Monthly Archives: December 2015


Well here we all are again.  Another year gone and another one looms.  Last year we were all saying, “2015 is going to be my year! 2015 is going to be the year I’ll show all of you what I’m made of.” Aaaaand here we are with our, “2015 was the warm up…2016 is the YEAR!”  Hey, I’m guilty of it too.  Each year I have HUGE plans and a massive list of things I want to accomplish and goals I have and reasons why THIS year is going to be the year.  I always lose the list and I’m exhausted by the end of month one.  Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?  It’s the same as when we decide to go on a diet.  THIS is the diet I’m going to be successful at.  I’m going to prep all my meals and I’m going to go totally clean and I’m not even going to let the chocolate into the house.  Then what happens?  By week 3-4 (for those who last that long) you’re crabby, angry, usually no more than 3 pounds lighter and disappointed in yourself.  Why do we overload ourselves with the pressure of ALL OR NOTHING, BE ALL END ALL, BALLS TO THE WALL for the things we waited all year to accomplish?  They weren’t even that important to keep track of the damn list and now we HAVE to get them done right away in the near year so we don’t go a whole other year putting them off. 


This year, I decided to avoid the lists, drop the attitude of THIS IS MY YEAR and let life happen.  I decided that I want to spend my time and energy on one thing that may lead to improvements in every other aspect of my life (it’s kind of a two birds with one stone theory) what needs to change is my attitude.  I’m not saying attitude like I’m a bitch and hate everyone (although YOU try working a week in the hotel industry and let me know how you feel about human beings after that) I just mean the way I look at aspects in life.  Whether it’s a more positive attitude towards work, a more serious attitude towards getting this book done, a kind attitude towards shitty drivers…whatever it is, I’m working on my attitude.  I keep a bucket list of things I want to accomplish in my life…it’s my life list instead of my #newyearnewme list.  The bucket list I will always have, I’ll always scratch things off and add things and that will continue on forever until they stuff me and prop me in my brother’s future house.  This year I’m hoping instead of a HUGE list of “things” that may or may not happen…maybe if I change my attitude towards them they will actually get done.  It won’t feel like something I HAVE to do but something I’m excited to try. 


My first order of business with my attitude change is my attitude towards this show.  I made the executive decision this morning that I am going to do a later show.  For a few reasons.  I’m less than thrilled with myself for the way I have been going about prepping for this show and I need an attitude adjustment.  I have been busting my ass every single day, spending countless dollars on supplements and food and I couldn’t even give you a reason why I chose this show. Of COURSE my pictures look like shit…how do I expect to look AMAZING when my attitude hasn’t been amazing?  I started this prep as SOON as I was feeling too soft and uncomfortable and bored in my off season.  When I started my first prep it was because I had to get on that stage and show the world that I wasn’t just some funny fat girl…I was a fighter.  Maybe I thought that I HAD to do another show because I came this far, may as well keep the ball rolling right?  SO wrong.  I forgot WHY I started bodybuilding in the first place.  I lost sight of what it is about this process that I love so much.  I had a blasé attitude about prep and thought that if I had one on my belt, how hard could the second one be right? I can put 110% into this book and 110% into my prep and 110% into work and trying to meet friends and get to know Arizona and I can put 110% into diet and supplements and trying to build an empire!  How many % did I really think I could hand out?  I’m all over the place. 

I had a VERY…stern pep talk with myself yesterday and pretty much ripped myself a new asshole (as if I didn’t have enough issues in that area):

“You are amazing! (yes I talk to myself like I’m talking to myself) do you realize that you have done something that NO ONE has ever done before?  Do you realize what a strong, determined and passionate person you are?  Why are you fucking it all up just to get a few extra hours of sleep or because you’re too tired or some other stupid excuse you let yourself believe is okay?  You are going to do AMAZING things in your life woman.  You are not going to be stuck behind a computer screen listening to brides talk to you like a piece of shit on the ground forever.  But no one is going to hand it to you bitch.  You have to EARN it.  No one owes you a damn thing, a DAMN thing.  You have been so incredibly lucky to make it as far as you have with the amount of effort you have contributed.  You QUIT voice lessons when you were no longer the best at it, you STOPPED acting when it got harder to land roles but THIS is the ONE thing you didn’t quit. You BUSTED your ass and you killed yourself every single day to get on that stage and you loved every single minute of it.  You are MEANT to do this.  You are MEANT to change people’s lives and inspire and motivate…YOU…and if you don’t fucking bust your ass every single day for the rest of your life…someone else will and you are going to have to live with that.  You are NOT some fat girl who will just be someone’s wife and mother and that’s IT.  You are going to change the world Lyss.  It won’t happen over-night and it sure as hell won’t be handed to you.  Get your ass out there and work day in and day out until you get there.  You want it.  FUCKING GET IT!”


Okay, that’s not EXACTLY word for word how it went.  I cleaned up the language a bit and paraphrased the part where I called myself pretty.  I needed the attitude fix.  I made a few decisions going into 2016.  I am going to be doing the INBA/PNBA Cooper Classic in Sierra Vista, Arizona on March 19th, 2016.  This federation hosts the Natural Olympia every year and one day…I’m going to be there.  I have to start somewhere though.  Not only will I be doing a different show but a different division.  I’m going to go into this show in the Women’s Bodybuilding category (and for those of you who know me know that part of the decision was based on the fact that Women’s Physique has to wear heels-I’ll pass thank you).  I’m not sure why my mentality for the February show as so crappy.  Maybe I was tired.   Maybe I just wanted a break from being “on” every single day.  Regardless of what my shitty excuses are, I’m ready.  I have a purpose.  I have a reason for going into this show and I have a fire in me.


I don’t need a new Lyss for 2016, this one is pretty fun and weird, but I’ll take a new attitude. 


Bring it on 2016 and whatever your #newyearnewme list is… Happy New Year to EVERYONE! 





Everyone goes to the gym for different reasons.  In between sets I love to people watch.  People who are first timers, people who are old timers, people who are about to be two-timers.  We all go for different reasons.  I need the gym.  You can say I’ve swapped my addition to food for my addition to the iron but it is so much more than that.  I try to explain why the gym is something I LOVE doing…not something I HAVE to do but most of the general public don’t quite understand as the gym is on the same to-do list as laundry or dishes.  You gotta do it…but you really hate it.  So many people talk about that “pump” that you feel at the gym.  They throw the word around as a key “gym bro” term, but I wonder how many people REALLY understand what the pump feels like… and if they did, if they would finally understand why some people just NEED the gym, why they look forward to it and kind of miss it when they take a break.  I’m going to attempt to explain it.

Imagine you are in the middle of hot, sweaty, animal-style sex.  Not the “love-making” weirdness that they show in the movies.  We are talking the real deal.  Your body is hot and sweaty.  Your skin is slippery and tingling.  You can feel every single muscle in your body filling with blood with every move.  You are taking deep, sharp breaths and barely have enough time to exhale before you need to re-fill again.  Your hair is sticking to your forehead and you can feel the beads of sweat sliding down the side of your cheek.  Your senses heighten as you feel yourself getting closer to climax.  Your lungs feel like they are going to explode, your heart is pounding harder and harder.  You start taking shallow breaths that skip with anticipation.  Your muscles contract and tighten for that very moment right before you release…. THAT…is what the pump feels like.


Any questions?  Go hit the bathroom then the gym.


Training is steady as she goes.  I have my next check-in and progress pictures next weekend when I am 10 weeks out.  Since I haven’t been making the progress I’ve needed to make I decided to make a drastic change, give that change 110% and hope like hell that my body responds to the shock in routine.  This is the real life truth of this sport.  What worked before may not always work.  The body changes constantly and WE are not smarter than our bodies…we have to take the time and LISTEN to what our body tries to tell us.  This is what I love about this sport.  It’s frustrating as shit and messes with your mind but at the end of every day when I fall asleep knowing that I pushed myself as HARD as I could for as LONG as I could…that feeling is worth all of it.

*11 WEEKS- 76 Days to go*



The Fine Print…

There are a FEW things I wish I knew going into the sport of Bodybuilding…the “fine print” if you will:

  1. It’s expensive as hell…between food, supplements, gym memberships and not to mention the cost of doing a show…it’s effing expensive.
  2. You NEED to have a solid starting level of confidence before doing this because the dieting, the change in your body (or lack there-of) and the eventual transition back to normal body life after doing a show can really mess with your mind.
  3. This sport will test every single shred of will-power you possess.
  4. It’s not as easy as Instagram and Facebook posts make it out to be.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I STILL feel like a fish out of water in the bodybuilding community.  I came from a very different background and I offer a very different perspective than everyone else in the sport.  This puts me in a category all my own.  I really knew NOTHING about bodybuilding when I decided to compete other than the fact that I wasn’t against seeing all the hot-ass muscle meatcakes get all hot and sweaty on stage flexing their man meat!  Like majority of the people in the world I look to the professionals…I Instagram stalk all of the well-known people and people who are famous for doing this or famous for taking pictures of their banging physiques.  Their progress pictures look so amazing and they make the process of prep look like a breeze.  HOW?! Are you a superhero?!


It was quite a shock and still is a shock to this day that the process isn’t as easy as it appears to be in pictures or as easy as the professionals make it look.  For someone like Phil Heath, I’m sure it is an easier process after having done it for so long than someone who has just started and is ONE contest prep in.  I’m here to set the record straight.  For EVERYONE who competes, who is THINKING about competing or even for those who are interested in the ins and outs of prepping for a bodybuilding competition, I think it is fair that you read the fine print below.  This is MY experience of what I WISH I had known before going into this and this does not reflect EVERY contest prep experience.

  1. Your body is smarter than you. PERIOD.
    1. You can PLAN all you want. You can count every single molecule and plan every spec of food but no matter what…your body is going to do exactly what it wants to do.
  2. Your mind is your strongest muscle.
    1. Your body will give up way before your mind.  Set it and let it do the work…your body will be forced to follow.
  3. FOOD is NOT the enemy…your RELATIONSHIP with it…IS.
  4. This experience is NOT pretty.
    1. It’s sweaty, stinky, too much laundry, not enough showers, too tired, too cranky, too hungry, sore, exhausted and wanting nothing more than to lay spread eagle on the couch.
  5. Time management is like a rubics cube…if you can’t figure it out right away you just have to keep fiddling around with it until you do.
    1. AM Fasted Cardio, Shower/Change, Go to work for 8-14 hours, Sit for long periods of time, fake a smile all day, get in all of your meals, get in all of your supplements, get all of your fluids in, get home to change, eat again, get to the gym, lift, second round of cardio, meal preps, try to have a social life, write a book, try to get some sleep and up again to do it all over again.
  6. You can never have too many bags
    1. Gym bag for AM cardio
    2. Gym bag for shower stuff and work clothes (WITH makeup and hair stuff)
    3. Gym bag for PM lift
    4. I am also writing a book so I bring my book bag with me to work on during my lunch break at work.
  7. NOTHING goes according to plan. Plan for that.
  8. Photos catch you at your best but when you are home, alone and standing face to face with your own choices, decisions and food demons…it’s up to you to decide what is more important…instant gratification from food or long term glory from success.
  9. No one tells you the dirty dirty details that go along with this process
    1. Bathroom issues
    2. Sleeping problems
    3. Exhaustion
    4. Self-doubt, self-consciousness, loneliness, frustration, aggravation, sleep deprivation, alienation,
  10. It is ALL worth it! Every single moment listed above…is worth it! Not just for that final stage photo that everyone wants to post right away, but for your moment to stand on that stage and say to yourself… “Fuck yeah we did it.”

I got to thinking about this this past week when I took my progress pictures on Saturday.  On the 29th I was 12 weeks out from the show.  The photos were shocking to see.  As in…I was shocked at how little progress I had made from 16 weeks to 12 weeks.  I was crushed.  I can’t lie and say I have been 100% perfect every single day of my diet.  I can’t say that I have done every single minute of every single hour of cardio perfectly.  This is on me.  That is what I love about this sport so much is that win or lose…it’s on me. I refuse to disappoint myself.  Time to focus.  Time to regroup.  I KNOW why I do this…I KNOW why I love doing this and I’m not going to be the one who gets in my OWN way.




After a minor break down and an ugly cry I decided to change up  my plan and try something a little different.  I am sticking to the 1,300 calories and the 185 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbs and 52 grams of fat.  HOWEVER, I am increasing AM fasted cardio to one hour of steady state.  I am also going to swap out my weekly cheat meal for a reefed day.  I am going to lower protein to 150 grams, fats to 20 grams and increase carbs to 100 grams.  I am going to add High Intensity Interval Training back into my routine as progress starts plateauing.

I have 4 weeks to make some significant progress.  I’m wanting to see more detail and striations in my back, legs and abs.  In 4 weeks on January 2nd my family and I leave for a week in Mexico.  I know I can handle diet and training when I am there but I want to be ON TRACK and even ahead a bit when we leave so I have time to un-do anything I need to un-do.  FOUR WEEKS.  To push harder, dig deeper, keep surprising myself with what I am capable of.

I’ve stumbled.  I’m only human.  I choose to stand back up, dust it off and keep running forward.

And there’s the fine print for ya!