentration, emotions, memory etc. I would love to sit here and tell you that my emotions have been GREAT–super stable, no ups and downs, and never angry but frig, I live with a man who would probably tell you the past few weeks have made me a wee bit touchy. Sorry babe. The worst part for me has not been the diet or the exercise, hell peak week isn’t even bothering me, the problem for me is my damn brain. I CAN be a little bit of a spazz as it is, but I have never struggled like this before. I misspell simple words, write bizarre phrases (like just now for instance I initially wroteย I mistaken simply words)ย I mean what the hell is that? It’s an annoying side effect that has been plaguing me and half the time my body is fine and I don’t even REALIZE my mind is a mess.

Some days are harder than others. You should hear some of the conversations I have with people where I just stammer a long and hope they understand my broken sentences. Luckily my friends are fluent in my random dialect and have grown accustomed to my nonsense. I am not going to bother posting last night’s blog post but I actually did write one, however I clicked preview and not publish and either thought I’d clicked the correct button or forgot to go back and hit publish–who knows. I certainly don’t. If there are 150 spelling errors in this post, well…I tried. ๐Ÿ˜€

Funny ‘my life’ story: Today I tried to leave work multiple times but each time i’d get outside and realize I forgot something at my desk. The last time I had to go back inside was because I left something upstairs THAT I HAD WITH ME THE OTHER 2 TIMES but forgot upstairs this time because I went back for forgotten item #2. Ladies and gents, the struggle is real.

Prep hasn’t been terrible, but I will recap more post comp and although i’ve been dealing with the focus and memory issues my emotions have not been THAT bad. I have been quicker to get annoyed and it’s more intense. For instance when people cut me off walking and then walk super slow but block the sidewalk/aisle so you can’t get past them, or super loud chewers–they’ve always annoyed me but now I find myself becoming enraged. Luckily I am usually able to breathe through it and move a long.

Well, as i’ve mentioned I finished my last workout which is nice but I still have things to do so tomorrow i’ll rest but certainly take time to run last minute errands, pick up any items i’m missing, and of course practice my posing. As a matter of fact, i’m going to the gym at my usual 6am time to practice IN MY BIKINI. I feel silly but i’m a little nervous, not because i’ll have a bikini on per say but because i’ll be in my safe place yet feeling out of place. I’ve heard the ‘if you can’t do it in front of people at the gym’ speech a ton of times, and that’s not it at all. I can strip down and do my poses no problem, it’s that on comp day EVERYONE is in a bikini and it’s what you’re supposed to do. Most people at the gym see me looking a mess and now well they’re going to see my ass…Oh well. Putting my stupid insecurity behind me and rocking the hell out of my suit and t-walk tomorrow. I train without hesitation, eat my cold asparagus where the situation arises, I even pose between sets sometimes when I want to work on an angle, so this is the same thing–just another NECESSARY part of training. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ll let you know how it goes. Until then, be well friends.

Good nite!

6 and 5 Days out!

Good evening donut lovers (you might as well get used to this title, as it’s what i’m calling you until I get a donut on Saturday night)!

My apologies for not checking in yesterday but I was really late finishing up all of my meal prep and chores yesterday and instead of staying up an extra 45 minutes to blog, I decided the responsible thing to do would be to go to bed. I was exhausted.
Yesterday looked like this:
7am wake up (coffee and relax)
9am GYM!!ย Pose. Train. Cardio.
12:30pm Food. Uh oh…i’m soo sleepy. Let me just lie on the sofa for 2 minutes before I start my meal prep Zzzzz…..
3:15pm Shit.ย I fell asleep…
4:30pm Back to the gym
6:30pm Meal prep for realzies….ugh why is this taking so long
10pm Bedtime
As you can see, blogging was just not going to happen.

So let’s talk beauty shall we?
Stepping on stage and bringing your best package involves more than just training and dieting for 8-16 weeks. It would be a shame to work so incredibly hard, only to have it go overlooked on stage because you don’t take the time to go a few extra steps to jazz up your already fantastic package. What am I talking about? I’m referring to hair, make up, your suit, jewelry, the tan, just everything extra that adds to your overall appearance but does not overpower you.

My tan is booked for early Friday afternoon. Let me stop you right there, yes, I realize i’m black…I still need a tan as the harsh stage lights will wash you out regardless. I cannot stress how important it is to prep your skin for a tan–i’ve never had one, but I know that dead skin will make it uneven and gross so i’ve started exfoliating with a sugar scrub.

My make up is booked for SUPER early Saturday morning with Taryn Miller (@tarynmakeup on IG) and she will make me look insane. Check out her work to see what i’m talking about. To prep my face i’ve been using extra moisturizing eye cream, exfoliating, paying extra attention to my black heads (ughhh) and Friday i’ll make sure my brows are freshly tweezed. What can I say, looking pretty takes work.

I pick up my bikini and theme wear tomorrow from the wonderful Joan at DayDreamsFitnessWearย you cannot understand how excited I am to share photos in my suit. It fits like a glove and although it’s teeny tiny, I have worked hard to feel confident in it.

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So what’s left?

-Manicure/Pedicure: I will be doing my own. I do not want acrylics but want to bring some drama to my look so i’ll use glue on nails, but I can remove them myself very easily within a few days. I’ll be sure to take extra nails and glue with me to the venue/hotel just in case they decide to be stupid and pop off.

-Jewelry: I picked up earrings, bracelets, borrowed a ring from a friend, and I feel like a real princess when I wear them all together. Loads of bling, yet isn’t overpowering to my tiny little wrists.

-Shoes: My clear heels have become my bestie. I will take band-aids with me just in case I get any blisters but I wear them every single day so i’m pretty comfortable with them.

These things may seem silly or trivial, but just like a chocolate cake is appealing and delicious without frosting, think about how much better it looks well displayed on a cute plate with frosting, and when you start adding sprinkles you’re just making it impossible to resist. See what I did there? Used yet another dessert in my post haha.

Off to bed. It’s a long day ahead and my 2nd last training day so I want to give my all.

Good night all.

Peak Week!!

1 week left to go! Oh. MY.God. (Consider yourself warned, my brain is jello right now so god only knows how this post is going to go…)

I woke up feeling strong, positive, and surprisingly calm this morning. I have been practicing my routine every day, I feel proud of how far i’ve come (even though I know I have areas I can improve) and I just want the big day to come so that I can show off my hard work ANDDDDD get a break after. My body needs a break from the gym, from the 2 a days, from the lack of sleep, from the constant go, go, go of prep and this final sprint is feeling so much easier knowing a donut and a few days off from the gym are my reward.

Not to mention, it will be nice to not need to pee every 14 minutes. My workouts today went great and other than not getting a nap, I think it was a rather successful day. Even took a trip to whole foods for a few post comp treats. I am in the home stretch now and when I finish my final workout Wednesday night I will be super excited and I have a feeling that’s when the nerves will kick in. For now I still feel fine, maybe prep brain has me numb to fear…

I posted on my instagram about how I was feeling today and I just want to quickly mention it again. There have been several–okay many–times during my prep that I got worked up looking at photos of other girls. How come I don’t have her abs, her back, her ass, her quatds, her this, her that…. ย With wanting what someone else has, comes the self doubt, the insecurity and over analyzing every part of yourself. It takes self confidence to take all your clothes off and stand up in a line up of other beautiful woman KNOWING you’re being judged.

It just sort of came to me this past week that of course I want to do well, this is a competition after all but regardless of my placing I have worked hard for this and not acknowledging my hard work is foolish. I have dieted, trained, and I may not look like the next girl and she may not look like me but our uniqueness is what makes us US. She may pose better than me, I may have a better butt, the next girl might have the total package who knows. Learn from your mistakes, and do better next time. There will always be someone better, so never stop improving and of course be your own biggest inspiration and motivation.

I do not want to come out of this competition feeling ugly, fat, and like a failure therefore I have to go into feeling like a winner. I have dealt with body image issues since my tween days and I am not about to let those come back into my life and ruin it, especially not when I am at my fittest. I am doing this to prove that I can, that I am strong enough, and that vegans belong on podiums but I also need to maintain my sanity. So, i’m going to strut around in my bikini and show the judges what I can do!

For any other newbies out there, you may win your comps, you my place in the top 5, or you might place dead last. neither placing makes you any more or less of a woman nor does it negate your hard work. Someone has to come last and if you know that you put in 100% of effort, it can only get better from here. Listen to the judges, make changes, and next time bring an even better you.

Not sure why i’m getting so deep in tonight’s post. Must be all the water. ๐Ÿ˜€

Good night xo.

8 Days Out!

Greetings friends and donut lovers! I went on an entirely crazy rant last night about donuts, when hilariously enough TODAY is national donut day. I hope you went out and had a donut or 3 today, unless you’re a week out from your comp like I am. In that case, I hope you averted your eyes from social media and ate your cucumbers sliced in circles with the centers removed while pretending they were a delicious baked treat.

Speaking of cucumbers, I’ve been meaning to share this snack tip with you–try sprinkling cinnamon on your cucumber slices for a sweet treat. Trust me, I know it sounds gross and like i’ve lost my mind, but it really is good. A friend of mine does it with stevia and cinnamon, but I personally dislike that stevia aftertaste so I skip it. However, if you enjoy stevia, feel free to add.

I haven’t really talked a ton each day about how i’ve felt, what i’ve done, etc so I am going to start doing that now. Just a little blurb each day i’d like to call Mind, Body, and Cravings.

-Didn’t sleep well at all last night (around 3.5 hours) which left me feeling like a zombie this morning
-Energy was at an all time low, I felt nauseous and I had to fight back tears during my workout
-Talking to my friends, thinking about sleep on the weekend, and knowing i’m just over a week out helped perk me up and as the day went on, I started feeling better.
-Went back to the gym tonight for round 2. Not only did I survive, I killed it. My mind and heart were in my workout, so my body followed.
-Should I have listened to my body this morning and stayed in bed? To be honest, I’m not sure. I don’t think there’s a wrong or right answer. Staying in bed would not have meant I am not dedicated, but going doesn’t mean i’m obsessed either. The important thing for me is that I persevered and am able to end the day on a positive note.
-This evening I just really want a glass of red wine. The week has been especially trying on my mind and body and I would love to relax, put my feet up, and unwind with the familiar smooth sensation of a glass of shiraz washing over me. I opted for dandelion tea instead…not the same thing, but hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
-I am currently snacking on roasted asparagus with a little bit of horseradish mustard. I love roasted asparagus and since giving up my beloved broccoli a week ago, I’ve begun to rely heavily on it for craving control.
I am now well hydrated, my post workout hunger has been satiated, and i’m almost finished my SAF Inspire entry. It’s been a long day–hell a long week, so i’m headed to bed. Here’s hoping tomorrow is a much easier day.

xo

9 days to go…

Holy SH*T Batman we’ve hit the single digits.

Tonight’s post is going to be a short one, but I’m still here to do my thing.

Ever have one of those days where you’re tired and don’t want to hit the gym. As a matter of fact, you can practically here Netflix calling you, but you skipped 3 other days this week too, so you force yourself to go and hope for the best. You get there and everyone is annoying you, but you finally get out to the weight room, turn on your iPod and the music is so freaking good that you end up KILLING your workout!? Ah yes, we’ve all been there i’m sure. Well that has been me all week.

On the other hand, have you ever had one of those days where you put on your MP3 player and skip virtually every song because you’re just not feeling them. And when you finally find a song you like, you play it on repeat 5 or 6 times because you know once you move on you’re going to have to spend the next 15 minutes skipping more of your playlist…and you just can’t get into your workouts? Yeah, been there too.

I realize strength should not come from your music, but it certainly plays a huge part in my mood and energy levels. I really need to update the music on my iPod but for whatever reason I keep putting it off, I have a feeling those peak week workouts are going to require some new music tho, so perhaps this weekend i’ll take care of business.

Some days I get so into my music that i’m practically dancing during sets–pretty sure the guys at the gym are so used to me being a spazz that they don’t even notice anymore. Music has also really helped me get into posing and my TWalk. Obviously I have no idea what song will be playing when I walk out on stage, but some songs really get the blood pumping and I can’t help but let my inner sexy diva out. So fingers crossed that the song that’s playing has a great beat that I can really work my magic to.

What type of music do you listen to? What gets you in the zone? My go to music is Rap, RnB and reggaeton. However, I periodically throw in a little rock, sometimes country, and when the mood arises, I have a special playlist full of Percy Sledge, Marvin Gaye, and Sam Cooke. My daddy would be so proud. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย Not sure how the guys at the gym would feel about the fact that i’m watching them squat from a corner in the gym listening to ‘Let’s get it on’ haha. I kid. Mostly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let’s be honest, I save those thoughts for my girlfriends haha.

Okay. Focus. Tonight I set my iPod to random and here’s what I ended up listening to. I was totally feeling every single song.

1. All of me – John Legend (My warm up track)
2. Turn down for what – DJ Snake ft Lil Jon
3. ET – Katy Perry ft Kanye West
4. Only girl in the world – Rihanna
5. Soldier – Destiny’s child
6. 6 foot, 7 foot – Lil Wayne
7. We own it – 2 Chainz ft Wiz Khalifa
8. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
9. Eye of the Tiger -Survivor
10. Billy Jean – Micheal Jackson
11. Diamonds – Rihanna
12. Put on – Young Jeezy
13. What they want – Young Jeezy
14. Be Easy – Massari
15. Bailando – Enrique Eglesias ft Sean Paul
16. Temperature – Sean Paul
17. Down on me – Jeremih ft 50 cent
18. Shake it off – Taylor Swift

As I draft this post, I am singing along to Savage Garden and Coldplay. The same 2 songs on repeat actually. ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ and ‘The Scientist’. Super random and I haven’t heard either in years, but I’m singing a long and feel so relaxed. What can I say, these used to be my jams. ๐Ÿ˜€

Feel free to give me music suggestions in the comments, as you can see–I need it.:D

Tomorrow is going to be a tough Shoulder workout. I have a feeling Young Jeezy and I are going to have a date. Good night all.

xo

10 days out…

Why good evening fellow donut lovers! Actually I don’t know if you’re a donut lover or not, but I figure they’re one of the most amazing desserts on the planet so what’s not to love. However, I will also accept cookie, cake, pie, brownie, pizza, pasta, fry, and ice cream lovers just the same. Vegan of course.

Cuz all of me, Loves ALL of you Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect !imperfections...
Cuz all of me, Loves ALL of you
Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…

Trust me, John Legend is NOT singing about a girl. ๐Ÿ˜€

Okay focus. I know, I know it’s competition prep, therefore I need to stick to my strict regime of tofu and asparagus and only dream of such things as fats, carbs, and *gasp* treats. Or not, I mean clean eating is the only way to go after all, therefore I should probably be dreaming of amazing kale salads with cucumber, dried cranberries and almonds with lemon ginger dressing. Wow, that salad got really specific real quick. Not going to lie, the salad sounds pretty good so I could get down with it–but I can and will also get down with pizza and some ice cream and of course some donuts. I don’t care if I have to make them all myself, it will happen.

Proud to be hitting the stage as a vegan girl.
Proud to be hitting the stage as a vegan girl.

I am 10 days away from a huge goal of mine and although I am a flexible dieter, I am afraid the kind of donuts, cake and pizza I am thinking about would most certainly NOT fit my macros right now. So I do the best I can with the flexibility I can, and find solace in my sweet potato, asparagus and quinoa salad or oats with loads of cinnamon. Mmmm. But for the record, I am following a flexible plan, and other than a mild screw up here or there I have been very good this entire prep with staying within my macros and learning fun ways to get different foods to fit.

Truthfully, competition prep or not, this happens to be how I love to eat. Mmm macros AND micros.

Truthfully, competition prep or not, this happens to be how I love to eat. Mmm macros AND micros.

I mentioned in an instagram video earlier this evening that I have received a ton of questions regarding my hair for my show. Curly or straight has been the question of the day…I suppose because most girls wear their hair in long flowy luscious curls and I wore my hair out in a giant mess today reminding you all that it’s the state of things around here.

So to answer the question….

NO I will not be straightening my hair. I love my curly, frizzy, unruly mess of hair. It’s a big part of my personality as well. I feel most confident and beautiful when it’s huge and what can I say, I like to make a bold entrance. What better way to stand out, than with my lion’s mane?

On that note, this princess is off to sleep to dream of yummy foods–hopefully being fed to me by Idris Elba. ๐Ÿ˜€